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Fiverr - freelance services marketplace

 
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Today I signed up with Fiverr as freelance worker

It's a really nicely laid out site that is (fairly) easy to sign up with.   I had to give them a lot more information than I like, but I think the site will be interesting and has a lot of potential for awesome income! It also looks like a great source for hiring people for small projects.  (I even have an affiliate link if you think you want to hire anyone: http://www.fiverr.com/s2/48d23ee4d1 )

I still haven't figured out how they pay me yet so that's something to look into.  

I like the way they give me information slowly with a short video when I visit a page for the first time.  

So I set up a few 'gigs'.  One higher price and two lower-priced options.  Mostly I priced by how much time and joy the project would take to complete.  We'll see where it goes from here.  
 
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I'll be curious how it works for you!  

I had a couple of gigs on Fiverr a few years ago, mostly involving tricky bits of internet research.  Made a few hundred dollars before I removed them.  (I think they paid me via PayPal.)

One thing I feel I learned is that the five dollar gigs are best treated like loss leaders.  (At the time, the default gig was supposed to be a five dollar gig, and you could only set up more expensive value-added gigs once you had a history of completing some five dollar ones.  I don't know if any of that is still true.)  The best setup for me was a five dollar gig that had value-added options at higher prices.  Basically, for five bucks I will do the thing; for twenty, I'll do the thing in a much more detailed and useful way.

I never really made up my mind if the prices I was charging for my gigs was worth the trouble, but I was pretty broke at the time and exploring options.  Fiver seemed to have a lot of promise.  And I still think it does, but it ended up being not for me.

What ended up driving me away from the site was that they would silently disable gigs that hadn't had any orders in a period of time.  (I don't remember the period; maybe 60 days?) You could log in and refresh the disabled gigs, but it was frustrating not to get any kind of email or notification that it was needful to do so.  I got mad and took a hike.  I'm sure this feature was for the purpose of not having stale gigs in the system that wouldn't get handled after people ordered them, but I didn't appreciate the unfriendly way it was then being implemented.  

All these reminiscences are a few years old, which is an internet eternity!  I'd be stunned if any of what I learned back then is still 100% applicable, but I figured I'd share my experiences just in case they might be helpful.

 
 
r ranson
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I found this list of different things people sell on fiverr

Write articles or blog posts
Edit articles or blog posts
Write resumes and cover letters
Write product descriptions
Write headlines
Write letters/emails
Offer your handwriting services (thank you notes, greeting cards, etc.)
Critique websites
SEO help
Do keyword research for people looking to improve their website SEO
Turn photographs into paintings/digital images
Create or modify spreadsheets
Design logos and banners
Design e-book covers
Design business cards
Edit/retouch images
Make crafts
Send video messages
Paint/draw pictures
Share links/promos to your Facebook or Twitter followers (works best if you have tons of followers)
Help people get Facebook or Twitter followers
Create video advertisements
Help troubleshoot website problems
Help people set up their websites
Translation
Interpretation
Transcribe audio files
Post advertisements to Craigslist and other sites online
Help others with homework/essays
Give advice (the sky is the limit here — what are you qualified to give advice about?)
Help people brainstorm – come up with ideas
Create PDF files
Get rid of computer viruses or malware
Sing songs on video or audio for others
Create music for others using your talent (guitar, piano, etc.)
Do voice overs/voice acting
Write songs or jingles
Master audio tracks
Do research
Teach lessons



A lot of interesting ideas I never thought of.

My problem is that I don't really know what my skill set is so I don't know what or how to advertise.

I was thinking of putting editing work up there - but I can't edit spelling, just content and style (consistency with formating and that kind of thing).  

It looks like there are a lot of resources to read, so I'm going to focus my energy on that.  Maybe see what other people are selling and see if it's something I know how to do.  
 
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The translation/interpreting community (and I would venture, writers/editors as well) are not thrilled with Fiverr or the other similar platforms, as they encourage severe price undercutting.
On the other hand, a client who would pay $5 for a translation that I normally would charge $95 USD for is probably not interested in quality, and doesn't mind the fact that the person who translated it is from someplace like India or the Phillippines and used Google translate. So they're not the kind of client I want anyway. (not that there is anything wrong with that. not every translation needs to be publication quality.)

I don't see the point in getting mad about different levels of service, but when you find out that people are selling their interpreter services for pennies when they should be charging over $150 an hour, you kind of feel bad for them. (then again, where do beginners start getting experience, $5 in the Phillippines goes much further than it does in North America, etc etc. it's not a simple question).
For people who don't have the time in the market (to establish/market themselves), it seems like a good enough option. With the internet there are different tiers of services and clients, so why not different tiers of service providers as well.
 
