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Managing work/life balance - question for busy sellers


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Hey all! Level 2 seller here. Just wondering if you guys experience a crazy amount of work regardless of upping your prices and increasing your turnaround time. I work till 5am most nights, 7 days a week. I design postcard, posters, flyers, etc.

I would love to do less orders and get the same (or similar) amount of money but I haven't found that kind of balance yet. Does anyone have tips for me? Maybe I need to increase my prices even more? I think I've raised them $25 per package for every gig and made my turnaround 5 days (instead of 3). This has been the 3rd price increase I've done over the last few months. 

Help is appreciated!

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Hi @laurens_designs,

I know how you feel!

Right now, I'm making the same with 15-20 orders/month as I was making with 87 orders in April. April was a nightmare and I don't ever want to experience that again. You can read about what I did here:

https://community.fiverr.com/forums/topic/281871-i-stopped-offering-expedited-deliveries-and-doubled-my-delivery-times-and-this-is-what-happened/#comment-1812423

The good news is, since May, I've been able to consistently keep my orders at 15-20 per month depending on the type of orders that I'm getting. This is where I want to be. This allows me to homeschool, take care of errands, and still make a full-time income. I also had the Fiverr's Choice badge pretty consistently since April, so doing all of this hasn't hurt my ability to get orders.

Here's a list of what I do to control my orders:

  • Restructuring packages: I modified my packages and restructured my offerings so that my basic package was much higher. Instead of offering a cover letter as the basic package, I now offer a resume (with the cover letter as a gig extra).
  • Turning off expedited orders: I only do expedited orders for repeat buyers with quick and easy orders. I refuse all other expedited orders.
  • Extended deliveries times: I have 10-14 days delivery times on orders that I can deliver in 1-3 days. On custom orders, I often request 3 weeks or longer. This allows me to schedule my orders around my schedule and other orders better. It also allows me to work in days off.
  • Extending delivery dates: You might have to extend the delivery dates of open orders due to an unexpected influx of orders on the same day. Communicate with your buyers and change those delivery dates to stagger your work so you aren't overwhelmed.
  • Price increases: My average selling price is now 10x what it was what I first started. I still increase the prices until the orders stop. If I need to, I'll lower prices temporarily to allow more orders in. However, overall, I'm steadily increasing my prices each month.
  • Out-Of-Office (OOS): If I need to, I'll use the Out-Of-Office for 4 days at a time to take my gigs off the market.
  • Pausing my gigs: I'll also pause my gigs for 4 days at a time if needed.
  • Saying "No":  I still turn away most inquiries that come in my inbox and am very picky about the projects I choose to take on. I'd rather be picky than do a lot of cancelations. Saying "no" requires you to have a good handle on order planning and scheduling. I like to be 1-3 months out on my order planning.
  • Limiting revisions: I used to offer unlimited revisions, which led to cancelations, and a lot of stress for me. I now offer 3 free revisions and charge for more. This has been working great!
  • Canceling orders: I don't like to do cancelations but sometimes it's the right thing to do, especially if you get an influx of orders and it's in the buyer's best interest to cancel.
  • Limiting orders in queue: I have a hard time timing this one right. I'm going to turn this to 0 right before the Christmas holidays.
  • Withdrawing custom offers: If I'm swamped, I go through my inbox and withdraw all my custom offers I made that are older than a week old so that I don't have any surprise orders. I'll create offers again if the buyer ever comes back.
  • Request to Order: I now use the new Request to Order feature to prevent buyers from ordering straight from my gig.

It's important to react immediately when you see your workload going in a direction that you don't want. If you are pulling all-nighters, drinking too many Monster drinks, if dust is beginning to settle around you and your computer station, you are losing weekends, and don't have time for your other responsibilities (or for self-care), you should probably take action before it gets out of hand. I have kids who are very honest, so it's easier for me to gauge how well I'm balancing my workload with the rest of my life.

Edited by vickieito
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First off, I appreciate you so much, thank you! I always give 100% on every order. None of my clients ever feel under serviced. I also don't take on every order that comes to me but I would say about 90% that message me end up ordering. I just rearrange my life to get everything done on time. Also, I'm never late on deliveries, yay (except the 5am nights haha)!

I rarely cancel, only if the buyer is difficult. I know ahead of time by their communication how it will go so I'll usually refer them elsewhere.

You pointed out SO MANY good points. Never even realized there was a "request to order" option. I'll look into that!

I also do have the badge and have promoted gigs. Maybe I should turn those off LOL!

In Aug I did 100 orders and 87 in sept. I'm telling you, it's a LOT!!

Again, I can't thank you enough for all this info. Looks like I have quite a bit of tweaking I can do. I've just been to scared but you reassured me 🙂

2 hours ago, vickieito said:

Hi @laurens_designs,

I know how you feel!

Right now, I'm making the same with 15-20 orders/month as I was making with 87 orders in April. April was a nightmare and I don't ever want to experience that again. You can read about what I did here:

https://community.fiverr.com/forums/topic/281871-i-stopped-offering-expedited-deliveries-and-doubled-my-delivery-times-and-this-is-what-happened/#comment-1812423

The good news is, since May, I've been able to consistently keep my orders at 15-20 per month depending on the type of orders that I'm getting. This is where I want to be. This allows me to homeschool, take care of errands, and still make a full-time income. I also had the Fiverr's Choice badge pretty consistently since April, so doing all of this hasn't hurt my ability to get orders.

