How I Made My First $1,000 coding with my phone on Fiverr

For those who may not know, Fiverr is a renowned marketplace where people can sell their services, five dollars at a time. Now, five dollars may not sound like much, however, not all services are sold for only five dollars.

Usually, people sell the bare bones packages for that price. Sellers have the option to upscale services, which are referred to as gigs, to any price they see fit, though most gigs will fall within the five to 100-dollar price range.

How I Got Started

When I first heard of Fiverr, I was skeptical. The thought of making money online seemed so foreign to me. I heard of people selling physical products on platforms such as eBay or Amazon, but those places require you to actually have products to sell, never mind the huge investment cost and time required to get set up and running.

To think an average person could actually earn money selling services to clients located around the world with little to no upfront costs seemed far fetched. On top of that, people would only sell their hard-earned work for a minuscule five dollars, so was my thought process at the time.

I still decided to give Fiverr a try as a personal experiment to see if I could earn a few dollars. Before signing up on Fiverr, the first thing I did was spend some time looking at all the top-selling services being offered by others in my area of expertise. I needed to know the type of competition I would be up against.

I made sure to look at the top gigs in categories I wanted to sell in and see the type of work offered, and the price breakdown each seller provides. This allowed me to get a feel for what is in demand, otherwise no point in offering a service with little to no interest from buyers, right?

Setting up an account was relatively simple, what was required initially was either an active email, Facebook, or Google account. Once a registered user, you will need to activate your account via email — pretty straightforward stuff. Once the account is active, all that’s needed to provide your services to the world is an active gig. The creation process for one is not complicated and Fiverr does a good job of giving a simple step-by-step guide to set up your gig of choice.

The Anxious Wait for the First Sale

With an active account and a completed gig, I thought to myself, all I had to do was sit back and wait for the orders to start rolling in. Once my gig went live, a few days went by with no orders. Maybe the account needs time to appear and get indexed in the search algorithm, I would tell myself anxiously, but after a week of no sales, a bit of self-doubt started to creep in. I started to think maybe my gig wasn’t good enough or I might have done something wrong. Instead of giving up, I decided to visit the dedicated Fiverr forums to see if any new sellers were having similar problems.

Fiverr forums are a great untapped resource for new sellers, I’m sure any possible question any new seller might have has already been asked and answered by other forum members. It’s a place I highly recommend new sellers visit frequently. Not only is it a great source of information, but also a great place to discover new methods and ideas you might not have thought of.

I discovered getting orders especially for new sellers is incredibly difficult, even if you create the perfect gig. Getting seen by a prospective client isn’t a quick process due to the sheer number of new gigs being created daily, especially in popular categories.

All new gigs will appear in the new section initially, and then after a while will get pushed down to the bottom of the search results page, a place most buyers will hardly ever go. This is why correctly naming your gig matters as that can help when customers type what they are looking for in the Fiverr search bar.

I found one way of getting orders quickly is to have an active social media account outside of Fiverr. So, people with a good number of followers on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook can promote their gigs. This, in essence, means your social media account acts as a pool of loyal potential clients. The problem with building a popular social media account is that it takes a lot of time and not everyone feels comfortable targeting their friend’s list on places like Facebook. Being a person who is not active on social media meant I needed to find another way to get my gigs noticed.

Gig Requests Are Your Best Friend

The most effective way I found for new sellers to get orders quickly was using a special feature provided by Fiverr called “gig request”.

This is a section where customers can send out custom requests for various tasks they might not necessarily find using the traditional search method. Using the gig request allows individuals to sell directly to customers. Considering how lowly ranked new sellers are initially, it’s the only way new freelancers can put themselves in front of a customer immediately without resorting to outside social media platforms.

The gig request offers 10 slots to respond to customer requests daily. I made sure to use all my slots to send out unique specifically tailored responses to all the customer requests that fit my already available gig, and within 24 hours I had my first order. I remember that first sale like it was yesterday. I felt euphoric, after almost two weeks of struggling, I finally had my first client, but I knew the hard work had only just begun.

I had to produce great work and deliver on time in order to start receiving positive reviews. I still continued to post in the customer request section even though I already had an active order, one order wasn’t enough for me, I needed more.

I soon realized having only one gig might not be the best strategy in terms of sending offers to clients. Each gig is locked into a single category. Depending on what category you are selling in, sending 10 offers isn’t always possible as there is a limited number of buyer requests posted daily. Furthermore, the ratio of offers sent and response rate varies day-to-day. It’s possible to use up all 10 offers and not get a single response or send 10 another day and receive three or five responses.

Having multiple gigs just means greater exposure, thus enabling me to more easily use up all 10 allocated daily gig offers. I created three extra gigs to bring four gigs in total. All in the design field, but offering different types of design work. Eventually, I started to get clients on a semi-regular basis, and even some repeat customers to boot.

Reviews Are the Key to Success

One positive review turned to three, and that turned to seven and so on…at this point, all my clients were still from the gig request section. Four weeks in at around 10 completed orders, I got promoted to level one. All Fiverr sellers are rated at different levels, from “basic seller”, level one, level two, and up to “top-rated seller”, each level has advantages with more benefits as you continue to level up.

After reaching level one, I started to notice an uptick in customers buying directly from my gigs that are not from the customer request section. Now, keep in mind that my orders from the Fiverr search engine are not all a direct result of my new rank, though ranks are a part of the equation. As I completed orders and clients left five-star reviews, my gigs were slowly being ranked up to the top of the search result.

This meant as customers searched for gigs I was more likely to get noticed, as long as their search matched with what they were looking for. Being on page five of the search is a lot better than being on page 25…

Getting organic orders from search results didn’t make me stop using the buyer’s request section. I still used it, but a bit less, as more orders started coming in naturally. Fiverr rewards consistency and commitment, a steady account that gets regular orders with good reviews ranks well. After around two months, I had completed 50 orders and already broke the $1,000 barrier working just a couple of hours per day.

It is also around the same time I got promoted again — to level two. This new level allowed me to start offering more gig extras, meaning my customer could order multiples of the same gig. I also increased the price of my gigs. I felt no need to undercut similar top-selling gigs in order to attract customers. I had accumulated enough past work samples in my portfolio, and positive reviews, that gave clients a good idea of what to expect when they ordered from me. By the three-month mark, most of my orders were either from repeat customers or direct orders from the search results, with me rarely having to use the buyer’s request anymore.

My journey from zero to $1,000 on Fiverr is just one way I managed to make Fiverr work for me in the graphics and design categories. I do believe this method can work for most, if not all, the categories on Fiverr. In real life, there is no one singular way to find success, and the same holds true for earning money on Fiverr. With that said, there are some behaviors one can implement that will lead to success universally, such as not giving up and being consistent in striving for success.

Practical Methods That Worked for Me

  1. Making sure my gigs had good grammar and clear descriptions of the services I’m offering.
  2. Having attractive and eye-catching gig pictures is something that’s important in the art ad design categories. Clients want to see what they will get for their money.
  3. Over delivering, and producing the best quality work even if it’s only for five dollars, helps with getting good feedback. Fiverr isn’t just a freelance platform, it’s also a great place to build business relationships.
  4. Repeat customers are the bread and butter of freelancing and that’s where a lot of income will come from, so building a good relationship with any client — new or old — is extremely important if one wants to last for the long haul on Fiverr.

Final Thoughts

If there is a singular piece of advice I would give anyone interested in trying selling on Fiverr — or any freelance platform for that matter — is to actually start. One can never succeed if they never begin! Once you take those few first steps, everything will fall into place.

Have you sold any services on Fiverr? How has your experience been? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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