Fiverrcast Episode 37: Gig Best Practices

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Transcript

Adam: Hi there and welcome to Fiverrcast, the podcast for sellers by sellers. I’m Adam AKA Twistedweb123.

Ryan: And I am Ryan AKA Customdrumloops and today we are joined by one of the members of the Fiverr team, Clarke. Clarke, nice to have you on the show.

Clarke: It’s great to be here. Hi guys!

Ryan: Hello!

Adam: Hello. So Clarke, tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do inside the Fiverr team.

Clarke: So I work on product marketing at Fiverr which is a really cool role because I get to sit with corporate marketing and the social team and sit with really creative people but also work on – with the product team and with some other teams on a little bit more technical work and my role is all about kind of bridging the gap between the technical products that we’re developing and our community of users and kind of breaking down through them and helping them understand how things work and how to use all the features and tools that we’re constantly developing.

Adam: So one of the tools that you’ve played a big part in developing is the Fiverr Academy.

Clarke: Yes, that is correct. Fiverr Academy is our repository for educational content for sellers, primarily for sellers. We do do some buyer phasing content as well but as you both know so well, there are just a ton of different tools and features on Fiverr and sellers really need a place to get kind of nitty-gritty details and tips about how to use them to the best advantage and also sort of more general best practices for being a freelancer, running your business online. You know, dealing with client-related issues.

So Fiverr Academy is a nice complement to our wonderful customer support resources that we have and we want to provide our community with as many places as possible, to get as much information as possible about how to really make a big impact on Fiverr.

Ryan: I think the great thing looking through the academy is it’s great for any level of seller. I mean from people who just joined all the way to super sellers, there’s something for everybody. Was that the intention when it was developed? Do you think that you’re going to go more in direction with new sellers or for experienced sellers? What’s your plan moving forward with that?

Clarke: That is such a good question. So I think we really like to give our new sellers as much – many resources as possible and as much kind of handholding as possible during those crucial initial first steps of selling on Fiverr.

So that’s kind of where I tend to put personally my energy. But I would love sort of longer term to develop more sort of sophisticated pieces of content perhaps for much more advanced sellers because I know that even a super seller, even a top rated seller still wants to be challenged and engaged and know that they’re doing the best work that they can on the platform.

Ryan: I mean I think that’s great. It’s nice to hit both sides but I think you touched on the new sellers. Oftentimes they’re overwhelmed when they start and they don’t know exactly what to do, what to get started with and the academy lays it out perfectly. I mean there’s even – broken down into sections, the “getting started” section. I mean that’s really all you need to get up and running.

Clarke: Well, thank you. I’m glad you think so. Yeah. We – it’s a living, breathing place. The academy is never going to be finished. We’re constantly going back and trying to see if there are any opportunities to introduce new content. When something like Gig packages came out, it really changed even some of the fundamental tips that we’re giving for sellers, so kind of making sure that our content evolves as the platform evolves is really important for us.

But yeah, for the – we try to really give those new sellers as many tips as possible. I know that it’s not always totally clear to a new beginner what kind of at essence even makes a good Gig. Like what is a good Gig? So I know that that’s important to kind of address.

Adam: It kind of grows like an FAQ in the sense that when there never used to be a Fiverr Academy, you probably had a lot of new sellers kind of going to customer support and asking, “How do I do this? How do I do that?” et cetera, et cetera, and now that’s covered by the Fiverr Academy. So I imagine there’s going to be a point in time when they take all the information there and they’re coming back at a higher level and then asking, “What’s the next step to this? What’s the next step to that?” You can kind of dynamically take that information and just keep building the academy as the needs and the questions of the growing sellers basically keep building.

Clarke: That’s totally true. We still look to the forum. When I’m ideating about new content, new articles for the academy – and we’re always open to suggestions by the way. But when I’m kind of browsing through, I look at the forum and I look and see what kind of questions are coming organically from the community. What are people confused about? What do people need more information on? I love opportunities to speak to and partner with our customer journey and customer support teams because they do such amazing work developing sort of nitty-gritty tutorials, really the kind of technical how-tos and they do an amazing job with that and that’s sort of not where the heart and soul of the academy is. The academy is a little bit more of an angle of how do we use this – how do you use these tools even after you figured out the basics of actually how the tool works. How can I personally use it to grow my business? What are kind of the more – the steps I can take to like leverage these tools? So they’re very complementary to each other which is great.

