Last updated on May 6, 2022 - My Free Marketing newsletter 👀
You may have heard of Fiverr. I always thought it was a site where people make maybe a few hundred bucks a month but there is a woman who is making almost half a million dollars a year doing freelancing on Fiverr!! So in this post, we're gonna check out Alex Fasulo’s story about how she's making $378,000 dollars a year on Fiverr.
I’ve rounded up some of the most interesting things Alex said in her interview with CNBC, and I’ll be letting you know my perspective on what she has to say about being a 6-figure freelancer, plus some advice on how she could make her business even better.
Let's dive in.
Alex Fasulo: I doubled my income overnight and that was crazy to me. At 24 years old, making $14,000 or $15,000 per month is insane — you're not even emotionally prepared for it yet.
My name is Alex Fasulo, I'm 28 years old and I make $378,000 dollars per year as a freelance writer on Fiverr.
When I was 28 years old, I was making around $70,000 a year and one thing that I always do a timeout on is when someone says they make $400,000. I always want to know how much they’re actually taking home. What's the actual profit?
The two things I want to highlight right here are:
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I'm guessing that she put in a lot of work to be able to get to this amount of revenue.
So how much does she charge?
Around $1000 dollars for a 10,000 word ebook!
Man, how long do you think that takes to write?
A lot of people want to make that much money, but not a lot of people are willing to put in the work required to make that much money.
She’s written ebooks for large corporations, entrepreneurs, and even dog influencers!
One thing that I would recommend she does is that once she gets some of these direct clients, see if she can get them into long-term agreements. So if she’s doing one ebook for maybe AppSumo, how can she make it a 12-month agreement where each month she’ll now get $1000 - $2000 guaranteed.
Then each week or each month, she won’t have to go and hunt for new clients.
Alex: I accepted this PR job that paid $36,000 dollars per year and I felt so out of place. I was so unhappy and I was crying on my keyboard that I quit. And I don't normally quit things!
That Monday when I was supposed to go into work, I just couldn't.
I’m personally not a “burn the bridge” and just go forward type of entrepreneur — what I've usually done in my career is that I start a side hustle and get it generating money and providing me the income that I want before I quit my day job.
But her approach is to burn the bridge and make sure it works out. Which obviously worked for her!
Alex: After a few days I had interest on my press release gig, and I was charging $15 for that and just that interest alone was enough to almost kind of light a fire in me.
One thing I think a lot of us miss out on, especially if we're just getting started, is looking at what you've already gotten paid for in the past.
So if you notice what Alex did to start on Fiverr (not where she ended up) was she had been doing PR and I was hired at a PR agency, so she decided to offer that as service and then from there, she evolved into writing books which it seems like a higher-paying activity.
Right now, go check out Fiverr and AppSumo.com/Sell and look at all the services being offered!
A lot of times, especially if you're getting started, put your service up on Fiverr but also start offering it for free to people in your network just to start building your skills and start building relationships with potential customers and referrals.
Alex: Okay, I am capable of earning $15-$20 a day, well what if I could earn $50 a day? What if I could earn $100 a day? Now I'm making $3,000 per month and I can cover all of my bills.
One major concept I want you to be thinking about is your velocity to $1 dollar.
I can't tell you how sweet the first $1 is.
I remember when we got our first payment with AppSumo. I was thinking Someone believes in me?! What we're doing actually could work?! So for yourself, can you get $1 from a friend? Can you get $1 just from anyone around you?
I encourage you to go try that out.
The other thing that she said that was kind of subtle is that when she made $3000 dollars, she had a stable foundation to cover her bills. That's when you can start getting crazy and going wild!
What is your break-even point? Because once you get there and you have your foundation it's like oh what other things can I start exploring professionally that I'm really excited about?
Alex: That first week on Fiverr, I started to discover that I was capable of earning money on my own without anyone telling me what to do. Which means each passing day, the idea of applying to another job just vanished. It just disappeared into thin air.
One of the things that I'm noticing with a lot of people wanting to get their business started, is they want to control uncertainty. That's been something that's really been fascinating to see.
Early on, Alex also worked 10-12 hours a day, 7 days a week to grow her Fiverr profile.
That's it. There's no shortcuts.
Sometimes you want the hack or you want the shortcut but honestly — it's good to put in the work and put in the hours. Honestly, you get the skills and at a later point, you can start teaching that and hiring it down to other people.
Alex: After about a year of hitting it really hard on Fiverr, I opened way more services. I think I had like 12 or 13 gigs at the time. I was ranked level 2 on the site and the site has these levels that allow you to charge more as you advance through them.
So if you're just getting started on freelancing or any type of business you're doing, just get going.
Get some gigs to start with, and then figure out the higher paying gigs and the things that you’re exceptionally good at where you’re not competing with everyone else in the world.
|PS: Check out my interview on Alex’s podcast, The Freelance Fairy.|
Alex: Fiverr the company actually reached out to me and asked me to come meet them to film a commercial in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
One thing I want to highlight that Alex did, is that if you're on any platform or if you’re following any influencer or buying from any company and you're having a really good experience — you can reach out to them to hopefully make a testimonial video!
