Confessions of a Fiverr Top Rated Seller: The Inside Secrets You Need To Grow a Successful Fiverr Business – DJ Dave Bernstein (Tuneman)Lance Tamashiro
We’ve been talking a lot over the last couple of months about starting from scratch and building something from absolutely nothing using this site called Fiverr. The guy that I’ve got here for you today known as TuneMan on Fiverr is not only a great person, a great friend, but also a top rated seller on Fiverr. Somebody that’s absolutely killing it, been there forever, and his name is DJ Dave Bernstein.
I’ve been on Fiverr for 6 years right now. It’s funny you should mention that because a lot of people have asked me and I’m sure they’ve asked you this well too, but why we’re so successful on Fiverr. It’s a double edged sword. You want to share your success with people, but there’s so much competition these days. You want to make sure that you don’t cut your own throat. The fact that you’re able to squeeze this information out of me today must mean I either really like you or I must be insane.
Full-Time Living With a Webcam
I used to look at Fiverr and my hang up with it was always, “I’m not doing anything for $5”. The big breakthrough for me was … First of all, the biggest breakthrough was you have a gig on Fiverr where you basically watching you. You have a regular webcam that sits on your computer and one of your most popular gigs is you sitting in your kitchen making videos for. You just start talking about whatever subject they want you to talk about and make a video for them.
You’re right. The most popular gig that I have is an audio/video gig where I do either do voiceovers or I do video testimonials. The perception of Fiverr being $5 is because of their early advertising campaign - What would you do for $5?
The thing is, is that that’s the wrong mentality You have to start thinking about what is the minimum that I would do for $5 and how can I expand that? How can I grow that? How can I turn $5 into $15, into $50?
You’re not going to become a millionaire overnight or even in a year on Fiverr. It’s going to take every minute of your day to do that. You’re not going to have any quality of life and there’s so much competition right now. If you can do something in 5 minutes for $5, that’s the mindset you should think about. If it takes you 10 minutes you should be charging $10. If it takes you 15 minutes you should be charging $15 at the very bare minimum. That’s $60 an hour and most people around the country would take $60 an hour any day (over $100k/year)
However, if you can actually think about how to automate certain things, and you and I were talking about this off camera that there are now automated messages that you can actually punch in there so when you receive the same questions all the time you don’t have to keep typing them out.
When I leave feedback for people and I’m sure you’ve taken a look at the feedback I leave for people, it’s pretty much the same feedback all the time.
This is not a Yelp review or anything like that where you need to embellish this and spend 10 minutes on certain things. People honestly are very, very happy with receiving what they perceive to be a $50 value for only $5. If you can show them how much value what you’ve given to them is worth, they’ll come back over and over again. I think that’s probably what grew my business. A lot of repeat clients.
That’s the one thing that has been real eye opening to me on Fiverr is that I would say I am to the point where 60 to 75% of my business are from the same people over and over. Some of them are companies that I do corporate training type stuff for. Some of them are just other sellers on Fiverr that trust that I’m going to deliver on time which is really important.
It amazed me because I honestly thought it was going to be all one shot people when I came on to Fiverr. It turns out there is a lot of businesses and corporations, giant corporations that are on there utilizing the services as well.
One thing I never expected is how many tips you can actually generate on Fiverr which you turn a $5 gig that takes you 2 or 3 minutes into a $10 thing just because they tipped you. It’s like now you’ve doubled it up.
I’d give Fiverr credit for that as well too, because when they first came out 6, 7 years ago, they were showing the ads like I will draw a picture of a monkey for $5. Great. That’s nice if you have 5 disposable dollars and you’re in the mood for a monkey picture.
Then they started advertising I will draw a caricature of you and your lover for Valentine’s Day or I will do a voiceover for 60 seconds for $5. All of a sudden people start thinking, “Hey, you know what, that’s actually something that I could use. It’s totally worth $5 and every buyer out there, it’s like the Willy Wonka ticket. When you find that perfect seller, and that’s the guy that has the voice or the gal who has the voice like, “Oh my god, I can’t believe they just did it for 5.”
Cultivating Great Clients
They will rinse and they will repeat and they will love you forever. One of the things they also did at Fiverr is they allow people to leave a gratuity in the order when they complete the checkout. You should take a little piece of paper and you should write down every person who’s ever given you a tip at Fiverr and the next time that person orders put them on the top of your delivery list.
