A lot of people think it is impossible to earn money online from Nigeria. Some even think it is not possible to work as a freelancer being a Nigerian. In this post, I’ll be showing you how I earned over $15,000, which is more than 6 million Naira, by freelancing on Fiverr as a Nigerian.
Before I started freelancing on Fiverr, I had done some direct freelancing jobs. I usually pitch potential clients through social media and email, and then they would reach back to me if they were interested in my services.
The first time I used a freelancing platform was way back in 2017. I joined Upwork. After the rigorous verification process, my Upwork account was verified and ready to use. I quickly set up my profile, and started applying for jobs in my niche.
I was able to land about 5 clients and completed about 14 projects before the jobs dried up. I didn’t know what happened to my Upwork account or if the algorithms stopped favoring me, but suddenly, I couldn’t get clients anymore. I would apply for as many jobs as I could but none of the jobs came forth.
Subsequently, I had to move on from Upwork. I had heard about Fiverr a couple of times, but I only heard bad stories about them. I heard about how Nigerians don’t make it there and how you need to disguise your profile to start earning on the Fiverr platform.
I was sceptical about earning on Fiverr, but at this point, I had fewer options available, so I had to at least give it a try and see what comes out of it.
How I Launched My Fiverr Account
Once I joined Fiverr, I set up my profile, put up a good looking picture of myself in front of a bright background, and added 3 gigs to start with. I noticed that Fiverr was a bit different from Upwork in that it was set up like a marketplace for gigs. You don’t have to go looking for clients if you don’t want to.
Even though there is the option to bid for jobs on Fiverr just like on Upwork, it is optional to do so via the Buyers Request Section. In fact in my first year freelancing on Fiverr, I got all my clients coming to me directly from my gigs. I didn’t even know that there was a place to bid for jobs on Fiverr until after about 1 year.
So, how did I launch my fiverr account to be successful?
I followed three ridiculously simple steps that I think still works today, and can work for anyone willing to give it a try.
- Set Low Prices On All My Gigs
The first step I took on my fiverr account was to set up my gigs and price them low. I know it can be tempting to want to make the most money on fiverr as quickly as possible, but the truth is, I was still new on the platform. Nobody knew me and nobody trusted me. And I’m from Nigeria!
What I did was used a principle my dad taught me: Under promise, over deliver. So, I priced my gigs for an amount that is less than starbucks coffee. My gigs were priced for an amount that most people are willing to lose. In other words, the upsides were more than the downsides for clients to patronize me.
And you know what? Most times, when I delivered the jobs, almost 90 percent of the clients gave me a tip that was more than the price of the gig. They thought the value I delivered was way more than they were paying for, so they had to compensate me. And they almost always come back for more.
- Find Fast Selling Gigs in My Niche
The second step I took to set up my fiverr account was to research fast selling gigs in my niche. Whether you like it or not, there are gigs that sell faster than others. There are gigs that are in higher demand than others. If you want to start making sales on fiverr ASAP, then you need to find those types of gigs and replicate them for your fiverr account.
How do I do this? I research my niche by switching to buyers mode. That is, I switch my fiverr account from the seller mode to buyer mode. This is possible when you log in to your fiverr account. You can sell gigs on fiverr, and you can also buy gigs from others if you want to do so.
So, I switch to buyers mode, find those sellers in my niche with many orders in queue, and copy them. If they have many orders in queue, it means that demand is high for that service. Also, if many sellers have orders in queue for a particular kind of service, then it means that service is in high demand.
So, I look for single gigs that are doing well, and gig groups with a recurring theme that are doing well. It is even possible to build your fiverr account around specific gig groups that are high in demand.
- Find My First Buyer ASAP
The third step I took in setting up my fiverr account is to find my first buyer as soon as possible. This is important so as to get someone to rate my service. Most clients on fiverr look at your gig review or rating before purchasing your gig. If they see a gig they want to buy but the gig doesn’t have any rating, they might pass up and move on to the next seller. So, on fiverr, feedback on your services are a deal breaker. You either get good ratings or you go home.
That is why when I started on fiverr, I got a friend of mine to purchase my gig and give me their feedback on my service. Luckily for me, the friend liked my service and gave me a 5 star rating. That is how I kickstarted my fiverr sales.
