I can remember, going back even to my 20s, getting something new...a sophisticated tool or a computer or whatever...and feeling a little like it was the enemy at first. It was unfamiliar, and alien, and my immediate assumption was that it wasn't going to be what I wanted, or do what I wanted, or was going to be hard to learn, or hard to use, and on and on. I'm not a psychologist, so I don't know any fancy terms for it, but let's just call it, "leery of new things syndrome." To this day, I still have a certain amount of that feeling when I'm exposed to something new.
Well that's what this blog entry is all about. Fiverr starts out like that for a lot of people. So does Upwork. I'm going to be focused on Fiverr today, but a lot of the same principles could be applied anywhere.
So here's the thing. When we first start out in a place like Fiverr, it's with trepidation. Am I a good fit for it? Does it even really work? Are the claims others have made about it valid? How hard is it to learn? How will I be treated? Is it going to fit my lifestyle? So we approach it like it's the shore of a cold lake, and we dip a toe in, maybe eventually go wading, but never really dive in. Or we do submerge ourselves for awhile, but it's never long enough to get used to the water, and then we jump out, shake ourselves off, and say, "well, that wasn't for me."
But here's the problem. When we tiptoe cautiously around a platform like Fiverr, we're never going to learn to swim. We've got to be willing to commit. And that commitment isn't just a matter of setting up a gig and seeing what happens. It means going the whole route. Learning what works on there, setting yourself up for it, and doing the work. Otherwise, not much is going to happen.
Here's what happens to me sometimes. I enter into something with the expectation that it's not going to work. And when something goes wrong, I immediately think to myself, "yep, it's just like a figured it'd be." When something else doesn't work out, it reinforces that attitude. And before long, the accumulative effect is that I've soured on the thing. I'll tell you honestly that my experience on Upwork tended that way for a long time...and ultimately I had to make a conscious decision that, even if things seemed sour, I was going to make lemonade out of it. And as soon as I did that, guess what? Not only did I start doing better on the platform, but a lot of that initial sourness went away, and now I'm starting to like and appreciate the platform more.
The same thing can be, and really MUST be our attitude on Fiverr. But what does that look like? Well there are five major areas where a crummy attitude can pretty much guarantee failure on Fiverr. However, for the sake of our conversation here, let's turn all of those positive. So let's talk about five areas where we need to think POSITIVELY if we're going to succeed.
1. Believing it works
When I came into Fiverr, I heard the success stories of others, and was skeptical, but I had enough faith in the platform and in my abilities that I decided I was going to give it a strong try before I gave up. And it's a good thing I did, because otherwise the first month or so might have driven me away. Let me mention a little principle I've come to accept almost as an axiom. Everything possible is going to happen when you first try something new, to discourage you from continuing it. It may just be coincidence, and it may just be that our lack of experience causes more bad things to happen, but it seems almost inevitable that, in the first few months of trying something new like Fiverr, everything that can go wrong will go wrong. It almost seems like there's some force of nature that kicks in, to separate the wheat from the chaff...to test who is strong enough to hang in there. So my advice is, as a level zero seller, expect problems and complications that will test your resolve...but keep the faith and keep hammering away. That initial belief in the possibilities, and willingness to stay the course when it gets rough, is enormously important on Fiverr, and anywhere else.
2. Believe there really ARE things we can do to make the gigs we offer more effective.
I have had a turntable for years, but recently I dusted off my old record collection and decided to enjoy listening to vinyl again. It's becoming a thing these days. But what I heard when I started listening again was the same rather flat, lifeless recorded sound I remembered from the "good old days." I was about ready to set the whole thing aside, when I decided that there HAS to be something to all the talk I've heard about how great vinyl albums can sound when they're played on the right gear, properly calibrated, with a good cartridge and stylus, a good preamp, and so on. So I decided to give it my very best shot before I let my old opinions and prejudices kick in and cause me to retire vinyl albums to history. I ordered a new cartridge and stylus, and a new preamp. I also ordered a jig that can be used to properly align the cartridge. I watched YouTube videos on how to set the proper weight for the tonearm. In short, I'm trying everything the experts say to do, to get great sound from the turntable. That's what we need to do on Fiverr, when it comes to our gigs. You've undoubtedly heard that a properly equipped and calibrated gig will outperform one that isn't. That is incredibly true, and you need to believe that with your whole heart. Commit yourself to that gig turntable of yours, and tweak every single thing you can to get the best performance out of it you possibly can. That's an area I'm strong in, so let me help you if you like, with a Gig Doctor session.
3. Believe that the benefits are greater than the disadvantages.
When i started on Fiverr, I was delivering 250 words of narration for $5. It was a strategy, obviously, because nobody with 40 years' experience doing narration believes that's adequate pay, right? But I understood that on Fiverr, it's about long haul perseverance and proving ourselves by doing great on order after order that is most important, especially at first.
Fine. But during that early time, as I mentioned, I also suffered setbacks and frustrations. Part of it was just not being used to the platform and having to grope around to find things and figure stuff out. Part of it was dealing with some less-than-agreeable lowball customers. If I didn't have an overriding faith that, in the end, the benefits would outweigh the disadvantages, I wouldn't have lasted there as long as I have. And ultimately, yeah, it's good. I did over six figures there the last couple years. Over $140,000 in 2021. So you need to keep faith that the merits outweigh whatever warts and flaws you feel the platform has, and keep looking for ways you can improve what YOU do, rather than focusing on areas where you feel Fiverr needs to improve.
4. Viewing ourselves positively, but realistically.
You've probably been told by teachers or success mavens that, with faith in your own abilities, nothing can hold you back, and that you can accomplish unlimited things with the right attitude. I'm not going to say that, because I think it's nonsense. Each of us is blessed with certain abilities, yes, but it's up to us to identify, realistically, what those abilities are, and hone them until they're truly good enough to justify offering them to others. Until you have something of real worth, you can't expect to make a lot of money offering your services on Fiverr, or anywhere else. The problem is that we are the world's worst judge of our own value. Some may think we're way better at something than they really are, and some may see their value as far less than it really is...the whole "imposter syndrome" thing. That's why I think it's good to get tied in with a professional in your field who can evaluate your offerings and give you solid feedback on what you offer, and how you can improve it. When you're confident you have something of value, guess what, that confidence will carry over into every aspect of your work on Fiverr. You'll even communicate more confidently with buyers. So if you're already on Fiverr, fine, stay the course, but keep seeking the feedback and instruction of others to make what you offer even more awesome. Ultimately, the quality of what you do and the amount that you earn, and very closely tied together.
5. Believe in the value of the buyers.
I'm saying it that way, to put it in a positive light. One of the biggest mistakes we can make as sellers on Fiverr is to view the buyer as the enemy...the person on the other side of the wall, who we need to force to our will, and to get as much out of as we can. That's a negative and adversarial approach to sales that will hurt you badly over time. It will keep people from coming back. We need to step around the wall and shake their hand and call them by name and get to know them and understand their needs and work together to fulfill them to the mutual benefit of both of us. That's how we're going to build our business on Fiverr and elsewhere.
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.