As you may have seen a few months ago, we ran a contest for a Small Biz Digital Makeover. We had so many incredible businesses and entrepreneurs enter, we wanted to highlight a few who, while they didn’t win, are still successes in their own right. Below is Harold’s Fiverr story. Not only is his personal brand flourishing, but the company he entered into our Small Biz Digital Makeover, Witticist®, is rapidly growing as well.
Tell us a little about yourself. Who you are, where you’re from, what you do on Fiverr.
I’m Harold Eric, a current college student, actor, and voice over actor from Brooklyn, New York. I currently provide proofreading and editing services on Fiverr.
For reference, I used to provide voice over services, having worked with hundreds of clients on numerous audio projects. However, I am excited to say that I recently joined the Screen Actors Guild, and as per union regulations I am only able to work on media projects with union contracts, and thus can no longer provide voice over work on the site. This is an exciting development for me as an actor, but in order to continue contributing to Fiverr, I altered my focus to proofreading and editing services, which I am equally excited about!
How did you first get into freelancing. Was there a specific moment that made you “take the leap”?
I’ve had a pretty interesting journey during my time on Fiverr. I joined back in April 2014 during my freshman year of college as a means of generating an extra stream of income. At the time, I created video advertisements and commercials for clients, and over time, had raised enough funds through Fiverr to reinvest in better camera equipment, green screens and more. However, that same year I decided to test out voice over work, and purchased a fairly basic microphone. To my surprise, my voice over gigs began to take off, suddenly becoming more popular than my video services. As a result, I transitioned out of video and began my freelance career in audio services. What started as an inexpensive microphone setup developed over time into a full personal studio, built entirely through my Fiverr revenue.
As I mentioned however, this past summer I was fortunate enough to have joined the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA), which is an exciting development for me as an actor. For that reason, I can only partake in multimedia projects that have union contracts, which prohibits me from creating non-union voice over work. As a result, I began to search for other means of contributing on Fiverr, since I absolutely love the platform and community, and found my new place in proofreading and editing services. After roughly two years of providing voice over work on Fiverr, and completing hundreds upon hundreds of projects (while maintaining a perfect rating on the site), I am now thrilled to be an editor.
How did you hear about Fiverr? What inspired you to create your Gig?
I’ve always considered myself fairly tech-savvy, and as a freshman in college, I decided to investigate ways in which I could provide freelance services in graphic design, web design, and more. However, when I stumbled across Fiverr, entirely by chance, I saw a platform with an exciting international community eager to share their talents with the rest of the world. Naturally, with my acting background, I saw video services and commercials as an ideal way to contribute to the community and generate an extra stream of income. Little did I know that my gigs would soon take off, and that I would fall in love with the platform in a matter of days.
How have your skills grown since joining Fiverr?
Ever since I first joined, customer satisfaction was always my priority. That has been a constant throughout my time on the site. However, during the two years in which I worked as a voice over artist, I developed a range of voices and characters to suit different types of projects, and learned an extraordinary amount about voice over work in general, simply by working in the field. This hands-on experience, sitting in front of a microphone for hours each day, was crucial in my development in the industry.
The beauty of Fiverr is that any individual can contribute their abilities, regardless of their experience, as long as they have a particular skill and a willingness to prioritize their clients’ satisfaction. What began as my simple interest in video and voice over work evolved into a continually-developing career, and as I continue to work on union-affiliated projects and advance in my career, I will always have Fiverr to thank.
As I continue my career as a union-affiliated actor, I will certainly look back at my time as a Fiverr voice over artist as a valuable period in my educational and professional development, where I was provided with an opportunity to refine my skills by working with often twenty clients a week.
Can you share some of the favorite projects you’ve worked on?
Some of my absolute favorite projects on Fiverr have pertained to audiobooks and video game characters. In the former, I worked on numerous audiobooks ranging from fitness education and training, to fiction and novels. In the latter, I contributed character voices for numerous apps and console games as well. Personally, these projects are the most interesting to me, as they will likely still be accessible decades from now—a stark contrast from an advertisement or commercial that remains in the public eye for a matter of weeks or months.
What advice would you give to a newcomer on Fiverr looking to achieve success?
Be willing to take risks, and don’t underestimate your abilities. Back in 2014, I contemplated joining Fiverr for a few months, uncertain as to whether I had a talent worth sharing. I eventually recognized that Fiverr is a place for individuals of all skill levels, and allows sellers to create a “live portfolio” and upload samples of work so that you may inform potential clients of your current abilities. If you have an interest in graphic design for instance, but are uncertain as to whether you are “good enough,” upload samples of your work to showcase your proficiency, and you are bound to receive inquiries about your work.
The quality of my video and audio products evolved year after year, and it is for that reason that Fiverr is the home for incredible up-and-coming talent across the globe.
What impact has Fiverr had on your life? Has it changed the way you think about your profession or career?
Fiverr has had an incredible impact on my life, for it made me aware of my natural entrepreneurial spirit, and allowed me to recognize that voice over work is a true passion of mine. Although I can no longer provide voice over work for non-union media projects, as per Screen Actors Guild union regulations, Fiverr launched me onto my current career path as an actor and voice over actor, and I am eternally grateful for the last several years with the company.
Do you have a business plan for the future? Where do you see your business in the next year, five years, and ten years?
Regarding my Fiverr business, I am now focusing wholly on editing and proofreading work, for as a member of the Screen Actors Guild, I cannot work on non-union media projects. However, that is the beauty of Fiverr, for no seller is bound to one particular category of the site, and is allowed to offer services in a range of fields.
For that reason, I plan to put my Bachelor of Arts degree to good use, and offer editing and proofreading services for years to come. It is interesting being an editor and proofreader, after having established myself as a voice over artist for so many years, for it is reminiscent of the days when I first began on the site. At the time, it was difficult to find clients, and it took a while for others to recognize the quality of my services; however, it is my hope that over time, people will recognize the quality of my services in this new field, allowing me to establish myself in a new category of the community.
Regarding Witticist®, the business entered into the Small Business Contest, the development team is currently redesigning the website, and we are currently interviewing applicants in order to hire a team of roughly ten writers to develop the company into a competitive organization in online news and entertainment. It is no easy task; however, the following year will be a year of growth and development. Within five years, we hope to have established a reputation for quality content, and will begin to monetize the site’s content after two years. Witticist® is also developing a line of comedic apparel, to be launched Spring 2017, which is another exciting development at the company.