One Career Ends, a New One Begins: Pete Accetturo Case Study

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Pete Accetturo Fiverr voiceover artist
Pete Accetturo, aka voiceoverpete on Fiverr

It was the middle of the major economic downturn. I had just been hired as a technical sales consultant. It turned out that one of my first days at work was actually my last.

There weren’t many jobs for unemployed 50-year-olds. I searched for months and started to wonder if I was going to be left behind. Then I took real stock of my skills. I’ve sold millions of dollars’ worth of products and services in my career. I’ve had years of corporate training, attended countless seminars on consultative selling, and given hundreds of presentations.

So I decided to pursue a career as a solopreneur, building myself as a spokesperson, storyteller, and voiceover talent. But I needed a plan. Without a plan, all the skills and marketplace features in the world wouldn’t amount to anything. I drew on my corporate training and decided first to walk, then to jog, then to run

The Walk – Refining skills and making a business plan

My “walk” meant researching how to develop, refine, and perfect my skills as a voiceover artist on a daily basis. First, I used YouTube to study the best professionals in the voiceover and video presenter businesses. I also spent a lot of time watching software tutorials to learn how to use the video and audio editing tools a full-service voiceover production professional needs.

I also knew from decades in the corporate world that I needed a simple, concise, and easy-to-follow business plan. So I broke it down into four steps.

  1. Define a capital budget
  2. I needed to build a starter studio and decided to keep my cost-of-entry investments below $500. This included $350 for necessary recording hardware:

    • a professional-grade microphone
    • cables
    • an analog-to-digital converter
    • a device to reduce ambient noise
    • and a second PC to use alongside the MacBook Pro I already owned
  3. Promote the business
  4. A seller must be able to show a buyer why they should order from you. I wanted to hit the market with a video that would give me a professional look and sound, so I hired an accomplished videographer to shoot photos and video of me.

  5. Embrace social media
  6. I promoted the pictures and video on every social media outlet I could find, including Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. I also found LinkedIn to be a great place to post video and develop buzz around a brand. Next, I reached out to Fiverr social media professionals for help. I learned how to be engaging, entertaining, and dynamic on Facebook, how to post effective promos on Instagram, and to brag about my work on Twitter on a daily basis.

  7. Commit to over-delivering
  8. Every entrepreneur has to decide what skills or distinctive services deliver more value to a buyer than some other seller could. You can’t focus on price, because you’ll always lose in the long run. Instead, focus on what distinguishes your gig from others: speed, quality, extras, or something special.

My rule of thumb is simple: I under-promise and then over-deliver. Buyers are so delighted when the production exceeds their expectations

The Jog – Becoming a video spokesperson and brand presenter

With the walking stage over, it was time to jog. I knew that my years of experience in corporate America and working for some very prestigious Fortune 50 companies developed very marketable skills. I gave executive presentations and developed business relationships with senior executives nationwide on a weekly basis. It was time to put those proficiencies to good use, so I put myself through the paces of a proof of concept (POC).

My POC was simple. I wanted to verify that I could establish a sustainable growing business as a video sales person. To test my POC, I rented a studio for $400 per month in order to keep my capital investment low. I told myself that if I could grow and be profitable in less than three months, then I’d be willing to take the next step and convert my garage into a full studio for video productions and voiceovers. The POC proved its value and I showed that I could establish myself as a successful video presenter. By the first quarter of 2015, I had collected close to $8,500 in gross revenue.

2015_voiceover_gross_revenues

The Run – Building a new studio

With the POC stage a success, I decided to run full-speed ahead. I developed a studio design with a cyclorama (cyc) green screen, also known as an infinite-wall. Building a cyc is much more expensive than using a pull-down backdrop as seen on many other video presenters’ productions, but it provides the best quality and flexibility. I decided to maximize the value for my buyers and create the best possible return for my ROI. Suffice it to say that I am probably one of the only video spokespersons who have a cyc wall studio.

I invested in a lot of professional-grade video and audio gear, including a Nikon camera, five-point LED studio lights, a broadcast-quality microphone, and teleprompter. In the other half of the garage, I built a voiceover studio, with acoustic panels, whisper air conditioning, a shotgun microphone, and new Macbook Pro. With my own studio I can do video productions and voiceovers in the same location, boosting the quality and quantity of my productions.

And it showed on my bottom line as well. By year-end 2016 I had earned more than $100,000 in my first two years on Fiverr.

