Fiverr Community Forum

Selling in Music & Audio

A few months back I made a post talking about ways I thought you could improve your experience here on Fiverr as a seller in general, this was just as I was turning Level One and now that I’ve reached Level Two I thought I’d celebrate by making another post but this time to talk about how to improve your experience as a seller in Music & Audio. Regardless of the category you are in, you may find these relevant.

1. Don’t tell me what you CAN'T do!

As a buyer, searching through new sellers can be tiring but every now and then you stumble across a session musician or a mixing engineer who has great potential at a bargain, you read through their profile and it sounds like they’re the right person to play that piano composition you’ve been sitting on or mixing your latest cook-up, so you decide to message them giving a detailed brief of your project and attach your favourite Alicia Keys or Pop Smoke track as reference.

You are ecstatic because you think you have found the right person for the job! To your dismay, the response you get back seems excited at first but as you read on you start to notice that the buyer is telling you about how they can’t record great quality audio, how they’re great at what they do but can’t make it sound that way, how they can’t. can’t can’t. They’ve answered every question you haven’t asked, so, you say thank you and move on, because they can’t do what you’re looking for.

Look, I’m not saying lie, I would hate to pay for a service to receive unusable work in return, but assuming you’ve displayed work that accurately represents your service and skillset, there shouldn’t be a reason for you to ramble on about your insecurities. You have already been approached because the buyer thinks you can do the job and unless you really can’t or don’t want to do the job there isn’t any other reason to turn it down, so, instead tell the client what you can do and offer solutions. not problems.

2. Creatives, not workhorses.

I have found myself in uncomfortable situations where I was being pushed to deliver more than what was offered or previously discussed, and it is very easy to cave in and push yourself because you just want to get out of this nightmare but trust me it is not worth it. Stand your ground, this is repeated so much here on the forum and needs to be repeated even more. Stand. Your. Ground. If your buyer is way out of line, stay professional and do not fold because the only person who ends up losing is you, you will end up exhausted, I know I did.

I have seen a lot of great points made as to how to avoid these situations but the one that has always worked for me is increasing my pricing, I have been all over when it comes to pricing, $5, $30, $70, $150, and I can say that each time, the likelihood of encountering nightmare buyers has diminished each time.

3. No one cares

No one cares about the degree, MBA, PhD or the eighty awards you still haven’t earned or won, I know some musicians and even a few people on this forum who feel that a lack of credentials is what’s holding them back from getting orders or is in-fact completely stopping them from creating gigs, it isn’t and shouldn’t! I know this will sound ironic coming from someone who has listed their education in their bio but hear me out. NEVER have I had someone approach me asking about my studies or non-existent awards, you know what they DO ask? “Can you make this…” and the answer is either yes or no.

As I already mentioned in the first part of this post, when you have been approached by a potential client, it should be assumed that they’ve read your description or at the very least listened to your previous work (I know, I know, that’s not always the case but that’s a whole rant of it’s own) and I can tell you with confidence that before I added my studies onto my profile I was already getting a substantial amount of sales and by the look of my stats, it looks like adding them did more harm than good (Hooray for gig rotation!). So, don’t worry about not having twenty years of experience or ten Grammy awards, if you can provide the value a buyer needs, that’s all that matters.

4. Clarification

For my last point I want to talk about clarification, and you may be wondering, Komet… what are you on about? I am of course talking about ironing out every detail you are unsure about before any financial transaction takes place.

This may seem obvious for you, but oh boy, I will tell you about the time I learnt this the hard way, I promise it is a short story. A wild buyer appears! Buyer says he wants me to sample a part of a song, Seller says “but copyright!”, Buyer says “no problem!”, Seller says “Ok, I sample now”. Seller then comes back 8 hours later, delivers the order only to then find out that Buyers very special, personal, unique definition strictly meant sampling vocals and not any other part of the whole six-minute track that was provided!