Ryan: It almost seems like the ultimate road map for sellers because it’s everything from getting started to moving up to the level system, how to keep buyer loyalty. I mean the way it’s sub-categorized, I think it’s fantastic. So great job with that.

Clarke: Thank you. I thought a lot about our taxonomy of content and I have a lot of thoughts on it. I won’t go into all of them today but it’s good to know that the categorization makes sense and works well for users. That’s what I love to hear.

Adam: I also love seeing at the moment that on each article, you mentioned that there are certain things that change on Fiverr. There are new features that come in which can alter previous content. I love seeing on each article that you have the previous updated time as well. So I can come back as a user and kind of realize or see, OK, this is new. This is different from what I read before.

The only thing that I would say with that which will be really awesome as a suggestion would be if an article has been updated and I’ve already kind of viewed it and I’ve come back to the academy, it would be really cool if there was like a little marker or some kind of label or something on there on an article saying “updated” to let me know that it has changed since I last viewed it. So I could always kind of accept or see the newest content relating to the help that has been provided.

Clarke: That’s a really great point. That’s something that we’ve discussed internally and it’s definitely on our queue of – it’s on my personal wish list. I can’t promise that it would be implemented anytime in the very near future but that’s an amazing piece of feedback and it totally aligns with what we’ve been talking about. We do – because we have this body of content that is being updated regularly. It is important to let a user know like hey, this has changed since you last saw it. Check it out.

Adam: I also love that you go to the forum and you look at kind of like trending topics or what kind of similar questions people are asking or talking about and taking from that. I mean it’s quite special that the whole thing is built and revolves around basically what the community is talking about.

Clarke: Right, and I think that that’s one of the most special things about Fiverr. I think the forum is such a phenomenal resource for sellers, of course for buyers, but also for the team that works at Fiverr. It’s an amazing place to get feedback and to understand what people’s real concerns are and kind of what’s just top of mind for this community that we have and everyone is so passionate and engaged and it’s really cool to have that at our disposal to be able to listen to and draw on.

Ryan: It’s great to see that knowledge base really coming full circle because I think it started with the forum but now having the Fiverr Academy and even the Insider blog section of Fiverr that sellers write for, it’s really taking all this information that’s so valuable in making it available to everybody.

Clarke: Yeah, absolutely. I mean I think that successful sellers themselves will always have such a huge significant important role in educating the rest of the community. So we definitely want to support that and get – create a platform for that to happen and it’s already happening organically on the forum as well. So we have a really great ecosystem where we’re kind of creating these complementary bodies of content that kind of inform one another and hopefully create, yeah, just as much tools and content as possible for sellers to really get the information they need to succeed.

Adam: So having you on the show today and being such a driving force behind the Fiverr Academy, we thought it would be great to discuss with you the kind of different elements which make a good Gig. So if I were to ask you for a kind of overview, what sort of things would you recommend just straight off the bat that are going to look to make a good Gig?

Clarke: Oh, this is one of my favorite topics. So I’m really excited to maybe go over a few tips that I have. A Gig is – at essence it seems fairly simple I think when you’re first considering building one. But there are actually – there can be a fair amount of complexity there. So yeah, I definitely – we spend all day thinking about Gigs. So we have a lot of advice to kind of make but one first tip that I would have regarding what makes a good Gig is to be really, really specific in the scope of your Gig.

Each Gig that you create on Fiverr should describe one type of service. We see certain sellers creating Gigs and we understand people are ambitious. They want to cram as much as possible into one Gig. So we see suggestions or we see Gig titles like – that says, “I will do anything you want for however amount of money.” I will do this or that, two different services, and that’s – while we understand kind of the why, why a seller would position their service like that, at essence Fiverr is a marketplace for Gigs which are defined tasks. They’re services with a beginning and an end.

It’s not about an ongoing work or an hourly rate or saying you will do anything. You should really – when you’re starting out, you should create a Gig that just has – describes one type of service. So that’s a simple thing but it sort of gets lost I think. People don’t really grasp that immediately.

Ryan: No, I agree with that and I even think people try to cram too much into the title occasionally. So I know when I position my Gigs, I try to be as clear and concise with what the Gig is. For example an explainer video, I will create you an explainer video, and when I get the Gig description, that’s where I can really give the details and the information that maybe why I consider – I stand out above other sellers but I don’t want to cram that into the Gig title.