Here's a list of what I do to control my orders:

  • Restructuring packages: I modified my packages and restructured my offerings so that my basic package was much higher. Instead of offering a cover letter as the basic package, I now offer a resume (with the cover letter as a gig extra).
  • Turning off expedited orders: I only do expedited orders for repeat buyers with quick and easy orders. I refuse all other expedited orders.
  • Extended deliveries times: I have 10-14 days delivery times on orders that I can deliver in 1-3 days. On custom orders, I often request 3 weeks or longer. This allows me to schedule my orders around my schedule and other orders better. It also allows me to work in days off.
  • Extending delivery dates: You might have to extend the delivery dates of open orders due to an unexpected influx of orders on the same day. Communicate with your buyers and change those delivery dates to stagger your work so you aren't overwhelmed.
  • Price increases: My average selling price is now 10x what it was what I first started. I still increase the prices until the orders stop. If I need to, I'll lower prices temporarily to allow more orders in. However, overall, I'm steadily increasing my prices each month.
  • Out-Of-Office (OOS): If I need to, I'll use the Out-Of-Office for 4 days at a time to take my gigs off the market.
  • Pausing my gigs: I'll also pause my gigs for 4 days at a time if needed.
  • Saying "No":  I still turn away most inquiries that come in my inbox and am very picky about the projects I choose to take on. I'd rather be picky than do a lot of cancelations. Saying "no" requires you to have a good handle on order planning and scheduling. I like to be 1-3 months out on my order planning.
  • Limiting revisions: I used to offer unlimited revisions, which led to cancelations, and a lot of stress for me. I now offer 3 free revisions and charge for more. This has been working great!
  • Canceling orders: I don't like to do cancelations but sometimes it's the right thing to do, especially if you get an influx of orders and it's in the buyer's best interest to cancel.
  • Limiting orders in queue: I have a hard time timing this one right. I'm going to turn this to 0 right before the Christmas holidays.
  • Withdrawing custom offers: If I'm swamped, I go through my inbox and withdraw all my custom offers I made that are older than a week old so that I don't have any surprise orders. I'll create offers again if the buyer ever comes back.
  • Request to Order: I now use the new Request to Order feature to prevent buyers from ordering straight from my gig.

It's important to react immediately when you see your workload going in a direction that you don't want. If you are pulling all-nighters, drinking too many Monster drinks, if dust is beginning to settle around you and your computer station, you are losing weekends, and don't have time for your other responsibilities (or for self-care), you should probably take action before it gets out of hand. I have kids who are very honest, so it's easier for me to gauge how well I'm balancing my workload with the rest of my life.

 

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48 minutes ago, laurens_designs said:

promoted gigs

Lol! I forgot this one! Yes, I turn this off most of the time. If I ever turn it on, I turn it off when I'm asleep or not working. As soon as I get the promoted gig order, I turn it off.

50 minutes ago, laurens_designs said:

Never even realized there was a "request to order" option.

This is a very new feature that is only available to some Seller Plus members. Hopefully you are on Seller Plus!

51 minutes ago, laurens_designs said:

In Aug I did 100 orders and 87 in sept. I'm telling you, it's a LOT!!

I only needed to experience it once ...and then came to the forum to learn how to make it stop! I didn't like waking up in the morning to 10 new orders (and some of them were expedited)! I really prefer to have my buyers contact me ahead of time so we can discuss before an order is placed.

55 minutes ago, laurens_designs said:

I always give 100% on every order. None of my clients ever feel under serviced.

Same here!

1 hour ago, laurens_designs said:

Also, I'm never late on deliveries, yay (except the 5am nights haha)!

Good for you! I've never had a late delivery, but I have extended delivery dates on orders before. If you've never done that, kudos to you!

56 minutes ago, laurens_designs said:

I also don't take on every order that comes to me but I would say about 90% that message me end up ordering. I just rearrange my life to get everything done on time. 

This might be a little high, you might have to take on less if you have too many orders.

58 minutes ago, laurens_designs said:

Again, I can't thank you enough for all this info.

Good luck! I wish the best for you!

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Hi there! Congrats on all of your success. I think everyone's objective on Fiverr should be to work both as hard and as smart as possible. Sure, it's great to be successful, but not if it comes at the cost of your physical and mental health. I would recommend setting a limit on hours worked for yourself. I aim to "work" no more than 30 hours a week.  When I say "work" I mean anything directly involved with a sale which for me is writing scripts. Anything past 30 hours should be spent on increasing the value proposition of my services. This involves anything from working on my profile, studying courses, analysing competitors, etc. 

Sure it's great to be working 40 hours a week at $25 per package, but if you doubled your prices and lost half of your clients, you would be left with the same amount of money despite only working half the time. Now you are working hard and smart! 

TLDR: Focus on becoming faster, or increasing your value proposition so that you can increase your prices and therefore earn as much for half the time. Set a "ceiling" of hours worked for the week. If you find that for two weeks in a row you exceed that limit, then raise your prices by 20%. Remember, you can always lower your prices back to normal. I have been doing this for since the beginning of my journey months ago. I worried that I might not get orders, but now I am charging three times as much as I would have ever thought possible and I am considering raising my prices again! 

Value yourself and your time so that you can in turn provide each customer with the most value possible! All the best with your journey 🙂 

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On 11/6/2022 at 2:09 PM, kaneswriting said:

If you find that for two weeks in a row you exceed that limit, then raise your prices by 20%. 

I appreciate it, thank you so very much! I can't believe I never thought of this haha. Seems too simple for me to come up with. I will do this. Again, thank you so much!

Edited by laurens_designs
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