What can you do when your sales have suddenly plummeted? For many people the solution is simple - come on to the forum and complain about something else which “must” have caused this. It is probable that an outside force has caused you to not get as many sales. What is also probable is that you have no control over this “outside force”.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good rant or moan every now and then as much as the next guy but I never expect my moan or rant to actually change anything. When it comes to my business, I rely on myself to make things happen and if “outside forces” work in my favor then great - but that is the cherry on the top, not the cake. If forces beyond my control work in my favor I believe it is important to take advantage of them and try to build sustainably from there - you never know when those forces will change.
Anyway, this post is part of my UPYOUR series based on This Poll and aims to help sellers to deal with issues related to the following four parts of the poll:
1 Too many sellers offer the same thing - 48%
2 Buyers won’t buy from new sellers - 23%
3 Buyers won’t buy from level 1 sellers - 12%
4 I don’t get orders since I became level 1/2 - 12%
As you can see, there are many options when you want to blame outside forces - I haven’t even included the popular ones like search algorithms, recessions, holiday seasons, bad buyers, that one bad review you got, etc.The list of possibilities in endless and if you focus on it, you can even come up with some more obscure or far-fetched reasons.
My favorite excuse of all time was when I worked in retail and one of my staff’s reasons for us having a slow week was that a particularly well-known man in the community had died recently and everyone was too upset about it to think about shopping… To put it in context, roughly 1% of our sales came from the local community but even so, let’s say this was the reason - what could we do about it except hope that he comes back to life, wait for people to get over it or perhaps, if we were deciding to be proactive - we could hire some clowns to cheer everyone up.
Anyway, I digress.
The simple fact is that there is no point in trying to control outside forces. Aside from that brief period of making you feel better, rants and moans don’t really work either. Instead, I want to focus on a couple of ways to get over a slump or to kickstart things for yourself. These methods can be used whatever level you are at and whatever the reasons there are for you not having sales. Whether you have never had many orders or if you have just recently had a slump.
Add some free extras: In January this year, I was experiencing a slump in sales due to the fact I had just finished three large translation projects totaling around 400,000 words. I had been turning down work, extending delivery times etc as I could not do orders in my usual time-frame. Now that these were finished, I had no sales. Zero. What I did was simple but effective. I offered my services at my extra fast time at no extra cost. This got some sales which I otherwise would not have gotten and kept me working while waiting for larger orders (which is what I specialize in).
Lower your prices: This is my least favorite option but it can be effective. If you are a TRS or Level 2, the chances are that you are charging more than you used to (If not, Why? How To: Click Here). Why not consider lowering them a little to get some of the business you used to get? Sure, you don’t get as much as you have become accustomed to but at least you are getting some money. In my experience, dropping a price by 20% can stimulate sales and there is one key part to doing this - Shout about it! If you are dropping your price, you need to mention this in your description and I find it is better to do it for a limited time. This creates a sense of urgency and value for the buyer while also allowing you to go back to your usual prices without your new buyers complaining too much.
Advanced Buyer Requests: No, this is not a secret place on the site. This is a technique I use where I browse buyer requests and look for specific ways to make them choose me. Two of the 3 large projects I got in December were from BR and using this method. First, choose a larger buyer request which is interesting to you and ignore their budget. Make your offer in the usual professional manner but also include some add-on info. For example, mention that even though you are an experienced seller (if you are) you are currently not too busy and mention a discounted rate/faster delivery time etc that you are prepared to offer for this project if they order within “X” number of days. Before doing this, think carefully about what you are offering, if you can manage the offer etc.
Special offer for repeat clients: When you are delivering an order, mention that you are prepared to discount/do more/give a free extra to that buyer if they have something else for you to do. This can be particularly effective if you know that the buyer has more to do. You can also look for crossovers where your client had you proofread their website, perhaps you can offer to do a blog, SEO, translation etc on their site at as a special offer. This has been quite good for me, I have ended up doing a lot more for clients than they originally asked for with one very specific example of a business who hired me to proofread a document for $10. Since then, I have helped them rebrand, come up with their tagline, written letters for them and will be starting SEO on their website in a couple of weeks. To date, that $10 order has grown to $180 and that should triple in the coming weeks. It would not have happened if I hadn’t taken 30 seconds to write an offer along with their deliver.
Please note: I NEVER send messages to former buyers without them requesting something first. The offer I mention above should only be sent as a “PS” along with your delivery. Sending messages to former buyers is SPAM and may be flagged by your buyer.
Bonus Tip: The above are short term measures for when you are not busy. An alternative action for you in slower periods would be to begin implementing some of the longer term strategies for building your business that I and others have posted in the past.
Whatever you decide to implement, whatever method you feel suits you best, remember that doing something is better than doing nothing. If you are waiting for things to change by themselves then you need to rethink your business strategy. On Fiverr, there is huge competition for sales and the only way to grow is to do something about it. Unfortunately, even those who are the best at what they do need to also be able to market themselves and attract clients in order to deliver quality work to them. Thinking of trying something out? Let us know in the comments and maybe do a post about it yourself afterwards and let us know how you got on - whether it was a success or not!
This post is one of a series of posts I am doing which are aimed at helping sellers to Up Their Game and begin to earn more from their work, gain new clients and make the most of being a freelancer. The posts will be based on This Poll which is still open so if you haven’t made your voice heard, please do so as the more that vote on an issue in that poll, the more likely I am to post about that issue.
To see all posts in the series, Click Here