Harold Everton, known on Fiverr as GiveMeApps, is truly an icon of the Gig Economy. He is an entrepreneur, educator, musician, singer/songwriter, voice over actor, videographer and photographer with an MBA and Masters Of Sciences In Educational Leadership. He is the Department Chair of an Instrumental Music and Music Business program at a high school in New York City. He teaches both high school and college, and is the CEO of the GiveMeApps® App Store and Everton Media®, Inc., a boutique music and video production company.
When he discovered Fiverr, he knew he had found a place to make money while doing what he loves the most. Known for his extremely “energetic” personality and dry sense of humor, on Fiverr, Harold offers commercials, voice overs, a late-night talk show, video testimonials, product demonstration videos, jingles, live interviews, app promotion, and much, much more.
Read Harold’s Super Seller success story in his own words below.
Getting Started on Fiverr
When I got out of graduate school at the height of the recession, I had a massive amount of student loan debt, but was keen on starting my app store business (which was my thesis in business school), even though I didn’t have many industry connections and was far from being an expert in online marketing and e-commerce. While I managed to get my business up and running, capital was scarce. I spent an exorbitant amount of time honing the marketing skills I picked up while working on my MBA and learning as much as I could about SEO and basic web design. Being more interested in actual business development and being creative, I sought out to find someone to help me with marketing. After spending hours of time searching on the Internet late one night in late 2011, I discovered Fiverr. It was still in its infancy, but I was intrigued with all of the services sellers were offering all over the world for such a low price. I immediately started purchasing Gigs. At the time, I remember thinking, “what better way to connect and network and build a huge customer base than through a site like this for just $5 at a time?!” To me, it was like the “eBay for services.”
While at first I just signed on to buy some marketing Gigs to help promote my business (and these Gigs really did teach me a lot about online marketing, SEO, and social engagement), after two months of buying Gigs here and there, I started looking deeper into what people were offering on the site. I literally spent a whole night observing all of the categories and two stuck out to me the most – “Commercials” and “Voice Overs.” Public speaking is something I am really good at. I do it every day in the classroom and when out performing. Being that I also already had a small recording studio, it was a no brainer. I thought to myself after looking at the Gigs that were being offered at that time, “I could do way better than this!” From there, I decided to become a seller. Video Testimonials, Voice Overs, and Jingles were going to be my game.
Offers started coming in very slowly at first, but then I stuck gold when by sheer luck my Gig was featured by the editors on the site. Suddenly I had 20 orders in my queue, and then 40. It was amazing. The pressure was on but I enjoyed every minute of it. While I loved, and was great at my day job, I was now doing what I’ve always wanted to do my entire life! What was even more amazing was that the customers were coming straight to me from every corner of the globe. It’s as if my life was becoming what I always wanted it to be.
The hard and dedicated worker that I am, my full-time job never took a back seat and I continued giving it my all. Fiverr received my all as well, so a lot of nights were spent consuming caffeine as I worked my day job from 7-5 and worked on my Fiverr orders from when I reached home until sometimes 1 or 2 in the morning. You heard that correctly- sometimes only two or three hours of sleep daily. And I’m being 100% honest when I say, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Starting out with a simple point and shoot Sony® Camera, after a few months, I spent my first $2,000 of Fiverr income on upgrading all of my equipment (reaching my first $1000 was a major milestone for me). I purchased an HD camera, teleprompter, backdrop kit and some other items, so I could really put out high-quality television productions.
Fiverr was a major turning point in my life. It was what helped launch my online business, as well as my music and broadcasting career. It introduced me to people I would have probably never come across otherwise, and led to major projects that bought me a massive amount of credibility and income. When I got out of school, I chose to go into Education, but I really wanted to be a broadcaster. Both Broadcasting and Music were always passions of mine. My idol growing up without a doubt was David Letterman. I admired his social intelligence and dry sense of humor. As much as I wanted to follow in his footsteps in late night, for me it was a no go as I had no connections in television. Fortunately, we are living through this shift into 24-hour “always-on” online media and social networking (i.e. YouTube), so Fiverr allowed me to at least open up a huge door to allow me to bring my talent into those two worlds.
