I get asked this question so much and I always answer with the same thing, “yours.”
But I was thinking about giving this question some thought, especially with regards to Day 1 of being a freelancer.
I want to go ahead and preface this with that I’m not going to be giving you a long list of sites to create profiles on away you go.
Sites like Upwork and 99designs and alike are all races to the bottom. Some other sites like Codeable and Toptal are hand-curated and at least have some sort of bar for you to hit before getting in.
I’m a firm believer in that no matter what you do, these sites will always put a ceiling on your income and clients. People posting gigs want bottom dollar and the site itself takes a piece of that, leaving you as a commodity and not in any sort of control of your own business.
With that being said, Fiverr to me seems like a good place to start, especially if you are just starting out.
Here are 3 reasons why I say this.
Your service is a product
When people look at Fiverr it is with a very specific task in mind.
They’ll look to hire someone who can make social media images, a piece of code, edit a video, create a video intro, and so on.
All these are literally products within a bigger service that you may be providing.
When you start out, you may think I can code a website or I can do brand design. These are large, often times, custom projects that are difficult to scope and price when starting out.
Creating a profile on Fiverr forces you to think small right away. You may even be able to know that creating a social media pack of images takes you 1 hour to do and you can charge $100 for and be profitable. Because you’ve done this already in the past.
It takes a lot of the guesswork that most freelancers have when starting out.
It also puts you into the mindset of looking at your services as products with profits in mindset, straight away. Something that most freelancers struggle with later on as their business matures.
Scope of work is clear-cut and well defined
Recurring revenue comes with a repeatable service within your business that has a defined scope, clear goal, and most of all profitable.
Smaller projects are easier to scope, market, optimize, and deliver.
Let’s take that example above.
Let’s say that you land 10 clients looking for social media images and charge $100 a piece for. That’s $1000 in 10 hours.
These clients are easier to market to and sell because they already know they need it.
If you sell one client on building a website for, that could be $5000 and take 4-6 weeks.
Sure it would be more revenue, but it would take you much longer to deliver the product, harder to sell, and market to.
At the end, you may have one client that’s happy and willing to give you a referral and testimonial.
Whereas with the social media images, you may have 10 after just a week willing to spread your good work.
You can learn how to run a profitable business with smaller projects
When starting out, I struggled with all the other things of running a business that wasn’t my development skills.
Having a service product that Fiverr forces you to think about allows you to figure out all the other moving pieces like client management, delivery, marketing, sales, and most importantly finances.
Revenue is not profit.
If you are spending 1 hour for $100 and then you can shave that time back to 30 minutes, you just doubled your effective hourly rate and increased your profits.
It’s much easier to adjust your internal processes and optimize them the more times you do it. Smaller projects afford this opportunity.
For these 3 reasons, I feel that Fiverr gives you the best opportunity to get your mindset right when you start freelancing. Eventually you’ll have to break away from it, but in doing so, you’ll have products to sell straight away and much faster than your counterparts who are still trying to figure out how to rank in the search over on Upwork.
Here are some further resources that you'll want to check out that directly relate to the show.
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