Updated: Dec 21, 2020
If the holiday season limits the amount of time you can spend on Fiverr work, the question naturally arises how you should handle things. What you choose to do, and how, can have a tangible effect on orders, not only now, but in the future. That's what we're tackling in this special edition of the Fit Gig Blog.
Whether it's due to a holiday, a vacation, or illness, there are bound to be times when you're "otherwise engaged" and will have a difficult time keeping up your usual quick communications and order processing on Fiverr. Look before you leap, and consider your options!
Ways to Lessen the Load
There are three ways you can lower or even eliminate the burden of orders during the holidays. Each have their advantages and disadvantages. I'll tell you about each, then tell you what I do personally. Don't just jump on one of them until you've read your way to the end, because some options have far more dire impact on your account than others.
"Out of Office" (a.k.a. "vacation mode")
"Vacation Mode," as it's most commonly referred to, is the most absolute and complete way to shut things off for awhile on Fiverr. It also carries with it the most potential to seriously damage your status on Fiverr.
Using vacation mode, you can stop all activity on Fiverr for a specified period of time. The obvious benefit is that you won't be bothered until you get back. Buyers can't order from you or even contact you (though you can initiate an inbox conversation with them, and then communicate back and forth if you want). While in vacation mode, your gig will disappear from search, and new orders will drop to zero until you disable it and allow things to return to normal.
But will they return to normal? Many people report that going into vacation mode has seriously set back their progress on Fiverr, resulting in such a reduction of orders that they were even demoted a level or more. Gigs that were flying high and getting front page search exposure have disappeared off the radar, resulting in markedly fewer orders from potential new buyers. In addition, the seller's sudden disappearance disenfranchised some of their existing repeat buyers. The result: a big drop in business, which in turn results in further deterioration in Fiverr's promotion of the seller's gig in search, and a downward spiral. It's not necessarily a permanent situation. If you're good at what you do, the same merits that originally caused you to rise on Fiverr will probably cause you to rise again. But who wants to go through all that for the sake of a few days off?
Limiting Order Queue
A less dramatic option is to put a buffer on how many orders you allow. That doesn't take you out of the running in Fiverr search. Buyers can still contact you, request quotes, etc., orders can still be placed, and in it's still pretty much business as usual, except that if you have a specified number of orders in your queue, any further buyers will be told they can't place an order because your queue is full.
This approach has its merits, though we risk alienating potential new customers, who will have to turn to someone else to meet their needs...and having done so, will be less likely to return and try again with that seller later.
Extending Delivery Time
The least "expensive" approach in terms of impact to our account and to customer relations is to simply increase delivery time. If you're going to be away for a long weekend or longer, set your delivery time to a day or two longer than that. Buyers in any quantity can still place orders. You'll still be just as much in the running in search as ever. The only bad effect will be that some buyers will be deterred from ordering from you because they need delivery sooner than you will be able to give it to them.
What I Do
I'll split my own formula into two scenarios:
If I don't absolutely need to cut myself slack, I leave things be. I work from home, and we celebrate our holidays at home. Coming from a radio background, I've worked so many holidays over the years that it's really no skin off my nose to head into the studio and rap out a few voiceovers on Christmas Eve Day, or even Christmas Day. Normally, orders are light during major holidays anyway, so it's not something that I find troublesome. That said, it's been a long year for me, and just lately I've been feeling the need for a break, so I plan to take one. So let's move to Plan B:
If I DO Need a Break
If I'm in need of some time off, going to be out of town, have a holiday obligation, am so downright ill that my product as a voiceover person isn't something I'd be willing to take peoples' money for, then I opt for the extended delivery time option. When that's the case, I do ALL of the following:
Contact my main customers personally, and alert them to the situation. Assuming a vacation or holiday situation, I'll write to each of them at least four or five days in advance, telling them that I'll be extending my delivery time from, for example, December 24th through December 26th. That little heads-up courtesy notice is greatly appreciated by buyers. Here's one message I received:
"Thank you so much Dane for letting me know about your holidays before hand. I will keep that in my mind and will let you know if I have anything for you to record before the 24th of December."
Sending the notices can also result in a little bump in orders in advance of the holiday as they hurry up and get planned orders over to me. Not only that, but a few who hadn't been thinking about me lately may be reminded and place an order. It's all good.
Also in advance of the planned holiday, I update my gig description with a notification at the top, along these lines: "Holiday Alert! December 24-26, new orders will have an extended delivery time of three days." If you're like me, and you use every single character you can in your gig descriptions, you'll need to temporarily remove a line or so in order to fit your alert within your allotted 1200 characters. So I always copy my entire description into a note-taking app on my computer, so I can paste it back in verbatim after the holiday is over.
I rely on Siri to remind me, on the day in question, to extend the delivery time in my gig settings, and I put in a second nudge to remind me to change it back. How stupid it would be to forget to put the normal delivery time back in, or to leave the old crusty holiday alert in the description after the holiday is over!
Doing extended delivery time has the effect of postponing the inevitable, of course, and if you're fairly busy on Fiverr, you'll have to deal with "piled up desk syndrome" when you get back from your break. But that's life, and that's business. If you love what you're doing, you'll actually be looking forward to getting after those orders when you return!
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.