The Fiverr Life

I’ve been having a blast lately, and making bank doing it. (By bank, I mean enough to sponsor my morning coffee each day).

And I’ve been doing it all on Fiverr.

Fiverr is place I’ve been turning to since 2010 for all my online needs.

I go there to edit my self published writing (not this content though, for my blog you get to suffer through my self editing).

I also go for any sound editing I can’t manage myself, any picture or video editing (I loathe doing that) or anything else that can be achieved online. I once paid a guy in Hawaii through Fiverr to go to a beach and record a birthday song for my friend with his ukulele and it made a great gift.

Unlike that guy, I don’t sing so good so I do voice acting work.

It’s turned out to be a lot of fun, but a lot more time consuming than I was anticipating.

I think the image I had in my mind was of me coming home some days to a conveniently timed Fiverr order offering me tons of money to record a quick and simple character for an indie animated film that I would nail the first take, polish up on my editing program then minutes later be sending to the client as I skipped to the car yard and bought a Lexus.

Ok obviously I wasn’t expecting that.. within the first 30 days, but I also didn’t anticipate reality.

Several days of nothing, bookended with several orders at once, all with urgent messages about their priority, ordered at rock bottom prices, with scripts the length of a Stephen King book written with the smallest possible grasp of the English language.

So I find myself staying up late into the night recording God-awful writing (that for some people is precious and must be recorded word for bloody awful word) to be sent back because the ‘flow’ wasn’t right and maybe some words could be swapped out after all.

So there’s been some stressful nights to say the least, not to mention the clients who swear an order is a mere 15 minutes away, who just need a second with the script, to then have you wait up all night only to send nothing.. without a word of explanation.

I think the way I dug myself into this charming business model is by charging the lowest prices in town, boasting about my low prices among the community of people that shop for voice actors, then including lil perks like free re-recordings for people who change their mind.

This attracts an absent minded and frugal clientele who think the shillings they’re flicking your way are more than reasonable for the hours and hours you give to them in return.

The positive side of all this is that it’s working and I’m attracting any clientele at all. With my lack of super relevant voice training and, much more importantly, my very basic and self built sound recording space, I wouldn’t be getting much of any work at all elsewhere.

Yet through this site I’ve developed friendships and partnerships with businesses all over Asia and the Middle East who need voice talent, and who need to be free to change their mind, but also need to pay on the floor prices.

This gives me a chance to get in some much needed practice, make money while doing it, and most of all distracts heavily from my day job which is growing increasingly lame as I’ve been doing it for more than 6 months which is an eternity in my mind.

I strongly recommend other freelancers to checkout Fiverr.com and see where you fit.

You can also check out my gigs by clicking this link and see how I roll. (It goes to my profile on Fiverr, which is Fiverr.com/misici

Send me a message once your rolling on the site, it’s a pretty fun community and you’ll need the support when the customers come into your lil digital shop and demand the world. I’ll be your shoulder to cry on, before I tell you to get back to work. *cracks whip*

Making It as a Travelling Freelancer

Once you’ve moved to your dream city and have fled far away from the sticky confines of where you were born, sometimes it’s easy to get the feeling of entrapment in the full time job you took on to make the move possible in the first place.

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Often the jobs we take on aren’t dream jobs, but are gateway jobs to a new life. So when that job starts to eat away all your time and strips chunks off your soul, you need to start finding new ways to feel fulfilled.
The job I have in Shanghai is great, so my soul isn’t exactly in pieces, but I feel drained doing absolutely anything in a full time capacity. Plus as a former performer I don’t exactly relish the feeling of being off the stage and at the desk.

So to get the feeling back that I’m creative, useful and independent I turn to online sources of revenue to get that zest in life and fight off the cobwebs of monotony.

The most important thing in life for me is to perform, so the platform I’ve just started using recently is Fiverr.
Fiverr is a website I’ve used for years to source all my design needs, editing needs, lots of my needs. Basically anytime I’ve needed a professional for something that wasn’t in my physical world (like fixing my sink) I jump on Fiverr and find the right one.
Luckily for me, the performance discipline I’ve been craving to do more of (and has no physical toll on my body, praise the Lord) is voice acting. And wouldn’t you know it; voice acting is one of the professions you can find on Fiverr.
So once the New Year ticked around and a deep craving for something new emerged I busted out the old microphone equipment, recorded a few demos and threw my gig up on the site.

Its early days still so not a whole lot of action yet at this present moment, but I’m putting myself out there and trying to be vocal about it. From talking with the friends I’ve made on the site over the years of being a Fiverr customer, I’ve learned that it’s really slow in the beginning for everyone.
No one knows who you are, you don’t have any reviews yet and nobody wants to be the one to take a chance on someone who might be a complete dud. But over time once the gigs start slowly dripping their way into your lap the snowball begins rolling. I had my first gig yesterday (wooo!) and following that this morning I was in talks with three more people who may never have messaged me without the golden review I was given by the first gig.
I’m really hoping this turns into something real because something like this can follow you around the world and you can fulfill orders online from wherever you are. I have a copy editor friend who travels a lot and funds it by spending a few hours a day editing other peoples writing, she’s living the dream!

This really seems to be the trend, freelance workers unshackling themselves from desks and employers and making it for themselves, oh to be on that bandwagon.

My Fiverr Gig that I’m most proud of is the one where I’ll record your book, textbook or script so that you can listen to it and learn it faster. For example when your driving, walking or sleeping you can listen to your book and learn it quickly, good idea right??

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For design professionals there’s another site called Red Bubble. Red Bubble is fantastic because you can take your design, alter it to fit nicely on a t-shirt or any other number of merchy products and list it on your Red Bubble store.

I am not a designer by any means, but I love quotes. So I just type up the quotes that jump out at me from my favorite shows into a design program, use a funky font and a couple of related pictures and wham, I have a shirt design.
I’ve been hocking shirts, hats, stickers and other swag on Red Bubble for years. People order whatever they want, Red Bubble makes it, boxes and ships it to the customer and you the designer get a cut. I’ll be honest, I’ve made literally only enough money to fund my coffee machine and a couple video games off of this, but it’s not a bad trade off for a few hours working out how to use a free design program and formatting words onto a t-shirt template.

The third and final avenue I use is e-books. As you can see from the Books tab on my site, I make a sell short and cheap e-books.

Basically whenever I’m in the mood I sit down and write out a book that details a predetermined period of my life, and what results could basically be read as an extremely long blog post.
The difference between these and my blog though are that I send these off to be edited professionally (thanks Fiverr) have a cover made (Fiverr) and smack them on Kindles Direct Publishing Platform (KDP).

Amazon has changed the game when it comes to self publishing, they’ve made it super easy and are just about solely responsible for transforming e-books from clunky, worthless digital files onto your computer into a respectable and mainstream method of writing and reading books.
There are lots of self publishers who’ve made a respectable career for themselves; I’m not one of them. I absolutely do not have the stick-to-edness to write a long enough book, or the gusto to market it properly and really give it a chance to shine among the masses.

But like with most things I enjoy giving it a go, making a few dollars and spending those dollars on fun things I may not have bought otherwise.

I have given two things a half attempt, and am giving a third thing my proper attention. I hope this inspires you to go out and do a much better job and make it properly, don’t be like me who is so uncommitted I can barely even finish a