It makes them look really good and it gets you a bunch of potential customers.
Alex: Up until January 2018 I was making around $6000 to $8000 per month — which is incredible, of course — but it was January into February 2018 when I was launched into the double-digit realm, meaning I was making $13,000, $14,000, $15,000 — which essentially I doubled my income overnight.
And that was crazy to me! In 2017, I made $63,000 that year and in 2018 I jumped to making $273,000.
So what should you be striving for?
It doesn’t happen overnight.
Alex: It took me a couple years to accept that I was making that money. The only thing that I would say I started to spend more on to treat myself was travel experiences and music festivals.
I’ve got to have a little time-out here.
Something to be cautious of is that right now, she’s dependent on Fiverr. So if Fiverr changes their algorithm or if they change their revenue splits — and I've had this happen! When I was building on Facebook, they banned us and our company almost went out of business one day!!
I would definitely encourage 2 key things here:
Alex: My strategy is just basically if I know I'm making like $15,000 to $20,000, I kind of just in my head try and make sure I'm saving at least 50% of it. This year I'm definitely going to contribute less to my retirement but I already know my accountant is going to tell me that I should still contribute something because it helps with my taxable income. I use a CPA — like an accountant — hands down. Costs like $1200. It's worth it to me.
I am curious to see if she's going to start talking about hiring more people or building this off-platform. I did like that she talked about adding 50% of her income to savings and that she does have a CPA. But I'm surprised she's not talking a little bit more about building a team, so I hope that's something that comes up.
Alex: The craziest thing happened because while so many people were losing their jobs and so many businesses were going out of business, so many people were coming online to start selling products and services because that was the only way they were going to make contact with other human beings! So they needed someone like a copywriter to help them fill their website, their blog, their social media posts, which led me to having my biggest month that I have ever had on Fiverr in May 2020.
So one thing I want to highlight here is yes COVID happened, we all experienced it, it was wild times — but I do think what's interesting is are you in a growing category or in a dying category?
Let me give you an example…
One of my buddies worked in newspapers. They've been dying. Then he worked in masks for COVID and that didn't really do so well. So think about in the next year or 2 years — how big is the market you're working in? Is it going to be bigger?
And as long as you're in a wave that's growing, you're generally going to do really well.
In 2020, Alex started to move some things off Fiverr’s platform.
She has her own online course, she's on Shopify, and she has private clients. So I like that she recognized that Fiverr’s been great as a lead gen to get some of her first customers.
So for you, if you have a physical product or a software product maybe YouTube or Fiverr or Udemy or AppSumo are great ways to start building up your high-level clientele or your top-of-funnel, and then you can bring your customers into your own environment where you can actually have direct relationships with them.
So I love that she's doing that.
Alex: I want to eventually quit Fiverr just because I'm, again, like that classic entrepreneurial type where I get bored. And I would love to transition more into a full-time educator with everything that I've learned.
This is one of the most common entrepreneur traps which is…
We get bored.
All of us!
If you're doing anything — if you're creating, if you're solving problems (which is what entrepreneurs do) it's boring at times because boring means success and it means that you're doing the same thing over and over and you're hopefully getting great results.
So what I'd recommend you do is hire a team.
I know with my YouTube content, I was doing a lot of the things very early on many years ago when I started, and now being able to have a team with Jeremy, Mitchell, Sasa, Cam, Nikki, and George has made it so much easier because I can focus on the videos and the content and they get to focus on the pieces they like.
It makes it way more sustainable.
So don't stop doing what got you success.
Alex: I could not in my wildest dreams have imagined that this would be me at 28. Not for a second did I ever think this would be where I am. I did not dream that big.
That’s a really interesting thing and I write about this a lot in my private diary, is how big are your dreams?
It's one life! Why not go as interesting as possible for yourself. Not what other people think you should do, but internally.
What are some crazy fantasies that you can have for yourself about where you're living, what you're working on, who you're working with, and really explore how you can make that possible for yourself.
I know for me, having a mainstream book was something where I was like, Nah I'm never gonna do it. Even now that it’s happening I'm still like, Nah, I'm still not doing it!
So think about that in your own life and where you want to be. Just write it out. You don't have to share it. Just make it for yourself.
Alex: I discovered that there's so many people out there that do want to freelance, they don't hate me for it, and they want to learn from me and they want to learn what I know. Being transparent with what I’m earning has earned these people's trust and shown them it is possible. A girl from a farm in upstate New York did it, I can do it too.
I think that last piece is just as powerful as the whole message.
Why not you??
If you put in the work, if you start experimenting, if you take some of the skills or things you enjoy and start putting yourself out there — there's no reason you can't make as much, if not more, than her or me or anyone else out there.
But it's really about how much do you want the kind of life you want to live and start planting the seeds right now.
Are you inspired by Alex’s story?
I know I am.
What gig would you do on Fiverr?
I'm just curious. Leave a comment below.
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