Fiverr Forum

Strongly leaning towards leaving

I’m very exhausted. I work as a Graphic & Illustration designer.

  • My first mistake was thinking that something like art, that is typically a slow cooked process, could work in a volume sales environment.
  • Second mistake, tailoring my gigs to fit the volume sales/seller model rather than tailing them to fit my own time and skill set.

I make ink drawings that are digitized for Printing on Demand.
My best selling gig delivered:

1 design in two days,
2 designs in 4 days
and 3 designs in 6 days.

Not bad right? Sounded reasonable at first. Make one drawing in two days? Sure, I can do that. Except. My gig sold unexpectedly well. So imagine, getting 4-6 orders in a day- coming from an account that could only cop about 4 sales a month.
I admit, my eyes were larger than my stomach, I wanted them all and wanted to deliver them all. Don’t we all? And I did. As a matter of fact, for two years I never had an order marked as late.

Know that thing where Jon Baas always reminds you to treat Fiverr like a business? Well it’s pretty good advice- I listened to him and it worked. It was definitely paying off too.

As a result, Fiverr quite rapidly grew and took over my life. I allowed it to because was I good at it… I’m good at what I do. I love making art- absolutely love it. And above all it’s incredibly rewarding to see money in your pocket from something that got you in heaps of trouble at school (doodling on everything). The thing is though, there’s only so much sleep deprivation and self isolation you can take before it’s time to see a shrink. I started loosing my mind a little bit-perhaps I still am (lol).

4-6 orders a day really do sound scrumptious until you actually have to do them.
4-6 orders in one day,
all due on the same day
and that day is in two days.

As a designer and artist, unless you are selling clip-art (which is highly frowned upon) this is a very difficult thing to do much less maintain.

Don’t get me wrong here, this may work for things that don’t take an extensive amount of time for art it may even work short term but there is not much longevity in selling art by volume if you are going to do it solo. Taking revisions into account, imagine now, you have 4-6 new orders due in two days and revisions pending on 4 of your previous orders.
Which orifice exactly am I supposed to pull the time to get this done out of? -don’t answer that.

Inevitably my gig started suffering. I was suffering. Revisions were my Achilles heel. This is usually where Fiverr academy advises you to alter your gig; change the price, extend the delivery time, etc. However, when you know what you already have has worked so well
and you fear the algorithm
fear even more going back to having little to no sales,
…you leave it untouched for the sake of sales- my precious sales.

I loved seeing those pending sales.
At this point I decided I needed to work harder. More sleep deprivation and depression have now entered the building. I’ve also gained a considerable amount of weight because of the sedentary lifestyle. The success stories are only one side of the coin and there is an unhealthy side to selling on Fiverr that is often overlooked.

But this isn’t the worst for it’s the last few casualties that have been the most painful.

  • I have cancellations on two completed orders for something that the buyer was not clear on/did not respond.
  • There’s a charge back from someone who left a great review.
  • And also a warning on my account for something that I didn’t do- it states that I solicited a review when really what I asked the buyer was whether the revision was what he had wanted or not; something to the effect of “can I get some feedback on the last revision” -something I ask all my buyers. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do? I did use the word feedback which maybe sparked some confusion; buyer probably thought I meant “write me a review”-sigh. unfortunate.
  • This isn’t my first chargeback, I’ve taken the last one or two rather lightly.

To top it all off all of these people have escaped with the delivered files with which they can now use the work to their leisure- for free.

Thing is, “Over deliver” is something that Fiverr always advises. I over delivered. Played by the rules. Gave my buyers exactly what they wanted and more (sometime I give an extra free version of their design/order) Is this what you get for over delivering?

For those who are wondering about customer support; didn’t help. I tried to explain along screenshots however they were/are adamant that I was wrong. They didn’t even read the entirety of my request. Not sure if they looked at the screenshots. No amount of explaining can waive them. Which in itself makes me incredibly despondent because I am in no way guilty of what the warning says.

I know this is a part of “business” but I simply cannot sell in the volumes required to not feel the impact when something goes awry. Admittedly also, a great deal of my experience is as a result of some stupid decisions made. At the core I really did try to give the best service that I could.

