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Home » Run Your Business

The Entrepreneur’s Secret Weapon

The Entrepreneurs Secret Weapon

Last week I heard a podcast with Maren Kate from  Escapingthe9to5.com where she interviewed Micha Kaufman of Fiverr.com. It was such an interesting interview, I decided to check out fiverr.com and see it for myself.

For those not in the know, Fiverr is a market place where services are exchanged at the fixed price of $5, hence the name.

Maren describes how she got an eBook cover designed for er $5, a voice over for her grasshoper.com telephone number for $5,  but drew the line at someone offering to write your company’s name on their forehead (also offered at $5)  For her, that wasn’t her target demographic but for you, it might be.

Basically Fiverr brings together the power of the web to get services done for you for very little money.  But before you think that this is mass exploitation, let’s think about it. For sure, for some people they put in a lot of effort for $5, but this could be a learning opportunity for them, or it could be something they’d be doing anyway for free and at least they are getting $5 for it.

For sure they are some people advertising some odd things. One lady is advertising to send a postcard from Los Angeles or Hollywood for, you guessed it, $5.

But the vast majority of items has some serious benefit for entrepreneurs – for instance one guy is offering to give you personalised tips to increase conversions on your website another is offering to do ‘cool’ video intros for $5, yet another is offering to make professional Powerpoint Presentations, Excel Worksheets,  brochures in Publisher or documents in Word.

For small simple jobs fiverr could be just what you’re looking for, for much less cost than you would have thought possible.  What is more, timescales are short, typically no more than a couple of days your service will be ‘delivered’.

Low price doesn’t necessarily mean that the quality will be poor, because like on eBay buyers leave feedback plus you can check out people’s work before hand from samples they will have posted.  In fact there are over 75,000 services being offered on Fiverr which means that you will  find many services that will be of use to you.

But it’s not just for buyers

If you’re an entrepreneur looking to make some extra money you too could set up an account and advertise your services in less than 5 minutes.  The best bit is though that buyers find you, rather than the other way around and many people who visit fiverr are both buyers and sellers, so you have thousands of potential customers to target.

Now a lot of you reading this will be thinking, but this isn’t passive income which you talk about so often! You’re right it’s not strictly passive, but it could be near to it, depending on what services you offer.

If for instance you’re a writer or a designer, trading your time for a few extra $. Then Fiverr is not a great way to earn an income. You could probably earn more elsewhere. But if you have something which you could scale or niche focus your offering to be delivered in a few minutes, then you could earn some serious money from Fiverr.

For example, one person is offering a recipe from Trinidad or the Caribbean. You reckon they write each one out individually? Of course they don’t – think about it, how many of those could you ship in an hour?

Given that the offer price is only $5, you’ll get a lot of people impulse buying. Fancy something different for dinner, you might just buy the recipe for $5 when in fact you’d gone on to find someone who would get you some back links or design a banner ad.

Just imagine that  the person offering the recipe gets 10 only orders a day, with 30 days in a month. That’s $1500 for not much work at all.

So far, I’ve used fiverr once for a banner ad and the creation of some tag lines and I have been  very pleased with the results, especially when I think if I did it myself it would have taken me a lot longer to produce.

So, using fiverr, will save you money, but could also be a great source of income too.

What do you think?

26 Comments »

  • El Edwards said:

    Sounds fascinating Matthew. My brain is whirring around trying to find my equivalent of the recipe idea. I love the idea that, like you said, a certain proportion of buys will be impulse. It also has the potential to be a great way to find new clients for more expensive services.

    Off to have a look now. Thanks Matthew. 🙂

  • El Edwards said:

    P.S. Thought you’d like to know when someone has taken action as a result of a post. I went to Fiverr, joined and, after thinking about something that I already enjoy doing for free on a daily basis that I could use to help others, posted my first gig: http://www.fiverr.com/users/heavenandel/gigs/personally-help-you-build-your-twitter-network-and-have-fun-at-the-same-time

  • Matthew Needham said:

    Hi El, that’s brilliant news. I’ll retweet your ‘gig’. I saw your tweet to @flipnfreelance – why not indeed earn money for something you do for free already.

    Thanks for coming back and sharing your action!

  • El Edwards said:

    Thanks Matthew 🙂
    Having looked at the way it works a little more closely, I can see several ways I can list my ‘service’ that will attract different audiences. It’s not a top priority but like you said in your review, it has the potential to create a little extra income stream from something that I already do and enjoy for free on a daily basis. Getting paid for something I love to do? Sounds like a result. 😉

    Oooh, and the other thing, it also has the potential to expand my network and introduce me to a whole load of new people. You know how much I love talking so it’s a winner from that perspective too. 😉

  • Matthew Needham said:

    Maybe you could be a professional commentator on peoples sites?!

  • Matthew Needham said:

    Absolutely El, go for it!

  • Peter said:

    I have found http://justafive.com to be a bit more enticing to me. I can’t work for $5 but can for $20. Plus I get paid for 5% for referring my friends(for life). They don’t pay the paypal fees and don’t make you wait 15 days to get paid…

  • Matthew Needham said:

    Exciting isn’t it! Working out what you could do which will earn you a few $. Best thing to do is find things that you can batch together.

