Earning money on the internet sounds like a dream. The freelancer platform Fiverr can help you do just that – but the competition is fierce! This article is packed with seven tips from a successful Fiverr freelancer to help you gain visibility on the platform and get your first orders.
Earning money on the internet is one of many great things digitalization and the 21st century brings. You don't need an office, a master's degree or a big budget. All you need to build up an income on the net is passion, discipline and a creative streak.
That's why life as a freelancer is becoming increasingly popular. Just open your laptop and off you go. In reality, however, it's not that easy to earn extra money online. Before things really get going, you have to deal with topics like acquisition, customer communication and job planning.
Many people give up early on. Either after few failed attempts at cold-calling or because they're completely lost in the new maze of customers and jobs.
If you want to get started as a freelancer and the obstacles above don't scare you off, you'll sooner or later come across service provider platforms. What are they? It's simple: imagine an online marketplace like Amazon. Only on these platforms, the providers don't sell products to be shipped. Instead, they sell their services such as logo design, video editing, website programming and many more.
Fiverr: Your start in freelancer life
One of the most popular platforms is Fiverr. Founded in Israel in 2010, Fiverr has been popular in North America and Asia for a long time. And now, the freelancer exchange is also becoming more and more commonplace in Europe. More than 3.8 million active buyers worldwide are on Fiverr (as of 31 March 2021).
The platform became known for its low prices at the beginning. Even today, services of all kinds start at five dollars, hence the name "Five(rr)". Now there are, however, also much more expensive offers and services that private individuals and companies can take advantage of.
If you want to be successful on Fiverr and build up a secondary income as a freelancer, there are a few points to consider. After all, the competition is gigantic and, I'll be honest, there's nothing more frustrating than when you've excitedly set up your account and no orders come in for days.
As a Fiverr copywriter, I've been active on the platform for a long time now and have experienced many valuable successes – and mistakes – that you can learn from.
In this post I want to give you my seven top tips on how to get started on Fiverr.
Tip 1: The right profile
Your journey on Fiverr starts with your profile. When you register, you have to answer a few questions about yourself and what you do. You also have the opportunity to define your appearance on Fiverr, i.e. what potential buyers will see of you later.
This includes the profile picture, profile description and other useful information (we'll come to this at the end of tip 1).
An authentic profile picture is incredibly important to evoke professionalism. It will be displayed on your profile page as well as on every offer page you have.
High-quality portrait photos and pictures that show you "in action" work particularly well. For example, if you offer photography, services it's a good idea to use a photo of yourself with a camera.
Such images signal competence and authenticity. Moreover, a real photo of you instead of a logo is ideal to establish a personal and familiar basis with interested parties right from the start.
Avatars are trending
A trend for profile pictures on Fiverr: individual avatars or emojis. They also have a personal touch and a nice modern reference. There are also countless cheap providers directly on Fiverr itself. So if you don't want to show your face but still want an appealing profile picture, an avatar is the perfect solution.
If you've taken the perfect photo or had it taken, make sure the image is of high quality and not pixelated or blurred. You also have to pay attention to the correct format. Fiverr insists on a 1:1 format so the photo needs to be square. The minimum width and height must also be 250 pixels.
Next comes the profile description. This part is all about underlining your competence and also telling potential customers a little about yourself.
People like to work with interesting personalities. Try to answer the following questions in your description text as concisely as possible:
- What's your name?
- How did you get into what you do? (Design, photography, whatever applies to you)
- What do you enjoy most about your work?
- How can you help someone with your skills?
- What values and virtues are particularly important to you at work? (Perfectionism, precision, punctuality, etc.)
Spend more time on your profile description until you've managed to answer these questions in a fluent text. Don't underestimate the importance of the profile description. It's the equivalent of a product description on Amazon, except that on Fiverr you're offering your services and not a product.
When you're done, you should have a flattering description of yourself that attracts attention, exudes professionalism and highlights your skills.
Other useful information
Your profile picture and description are up to scratch? Great! You've already taken the most important steps in building a serious profile.
Fiverr also offers you other ways to share more about yourself on your profile:
- Languages: Here you specify which languages you speak and at what level. This is important because the majority of buyers on Fiverr are international. The more language skills, the better. English and any other European languages will get you off to a good start.
- Completed tests: Fiverr now offers tests that you can take for free. They're available for different fields (graphic design, marketing, content writing). You can make your profile look nicer with some of these passed tests.
- Linked accounts: Are you active on Facebook, GitHub or Twitter and have a good reputation there? If you link your account, it's an ideal reference for your services.