I am very exhausted. It’s difficult to find the motivation at the moment.
I just feel done. Burnt out and cheated. Things I could do better (which works as advice for anyone reading this);

  • Pace yourself.
  • Set your deadlines with enough time to work AND revise.
  • Price your work realistically (according to the time it takes, technical skill, etc)
  • Have a limit number of orders set for your highest selling gigs (I did this eventually)
  • Don’t use the word “feedback”
  • Try setting up multiple streams of income/backup (at least make a start somewhere)
  • Most importantly, take care of yourself; you are working to make things better for yourself not the other way around.

I’ve paused my gigs, set my account to out of office and taking some time off to work on other things.
If you’ve gotten this far, thank you for reading my wall of text. :pray:
I hope everyone is having a better day.

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Hi There!

I’m sending you a hug. I’m very new to this platform, not to my industry, and I can say in with complete confidence that I know how you feel! I really hope that your time off will be well worth it. I hope that you feel refreshed and possibly come up with some new creative ideas to keep doing what you love and not feel so overwhelmed. If you figure out how to do that, please share!
Kathryn

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@sigmagraphicstt - I can’t agree more with you. I had been through this almost two years ago- and it took me a couple of months to fully recover. I wish you a speedy recovery - and hope that you will get back on your feet.

Learning that money isn’t everything in life was one of my hardest lessons.

Not just Fiverr, Cy! Freelancing in general is a cruel mistress.

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Or maybe have some limit (no. of orders in queue) for all your gigs, just in case.
I agree about the pricing/delivery times extension. Increasing price should help if you’re getting too many orders and you can always increase delivery times/lower the limit on orders in the queue. It won’t stop those ordering many gig multiples I think though.

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Please take the needed time off and recuperate; I’m hoping you get rested and relaxed and have a nice long vacation. We all need to take time to take care of ourselves.

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That would be frustrating. Maybe I’m missing something, but why not just limit the amount of orders you have in your queue?

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We’re all human. Hugs!

I recently took about a week off for my birthday vacation, it needed to happen. I was burned out and my “revision achilles heel” was acting up as well.

It dinged my search results pretty badly when I returned, and I have less sales than the last few months’ average, but guess what?? I have less revisions, my deliveries are on point, and typically earlier than before–and I’ve been getting tons more tips!

Sometimes, less is more. Especially when a market depends on supply & demand. I say make yourself scarce, and when you return, they’ll be clamoring to get your services, and you can set the pace.

Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon is a great example. It’s not the best bourbon I’ve ever had, but since it’s elusive, having a bottle just feels so much more rewarding.

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Hey pal. I had a Fiverr-related meltdown this week… had to limit my gigs to 3 orders.

I don’t have much say, but just wanted to send you a bit of love. You’re not alone. It can be really hard. :heart:

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I hope you can get all the rest that you need. Freelancing is a cold world so make sure you connect to the real people around you from to time

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I understand your feelings. It is difficult to find a place where you work regular hours in freelancing. Limiting orders and raising prices helps.

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I think the reason he initially didn’t limit the number of orders is because as he said, he became “addicted” to seeing the $ and orders coming in daily.

When I was reading this, the first thing that popped into my head was, “You cannot rush true art”, which is what it sounds like he does - he isn’t just throwing together some half baked concoction, he really cares about what he produces. Real art is NOT something to be put on a production line. True artists need to feel inspired to create - and when it becomes a “job” or you have to force the inspiration (I am sure the writers here know what I mean), it feels like you are being a fraud, and it can lead to getting down on yourself.

I think he answered his own dilemma by taking some time off - and listing all the things he should change when and if he returns. If I were him, I would really mark up the prices he charges and extend delivery times. He needs time off to reconnect with “real life” and come back with a fresh perspective, if he decides he still wants to offer his art on this platform.

GG

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It’s not really true art. True art is priceless for the artist, this is just $40 art. Ask the artists to make one for their loved ones and you will see true art :slight_smile:

The way I read his post though, it sounds like he is a true artist - OK, maybe he isn’t Rembrandt, but, it seems he is passionate about what he does, cares and has pride in what he produces for the client. I wouldn’t downplay his abilities by calling it “$40 art”. That is kind of a snide way to refer to what he does.
:slight_smile:

GG

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I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had such a rough time. Something that requires such creativity on the seller’s end like painting/drawings are especially tough, so I’m sorry that it all panned out this way. There’s a lot of good suggestions here and it seems you already know what you need to do to make things better for when you come back.

Raise your prices! Adjust your maximum order limit. Anything to stop the stress barrage. You’ve got some really cool stuff and deserve to be at the minimum not stressed or unhappy with your workflow. Good luck to you.

1 Like