That’s how you grow a business. You keep customers. You don’t try to bring new people in all the time. You just rinse and repeat with the very same customers. A lot of people don’t do that. They just go mining and advertising for new customers all the time.
Using Feedback To Kill The Competition
One of the things that you mentioned which I want to touch on is you said, “It’s really competitive on Fiverr now.” I know you’ve been around. I mean, you have basically been there since the very beginning and I haven’t. I’ve been selling on Fiverr for about 6-7 months now. It’s funny that you put it that way because to me, I think “Man, there’s no competition. This isn’t trying to sell internet marketing training. This isn’t selling weight loss stuff or dating advice or anything.”
From the world I come from it’s a lot less competition and if you go the extra mile for a customer service-wise you can grow really quick. Something simple is responding to feedback your customers leave. I look some sellers and they’ve got their feedback from the customers and they never even acknowledge it.
think you’re training your customers not to leave you feedback because you don’t care. That’s why I started doing it because I noticed on yours you leave feedback to every single person even if it’s like I’m glad I could rock this for you so and so with their name. To me, I was like, “Oh my gosh, that’s how he’s getting this.” While there is competition, I don't know that there’s more than anywhere else.
Take your gig for example, I mean, your set up with your camera, there’s nobody that can compete with what you do. There’s other people that would do a video testimonial or make a “I’m a Justin Bieber fan video” or whatever you’ll do, but there is nobody that can reproduce your kitchen, reproduce you, reproduce your personality and at some point you’re standing out simply because you’re you. You can’t be competed with.
It’s funny you should mention that because there are lot of people out there right now who do high end videos and they sell their videos for more than I sell mine for. You’re saying, why wouldn’t you upgrade your equipment. You don’t have to upgrade your equipment. You just have to be real. You just have to be you. I’ve learned a couple of things and you and I are being totally transparent here. I have no notes at all. I have no notes in front of me or totally giving you this stuff improve right now.
Now, your listeners better be writing this down because I’m probably not going to talk about it again. I’m telling you right now.
You better broadcast this right away before I tell you to erase it.
Here’s The First Secret
This is very important secret here. People have actually come to me and they’ve said, “We want you to do this audio a certain way or we want you to do this video a certain way.” They say we want you to go outside, stand by a car, set up a video and do it this way. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.
Stand your ground. I tell people my videos are recorded with that in the background. If I’m lying I’m dying. I mean, I’ve actually said that in my video and you all can go to TuneMan and you’ll see the video for yourself. I tell people this is the background you’re going to get. This is the quality you’re going to get. People come back and go, “What kind of quality would I get?”
Let Me Repeat That
I just told you. They come back and they asked you to do a lot of things that you don’t want to do. Don’t do them. You don’t have to work with everybody and that’s the biggest problem. A lot of people spend a lot of time having back and forth discussions with not only new buyers who don’t know how to use Fiverr but veteran buyers who think they know everything about Fiverr and everybody will bend over backwards for them simply because it’s $5.
You’re Not Making Money Having Discussions
The problem is that you’re not making any money having discussions. You’re making money by creating output. If I want a pen pal, I’ll go ahead and send Lance an email. I don’t want a pen pal on Fiverr. I want $5, I want $10, I want $50, I want $100. You got to go into that mindset and you got to realize that everybody has 24 hours in a day and 7 of those you’re sleeping, that leaves 17 hours. In those 17 hours you need to take a couple hours for yourself, for eating, for family time or whatever it might be.
Most people who are on Fiverr either full-time or spend a good amount of the time doing it but when you’re answering questions be very firm, nice but be firm and say, this is exactly what I do. I’ve actually replied to people and told them I may not be the right seller for you. I definitely wish you the best of luck, best of success. Always be positive.
Feedback Is Just Feedback
The only time I ever have a negative slant is when I receive a negative feedback. That’s tip number 3 right here. Feedback is just feedback. You all are adults. You put your pants on like everybody else and feedback is just feedback. It’s real simple. If someone leaves you a great feedback, leave them a great feedback. If someone leaves you a negative feedback don’t go contacting Fiverr to have it removed.
So many sellers want to keep their perfect rating. You know what, I’ve received 150 negative feedbacks. Did I deserve any of them? Absolutely not, I didn’t deserve any of them. You’re not going to please everybody in this life. Not everybody is going to like you. Not everybody is going to like your work. You can’t spend a lot of time. If you deliver inferior work then you need to replace that work and give them quality work but if you’ve done your best job then that feedback is your chance to tell your side of the story.