- Skills: Here you define your skills (Fiverr suggests predefined titles) and your experience level (Beginner, Intermediate, Expert). This gives potential clients an impression of your skills.
- Education: Have you successfully completed a degree or training? You can record this under this point.
- Certificates: The last piece of the puzzle is certificates. You can list, for example, vocational training you've completed or participation in Google Digital Garage.
The more details and information you include in these points, the more serious and professional your Fiverr profile will appear. In turn, this increases your chances of actually generating orders from people who view your profile.
Tip 2: The perfect gig
So, your profile is done. The second step is to create the gigs – this is what Fiverr calls the advertisements for your services. When developing your gigs, it's important to pay attention to certain quality factors. The basic points are the title, description and photo of the gig.
Every gig title on Fiverr starts with the two words "I will". Again and again you see people who haven't understood this formula. You see titles like: "I will I will place your Facebook Ads". You can imagine how unprofessional this looks and no one is going to click on this gig, no matter how appealing the profile or the offer is.
Avoid this mistake at all costs and develop a title that forms a fluent English sentence in combination with the initial words "I will". Consider the following factors for a successful title:
- Concise (not too long)
- Hook (catchword that attracts attention)
- Addresses the need directly (What do you offer?)
If you work in marketing and Facebook Ads, a title could be:
"I will create your game changing Facebook Ads strategy".
The title and the photo are the first things that will be seen of your gig. Make sure, therefore, that the gig photo is clear and has a modern design. Consider the following factors for a successful image:
- Short concise text
- Pattern outbreak: develop an eye-catching design that draws the eye when scrolling
- Authenticity: illustrate your connection with the offer (for example, camera as a picture element for the photography section)
- Correct format: 1100 x 740 pixels
- No clickbait
- Avoid copying other users
If you manage to convince people with your photo and title, you'll also get them to click on your gig. Now it's essential that this stream of visitors doesn't fizzle out and they're actually converted into orders for you.
The most important factor is the description of your gig. In the description, you have opportunity to explain to interested parties exactly why you are the right person for the job.
Note the following factors for a successful description:
- No giant blocks of text (write concisely and use paragraphs)
- Explain the problem (that you can solve) and address the pain point
- How can you solve the problem?
- What is your promise? (Professionalism, reliability, punctuality, diligence, etc.)
With these guidelines, you're guaranteed to create an irresistible description. If you have problems with this task, don't despair! Take a few hours to write it. The description is so important that it's definitely worth putting in the effort.
Tip 3: Get the first orders
Optimizing your gig and profile is the foundation for your success on Fiverr. Unfortunately, even this doesn't guarantee that you'll get a lot of jobs straight away – the competition on the platform is simply too big.
The Fiverr algorithm has to get to know you first, so to speak. The best way to do this is through positive customer experiences and good reviews. But how are you supposed to get there if you haven't generated any orders yet?
There are a few "shortcuts" to your first orders and reviews that will help you get your Fiverr profile rolling. These include "Buyer Requests" and existing customers, as well as a little annoying thing that everyone has to go through at the beginning of their Fiverr journey: "selling below value".
Buyer Requests are a great way to get orders on Fiverr even if you're a blank slate. Here you can find people who have posted a special, individual order.
Anyone who offers services in this area can apply for this job. The more convincing your application and offer, the more likely you are to be accepted.
You can send out ten such applications every day. I strongly recommend that you make full use of these ten daily applications at the beginning! If you make an effort and keep at it, you're guaranteed to get a job sooner or later.
If you already have customers outside of Fiverr, it's worthwhile suggesting they place one order through Fiverr. This way you get a rating for your profile and Fiverr registers for the first time that you offer good services.
Selling below value
It may sound a bit strange, but when you take a closer look, you'll understand it's a hard lesson many have had to take on their Fiverr journey.
You often see newcomers on the platform who don't yet have any ratings and hardly any references, but nevertheless offer services in the three-digit price segment. Due to the stiff competition on Fiverr, the likelihood that someone will take up such an offer is really small.
You simply have to forgo a high hourly wage at the beginning – even if you already have a wealth of experience in your field. I recommend having a few gigs where you start with $5 for the cheapest package. This way you increase the potential that someone will click on your gig and buy.
The more reviews you collect and the better the reputation you build up on Fiverr, the higher you can set your prices. If people see that you consistently offer quality services and that many buyers have already had positive experiences with you, they'll be willing to pay more.
Tip 4: Make your profile irresistible
You've already invested hours in creating your profile, gigs, description texts and photos and you've still got no orders coming in? Don't worry, it can take a few weeks until the jigsaw pieces fall into place.
