When a new seller gets into Fiverr, the usual question is “how can I make a sale?”. In the forums we can read every day people asking how they can make their first sale, or what they should do to increase them. The answer is always the same: use the buyers requests section, promote yourself using social networks, create a good gig description, design an attractive thumbnail, work hard to deliver a good buyer experience and be patient.
However, though these are good advices, they lack something vital, the paramount of the business development.
You have to build a brand, that is, you have to build your REPUTATION.
One of the key factors that makes a Marketplace healthy and trustful is the reputation of the sellers. Reputation comprises mainly four attributes:
• Public ratings and feedback from buyers.
• Seniority in the marketplace.
• Number of successfully completed transactions.
• Excellence in customer care and quality of delivery.
So, if we think about it carefully, reputation has a major impact in our business success. That’s why new sellers have almost zero sells in their first days. They have no reputation. And yes, it is normal, and logical. The problem is not the marketplace, but the expectations, which are leveraged by thousands of articles and books that shows Fiverr as a “magic money” making machine.
¿As a new seller, what can I do to make sells and progress?
First, make a realistic approach. Think about the marketplace, the reputation relevance, and how this system works. You can add also other key factors, like creating a breakthrough offer or following a highly efficient marketing plan, but reputation comes first.
Second, please note that the reputation takes time and hard work to build up. Fiverr is an investment, specially the first weeks/months/years. You invest time, and ROI is low. In fact, VERY low. But that’s not a Fiverr issue, it’s a common thing in every startup around the world. If you think you can be an entrepreneur without putting tons of time with zero earnings, you have read the wrong book.
Third, you will have to work HARD to get the reputation attributes as high as possible. Let me tell you how to do it.
1st: Public ratings and feedback from buyers
This is the star attribute, and you already know it. We all want stars to fill our sky at night. Those 5 stars ratings are gold, and show the appreciation of your customers. Also, reflect your hard work, and all the community will recognize it. The ratings are the heart and the inner core of the reputation in rated marketplaces, and in Fiverr is the stronger value of trust.
This attribute is you major goal, and the best way to build it up is to excel in customer care and deliver professional results. If you are not skillful and have strong experience in what you are selling, you may have trouble to get this attribute up.
Sometimes, people get into the forum and complain about they are not getting sales and they are trying to spread their gigs with no success. I rarely read that they are LEARNING and IMPROVING their skills meanwhile. Know what? You may be using better your time improving your skills than doing Facebook manual marketing or posting tons of twits nobody reads.
Top priority is to get the best ratings and feedback from your customers. And log them. Write an excel file with the feedback and learnings from every order, or at least, the relevant ones. Like “This order went ok, but the buyer were rude” or “This customer told me the results were nice, but I felt she was a bit disappointed, perhaps I did something wrong, I should improve that”.
2nd: Seniority in the marketplace
Staying active in the marketplace is also a key factor. Your best friend here is time. You will have to work and wait, steady and relentless. Does not matter if you don’t have sales, just get into Fiverr everyday, have a look at your stats, forum, buyer requests… just be alive. Seniority will slowly build up, and you will eventually become wiser in your marketplace understanding. And knowing about the place you are doing business is very important, and that knowledge adds to your reputation.
Be humble and listen. Just learn. Then, contribute. Build your brand.
3rd: Number of successfully completed transactions
The reputation is also tied to actual experience in what you are doing. Even if you had issues in the past. People tend to value the experience a lot.
The more transactions you complete, the better. Big name sellers in Fiverr go over 1k easily, and their reputation is strong, even if their rating drops to 4.7, they will be seen as an experienced seller. Which is a good thing.
¿How can you increase your completed transactions? With a strong reputation. But… ¡you said this an attribute of reputation! ¡That is a vicious cycle!
Wait. Let me explain it easily. Do you know how the atomic bomb works? It’s a chain reaction, which expands in an increasing pattern. So yes, expect a slow, hard start to ignite it. Patience, and steady work, are key factors for this attribute to build up.
Please note that you should be extra careful when you begin to get more orders. If you deliver late, or with lower quality, you will hurt other reputation attributes, so if you need to slow this a bit, don’t hesitate. Use the “out of the office” option to control your queues and quality of work.
4th: Excellence in customer care and quality of delivery
And, ladies and gentlemen, this is the fuel of your reputation. All of the above is futile without a strong business mind. Look at these words:
• Learning attitude
If you feel them natural to you and your work, you are in the right track. Business is about delivering the best solution to another person, and the rewards that comes from it: satisfaction, money and learning. Get those 3, move forward.
Your top priority is delivering the best work you can do. Even if it takes nights without sleeping. You NEED to be the best. But, if it takes too much, and you put your health at risk, perhaps your strategy is wrong, and you need to rethink it carefully. Don’t try to sacrifice yourself and your family, never. But be ready to work hard, learn fast, stay tuned, and make people happy with every delivery.
Besides that, it is extremely important that you learn how to communicate properly. Improve your English, but also learn how to address properly a customer, and how a business conversation should be managed for the best results. Think that a big percentage of your review comes from your communication, and not the delivery itself.
And now… my advices to Fiverr
Hahaha! I bet you did not expect this! Yes, I have advices for our hosts and nice people who cares of us and work hard everyday to make this happen.
Yes, we sellers rant sometimes. But let’s face it: Fiverr is another option for us to develop our business. And I welcome every option. It is my choice to use it or not.
Said that, I think I can give my humble point of view regarding the importance of seller’s reputation for Fiverr.
Reputation is a strong rewarding mechanism for users. People work hard to get those stars, and they commit their lives to their passion. Some make this house theirs, and they work full time inside Fiverr, trusting the well being of their families on Fiverr marketplace. They work here, and they pay their bills thanks to Fiverr.
That comes from a business agreement. “You work here, I get the 20% of the orders”. Fair and simple. It is called symbiosis, and it’s nice.
But there is an unpleasant situation it should be avoided at all costs: when a veteran seller feels scorned, undervalued, ignored, mistreated. This is VERY IMPORTANT -> Reputation must leverage the bonds between the seller and Fiverr.
It is imperative to put a major effort on that. I think Fiverr should take care and reward the reputation, developing tools to build it up, and recognize it’s deep impact in the marketplace.
We, sellers, should be able to increase our reputation, the attributes, and we want to feel rewarded.
Actually, I would implement several tools to fulfill that. Like detailed stats for sellers that buyers can check, better seller protection, stronger requisites for publishing gigs (marketplace overall reputation adds to our personal reputation), better search placement, effective scam protection techniques, level system redesign to avoid seller frustration, and other measures focused on reputation leveraging. Please note that those are just draft ideas.
I hope this marketplace becomes better for all of us. Fiverr staff, sellers, buyers… we all are a family here, and we have to work towards a common goal: make Fiverr the best freelance platform on the entire world. And yes, everyone of us has to be committed if we want that happens. I know Fiverr write the rules, but I also know that we can contribute, and we can give options, or contact support when something is not right. We can even leave if things don’t work well for us. But, eventually, solutions arise, and things get better.
I bet Fiverr executives are working hard, and they will read this, and I hope I can be useful to them. The idea of business reputation is strong, and it is a sure bet for development.
I am willing to help new sellers, veterans, buyers and Fiverr staff, and I am open to discuss and share my knowledge with anyone. Just answer this post, and share your thoughts with me