When the Fiverr orders started pouring in, the resulting projects allowed me to amass enough material to create a demo reel of outstanding quality and depth, as well as make broadcasting a real possibility. I created a pseudo late-night television talk show called the “After Work Show” with furniture I purchased from Ikea along with artwork I purchased online of skylines of both New York City and Burbank to create the backgrounds often associated with those shows. This ended up turning into a real YouTube phenomenon. Additionally, I created three other “Show Gigs” centered around business and tech which featured live interviews and product reviews. There is also my News Reporter Gig, News Anchor Gig, Serious Black and White Gig for Law and Finance-based businesses and even a Boxing Gig where I play a Boxer. In essence, I’ve actually been able to build a small broadcast network out of these Gigs through Fiverr. It’s unbelievable. The possibilities are endless and I’m in love with it all! Not too long after this, by the end of 2012, I became a Top-Rated Seller. I felt like made it past the Olympic trials and into the big leagues. An honor it truly was.
Also, as I mentioned earlier, when I got out of graduate school, I was deep in student loan debt. Thought I was just 32 at the time, I really thought I’d be well into my late 40s before I would be able to pay them off completely. Thanks to Fiverr, in addition to the income from my day job, I was able to pay off my 46K of student loan debt in just 13 months. I was also able to go back to school and get another degree, a Masters of Science in Educational Leadership along with my Principal and Superintendent certifications in New York State. An enormous amount of my recent successes in life are largely due to my participation in the Fiverr marketplace.
Growing your Fiverr Business
In my earliest days on Fiverr (2011), when I looked into promoting my Fiverr Gigs, I took the route of participating in the Fiverr Forum which contained a vast well of tips and knowledgeable “early Fiverr veterans.” I also regularly visited the Fiverr group on LinkedIn, and chatted with other Fiverr sellers whenever I had the opportunity. As I am a Fiverr ambassador now, I try to give new sellers guidance whenever time permits as I remember how valuable similar advice was to me when I was just starting out. LinkedIn was suggested because as we all know, it’s a social network for professionals which is big deal as everyone active there has success in mind. Additionally, I created a dedicated Fiverr Facebook and YouTube page both called “FiverrHaroldEverton.” There, I muse about my work on Fiverr and do a lot of “Behind The Scenes” videos. I also advertise my Gigs on Craigslist as well as on Forums related to my industries.
On that note, I cannot express how important it is to visit websites related to your areas of practice. When I started my Boxing Gig for example, I actually joined some boxing forums and chatted with the members there which helped me gain new customers. How you engage people on related sites is critical. You don’t want to come off as too pushy, and shameless plugging is almost always interpreted as SPAM. Through sincere communication and actually contributing to these communities, you can eventually introduce information about your Gig. Doing just that, I was able to pick up two major commercials for boxing gyms in Ireland and Germany. These gyms are now regular customers of mine! Through delivering high-quality service with each order and because of word of mouth, it’s as if people are promoting my Gigs for me! It doesn’t get any better than that.
It was also around this point where Fiverr started putting together their Community Events. I cannot express how many opportunities came from my frequent participation in these. They’re almost like a network-a-thons. You get to meet so many people with expertise in different areas. For example, sellers in your category who feel like they cannot take on a particular task may refer those buyers to you and vice versa. Likewise, sellers in related categories may refer their buyers to you if they feel that you can help them further pursue their goals. Media opportunities starting pouring in around this point as well. I would frequently do promo videos for Fiverr corporate and make guest appearances on their podcasts.
Even with all of this success, the one thing I always remind myself (as should you), is that you can never rest on your laurels. You have to continuously promote yourself, be better than you were yesterday and keep up with your competitors. It is your job to always get new customers and continue to impress your existing ones. Failure to do this will ensure that you won’t be in business or on top of your game for long.
Have a question for Harold? Ask the Super Seller in the comments below!