I’m often asked (well, two times specifically), ‘is Fiverr worth it?’
The two people who asked me are both already established freelancers. Meaning, they already have paying clients, already have websites, skilled in their respective fields and just slaying it.
A while ago, I wrote about why Fiverr is a great place to kickstart your freelancing career. But that blog post is for those who are really new to freelancing.
When I started on Fiverr, I had zero experience in getting clients, no money (to invest in a business) and little idea what I wanted to offer in my services. All I had was time and motivation to make it work.
Now that I’ve come this far and no longer sell on Fiverr like I used to, would I recommend Fiverr to my fellow freelancers? If you’re an established freelancer, is Fiverr worth your time?
The thing is, it depends.
There are many factors to consider when trying to create an extra revenue stream on Fiverr. And in this post, I’ll help break it down. At the end of the post, I promise you’ll have a clearer picture if Fiverr is worth it or just a waste of time.
4 Things About Freelancing on Fiverr You Should Know Before Starting
Fiverr takes 20% of your sales
I can hear you gasp. I know, it’s a bit of a turn off, especially if you weren’t aware of this.
You don’t have to pay anything upfront to start using Fiverr. However, Fiverr will take 20% once you start making sales.
If you sold a gig for $100, Fiverr takes $20, which leaves you with $80 earning.
If you’re already enjoying making sales without a big cut off your earnings, this will certainly be something to consider.
You also have to keep in mind that Fiverr is a business and needs to make a profit and this is one of the ways they do it.
For me, like many other Fiverr sellers, I like to think of it as a marketing and administrative cost.
I don’t have to worry about things like website maintenance, setting up payment methods or marketing my services (all of which costs money and time).
Once you set your profile up properly, you can expect orders and messages coming in.
I won’t lie, though, 20% is a lot. I still wince whenever I see the deduction, especially when it’s a big order.
You need to be ready to invest the time and effort
Setting up an account is easy. It’s crafting a profile that stands out and converts what takes time and effort.
The first time I set up a Fiverr account, I barely put time into it. And naturally, it failed.
So the second time around I made sure I put in the work. I took a Fiverr class on Skillshare, I read a book or two about freelancing on Fiverr, and I also watched YouTube tutorials on how to make it on Fiverr.
Next, I looked at my skills and what I could sell on the platform. I researched my niche and target audience and looked for ‘the right spot’ in Fiverr categories. I then crafted my profile based on my research findings.
Not all gigs I posted on Fiverr were successful.
Some never got any sales. A lot of tweakings were also involved. I changed my gig descriptions, pricings and images and saw if it made any difference. Sometimes, my tweaking worked, and sometimes the gig just wasn’t making it.
To make it work on Fiverr, you need to be ready to invest time into it. Paying someone to set it up for you can also be an option. But you’d still have to keep up with it.
Are you willing to go through that extra mile?
It takes time to build your reputation on Fiverr
As a new seller, you need to build trust and the way to do it is to have 5 star reviews on your profile.
The tricky part is getting those first orders rolling in, and not all buyers will leave a rating.
When Fiverr used to have the buyers request section, I used to pitch almost daily.
Of course, that’s not the only way to do it.
For example, let’s say you have a decent amount of loyal followers on social media, you can try to sell your gigs to your audience. That’s what my brother did (he’s an Instagram artist).
After you have five reviews or so, and manage to rank your gigs in the first page of Fiverr search results (using SEO) you can expect messages and orders coming in, gradually.
You have to be competitive at the start
Now, not only Fiverr will take 20% off your sales, but you have to be competitive as a new seller.
Which means pricing your services lower than what you normally charge. Many buyers (not all) do go to Fiverr for cheap services.
I know many people’s pride will not allow them to sell their work at a mere $5. I don’t blame them.
Not saying your gig won’t sell unless you price it that low.
Organically, there are two ways you can go about it (as far my experience with Fiverr goes).
You might have the edge if you have great certifications, work experience and work samples to show for in your profile and gigs. The second one is (combined with first if possible), you can offer something like a tease you’re willing to sell for $5-$10. For example, a really quick sketch if you’re an artist (and taken from a camera phone instead of a high quality scan).
Depending on your services and niche, it’s up to you how you’d go about it.
Working on Fiverr can be stressful
Receiving a DM from Fiverr is not the same as receiving an email or Instagram message.
On Fiverr, you have a reputation to maintain, especially if you’re a level 1 or level 2 seller. If your response rate is below a certain threshold, you will get demoted.
Not only your response rate, but you can get demoted from:
- Having low ratings (below 4.7/5)
- Having below 90% order completion rate
- Not delivering on time
Plus you have many weird buyers on Fiverr, and plenty dishonest ones, too. You can read my article here about bad buyers on Fiverr you will come across (and how to spot them before closing the deal).
You can argue that you might like the new challenges and you want to gain experience. But if you’re an established freelancer, do you need that kind of challenge (aka stress) for your growth?
Why you might want to consider Fiverr
After listing the potential (negative) challenges you might face on the platform, here are some good reasons why you might still decide to go ahead.
You need more clients
If you’re looking for extra leads, then Fiverr is a great source for potential clients and customers.
In 2020, Fiverr has over 3 million active buyers and that number is expected to grow higher over the next few years.
Fiverr has a reputation on social media for being a platform where ‘cheapskate businesses’ go to, to get cheap services.
I can agree to that. Yes, you’ll come across some startups and poor businesses that will try to milk you with a few dollars. However, big and respectable businesses also use Fiverr. Like Google, and AirBnB.
I myself have really enjoyed working with some of the clients I met on Fiverr.
You can do the work fast
Fiverr can be highly profitable if you can complete a gig fast, and more so if that gig is in high demand.
Although it boils down to things like talent, skill and level of experience, here are some examples of gigs that can be done fast:
- Vector tracing
- Fixing a bug on a website
- Proofreading (I know a grammar police who has a keen eye to spotting mistakes fast)
- Removing backgrounds in Photoshop
These are only some that I could think of right now, but there are tons of other non-time-consuming gigs.
If it doesn’t take you much to do the work and you do it really well, then Fiverr is definitely worth considering and can make you a good side hustle income.
You want to grow your skills
If you just learnt a skill and want to gain experience on it while getting paid for it at the same time, then Fiverr might be a good outlet for you.
Now, I’m not saying you should play with someone’s money. You should always aim for 100% (or more).
Fiverr is a good place to do short projects and you can get the opportunity to work with many types of projects, with different clients, and from varying backgrounds and industries.
You’re never bored, and you’re always building on your skills.
My writing skills have dramatically improved from doing many writing gigs on Fiverr. It’s almost like a paid internship.
So ‘is Fiverr wortht it?’ It depends
I hope that by reading this, you are now able to make a more informed decision whether Fiverr is right for you or not.
As a brand new freelancer venturing into Fiverr, it was worth it for me. I learnt a lot from working on Fiverr. The challenges I mentioned above helped me become more disciplined in my business, and more experienced in my dealings with clients.
Although I don’t use the platform as much now (kinda preoccupied with my VA business and blog), I will be revisiting it for its perks.
I’m interested to know why you’re (or were) interested in freelancing on Fiverr as an established freelancer. And I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic down in the comments.