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Progress Thread 7 Days Till Launch - How To Get Your First Sale In A Week Or Less And Save Years Of Your Life

Discussion in 'Process / Progress / Execution Threads' started by Nicoknowsbest, Oct 25, 2016.

  1. Nicoknowsbest
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    Nicoknowsbest "Be like water." - Bruce Lee FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    If you are like me, you came to the forum a while ago.

    Reading this and that, writing up comments here and there.

    It all seemed like a big buffet in the beginning. You came whenever you pleased and ate whatever you felt like.

    Something didn't taste?

    You left it on your plate and went to get yourself something else.

    There was enough there, right?

    The only problem with this approach is that you feel full before you can make it to the mouthwatering main dishes.


    How To Waste Years Playing Wantrepreneur

    I was dreaming up ideas every day. Sometimes big, sometimes small.

    My hands were shaking in excitement when I sat down and started working on what I believed had to work. From high-tech entrepreneurship to importing, whatever sounded good and worked for others I tried too. I was not bothered by failures in the beginning, since you need a couple of them under your belt anyways - that's what experience is made of.

    One day it will work.

    It will work. But not, if you make the same mistake over and over again.

    I thought my ideas were great. When talking to people, they thought they were great too. Just not for them. When the moment came to collect sales, everybody disappeared and was busy with something else.

    Can I blame them?

    No. The only person to blame is myself. If I had asked them what they had been struggling with and then had offered my help, no way they would have walked away.

    It is not about me, it is about real people with real needs.


    Ignore Your Skills At Your Own Danger

    For years I have been ignoring my own skill set.

    I couldn't imagine doing business in this specific area, since I was connecting it with so many negative experiences, coming mainly from jobs.

    Apart from that, this was not where the money was, I thought.


    The Moment That Changed Everything:


    I was reading @SinisterLex's thread about how to achieve freedom within 15 days, when I saw that @Andy Black posted a new video.

    I looked at the video and realized that the audio and the video were out of sync.

    Having experience with problems like this, I thought: "Why not send him a message to offer help. What's the worst thing that can happen?"

    @Andy Black replied almost immediately, suggesting a Skype call later that day.


    The key take away: What are you waiting for? Help Someone With What You Know. Do It Today.


    Sounds pretty simple, right?

    It turns out that the skill set I had been ignoring for years can be used to help people. To create value for them.

    Things started to make more and more sense. @Andy Black left me some crumbles here and there to follow. I did and things started working out.

    We talk about all this in our recorded call here.


    Starting With Zero Track-Records And Landing My First Sale Within 5 Hours

    I decided to go on Fiverr and start offering my services. I had zero experience with selling my skills online, so I figured Fiverr is a good training ground.

    I didn't research my competition, I didn't waste more times collecting tips and tricks about how to make your profile look perfect.


    There is just one rule: Genuinely help people and create value for them.


    With that in mind, I finished my profile, recorded videos to sell my services and went "online".

    Now it was time to wait, right?

    Once you gained momentum, you need to do whatever it takes to keep that moment up. Action beats reaction and passivity every single time.

    So I started sending out applications to requests buyers had posted earlier. I applied what I learned in @SinisterLex's thread.

    5 hours later I had my first order.

    And they keep coming...

    Thread-1.png

    Thread-2.png

    Thread-3.png


    But Is This Fastlane?

    Hell no. But that's fine. Process above anything. You got to start somewhere, and you better start today.

    The trick is to move through the sliding scale:
    Intern > Employee > Contractor > Freelancer > Agency > Productised Service > Platform

    Read more on this here.


    How To Measure Success

    Each time you are looking at traffic, click-through rates, conversion rates, leads and sales, you should...

    ...stop.

    Forget driving more traffic to your website, forget improving your conversion rates.

    Simply ask yourself...

    ...how many people have I helped until now/today/this week?
    ...how much value have I been creating?

    Don't get trapped in numbers, don't cheat the process.


    What Will Happen Next?

    As pointed out already here, I will be slowly moving away from the online world, because real business happens when you help real people.

    Fiverr is just another excuse to hide behind my screen instead of going out and talking to people.

    This is why I am saving all my earnings to spend on "Diesel And Coffee".


    Become The Guy To Go To For...

    For all the ones starting out, working on "the next big thing" right now or simply wondering where to start.

    Put everything aside. Stop reading.

    Go out and help someone with what you already know.

    Refine your skill, become the XYZ guy people want to work with.

    Don't try solving problems you don't have.

    Save yourselves years of wasted time.

    If you cannot get 1 sale within 7 days of starting, your product/service-founder fit is bad.


    "The person who'll run with the ball is the person who catches the ball." (Andy Black)

    Put yourself out there.

    Listen.

    Help.

    Create value.

    Take action.

    Run!
     
