Fiverr [intro, bid winning & understanding clients]

Fiverr is a platform where sellers (employees) and buyers (employers) of services meet to transact. They have this unique feature that all their services are sold or bought in multiples of $5, hence the name Fiverr. But don’t go thinking that you can place an order with exactly $5 because they have a payment getaway powered by PayPal and others.

Now, PayPal and Fiverr apparently seem to be into this “blood covenant,” and no other get-away is quite as readily accessible as PayPal. So, for a five dollar gig as a buyer, PayPal will charge you an additional $1 as the payment processing fee to make $6. So, it is more like a Sixer, than a Fiverr. But if you already have the credit in your Fiverr account, they will charge the exact $5.

So a buyer enters a search query for services to be rendered. He/She (ever wondered why we keep saying He/She and not She/He?) finds a freelancer, discuss terms and awards the contract. Fiverr draws up a contract and directs you to where you will make the payment. The job is completed as agreed, sellers and buyers review each other and everybody shines their teeth and wish each other well. Before I forget, Fiverr charges $1 from every $5 you make. A rather whopping 20% which means that as an employee, you go home with $4 for every $5 you make.

There are a lot of ways to increase your earnings on Fiverr. One of such is to have different active gigs all at the same time. By the way, a gig is just the service you offer which usually starts from $5 or $6 if you include the project cost. Gig extras is also another way of increasing your earnings. If your standard service is to be delivered in 3 days, you can decide to deliver it in 1 day if the buyer can pay you $10 extra. There are also some fancy terms you can choose based on the quality of the gig you offer. If you are a web designer for instance; you can deliver a $10 website with just the homepage, “about us” and “contact us” page and call it a “basic gig.” You can also have a 5-page website for $50 and call it the “Pro Gig.” Finally, you can have a 12-page website for $80, and call it the “premium gig.” There are also a whole bunch of additions you can add. You can offer to maintain the website for three months if the client ticks a box which adds $50 to the bid amount. So, the price can really go up depending on your ingenuity even though they claimed anyone could get a job done for $5.

Pricing and competitor analysis

A lot has been said about this thus far, but perhaps you were not conscious of that. This is because the art of winning the bid never starts at the point when you write that proposal. Having a killer profile and profile picture, as well as appealing to the sense of sentiment of a prospective employer by coming from the “first class” countries, etc. But then, it doesn’t just end there. For Fiverr, a lot of reviews helps too and having a portfolio would earn you a chat from an employer. Freelancer is a lot more different. Here, an employer drops a project, and people bid on it. What this creates is a pool of potential candidates which have been ranked by an algorithm. Such ranking depends on the quantity and quality of your reviews, and the amount of cash you have made over time. But what happens if you are a total newbie or you have been there for a while, but you still have a lot of better-ranked people ahead of you, how do you increase your odds of winning a bid?


The Art of Winning a Bid

1. Stay online. 

In Fiverr, having a constant online presence means you can attend to more people who want to make inquiry and who could give a job. It is even worse on where an employer starts getting a torrent of bids mere seconds after posting a project. If you are not online, you can’t participate, and if you come late, the job might have already been awarded before you join the party.

2. Reduce your price as a newcomer.

Know you are worth a lot. I know the amount a client wants to pay does not compensate for the job. But you know, I have never seen anybody that has died of hard work and the only reason why someone will give a new freelancer the job over an experienced person with 500 reviews is all about the price. Clients will usually give a newcomer, who has a decent profile a job of $10 rather than paying $25 to an outright expert for the same job. Such a person will feel that even if the newcomer messes up the job, he/she would have only lost $10 and can then settle for a more experienced person. Also, If you take the job and do it well, the client is much more inclined to give a favorable review than when the bill is high, and the work is also good.

3. Study the competition and don’t be greedy. 

If someone has better reviews than you, is also from countries as US, Canada, Aus, and the UK, and is bidding for a job for $270 while you on the other hand who is just starting up is asking for $300. Then, you can see that you are at a disadvantage as you have just shot yourself in the leg.

4. Write better Proposals

When I put out a job on buyer request on Fiverr or, I see a lot of terrible proposals. Some people have obvious grammar errors while they claim they can write you the perfect eBook. Others are in the habit of using the same proposal for every bid. Oh, bloody no!!! The best practice is to have a group of proposals say 5 to 10 on different niches of your service. If you are a writer, for example, you can write a custom proposal for summary writing, another for rewriting, website content, food writings, etc. This way, when you see a job opening for web contents, for example, you simply copy and paste your prepared proposal for web content for the client to digest. This way, you bid gets packaged quickly as it is ready made, you are also given a front seat before the crowd starts pouring in.


Understanding different types of Clients

Having been playing the waiting game for a while and you have followed everything we discussed up to this moment, especially staying online, you get a message notification on your phone, a client wants to chat! What the customer wants will determine how you respond. For you to understand how to communicate, it is important you first understand the types of clients you could potentially deal with.

  1. Clients who just want to ask questions

These people usually ask for your availability on a job. They want to determine how competent you are or if you say you are who you claim you are.

      2. Clients who are looking for a long-term partner

These are usually content agents who are probably part of a bigger organization themselves and are looking for foot soldiers. While these kinds of people guarantee a lot of jobs, the money they can pay is usually tiny, and they will squeeze all the juice out of you. It is only in a few cases that you get to meet the ones that are willing to part with real money. In any case, DO NOT wait for them to pay you in one lump payments, else, they abscond with your money. As a newbie, you can tow this line to get reviews as they often promise great reviews and more work as their compensation for paying close to peanuts. But the peanut is not our concern at this point; we want to get things started, better days are certainly ahead.

       3. Clients who are in a hurry to complete a job.

These type of people have a pressing deadline in a matter of hours, and they need someone who they can trust to do a perfect job. If they are loaded, there is a good chance that they will prefer the experienced folks over you because of the guarantee. If they are not so loaded, there is an excellent chance that you as a newbie gets picked. Hence, all the more reason why you must be online.

       4. Loaded clients who are not so much in a hurry but are careful about spending

There is a category like this; I personally like the Australians here. They need to get a job done, but they seek people on time. If you can prove yourself in an interview, and your price is right, you would get a chance.

       5. Clients who want the best or nothing.

Well, you stand no chance with these guys especially on a site like In fact, they will only request that people who have up to 25 reviews as the only ones who can bid on their project. You certainly don’t fall into that category as a Newbie but don’t feel sad; your turn will come.

      6. The Pretenders

As much as we have the pretending freelancers, we equally have the pretending clients who are not interested in doing a job. There are quite a lot of time wasters. The good thing is, if you are getting a lot of messages from the time wasters, you will soon start getting some from the real clients.

Better understand Upwork here. Know more about freelance niches here.