Fiverr specializes in selling freelance gigs at $5 a pop — but those fives can add up to six-figure salaries.
There are a small handful of Fiverr super-sellers who are raking in the big bucks and making Fiverr into a comfortable freelance living. AdvertisementRemaining Time -0:14
“I’ve made six figures for the last two years,” Linnea Sage told the Daily News.
The 27-year-old, who lives in the city, has been a Fiverr seller since October 2011, when she put up a voiceover listing on the then-new website.
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Sage heard about Fiverr by chance, while carpooling to a wedding. She was already trained as an actor, but was looking for a more stable income — so she checked out the site and learned about the business model.
Fiverr allows sellers to create countless so-called gigs, from which they sell everything from crafts to writing to songs starting at $5 each. (In the near future, the company plans to allow users to set their own gig prices instead of starting everything at $5.)
The company keeps $1 out of every $5 gig, but for Sage that still left enough to be worthwhile.
“I decided to give it a shot,” she said.
At that point, the site was still pretty small — the Tel Aviv-based company was only founded in 2010. So by October 2011, there weren’t a lot of competitors in the voiceover business, and Sage was available to build up a good name for herself early on.
Now, she spends about 20 hours a week fulfilling the 40 to 60 gig orders she gets every day, and Fiverr has become a major source of her income.
She exclusively offers voiceover work — everything from commercials to voicemail messages to YouTube explainer videos.
Since Sage got on board, Fiverr has grown in leaps and bounds. There are now active buyers and sellers in 190 countries and the site has been home to more than 25 million transactions — around one-third of which occurred in the last year.
Though she started a little later than Sage, super-seller Redd Horrocks was also around to enjoy that growth.
Initially, the Las Vegas resident was introduced to the site in December 2012 as a buyer, not a seller.
“I went onto Fiverr to get a document formatted,” she said. Then, she prowled around the site a little bit and got more interested.
“I was kind of like, ‘Wow this site has everything — it has voiceover work,'” she said. Voiceover acting was Horrocks’ forte, but she didn’t have an agent at the time.
“So I decided to try it and see what would happen,” she said. “It was slow at first and then I kept moving up in the ranks and then it got to the point where I had to choose between this and my full-time job.”
So, in September 2014, she quit working as a stage manager and turned to Fiverr full-time.
Now, the 32-year-old is putting in around 35 hours per week to complete about 200 orders.
“This year, I stand to make about $120,000 if my projections turn out accurate,” she said.
With that sort of income, she’s been able to pay off old debt, become the only breadwinner in her household and make a downpayment on a home.
While Sage had the advantage of getting in early, Horrocks said her leg up is her British accent. Horrocks grew up in the United Kingdom and first moved to the U.S. for college in 2001.
She’s been here long enough that she can speak with an American accent, too, and about 70% of her orders ask for that.
“But it’s the other 30% that sets me apart,” she said.
Another reason that Horrocks has been so successful is that most of her orders are not $5 orders. That’s only the base price for Fiverr gigs, but users can pay more for additional services.
For an order with Horrocks, $5 only entitles a user to a certain length of voiceover; longer orders require more money.
“My average selling price is about $15 a gig,” she said, “but I have orders that run the gamut. I have one right now that is a 10,000-word order so that’s about a $500 order.”
That’s a strategy that other super sellers use, too. Ryan Heenan, a 31-year-old in Southern California, said that his average gig order was $61 last month.
Since starting with Fiverr in 2012, he’s raked in around $200,000.
Although he used to be a preschool teacher in Boston, he quit his job to sell jingles on Fiverr.
A graduate of the Berklee School of Music, Heenan started on Fiverr by selling drum loops.
“That didn’t work out too well and I didn’t sell any of them — so I switched to jingles and ukulele,” he said.
The secret to Fiverr success, Heenan said, is standing out from the crowd.
“If you can position yourself a little differently you can really standout, and in my case it was adding the video to the music.”
In addition to making music online, Heenan also runs a gym with his wife — which they paid for using money he earned on Fiverr.
“It gave us a lot of financial flexibility. Saving up to buy a house is the next big step,” he said.