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Hi R. Ranson,

I'm coming at this from the other side of the fence.  I use freelance artists and graphic designers quite a bit.  If you find that you like this kind of work I suggest looking into Upwork.  I don't know what the freelancer contract looks like with Upwork.  On Upwork the quality of the work is much higher than on fiverr. I have three people that are like a part-time staff.    One suggestion I would make is to create some kind of portfolio as soon as possible.  There are so many freelancers that don't show any of their work.  If you haven't posted a job yet use some of your prior experience/jobs/tasks to show what you can do.

The problem I ran into with fiver is the high number of people producing poor quality work. You really are competing with freelancers that can afford to work at rock-bottom prices.  Posting a job on fiverr was like signing up to be spammed.   I'd use Fiver to get your feet wet and test out how you want to operate.  

Many E-commerce businesses use freelancers to act as live customer service reps on their websites and to do light clerical.  This might be a good start.   I don't use it for this but it seems to be a good way to get in.

Don't give it away for free.   I agree with what Tereza has to say on this subject.  I'm not looking for rock-bottom prices I'm looking for high-quality work...I didn't find this on Fiverr.
 
r ranson
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So far, I've listed three things.  I got an error trying to list the fourth gig, so I have to start over.  oh well.  They have a notice on the site saying something about fixing an issue.  I like that they have good communication about this stuff.


Fiverr forums - at first I was pretty impressed with their forums.  Lots of neat information there.  On the surface, it looked pretty friendly, if a bit impatient with noobs asking the same four questions over and over again.  

But today I'm not so happy with the forums.  It's always good to test out a new service by seeing what their community support is like because that's usually an indicator of what they will be like if one has a serious issue.

I gave a search of their forums and couldn't find the details about the affiliate/referral programme.  So I started a new thread.  

I think I must have asked the question wrong because people are telling me that I'm being unethical and about to be banned from Fiverr for asking such a stupid question.  

Wow.  I haven't even gotten started.  

It also looks like I'm going to be banned for talking about Fiverr outside Fiverr.  I suppose no one talks about the first rules of Fight Club without breaking the first rule of FC.  So it's kind of hard to know what to expect before you dive in.

Hopefully, I haven't said too much.  

Funny thing is, I understood this was a lot like other selling platforms where one brings their audience (waves! hi guys!) to the platform and they would either buy your stuff or see something better and you might get an affiliate kickback from that sale.  I also thought it was so obvious that one would not get a kickback for selling their own stuff on a platform that this doesn't even need mentioning.  ops!  I suspect, they thought I wanted to double dip - maybe this was the immoral behaviour they are accusing me of?  
It was also suggested that I know nothing of how affiliate systems work - um... okay - and I have a wrong view of the world.

Right now I'm feeling like a dirty little criminal who everyone hates and should know better than to ask questions.  Everything I want to do is unethical, wrong, and wicked.  I will soon be banned for asking such a stupid question.  Everyone there hates me.  

This is not a feeling that makes me want to go back.  It is probably a misunderstanding, but if that is what the forums are like when I ask a starter question, then I doubt the community or company will be of any help if I have a serious issue.  

24 hours in and the shine is tarnished - but not gone.  I still think there is a lot of potential with this site.  At the very least, it might be a good stepping stone for a more high end freelance sites like upwork mentioned up thread.
 
r ranson
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I got my first buyer message at midnight last night.  I was very tired so I decided to go to bed and answer it in the morning.  That's a mistake because my response time is being watched and rated.  If I respond quickly, I get more gigs.  

But not a mistake because this morning I was unable to reply to the person.  I think he's been blocked for scamming people.  Here's a redacted version of what he sent:

I wanna discuss an intersting thing with u. If u help me then u can get much mo ney with no work. Check this and discuss anymore on skp or g m ail.



It came with a file that I did not open.  Wanting to talk outside Fiverr is a huge NO-NO because they cannot track those conversations and we lose any protection that we might have from them.  I suspect this is why the person misspelt 'skp' and 'g m ail', to get around the system.

So even if it wasn't a scam, my first impression was fatigue.  I have trouble understanding textspeak like this.  If I'm having trouble understanding what the customer wants, it's difficult to give them what they want.  I know textspeak is the way of the future, so I'm putting the effort into learning it.  

I also think communication is vital to good business practices.  If a person asks for something, you have to be quite literal when fulfilling their request.  Which means we have to understand what is asked.  
 
