It’s maddening how cheap some buyers on Fiverr are, but I doubt it helps matters when Fiverr makes buyers think that they can get high-quality work for cheap. I was browsing the video animation services, and there I was a prompted with a little mini-quiz to help pare down the search. The following is one of the questions:
“Voice over is when you hear a voice talking while you watch the video. It’s very popular, and not too expensive.”
All the voice talent I’ve hired and been pleased with costed a lot more than Fiverr lets on. By saying that VO work isn’t “too expensive” Fiverr is inviting nightmare buyers, I feel. Good VO is not (should not be) inexpensive. It’s an art that takes practice and effort that should be properly compensated and appreciated.
I think that much of Fiverr’s wording and ads yield an adulterated view of sellers’ talents and keep buyers from understanding the value of what they are getting. I wish such wasn’t a thing. Maybe then the buyer’s requests section wouldn’t be filled with “130k romance book. 10 days. $5. budget fixed.” and “edit my 148,958 word book and make it ebook ready. 24 hours. $6.”
This delusion paints the scene for my own failings. As a seller, it took me a while to recognize my value. When I first started, I couldn’t even begin to imagine what I charge now (which is still heavily discounted). I would think “who would pay that?” I mostly thought this because the BRs and Fiverr’s message speak against it and weave such thinking in even the smallest of places.
Honestly, what made me change my prices was my father. I’d just been promoted to level 2, and someone had placed an order for a 50k word meet-cute romance novel for $500. I had been elated. But a mere minute after telling my parents the news, my father goes, “That’s it? That’s not much money.” This moment is probably a fine one to bring up that I don’t like my father all that much. He’s a holier than thou baptist preacher with a penchant for pessimism. I love him, but I’m definitely closer to my mom. He said, “That’s not a lot of money. why don’t you charge more? People will pay for quality.”
When he said this, I was at first crushed, but it only took a second more for me to think, Hm… $400 isn’t that much money for a whole novel, is it? I thought, How much do I charge for 75k, an actual novel? 100k? 150k? In the scheme of things, $750 for an entire novel is a steal (especially when I’m only seeing $600). If Fiverr were my full time job, I’d have to write around 83 novels a year to make a decent wage. My value isn’t high, so I’m not “saying” that I’m worth much.
I doubled my prices that night.
The why, though, wasn’t entirely money. I changed my prices because I wanted to be valued. If I value my work enough to charge more, then I’m charging for high-quality. This fact (1) means I’ll get a higher quality client and (2) that I’ll get paid more for it, too. People value their money, so if they trust it with me, that means they value my work the way I should want someone to.
I’m a writer. My work is me. My work is my being, my self. Your work is your self, too.
Value your work. Value your self.
Yes, we started at voice overs, and now we’re talking about pricing and the value of the work produced on Fiverr. But I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch.
I mostly wrote this for those of you who are on the fence about raising your prices. Maybe you’re scared, or maybe you don’t think you’re worth it. Well, you are. There. Raise your prices. Extend your delivery times. Don’t let cheap buyers weasel you into discounting for “bulk.” I don’t care what BRs or Fiverr or any blinkard who idles into your inbox says.
Value your work. Value your self.