Providing an online service is nothing new, however, many people are unaware of platforms like Fiverr, upwork or Freelancer that make it very easy to start selling our skills to clients. These skills could include video editing, logo creation, copywriting, translation or voiceovers just to give a few examples. After listing your service on these sites people will search you out to complete a job pay the platform upfront then upon completion, assuming the client is happy with the work, the platform will pay you. I suggest Fiverr to start off because it’s where I started and seems to be the easiest option for beginners. Fair warning though, this method can take a lot of grinding to get your rating up and enough reviews under your belt to start attracting a consistent enough stream of customers to contribute to a decent monthly earning. There’s no shortage of potential clients, it’s just making yourself prominent enough to attract people whilst browsing.
Many would not consider this option because as a whole, people undervalue themselves and what they can do but if you think you don’t have any skills that would be suitable, just try sitting down and listing anything that you do as part of your day job, a hobby or even ask a friend or family member what they think you’re good at. Then go and browse the categories and listings on Fiverr to see if anything matches up. You might have a highly valuable skill without realising it. Perhaps you speak more than one language? Maybe you have a particularly good voice for phone greetings? It could be something as simple as proofreading if you have a good grasp of writing and grammar.
There’s likely to be a fair amount of competition regardless of the skill you choose, so setting yourself apart is really key here. You should definitely use videos where possible to introduce your ‘gigs’ (Fiverr’s term for services) and display your work as it allows people to feel more connected and more likely to choose you. Ensuring you get great feedback is also a very important part of the process to help grow your rating and attract more customers. You’ll also need some examples of your work. If you’re starting from a blank slate i.e. haven’t done any freelance work before and therefore don’t have anything to showcase, just use anything you’ve done for yourself or do something from scratch. This is important, because people won’t buy your gigs if they can’t see what your work looks/sounds like.
Take a look at this not so good example of a Fiverr gig below. For starters, the grammar in the title is wrong, it’s also not very specific and it doesn’t address the customer i.e. ‘you’, ‘your’. The design example is unclear and the text is illegible. In my opinion they’ve tried to be too fancy with the 3D rendering. If their gig was aimed at people who wanted a 3D sign created, then this would be a good way to help them visualise the final product, if it was clearer. Personally, I wouldn’t take a second look at this. If you actually click through to the gig page, you’ll notice they haven’t got a personal profile introducing themselves and the profile image is just a logo which isn’t very personable. Although this seller has received work and is rated highly so evidently producing decent work, they could definitely improve their chances of getting the sale by changing these simple things.
Now compare the above to this much improved gig and you should immediately notice the difference. The design example stands out much more and he’s incorporated some marketing in the style of the corner banners which advertise his prestige as a top rated seller, reinforcing the quality of his work. The title of the gig is also more specific, using “vintage” and “retro” to target a more niche design and he’s addressed the customer, “I will create YOU…”.
Looking at the gig page itself, you’ll also see that he’s got a cartoon portrait instead of just a logo, which immediately adds more personality and makes it easier for the customer to identify with them. Remember, people like to deal with people, not companies. The seller also has a good personal profile describing his experience and again reinforcing his top rated seller status.
So, which one would you be more likely to buy from? Clearly the second one and if we break down the amount of monthly orders they’ve each received over the time they’ve been on the platform by using the number of gig reviews as a rough idea; A has had 266 over 27 months which is 10 orders per month. Whereas B has had 2594 over 95 which is 27 order per month! A huge difference, even taking into account in the longer time B has been on the platform to grow. This is just a rough idea and by no means an accurate measure but it gives you an idea of the difference a good listing can make.
With that said, I would suggest a few things to you when you start out:
- List multiple gigs for the same skillset, each specific to a particular niche like we saw in the second example above. This will increase your spread and the chances of someone coming across you.
- When writing your personal profile be sure to include relevant experience including personal time spent perfecting the skill. Don’t be afraid to embellish, just don’t lie. What matters is that you produce good work for your clients.
- As soon as you’ve listed your gigs, get friends or family to place some orders so you can get a few reviews under your belt. It will be good practice for getting to grips with that part of the platform as well.
It is possible, to make money using this method if you don’t have skills of your own, by placing yourself in-between customers and fiver sellers, and facilitating orders via an external website, as if you’re running a team of designers. This is often referred to as ‘Fiverr Middleman’. It can be better for those who don’t have as much time to fulfil orders or those who want to build a more passive business eventually. It requires a lot more planning and work initially but less time to run as you’re not spending the time fulfilling orders yourself. If you want to know more about this method I will go into more detail about this method in a future video on my YouTube channel.
It will take some time to build up your reputation and start getting enough orders to provide a decent income so it would be best to do this alongside a job. If you’re looking for something with more immediate results I would consider matched betting.