Fiverr is a popular app where people can advertise all kinds of freelance services to potential clients. It’s so named because originally, gigs went for $5 a pop. However, the platform’s popularity and services have considerably evolved, with sellers now able to set their own price points.
YouTuber Daniel Inskeep figured that as more people explore self-employment and side-hustles as options during the financially precarious pandemic, now was as good a time as any to ask: “Is Fiverr still a good way to make money in 2020, or is the market saturated with way too much competition for you to even waste your time trying it out?”
What he immediately found was that the categories for his skills and areas of experience, such as Photoshop, video editing and audio editing, were all hugely crowded, and so he had to dive down into smaller niches within these, such as podcast editing, to find a space where he could find work that would be financially worthwhile without encountering a huge amount of competition, such as podcast editing.
Once he had settled on what he was going to sell, Inskeep faced the challenge of promoting his services and cutting through the competition. “One of the main difficulties is getting your first review,” he says. “It’s kind of a catch-22, because how do you get reviews if nobody wants to buy your services because you don’t have any reviews… I can see how when you’re first starting on Fiverr it can be pretty discouraging to get started when nothing’s really happening on your profile.”
After a few days of zero activity on his page, Inskeep tried to gain an edge over his competition in the search results by placing a video on his listing, introducing himself and showcasing his services. “I think it will lend credibility to my gig, and help people make a connection with me,” he explains.
For the majority of the month, Inskeep received nothing but spam messages on Fiverr, but on Day 26, he got three queries from potential clients, and the following day he has more requests incoming. “I’m assuming this means I’ve risen higher in the search results and people are starting to find my page and reach out,” he says. “I’m hoping at least one of these leads to a gig, because the month is running out and so far I haven’t made any money.”
By Day 29, Inskeep had finally booked one video editing gig at a rate of $60, from which Fiverr then took 20 percent. “$48 is still pretty good for 90 minutes of work, but I have to admit, it still stings,” he says. On Day 30, he booked another gig with somebody who ended up being a repeat client and commissioned extra work.
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While Inskeep had very little activity on his profile for much of the 30-day challenge, he says he’s pleased with how business was starting to go by the end, and that this may well be a viable stream of regular work for other freelancers.
“It took 24 days to get my first order,” he says. “I received 17 non-spam inquiries, 7 inquiries that I declined either because they wanted an ongoing video editor or it wasn’t a right fit for me, and 4 total orders. I ended up with $132 in total profit… it’s pretty clear some people are looking for long-term editors on Fiverr, so if I was going to be in it for the long haul, I can see Fiverr being a good way to find consistent clients.”
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