I have received hundreds and hundreds of orders from people who just read my negative feedback and said dude, I think you’re actually real. It sounds like that other person didn’t know what they were talking about. Am I perfect? No, I’m not perfect. You know what, nobody is perfect. Sometimes there are going to be certain cultures.
Understanding The Customer Base
You remember Fiverr is a world wide platform. Some people think $5 is cheap and other people think $5 is a day’s pay. You just never know who you’re talking to so you need to respect them and you give them your best work. But you know what, if they’re not happy you can’t spend all day redoing and redoing and redoing because you’re going to end up working for $5 an hour and that’s not going to work for you.
You also can’t get butt hurt about it and go, “I don’t like Fiverr. People make fun of me and leave me a bad feedback.” Guess what, life is not fair. If they give you 2 stars give them 2 stars end of the story.
I Guarantee You Nobody Does This
Guess what, I guarantee you, 80% of your audience won’t do it after I tell them to.
When you get an order from someone that’s been a really good buyer, let’s say you had a great experience. The first time they order from you. Write down their username and in 1 year or 1 month or any random arbitrary date send them a message and just let them know this is our 1 month anniversary or 6-month anniversary or our 1 year anniversary of the first time I got a chance to work with you. That’s a great way to get business when you don’t have any business.
You start sending out virtual greeting cards via the messaging system and you tell people, “Listen, I really enjoyed working with you on February 17th of 2016 if this were like next year or so. Then you say, “I haven’t heard from you in a while, I still would love to do some more work from you. Just feel free to shoot me a message whenever you need more work done.” You have just mind your own damn list.
I freaking love this because that’s the one thing that I realized about Fiverr was, it’s been engrained in us as marketers is that you have a list and I’m like, “Fiverr sucks. They won’t let me take them off of Fiverr. They won’t let me give them my email address. I can’t build a list and I’ve noticed that I do talk to the same people in the messaging system and what you just said takes it to a whole new level. Now, you do have a list and you can use the canned response on top of it.
If you have your “it’s been a month” thing and you’ve got your spreadsheet, you’re just clicking on their name, hitting the canned response, maybe changing their name or just leaving it blank but contacting them like that. I agree. You’re going to drum up a whole lot of business.
Absolutely. Everybody likes to be remembered. I mean, don’t you like to receive birthday cards and birthday gifts and Christmas gifts? The thing about Fiverr is most people just do some work and they just let the person go and they forget about them. As marketers we’re always told to hold on to email lists. We don’t need an email list, you just need to write down their user name and look it up.
Go pick up an extra calendar.
I mean, just go pick up an extra calendar in the store right now. It doesn’t even matter what year it is.
You can go pick up a 2016 calendar and everyday that you get an order for the first time write that on the calendar, the username and by the time next year comes around, you can pull out that calendar and rather than have to go look through hundreds of orders, it’s like okay, these 7 people gave me my first order exactly 1 year ago today or exactly 1 month ago today.
One month maybe too soon but 1 year it’s an anniversary. People just like receiving anniversaries. I’ll tell you what, you think that it would blow their mind in America who are used to this. It’ll totally blow their mind out of the country where people are not programmed to remember squat.
When I receive an order from China, from Vietnam, from Asia there’s a lot of respect in Asia and they love hearing that. I’ll potentially go check and they will come back and I receive 40 orders from some of these people. This guy remembered. It’s the best thing in the world and you feel good about yourself too.
Top Rated Sellers on Fiverr
I love this. I’m doing this one. This is in my stuff starting tomorrow. This brings me to my next question which is about becoming a top rated seller, which you are, there’s only a handful of them on Fiverr. Fiverr has 4 levels. There’s the new seller which everybody gets. There’s the level 1 seller which anyone can get. The level 2 seller which anyone can get and then there is the top rated seller.
The top rated sellers are handpicked from Fiverr. They go through and manually look at how you’re treating customers, how you’re delivering and then make some decision about that. What was that process like? I mean, do they just contact you and say you’re a top rated seller?
It’s automated. The great thing about that is you get your own account exec as well too so when you have problems, you’re not just randomly sending in a support ticket. You actually have someone that is in charge of your account. Here’s the best thing about it. If you’re a top seller, you’re probably not having a lot of problems in the first place. I don’t mean that in a cocky way, I mean that you’re not causing a lot of problems, not receiving a lot of problems.
