If you're checking this out today, it's probably because you're adventurous and resourceful. Why do I say that? Because it's that kind of people who tend to become entrepreneurs. If you weren't someone who was willing to strike out into the wilderness and beat your own path, you just wouldn't be here. You've got an independent spirit that can help you to be self-reliant, and that's absolutely necessary if you're going to take your personal destiny in your hands and be self-employed. At the same time, it's smart to stay aware of your own limitations and be ready to call on others to help at certain critical times. Today, I'm going to talk about five special situations where being a "Jack" or "Jill" of all trades, on Fiverr, may not be the best idea.
If you want a fast refresher course on why "do it yourself" isn't always such a good idea, all you have to do is go to fiverr.com and do a search for some service. Look at the gig images, visit the gigs, check out the demos, look at the descriptions. If you visit some of the topmost results (often the people who are doing the best on the platform), you'll see more-professional layouts, better-written descriptions, and more-compelling demos. Get a little further down, and it starts to look a little like shantytown. Poorly-taken photos, bad typography, lousy layouts, inarticulate wording, kind of a mess.
What's the problem? In a lot of cases, it's not so much a lack of caring as it is a lack of knowledge. And in some cases, a lack of faith. I mean, they come into a place like Fiverr and say to themselves, well, I'll just toss something up here and we'll give it a try.. So they do, and nothing much happens, and eventually they just leave their gig up and walk away...and it joins all the other Fiverr flotsam and jetsam, like old dead logs floating in a clogged lake. Not noticed, not used. Just floating. And that's a shame, because there's so much real potential on Fiverr if you put your best foot forward.
Fiverr is probably the most automatic place to earn money that has ever existed, if you're set up properly to take advantage of it. You don't have to beat the bushes that much, and work just comes to you. I love that about it. But you've got to impress potential buyers...and Fiverr itself...with your professionalism. A slipshod gig will kill ya. So when it comes to setting yourself up t0 succeed on Fiverr, and sometimes even when you're processing orders, it's smart to know your own limitations and call in experts to help you.
"I've Got This" Disease
And yes, I'm coming to the five situations, but first I want to talk a little about pride, because that's often the stumbling block here. We don't like to admit our limitations. That same pioneering moxie that makes us adventurous, independent thinkers, also makes us more self-reliant than the average person, and more inclined to try to be a Jack or Jill-of-all-trades and do everything ourselves. And that's a bad move for most people. I've had Gig Doctor sessions with people who I've recommended call in experts to help them with various parts of their gigs, and they've been unable to see the need. Later, I look at their gigs and sigh, because I can see that they decided to just go 100% DIY, and what they're presenting to buyers is less than professional.
What a person has to do is to set pride aside, and be willing to admit what they don't know. They need to ask themselves (despite the fact they're creative people) whether they're skilled enough in certain areas to do it themselves or whether they'd be better off swallowing their pride and hiring a professional. The answer will be different for you than it is for me, or someone else, but here are five areas where it could be a good idea not to proclaim, "I've got this!" Especially since, in a lot of cases, there are highly skilled people right on Fiverr who can help you very inexpensively.
If you're not found on Fiverr, you're simply not going to get work...and this, more than almost anything else, is an area where it can be a really really smart idea to call in a pro. That's an important part of what the Gig Doctor service does for you, but I won't belabor that part of it right now. The point here is that if you aren't optimized to do great in the search engine on Fiverr, you'll fail, plain and simple. And it's probably the biggest reason people flop on the platform.
Graphical Design and Layout
Let's say you've solved the search engine optimization part of it, at least enough to be occasionally seen in the search results by potential buyers. What then? As they're driving past all the billboards on Page One of the search results, what is it about yours that is going to catch their eye?
One of the most painful things to see on Fiverr are the poor gig images. Fuzzy or poorly lit photos, a lot of the time nothing more than badly-composed selfies, with text that's too wordy or too small, often both. Horrible color choices. Busy backgrounds. Lack of planning, lack of branding or positioning. Lack of understanding of what grabs attention and inspires confidence.
Don't be passed over because your gig image isn't professional. There are pros all over Fiverr that can help. If you don't find someone there, pop me a message. But unless this is a real specialty of yours already, don't take it on yourself. This one's important.
The Audio Demo
When it comes to your demo, two caveats. First, I'm going to be addressing this only in the area of voiceover, because I'm no expert on the best way to do a demo for other types of services. Second, it depends on your personal skill level. There are people out there who say NOBODY should create their own voiceover demo. I'm not one of them. If you are great at what you do, or even reasonably good at it, you may be able to at least start with a homemade voiceover demo...at least until you've made enough in sales to justify the expense of a professional one. And yes, they can get costly...thousands of dollars.
Frankly, because of my own background, this is one area where I've been a lone wolf, but I don't recommend it to everybody. Far too many people try to just do this themselves, and what they're putting out there is a really weak, ineffectual voiceover demo. If you're on a low budget, or no budget, at least get some free feedback. I've put up a Facebook group called, "Rate My Voiceover" where everybody helps everybody else with critique, kindly given. There's also my inexpensive GigWinners course, which shows you the ropes on creating your own voiceover demo, and that might be worthwhile.
The Video Demo
It seems weird to talk about the audio demo and the video demo separately, but let me explain what I'm up to here. It's possible to just have an audio demo on Fiverr, and that can work for you, but there's a lot to be said for presenting a video demo instead. It's more compelling. Much more compelling. But if you haven't already been involved in so many real projects that you're floating in wonderful real video clip examples you can use, then you'll be stuck trying to do mockups using clips from corporate ads you found on YouTube and re-voiced, stuff like that. It's not easy to pull that off, and in some cases there may even be legalities involved.
One way to leapfrog all that is to create an audio demo and add video to it after the fact! Yes, that can be done, and very effectively. For a crazy low price, like $15, you can hire an expert to do it for you. You just send them your gig image and your audio, and they tap into their vast video library resources to find really visually appealing video clips and weave it all together into a finished product, ready to put into your Fiverr gig. What they come up with can be really nice. I used a service like that on a demo that I didn't have good video project clips for, and it came out super. I don't have any soft of financial arrangement with the person, but there is definitely someone I can recommend for that, so contact me if you want some info.
As a voiceover person, proof listening is an area where I personally need to put my hand up and say, "I need help." When I get a big narration project, I have three big problems with proofing.
Attention. My mind strays while I'm proofing and I lose track of where I am.
Patience. I get twitchy. It's not something I enjoy doing, and that keeps me from being good at it.
Mental blind spots. The same thing that made me miss-speak something may cause me to mis-read it when I'm proofing it, so that I don't catch the error on playback.
Unless you are naturally clerical, you may suffer from one or more of the same things, in which case it is worthwhile bringing in a proof listener. It not only takes the load off you, but it gives you more peace of mind (if you trust the other person), because you feel you'll be handing in a finished product that the buyer will be happy with. To wildcat it alone, miss a bunch of your errors, and inconvenience both the buyer and yourself with post-delivery error fixing, is a terrible idea...especially if you want to work with the buyer long-term, Better to earn a little less on the job and get it done right. Better still, build the cost of the proof listener into what you charge.
Let's wrap it up. You're a talented person. You're a clever person. Now, be a smart person. Admit the areas where you would benefit by some professional help in setting up your gig and running your business, and then, get it! In the end, you'll be the one who benefits.
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!
For those of you who do voiceovers, or who are interested in entering that fun profession, I can help there too. Check out my voiceover coaching services