In the ever-growing world of the gig economy today, where individuals can offer niched, specialized services right from home, unique case studies are demonstrating what is possible with a little drive and determination. Giselle Marie, an unsuspecting freelancer who is now a Top Level Seller on Fiverr, shares her story below of how she went from pursuing life as an actress, to managing one of the most popular voiceover services on the platform today.
Thanks to Fiverr, Giselle claims, she was able to circumvent the need for an agent and agency as she blossomed into a spokeswoman, voiceover artist, and professional audio recording specialist. Starting at low charging rates per each recording service, Giselle and her partner, Tom, worked their way up the money chain, arriving at a lucrative and comfortable lifestyle today.
Learn more Giselle’s story as she went from an 8-5 corporate job, to working for herself, doing what she loves every single day.
- 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 how you made the leap into freelancing on Fiverr and how did you turn your voice over actor skill into an online business?
- As a freelancer, if you want to grow and get more jobs, it’s essential to handle business in the most professional way. What are your key tips to become a successful freelance voice-over actor and what are some hidden traps one should be aware of before kick-starting a voice over acting career?
- You’re offering very competitive prices but don’t you think that it would be more advantageous for your business to work with fewer clients but on more higher-paying projects? What’s your strategy to maximize productivity without compromising quality?
- 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?
- The most challenging part as a freelancer is to get more jobs in. How do you find new clients and promote your freelance business?
Thank you so much for this opportunity! Well, my name is Giselle Marie, and my partner is Tim Crowe. I got into acting back in high school. I got my degree in Theatre, and after college, I joined the corporate workforce. The 8-5 grind was not at all conducive toward my dream of making a living doing what I love to do; acting. One day, I put my foot down and decided I needed a more flexible job and that I also needed to move to Los Angeles.
I learned to bartend, made the move across the country, and hit the ground running. After learning about Fiverr from a friend and reading the 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris, I came up with the idea to sell Bartending Classes online. Although I had some success selling those classes on Fiverr, what ended up happening was even more fortuitous. Buyers were requesting I make videos for their brands! Thus, I quit bartending, and EasyMedia was born.
It was a joint effort that has blossomed in the most fantastic way. My partner and I worked together to create some top quality spokesperson videos, which earned us our Top Rated Seller badge fairly quickly. When we found out we were expecting, we created a voiceover gig and paused the spokesperson one. That gig took off and yielded even better results.
Great question! I want to begin by saying that becoming a voiceover actor on Fiverr is far from the traditional route one would usually take in the voiceover industry. Outside of Fiverr, you need a demo reel and a great agent to start finding auditions (not an easy or quick task). Auditions don’t guarantee you’ll get hired, but you have someone actively looking for opportunities for you.
On Fiverr, that process is very different. When I first started, the only way a buyer could hear your samples was if you had them implemented within your Gig Video. Also, gigs were set at $5, and the only way to charge more was to specify how many words you would record for that amount. I believe that the competitive prices, coupled with Fiverr’s authority in the search engines are what led to such quick success. That could have turned out to be a disaster! Why? Because if you launch any business without proper planning, training, and experience, your reputation could take quite a sour turn. Especially on a site where buyers leave public reviews.
As it turns out, our quality of videos and voiceovers were already pretty top notch so, we were leaving outstanding first impressions. My training in customer service, my rigorous acting classes, and my partner’s vast knowledge behind the camera was essential in our success on a site that was growing at such an exponential rate!
If you think our prices are competitive now, you should have seen them four years ago! Haha! Because we started when Fiverr was still in its relative infancy, we couldn’t charge more than $5 per 100 words. The competition just wouldn’t allow it, and it was also unrealistic to charge more when I didn’t have enough samples. Since then we’ve raised our prices to $15 per 100 words, which is a 200% increase. What a difference it made! Much less work for more pay. I’m making just as much or more than the average voice actor outside of Fiverr… and I don’t even have to audition!
We do plan to raise our prices again, and once I join SAG-AFTRA (the actors union), I’ll need to increase my prices to the union rate. I’m looking forward to Fiverr implementing a Fiverr Pro category for Voiceover and Spokesperson work for that reason.
We have a very effective and streamlined process that we’ve refined over the years to make our low prices worth it. So far, a 48-hour delivery gives my queue enough time to accumulate a very decent day rate (for non-union standards). Once my queue is full, I sit down and knock them out within an hour or two. While I record, my partner is editing and delivering. Sometimes, we have so much work, that we outsource the editing to an editor for an hourly rate that still makes it worth it. Extras and quick responses have helped immensely to maximize profits and cut on the time it takes to communicate with our buyers.
Ah, yes. We don’t just offer voiceovers as I’ve already mentioned, but it is our most popular gig. We differentiate ourselves primarily by being a partnership. Our combined talents compliment each other so well that we can deliver a plethora of services and extras.
So, let’s say a buyer needs a voiceover synced to an existing video? We can do that. Maybe they also need overlaying text or an animated intro? We can do that too. Perhaps they need royalty-free music? We have a nice little library to choose from. By the time we deliver on all those extra’s, the buyer has a fully fledged produced video they can use for any purpose all because of our shared knowledge and experience!
I have to be honest here, most of our buyers find us through the Fiverr search. We have done some online marketing in the way of paid advertising, but it hasn’t paid off yet. Our specialty is in the video production industry and not online marketing so we’ve yet to figure out what the best kind of platform to advertise on would benefit us the most. However, I am active on Instagram. I share our finished productions there, which have led to some sales. Our primary income comes from our repeat customers. Having all your eggs in one basket is not a safe strategy so, we plan to hire online marketers right here on Fiverr to help us expand our reach. Outsourcing this will ensure that we continue to focus on the excellent quality of our deliveries and that our customers get the attention they deserve.
Necessity breeds ingenuity, and as we have seen in Giselle’s story, she is now able to do everything from record a voiceover, to overlay text with an intro and background music. As most people reading this will agree, just the promise of being able to not only work from home, but also pursue something that is innately passionate to oneself, is enough to make waking up every day and putting in a full 12-hour schedule worth it.
So is joining the gig economy going to be easy? Absolutely not. But if you’re doing something you love, does each work day really feel like work? Giselle wouldn’t trade the world for her personal freelancing business she now runs with her partner right through Fiverr.
This year might be the perfect time to venture out and see what the independent workforce has in store for you.