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Make A Great First Impression - With a Buyer


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From The Fiverr Academy - Posted October 20th. By Charles Silberman (The Person Posting This)

The initial impression you make as a seller sets the tone for everything that proceeds in an online marketplace like Fiverr. Because buyers cannot see your body language or hear your tone of voice, your words and actions matter that much more. And because everyone interprets written language in their own manner, as a seller you have to choose your words carefully. If you have engaged in your first conversation with a buyer, then you have already done some things right.

You put the hard work in to get your Gig together. You spent time researching your category, tweaking your description, getting a logo made, creating a video, structuring your prices, and adding your own portfolio samples. This first interaction with a buyer means that your efforts in crafting a unique Gig worked. Your Fiverr resume got you in the door so to speak. Now you have to nail the interview. These next tips are presented to help you create a strong initial interaction with a buyer and aid you in subsequent ones as well.

Act Human

It is imperative to remember that you are communicating with a person on the other end of the Ethernet line. While it may seem simple and effective for your workflow to send the same message to every person that contacts you, this is impersonal. Buyers can sniff out a canned response from a mile away. Take a more personal approach instead. Conduct your messages as if you were having a conversation in person with someone that you respect, admire, and want to build a long-term business relationship with.
A good place to start is by introducing yourself. This will let the person on the other end know you are a human, and eventually they may share their name with you. It’s important to use a person’s name anytime you address them. In addition, you may want to ask some questions about the person such as how they are doing or how their day is going. Not only are these conversation starters, but they show that you are a real and caring person. Acting human is key to getting off on the right foot with a new buyer.

Clarify Until It Hurts

The notion that you have to make sense of a set of instructions by yourself is wrong. This only leads to low-quality work and an unsatisfied buyer. Instead, clarify any instructions for the potential order or order placed. Start by privately acknowledging that you received the order and that you will answer any questions they may have. You’ll want to clarify that you understand their instructions by repeating them back to the buyer. Do this until you are 100% sure you have met the buyer’s needs for the project. By doing this, you are showing that you listen and you are building trust with the buyer. This leads to a better, more respectful interaction and a successful delivery of high-quality work.
Directions for the project are not the only things you should clarify, however. Things like time zones and personal boundaries are important to clarify as well. For example, it is important to let a buyer know you live in a certain time zone and that it may cause a longer than usual response time. This lets the buyer know what to expect, which garners appreciation on their end. In addition, if you get a message when you are ready to call it a night, you can reply by expressing that you received the message and will respond in the morning. This alerts the buyer to your interest and gives them a time frame for your response. Plus, it establishes a clear boundary that can carry forward in your working relationship, as the buyer will know that nighttime is not a good time to start conversations they need immediate answers to.
Granted, you will not communicate all of this in the first correspondence. You will choose when it is appropriate to share what information. But by clarifying everything that can affect the order and your relationship with the buyer, you are setting yourself up for success and what could be a fruitful relationship.


That first conversation is all about building trust. And even though a buyer may not have asked for samples, sharing them, along with some information about yourself, can go a long way in building trust and showing that you are who you say you are. In a digital marketplace, the buyer’s fear of getting taken for a ride can be real. Even for a $5 order, which can be a lot of money in some parts of the world, assuring the buyer you can do what you promised builds trust. This is especially true for level one sellers, but it can still be useful for sellers with hundreds of reviews, especially in categories like writing where samples are harder to show.
Establishing a portfolio is a topic for a different post, but it is easily done these days. Simply ensure you create a basic web page where you can put up samples in a professional looking manner. You can even choose to hire a seller on Fiverr to help you with this. Also, follow Fiverr’s terms of service to ensure that any form of communication, such as links, point back to Fiverr. Having an established online portfolio will allow you to show real work, gain respect, and build trust with your buyers.
If you’re not at a point where you want to go the digital route, that’s okay. Save some samples on your computer or cloud folder. Watermark them with the word “sample” and use those to show work in your initial messages. Any way you choose to show samples is fine. This gives the buyer a chance to see what you can do, and they may choose to hire you for something else based on your portfolio.

Proof Your Messages

Showing your competence as a seller comes across no clearer than in the grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and spelling in your initial message or messages. It’s worth it to use a word processor, an online grammar checker, or a friend to check your writing. Ask yourself if you would buy from someone who communicated like a teenager on a cell phone. Most likely you would not.

How you communicate says a lot about your professionalism. Ensure your thoughts are clearly written. This is especially true if you are using speech recognition software, which can make mistakes too. Always double check your writing. Sending one wrong word because you trusted a computer to correctly translate it for you would be a disaster. Lastly, think well before you send the message. Process what you wrote and decide whether it is appropriate and well written.

Kill Them with Kindness

As a seller, you will get many first messages that may challenge you. Hold your tongue and be kind. If you are communicating with someone who does not speak the same language as you, be patient. If you get a request you know is not in your wheelhouse, politely decline it. That buyer may decide to hire you later if you treat them well. Even in a digital marketplace, how you treat someone matters. As a seller, it not only matters for your reputation, but it matters to the buyer as well. That person, no matter how they come across, deserves a modicum of respect. A spam message should even be met with a polite “no thank you”.
In addition, consider that buyers may not be as versed in technology or the platform as you may be; glitches also occur. If a buyer is not providing buyer requirements, is slow to respond after initial contact, or did not purchase correctly, be patient and understand that not everyone is tech savvy. Use these moments as opportunities to teach them how to use the platform. Buyers will appreciate the patience and extra help. Kill them with kindness, and catch more flies with honey as the saying goes.

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