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Advice from a businessperson


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Though I am relatively new to Fiverr, I would like to give some general business advice to those who are starting out or otherwise less experienced.  First of all, everything I say is from the standpoint of a middle-aged, white American male, who began life in poverty but has become successful in both life and business.  I speak only for myself, but my notes below will help almost anyone who applies them to their business.


  1. If you are selling on Fiverr, you are a small business owner.  End of story, full stop.
  2. Customer service is easily the most important factor which will make or break your business.
  3. You must offer a quality service.
  4. You must know what your competitive advantage is.
  5. You must be willing to fail.
  6. You must be willing to learn.
  7. You must love what you do.
  8. You must be a salesperson.
  9. You must work smart and hard.
  10. You must have a business plan.
  11. You must invest in your business, time, and money.
  12. You must set goals.
  13. You must know when to say no.
  14. You must give before you take.


These are the details for the headlines.

  1. Being a small business owner is a privilege and a responsibility.  By being a small business owner, you are promising your clients you will give them the best service possible.  If you are on Fiverr, or any other platform, just trying to make a fast dollar, you will fail. 
  2. Customer service will be why your business succeeds or fails.  Headlines 2 (customer service) and 3 (quality service) are equal or can be reversed in order in many people’s opinions, but regardless of the order, you absolutely must attend to your customer’s needs in the manner in which the customer wants to be attended with.  I cannot stress the second part of this sentence enough. You absolutely must learn your customers needs.  Do not make assumptions. If many of your customers are from a different country/culture/whatever, learn some about their culture so you can communicate better.  Use your own experiences to develop your own list, but I am an American male, and I will tell you some of the things I see a lot of sellers from other countries/cultures doing wrong when they are trying to provide me with good customer service:
    1. They do not try to learn anything about my needs.  Most of the time they are approaching me from their point of view and do not ask any questions regarding why I want or need.
    2. They use my last name where it would be more appropriate to use my first name.  My name is Christopher Evans.  American’s use the format of First Name then Last Name (also called surname or family name).  The correct way to address me is Christopher, or Mr. Evans.  Many people say “Hi, Evans” This is incorrect.  Also, in a business setting is also inappropriate to call me “dear”, or “bro”, or “my friend”.  For American’s, most of us prefer to be called by our first name, or Mr. (or Ms./Mrs. for a woman).  Most men are also OK being called Sir, e.g., “Good afternoon, sir”.  But if you use first name or Mr. (last name), that is always appropriate.
    3. Negotiation:  This is one of the most challenging things to deal with regarding other cultures.  Americans negotiate very differently than people from many other parts of the world.  There is no one statement which would capture the negotiating style for all American’s, but in general, we are less aggressive than other cultures.  One of the biggest issues I see with other cultures negotiating with me is they begin by telling me I am wrong, or my service is bad, or something like that.  Do not ever do this.  I recently offered my services to a buyer, via a buyer request, and they buyer immediately began telling me they did not like my service but would buy it at 20% my offered price.  For most Americans, this is an immediate turn-off, and you will be ignored.  If you don’t like my service, then do not communicate with me.  That style of negotiation is inappropriate for most Americans.
  3. I will repeat what I said in bullet 1, if you are here to make a quick dollar and do not care about providing a good service, you will fail.  Fiverr customers will eventually realize your service is not worth having, and you will no longer regularly sell anything.  If you are not willing to sell a quality service, please do not waste people’s time.
  4. Competitive advantage is what sets you apart from your competition.  For example, there are thousands of American male voice overs; my competitive advantage is I can speak with a neutral American accent, or I can speak with a regional Southern accent.  Not everyone can do this, so it is an advantage for me.  Identify your competitive advantage and market it.
  5. If you are afraid of failing, you will never take the chances you need to succeed. 
  6. Business is changing faster than ever before in history.  It is your responsibility as a small business owner to learn how to perform your services better and how to market them better.  You must always be learning if you are to have any hope of keeping up.
  7. Maybe this should be number one.  If you don’t love what you do, the results will show in your work and your customers will recognize this. 
  8. Most people hate this one.  Most people try to cut corners and find every way possible to not have to sell.  I am sorry to tell you, it is impossible to succeed in business without selling.  I hate it to.  I wish I did not have to sell and people would magically come to my business, but that is never going to be true.  And selling, or marketing as some people call it, does not mean posting your Fiverr link on a forum or Twitter and hoping people will buy.  You must actively engage in the process of mindfully communicating your service to your customers.
  9. Some say, “work smart, not hard”.  You must do both.  You must find the most efficient and effective way to work, and then do that consistently and perpetually.
  10. If is an old saying but if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.  This means there is no way to reach your goals without having a plan to do so.  And you have WRITE IT DOWN.  This is a critical step.  You must write down your business plan.  This simple act helps it become real to you and fleshes out gaps you may not have previously seen.
  11. Again, you are a business owner, and as such you must invest in it.  If you don’t have a lot of money, you must augment with innovative ways to achieve results, and spend the time needed to succeed.  If you have some money, but not a lot of time, hire-out the things which are time consuming, and others can do as good or better than you.
  12. How are you going to know if you are succeeding if you don’t have goals?  And just like with the business plan, you must write them down and post them where you will always see them.
  13. This gets left off of a lot of business advice lists, but I believe it is important.  Learning when and how to say no comes with experience and must be developed.  It is important because saying yes, when you should say no, means you have compromised on something.  Compromising isn’t always bad, but you have to learn when to and when not to.  For example, even though I am trying to grow my Fiverr business, I turn down approximately 20% of the jobs I am offered because they do not align with my personal morals or ethics, or they otherwise do not align with the portfolio I am curating.
  14. This means you must put in the work to learn your craft before you reap the benefits from it.  Do not expect to become number one in a day, week, or even a year.  You have to work very hard to succeed in life and business.
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  • 2 weeks later...

You've forgotten one other basic point @cs_evans. All your (valid) points mean nothing if a seller is not able to converse with a customer in basic English (using a reputable translator app if necessary). If the quality of many forum members' posts is anything to go by - this simple prerequisite seems an insurmountable hurdle to get over. :classic_rolleyes:

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On 12/26/2021 at 2:30 PM, cs_evans said:

You must be willing to fail.

Lol! Amen to that! 

Isn't there a quote that says, "The road to success is paved with many failures." (Or something like that).

On 12/26/2021 at 2:30 PM, cs_evans said:

everything I say is from the standpoint of a middle-aged, white American male, who began life in poverty

Everyone had been stereotyped at some point in their life. As an Asian female, I've experienced different challenges from you.

I was a seven year old in a new country, that stuttered and didn't speak English. It was a difficult childhood.

Somewhere along the line, enlisted in the military, went to college, and learned business acquisition.

As in any million dollars acquisition, it's not the price but the quality of your work (& reputation) that will determine your future. If you have high price, you better have the ability to deliver high quality.

In business acquisition, low bidders are immediately eliminated. There is no sense in spending time and money on a contractor that obviously has no clue what the project entails. If they did, they wouldn't be bidding so low. 😃 

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On 12/26/2021 at 8:30 PM, cs_evans said:

Most of the time they are approaching me from their point of view and do not ask any questions regarding why I want or need.

I was talking to someone about this. You do not use the same sles approach for everyone. 

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