2016_voiceover_gross_revenues

Continuing to soar – and more tips for success

After over 4,000 productions, I’m not satisfied with where I am today. I’m aiming to pass $200,000 in lifetime revenue on Fiverr by the end of 2017, and right now I’m pretty close.

2017_voiceover_gross_revenues

My business is also expanding into online education, training and corporate presentations. I’ve learned a lot in the past three years, and want to share the most important lessons I’ve learned while becoming a Top Rated Seller working full-time on Fiverr.

  1. Do “gopher” research
  2. Whether you have been on Fiverr for years or just starting, poke your head up. Look around the landscape. Fiverr is a dynamic digital marketplace and things change all the time. Watch for trends, pricing levels, unique extras and creative ideas that you can make your own.

  3. Avoid “me-too-ism”
  4. Too many sellers copy popular gigs. Don’t do it! Instead, take the idea and make it yours. Distinguish yourself from the crowd. Offer something that creates real value for your buyers and they will pay you more. Never allow price to be the main attraction for your buyers. That reduces your services to a commodity, rather than a value-added benefit.

  5. Create new gigs
  6. Become a trendwatcher. When you spot a trend, make a gig that resonates with it overnight. I read that 82% of Facebook videos never have their audio played, and that Facebook videos with subtitles earn 40% more viewers. So I quickly created a gig to solve that problem, with subtitles, stunning video images, and voiceovers instead of a handsome talking head and text. It is my most profitable gig today! I’ve also launched gigs for the square video format used on Instagram, and to tie in with hot animation styles. Watch for a trend that you can make your own and become a leader.

    Fiverr facebook social media video gig
  7. Network
  8. Nothing beats word-of-mouth advertising. Sellers need to work collaboratively together by networking. Whiteboard creatives can work with voiceover artists. Writers can work with voiceover artists and video spokespeople. Networking helps everyone and benefits the buyers. You deliver better work by adding more value through the collaboration. One year ago I released a totally new Combination Gig with five other sellers in the gig with me. That had never been done before as a gig on Fiverr.

  9. Sell
  10. Fiverr is a digital marketplace where buyers are ready to place immediate orders. Every seller who wants to rank higher only needs to do one thing well: Respond faster than your competition.You will close more business. Buyers appreciate prompt messages that answer their questions and concerns. Answer all questions and concerns, and end every conversation by asking the buyer for the sale. Ask direct questions like, “When would you like to have this order completed by? Are there any other extras to consider for this order? Shall I create a Custom Offer for you now? Does this work for your production budget?”

Successfully reinventing yourself

If I hadn’t committed to my reinvention plan, my career could have been over at age 50. Instead, I found a new market and new success. I’m sharing my year-over-year earnings on Fiverr in the chart below to put my money where my mouth is.

total_gross_revenues

To all professionals over the age of 40, I say: Your past job experiences give you an advantage on Fiverr. You are a senior professional and it will be evident to your buyers. Yes, there may be those sellers who charge less than you do for your services. Smile at that. Be confident knowing that you and your experience offer true value-added services to your buyer that others do not.

My story isn’t unique by any means. I’m just a tenacious freelancer who doesn’t take no for an answer and loves to be told that I can’t do something. Fiverr gives the opportunity for any freelancer, of any age, to make a successful career that would not have been possible anywhere else. Give your brand (YOU) some value and buyers will beat a path to your door.

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Nicolo Grossi
SEO & content marketing expert with 7+ years experience, working at Fiverr since 2016 Nicolo is responsible to follow and implement SEO’s best practices and inbound marketing strategies in order to increase reach and exposure.

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11 Comments on "One Career Ends, a New One Begins: Pete Accetturo Case Study"

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Dan Hays
Guest

Great article, Pete! As another experienced professional who has retooled his career through Fiverr, your story really resonates!

Dan

Ala
Guest

What an incredible peace of content, thank you for sharing this story and insights

Pete Ace (aka VoiceoverPete)
Guest
Pete Ace (aka VoiceoverPete)

What an honor to be in the Fiverr Spotlight. It proves the point that if I can do this, anyone can do this!

Glyn
Guest

Discovered you through Mr Biffo’s Found Footage. Inspiring performance, love your work!

josh b
Guest

never seen before case studies with so many details and info, well done nicolo

George
Guest

What a case study – with great clarity, detail, insight and inspiration. I look forward to contacting Pete with a few ideas of expanding his reach and business opportunities. Thank you Nicolo, for this top notch article!

miasesorweb
Guest
miasesorweb

i think so is a example fiverr and many way in age digital are change the form life, thanks for you support,

miasesorweb,

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