Fiverr is not for everyone
Today after 7 months of good freelancing on fiverr, I closed my account there.
Now that, it was a great learning experience and I have found few good long term clients from fiverr I will first list down what fiverr is good at. And then when you should avoid freelancing on fiverr.
Good points of Fiverr
You are able to segregate your services:
Nearly each digital freelance service can be sub divided into smaller service categories.
When you start your freelancing career, you know about everyone of these categories, and here is the catch.
You are master of none of these services. Being on platform like fiverr, changes that. You are asked to list your services in unit block (called ‘gigs’) and and if you want to service more areas in that field, you are required to create new gig into that category.
Which means, within few days ( or weeks), you get a clear idea, which area you are actually good at. And which areas you should stop working on.
This helps you to focus your energy on developing your skills in areas you are good at and you enjoy.
This is best thing that can happen to your freelancing career.
You get access to wide range of clients
Being a fresher, it is very difficult for any freelancer to find client, especially online.
This becomes easier on fiverr. It is not as easy as you think it is, but still there is honest chance of you landing your client faster on fiverr as compared to people visiting your website and hiring you.
Along with potential clients, you are also constantly exposed to other freelancers in same field as yours. This is a great learning experience.
You are able to see how they market their service ( which is also a negative aspect in general term, read more for how)
And this improves your way to showcasing your services to a wider set of specific set of clients.
You get experience faster
This point needs an example to explain.
Let’s say your gig is about installing wordpress.
Now, with plenty of good quality (free) tutorials available, the only reason anyone will want to pay you for your gig is to save time and effort.
[So that he/she can focus on more important part of developing that site]
So, hypothetically, let’s assume that you get 1 gig order a day. Which means you are installing wordpress, atleast once a day ( assuming a turn around time of 1 day) .
Which means on an average, you have installed wordpress 30 times in a month, for different clients. Observe the focus on word different.
This makes all the difference.
By installing same thing for different clients, you are exposed to many small factors which effect your service. Something, you may not learn when you are installing wordpress for yourself.
The reason being, once you have installed wordpress for yourself, and it is working fine, you will have no reason to repeat that. Unless you break something and you are ‘required’ to reinstall.
This repetition strengthens your knowledge about nitty gritties of installing wordpress.
Because, believe me, things will fall apart in weirdest way possible. And you can’t learn all of them in your home lab. You need real life exposure for that. This is why experience matters in every industry.
Pick out any tutorial about installing wordpress for that sake. Now scroll down to comment section, you will see posts about people facing one problem or the other following same instructions.
To call yourself an expert in any service requires ability to face such issues, find solution and solve them. Putting your gig on platform like fiverr does that.
For these factors alone, fiverr is good experience, but then there are still some limiting factors which makes it not a suitable platform for everyone.
Not so good point of being on Fiverr
Yes, you heard it right. You see, once you have developed your skills in certain aspect of your service, it grows beyond a specific gig specifications.
Going back to our example of installing wordpress.
Once you have installed enough number of wordpress instances on in various settings like shared hosting, VPS, cloud servers and with apache, nginx, server optimizations, securing installations, load testing, error handling etc. You evolve.
You are not simply a wordpress installer anymore.
Now you ask the client specific questions about his requirements, and expectations.
Then, before you even access a server for installation, you consult/guide him about suitable installation for his website.
Reason, a personal blog can’t have same page structure like a affiliate marketing website.
A company website caching settings are different from a woocommerce based website.
These things require a proper communication with your client. Which is not promoted on site like Fiverr.
You are expected to categorize your service in specific gigs, put up samples of your portfolio in image or video format and just deliver that as soon as gig is ordered.
No, option to explain the difference at all. Thus, it attracts prospective clients with same expectation about services in the first place.
And then you see, one gig offering installation of wordpress and other one offering to solve issues related to wordpress installation. Funny!
This is where you will truly limited on fiverr.
You will stay limited by the template provided by fiverr to showcase your portfolio. You can’t provide link to your personal portfolio to showcase your previous projects.
Thus, even if you have done extensive and exemplary work, your work is still portrayed in screenshots allowed by the platform.
Which means your level is limited by the level decided by platform. Thus, unless you are specific single dimension service, your credentials don’t count much on the platform.
This is especially true to for freelancer like a designer or copyright or a solution provider. You can’t just provide a vanilla single dimension plug to solve each similar sounding problem.
This is the reason that posts like this are springing up:
The conclusion is that, when you are starting out your freelancing career ( or something to do as side income), do use fiverr. It will help you understand about freelancing career in better way, and on broader scale.
But, once you have reached certain level of proficiency and have repeat clients, that is good time to move beyond the platform.
Then you need to have your own website ( at least for showcasing your prior projects as portfolio). You can still be active on fiverr, just that don’t stay limited to the platform, if you want to grow your career.
If you like this article, drop me a mail at rohit (at) tinkoor (dot) com. I read each and every mail, though the reply may take time to reach you.
Also published on Medium.