For several years, writing and giving away ideas online has been viewed as the best way to build your personal brand. It’s a popular and powerful technique, well-documented in numerous best-selling marketing books, like David Meerman Scott’s New Rules of Marketing & PR.
But, does it make sense to limit your brand building writing activities to just ideas and information distributed online for free?
Recently, Traci Hayner Vanover, the Promo Diva©, one of my recent Guerrilla Marketing Association interview guests, introduced me to Fiverr.com.
During our interview, Traci described Fiverr.com as eBay meets K-Mart.
What is Fiverr.com all about?
After visiting Fiverr.com, I found Traci’s assessment to be accurate; Fiverr.com is a one-price-fits-all online bidding site where anyone can offer products or services for $5.00.
There is no charge for listing products or services, although Fiverr holds back a dollar as their share of each transaction. (See Fiverr’s Terms of Service page.)
Individuals sell a wide range of products and services, both frivolous and serious, on Fiverr:
- Recorded voiceover introductions for audios and podcasts
- Jokes and poems for upcoming speeches or family events
- 5oo to 700 word articles and blog posts
- Compilations of “how to” tips or public domain articles
- Photo retouching to remove weight or wrinkles
- Postcards sent from Costa del Sol, Spain
How do sellers benefit from Fiverr.com?
Obviously, no matter how fast they can type, no one is going to support their family on $5 sales.
But, as Traci, an experienced Fiverr seller and author of Five Dollar Fortunes, emphasized during our call, Fiverr success is not about the sale, but the networking and relationship building opportunities it generates. In her words:
The Fiverr marketplace has provided me with a new venue for professional networking. In providing my $5 gigs, I’ve connected with users who have gone on to become paying clients for consulting and copywriting work. I have made contacts that have become joint venture partners.
Asked for specifics, she responded: The low price point allows me to introduce my services to a new audience, and enables me to illustrate how I can help them reach their business goals. I’m willing to take a risk on an initial purchase for the chance to gain a new contact, subscriber, or client.
She concludes: At a time when many advertising mediums produce less than stellar results, Fiverr has provided me with benefits well beyond what I had ever imagined or expected.
How can your personal brand benefit from $5 sales?
In addition to the networking and relationship building that Traci described above, Fiverr.com helps you prequalify prospects and identify those most likely to become profitable clients.
My first job out of college taught me an important lesson:
When you give things away, there’s often no “buy in,” or commitment, from the recipients.
Because an article or teleseminar event is free, recipients subconsciously devalue, or under-value, the information, product, or service that you give away.
But, if recipients pay a token amount, they become emotionally invested in the product or service you’ve shared with them, they take it a bit more seriously.
My first job after college involved running a cultural program that involved distributing tickets to events like Boston Symphony Orchestra or Pete Seeger concerts to children who would- – otherwise- – never be able to attend.
However, the free tickets often wouldn’t be used. But, when we started charging 25 cents for the tickets- -even if they were $50 tickets- –every ticket was used!
Fast-forward to the future
In the current environment, there is such a wealth of quality information out there that a generation of buyers is getting used to “free.” In many ways, it’s getting harder to get paid for information. (Look at the problems local newspapers are facing replacing declining paper sales with subscription-based web sites.)
However, once someone buys something from you, and receives full value, (or more than full value), there’s a greater likelihood they’ll buy from you again. They’ve gotten to know, like, and trust you.
So, don’t look at Fiverr.com from the perspective of immediate income. Instead, view Fiverr.com as a long-term relationship building tool, for which you receive a token payment and – more important – an opportunity to create a qualified prospect, i.e., someone willing to spend money, to add to your list prospect list.
Note: Like eBay, buyer feedback plays an important role on Fiverr.
Tips for choosing what to sell on Fiverr.com
As Traci wrote in Five Dollar Fortunes ,…your goal as a Seller on Fiverr.com is to create a HIGH VALUE product or service that can be fulfilled quickly. Nothing fits the bill better than information. You can literally create a service once, and sell it over and over again.
Autoresponders permit hands-off delivery of your e-books, audios, videos, and templates.
More important, in many cases, you don’t even have to write new content! Instead, all you need to do is harvest the content that you’ve already written! Here are some product ideas just waiting for organizing and reformatting:
- Compilations. Chances are, over the years, you’ve written hundreds of articles, blog posts, and newsletters. These contain a wealth of information just waiting to be copied, pasted, and reorganized. For example, I have over 100 One-Page Newsletters which I’m reorganizing into categories, such as blogs, content & writing, design, postcards, presentations, MindManager keyboard shortcuts and the like.
- Lists and resources. As a subject area expert, you’re familiar with the resources, (online, offline, and published), available in your field. With your knowledge of your field, you can create a number of $5 information products by assembling annotated lists of books, e-books, terms, shortcuts, tips, vendors, and websites in your area. Simply personalize, and add authority, to your lists with a brief paragraph summarizing the context, or relevance, of each listing, plus your opinion about each resources’ strengths and weaknesses.
- Buying guides, reviews, and user tips. As a subject area expert, you’re an informed buyer, You know what matters, and what doesn’t matter, when buying a product or service, and you are probably able to share valuable ideas, shortcuts, and tips, for using the tools of your trade. Your opinions and recommendations can build you a strong following, as the continuing success of publications like Consumer Reports shows.
Secrets of personal brand building success with Fiverr.com
For many interested in building their personal brand, the first step is often to simply recognize the quality of the information and insights that you have not only gathered.
Often, the information you’re most likely to take for granted is precisely the information your prospects are looking for!
Once you take a fresh look at the information you’ve already written, you can look for ways you can combine and recombine what you’ve written into into new formats and packages you can sell for $5, building your network, your personal brand, and online visibility,while generating referrals and qualified prospects.
Roger C. Parker shares ideas for planning, writing, promoting, & profiting from brand building books in his daily writing tips blog. His latest book is #BOOK TITLE Tweet: 140 Bite-Sized Ideas for Compelling Article, Book, & Event Titles.