- Learn how I make $10k a year on Fiverr with just a few hours of extra work per week
- Learn how to make money on Fiverr without sacrificing all your free time
- Learn the best gigs to sell as a musician on Fiverr
- Discover inside tips on how to effectively use Fiverr to generate a sustainable side-income
Long gone are the days of being able to live comfortably off royalty checks, but in its place, we have a myriad of new ways that you can make money as a musician.
One income stream in particular that consistently put an extra $10,000 per year in my bank account was a service called Fiverr.
Here’s how I did it.
I’ve been a seller on Fiverr for over half a decade now, and as a way to make money as a musician, it’s been a pretty lucrative way to make a living.
I thought I’d take the time to tell you my story about how I made $10k on Fiverr per year as a musician, with just a few hours of work per week.
No, it didn’t allow me to leave my full-time job, but when I moved overseas to Southeast Asia, I only needed a bare minimum of 2-3 bio writing orders to pay a month’s rent.
And this was probably only an extra 1-2 hours of work per week.
What Is Fiverr?
Fiverr is an online marketplace where users can sign up and have access to a range of freelance services. Conversely, anyone with a skillset to sell can also sign up to become a freelancer and take advantage of their massive database of customers.
There is no fee to sign up as a seller, but they do take 20% of every sale. That means for every $5 you make, they take $1.
How To Decide What To Sell On Fiverr
So how did I decide on what ‘gig’ I wanted to sell on Fiverr?
Well, as a musician and a professional content writer, it made sense for me to combine both my skills and my industry knowledge to offer the world short 150-300 word biographies for around $60USD.
Prior to Fiverr, I had no experience writing biographies for musicians, but I thought:
“I’m a writer by trade, how difficult could it be?”
As it turned out: not very difficult at all.
Getting Started On Fiverr
At the start, I was charging a lot less than what I am today (just so I could get some social proof, i.e. testimonials and ratings into my account). It was pretty grim, to be fair. I think I accepted $5 once to write a 250-word biography, just so I could get ratings and get my gig seen by others.
This is why many give up with services like Fiverr: the initial stages of getting yourself known is admittedly pretty soul-sucking.
Fortunately, after about 10 near-free biographies written for people, the Fiverr algorithm starts to pick you up as someone dependable and things start to change.
Once I had a fair few orders and 5-star ratings under my belt, it made sense for me to start charging what I was really worth. Over time, and through trial-and-error, I was able to figure out what the best price was in relation to how many orders I could fulfil a week.
Later down the line, I’d add ‘press kit design services’ as an additional extra that people could purchase for $50. I have zero design know-how, but what I would do is outsource the design work to a talented friend who was happy for me to pocket $10 out of every $50 order for referring her the business.
You Eventually Get To The Stage Where You’re Managing A
After adding ‘digital press kits’ as a separate gig entirely, my orders started to skyrocket and I was actually in a position where we were struggling to deliver orders on time. I copped a few 4-star reviews as a result (you only want 5-star reviews), and so I had to take the right action in order to keep customers happy.
Considering I was working a full-time job, while balancing Fiverr, I upped the pricing to around $80 per artist biography, and $75 per press kit. Orders slowed down due to the new pricing, and the load was much more manageable as a result.
Each biography would take me around 30-40 minutes, which worked out to about $160USD an hour for my biography writing efforts.
I’ll level with you.
Staying on top of your game and being productive week-in/week-out can be tough.
If you want some little productivity hacks that could help you stay on top of your game, feel free to check out my article on productivity hacks to improve focus for musicians.
What I Learnt About Dealing With Fiverr Customers
Anyone who’s worked in the service industry has learnt this the hard way:
Patience is a virtue when working with difficult customers.
More than likely, you’ll have your fair share of them, and I have had a number of nightmare situations including customers demanding unlimited revisions and taking advantage of me (my own fault for claiming 100% satisfaction guaranteed or your money back).
But for the most part, customers on Fiverr were generally quite easy to get along with.
