How I Grew A Micro Business To A Thriving Business
It all started on October 3rd, 2014 when I signed up on fiverr. In many ways, looking back now, it was one of the best decisions I have made in my career. It is enabled me to build relationships with clients from all over the world, expand my business into different countries, and allowed me to travel the world with my wife. I have been waiting to post this article today after 1013 days of being on fiverr.
I have average one order a day for the last thousand days! During this time, I have reinvented my career, moved overseas, and launched a new company because of fiverr and the relationship I have made there. I am going to share 5 of the most valuable tips that have turned me into a Top Rated Seller, featured gig for Google Analytics, and how my fiverr business was featured on the fiverr blog.
I'm going to share these valuable tips to improve your fiverr business.
- Anchor Gig Guide
- Barter Marketing
- Technology Stack
- Rapid Launching Gigs
- Nut & Bolt Pricing
I had graduated college, but I did not feel like a winner with my career choice of Marketing. Social media was the "thing." Agencies did not know what to do with it, businesses did not know what to do with it, and somehow I was an expert after graduating college. After going to interviews with top Advertising agencies in Chicago, the realization hit me; I am going to be posting on Twitter for a living. Eventually, I became the Digital Director at Chicago Public Schools is where I feel in love with Data.
At this J-O-B, I had an expiration date by design, and it is how I moved away from social media. Working at startups before, I wanted something more, and I knew I needed more experience then updating Twitter. The realization was if I did not try anything, I could not fail—it took backbone to lead the life I wanted looking back now. I was recently married, unemployed, and hungry to learn. That is when I finally came around to my muse, Google Analytics, and passed the certification test. I fastened up and started looking for agency jobs focused on growing online businesses and not managing their social media audiences.
Between resumes and interviews, I bought a gig on fiverr to fix up my resume, and I started to setup my gigs too. I had my buddy, Artur, buy my first gig. Having a profile with no reviews was not very appealing, and after two weeks on October 30, 2014, I had my first real sale. The service, now long since deleted was setting up a website for $5. My second happened on November 11, 2014, where I wrote Adwords copy and earned another $5 in revenue. I had a second order in November, bringing me up to $10 in sales for the month!
December 6, 2014, was when I had my first Google Analytics order and sale that month. This Gig completely reinvented my career, business, and lifestyle of living abroad. What set things in motion is my anchor gig. That December, I had 34 orders, and it was because of service that generated many impressions on fiverr, which later translated into sales for my other complementary services.
Tip #1 The Anchor Gig
If you are going to succeed on fiverr, it is going to happen 1 of 2 ways. You are good at advertising your services, or you have a top-rated service. Here's the success that made my gig featured, made me a Top Rated Seller, and turned a hobby into a career.
- Feature yourself in the cover image. Always.
- Come up with a catchy tagline and consider using power words for your title and descriptions.
- Offer an unbelievable deal.
The deal that I offered was creating a HTML5 landing page. You can look at it here as the text stayed the same, but I tried to resurrect it with new images.
This gig catapulted my orders, profits, and exposure on fiverr. Fiverr uses different ranking criteria, but I can recommend, you should have an excellent service, personality, and confidence will ALWAYS boost your sales. This gig was receiving 10's of thousands of impressions a month and hundreds of clicks. Fiverr is fantastic at discovering new gigs, it would feature more of my gigs at the bottom of my gig page. Every seller's gig is like this now, and they have moved to interlinking services under the seller bio on each gig. It only increases discovery and sales.
December 14th, 2015 is when I reached Level 1 on fiverr and soon after, on January 5th, 2015 is when I started my job at Wpromote and flew out to Los Angeles. It was that day I reached Level 2 on fiverr, had the largest order to date, and when the fiverr train took off. On my lunch break, I would pitch services to inbound messages, and after work proceeded to complete orders. Fiverr allowed me to test and refine every idea as I worked with real agency clients daily. I was consistently practicing new skills that I only developed on fiverr in my career.
Tip #2 Barter Marketing
Everyone complains that fiverr takes too much of a commission of 20%. I am very content because people fail to miss a pain point every small business has. Marketing is still going to cost you something and acquiring new leads can be expensive. In my best months, I had over 100 thousand impressions on ONE of my services, with nearly 2 thousand clicks in a month. With over $1 a click for marketing services in Chicago on Adwords, I was pocketing that money. As soon as you realize that your fiverr store is an asset, you will start growing. The commission you give to fiverr pays for the marketing, infrastructure, and it is almost like rent for your store too. Don't be naive that there's no cost to doing business.
Learning Your Business
Having a micro business on fiverr is similar to a renaissance. As your business grows, you will need to find clever ways to increase productivity, improve your communications, and manage tight deadlines with new business opportunities. Fiverr allowed me to handle over 100 orders a month because of skills that I honed during my early days.
If you have not already seen it, I have posted a blog about managing your sales and revenue in the fiverr forum. You can review the message here: https://forum.fiverr.com/t/fiverr-new-years-challenge-part-1-financial-reporting/97193/2
Hopefully soon, I will have a big announcement in how I successfully manage sales, P&L, and product performance.
Tip #3 Technology Stack
I cannot speak for the designers and creatives on fiverr. They have a different set of tools, technology, and organization that has to happen. I can, however, recommend how to track documents, spreadsheets, and clients in Google Drive.
- Create a dedicated Fiverr Folder.
- Number folders 00-20 to count each gig. I like to have higher numbers for my more active gigs and lower numbers for my least active gigs. Add the name of the gig about the number.