Clarke: Exactly, exactly. That’s an amazing point. It’s being concise and clear. It’s something that we very strongly encourage in Gig titles and definitely not getting too long and complicated and broad. So, both in terms of the language that you use and in terms of the service that you’re offering, kind of keep it small and clean and defined.

Ryan: And Fiverr will even tell you if your title is too long. They will say, hey, whoa, not cool. The big, red box pops up.

Clarke: Right, exactly, yeah.

Adam: So playing devil’s advocate slightly, I see what you mean when you say, no, don’t try to pack too many services into one. So if you’re saying something like, “I will create your logo or business card or letterhead for $5.” There are a lot of different things offering there and they’re all completely different entities. But how do you feel about if I were to create a Gig that was called “I will create your social media design,” and then in my instructions, using the new instructions tool, I create the Dropbox that said, “What platform do you need the design created for, Facebook, Google or YouTube or Twitter?” What are your thoughts on that? Because technically that could be split into “I will create your Twitter cover,” “I will create your Facebook cover,” “I will create your YouTube design,” et cetera, but it also could kind of fit into just a general social media scope.

Clarke: Yeah. So that’s some advanced selling. You’re coming at this with the lens of a very advanced seller. So I think in this particular case, I would let you do anything you wanted to do. But if we’re talking about a general – we’re talking about a new user on Fiverr. I think that getting into the mindset of offering a small, defined service is a best practice for a brand new user. Whether that will always be the case, I cannot see that far into the future. But I think at present, we would still recommend really breaking out your service into those – into that small, discreet offering that’s reflected in the title, which also kind of trains your buyers to understand how Fiverr works as well.

Adam: Because I totally see from the new user point of view, how you simplify and make it very obvious so both they can learn how to control or manage their orders on Fiverr and the buyers are informed as well. But for me, when it’s really close like something like social media, I think there’s a small argument to be made that if you had a social media Gig and you had 20 orders and you had 20 feedback, as a new seller, that could potentially look better than having five separate Gigs with like three or four feedback on each. I know I’m being a little bit controversial now.

Clarke: I understand your perspective. I think that it’s totally valid what you’re saying and I think that yeah, there’s definitely an argument to be made for doing that. But we’re – our priority is to kind of educate the majority of folks on the best practice that we think will work well for the majority of users and I think there will always be exceptions to that and you certainly proposed one there. But I think that in general, it’s – we would encourage users to kind of – we would encourage users to be disciplined in how they organize and structure their Gigs because that’s really what the essence of – like the spirit of Fiverr is about. It’s about selling these Gigs, these services on a marketplace in the same way that you would purchase a product online. You’re purchasing a service. So it really – it goes back to like the very essence of what Fiverr is all about. That’s why I’m defending it.

Ryan: I will jump in and defend that too. I mean I think that’s a very specific example and I think what Clarke is referring to is something saying, “I will create you a logo or a video or a jingle for $5.” I mean all the services for social media are falling under a pretty small umbrella. But I would think when you position yourself – like that could be still specific, a graphic for social media versus multiple services crammed into one that are broad spectrum categories.

Adam: Oh, yeah, yeah, for sure. I’ve seen examples of multiple spectrum services, crammed into one, and I completely agree with that and that is something that I would say let’s keep them split. I just wanted to kind of highlight the element of – whilst it’s a statement that kind of covers the majority of Gigs, it’s not quite blanket. So there may be some examples where it may be more beneficial to keep things in one if they’re very related and pretty much the same service.

Don’t go out and create like 10 different Gigs with very small different changes. If you had for example “I will create a modern logo,” and then you made another Gig saying “I will create a retro logo,” and then “I will create a futuristic logo,” it would make much more sense in that scenario to have, “I will create a logo,” and inside your Gig instructions ask what style would you like.

Ryan: Right.

Clarke: Yeah, that – I agree with that completely. I would consider the “I would create a logo” to even those variations in style. That still goes back to one service, right? The logo creation. It’s not I will create a logo and I will make an info graphic for you or I will do something – some other unrelated design assets. So in that case, I would say that that should be one of the – you can define elsewhere in the Gig the actual like style that you’re offering and those other details because you will have space to do that in other places and this is just the title.

Adam: Yeah. I wanted to kind of highlight that because we’ve talked about in the show before as well where we’ve seen buyers kind of follow the idea of one type of service. But they don’t – they’re a little bit too strict with it.