  • Moon Hussain said:

    Matthew–interesting post. I briefly checked out Fiverr yesterday for a few minutes and I definitely see the potential for using a few services offered there. I like how you gave the example from the seller’s point-of-view. Could be just the thing some people are looking for…

  • Matthew Needham said:

    Hi Moon, thanks for the comment. Whilst I’m sure that there’s going to be a lot of noise there and some suppliers will be better than others, it’s such good value, it’s got to be worth a look. Thanks again.

  • James M said:

    Fiverr is also a great way to get paid to start up a portfolio. The designer I’ve been working with the create some logos decided to get back into design after not doing it for several years. By doing jobs for $5, she creates a portfolio of work (that she may have done for free otherwise), builds up a network of clients (plus the experience of interacting with the clients), and gets the buzz of these clients marketing her work all over their websites and on the site.

    As a Seller, you have to constrain yourself with the offerings you put up to make it worthwhile for you. I put up a job of writing short 500-1000 word articles/reviews mainly to practice different writing styles, but also as a way to promote my blog. What I didn’t expect to happen is to receive an order for 50+ reviews that take me 20 minutes each to produce, with no tight timelines either. I can work on them when my daughter’s napping or between tv shows, etc.

    There’s a lot of value to be found in Fiverr for both the Buyer and Seller.

  • Matthew Needham said:

    Hey James, thanks for your contribution here, it’s very much appreciated. I’m sure that people list on Fiverr for a whole variety of reasons and I wouldn’t be surprised if many people who list a service, money is not the reason they do their gigs.

  • Chris C. Ducker said:

    I hired someone to send 10,000 visitors to my blog for $5.

    Knowing that the chances of it happening were pretty slim, I didn’t expect a whole lot.

    Just as well – they took my $5 and went down to Starbucks with it.

    Forgetting all about my 10,000 visitors……

    Take this sort of stuff with a pinch of salt, I say.

  • El Edwards said:

    To be honest Chris, had he or she sent those 10,000 visitors your way, they probably wouldn’t have been much use to you. You know yourself how much better it is to develop relationships with your readers over time. They’d have probably stuck your home page into a traffic exchange programme which, technically, would have meant 10,000 visitors but these would be useless visitors. The only way to have any chance at getting the traffic exchanges to convert is to use a lead generation page. Otherwise, a complete waste of time.

    That said, I can see the potential in this site. I suspect it’ll be about building a reputation as someone who provides a quality service. Like my little offering, having seen how badly so many people use Twitter, I know I can show them a better way very easily. The idea of earning a little pocket money doing something I do for free anyway sounds appealing.

  • Ben said:

    lol sorry Chris had to laugh at that….

    do you reckon they had anything nice with it?

  • Matthew Needham said:

    Something tells me that you didn’t expect it to work! I think for well defined measurable things with fixed outputs such as logos, photo editing etc this has got to be worth $5.

  • Eric said:

    This is a really cool thing you mention here. Never heard of them myself and will be checking them out. Definitely a lot of potential if great work is done and found for only 5 dollars. 🙂

  • Ben said:

    I’ve come across Fiverr before and it seems simple enough.

    I think for me, if it would take me around 15 mins to create something for $5 then how much would I earn from coaching for the 15mins… probably a fair bit more.

    All power to those that use it though

  • Matthew Needham said:

    Hi Ben, I came across this guy http://www.fiverr.com/users/loganlindabury/gigs/coach-you-toward-one-goal providing coaching towards one goal for $5. This could be an interesting way to break into selling higher price coaching or building your portfolio.

  • Ben said:

    Interesting approach.

    Would question his coaching quality for $5

  • El Edwards said:

    Having woken up to messages on Fiverr from people that I’ve had to take time to reply to (and with no promises that they’ll ever turn into buyers) I’m actually seeing the wisdom in this thought process now. This is total back-tracking I know but hey, if you can’t be honest when you make a mistake, what’s the point eh? 😉

    Learned some lessons and inspired a video blog post though so it’s not all bad. 🙂

  • Matthew Needham said:

    Excellent news El, it’s all very promising. You could end up with a useful source of income here.

  • El Edwards said:

    Sorry Matthew. You mis-understood me I think. I meant the wisdom in Ben’s comment. I stand by what I said in my post today and have just finished cancelling the gig.

    You’ll need to see the video to understand my reasonings but hey, it was worth a look. 🙂

  • Steve said:

    Like any tool, there can be both incredible value and waste as potentials. It all depends on what service you are buying. For 5 dollars even the waste is not really, “harmful” though.

    It seems like a tool that could have some really interesting uses certainly as way to build your portfolio for little money.

    A site I just remembered that is also interesting is:

    https://www.mturk.com/mturk/welcome

    It is an amazon run site that allows you to do really idiotic simple jobs that can be done in seconds. Of course the pay is only .01-.05 cents for most of those jobs. I played around with it one day while watching a movie on TV and made 5+ bucks though. (sort of an experiment) Nothing great, but it is a way to make minor money while really not paying any attention.

  • Matthew Needham said:

    Hi Steve, I think that Fiverr scores in that you can specify the service that you are willing to offer, rather than undertaking jobs advertised. The difficulty of course is working out what scalable offering you can provide that doesn’t require too much effort. As you say, it’s not much money, so people will buy stuff on impulse because the downside is so small. Thanks for your valuable insights!

  • Peter said:

    There are a lot of things that people can’t do for $5. http://justafive.com is a great place (like fiverr) where you can do things for $5-$20. That’ll help the people out there that can’t work for $5 an hour. You also get paid 5% residual for referring people. Something to look at for everyone! Check out one of my jobs there!