The upside is that you can do something to make your profile truly irresistible. Fiverr has a fairly new offer called "Learn from Fiverr". There are numerous courses in marketing, graphic design, programming, Photoshop, texting, business and photography.
The video courses have been designed and delivered by extremely experienced personalities in the respective fields. The cool thing is that by completing these courses, you earn badges which are then placed very aesthetically on your profile and clearly indicate your expertise in a field.
But the courses don't just enhance your profile, they can also give you practical knowledge. All courses are produced to a high standard by experts and have a coherent content plan.
The only catch is that you need to pay for the courses. But the prices start at an extremely low level. In some cases, you can buy a one or two-hour course for 30 dollars (25 euros). It's an investment that's guaranteed to pay off!
Tip 5: Repeat customers thanks to top service
When the orders start to trickle in, you have to do everything you can to retain these customers in the long term. In this way, you'll gradually build up a secure and predictable order volume.
The potential for this is huge: companies looking for freelancers on Fiverr don't want to find a new person every week. If they have a good experience with you and there's trust in the relationship, you can be sure they'll come back to you when they need something.
Good service on Fiverr is defined above all by communication, quality and indulgence.
Good communication is a basic component of good service everywhere – not only on Fiverr. Imagine you have a business and you work with service providers to bring the projects you're passionate about and dedicated to forward. Would you always want to be kept up to date and know what the progress is?
I can tell you from experience that the vast majority of buyers on Fiverr really appreciate getting regular status updates. This is how you let your customers know that something is happening, that the order is being processed and that you're working on a solution to their problem.
If there are complications and you can't deliver on time, communication is key. Let them know in good time that it will take longer than expected, apologize and explain the delay. The best way to make up for it is to offer a discount on the next order or an additional service free of charge.
In such cases, the right communication is essential to ultimately ensure a positive customer experience and to still get a good rating. Honesty and sincerity are just as important as high quality.
Speaking of quality, it goes without saying that you need to deliver according to the presentation of your profile and gig. Even the best communication will not bring a customer back if the result isn't satisfactory.
You should always work carefully and precisely and, if you're unsure, ask again and have a requirement explained to you. It's important that you really deliver what the client had in mind.
The rule here is that it's better to ask once too many questions than once too few.
There are people who are inexperienced and start their freelancing journey on Fiverr. Likewise, there are those who are buying on Fiverr for the first time and have no experience of the usual processes.
Bearing that in mind, be aware of the following pitfalls:
- Requirements are incomplete
- Requirements are formulated unclearly
- Unrealistic requirements that go beyond what is offered
In such cases, it's essential to stay calm and show indulgence. Take the initiative and start communicating. Explain nicely and professionally what missing information you still need to be able to provide the best possible service.
This courteous manner is not a matter of course and is usually gratefully accepted and honored.
If, for example, you try to work on the assignment somehow despite a bad briefing, the result will most likely be something the client doesn't want. Arguments and discussions are then inevitable.
Always be lenient and patient when dealing with clients and get all the information you need to get started.
Tip 6: Go the extra mile!
You know what's really great? Getting something as a gift. We're all happy when we receive a gift from family or friends. In business, where all services are usually paid for, it's even more extraordinary to be given a gift unexpectedly.
If you really want to be successful on Fiverr and have a long-term career there, this tip is extremely important. It's undoubtedly the best way to inspire people and get them to notice you.
Let me explain why I mean by this. You get an assignment with a clear scope and requirements. Once you've done what you're supposed to do, you think about how you could help the client further and prepare a "treat" that exceeds the expectation.
A quick example: You're a graphic designer and receive an order to create a logo. After you've created the logo, you can research whether the client is present on social networks, e.g. Instagram. An ideal bonus would be to also create icons that match the logo and massively enhance the Instagram profile.
If you write texts and get the order for a blog article, it's a good idea to proofread other website texts and correct spelling mistakes. No matter what domain you work in, there's always a way to give a gift to your clients. Be creative! It will be rewarded.
Tip 7: Patience and discipline pay off
I would like to give you one final thought. Many people give up quickly on Fiverr because they don't get an order for a few weeks, have already invested a lot of time and the orders they want just don't come in.
This first phase, in which you have to work hard for every assignment and every review, is the most important. You have to be patient and keep at it. If you do everything you can to reach your goals on Fiverr, sooner or later you will be successful and things will fall into place.
When you lose track in your dashboard at some point because the orders come flying in, you'll even briefly yearn for those "less complicated" times.
You now have the best conditions to start your Fiverr adventure with confidence and anticipation – you'll enjoy it!