So they’re kind of split in that way and they think if they’re going to split in that way, that they’re going to be – they’re going to have 10 Gigs inside the same category and it’s going to boost them. But we had people on the show before and we’ve discussed with people before that. Trying to saturate all your Gigs inside one category isn’t actually going to be beneficial for you. So I think there’s – for a new kind of seller, there’s a time and a place to know when to split and when to keep it inside the instructions and use that to find out what information is required.

Clarke: Right, right.

Ryan: Clarke, you briefly touched on my favorite subject when I talk about Fiverr and that’s the fact that it’s a marketplace for services. I think that’s what really makes it stand out above a lot of other freelancing platforms where you might be posting a job and the next day you wake up with 1000 emails with prices ranging from a dollar to $10,000. Fiverr takes the approach of a marketplace where sellers get kind of their own mini ecommerce sites, their mini online stores, that they can show their reviews, show their portfolios, show their pricing and rather than going after buyers, the buyers come after them.

Adam: So being a marketplace and different from other freelancing kind of based websites where people may have previous experience of being on these other sites and coming here, what kind of advice would you give them to come out of the mentality of you’re not pitching to a buyer, the buyer is coming to you?

Clarke: Yeah, that is powerful and it is sort of a change from what people are used to often. I mean there are so many advantages of coming to Fiverr even if you are a successful freelancer say offline or on another platform. So in addition to what Ryan was talking about, the sort of unique structure and format of Fiverr as a marketplace for services. We have a few other really, really key advantages that I think would resonate with any freelancer at all which is that Fiverr ensures that you will be paid on time.

What’s the – I don’t know about you guys but I work to get paid sometimes, not always. But sort of what people are – that’s sort of what – you know, why people find themselves doing work is in the hopes they will be paid and within a reasonable timeframe. So that’s one thing that Fiverr takes care of for sellers and they kind of – you don’t have to go chasing buyers to make sure that you get paid.

And the other huge advantage that I would highlight and then I think that we often highlight in our communications to current users and to potential new users is that another challenge or pain point of freelancing is not knowing maybe when you’re going to get your next client and not knowing how you are going to – not being able to have any kind of stable, consistent income and Fiverr takes care of that issue as well because there is a global marketplace of buyers that are shopping for services and it’s such a massive community. It’s so much more than any kind of individual would be able to have in their network offline and – but it’s also – I know so many users.

Perhaps you guys have had this experience of really having a lot of repeat customers, really building relationships with clients on Fiverr and using the marketplace as a place where you can really kind of grow those relationships and get repeat business from the same folks again and again.

Adam: What I was kind of alluding to in regards to the mentality of coming from a system where you’re pitching to the buyers compared to you setting up shop and the buyer is coming to you was – I’m going to use programming as an example.

What I often see on new Gigs especially involved around programming is they will set up their Gig and their title will be something like “I will do any programming for you.” Then their Gig description is kind of like “I will do any program for you. Just message me.” For me, that’s in the wrong mentality because they’re kind of still hoping for – it’s the buyer who is the one reaching out when really they could have a set service that says, “I will perform one hour of PHP programming for X amount.”

So the way that people are kind of pitching themselves, I would often see – especially as I say when it comes to programming, people are still kind of in the mindset of you’re going to the buyer when they’re not actually offering or writing a service that is a service I can see and just think, OK, I need an hour of coding. I’m going to order this. Instead it’s almost like a reverse advertisement where you haven’t really set up a service. You just set up a pitch and it kind of slows down the ability for the buyer to pay because they just can’t buy and start. They have to go through it all and figure out exactly what you can do or what you can code.

So for me it’s about kind of having that marketplace mentality to realize if you’re kind of like a coder and you’re setting up a Gig, don’t just say you’re going to code or don’t just say you can code. Offer a specific service or element, structure basically based on that Gig. So it may be you do X amount of work for an X amount of money or you offer something specific. Like you might offer making contact forms or an element of coding that people frequently ask for, like building a website page or something that is easy for the buyer to kind of ingest and say that’s what I need. Click and buy and start as opposed to all this back and forth where really that’s more like a custom quote.

Ryan: I think packages is going to make that easier just because with the triple package allowed, it’s going to be more transparent with the pricing and what services are offered and covered.

Clarke: Yeah, absolutely. I think that you guys honed in on a really interesting nuance of coming to Fiverr and I think that it does kind of require a seller to be a little bit maybe more proactive upfront and really organize – change the way they’re thinking about freelancing and about selling their service and organize their service in this framework that – of the Gig or of a Gig package and I do think maybe there’s a little bit of a learning curve there where people aren’t used to presenting these kind of fixed options for their potential buyers.

