Charles Silberman, aka silberma1976, is a physical education & health teacher as well as a Fiverr Super Seller. He develops teaching curriculums and contributes regularly to local, national, and industry publications.
Every freelancer’s business ebbs and flows. Sometimes business is brisk (if not overwhelming) and other times things seem considerably slow. Perhaps you’re just starting and sales are trickling in, or perhaps you’ve been at this a while and you’re coming back from vacation mode. Or, perhaps you’re up against an internationally recognized holiday like New Years and the world has slowed down for a short time. No matter the circumstances, if you freelance, you have experienced slow times.
According to a 2015 blog post on Brazen, the average freelancer works 36 hours a week. As with averages, there are times when the hours spent freelancing drop off and times when they are much greater than average. When work is greater than average, things may seem bountiful and nothing but blue skies lie ahead. However, when the hours you’re working drop below the average, and sales are nonexistent or trickling in, panic may set in. That begs the question of why this happens and what to do when sales are slow? Surprisingly, the answers to both questions go hand in hand. Below are some thoughts on why slowdowns occur and what to do in those down times.
A simple statement can make a world of difference in your perspective during a slow time. That statement goes, “Of course sales are slow because (enter any reason that fits the situation.” It could be a holiday, you are coming back from a vacation, there is a critical error in your Gig, or some other reason that makes sense. Normalizing this reason will take any irrational or panic type of thinking and action out of the equation, which leads to the second thought.
Sometimes you work hard and you have a nice busy period and you want it to keep on keepin’ on. The nature of freelancing and the Gig life dictates that slow times happen, and they can be nice reflective times. So, instead of getting worked up, enjoy the calm while it lasts. Before you know it, things may be busy and you will wish you had some down time again. There are a number of clichés that apply here, such as ‘patience is a virtue’ and ‘things happen for a reason’. That leads to the next down time idea.
Reflect and Adjust
As the Gig economy changes, so does the need of the consumer. Thus, you can take the down time to review your Gigs and see if there is something to improve or tweak. This can include doing research in your category on and off Fiverr to see trends and current consumer needs you can meet. You may choose to enhance your Gig based on this research. Use this time to reflect and adjust your Gigs to make them that much better.
Learn a New Skill
Perhaps you have had an itching desire to delve into an area you know can be a great addition to your Gig line up. You may never have had the time to learn the skill you need before, so now is a great time to do that. With all the online courses and information available about a multitude of skills, you can pick some new skills up in no time and create Gigs around them. Some sellers completely overhaul their Gig line up based on their new skills learned through college, certificate courses, or self-paced learning. Cliché warning: you get out of it (Fiverr, in this case) what you put it. Brushing up on Fiverr itself never hurts either. The forum and academy are great places to learn about Fiverr tactics and noteworthy happenings.
Expand Your Involvement
Fiverr is a large community that greatly benefits from sellers’ involvement in the community. Don’t vent on the forum about a downtick in business. Does that get you new sales? Instead, get involved. Respond to forum posts positively, engage in Facebook and Twitter discussions, and look for Fiverr community events or other opportunities to get involved in the very space that you call home for those hours you work here each week.
Build Your Online Presence
Now that sales are slow, it’s a good time to build your online presence. Look into creating social media pages or a web portfolio for your Fiverr services. Doing so is a great way to leverage the power of social media and relationship marketing. Start with one platform and, if time allows, go to another. In addition, consider starting that web portfolio to showcase your work to the world. Use this down time to look into ways to market yourself, build an online presence, and enhance your expertise.
Start or Finish a Project
If you are on Fiverr, chances are you like trying new projects. When sales are slow, you are afforded an opportunity to start a new project or finish an ongoing one. It could be an online course you are developing, or that next great e-book. For passion, profit, or pleasure, working on a project at this slow dip in your Gig journey may actually feel nice and lead you on a new path until sales pick up.
Cliché Warning: Elsa from Frozen sang it best: “Let it go.” Sometimes you can do everything right and wind up with time on your hands. Put down Fiverr and spend time with family, friends, at the gym, taking in a movie, or doing something offline. Read a book, go for a walk, walk the dog, run an errand. John Lennon said it well too, “Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.” So go make other plans, and let Fiverr go for a little and before you know it, sales will tick back up. Try catching up with old colleagues, sending thank-you notes to repeat clients, contributing to industry forums relevant to your interest, and rediscovering the public library.
You have two choices when that inevitable slow down happens. You can complain and become disgruntled, or you can normalize the situation and embrace it as an opportunity. Use the time to do some productive and enjoyable things. And when sales pick back up, you may find yourself with a more refreshed attitude, a new set of skills, or a cool project you started or finished to show for it.
Do you have any tips for what to do when there’s a lull in work? Share them in the comments below!