They have enough emotional intelligence to work around problems with you, for the mostpart.
There have been many times where I’ve needed to request a deadline extension for whatever reason, and provided you give them enough heads up and are polite enough about it, they are happy to grant you an extension.
This probably varies from industry to industry, and I’m convinced that most of my customers were pretty chill due to the fact they were musicians. Or I just had a pretty good run, who knows.
Dealing With Fiverr Customer Support
Yeah, there are times where things get messy — like when Fiverr customers file a complaint against you in an attempt to not pay.
This didn’t happen often, but when it did — customer support went above and beyond to help rectify the problem without doing any hasty crap like shutting your account down without warning.
Overall, I found the support staff to be fairly patient, reasonable and helpful.
Aren’t Freelance Marketplaces Like Fiverr Oversaturated By Now?
Possibly, for things like logo design and other common ‘generic’ website services.
Since you’re reading this, chances are you’re a musician, though — and you’re wondering how you, as a musician, can make money on Fiverr.
Here’s my honest opinion.
A growing number of musicians are setting up shop on Fiverr, and there’s some serious talent there. There’s also some serious talent there who just, unfortunately, lack recording quality when it comes to sessionist gigs. That’s where you can step in.
If you’re a sessionist and specialize in a genre, AND know how to record and export a quality-mixed/recorded stem track out: there’s a lot of money to be made.
Think of it this way:
If you’re a metal producer, would you want to hire average Joe who is an all-round decent bassist, or Mike who’s been playing solely in metal bands for the past 15 years?
Obviously, you’d hire Mike because he is a specialist in metal bass recording: he’ll understand the intricacies of the playing style and also have a better understanding of dialling in tone (and we all know how important that is).
My Top Recommended Services To Sell On Fiverr As A Musician
So, can you make money on Fiverr in 2019? Definitely, but the level of difficulty will vary from service to service. Based on my experience as a buyer and seller, I truly do believe that there is still space in the Fiverr market for music-focused sellers that are willing to do the following:
- Mix and master music (within particular niches/genres)
- Be a session recorder / sessionist for particular styles of music, e.g. a bassist who just specializes in metal.
- Be a quality reviewer of people’s music
- Be able to create solid band/artist websites for musicians
- Be able to market music for bands/producers using PPC, Instagram and Facebook Ads.
My Top Tips For Becoming A Freelancer On Fiverr
- Treat every customer like it’s your last. It’s better to be overly kind and go the extra mile, than to appear uninterested in working on the customer’s order. Fake it if you need to, but 10 times out of 10, the customer will appreciate how excited you appear to be to work on their order.
- Treat it like a real business. Set aside a routine schedule where that 30 minutes or 1 hour per day is ‘Fiverr time’. The last thing you want to do is miss deadlines, have to request extensions, or just generally be overwhelmed by leaving a stack of gigs until last minute.
- Develop systems and processes. When I started out, I would just wing every single artist biography. By the 50th bio, I pretty much had a game plan for every biography I wrote. I became an expert on the flow, the style, and achieving the individual customer’s intended results. The aim is not to become a robot, but more of a machine — so that when it’s time to work, you know exactly how to get the job done as efficiently as possible.
- Use the analytics tools. You get about 1300 characters to use on each gig description, and Fiverr will scan them for keywords that you’re using. Ensure that you are using the right keywords as they will have an effect on where your gigs are displayed.
- Don’t compare yourself to the competition. It’s easy to feel confronted by another seller who has 1000+ 5-star reviews, whereas you only have 10. Instead of worrying about the competition, think of what makes your gig stand out from theirs, and play to your strengths instead of worrying about things you can’t control.
If you enjoyed my little guide/case-study on how I managed to supplement my musician income with Fiverr, and are interested in getting started — please feel free to sign up using my referral link. You’ll get 20% off your first purchase if you ever want to hire a professional.
If you have any questions about my journey on Fiverr, let me know down below in the comments. I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have.