But it does – what it results in is such a better experience for a buyer to come and be able to review the different offers available in a Gig package or to understand really immediately and thoroughly like what exactly someone is offering and to be able to compare different options. I mean it’s just such a great experience for buyers. So a little bit more of thinking upfront for a seller but it just results I think in a more seamless transaction.

Adam: Yeah, because what I basically ended up doing – I have one programming Gig and I realized that something like programming, it’s very hard to kind of give a fixed fee because it’s always going to rely on what the buyer wants. Some sellers may say, “Well, I don’t know what I can offer,” and I can’t just say I will code for $5. So they’re always kind of telling people to reach out to them. But what I actually ended up doing was I created a Gig that basically has two options to it.

For the actual Gig themselves, they can come and ask me three questions for a set price, a bit of kind of like DIY, learn how to do it yourself and move on, or if they have any customer requests or specific coding needs, that’s where we kind of take it custom and we take that conversation and handle that. I found that helped me so much more because there was so much less buyer confusion where a buyer was maybe placing a $5 order for broad spectrum coding and not being clear exactly what that entailed or how much work would be performed or was it based on time. Was it based on how technical something was or anything along these lines?

So what I found really helped me there was making sure I had a very clear base offering which was a Gig that someone could just pick up and order and not have any questions about and then the upsell on top of that which kind of was the seamless upsell. But for me, having that set, clear service on something that’s so dynamic really helped with the buyer confusion and it also helped to push my upsells as well.

Clarke: That’s great. I love hearing about an upsell strategy that’s panning out and you’ve – by honing in specifically on the programming category, you’ve highlighted a place that is quite challenging for us because that is a category which we’ve particularly seen sort of users like struggling a little bit perhaps to organize their offering within the Fiverr framework in a way that feels intuitive for themselves and for buyers as well. So that’s a great category to call out.

Adam: So coming back to what makes a good Gig, we’ve kind of covered talking about the title and making sure that the service is correctly defined and is based around a singular kind of service as opposed to being everything kind of all in one. But coming down to – looking at the rest of the Gig or different elements inside it, what other things would you recommend?

Clarke: Sure. Yeah. So we have quite a few recommendations. Just looking – going back to the title just for one second, we see sometimes users who are really excited to put things about their really short extra fast turnaround times, to kind of highlight that in their Gig title. But we encourage users to be really careful about doing that because consistency between the Gig title and the Gig description is super important. It’s confusing for buyers if you say something in your title and then the Gig description sort of contradicts that or doesn’t fully align with that.

They should be totally consistent and really match up and that really helps avoid kind of buyer confusion and it – also for you the seller, you know – you can be sure when you get an order that you know exactly what the scope of that order is going to be every time.

In terms of other tips we have, categorization is super important. Are you – sometimes I think it’s really easy to correctly categorize your service and other times it’s maybe a little more tricky or challenging. You find yourself in one – you’ve selected one subcategory for yourself. But then maybe down the line you start looking around the marketplace and you see, oh, there are Gigs that are more similar to yours that are in another subcategory.

So kind of just keeping an eye on that and making sure that your Gig is categorized is hugely important because you want to be in the category where interested – buyers that are interested in your service will be looking. So that’s super important.

Adam: So coming back to the Gig title, now the timing thing I’ve noticed quite a lot and the biggest thing for me is – and I’ve made this mistake as a new seller and anytime I speak to anyone who wants to start selling on the Fiverr platform, the thing that I always kind of initially recommend is when you first create your Gig, like when you literally create your Gig, do not be too specific in your Gig title because if you write something like I will do X, X, X inside 24 hours, now even if your Gig description and everything else matched up, your URL is always going to say 24 hours.

So like a year down the line or a month down the line you change it, your URL is still going to have the time indicator in there. It may even be if you’re going to write “I’m going to create three logos for X amount.” If you decide to change that in the future, your URL is still going to say three logos. It would be much better to be non-descript and say something like, “I’m going to create a logo,” and then go back and edit that with those kind of details or differentiating factors. So you don’t kind of ruin it for yourself in the future.

I mean the example I’ve got is, “I will review a website and I will provide 10 tips for $5,” and the problem I’ve got now is if I ever change my 10 tips, my URL still says 10 tips and that is quite annoying because it can create confusion if any users notice that.

