As everyone and the Washington Post joins in scathing criticism of the gig economy and gleefully predicts its collapse, now that “real jobs” are back, it’s important to read the thoughts of people like me, who have been in the gig economy since before it had a name.
Those of us who are already leveraging the gig economy have a head start on everyone else. In the words of John Lennon, “[It’s been] just like starting over.” In the early days of radio and television being around the technology had to be compensation enough. Few, if any artists were paid, and those who were paid weren’t paid much. Same has been true for the last few years for artists who produce electronic media.
During the era of radio, the 1920’s saw commercial radio arrive around the world, and radio stars, well-paid radio stars, were born. As for electronic media, the train has left the station and we’re seconds away from our destination.
If you are good at what you do, and I am, then you will thrive. Isn’t that what it’s all about? I think there’s room for everybody. I grocked very quickly the developing trend and explosion of jobs for voice over actors in the “guy next door’s” projects. This means the dentists, internet entrepreneurs, and yes, the folks who need a simple voicemail, or a voice over for their vanity project. The fact is that dentists, small business and micro business owners, dry cleaner owners, and small time authors are out there and none of them are going to hire a major VO name for their projects and pay top tier rates.
They need affordable services and they flock to sites like Fiverr. So thus far, and I believe there’s still room to join in, as a seller you get to set your rates and get to communicate directly with your clients. This promotes a viable option to learn and earn while you’re learning. You get paid to hone skills, make mistakes, work out performance bugs and learn how to market yourself to clients so this is a win-win in my book. A seller can also define their own turnaround time too (I set mine to 2 days generally though I deliver before the deadline most of the time and charge extra for a 24 hour or less turnaround). You do have to work up through the levels from 1, 2 and to s Top Seller and Super Seller, and it does take a while. You can also define the number of modifications you’re willing to do, if any at all, as well as charge for a Commercial Release. These are very new features and I‘m having a lot of success using them. These changes mean that the market knows it has to grow with the abilities and talents of its base.
While all of that still holds true, there is also now maturity showing in the Fiverr buyers who have developed a sense of discretion and will pay more for higher quality. You can never give away your best work and expect people to perceive that it has value.
As a seller, you define what you will offer for the base $5. (I offer 50 words) a bargain, and an offer I make exclusive to Fiverr by the way. As a Top Rated Seller, I get to offer many upsell extras. (I’ve landed projects on both sides of 1k and jobs that netted me several thousand. That being said, my bread and butter are still the small business or organisation that hires me to be the voice of their YouTube video campaign or to be the first voice a caller hears and I am equally proud of and thankful for those jobs too.
If you’re gonna compete on Fiverr you have to be conscious of marketing and keywords and always be thinking of and watching your placement in relation to your competition. It’s imperative that you get eyeballs on your ads. One thing I’ve decided about Fiverr is that they are among those sites out in front in the practice of diluting, or disrupting, the all-importance of where one places in ‘search’. They do a good job of mixing up the results based on history, browser, search term, etc that, combined with their own social marketing, means everyone gets a fair chance to be seen. Even so, you also need a good video demo that grabs the prospective buyer’s attention and showcases your range. Ultimately though it’s a conversation that closes the deal and so communication skills are priceless as well as flexibility to offer your buyer an attractive deal.