Tereza Okava
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R Ranson, I think the thing with these platforms is to remember: VOLUME.

There are many, many, many people registered. Most are there because they want to make money, which makes them sometimes believe things they would normally find fishy as all get-out. If a scammer, phisher, or whatever other baddie only gets one in a million people to fall for their scam, well, they can make money on these platforms where their message could reach literally a million pairs of eyes. I'm glad your wits are about you and obviously active.

I also believe strongly in choosing my clients. If you have good clients, you set yourself up for a successful transaction. I surprisingly often say "i dont think this will be a good match" and refer potential clients to someone else (or to undertake an anatomical impossibility. But only in my head, because that would be rude and doesn't help. Those clients don't get a referral because who wants to get passed a hot potato?). there is nothing wrong with ignoring someone because they obviously sound like a spammer -- or someone you don't want to work with. I don't have personal experience with this platform but on other similar ones I use, there are basically two modalities: 1), a client broadcasts a job to a bazillion people, and wants the cheapest option or 2) the client wants something super specific and will search to find the one person they believe will be Right For Them for whatever reason (expertise, location, whatever. One person picked me for a certified translation because my name is apparently last in the directory. Mmkay!) I figure I have no chance or interest in winning client #1, but #2 is much more likely, so my profiles talk about my very specific expertise and I do get people that way. Someone who wants a fiber artist who knows flax inside out to work on a book might be able to find you that way, and will be a much better client for you.
All said with lots of respect. I hope it works out.  
 
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If you are worried about scams, my husband gave me a tip when he worked in the industry.  A well thought out, well spelt advert using reasonably good grammar is more likely to be genuine than the opposite.  Some scammers deliberately use poor language - 'intelligent ' people will ignore, but poorly educated, more venerable people may be attracted unknowingly.  Horrible to say so but that's the World we live in.  I instinctively thought that message was a scam. Of course, that doesn't mean that a thoughtful, well presented message will always be a good one.
On another note, Raven, try voice overs.  You have a lovely speaking voice.
 
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r ranson wrote:I found this list of different things people sell on fiverr

Write articles or blog posts
Edit articles or blog posts
Write resumes and cover letters
Write product descriptions
Write headlines
Write letters/emails
Offer your handwriting services (thank you notes, greeting cards, etc.)
Critique websites
SEO help
Do keyword research for people looking to improve their website SEO
Turn photographs into paintings/digital images
Create or modify spreadsheets
Design logos and banners
Design e-book covers
Design business cards
Edit/retouch images
Make crafts
Send video messages
Paint/draw pictures
Share links/promos to your Facebook or Twitter followers (works best if you have tons of followers)
Help people get Facebook or Twitter followers
Create video advertisements
Help troubleshoot website problems
Help people set up their websites
Translation
Interpretation
Transcribe audio files
Post advertisements to Craigslist and other sites online
Help others with homework/essays
Give advice (the sky is the limit here — what are you qualified to give advice about?)
Help people brainstorm – come up with ideas
Create PDF files
Get rid of computer viruses or malware
Sing songs on video or audio for others
Create music for others using your talent (guitar, piano, etc.)
Do voice overs/voice acting
Write songs or jingles
Master audio tracks
Do research
Teach lessons



A lot of interesting ideas I never thought of.

My problem is that I don't really know what my skill set is so I don't know what or how to advertise.

I was thinking of putting editing work up there - but I can't edit spelling, just content and style (consistency with formating and that kind of thing).  

It looks like there are a lot of resources to read, so I'm going to focus my energy on that.  Maybe see what other people are selling and see if it's something I know how to do.  




Have you thought about selling seeds on etsy or amazon handmade?
 
r ranson
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I really don't know what kind of skills I have that people would pay money for.  The regular stuff is saturated: taking pictures, writing, editing, all that stuff.

How about this? https://www.fiverr.com/s2/578cab37bc  
 
Tereza Okava
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i like it. you explain your experience, and let your personality shine through. And pics, which sounds so dopey but people do respond to images.
 
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Tereza Okava wrote:i like it. you offer a freebie (who doesn't like a freebie), explain your experience, and let your personality shine through. And pics, which sounds so dopey but people do respond to images.



But wouldnt the freebie cost money on supplies and or shipping? People respond to free stuff the return for purchase rate is very low.
 
Tereza Okava
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edited: bad call, mea culpa
 
r ranson
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Tereza Okava wrote:i like it. you offer a freebie (who doesn't like a freebie).



what did I offer as a freebie?

