How I Use Fiverr to Grow My WordPress Business
It’s crucial that you explore as many avenues as possible for finding clients when you’re starting out as a web developer. Platforms like Upwork can be a great place to start building your portfolio of work and list of clientele. Then there’s Fiverr, a platform that is often overlooked.
Why is Fiverr overlooked? Because most people can’t get past the fact that the initial pricing point is $5. When you put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into your work, $5 just isn’t work the effort, right? But with some clever strategy on your part, you can use Fiverr to grow your WordPress business, perhaps at an even faster rate than you would with Upwork.
And how do I know all this? I use Fiverr myself as part of my own digital marketing business strategy.
Read on to find out how.
Fiverr joins a long list of freelancer platforms that provide a marketplace for people to buy and sell services. It’s notorious as an ideal platform to get a graphic design job done on a budget. What’s unique about Fiverr is that most offers start at $5, which can be a huge turn-off for those who don’t understand how to add onto that total.
While in the past, Fiverr gigs didn’t allow for a higher initial starting point, the company is starting to realize that higher price points attract higher quality sellers. At the same time, they’ve also noticed that buyers aren’t necessarily deterred by having to pay more than $5 for a higher quality output. The ability to create packages that include multiple pieces and higher price points also make the platform more compelling for today’s sellers.
From personal experience, Fiverr shouldn’t be the only place you focus your WordPress business building efforts. But with a compelling profile and Fiverr gig setup, you can use the platform to attract new regular and even long-term clients while upselling a simple offering.
It all starts with your Fiverr gig.
Setting Up a Fiverr Gig for Success
In order to sell anything on Fiverr, you’ll need to first set up some Fiverr gigs.
A quick glance through the Programming & Tech > WordPress category reveals Fiverr gigs offering a number of services that range from:
- Complete website customization
- WordPress Bug fixes
- WordPress Landing pages
- WordPress Security fixes
- General SEO assistance
Many of these gigs start at the bare minimum $5, but just as many start at more reasonable prices that reflect an hourly or project rate.
The Fiverr marketplace is an excellent study in supply and demand, but it’s important to take into account workers from different countries, and how pricing reflects their standard of living. On that note, many people ignore sellers with “too good to be true” offers (the backlink building Fiverr gigs are especially questionable for the price).
As with a platform like Upwork, there will always be buyers tempted to work with people in countries with a low cost of living, who can afford to charge the lowest prices. But there are many others who use Fiverr because they’re looking for a reliable long-term connection, and the price points on the platform make it a low-risk way to do just that. Fiverr can act as a great medium for making an initial connection that sparks a bigger relationship than just one order.
With a couple connections who work at Fiverr, I’ve talked extensively with team members about how to use the platform more effectively. One of the easiest ways to standout? Be a seller from the United States. Most buyers are from the US, and appreciate working with someone who also lives here.
As far as the actual WordPress Fiverr gig you decide to create, it’s important to take structure seriously. A haphazardly thrown up page will be treated in the same vein, and you probably won’t attract any buyers if you treat it as an afterthought. As with any method for generating new business, the more you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it. The following tips take just a little bit of effort, but can result in an increased amount of attention and Fiverr orders:
- Add a photo: Eventually, you’ll create a visible portfolio of work, but a nice visual will help your gig stand out in search results. It will also help with recall if a person is evaluating multiple gigs for the same service.
- Add a video: Seriously, a quick video taken with your smartphone or webcam is enough to set you apart from 99% of the rest of the marketplace. It helps to humanize you, making it easier for buyers to place their trust in your ability to deliver what they need.
- Set expectations: Within the Fiverr gig’s copy, let people know what to expect. Many Fiverr buyers use the platform periodically, and aren’t 100% sure of the process or how the final delivery works. Connect the dots in the copy of your Fiverr gig, and explain the difference between your gig extras or packages so they understand the right one to order for their needs. If order completion requires a lot of back and forth between you and the buyer, you might use this opportunity to ask them to get in touch before placing an order.
- Use keywords: Get in the head of buyers by optimizing your gig for the keywords you think they’ll be searching for. If you’re not sure what these may be, take note from the gigs of popular sellers who get a lot of orders.
Two big things that go hand-in-hand with success on Fiverr include a reasonable response time, and few, if any, late deliveries. Fiverr optimizes search results and featured gigs for sellers with the most commitment to their platform, so keep this in mind as far as responding to interested buyers and creating a gig with a delivery time that you can commit to. Furthermore, cancelled orders can hurt your ascension up the platform’s ranks, so make sure that you can offer quality for whatever prices you’re setting.
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Just as with anything else, Fiverr is a platform where marketing yourself can be the difference between getting a job or losing out to someone else. So besides making your gigs look good, take some time to also flesh out your portfolio page. Share your experience relevant to the Fiverr gigs you’re offering to make it easy for buyers to place their trust in you.
