Many of us that work in the music industry are freelancers; we move from project to project for different clients working on a broad spectrum of different things. Like all freelancers, one of the main challenges we face is marketing our services. Whether you are a session musician, songwriter, producer or any other role in the business, finding clients who need the service you provide is arguably the biggest part of the job and one that can often be quite difficult. This is where Fiverr.com comes in.
In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the Fiverr website, look at how Fiverr works and explain how to make money on Fiverr as a musician.
Stay tuned for everything you need to know about this money making platform!
In a nutshell, Fiverr.com is an online marketplace for freelancers. It actually goes way beyond just music and audio into a number of creative verticals.
Graphic designers, video producers, animators, proofreaders, illustrators, voice-over artists, programmers, and of course musicians can all list their services (or ‘Gigs’ as Fiverr calls it). Buyers can search the Fiverr.com website for whatever they are looking for.
Fiverr.com Freelance Sellers list their Fiverr Jobs or ‘Gigs’ on their profile. They set their own prices for their services and Buyers can search the Fiverr.com website for their specific offering. This could be a trumpet player offering to compose and record a trumpet part for a song; or a graphic designer offering to create an artwork for an album.
Buyers can then place orders from the gigs available (or even message the seller directly to request a custom order). Once the order is placed, there is a set timescale for delivery and a set number of revisions that can be requested. There is an additional fee if more revisions are required. Once the delivery has been made and no more revisions are requested, the buyer is charged for the service and the seller is paid (after a 14 day clearance period). Fiverr.com make their money by taking a cut of the fee.
After the gig, the buyer and seller both get the chance to give a star rating and leave a review. Other buyers and sellers can take that into consideration for future orders. As a seller becomes more mature on the platform and meets certain milestones such as total number of orders delivered, average rating across those orders, number of orders delivered on time, etc. – they move up different levels of the seller from basic to Level 1, Level 2, Top Rated, and ultimately Pro Verified.
As sellers go up the levels they get extra functionality. They gain the ability to offer more than the standard number of gigs, get their fees quicker and ultimately they can also set higher prices as their experience and skills are verified.
So, why use Fiverr if you’re working in the music industry?
Before the internet was such a powerful tool, musicians earned gigs by word of mouth, referrals, and networking. This often meant that musicians from outside of major cities and music hubs had to either re-locate or commute to where music was happening; having to spend a lot of time networking with other artists and musicians in order to build their business.
Fiverr.com takes a lot of that legwork away. The platform allows buyers from all over the world to browse for services, see examples of past work and read the reviews of other buyers that have ordered services from that seller in the past.
For musicians this means that it is much easier to find clients to work with; especially if they play an instrument that is a little more unusual.
Sellers are protected in that Fiverr charge a buyer’s card as soon as the service is ordered.
This means that Sellers have a guarantee that once they have delivered the work, they will get paid. Also, if there are any disputes about the service provided, Fiverr also has a dedicated dispute resolution service.
Fiverr.com provides stats on how your gigs perform; how many impressions and clicks you get each day and what your conversion rate is. This helps you refine your gigs and their descriptions so that you can increase your orders.
Fiverr also allocate badges such as the ‘Rising Talent’ badge for Sellers who see increases in their orders and reviews. There is also the ‘Pro Verified’ badge for sellers that are leaders in their field.
Although Fiverr allows you to withdraw your earnings into your bank or PayPal account – you can also use your Fiverr balance to purchase services from other buyers.
Perhaps you need a voiceover for a track on your album, or a horn line for your next single, a lyric video made for your social media? The Fiverr.com seller community has you covered and can help you make those connections you might not have.
The Fiverr App is really good, it allows you to respond to enquiries, submit custom offers, manage your ongoing orders, withdraw your earnings and see your stats all on your phone.
This is especially good as your response rate to messages is one of the key things that the platform grades you on as a seller.
Fiverr.com also has a number of qualifications that are available through the platform which allow sellers to sell educational courses as a gig and enhance their own skill sets.
If you have completed a qualification on Fiverr, this also shows up on your selling profile so Buyers can see that you have that additional skill.
Fiverr.com is a really great place to sell but there are some tricks and tips you can use to make your offering stand out and get more orders. Here are our top tips:
Just like with any service or product, it helps to have a unique selling point or offering; because there is less competition for that specific thing. For example – if you are a guitar player, then you are entering a very crowded marketplace. Naturally, that will make it more difficult for you to attract buyers as your customers will have a broad range of choices available to them.
To get around this, think about what unique offering you can bring to the table; Then update your gig description accordingly. So, rather than “I Will Play Guitar For You”, why not consider “I Will Play Fingerstyle Guitar For You”.
Similarly, if you play an instrument that is a little less common, then you have a much better chance of buyers selecting your gig.
As a freelancer, pricing is always going to be difficult. You are walking a line of valuing your time and expertise, earning enough to make your music sustainable and also trying to put forward an attractive offer for your customers.