After my first sale and first rating from my friend, it wasn’t long before I got my second and third clients, and from there, my fiverr sales grew.
How I Chose My Fiverr Niche
First of all, the most important rule for choosing a niche is to choose one that you can consistently deliver high-quality jobs. Nothing beats that. You have to choose a niche which corresponds to your area of competence, and that is what I did.
If you don’t have any skill or you don’t enjoy working in your area of competence, then you can always find someone who is competent in that area. You’ll get jobs from fiverr and then outsource the jobs to them. This is what is called fiverr arbitrage. You can be the middleman and be making money (commissions) just by managing demand and supply of jobs via your fiverr account.
Fortunately for me, I found a niche where I’m both competent and enjoy doing the job. I also have a few people who work for me during job spikes. When the jobs start coming thick and fast, I have to do some outsourcing in order to avoid burnout.
Myths About Making Money On Fiverr
When I started on Fiverr, I heard so many myths, wrong facts and unfounded talks about fiverr that got me confused. I’m sure these myths are still making the rounds today and confusing many fiverr newbies. So, I’m going to clarify them one after the other.
Fiverr Myth #1: You Need A U.S. Account
This is the biggest myth within the freelancers circle in Nigeria. Most people will tell you that you need to have a U.S fiverr account if you want to make any money freelancing on fiverr. But nothing could be farther than the truth. My fiverr account is Nigerian and my profile has my picture as a Nigerian, and I am making sales on fiverr.
I think this should be proof that all you need to do is be good at what you do and good enough at marketing your services. Your country or origin cannot limit you on fiverr.
Fiverr Myth #2: You Need A Female Account
Many freelancers I’ve met on fiverr believe that female accounts sell better on fiverr. They believe male sellers prefer buying from female sellers than their male counterpart. That is why most Nigerian profiles on fiverr are female, mostly run by males in disguise.
While this may be true, the fact is that fiverr is big enough for everyone to thrive. You can make money on fiverr being yourself, even as a male. I used to wonder how it would feel showing someone your fiverr account as a male, and they see a female profile on your fiverr account. It looks scammish and unprofessional. You want to be proud when you show someone your fiverr profile and proof to them that you make money legitimately online.
Fiverr Myth #3: Nigerians Don’t Make It On Fiverr
Almost the same as the first myth, but in this case, most Nigerians just avoid using their identities as Nigerians on fiverr. They believe that Nigeria’s reputation is soiled and most clients would not want to work with them. That is why you see them using different countries profiles such as the U.K, U.S, Australia, Ireland, etc.
I am here to show that it is possible to not disguise your identity as a Nigerian on fiverr, and yet make money. If you are good enough at what you do, and you put consistent effort into marketing your services and reaching out to potential clients, then you will succeed.
Fiverr Myth #4: Avoid The Buyers Request Section
I don’t know why people preach against using the buyers request section of fiverr. Yes, there are a lot of cheap clients there, but also some genuine clients willing to pay good money for your services.
Remember, nothing good comes easy. You might need to kiss some toads before you find your princess. So, don’t underestimate what you can do with fiverr’s buyers requests. Sometimes, what I do is pitch clients from the buyers request section, and then upsell them with my other gigs. I simply take lemons and turn them into lemonade.
Fiverr Myth #5: Use Multiple Accounts With VPN
There is this perception that if you want to make more money on fiverr, then you need to monopolize your niche by having multiple accounts. This is nonsensical. Most times, it doesn’t work and your fiverr accounts would be at risk.
I’ve met a guy who has 5 accounts on fiverr, but none of them is bringing any sales for him. Also, he has to work five times to market each of the accounts in a bid to attract customers. Talk of time and resource mismanagement!
How To Grow Your Fiverr Account
So, now that I’ve dealt with the fiverr myths, it’s time to show you how I grow my fiverr account. I am a ridiculously simple person. I like to do the simplest things and follow the simplest path. No need complicating and disguising things. And that is how I grow my fiverr account. I do that by being intentional about doing my job. If I just do my job to the best of my ability and genuinely give my best to both potential and recurring customers, everything would fall into place.
