IFiverr recently launched something rather extraordinary, which could make a big difference in how we sellers interrelate with our buyers.
Under certain circumstances, Fiverr is letting sellers meet directly with buyers OUTSIDE of an actual order. A new "video" icon in the toolbar beneath Inbox chat offers the seller the chance to engage in a video chat to discuss a project. It’s currently available only for people Fiverr has invited to its Fiverr Business program, and only then if you're communicating with buyers who are ranked as VIDs, meaning "Very Important Doers." This is an extraordinary leap for Fiverr, which has always been so guarded about such things. Their legitimate concern has been that this kind of contact would result in sales being taken off platform.
There are several reasons this is unlikely, though, even with this new service. First, it appears they’re rolling this feature out to select sellers that have shown themselves to be trustworthy. Second, it appears, even for them, to be limited to only certain circumstances. For example, when I saw this show up this morning in the inbox, it was for a seller who had clicked on a listing where I had been designated the Fiverr Select seller in their particular search. And as we've confirmed, they were also a VID.
Third, they’re going to be monitoring! Any live video sessions we have with buyers are being recorded, and presumably watched on a random basis, so it would be a very bad idea to try and use the live video chat to make arrangements off-platform. If someone does ask, during a video chat, for your contact information, such as your Whatsapp, phone number, or email address, make sure you politely but clearly explain that you can’t do that because it would violate Fiverr Terms of Service. If they insist, the same answer again. If they persist, it’s time to thank them for their time and move on.
First, don’t expect miracles. These impromptu video chat setups tend to be funky, at least in my experience. Upwork, which is a less guarded platform, allows them, but the problems we see are things like poor connection quality, which might just lead to frustration on the buyer’s part…and also, consider the rather small odds that the potential buyer will just happen to be available at the time we try to connect with them.
Second, it appears to only be available to certain people, and under certain conditions. That means you have to keep your eyes peeled for the little video icon and use it when you can. And of course, that may mean first visiting the mirror and neatening up a little, making sure your lighting is good, etc Even though the buyer has to expect there to be some "impromptuness" in a situation like this, if they see someone who looks unkempt and seedy, the video chat may do more harm than good. In my own case, I think I’d be tempted to just click mute on the camera if that’s allowed, and go voice only.
On the PLUS Side...
Often it’s time consuming and frustrating to try and do text chat, especially if the person on the other end is hunting and pecking on a phone screen while you wait on a busy day. That’s actually the ideal time to use this feature, actually, when you’re in the process of an inbox chat and you know the other person is right online with you. You could say, “mind if we do a video chat to go over the details and talk about it in more depth?” It could actually speed things up, if the connection goes through cleanly. Second, if you comport yourself well, and are cordial and likable, it may actually help to establish more of a personal bond with them which could result, not only in an initial sale, but a great ongoing relationship.
If you’re not in Fiverr Business, which helps connect more established Fiverr sellers with credible business partners, and you get invited, I suggest you accept. So far I don’t see any down side to it. It doesn’t take anything away or substitute what you’re doing now…it’s purely a supplement. If you haven’t been asked, don’t assume you never will be. If you need help getting a Fiverr Business profile put together, you can book a session with me where we go through it all together. https://calendly.com/danescott/fiverr-business-profile
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