    ZF Lee, eTox, Chimp and 13 others like this.
  2. Nicoknowsbest
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    Nicoknowsbest "Be like water." - Bruce Lee FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    How To Become A Digital Slave Or How Freelancing On Fiverr Violates The Commandment Of Control

    After working for clients on Fiverr for the last couple of weeks, I changed my plans of slowly moving away from freelancing platforms and cut the ropes immediately. The last couple of clients taught me some obvious and some unexpected lessons. The ones contemplating doing freelance work on Fiverr or generally on-line: you should investigate certain things before you start.

    1 - Timezones Are Tricky
    When sitting in Europe with clients mainly from the US, Australia and New Zealand, delivering orders within 24 hours gets tricky sometimes. It happened to me that someone ordered my gig at 9 pm my time. Even when sitting at the computer at 6 am, you already lost 9 hours. I had various on-going projects and fitting in new projects was sometimes a problem, especially when they had ordered 5+ revisions.

    2 - Act From A Position Of Power
    When buyers ordered a certain gig, I assumed they know the basics of what they ordered. This turns out not to be true. I sold a more technical gig for a way too low price and it took me around 8 hours to finish. Why? The buyer had no idea about the technicals and didn't really know what he wanted. Communication with him was extremely difficult. When asking him about details, his answer was "I don't know what is so difficult to understand." When finally coming up with a result that pleased him, he left a less than perfect review.

    Bottom line: Don't shoot into the dark. If I had acted from a position of power, I would have made EVERYTHING clear from the beginning. I wouldn't have started working until the last details were clear. Never forget - you are the expert, selling your services to people. Sometimes they don't know what they want, or what is possible. Clear out all doubts before you start. Honesty over the attempt to blindly guess.

    3 - Personal Messages Are The New Revisions
    When you sell gigs on Fiverr, you create a service package that also includes a number of revisions. Once started, you deliver your work and your buyer can request a revision within the project thread. It happened to me more than once that I sold a package with 2 revisions and after delivering my work, I suddenly get a PM asking me to change things. Assuming that Fiverr somehow deals with this, I just modified the work and delivered again. 2 revisions quickly became 5.

    Because Fiverr doesn't take care of this, you have to.

    4 - How Late Buyers Cost You Money
    When you deliver work and your buyer doesn't request a revision or marks the order as completed, Fiverr automatically completes orders within 3 days after delivery. 7 out of 10 buyers suddenly think of something they want to change around 2 hours before auto-completion. You initially sold your gig on Tuesday, 10 am with a 24 hour delivery. An hour later you delivered. Your buyer doesn't react until Friday morning, finally requesting a revision. Now, instead of another 24 hours or some fair time frame to modify your delivery, Fiverr tells you that you are...

    ...LATE.

    Yes, because your buyer didn't react on time, but has the right to request revisions, you are now officially delivering your work late.

    Now it's up to you to imagine how this will affect your profile and visibility on the platform.

    5 - Leaving Feedback After You Got Feedback
    After completing a project, your buyer needs to leave a review first so you can rate him as a buyer too. If he doesn't, you cannot leave a review on his profile. Now, you could leave a positive one to engage him and remind him to write one for you too. But you could simply write about a bad experience with a seller.

    Bad sellers know about this and don't leave feedback on purpose.

    6 - Cancelling Gigs Affects Your Visibility And Rating
    I got contacted by a buyer and he booked one of my gigs. It turned out soon after that he was a spammer, requesting all sorts of weird things. After messaging back and forth, I opened a dispute and contacted the support to cancel the order. Problem is, that no matter for which reason you cancel an order as a seller, the fact that you do affects you negatively. Your rating drops and you are not that visible on Fiverr anymore.


    Bottom line:

    Sooner or later you will encounter "buyers", who know exactly how Fiverr works, what they can do, how this negatively affects you and therefore how they can squeeze you like a lemon. I have the feeling that some of them run some local agency and outsource on Fiverr. I am pretty sure that I worked together with the same buyer running various different profiles to look like a "small guy". When I read the same phrases, words and spelling mistakes over and over again, I got suspicious.

    Fiverr is a platform for selling services on the very low end. It is heavily twisted towards the buyer's end and as a seller, you are being taken advantage of in all areas. If you really want to go that route, make sure to look at it from a buyer's perspective too. This won't cost you too much and teach you much more.

    Apart from all this, Fiverr takes 20% of all your revenues.

    NO THANK YOU!
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2016
    ZF Lee, eTox, Chimp and 9 others like this.
  3. Ika
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    Ika Too slow FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Thank you for your write up!
    I'm wondering, what are your plans/how are you going to use your take aways after leaving fiverr?
    Do you have recurring revenue from a fiverr client or have you learnt enough to approach clients outside of fiverr?

    I'm interested to where this thread is heading!

    ~Ika
     
  4. Nicoknowsbest
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    Nicoknowsbest "Be like water." - Bruce Lee FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    @Ika - thank you for reading it!

    My plan has two pillars:
    • I am completing my UpWork profile as we speak. I want to get a direct comparison to Fiverr and see if I can find clients that are willing to spend more money and want to work with me outside of UpWork too. Similar pitfalls like Fiverr, but a different clientele.
    • Finding clients locally by spending my money on "Diesel and Coffee" as well as cold approaching small businesses. I am working on different strategies and will post an update with details soon.

