Well, it has been a month (or very close to) being a seller on Fiverr and so far the experience has been both rewarding and eye-opening. Like most people, hindsight works on 20/20 vision and for the benefit of any newcomers who stumble upon this, these are my words to you.
For the most part, this is nowhere near what I would call a definitive guide, your mileage may vary but if this helps you in any way then it will be somewhat educational.
- Fiverr is NO DIFFERENT to any other business, if anything it’s HARDER:
I have no doubt that 99% of sellers on Fiverr are looking to promote their services and earn an income, it’s noble and admirable that so many are taking the leap. But for every 100 good sellers, there will most likely be at least 1 bad one. The good news is that these fly-by-night merchants get caught out very quickly (a time where customer satisfaction dispense some much-needed karma), the bad news is that the rules that keep the pretenders in-line make our jobs ever-so-slightly harder. Things such as overly-picky customers, long wait times for payment and canceled orders are part-and-parcel of running a business and as far as how Fiverr operate I would say I would prefer this over nanny-state levels of interference. The bottom line is to be very aware of what the rules are and ensure you follow them.
- Be prepared for a steep learning curve:
In addition to the point above one of the pitfalls (or experiences if you’re an optimist) of Fiverr is that you learn a whole new dimension of customer service. For some professions; dealing with vague requests and successfully converting them into concrete ideas this aspect becomes a little easier, but for technically minded souls who are used to operating in a certain way and accepting some things at face value, you will be confronted with very challenging times. Be prepared to have incomplete customer requests, overly-strange use of revisions and disappointing results, all that you may encounter no matter how well you prepare. So in short for this point keep in mind the following:
- ALWAYS review your gigs and be as clear as possible (even linking to an external document) as to what you can/can not, will/will not and ask MANY questions of the customer until you are absolutely certain you know what the customer wants, sometimes it is a simple jargon term that makes all the difference (see below).
- The customer IS NOT always right:
A concept I have long since abandoned was that notion where “the customer is always right”. For reference, it was the notion that no matter how wrong or how out-of-place or rude the customer is, you have to wear it with a grin and keep plugging away as such trials would yield a loyal customer base. In the times when it was applicable, customers would behave in a manner that was both fair and reasonable and be open to being helped and would repay the empathy showed to them through loyalty.
Today we have customers who want the world and will try to pay $5 for it, and then leave a bad review out of spite to the point where you might as well create a gig called “I will manage impossible expectations, everything for $5 and unlimited revisions”. If nothing else you must draw the line in the sand at what is, and what is not acceptable, and unfortunately going above and beyond the line of reasonable may not pay off for you, again it’s a question you have to answer.
- Quote to your requirements, not the customers:
As far as point #3 goes - if you look at the buyer requests you will see a request where the customer wants “X” job done, in 24hrs, for $5. When it comes to buyer requests; the customer is stating what THEY believe (read; WANT) the job to be worth and the time THEY believe (again, read; WANT) the job to be done in. Accommodating requests especially when you know they are unrealistic is only going to cause you more heartache than them and could lead to cancellations, which if you can I would recommend trying to avoid.
- Go slow and soldier on:
One of the key points I should highlight is don’t quit just because you didn’t get a gig on the first day, and definitely, don’t quit if you get a cancellation or two. Pitfalls are a part of a business and you have to soak up the highs and lows in order to have something that will generate results for you. In fact, if you only get 1 gig in your first month then you should be GRATEFUL, why? Because from that you can gauge just what customers request, you can get a realistic idea as to how much time something takes and you can learn in a more relaxed environment as to how you can make your life HEAPS simpler so when the time comes where you are taking heaps of orders you don’t get swamped.
- Get your own network:
Following from point 5, if it should happen where you get HEAPS of orders (and my congratulations when it happens), then before hitting the cancellation key I would suggest taking some time, posting on the forums and connecting with other Fiverr users. Having that network in place can be hugely beneficial for you if something comes up, you can refer work to a trusted associate who will deliver quality work or even outsource your work if you’re getting too busy. The best part is when you get the right connections they are usually mutually beneficial so you increase your available market straight away.
In conclusion, i really hope that this has been of some benefit, just remember to keep positive and learn, LEARN, LEARN x 10^56!!! Any other points other sellers want to add (i am pretty sure there are numerous) please share as I would love to hear them myself.