This guide will show you step-by-step how to make your first $4 USD on Fiverr.com.
What is Fiverr
Fiverr.com is an online platform where people post jobs they would do for 5 dollars. These jobs are called “gigs”. For example:
- “For 5 dollars I will create an icon for you”
- “For 5 dollars I will record a video of me promoting your product”
- and so on
The gigs can have extra options for more money, so you can earn more for each completed gig. The Fiverr.com website takes 20% from the earnings for each gig, so if you earn $5 USD for a gig, you would end up with $4 USD (which is not too bad).
What kind of gigs should I post?
“What kind of gigs should I post?” is the right question to ask yourself first, if you want to make some money on Fiverr.com. DO NOT START with “what can I make?”, but rather with “what is popular?”. Posting “weird” gigs such as “I will make a fool of myself on video” is NOT ALWAYS the way to earn money – who cares that you make a fool of yourself, and most importantly who would pay money to see that?
So to start earning money on Fiverr.com, you must first do some analysis about how other people make money.
These seem to be the gigs which are always in high demand:
- Create logos (for companies, for products)
- Create icons (for apps, for websites)
- Create apps (iOS, Android, Windows, OSX)
Some of these are quite time-consuming to make, and you would think that the people completing the gigs get very lousy pay for their efforts. These kind of gigs usually have extra options for more money, such as “for $5 USD extra I will complete the order in 1 day” or “for $10 USD extra I will make the icon with transparent background”, so it is actually possible to get paid enough for one order to earn per hour as much as in a normally paid full-time job. But in order to be able to offer extras to your gigs, you need to attain different levels on Fiverr, which is based on how many gigs you complete (normally you get to the second level after you earn $50 USD).
Of course, not everybody is talented enough to create icons and logos, and some categories are very competitive, and a newcomer might have problems getting orders.
There are some other categories for gigs which are still useful for other people, but not as in demand as the ones above. I will guide you through a gig type which worked for me, as I earned $64 USD from it (a total of 16 orders over the course of 1 year). This was without promoting my gig to any social media website, just by post-gig-and-forget and letting the orders come to me.
How to get paid
This is the second-most important question you can ask, after the “What kind of gigs should I post?”. Many websites you sign-up in order to earn money reveal later that in order to get paid you need to have earned a minimum amount before you get your money. Or they make you go through hoops by providing only cheques or bank account transfers or gift certificates (with extra crazy requirements like providing passport copies and utility bills and whatever).
Fiverr.com is simple in this regard: you can withdraw your money by PayPal, with no minimum required. The withdraw request takes a few weeks to complete, but eventually you will get your money.
Step-by-step gig guide
The gig I found which had some success is about providing names for a company or product. I created the gig as “For $5 USD I will send you 5 creative proposals for a company or product name”.
Why this type of gig has success with almost anybody who creates it:
- It usually is in demand: every day lots of new start-ups and products are launched. Finding new names is sometimes a difficult task, and to get some fresh ideas for names for a few bucks can be worth it to some people (most requests I received were similar to “Hi, I will launch [new product] and I’m looking for a good name, easy to remember, similar to ‘Flickr’ and the domain name should be available”)
- It is not an exact science, so “anybody” can post this gig and propose names for people who pay. Sometimes even crazy names which you think might not work can be good input or starting point for the gig buyers
Let’s create this gig together:
- First things first: you must have a Fiverr.com account. So if you don’t have one, head over toFiverr.com (affiliate link) and create one. Head over there if you have an account already anyway, and login. Make sure your Fiverr.com account is connected with an email address you can access anytime (so that you get email notifications from clients right away, and you can see those notifications on your smartphone, for example)
- The “create gig” button is kind of hidden: once you are logged-in, click on your profile icon in the upper-right corner, then click on My Sales, then click on My Gigs, and then Add a New Gig
- The gig title can be “For $5 USD I will send you 5 creative proposals for a company or product name”. You can sell for example 10 names for $5 USD or something similar. To add extra options to earn more money from each gig you must have sold already for $50 USD.
- Set the time to complete to 2 days or more (this is so that you don’t miss a gig by not being available due to normal work etc). Don’t set it too high, otherwise the customers’ expectations will be high as well.
- Add the relevant categories for the gig (e.g. Business->Market Research)
- For gig photo and cover image do what you would like (normally gigs with photos are more successful)
- The gig will be active in 1 day or so after approval by Fiverr.com
And now you wait for emails from clients. I don’t promise that requests will come, though.
You can promote your gig (the link to the gig) on your social media networks or blogs or forums, if you want. I didn’t do that, and I still got 16 orders over 1 year (during which I suspended (deactivated) my gig for 5 months). Sometimes I was getting 2-3 orders in one week, and I had to suspend (deactivate) my gig temporarily as I was running out of creative juices (it’s not as easy as it sounds to come up with 5 names for a thing, at least for me). I think I could have gotten at least 20-30 orders if I would have kept my gig active the whole year, and more if I would have promoted it.
But even so, earning $64 USD (16 orders times $4 USD earned per order) without actively promoting my gig and just letting the potential customers contact me is not so bad, in my opinion.
Some tips about building customer relations
During the time my gig was active on Fiverr.com, I wasn’t too interested in building customer relations. I was just hoping to have some kind of “one-time use” service, where a customer requests something, I send something and the customer pays.
I was dreading the follow-up questions and comments, such as “I could have found these names by myself” or “The domain names are not available for your ideas” or “Can you send me a few more better names?”. Even so, I still got good reviews from customers, but I wasn’t interested in this particular gig type.
If you are interested in maintaining good customer relationships (for further gigs and further income), here are some tips which have helped me:
- Don’t just send a list of names – at least you can explain how you come up with each name, or how it relates to the customer’s request
- If the customer’s request is short or doesn’t have enough information, contact the customer and ask for more information
- Be aware of the target market of the customer’s product – sometimes they want a name only in a country or a global name, so do some research to check if the names you find are taken already in that market
- Check if potential domain names are available for purchasing
- Reply as quickly as possible, so that the customer doesn’t have high expectations (“after 2 days you only give me these 5 crappy names?”)
- Give the customer a rating (number of stars) and a comment right away – these are public on Fiverr. Even short comments are better than none. For example: “Good information in the request, good feedback on my delivery, great experience overall”
- Use this opportunity to promote your other services to the customer, for example ask them if they would like a logo or slogan or blog or whatever else you think they might be interested in
Books about Fiverr
Here are some books about Fiverr. I haven’t read all of them yet, but they contain some good suggestions for other gig types. They are also not expensive.
I believe there is a certain amount of luck required to get clients for this gig, and you can increase your chances by promoting your gig (I didn’t do that) or by standing out (communicate with the client, provide free ideas, give the client some nice feedback about his new product etc). The idea is to get a few good reviews from clients early on, so that new clients can trust you as a person who delivers good stuff.
Let me know in the comments if and how this gig worked for you.