A final note on your profile – use your real name. It will be easier to communicate with buyers if they see you as a person, and not just a screen name. Also, it may spark buyers to Google you and connect with you outside of the platform.
How I Use Fiverr to Upsell
One of my own most popular WordPress Fiverr gigs is a simple SEO audit. For the basic $5 gig, a person gives me their website URL and any keywords they’re trying to optimize for. I then create a report (with the help of a software program) that identifies major problems and prescribes potential fixes.
Upon delivering each order, I take the opportunity to make sure we’re on the same page, offer a revision if they’re not happy with the results, and ask for a review to help me get more orders. Everyone has their own way of going about this, but here’s what I usually send with order delivery:
How does this look?
If you’re not 100% satisfied, I’ll redo to your specifications!
If you love it, please leave me a 5 star review :)
Specifically, with each SEO report I deliver, I mention my web design background. I call out a few of the issues most affecting their website from their ranking on Google and specifically speak to my ability to fix these problems.
It is perhaps the easiest upsell in the world because the people who order from me realize that they have a problem, and they likely don’t have the experience or tools to fix these issues themselves. The secret to a successful upsell is recognizing these needs and connecting the dots for a customer ordering a basic package.
From there, I pitch interested customers a project rate that’s usually in the couple hundred dollars, for a few short hours of my time (if that). In some cases, I’ll work with a contractor (who I found on Fiverr!), to help with some of the technical fixes that would otherwise take up a chunk of my time, so I can instead focus on keyword research and implementation.
At this point in time, it’s a well-oiled machine that turns a small order into a big one, while helping me build up my portfolio for WordPress/SEO projects. Whoever says you can’t make money on Fiverr simply doesn’t understand it’s ability to either generate long-term leads, or to create projects from an initial basic inquiry.
If SEO isn’t really your thing, that’s quite all right. The possibilities are endless, but here are a few others that I’ve either offered, have consistently paid for myself, or have seen do really well on the platform:
- UX Fiverr Gig: I offer a UX audit Fiverr gig that gets a lot of traffic and orders on the platform. Though this is usually one page at $5, I frequently get orders for multiple pages, with video walkthroughs, or even detailed reports. I recently got a $300 order for someone who wanted a more comprehensive UX audit than my basic offering. If you offer web design services and have a fair understanding of marketing/conversions, this can be a great way to make some money while improving your creative eye.
- WordPress Maintenance Fiverr Gig: Use this type of Fiverr gig to offer one fix, or maintenance hours. I work with another Fiverr seller who offers me this service when I’m in a pinch or can’t figure out a problem on my own.
- Basic Website Fiverr Gig: A basic website may just be one page, so you can make money on the upsell on everything else – additional pages, plugin installation, etc.
Once you get past the reverse sticker shock of Fiverr gigs that start at $5 (knowing that this isn’t an enforced minimum), there are still a few things you’re going to have to wrap your mind around if you decide to add Fiverr to your roster of client generation tactics.
Perhaps the most important is the way that Fiverr makes money. Some might say that they’re a bit greedy, taking $1 of every $5 that you sell (or 20% if you’d like an easier number to work with for big projects). Additionally, they charge a processing fee to buyers of $1 on top of the price of your gig (unless they too are a buyer and use Fiverr credit to purchase your gig).
As a seller, whenever you want to cash out of Fiverr’s system, you also have to pay $1 to access your money, even if you use direct deposit.
To compare, a platform like Upwork charges a payment processing fee to buyers (2.75%), and a sliding scale to freelancers. Like Fiverr, this starts at 20%, but scales down to 10%, and then 5% based on lifetime billings. Upwork encourages long-term relationships, as payment scales according to each client relationship, not total billings. Another freelancer platform, Elance, takes a flat rate of 8.75% from each transaction.
The lesson learned from comparing other freelancer platforms to Fiverr is that their fees are assumed by the freelancer twice (if you count the fee incurred to transfer money from their system to your bank account), and by the buyer once. Annoyingly, a commission is even taken when a customer leaves a tip for a job well done.
It’s tempting to lure customers off the Fiverr platform, and though they create triggers to catch these activities (just type “email” or “Skype” on a message and you’ll see what I mean), it’s not exactly hard to do. That said, if you’re caught, it may be the end of your Fiverr account. And since the process that involves going from a new user to a level 1, then level 2 seller is fairly involved, this can mean the loss of a lot of accumulated orders, reviews, and even relationships.
Fiverr Really Can Help Grow Your WordPress Business
It’s fair to say that while Fiverr has been good for me, it’s not for everyone. It’s a platform that requires a fair bit of time and setup to be truly effective, and ongoing maintenance to drive new orders.
If you’re in a dry spell for your WordPress business, it could help to spend some time setting up a profile and some Fiverr gigs, optimizing for an upsell, or creating a Fiverr gig with a higher starting price. Though on its surface, Fiverr seems to cater to a low-quality customer base, the potential for long-term customers is certainly promising.