I’ve had mixed results in using Fiverr to find illustrators and graphic designers. Over a year ago, I was using Fiverr to find somebody to make a banner photo for my YouTube channel. I didn’t have the time to sort through what felt like millions of different sellers, so I posted a request. Offers flooded in, but the offers I was getting were for work that I didn’t request. A lot of the offers were asking for much more money than I had specified in my budget, and of all offers that were sent probably three quarters of them were written in broken English. I got so frustrated sorting through the dozens of requests that I received from sellers who either hadn’t even bothered to read the work I posted, or who were expecting me to pay 10 times what I had said was within my budget, that I gave up and made my own banner photo.
But that was also one of my earliest buying experiences on Fiverr. Now that I’ve been around the Fiverr buyer block a few times, I’ve learned what to expect and accepted that I’m going to have to interview multiple sellers. So what I did this time was I posted a $5 request for the Photoshop work I wanted done and specified that it was an interview: if you can do this work, there’s more to follow.
Predictably, I got flooded with offers from people who clearly hadn’t even read my request; offers for literally more than 10 times what I had specified in my budget; and offers from people who may as well have been mashing random letters on the keyboard.
After a few dozen offers came in, I narrowed my selection down to a handful of likely candidates. From there, I placed a $5 test gig with a couple sellers to see what they could do, but one of the candidates immediately jumped to the front: @Vickydavid . Why? Because when he responded to my buyer request, he told me that he’d already done the work and could send me a watermarked image to review. Wow. I was really impressed. After waiting for the other candidates to respond with the paid sample gigs I ordered, I was ready to make my choice, but in the end I picked @Vickydavid - not just because he sent me a proof to demonstrate his ability to complete the job, but when I expressed concerns about how he would handle other images with different color palettes, he did another proof - free of charge. On top of that, he communicated quickly and never left me waiting.
Based on all those factors, I accepted his quote for the entire job. He marked the order as taking 3 days to complete, but he delivered in less than 24 hours. There were three minor modifications I wanted to make (which is to be expected in any graphic design project), but otherwise he did the job exactly as I requested. I was absolutely delighted, and he’s won a customer for life.
For me, this buying experience was a pleasure. I had to do some work at the start to narrow down the best candidates for the job, and I spent a little bit of money to interview the final candidates, but @Vickydavid made this a breeze. I know it’s not possible for every graphic designer to do free work to win a client, but in this situation the work as small enough that he could do that. The fast, friendly communication and speedy delivery has been the best buying experience I’ve had on Fiverr.
So, if you’re a buyer who wants to find a seller for life, this is what it takes to make sure your seller gets it done right the first time:
- Post a clear buyer request which specifically outlines what you want done.
- After a few dozen offers are made, pause your request and find the best sellers.
- Accept that you must spend $5 per seller on test-gigs to find the best one.
- Quickly reply to the seller’s questions if he or she needs more information to do the job.
- Be patient and accept that good work takes time to deliver.
If you’re a new buyer on Fiverr, then this can feel slow and frustrating - after all, isn’t Fiverr supposed to be fast and easy? - but if you want the work done right the first time and you don’t want to waste your time and money on sellers who can’t or won’t do the job as requested, you’ve got to do this. Spending $5 on test-gigs to interview sellers is part of the process, and you need to budget $10 to $15 to get a good look at your final 2 or 3 candidates. And of course, don’t forget that your seller is a living, breathing person who probably pays his or her bills and feeds his or her family with the money he or she earns on Fiverr - you’ll be amazed what a seller will do for you if you’re both patient and polite.
And if you’re a seller and you want to win a customer for life, this is what it takes to ensure a happy buyer:
- Listen to what the buyer is saying.
- Have your portfolio of work ready for review.
- Don’t push to get the full job right away: be ready to do a $5 test-gig interview.
- Be a fast and friendly communicator.
- Deliver on time.
I know that this is silly - aren’t these things obvious? - but I’m telling you that based on my experiences as a buyer, this isn’t so. It’s true that there are buyers who treat sellers like crap and bully them for free work, but there are also sellers who treat buyers like crap and bully them to accept bad work. Here’s to a great seller, @Vickydavid - you made my life easier today.