Fiverr is like any other website. There’s days that the darn thing is down and there is other days where anytime they change a function or a feature on there, then it’s like pulling out hair. You can tell how many Fiverr problems there might have been in the past by how many hairs that I have in my head right now and everything. We even have a support group and a forum as well and that is by invitation only.
There’s less than 100 people worldwide in that group. It’s a private group. I can’t even tell your listeners about that group but trust me when someone becomes eligible for that group, their contacted and should be part of that group. It’s very much like any good mafia movie you’ve ever seen before. It’s like you can’t just walk and go, “Hey, I like to shoot people for a living. That would be great.” No, it’s part of a family. That being said, it’s earned.
Every good thing in life is earned. Things are not supposed to be fair. There are 5,000 people in that group how special would it been? If everybody was a top seller, how special would that be?
How To Become a Top Rated Seller on Fiverr
The way to become a top seller is by doing great work. It’s first and foremost. I mean do great work, be nice. Be on time. Over deliver. If you’d given people a 3-day window, don’t be delivering 2 hours before the 3-day window.
What you should do, and this is another good tip, is figure out how long it takes you to do something and then add a day to it. You’re always delivering 24 hours before the end of the time. With my audio gigI deliver within 2 days. Now, some people think that that’s too fast. How can you deliver in 2 days? First of all, I don’t like to leave a whole bunch of stuff in my queue. Second of all, think about this, if I tell them I’m going to deliver in 2 days, and then I deliver in 24 hours or less.
Tell You Customers What You Did
Now here’s the thing. I just don’t deliver early. This is another tip. Don’t just do something, tell people what you just did. When you deliver, I just did this morning as a matter of fact. Something was due within 2 days and delivered in 5 hours. Don’t just do it and go, “Thanks. Talk soon,” say, “Thank you so much for your order. Great news. I was able to upgrade you to 5-hour delivery today. My pleasure to over deliver for you. Thanks so much and I look forward to your next order.”
Do you think that person might be more inclined to order from you again and maybe even tip you?
I’ve never done that but what I do is I record first thing in the morning when I wake up. I just record once a day. Some people have just made an order at 8:00 Eastern Time or something. I record it and deliver it to him in an hour and they’re blown away. I’ve never made a big deal about it. I mean, I’ve just been like here’s your order which is my standard thing.
You’re right. I get tips because they’re expecting a certain time but I deliver way earlier. I get tips for that but pointing it out like you didn’t have to pay for this superfast delivery just because …
Tell them that. The problem is if you don’t tell them that, you run the risk of them starting to always assume.
Exactly. You’re setting a false expectations and you’ll end up screwing yourself out of certain things like sometimes people would get you extra on there for 24-hour delivery. Now, why would someone pay that if you’re always giving them 24-hour delivery. Guess what? You don’t always have to give them 24-hour delivery. If you tell them you got lucky today, and I tell them today is your lucky day.
You won the Fiverr lottery today.
I tell them that I was able to deliver within 5 hours. The next time, deliver within 18 hours or within a day. It’s one of those things. It’s like throwing a hook into the ocean and catching a fish by putting some bait on there and then the next time you throw the hook into the ocean, there’s no bait on there. You still are going to have some fish. You’re still going to catch some fish. You’re not going to catch as many fish when you bait them and advance.
Tell them what you’re going to do. Tell them and tell them what you just did.
Do that on Fiverr and especially do it for those out of the country where English may not be their first language because people may just think that you’re sitting around the computer all day to do John Doe’s order when that’s not the case.
Fiverr Tips and Public Feedback
One of the things that I do is when I get a tip on the public feedback the very first thing that I write is thank you for your generous tip and then whatever else I want to tell them. What I want is for other buyers to be going through saying, “Hey, people are tipping this guy.”
Maybe they think that that’s what they should do or that it’s really good but then what I do is I send them a private message and I just copy and paste the exact same thing like, “Thank you for your tip. I appreciated that and you’re right. Those people that tip me buy and tip me all the time. The other thing that they do is they buy all my extras.
I’m glad that you mention that because I was just going to mention that here. People look at feedback. When they look at feedback, I have the same copy and paste feedback for just about everybody. It’s usually something like, “Super glad to rock and roll this because I’m the Tune Man. I rock and roll it. I’m super glad to rock and roll it. Thanks so much and have a great weekend or have a great week or whatever.”