Ok, the formatting of that story was a little strange, so just in case you missed the point here it is in simpler terms. Not all buyers will have the same knowledge you have on certain topics, they may not know certain jargon, maybe they will mix up a term or two and even misuse them. It is not your job to one-up them or to be condescending, but you should clarify that their use of the word emotion might be referring to the dynamics, simply by asking them.

That’s my best tip for this, focus on the context of a sentence, I know this may seem obvious, but I have even worked with sellers who were incorrectly using terms or because of language using different terms, so instead of aggressively screaming down my keyboard or getting arrogant about the fact, it was as simple as asking what they were referring to when they would say x.

I am of course not saying completely deconstruct their sentences, but carefully read and trust your gut, if you think they mean something different, then ask, it will be a much more streamline process for both of you when it comes to creating and delivering.

Thanks for reading. This is all just my experience until now as an active seller and buyer in this category, everyone’s experience is different, and Music & Audio has a great deal of sub-categories, I would love to hear about your experiences!

3 Likes

Interesting:

Can't Do

When people ask me to clone another composer or Track, I try to explain that I cannot do that simply because Hans Zimmer sounds like Herr Z because it is Hans. I am Benedict.I have a Portfolio and will happily deliver something creative within that.

I do understand you though in that there are too many who let fear rule the moment and when they could Stand Up And Shout they choke on Mumma’s Spaghetti. Sad for all.

Workhorse

Sadly the whole mindset in much of the world is that people who are not ME are like Peons in Warcraft or SIMS who exist only to do MY bidding. Creativity (and really all life) do not work this way.

In some cases, increased price helps, in others, it merely increases the expectation of crazier outcomes based on worse raw material.

Awards

I ave awards. You know how much respekt they done brought me. Yup.

Of course, most people haven’t even looked at the link to my Portfolio yet are still telling me what to do for them - for free Test work no less.

Fake Terms

Don’t get me started on the misuse of technical terms in the Beatz cummunity. It is like dealing with teenagers who have never heard anything but the garbage their ever-so-worldly 13yo friends throw around yet get stroppy when you use the right term and deliver the wrong result. Despite how Pro they want the results to be, they actually want them to be unprofessional in the extreme.

It is a Music Bed people (or a backing track if you are casual) as a Beat is a part of a Bar: one of four n 4/4.

That is fun writing in dropdowns. Now no one can say TLDR, they can just avoid reading it, or even knowing what is there.

:slight_smile:

2 Likes

This is awesome, thanks for sharing. Lots of wisdom here for new and old sellers alike.

My favorite has to be #1, confidence is key - and being confident in your strengths goes a long way in creating your image and brand.

Does anyone else have key lessons learned from their experiences?

2 Likes

Remove people demanding Free Test (or Demo) work from the platform. This is a TOS issue. If Fiverr can’t honor their own TOS, why would buyers?

Don’t let lazy CS people let it slide. It is FREE WORK nonetheless and not only wastes the time of everyone who does it (or wasted time in applying only to be told, that to go any further they need to do free work) but diminishes the value of the platform.

Train buyers to become good buyers instead of setting everyone up for a fail - incl Fiverr who have reputation issues as a result.

I have reported three issues here in Fiverr (and two elsewhere) with no action taken. Instead I get abuse from non-buyers for not playing their unprofessional, anti-TOS games.

This is my Key Issue from experience.

:slight_smile:

Congrats on the level two and thanks for a great post!

I Think 4 is especially important as music and talking about music being quite abstract at times leads to just those occasions that you described. It is so easy for the same brief can be interpreted in many ways leading to buyer not getting what he pictured in his head. Unless you bombard them with lots of itty bitty questions about every detail that is :smiley:

One way that has worked for me is that if there is a potential buyer with really personal and not so average sounding project I straight away make a custom offer for them stating all the discussed details considering the production of the project. If you do this in a way that clearly includes and excludes some avenues and working phases you end up In a situation where you have smaller chances of getting in to the situation where the buyer asks for something “extra” which is in the borderlines of being in the scope of your existing gig.

1 Like