TELL US WHAT YOU WERE DOING PROFESSIONALLY BACK IN 2009.
I was a recruiter. I did resumes to get my candidates jobs. I had a little side business to help with writing resumes but nothing full time. Recruiting was the full time job I did. AND THEN YOUR HUSBAND, A TECHIE, FOUND FIVERR, THE WEBSITE WHERE FREELANCERS POST GIGS THEY’LL DO FOR AS LITTLE AS 5 DOLLARS. I KNOW ABOUT FIVERR BECAUSE I’VE INTERVIEWED ONE OTHER FIVERR ENTREPRENEUR. SO YOU DECIDED TO POST A GIG. DID YOU THINK ANYTHING MUCH WOULD COME OF IT?
My husband found FIverr back in 2010 when I was recruiting. It was just something in passing. I put a gig up there and orders started coming. I was making nothing in the beginning. Maybe $5 to $15 a resume. It was low. But I had no credibility or feedback. I was just starting out.
AT FIRST YOU KEPT WORKING AS A RECRUITER AND YOUR FIVERR EARNINGS WERE SET ASIDE FOR A VERY SPECIAL PROJECT, RIGHT?
We have been trying forever to have children. We started putting money aside for an adoption. We put every penny aside for that. We were trying to save $60,000 for travel and other expenses. I Worked on people’s resumes for about a year to a year and a half on FIverr and we got the money.
YOU ADOPTED YOUR DAUGHTER IN 2013. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?
Six months later my husband said “you should do this full time.” I stopped recruiting.
Starting in 2015 is when it really took off and we started focusing full time, really asking for referrals. Most of our money was made in the last 2 ½ or 3 years.
NORMALLY I WAIT UNTIL LATER IN THE INTERVIEW TO ASK THIS QUESTION, BUT I CAN’T STAND IT! HOW MUCH MONEY HAVE YOU MADE TO DATE EDITING RESUMES, LINKED IN PAGES AND COVER LETTERS VIA FIVERR?
We actually just crossed $1.2 million dollars on Fiverr. It’s important for people to know that you can make a million dollars. Fiverr can back that up. They earn the commission. It’s the platform they created for us. They bring in the clients and have developed an infrastructure to allow sellers like us to perform. Their customer service is amazing. You can’t start out expecting to quit your day job tomorrow but hang in there and it will happen. SO HOW HAS YOUR LIFE CHANGED?
This is all I do. This is full time. I work in my pajamas at midnight, Take a day off and take my daughter to the zoo. Our daughter Karen is 3. She is our world. My husband has always been a consultant. He quit his main job and helps me take of messages and does his programming.
It has changed our life. We now work from home. Our daughter is in day care and will go to a wonderful private school. We travel 4 to 5 times a year. That is best part. Take our computers and work from a cruise or DisneyLand. We are able to experience a lot because of this. I am forever grateful to Fiverr.
And now we have raised enough money thru Fiverr for a second adoption that we hope will be possible.
I CAN VERIFY THOSE VACATIONS BECAUSE IT WAS HARD TO REACH YOU TO ARRANGE THIS INTERVEW. BUT I JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND. HOW HAVE YOU MADE SO MUCH MONEY ON A SITE THAT MADE IT’S NAME BASED ON $5 SERVICES?
Now that I am established, I charge way more per gig. I got resume certifications and have credentials to back up my pricing. I will do deals for teachers and others. But resumes for most executives, those can go for $300 to $500. It depends on the client and their specific needs.
And I don’t just edit resumes any more. The services I provide are resumes, Linked in profiles, cover letters and career coaching. Also, at this point, I think 50 to 60% of our business is referrals, so that part is easier than getting new business.
HERE’S A QUESTION THAT WILL BE HELPFUL TO PEOPLE WHO WANT TO EDIT RESUMES AND PEOPLE CURRENTLY WORKING ON THEIR RESUMES. PEOPLE PAY YOU GOOD MONEY FOR YOUR HELP. WHAT ARE THE TOP 3 THINGS YOU CHANGE ON PEOPLE’S RESUMES?
1. A resume needs to tell a story. Not just a list of tasks, but accomplishment-driven.
2. I create an introduction, a first paragraph that sells you, sort of the “elevator pitch” but on paper.
3. I add data and details. You should detail projects you’ve done and revenue you've created.
(To see a resume Charmaine has worked on “before” and “after,” check out the Episode 6
YouTube video, where I analyze the differences. Or click to see the “before” resume here and
“after” resume here.)
ALRIGHT, TIME TO SHARE THE WEALTH BY GIVING LISTENERS TIPS FOR HOW THEY CAN SUCCEED AT THIS LIKE YOU DID. FIRST, YOU SAY, UNDER-PROMISE AND OVER-DELIVER. THAT COULD APPLY TO ANY SERVICE JOB. EXPLAIN.
For example, you can promise to complete a project for a client in 3 days but then do it in two.
I THINK PEOPLE CAN ALSO LEARN FROM YOUR EXAMPLE AND GET CERTIFICATIONS THAT PROVE THEIR VALUE. WAS THIS A GAME CHANGER?
Get the training you need to be confident, charge what you’re worth and do a good job for people.
YOU TOLD ME THAT YOU STARTED PROACTIVELY ASKING FOR REFERRALS.
HOW DO YOU DO THAT EFFECTIVELY WITHOUT SEEMING PUSHY?
When I deliver an order I will say “If you are happy with the order, please refer me onto your friends. If not, of course let me know, so I can improve the work I did for you. AND FINALLY, YOU SUGGEST GIVING PEOPLE SOMETHING FOR FREE. WHAT DO YOU GIVE AWAY YOURSELF?
I send free tips – unique job searching strategies, questions to ask during an interview and the lowdown about “Behavioral Interview questions.”
CHARMAINE POCEK, RESUME REWRITER AND CAREER COACH, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING MY GUEST ON EASY MONEY! And please see Charmaine’s Guest post where she shared those same tip sheets she gives away to clients.
Guest Name: Charmaine Pocek
Guest Title: Award-Winning Resume Writer and Career Expert
Credentials: PhDc, MS, CPRW, CIEP, PRC
Guest Contact: fiverr.com/boomsa;