Sharp, stabby pain. That's what Helena Say feels when she reads bad writing in French, her mother tongue. Some people just complain about poor spelling and clunky language. Helena's doing something about it by offering her services as a proofreader, translator and writer on Fiverr under the name belleplume.
This interview is the first in a three-part series showcasing the smart, savvy, and super successful doers of Fiverr. We'll find out what sparks their sales and how they price and package their Gigs to keep the fire blazing long and strong. And, through the experiences of successful Doers like Helena, we'll show how to stand out against the competition.
I recently spoke with Helena about how she moved from the law firms of Paris to a successful career as a solopreneur. (Hint: It took some convincing from her husband.)
Nico: First of all, thank you for bringing your knowledge and experience to the Fiverr community. For those who don't know you, can you give us a little background on what you offer and what has been so far your greatest achievement in terms of business growth within Fiverr?
Helena: I'm Helena, 28 years old from France. I studied law at the Sorbonne University in Paris. I always had a passion for the French language and for writing. Reading a misspelled or wrongly articulated word in French literally hurts my eyes, and I cannot leave it uncorrected I started working as an online freelancer on Fiverr after my husband, who is passionate about online business, convinced me. In the beginning, I was reluctant.
For me, “freelance" and “online" were synonyms for “geek." But when I discovered Fiverr, it blew my mind. When I started getting my first messages, I jumped on my phone to answer them immediately. Then when I started getting positive feedback, it made me feel so good that I became addicted to it! I always used to be the “model pupil" when I was a child in school, and I appreciated compliments from my boss when I was an employee. But that's nothing compared to what I feel after getting great feedback on my Fiverr profile. I know the whole world can see it, and it makes me feel proud.
After one year of hard work, I've managed to make a living from my writing, and I'm happy to be a full-time seller on Fiverr. In terms of achievement, I think what I'm proud of is the fact that I managed to create a base of loyal, repeat buyers who order large projects from me almost on a monthly basis.
These buyers never hesitate to order from me, even if they know they might find cheaper alternatives in the marketplace. For me, that's the greatest achievement – meeting the expectations of professional and demanding buyers and being recognized by them as a quality seller.
Nico: In 2015, Fiverr introduced the Gig Packages mode.
What's your best advice to get the pricing strategy right and boosting revenue? What are the main package elements you particularly focus on?
Helena: I think it depends on where you are standing in terms of reputation. If you're only starting out on Fiverr, I recommend setting low prices in order to give yourself the opportunity to demonstrate your skills to buyers. After you manage to build a reputation, then you can slowly and progressively increase your prices.
Today I create my packages in a way that encourages buyers to go for high-volume orders. I do that by offering them a sliding price scale on my packages with a huge discount on the price per word on Premium packages.
This way, I tend to get a few large orders, rather than many small ones. That's better for me, as it reduces the overhead and time from processing orders, and my average amount per order increases. When one of my loyal buyers contacts me, I will always offer them the best possible offer using a Customer Order.
Nico: Product differentiation is a very important element to make your service more attractive and help increase revenue. How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors? What is your added value that makes your services unique?
Helena: I focus on quality. I will research for hours to make sure I find the exact word to express what the author wants to say. I'm always looking for a certain harmony in the text also. I read the text aloud to make sure the sentences sound right.
I work only a few hours a day when I know I have the required inspiration. That's why I always request a long delivery time. Then, most of the time, I will surprise my buyers by delivering earlier than expected. I want to be 100% sure the buyer will be super-satisfied. That's what drives me.
If I don't feel inspired by the topics suggested by the buyer, I prefer to decline the project, even if I don't have other orders to work on. If I'm in a period with low activity, I will work on developing my personal brand by writing for my blog. After one year working as a freelancer, I'm now convinced that a strong personal brand is key for long-term success.
With her "belleplume" and only one year on Fiverr, Helena has become a successful solopreneur – and while only in her 20s! She quickly climbed the freelance ranks from beginner to Level 2 seller. Newcomers and veterans alike can learn from her journey, especially her focus on precision and working on projects that appeal to her interests. This was a great start to our three-part series – keep an eye out to see what more Fiverr doers have to say!
Do you share Helena's love for language? How do you channel it in the work you do? Tell us in the comments!