Imagine your freelancing income dropped by 90% from one month to the next.
Would you be able to survive?
I don’t think many of us could.
But this is EXACTLY what happened to me… and it was all my fault.
When I first started copywriting, I hung my shingle out on the freelancing website Fiverr.
For the first 18 months, things worked out swimmingly.
I made more and more money each month. I had around 35% of my clients as repeat Buyers. I thought things were awesome and was on my way to easy street.
Then Reality Hit
And I mean… like a hammer.
I’d busted my butt and had a perfect 5 star review after 1 1/2 years on Fiverr.
Then one bad client experience and one bad review dried up the well.
Now, there’s plenty of blame to go around.
From my end, I should NEVER have relied exclusively on one freelancing platform to send me all my clients.
But from Fiverr’s end… there is something inherently wrong with an algorithm which SO severely punishes a freelancer for 1 bad review out of, literally, hundreds of 5 star reviews.
What To Do Instead
In hindsight, what I should have done from the beginning is to create multiple sources of clients… I mean, there are dozens of websites to find freelancing work, so putting all my eggs in the Fiverr basket was definitely a mistake.
There’s also something to be said for good ol’ fashioned prospecting as well.
It’s more difficult, yes. You may have to actually research your ideal clients, look up their contact info, and call them on the phone. Or better yet, write them an actual letter, then follow it up with a phone call.
Over time, the extra effort paid off and I got a few freelancing clients on retainer… some one-off work… and the occasional Fiverr gig — when they deemed me “worthy” of showing my gigs to potential Buyers.
And now? Awesomeness… if I’m being honest.
Look, I don’t need a whole lot. A place to sleep, some food, just enough money to keep my wife and kids happy.
I have enough for all of it… and more.
So what’s the moral of the story?
I guess I don’t really know, other than — if you’re going to be a freelancer, don’t be dumb like I was.
Prospect, reach out, network, but for God’s sake, don’t use Fiverr!