So, here are some of the ways or methods I employ to grow my fiverr account:
Respond Quickly To Clients Messages
I have noticed that the fiverr algorithms pick up on the speed of my response to clients’ messages. They see your speed of response as an indicator for work readiness. The faster your response, the more ready you are to work, the slower your response the less ready you are for work.
So, when you respond to messages faster, fiverr will push up your gig or give you a slight advantage in the gig rankings. This means that the faster I respond to messages and inquiries to my gig, I’m giving my gigs more push to rank higher on fiverr and give me more visibility in front of clients.
Deliver Orders On Time
This is a big indicator for competence on fiverr. The faster you deliver your work, the more fiverr thinks that you are competent, and the higher they will rate you. This is simple logic. The less competent you are to do the job, the more you will struggle and waste time.
So, if you want to grow your fiverr account, make sure you advertise only the services you can handle, and that your delivery time is enough for you to do a good job. If you think you can comfortably do a job in 3 days, put the delivery time as 6 days. That will give you room to handle more than one job at a time, plus you can always deliver a job in half the time and wow your customers.
Put Up New Gigs On Trending Niches
Nothing beats having a gig on a trending niche. I would say that I made almost half of my fiverr earnings by riding the waves of trending niches. I rode the wave of cryptocurrency ICOs, the TikTok madness, Covid-19 pandemic, Government relief grants, etc.
You have to put your ears on the ground and be the fastest to react if you want to make easy money on fiverr. Trends come with a huge inflow of buyers, and they will make you a lot of money if you are available and positioned to sell to them.
Be Open To Work At Anytime
Back to the issue of work readiness. If you want to grow your fiverr account, then you must be ready to work at any time. I used to rephrase this last sentence in a way that motivates me. If you want to grow your bank account, then you must be ready to make money at any time. Now, you get it.
I’m always baffled why people would open a fiverr account and not be prepared to work. I wonder if it is laziness or a joke. I just can’t get my head around it.
As for me, I’m always ready. I talk to clients at any time. If I’m awake in the middle of the night, I would definitely respond and try to close the deal. I would negotiate, beg and convince the client to work for them. Sometimes, when they haggle to pay less and I’m quite free, I would take the job. It is better to take that job than be idle doing nothing.
So, openness to work is one of my biggest methods to growing my fiverr account, and I take it very seriously.
Use The Buyers Request Section To Announce Your Availability
Aha. Back to the dreaded buyers request section again.
Whenever I’m back to fiverr after a break, or when my fiverr sales is beginning to slow down, I run to the buyers request section and use it to announce my availability.
I believe, by my experience, the fiverr algorithms take notice of small moves such as this. If you are constantly making offers in the buyers request section, then it should mean that you are ready and available for work.
Every time I go to this section and make offers, I find out that I get an influx of client messages and requests soon after. It works for me, and I hope it works for you as well.
Stay Online Always
You are a freelancer not a 9 to 5 worker. This means you should be ready to work even during the weekends. If the client wants the work done that weekend and can pay for it, you simply take it up and deliver.
This means you have to be online always, either via the fiverr website or the app. I think the app is more convenient. The more you stay online, the more orders you can get.
Find Clients Outside Of Fiverr
I know you are on fiverr to get clients, but that doesn’t mean you have to depend only on fiverr customers. I believe fiverr can act as a means of processing payments for your freelancing business. So, go out there and advertise your business to as many people as possible. You don’t have to limit yourself to fiverr alone.
I know of a friend who works on fiverr. When he first started, most of his clients came from fiverr alone. But now, he has a popular blog on writing and digital marketing. Most of his clients now come from his blog.
He has a hire me page on his blog with a CTA link to his fiverr account. Now, he doesn’t even bother about getting clients on fiverr. His blog alone gives him consistent clients that keeps him busy on a monthly basis.
This proves that there are many ways to succeed on fiverr. You just have to find what works for you and be willing to put in the right amount of work.
This is my personal experience working on fiverr as a freelancer from Nigeria. I believe many other freelancers have their own experience and their own methods.
But the main point is that you can succeed on fiverr doing your freelancing business as a Nigerian. Nothing can stop you if you genuinely want to succeed and you put in your heart into doing everything the right way.
If you have any different experience freelancing on fiverr, or any additional idea you would like to share, please let me know.