Many freelancers on Fiverr get this wrong and put forward offerings that are either way too cheap (such as a session part for $5). Others go way too expensive (especially if you’re competing with the $5 guy). Our advice would be that by putting forward an offer that is too cheap, you not only devalue your own worth, but you also encourage a culture whereby buyers don’t appropriately value your service – and in that instance we all lose, but of course, you don’t want to price yourself out of the market.
So, we would recommend searching Fiverr for similar services to the one you offer and looking at how they are priced. Try to put together a price that sits alongside your competitors. In the early days, this will probably mean selling yourself a little cheap – We would advise taking the long view and accepting a lower than desired fee in the beginning with a view to increase your prices as your reviews and seller level increase in just the same way you might increase your prices as your career progresses outside of a platform like Fiverr.
This tip follows on directly from point two. Fiverr allows you to offer different packages for your gig – perhaps you’ll compose a piece on strings for $20 but a whole orchestra for $100. Or perhaps you’ll offer higher quality audio or more revisions for a higher price.
In any case, Fiverr’s own stats suggest that when you have options, you are more likely to get orders. Your basic offering can be a low cost option to get people to look at your gig much more closely with the intention that they will actually choose a more valuable option once they are looking at the gig.
Fiverr.com allows you to upload a gallery to a gig – this is your portfolio of other work and it shows your customers what you can do. Make sure that you have your best work on show – remember the idea here is to show people your service, not to promote your band’s last single so make sure that whatever you are putting up is first and foremost a good example of the kind of work you can do.
Fiverr.com can show you lots of really good performance stats on your gigs, including how many impressions and clicks you get for each one.
Use this information to create more attractive gigs and monitor how your changes to the pricing and descriptions change how effective your gigs are.
The seller level is a big part of selling on Fiverr – the higher your level, the more seniority you have on the platform and therefore the more you can charge your buyers and the more your buyers can trust that when they order a service from you, they are getting the best.
Therefore, make sure that you do everything you can to keep your deliveries on schedule. Respond to enquiries in a timely manner and keep your customers happy so that they provide high ratings and good reviews.
This one may seem obvious but it is worth mentioning. For musicians to earn well on Fiverr, the ability to deliver a high quality product is essential.
It doesn’t matter if you are the best piano player in the world, if you’re delivering work that was recorded on a phone speaker, you are going to struggle to get good reviews; So make sure you have the equipment to be able to deliver high quality audio files for your clients.
There are a few Fiverr competitors on the market.
Here we’ll make some headline comparisons amongst the main players in this space.
Upwork is another online marketplace where buyers can search for freelancers for specific projects. Although Fiverr is not specifically for musicians only, it does cater very well for musicians. Music & Audio is one of the key verticals that buyers can search under.
On first impressions, Upwork seems to cater more for professional services such as Development & IT, Writing & Translation and Finance & Accounting. A little bit of searching does lead you to find that musicians and composers are using the platform but it does feel like it isn’t the main driver of Upwork’s offering.
Whilst Fiverr offers a flat service fee (i.e. “I will play bass guitar for your song”) for a service, Upwork supports an hourly rate and timesheet approach (i.e. compose music for your video – £35/per hour) which does mean that musicians and composers could be paid a fairer wage on the platform, if the buyers are there to place the orders.
Freelancer boasts some pretty impressive stats – 52 million registered users and 19.8 million jobs posted; it certainly has a good number of people using the site. It works slightly differently to Fiverr in that rather than being able to browse talent and come across different sellers that way; Freelancer pushes a user to first describe their product and then it goes out to freelancers to quote.
This is good because it acts as a filter to make sure that the buyers looking for services are actually going to buy, however it does also mean more hurdles before you can see what’s possible. We think a lot of users prefer to be able to browse without having to create accounts and logins or sign up to mailing lists so it might not be as user-friendly as Fiverr.
You might be thinking “Hey, SoundBetter’s font and branding looks kind of familiar”, and if you are, well spotted! SoundBetter is part of the Spotify family. It is essentially designed to allow musicians from around the world to work with the best music professionals in the business. As they say on their website “Want to work with Led Zepplin’s engineer? Now you can”.
Through SoundBetter, artists can create a project and receive proposals from professionals at the top of their game – you can search by skills, by credits or by “Sounds Like” – so if you wanted to work with musicians who played with Taylor Swift or Biffy Clyro and you have the budget to do it – this is where the door opens.
It is a fantastic site – but of course, the entry criteria is a little more selective than Fiverr. There are a few more hurdles to clear before you can really start operating as a provider on the platform.
Fiverr is a great tool for freelance musicians. It’s very easy to use and manage your sales and it’s very easy to learn how to sell on Fiverr. We’d certainly recommend checking out the platform as another string to your bow for finding new clients to work with.
Some users will find that Fiverr can be the sole platform they use to find new work and build their business. In our experience, it’s more a case that Fiverr is one of many income streams – supplemented by more traditional income streams such as live performance fees, sessions that come up as a result of word of mouth and performance royalties but it is certainly a really good stream to cultivate and we’d recommend it to musicians looking for more opportunities to get involved in new projects.
Have you ever used Fiverr to make money as a musician? Let us know about your experiences in the comment section below! Also, don’t forget to share this article across your socials and give us a tag @musicgateway!
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