I’m so excited to share this, I’m getting the hiccups right now. This is fantastic. If I received a tip that goes in the feedback for everybody to see. All of a sudden when people start looking at your feedback and you’ve received a tip every 5 or 10 orders, subliminally they’re thinking this guy is not only doing great work, he’s over-delivering and receiving a tip. It conditions other people to come in and be part of you’re a club, of you’re A team, of you’re A list. I say, “Thank you so much for the gratuity tip.”
That’s also intentional. I put the words gratuity and tip on there because when you search in search … Let me speak English here. When you do SEO, when you search for SEO, people sometimes type in the word gratuity and sometimes people type in the word tip. Either way my feedback will come up as just in some way, or shape or form, people have found me because of the word gratuity and tip because they’re searching for other sellers who receive tips.
That’s how they find the good gigs. How do you determine whether I’m any different than the other 500 people doing voiceovers? Go do a search for the word tip or gratuity and now you’ve just found the best sellers.
The other thing that I do along those lines when I deliver early, like you were talking about and they make a point of talking about how fast I delivered early. I deliver in 24 hours. That’s just the thing. You would be shocked at this. I couldn’t believe this. I charge $20 to do a rush order. My extra is for $20, I will rush your order and do it faster than fast. I don't know what that means. It means less than 24 hours.
Increase Your Income With RUSH Extras
You would not believe the number of $5 orders that turn into $25 orders because of that. Here’s what I do. When I just happen to deliver their thing in an hour or 2 hours because it was during my recording session, and they go I can’t believe how fast I received this back, I always put, “I’m super glad I could rush your order to you.” The connection that somebody reading it sees, at least I think is they bought the rush order because that’s the same name is what I call my rush order. When that happens, for a while, I see more rush orders like more $20 orders because they think this is how I get it right now versus a day which nobody wants to wait. We live in a society of fast-food. I want it now.
I’m glad that you mentioned the words fast-food too because I was going to use that as an analogy as a matter of fact. It’s funny because this is the biggest discussion/argument that I’ve had with other top sellers is what to charge for extra rush delivery. Some will charge for $5 order, they’ll charge an extra 20 bucks. Others will charge an extra 30 or 50 or whatever.
There’ no right answer at all. I actually only charge an extra 10 and you’re thinking $10? That’s nothing more.” Exactly. That’s nothing more. Don’t think about what I’m not making, think about how little it takes for the buyer to upgrade their order to get it done in 24 hours. In that way, you can also deliver in 23 hours and you’re still super cool and everything like that.
Here’s the deal, Lance. If I have a 2-day on my audio gig anyway, whether you do what we do or whether you sell pictures or whether you do copywriting or whatever, you can still use this very same technique. Quote on there a 2-day … I’ll finish it in 2 days or 3 days. For the little amount it takes for them to give you extra, it’s like going to a fast-food place and going do you want fries with that? Now, if you want to … and bought a hamburger and they said, “Can I upgrade you to a filet mignon?
That’s going to be quite a deal more expensive, but if you go in and say, “Listen, for an extra 79 cents, you can get some fries in here.” That’s how all the fast-food joints make extra money by doing that. I actually have one of my gigs where 24-hour upgrade is only $5 more.
Like you just said, 20 every 4 sales or 5 every sale, for 4 sales, I mean, what that does is rather than having 5, 5, 5, 5, 25. 5,5, 25, I got 10, 10, 10, 10 and 10 because I’m telling you right now no one wants to be that one guy who doesn’t upgrade and they’re 35th on your queue and everything like that.
Again, tell them what you’re going to do. Tell them and tell them what you just did. Super glad to bump you in my queue with lightning fast, VIP service, et cetera, dot, dot, dot. Say it so every person that sees your feedback sees what a rock star you are. By the way, how do you become a rock star? Do you know the answer to that?
Tell people you’re a rock star.
You want to be a top seller? Tell people you’re a top seller. Don’t do that. Tell them you’re them you’re a Fiverr top seller but use other words. Just say something like glad to be one of the elite sellers or something. Just make up your own verbiage. Don’t copy Fiverr stuff. Disclaimer right there. Say, “Super glad to be your go to guy in drawing pictures of monkeys or whatever it might be in everything.
How do they know you’re the best? Tell them you’re the best.
I think that if anybody listening, implements these strategies this is how you get the top rated seller. These are secrets from a top rated seller. It’s common sense. I mean, treat your business like a business. Don’t think of it as different because the site is called Fiverr because if it was called hundreder or Ben Frankliner, everybody would look at it differently and the truth is you can make a serious living on this site if you do the right things and if you value your time and your buyer’s time.