Ryan: I think that’s true especially with new sellers because everybody wants that way to go above and beyond and oftentimes it’s faster delivery or offering more for less to get their reviews and then planning on changing it down the road. But it is funny because I don’t think a lot of people think about the fact that the URL doesn’t change. So I think that’s a great piece of advice for new sellers.

Clarke: Yeah, that’s an amazing point. Definitely don’t want to get yourself into that situation. So yes, we love our sellers to be as ambitious as possible but really think twice about committing to a specific timeframe. I think within the Gig title especially like when you’re just starting out. To your point, it can just cause a lot of confusion down the line.

Adam: The other thing as well is coming on to the categories. I’ve often – I’ve had people come to me and kind of say, “I’m not sure what category to put this in. So I will just put it inside ‘other’.” Now the thing I’ve always recommended to them – and this isn’t just true on Fiverr. It’s true of anywhere you shop online. Things like the other categories, they just don’t gain as much traction because what you’re relying on as a seller is basically people browsing. No one goes to the “other” section looking for something specific. If they’re looking for something specific, they will go to the related category.

So what I always recommend there is if you aren’t quite sure where your service is going to fit into, tweak it slightly so it fits inside a clearly defined category as opposed to thinking you’re just going to put it inside in the “other” section because if let’s say for example you’re doing some kind of design work and you tweak it so it can go inside a design category. If someone clicks on the design category looking for something else, they will come across your product or they will find your product whereas if you just put it inside the “other” category, you’re very reliant on people specifically browsing the other category which is less likely than if it was a lot more defined.

Ryan: I think the misconception there too is that there will be less competition in the other section which is probably true but for a reason and I think it’s good to avoid it because of that as well.

Clarke: Right, right. That’s an amazing point.

Adam: It’s very non-descript and you can kind of – you can just see it from the Fiverr frontend in general and talking about being less competition. I think when you’re setting up a Gig and figuring out which category to go inside. Now it’s always important that your Gig relates to your category. If you have to tweak it in some way, so it works inside that category, but what you’re supposed to do is look at the categories you’re looking to post into and kind of look at the highest rated filter. See how many sales the top person has and if the top person has a lot of sales, then it’s likely to be a popular category.

If you go inside the other category, the sales amount or the feedback amount is usually lower. I mean even inside the business tips category that I’m inside now, my highest rated – I’m the highest rated Gig inside there and I think I’m just under 4000 feedback whereas you go somewhere like logo category and the highest rated Gig is much higher than that. We’re talking tens of thousands.

So if you were creating a Gig that is along the lines of “I will mock up your brand logo,” do you think you put that inside the business category or inside the logo design category?

Now technically it could fall under both criteria depending on the service you offer but you will be much more likely to put that inside the logo category because it just makes more sense based on the type of users who are going to be browsing that category and also the amount of foot traffic that’s going into that category related to your service.

Clarke: Yeah. So one thing I wanted to mention while we’re talking about the subject of – you keep bringing up the different categories that you guys are working in and one tip that I have that’s very much category-specific and kind of aligns with the conversation about correctly categorizing your Gig is to be aware of the kind of like terminology, the lingo associated with your particular category.

If you’re in graphics and design, you should be able to describe in your title and in your Gig description. You should be able to kind of speak the language of design and talk about specific design tools and file types and if you’re in programming and tech, if you’re doing a WordPress Gig, being mindful of using language that is the kind of commonly accepted vocabulary that buyers will be familiar with and will understand in those categories. I think that that’s a great way to kind of immediately establish yourself – establish your expertise within your category, within your subcategory is to be really mindful to use the right – the accurate commonly accepted lingo of those categories because there’s often quirks or multiple ways to describe a service or an issue that your Gig might pertain to.

Adam: I think that’s a really key point and I think a good way to highlight it is basically let’s say you’re going to do a landing page. Now some people argue that if they call it something different, it may stand out more to the buyer but I think like you say, it has the opposite effect because it isn’t normal to the buyer.

So if the buyer is looking at this Gig or this category that says, “I will create a landing page,” and there are all these people explaining the landing pages that you do, and you call it a wonderful pop-up modern page or just something really that doesn’t make sense. The users aren’t really going to understand that and it’s also reflected when you go on some websites and when you go on websites, you will notice that they always kind of have like an about page or a story page or it’s always kind of the same wording because if you create a page, you think I want to be super unique. I want to call it something completely different like “our journey” or something along these lines.

