How to sell on Fiverr… by not doing these things.

I’m having a little holiday from Fiverr while trying to finish my exegesis and catch up on life in general before the baby is born, but there’s a few things I’ve been thinking about, and I hope that maybe this post can help some people out.

Fiverr isn’t your standard freelance platform. Buyers find you, and your price for your services remains the same (unless you do custom gigs). There’s no bidding or anything like that.

There is, however, a curious little section called ‘Buyers Requests’. A buyer submits a request for a gig they want filled and any seller can reply to this. Unfortunately, some sellers thing this is actually a place to sell their services through an ad, and they post things up like :

‘Hi, I’m new here, but I have 7 yrs exp. working in writing. I have a degree in English, and I rly need some money. Give me a go, you can trust me.’

Tip number one: don’t do this. Why?

You’ve made it all about you.
Dude, we all need money, but if you’re hoping to get rich quick, freelancing may not be for you, especially if this is how you approach your future buyers.

No one needs to give you a go.
Fiverr has its name because the idea is that you sell a service for a fiver. Big, small, whatever, the whole idea is that skilled sellers can deliver a cheap product to someone. There are always going to be quite a few people doing what you do but way better than what you produce for the same price. Buyers shop around. I’ve been unhappy with a product I paid $40 for, and then I found a seller who did the same job for $10 and was much better at what she did.

I’ll try my best.
Look, as Yoda says, do or do not; there is no try. Selling a service means that you can provide it, or you can’t.

I’m new at this.
Telling buyers that you are new is not a good idea. If you are new, look at polishing up your skills. Think about what you can do. Okay, so maybe you haven’t written articles before. But maybe you have your own blog. Maybe you were a whiz at writing essays. Maybe you have been published in a newspaper or magazine. In all of these cases, be specific and give examples of things you have done.

I’m qualified.
What are you qualified in though?

I see a lot of sellers saying they have a Bachelor of Science or a Master of Engineering, which is great, but they’re not selling anything to do with their degrees. What I think sellers who are editors and writers should do is list the relevant qualifications they have. Hardly anyone cares if you have a degree if it’s irrelevant to what you are selling. But, say if you are writing a fitness article — your Bachelor of Science would be useful here (well, possibly).

I am fluent in english.
For one, you didn’t capitalize ‘English’ which is problematic. Many people want translation services, so if you speak another language, or if English is your second language, definitely tell the buyers what other language you speak.

One of the reasons I get work time and time again, even though I’m an Aussie, is telling people that I’m a native English speaker. I also have a good understanding of US and British English, and I’ll adjust this according to the buyer.

I have worked on other freelance sites.
Cool, but how is this relevant?

I can supply a sample of my work.
This is a great idea but you need to make it relevant to the seller. Or, at least, give them some explanation. You can do this by explaining the brief (on the same document), show the sample and give the web address where it is featured. You could even include a screen shot of feedback given from the buyer.

I highly recommend using PDFs to send the info. It is much more professional than a word document and cannot be easily altered.

I can give you a free trial.
Don’t do this. Some sellers will ask you to submit a practice piece for free to check if you are serious. I would suggest that at least some of them are using these free samples and posting them online without ever needing to pay for it.

I’m trying to build up my skills.
The unsuspecting public is probably not the way to go about this. In terms of writing you can write away until your heart is content on your own blog. You don’t need to be assigned someone’s copy writing gig to do something you claim to love (but haven’t managed to do a lot of). In terms of editing, offer to edit other people’s work for free or a fee in kind, or an exchange… outside of Fiverr. When you have more confidence, you should jump back in.

You should also know that many of my articles have not been attributed to me — the editor or curator of the website will put their by line there, instead of mine, and you really need to be okay with that. Your reviews can show that you have completed this work though, and reviews are really what matter on sites like Fiverr.

So, there you have it. How to not sell on Fiverr is done and dusted. I’ll share my hot tips for things you should do at a later date, but for now, over and out.

Lisa xx

I like books, rubber ducks, 90s pop music and putting words on paper. Wrote a thesis on romance. Failed roller derby fresh meat 5 times (and counting).