It's exciting when new orders come in on Fiverr. It's so easy to notice it in your notifications, do the happy dance, maybe give it an initial cursory glance, and then set it aside to work on it when you're ready. But a lot of info can get missed when you do that, and a lot of earning potential is lost at the same time.
Hurry Up, and Slow Down!
When new orders come in, don't just note how much they're for and when they're due, give a little thought as to when you'll do them, and then go about your day. That's tantamount to throwing away goodwill...and money...with both hands. Instead, resolve in this new year to be meticulous about the immediate steps you will take when you get a new Fiverr order. Here are some of the things I recommend you always do.
Look Right Away
When a new order comes in, go ahead and be happy! Thank God for it! But don't stop at doing the happy dance. Right now, at the moment when you have received the order, look it over from top to bottom right away., checking it for the following things:
Did they pay you enough? Whether intentionally, or accidentally, some buyers place orders that underestimate what is due to you based on your rates. Look carefully at the scope of the job. Compare what they paid against what your rate requires, per "x" amount of work.
Do you understand the instructions? A lot of grief can be spared to both you and the Buyer by carefully reading their directions. If they're unclear, or ask you to do things you're either incapable of, or can't in good conscience do, it's best to know that right away so you can ask for the additional info or clarification you need, or state your objections and see what can be done to resolve the issues fast. Discovering and trying to deal with those things closer to delivery time, when you're working on the order, will be frustrating for both of you.
Look at their answers to your requirements. "Requirements" is a form you that's included in your gig, which they must fill out fully when placing an order. It's there to gather any information necessary to complete the order, and can also be used in creative ways to become much more successful on Fiverr, as I mention in my HeadSlapper videos. Look at their answers to each one of your requirements. Do NOT scan the order so fast that you miss any little points here, since they can contain crucial tidbits about the buyer's expectations and intentions.
What extras should be added? It's very frequently the case that an order should have included an extra, and sometimes more than one. Frequently, commercial rights gets missed. Or it might be broadcast rights. Or maybe they're asking you to do some sort of specialty thing, or to add music, or sync your work to a video, or, or, or... Again, noticing those things right away is key. You can't very well start bringing up the need for extras a few hours before you're supposed to deliver their order.
My initial response to the Buyer depends on the situation., but in all my correspondence, I keep things very brief and pleasant, with a minimum of folderol.
If we're cool. If all is well, I understand the directions, and no extras are required, I quickly send out a brief, friendly acknowledgement of the order, confirming that I received it, that I plan to deliver it before it's due, and assuring them of my desire to do a great job on it for them.
If instructions need clarification, I explain what's needed. I try to avoid the word "you," which feels personally accusatory. I would never say, "You didn't make it clear whether I was to..." in my message to them. I would instead say something like, "Tell me more about how..." or, "Should I (this or that)?"
If extras are required. If there are items that still need to be included/charged for, I don't send my full order acknowledgement message yet. That will come later after we've resolved any initial extras. To start with, I just send something super brief, like this:
"Thanks so much for your order! Here's the required Commercial Rights extra."
That's it! No long explanations, no loopholes or apologies. Just "here's the required xxx extra." Using the word "required" is powerful and usually brings the acceptance. without objection or delay,...especially if you respond right after receiving the order. As with clarifications related to the order details, getting the extras requested fast, possibly before they even step away from their keyboard, greatly reduces the potential for trouble later on.
If there are other issues. Similarly, if there is objectionable content, or they are asking you to in some way do work you can't bring yourself to do, you owe it to them to bring that to their attention fast, so you can either resolve it with them, or mutually agree to cancel the order. As a voiceover person, I've been able to frequently solve issues along those lines very simply, by just asking if we can change the word "x" to the word "y." Often the vulgarity is something they'll willingly change, especially if they really like your work and want to use you, and then the order is saved.
Nail down the style! And finally, if the order is large, you can save yourself and your Buyer a lot of grief by doing a quick sampling early for their approval, prior to doing the whole job. This probably applies more directly to my own chosen field of voiceover than to some others, but here's what I do in my own case: If I receive an order for a script that's more than 300 words, my gig is set up to automatically require an extra day to complete it, so that I have adequate time to record my voice saying the first couple sentences and send it to them for "style approval," and to hear back from them on it. I can't tell you how much pain and grief that has saved me. There's nothing worse that recording and editing a 3,000 word narration, delivering it, and receiving back a message saying, "Wow, you're great...that was fantastic. You rock! Can you do it for me again, a little slower?"
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.