I thought everything I put on the listing was for money.  But I might have done it wrong.  
 
Tereza Okava
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no , i read wrong. i could have sworn you offered a free introductory consult before the actual one. this is what happens when I write before caffeination. sorry.
 
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I would seriously be wary of Fiverr. Proceed with caution and be ready to get your money back when they steal a logo for you. Just an example.
 
Tereza Okava
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Hey there, I dont know if you are interested in resources, but I hadn't even thought to suggest this until I got an email from them. Freelancers Union is a US-based site that actually has a union type presence in some places (i.e. you can buy insurance through them, they offer services, etc). For me outside North America it is more of a blog and searchable database, but I often learn interesting things from it. It used to have a forum component but they have just (in the past weeks) restructured the site, so I'm not sure exactly what you might be able to get from it but you might find this interesting and who knows where it could lead you in terms of resources.
Membership and signup stuff is at the bottom of this blog post on B2B writing clients for freelance authors
 
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Hi Permies Pals!
I signed up with Fiverr about 3 years ago, and Upwork at about the same time. Upwork was friendlier to work with (in my opinion) and it had a more professional layout that made it easier to use in general. I used Upwork fairly consistently for about 1.5 years. I just checked my Fiverr account and realized I never even finished my profile since Upwork was filling my need.

When I scanned the jobs on Fiverr, it seemed that most were smallish or very short term jobs. Upwork has short-term or 'one-shot' jobs as well, but there are many that are a bit more substantial.

I tried freelancing simply because I knew my writing skills were above average and that I might be able to make a few extra bucks in my spare time. I did make more than $700 doing a few jobs, so I think if I would have really TRIED to do well, I could have made a decent amount of money. I only phased out (and ultimately stopped) because a small part-time job I had taken in late 2017 turned into a management position working 60 hours a week (not what I wanted or intended, but the financial gain was too good to pass up).   I wrote some articles and blog posts for others to post on their website; I wrote a series on hospice care that someone wove into a helpful guide for patients (I'm pretty proud of that one); and also wrote a full eBook on 'Becoming a Life Coach' (my niche is in health/healing/happiness, etc.). The eBook paid the most by far, but that one also required a lot of work and had deadlines. I suck at hard deadlines.

The client you are working for will rate you with stars after the assignment, and they can leave a comment for all to see. Beware the comment. When I just updated my Upwork profile, I see that my last client left me a lovely 2.6 stars with a comment that I 'went MIA' even though I provided notification that I was no longer available.....It's all water under the bridge, I suppose. I Just hate that it's visible for future clients.

I think these kind of platforms can really offer some side cash if you check the sites daily. You really do have to respond within a short time from when the job is posted, or it will be filled.
There are a LOT of profiles where the person is willing to do jobs for pennies... Some of the clients want to contract based on price only, but some value quality work as someone else mentioned in the thread.
There are a lot of overseas profiles, and that really saturates the data entry market.
I think to make money you have to CREATE for someone, and be ok with them taking your work and saying they were the one who created it.
There are some clients that allow you to attach your name  or website to your work, and that's great. I've seen link-backs allowed to personal websites or pages.
Be wary of scammers. I had several interactions with 'clients' that selected me for their position, but the description of the work was grammatically incorrect or patchy, or just sounded ridiculous with outside links and documents to open BEFORE you even contracted with the client. All red flags.
Upwork does have sort of a 'scam protection' built in so if you think that you are being targeted by someone with less than positive intent, you can easily report them and Upwork will investigate and remove them from the site.

Funny how life brings you back to the path you are supposed to be on....I checked my email last Sunday, saw a friendly email from Permies.com letting me know about some cool threads I might have missed recently. (I've actually missed ALL the threads recently as I've been too blasted busy generating income for someone else again...) I clicked one link and now I have been on the forums pretty much non-stop since Sunday and already have my creativity boosted and my faith in permanity restored.

Thank goodness this site is still running strong. If anyone has any specific questions about Upwork , I'd be happy to try to answer them. I already saved a few jobs from a brief scan this evening. It's kind of addicting. If you want for me to share my Upwork profile for an 'inside peek', just let me know.


 
r ranson
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I can't remember why I got frustrated with fiverr and gave up trying to sell stuff.  It was probably that I got frustrated with myself and felt I wasn't qualified.

But this morning I listed a new service which I kind of hope no one will buy so I put a really high price on it - https://www.fiverr.com/share/AG7GBB

It's based on the kind of things I have been doing in my work-from-home-day-job.  If they will pay me to do this sort of thing, then why not someone else paying me more?
 
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