My journey on Fiverr: the day I went from 5$ to $100 on a gig

If you are working all by yourself, is pretty much obvious that you can’t possibly make a decent living only by selling 5$ gigs on Fiverr if there’s actually work involved in doing your gig.

When I made the calculations for myself, I had in mind a monthly income of 1500$ as my goal (which was enough for paying the expenses of Shyrwyn and I if we are living in places with a low cost of living like Southeast Asia and Portugal). So, if I were to make this income exclusively by selling 5$ gigs, this is what I would have to do:

  1. Fiverr fees are 20% of my payments, so I keep only 80% of the money I make there. So, if I wanted to have a net profit of 1500$, I would have to make 1500$ / 80% = 1875$
  2. To make 1875$ per month selling only 5$ gigs, I would have to sell and deliver 1875$ per month / 5$ per gig = 375 gigs per month
  3. If I wanted to have some breaks and work only 22 days per month on average, I would have to sell 375 gigs per month / 22 days per month = 17 gigs per day
  4. If I wanted to work only 8 hours per day, I would have to deliver a gig in: 8 hours per day / 17 gigs per day * 60 minutes per hour = 28 minutes per gig

So, just to get a net profit of 1500$ per month, working 8 hours a day with free weekends, I would have to sell 17 gigs every day and deliver each one of them in less than 28 minutes.

Not encouraging, right?

I had to find a way to sell better paying gigs. Then I made some more calculations having the following hypothesis in mind:

“What if I manage to upsell 10% of my 5$ gigs to a 50$ gig?”

In this case, I had the following equation:

px + ucx = P

Where:

  • p: the amount paid for the basic gig (5$)
  • x: the number of basic gigs sold per month;
  • u: the amount paid the the upsell gig (50$);
  • c: the percentage of buyers who will also buy the upsell;
  • P: the desired montly revenue (1,875$).

This equation solves for x = 187.5 gigs per month, which is exactly half the gigs I would have to sell in the first scenario of 5$ gigs only.

Now this was encouraging.

So I decided to create a new 5$ gig on Fiverr as a starting point for an upsell. And so, I came up with this:

Basically, my offer is to analyze a web store that is not selling well and deliver a report listing what can be done to fix the problem.

I guess you already know what’s the upsell, right?

As you can see, what I offer in my gig is just a report. I don’t offer to actually fix the problems. If later the buyer wants me to fix them, it’s another gig (and it’s gonna cost more than 5$).

This is an honest approach for two reasons:

  1. I made it clear in the title and description of the gig that I’ll provide a report only;
  2. Once I provide the report, the buyer can fix the problems himself or even hire anyone else to do it. In no way I make him dependent on me.

Some weeks after I published the gig, I got one order, asking me to analyze an e-commerce. I made the analysis, generated the report, and delivered it to the customer. Got a 5 star review for the service, and then…

…the buyer asked if I could fix the problems. BINGO! Then I proceeded to list all the items I could fix (some of them were out of my area of expertise), and send him an offer of 100$. He accepted, I delivered the request, another 5 stars review.

Lessons learned

Salespeople know that getting a customer to make a second purchase is many times easier than to make someone purchase something for the first time. That’s why it’s so important for you to make it really easy for people to spend some money with you for the first time. And it doesn’t really matter how much they will spend.

Had I created a 100$ gig titled “I will make your business sell online” instead, it would be way more difficult to get it sold. People who hire freelancers on Fiverr can never be 100% sure that they will get what they ask, so they are always risking. If you’re offering a gig that costs only 5$, it’s easy for the buyer to give it a try. After all, if it doesn’t work for him, he’ll lose only 5$. If he likes your work, he will be more comfortable trusting you with more expensive gigs.

So, if you would like to sell more expensive gigs on Fiverr, create an upsell strategy. Think in a very specific gig that you can offer for only 5$ that has an obvious upsell for the more expensive gig you really want to sell.