“Uhh, uh-huh, yeah- It’s all about the Benjamins baby.”
– Sean “Puff P Diddy Daddy” Combs
If you’re a voice actor, it’s easy to hate Fiverr.
Fiverr, the online marketplace where people advertise various skills for five dollars (everything from voiceovers to “making your girlfriend jealous”), can sound almost too-good-to-be-true to a consumer: One can potentially save thousands on a service! However, since anyone with a computer can have an account, the quality isn’t always worth the money- not even five bucks.
For voice actors who *don’t* sell on the service, Fiverr is Beelzebub in website form; There are many blogs arguing that Fiverr devalues the business as a whole. Dave Courvoisier, Marc Scott, and Terry Daniel are just some of the top voice talent who have written about why Fiverr is a bad idea for the voice actor. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t agree with many of the points made.
But, as one of my favorite Ted talks states, there is danger in a single story. What about the voice actors who are on Fiverr? How do they respond?
I hadn’t come across many discussions where Fiverr talent talked about the platform & the criticisms that come with it, so I sought out to create my own. I reached out to a group of Fiverr voice talent, and asked if they would be willing to answer a few questions.
I was expecting maybe a line or two response at most, but what I got were candid, thorough responses. Some answers were so thorough, in fact, that I had to break this down into three parts. In part one, I sought to find out how much time these actors are putting into Fiverr each day, and if they are really making any money (I highlighted some of the more interesting bits here and there).
Stay tuned for Part Two, where I’ll ask them to respond to those who say that Fiverr devalues the voiceover industry.
Do you run your voiceover career exclusively through Fiverr?
- Rever B. Domina: Currently about 70% or my work is through Fiverr. The rest is with big corporations that can’t order through the platform because they need to issue a 1099 for tax purposes.
- “Lerobindesvoix”: I use Fiverr exclusively. I’ve tried other platforms but Fiverr provides the best customer support and is very user friendly.
- Mark Christiansen: No, I use Fiverr as an additional outlet, mainly to help the small to mid sized businesses and people that don’t have the large budgets. I have found it really works well to be available through all areas of the voice business. My main voice business runs through www.avoicepro.com
- Jeff Martin: Currently Fiverr only makes up about 20% of my total Voice Over Business.
Why do you market yourself on Fiverr?
- Rever B. Domina: I market on Fiverr because it is a cost effective way to hit a global audience. When it comes to search rankings on Google, there is no way that I could afford enough pay per click or anything else to show up the way Fiverr does globally. There is zero out of pocket expense with Fiverr.
- “Lerobindesvoix”: Other VO/freelance sites are incredibly competitive. It gives buyers the upper hand and sellers are left begging and competing for gigs. It’s cut-throat. Fiverr is great in that I can put my profile out there and if someone is interested they can order! I don’t have to find work, bid low for jobs, and desperately hope these companies will choose me instead of someone trained at Julliard for example.
- Mark Christiansen: As an additional outlet for my services. Before I was introduced to Fiverr, I was getting questions all the time from friends and others wondering about getting projects done, but they didn’t have the usual rate card budget. When I found Fiverr, I realized that there are many small/mid-sized businesses that also don’t have huge advertising budgets, but still need high quality projects in order to compete. Now, I don’t do every job for $5. I work off a word count rate for Fiverr buyers that is discounted from my usual rate card.
- Jeff Martin: I work with Fiverr to give people that would not normally have access to my services a chance to work with a talented VO artist for their projects.
- Linnea Sage: It just started randomly and snowballed from there
Have any of your Fiverr jobs turned into something more lucrative?
- Rever B. Domina: They have turned fairly lucrative on Fiverr itself. I have a couple clients who each spend $500 or so per month with me on Fiverr.
- “Lerobindesvoix”: Many of them have turned into something more lucrative. Most of my clientele are repeat buyers; I’ve had clients order 150+ orders from me. The most lucrative tend to be the larger projects for businesses that produce software and need explainer videos, or companies that produce apps for children.
- Mark Christiansen: A lot of my Fiverr project buyers have turned into long time return clients– I still have some from the first days on Fiverr years ago, that come back daily and weekly. I have weighed out the time it takes for the Fiverr work, along with my off Fiverr work- it is well worth the time
- Jeff Martin: I have done some very large (National) projects that have come through Fiver.
- Linnea Sage: I’d say Fiverr in itself is pretty lucrative.
How much time per day do you spend on Fiverr jobs?
- Rever B. Domina: Anywhere from 4-8 hours. It depends on the day- periodically I get a big time consuming order.
- “Lerobindesvoix”: Anywhere from 4 to 8 hours easily.
- Mark Christiansen: The time spent daily is different each day, I do provide a 24 hour delivery on most projects, so there is time set aside every day for them.
- Jeff Martin: Fiverr probably takes up 3 – 5 hrs per day of my time.
- Linnea Sage: A couple of hours, depending on the days and gigs.