- Repeat the same process within the file.
- Color folders to quickly identify them.
Sometimes you have different packages, services, one-off reports, and client folders that are constantly doing business with you. Use your best judgment to organize your folders for each gig. The higher the number in the organization, the more important it is.
A more advanced tip, you can share folders and documents to clients on fiverr. This is entirely up to you and adds a more complicated layer. Managing hundreds of links could become unrealistic.
All the preparation starts with your first order. You are going to spend and waste much of your time learning your business, but you will be saved when you are slammed with ten orders in one day.
I am always mentoring colleagues in how they should succeed on fiverr. Many of them fail because of 2 reasons. Either over preparations to build a gig or delay to launch a gig. These are both habits that I have fallen into this trap and here's how you can start your first gig.
Think of the first thing you want to learn, attempt, and improve upon for the long haul? I wanted to be better at coding, and eventually, it brought me to Google Analytics and Adwords. That should be your first gig!
Tip #4 Rapid Launch Gigs
Launching gigs is pretty simple after you have done it nearly 100 times. You are going to need a few things to make the recipe work and build an idea.
Planning The Gig
- Start exploring categories that interest you on fiverr. Choose a category you think your gig will be a fit for your customers.
- Determine the service your offering based on competition, quality, and your interest in it.
- Create a gig!
Launching The Gig
The simplest way to streamline a gig launch is to do it quickly. The most important thing that cannot be altered later is your Gig URL. The title can be updated later, but the URL is permanent.
- Choose a gig title, make sure it fits in the preview.
- Include some keywords you have researched.
- Start with a single package and expand packages later.
- Write a 150-word description of yourself, services, and what it will do. Do not confuse customers, because you are trying to offer one thing to be the one solution for their needs.
- Expand on the Frequently Asked Questions. Be sure to include one to start.
- Include the gig requirements. One is enough to launch.
- Make a cover image for your service.
- Launch it!
I know it seems like many steps, but I have the process down to where I can launch my next great services in about 10 minutes. This allows me to test the market and improve on it over time.
The reason my tip is so direct to launching a gig goes back to my two points from earlier in this article. I have spent tens of hours and sometimes as much as 50 hours to build one gig. It generated dozens of sales, but it was not a hit or a fit at the time. It could work now, but reselling information was not a good approach in my experience. Delaying is what I see my colleagues do because they do not have this valuable advice. It only takes a lunch break to launch a gig when you are first starting out. When that first sale comes, you will be scrambling to pull things together and learn by market testing.
I am always guaranteeing the customer experience to be great. The gig improves with the market and service the client is going to receive. If you are not sure, you are wasting time and should be getting paid for all your research and planning.
Creating Complementary Services
Complementary gigs are a more advanced strategy to approach when building a successful fiverr business. It can be intimidating seeing sellers with tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands of reviews. Don't worry; they were still there when I started and still had an incredible number of reviews.
Tip #5 Nut & Bolt Pricing And The Pitfalls of Over Delivery
The biggest mistake most people do on fiverr is OVERdelivering. I am not discouraging you from going ABOVE AND BEYOND, but overdelivering is where you are going to break your back, dislike your buyers, and eventually fail or worse, leave fiverr altogether.
- Always be aware the gig is supposed to solve one thing very well.
- Only overdeliver if it is something that's a part of the soul of your gig. IF it is not, you might want to do two things to handle it in the future.
Here Are a Few Scenarios
If a customer is expecting something else, you need a new package or a new gig.
If a client is expecting more work, you are overcharging, or the customer was expecting something else.
Consistently receiving messages and not having order means your service is too complicated or it is confusing. Try adding a video to explain it better, update the description, and create PDF describing the deliverable.
- Price everything using the nut & bolt strategy.
I know how much everything I do costs in my business. This comes down to installing Google Analytics which I charge $5 for websites. That is not a service I offer anymore, but I regularly have clients that need help, and I can install it quickly.
After hundreds of orders on some of my gigs, I know how much each bolt is worth. Because I had situations where a client wanted something that's not in the original order, or they wanted to continue the journey which means more business.
It will take a long time to find out how much each of your services costs. The reason this is important because they can overlap and you can add bonuses to please more customers!
If you can determine a price for different tasks and you start seeing serious interest in one part of a gig, that should automatically spark an idea for a new gig! The exercise is understanding your business and building a path for up-sells. There are great articles in the fiverr forums!
I see it as a menu, I put together a lot of nuts & bolts to create multiple packages, and I can easily guide my clients to more advanced packages without much confusion. Transparency will help you grow your business a lot.
1 Order of Magnitude
This is a great little trick to set goals with your business. Take one fiverr gig and multiple it by one order of magnitude that would mean you are setting a goal of selling ten fiverr gigs!
In the beginning, I set a goal to reach $100 a week on fiverr. That was sustained by the time I reached level 2. As your business grows, so should the goals and expectations. I still set goals to grow my business by one order of magnitude, and it seems to keep working! The lead time gets further apart as your business begins to grow, but it is important to set goals.
It has been a long road, but the goals I am setting now is launching my first app tyfoon on fiverr and taking on business partners that I convinced to be on fiverr too. Working on fiverr has opened my eyes to being a business owner in multiple countries, collaborating with international clients, and building businesses together all on fiverr. If I were to speculate where my business will be on fiverr in five years, it would probably be completely on fiverr, because they are always adding new features and recently introduced fiverr pro.