It doesn’t always click or resonate with the buyer what you actually mean. So as you said, there’s something to be said for you want to stand out but you kind of have to also follow the constructs of the category you’re in because you’re not going to stand out. If you don’t, you’re just going to confuse the buyers.

Clarke: We’ve talked so much about kind of the language and wording that you use when you’re a seller creating a Gig but we haven’t really touched on visuals yet and visuals are super important. I mean like most people looking at the internet, I think that Fiverr buyers are totally interested in and looking really closely at any imagery that’s part of your Gig and also as a seller, your profile image is super important, but just thinking about the portfolio images you’ve used, the Gig image that you use and understanding that your Gig image will be reflected on your – it will be visible on your Gig page. But it will also live as a thumbnail when users are browsing through search.

So kind of understanding and optimizing any images that you use for those two different distinct pages and kind of understanding like how will this image look as a thumbnail. What’s a good way to kind of stand out from among the huge results – search results that a buyer might be browsing through? And then also having that image that also looks great and can stand out on your actual Gig page as well.

Ryan: I think it’s a great way to help your branding too. I mean depending on what Gig you offer, if you’re a spokesperson for businesses, you probably don’t want to use a selfie from your beach vacation as your Gig profile picture. You’re going to want something that is going to resonate with the buyer who’s looking at it. So it gives you a chance to brand your Gig in a sense and brand your page.

Clarke: Yeah, absolutely. I think that’s – we love it when sellers sort of think about it in those terms, in terms of branding themselves, branding their Gigs. So that is a great opportunity to do to accomplish just that.

Adam: One of my biggest pet peeves as well when it comes to visually appealing Gigs and things like your live portfolio is – now not every seller is going to want to do this. But my biggest pet peeve is when you’ve got a visual Gig like something like logo design and inside your live portfolio, you’re not being consistent in the way that you’re demonstrating stuff. So some people may deliver loads of different logos or different sellers at different sizes, different resolutions and all this other stuff.

When you’re looking at the portfolio, every image is different. Like the whole image is different and it just – it isn’t really that clean or that organized. So as a buyer, when I’m trying to buy from someone, I’m not just looking at the different logos they’ve created. I’m trying to visually accept that every image inside that portfolio is different. So what I often do when I create something like a logo or a Twitter design is I always make sure that my deliverable that’s going to show inside the live portfolio is always consistent.

So when they click through to the next image, the only thing that they have to focus on is the literal deliverable. So they can just focus on the logo and not the fact that all the background and colors and everything else has changed or it doesn’t follow the brand anymore where you kind of start to become confused.

I see that quite a lot with new sellers as well where they haven’t got these practices down yet and the fact is when you’re trying to fill up your portfolio, it’s going to take a while to get a consistent kind of brand or pitch to your buyers.

So if you’re just delivering loads of random images and then you decide to change this down the line, it’s going to take quite some time to make your portfolio kind of look on point. So I mean you wouldn’t go into a company and they ask to see your portfolio and you just hand them those different sheets of one piece of card, one piece of cardboard, one piece of paper, et cetera. You would give them something consistent and organized to look at.

Clarke: I think that thinking in terms of those little details and nuances can make a really big difference in terms of how professional and kind of credible that you can come across a seller and also one thing that I keep thinking of as I’m listening to you guys talk is that you’re both very aware of how the marketplace evolves and how you as a seller maybe evolve over time. The Gigs that you’re selling are changing or your style of logo design for example can evolve over time.

So one thing that we – I think a really good tip that we can encourage sellers to do is to think about maintenance and to think about really maintaining their profile and their Gigs and their Gig descriptions and keeping them up to date. When we introduced packages to the community, there was such a great response and people kind of jumped onboard. But in their – swept up with the excitement of packages, you know, sort of neglected not to – or forgot to update their Gig description to reflect the new structure. So now what we’re seeing is sometimes like a Gig description that’s totally disconnected from the packages underneath or doesn’t really reflect the user or that the seller is now selling packages.

So we encourage you to really take a minute and look at your profile as though you were a buyer which I think is always a good tip. Look at your Gig as though you were a buyer seeing it for the first time and kind of understand does this make sense. Do these different pieces of the profile or the Gig – maybe you’ve been updating them separately. But is it cohesive? And to your point Adam, definitely taking steps to be as polished and to present as well as possible.

