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Doing the Fiverr Pricing Limbo: "How Low...Can You Go?"

There are so many factors that can enter into pricing on Fiverr that it could fairly easily become a book. But the basic questions of why, how, and when to price low can be reasonably be addressed in an article or two.

When I first read about Fiverr, I think I mentally chuckled up my sleeve. "Yeah right...anything for not much more than a buck." It seemed preposterous. But I'll soon have done a quarter of a million in sales on Fiverr, and it's starting to seem less like a joke to me all the time.

I'm not here to tell you how you should price your services on Fiverr. That's a very personal decision you need to make based on your own standards, whether you are just starting out or are farther down the road on the platform, and what you realistically think you can get for your services, based on their quality. But let me speak generally with what's considered the "standard wisdom" on the topic, which I happen to mostly agree with, and a few places where I diverge a little.

Don't Worry About Income Initially

For people just starting out, Fiverr should be Fiverr. Start out at five bucks, and deliver a goodly amount of value for the money. Forget about commercial rights. Create a great gig (there are things you need to do to make it succeed, talk to me about that!), hang a $5 price tag on it, and crank out the orders, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. Make people really happy by taking great care of them. Little niceties and courtesies will win their loyalty (and there's also much to be said on that, but I'm going to stay focused on price here).

Don't worry about or even think about income yet, but if you do, think Big Mac. Each order will get you a meal at Mickey Dees, and that's kind of a scrumptious proposition. Just have fun getting orders, working on something you would enjoy even if you were doing it for free, and focus on making new friends/loyal customers of your buyers.

Why the dirt cheapness? Because at the $5 price point, you're accessing the broad base of the Fiverr buyer pyramid where it's easiest to rack up sales numbers. I'm convinced that the buyers, if displayed graphically, would look like a pyramid, with an extremely broad base where all the $5 buyers are to be found. In that expanse lies your best chance at initially making lots of sales, popcorn style. It's surprising how quickly you can rack up a respectable number of sales at that price point if everything else in your gig is set up well.

Why? Numbers. That's the goal right now. Not income, but numbers. You want to get as many initial orders as you can, deliver them on time, doing work that really pleases people, and getting those five star ratings and positive reviews. You want to give Fiverr "social proof" of your legitimacy as a seller; demonstrating you can do the work, deliver it on time, and make people happy. The sales, ratings, and good performance stats will raise you up as a seller to a Level One, a Level Two, maybe even a Top Rated Seller eventually!

Put Up with Much

Expect that in the $5 price-o-sphere on Fiverr, you'd going to deal with characters, price Nazis (demanding even more for the money than you're already offering), English as a second language folks (a lot), as well as a lot of just nice, normal cogent people. You get all kinds down there at the base of the pyramid. But start out, right from Day One, resolved to be flexible, conciliatory, and amenable. Wheel and deal, do more for less sometimes, just to make people happy. Give everybody ice cream cones, so they go away smiling. Compromise. If you give in to what seem somewhat unfair expectations, just grin and think of the future and don't worry about it. You're after numbers numbers numbers...keep that in mind. Caveat: Employ the following kind, firm language:

"Sure, let me do that for you this time as a thank you for being a first time customer, and next time, we'll be at my regular rates. Fair enough?"

As long as they agree on that basis, and the request isn't too egregious, just grin and get after it for them!

Ratchet it Up

Once you've attained Level One seller status, or thereabouts, consider doing small things to raise your rates. Don't suddenly double them and tack on big commercial rights, because you'll jettison your entire customer base in one stroke. Work in small, gradual stages, and respect the people who have been loyal to you from the start by communicating with them about the changes.

You can raise rates at first without changing your starting price by simply reducing the amount you do at your present rate. That's a nice gentle first step. Later, you can ratchet up your starting price, a little at a time, over time. But do your best to be gentle about it, don't make the changes jarring.

What I did for some of my most loyal buyers was to grandfather them in at the lower rate for awhile out of appreciation, saying, "I want you to still have the lower rate for another six months or so, so just request a custom quote and I'll take care of you." They will really appreciate that, and if they continue to like you and are treated well, many may (in my case have) stick with you when you eventually raise your rates even on them.

Don't Abandon the Base of the Pyramid

Here's where I diverge a little from standard canon on Fiverr. I think it's a mistake to completely abandon the lower strata on Fiverr. While your time in the $5 "weeds" may make you desperate to escape it forever, you don't need to do that entirely. Read on.

Even a small initial increase in rates will already lift you above the swamp and mosquitos and into the open air.. The difference between a starting price of $5 and a starting price of $10 plus commercial rights (in practice, your starting price is really now $15) is significant...a 300% boost in price...and will already affect who you appeal to on Fiverr. So be careful at this intermediate stage of your career on Fiverr, not to entirely abandon the base of the pyramid. Buyers will often click the $5 option when searching, and if your starting price is more than that, you'll be completely off their radar. With commercial rights at $10, you're what I call "upside down" in your pricing, and it is only at this intermediate stage in your Fiverr career that I suggest this approach. Later on, when you're at higher pricing, I don't suggest, and rather abhor, upside down pricing.

Target Multiple Audiences

This is what I do, and it gives me access to the lower buyer base, as well as a much higher one. This takes more explaining that I can do here, but I can tell you that it's the strategy that I credit with a great deal of what I've been able to do on the platform. Contact me and ask for HeadSlapper 3, or click here, and I can lay that all out for you.

There's so much you and I can do together to improve your gig's performance. Schedule your Gig Doctor appointment by hitting the Gig Checkup link at the top of this page for an inexpensive personalized checkup and consultation!

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