    The biggest take away from my Fiverr experience was pointed out by @FastNAwesome here:
    • Underselling vs. Overselling: I approached "getting started" with a wrong idea in my head. I set the wrong stage for future interactions. I undersold myself and over-delivered at the same time.
    Lesson learned!
     
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  5. Ika
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    Ika Too slow FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Thank you for your answer!
    Sounds like a solid plan! You might look into more niche freelancing sites as well - For example sites excusively about Graphic Design or Ads. You wouldn't have as much users to sell to but on the other hand less competition. Or country specific sites, for example twago for the german speaking market. If you can stand out on UpWork though, grow there!
    I'm interested to where this is going :)
    Best of luck with cold approaching, escpecially since you are a on the introverted/shy site!

    That is a pretty good lesson to learn!
     
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  6. Nicoknowsbest
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    Nicoknowsbest "Be like water." - Bruce Lee FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Update:

    Diesel & coffee works - I expanded my network significantly within just one week.

    Within the last 7 days I met and connected with
    • a guy who runs a software company with 240+ people in Romania
    • a famous radio show host who also talks about tech and business on the Austrian radio
    • a guy whose company needs a new website
    • a guy who runs a creative agency looking for freelancers that could help him
    • a guy who founded a startup looking for design freelancers
    • a girl who is a well booked and well connected content marketer/brand strategist, willing to refer me
    • a freelancer who is specialized in video production and drone flights. He immediately suggested working together...
    • a young and successful software agency owner that is well connected and will refer me to his contacts
    First direct response mailing campaign is sent out - offline:
    Datei_000.jpeg

    Second direct response mailing campaign is also distributed - online.

    Will come back and post the results.

    Finally shifted my mindset away from learning and doing everything myself to...

    ...SELLING more.

    Sell more > earn more > outsource > streamline
     
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  7. Ika
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    Ika Too slow FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Congratulations, its awesome to see you taking that much action and seeing results!

    I'm interested to see your results of both campaigns!
     
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  8. Nicoknowsbest
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    Nicoknowsbest "Be like water." - Bruce Lee FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Small update:

    The average logo gig is around $ 5 across Fiverr.

    Last night, I sold a logo gig for $ 130.

    That is 26x what I initially sold logos for.

    Same work, same time, same skill, same effort.

    How mindset changes everything.

    More to come.
     
  9. The Racing Driver
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    The Racing Driver Contributor Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    This seems to be the start of a great progress thread. Keep up the great work!

    Just wondering, how do you go about building your network with potential clients online? Is your direct response mailing campaign just simply cold emailing?

    I noticed since I started meeting new people less...my sales have also gone down...

    And for my situation, A lot of my ideal clients don't really congregate much in my city. Even if I did want to meet them, I'd probably have to make some kind of connection online to set up a meeting.
     
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  10. Nicoknowsbest
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    Nicoknowsbest "Be like water." - Bruce Lee FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Thanks! ;)

    For now, it is based on four pillars:
    Yes. This resonates.

    I am meeting at least 3 people a week over lunch/coffee/Skype.

    By tapping into their networks, I can grow mine exponentially.

    Paid off well until now.
     
  11. Nicoknowsbest
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    Update:

    My two direct response campaigns were not successful economically speaking. But I learned a lot about myself, my business and my offer. I was able to get some excellent feedback from 4 different people and a big hint about why it didn't work. A lot of mindset shifting has been happening lately and I hope to be able to translate that into concrete revenue numbers in the following weeks.

    • Instead of approaching 20 businesses a day, making it a numbers game, I am trying to find that one client who I can really help.
    • Benefits before features. Simple concept, but I have been struggling with that in practice.
    • Recurring revenues, no matter how small, bring peace of mind.
    • I need to stop trying to learn more technical skills. Commercial skills is what I need to focus on.
    • Free isn't free. As soon as people invest time, it's not free anymore. Time is a business owner's biggest asset.
    • Progress over profits. Smaller projects with different clients help you get your processes straight and prepare for bigger sales.
    • Grow with your clients, aim at making them to partners.

    I am currently waiting for one of my client's feedback. If positive, I'd have my first four figure deal in the pocket.
     
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  12. Nicoknowsbest
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    Update:
    • Over Christmas, I've been using the down time of my clients to work on my landing page. Almost done and ready to launch.
    • Starting off the new year with a bang, I was able to secure a nice deal that is pushing me more into a productised service direction.
    • MRR, or monthly recurring revenue is slowly building up. No matter how small, this makes me sleep better at night.
    • I've been working together closely with two outstanding people, both professionally as well as character-wise, over the past weeks. Complementing each other's skills, the learning curve is exponential and the speed of action is picking up more and more.
    • I started uploading assets I create to various marketplaces and collected my first royalties in December. Though small, this could turn into decent passive income. And it felt damn good. Consumer --> Producer
    • Sales have been growing steadily over the last three months. January is looking very pretty so far.
    • More importantly, opportunities have started to peek around almost every corner - more to come.
    2017, here we come.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
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