Adam: I think maintenance is a really important point and I mean I’ve fallen foul of that before where maybe I haven’t noticed that I’ve changed something and I haven’t quite updated everything. I can think of a real life example I have with a friend of mine who was a seller and he used to offer spokesperson Gigs. So he would talk for your company or in some kind of presentation and he used to have a beard and his video showed that he had a beard but one day he shaved it all off and he didn’t change his video and he got some orders. People kind of said to him, “Where’s your beard? We ordered from you because that’s the look that we wanted.”

Something like that I think is really simple to kind of forget to do where if your Gig is somehow based around your appearance and you change your appearance, you might not think, “Oh, I need to update my Fiverr video,” and it can easily slip your memory but it’s absolutely key. Otherwise, there could be confusion there.

Clarke: Yeah, that’s a brilliant point. It’s hard to sort of have the – to stay on top of all your ongoing orders and you’re sort of living your life and you’re selling and it’s just good to kind of take a step back sometimes and think about maintenance. I think that it can really make a big difference.

Ryan: So Fiverr being a marketplace and the territory that comes with the marketplace is – there are agreements that need to take place between buyer and seller and one of the things that buyers and sellers can both learn from this is the concept of setting reasonable expectations.

So whether you’re a buyer knowing that you can’t come in with a budget of $5 and expect to get a full production commercial or as a seller who is new and you want to offer more to – say something unreasonable. Like, I will give you 20 hours of coding for $5. Clarke, what do you think is a good way to be clear with how you set these expectations so both parties win as buyers and sellers?

Clarke: That is such a great question. So I think as a seller, it’s about setting yourself up for success and understanding what a reasonable expectation is for yourself of the amount of work that you can complete in a given amount of time or how realistic it is to hit a really tight deadline.

First you have to understand that yourself and then you have an opportunity to educate buyers who often will not know as much about the particular request as the seller would. You have an opportunity to educate buyers about what is reasonable and when you can deliver something and why you can deliver something.

That is so valuable and such a better – I think ultimately a better experience as a buyer to get trained in, “Oh, I can’t expect something to be back to me in an hour. But I can expect it tomorrow and I understand that I can get it tomorrow because the seller needs to do X, Y and Z,” and that’s just such an important part of any kind of relationship when you’re managing clients. I think that it’s not about just meeting really tight deadlines. It’s not about just kind of making the impossible happen. I think it’s much more fruitful to understand what reasonable expectations are yourself. Know what you can do.

Set yourself up for success. Don’t try to be – don’t be a hero. Just – and then be able to communicate that really clearly to a buyer and I think any rational buyer will respond positively to that. It’s almost more important than getting exactly what they need, exactly when they want it. It’s understanding, “OK, how does this work?”

Ryan: Right. I think that element of communication and clarity is really important with communicating with buyers so that way they know and they appreciate that you took the effort to explain why it might take an extra day and why it’s not something that’s instant and they are getting an element of customization for their work that takes time.

Clarke: Right.

Adam: I think it kind of – it’s all about knowing what your worth is as well. There’s a story that I heard a few years ago that always kind of resonated with me, especially when it comes to Fiverr. Before we had packages and you had a lower lead-in. I’m going to say the story now. It’s going to probably sound a little bit pretentious but it really resonates with me and it may resonate with other people and the story is basically that Picasso was in the park drawing and a woman walked over to him and said, “Can you draw a photo of me or a picture of me?”

So he drew a simple photo and gave it to her. He said, “That’s going to be $200 please.” She said, “Two hundred dollars? That took you two minutes.” He said, “No, it took me a lifetime.” For me, that kind of highlights when you need to realize your worth or the worth in the job that you can do and have a reasonable expectation. There is a tipping point between wanting to offer more to seem like a good deal and getting more orders but also knowing that you need to kind of know your worth and where to set it, so you don’t kind of hurt your potential in the future or undersell yourself.

Clarke: That’s a beautiful anecdote. I love that story about Picasso and it really resonates I think particularly with someone, anybody doing creative work. Yeah, knowing your worth and not being afraid to set boundaries with anybody asking and for you to do work for them. I think that that is perhaps the most important lesson that a freelancer could learn, definitely one of the most important lessons that a freelancer could learn.

Adam: Well, that’s all we have time for this week. Thanks for listening and thanks again to Clarke for joining us. As always, our jingle was made by Customdrumloops and we were edited today by Dansha.

Transcription by Prexie Magallanes as Trans-Expert at Fiverr.com

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