064: From Intense Army Missions to Killing It on Fiverr (w/ Levi Newman)
Levi Newman is a freelance international copywriter on fiverr.com focused on crafting engaging marketing and advertising content. His work has been featured by numerous media outlets including Huffington Post Live, U.S. News and World Report and Social Media Today.
He is passionate about copywriting, online marketing, and client-based relationships. Over the last 10 years, he has constructed an improved relationship between brands, achieved success through strategic and focused consulting, and has been an innovator when it comes to engaging people on multiple social media platforms.
He has helped to develop and execute successful, large-scale social media programs that helped curate a following of more than four million people. He has been responsible for brand building and brand awareness by means of cultivating relationships through marketing, public relations, website/blog content and advertising, and he has done so by creating marketing materials in a variety of mediums (print, web and video)
Switching from Army/Police to becoming a writer
Levi enjoyed writing since he was in high school. He joined the army so he could be able to go to college, left the army at age 28 then attended the University of Missouri where he graduated from at age 32.
Crazy army missions
Levi was among the first soldiers in Afghanistan after 9/11 and the first to take detainees to Guantanamo bay. Being the first soldiers in Afghanistan was very challenging for him and his fellow soldiers.
After the army
Immediately after leaving the army, Levi went straight to university. In his junior year, he got an internship at Veterans United, a fortune 500 real estate company. He used to manage their social media and was very successful at it, he took it from 30,000 likes to 1.4 million likes within a 3 year period. After 6 months working there, one of the writers quit and Levi was offered the job.
Later on he became a director and senior marketing writer for about 3 years during which he won industry awards for his great performance. Eventually he decided to leave the company and apply for a senior marketing/writing position at an international crafts company. He got the job and worked there for about one year before leaving to become a freelancer on Fiverr.
Levi had just returned to Missouri from Utah, where he worked at the crafts company. He decided to do freelancing and looked into a few freelancing platforms including Fiverr. He had tried Upwork but didn’t like the bidding system and on Christmas day that year, he chose to start working on Fiverr.
Initially he didn’t take it very seriously but he got a few orders within 2 days. In the following 3 months, he was doing very well and had made good money. He figured if he could make $100 a day ($3,000) a month, it would be enough to sustain his family and lifestyle. He therefore started aggressively selling his services and after 6 months he decided to raise his prices to earn more as he got more and more work. Levi got so busy on Fiverr that he didn’t need to go into formal employment so he decided to go full-time into it
Levi’s first gig was offering a service writing 250 words about a person’s business. One of his first big orders was fixing a client’s 25 page business plan for $600. After that big order he decided to niche down and streamline his gigs so he could deliver the best service to his buyers.
Income growth on Fiverr
Levi says there is a big misconception that a person cannot make good money on Fiverr or that they will always be limited to $5 jobs. Some people limit themselves by downplaying their worth through providing their services for very low prices, which Levi says it’s a self worth mindset problem.
What is Fiverr?
Levi says it’s a universal platform for anybody that wants to make a little bit of money. He works relentlessly for months at a time without taking a single day off. He doesn’t care much about the money or success, he does it because he likes spending time with his family. Working on Fiverr enables him to give his family the best life.
Tip: If you willing to put in the work and go the extra mile, you can really be successful and become a full-time freelancer.
Laptop lifestyle Vs. Desktop Lifestyle
Levi mostly works on his laptop but also uses his desktop in his very well set up home office. He works on the desktop during the day since his kids are always at school and when he needs to get out, he works on his laptop. He also gets to work while travelling with his family.
Fiverr is his main income source. He also gets some work via LinkedIn. He just started a new and fun t-shirt business with his wife. The business’ website is www.sagemodeapparel.com
Reason for success on Fiverr
Levi signed up on Fiverr in October 2014 and didn’t do anything on it until December of that year. He says what contributed to his fast success on the platform was his availability and being able to talk to people when he was needed. He also made sure that he offered great value by making sure he delivered or over-delivered on exactly what his buyers needed.
Tip 1: You have to respond to messages fast, always make sure you are available
Tip 2: Offer value that will set you apart from the rest who are offering the same service that you are offering
Growth strategy in the beginning
Levi used to focus on each buyer individually and the business just took off via word of mouth. He has never used social media to market his gigs. He feels that social media is limiting in terms of actual human interaction and prefers to talk to people first hand as much as possible. Half of the work he gets, comes from word of mouth referrals.
Tip: If you have a strong social media base then you can use it to market your Fiverr gigs
Having an assistant
Levi doesn’t have one but wishes he did. Sometimes he has to work very hard to ensure he is consistently delivering the best to his buyers.
Scaling the business
He says people keep ordering regardless of what he is doing. For clients who return consistently, it’s easier to serve them. New clients are harder to serve because it takes time to understand some of their needs. For the buyers who order directly, Levi has to do the work but if he can’t do any of it he tells the buyer and they mutually cancel the order. If a buyer reaches out to him and he is too busy, he just honestly tells the buyer to look into other sellers. Sometimes he has to turn down up to 20 to 30 orders a day because he is so busy.
Partnering with a top seller on Fiverr
Levi recommends this for sellers who are seeking to get more orders. There is a Fiverr seller who approached Levi so he could give them the extra work that he couldn’t do when he was very busy. The seller experienced a 70% increase in their Fiverr income due to Levi’s support. He is always very selective with the sellers he chooses to work with.
On average, Levi does about 250 orders per month. Some single orders are big in terms of entailing a lot of work and he of course charges much more for them. So far he has been averaging $16,000 a month in income. He turns away about $5,000 to $6,000 worth of orders every month because he is too busy. He feels that if he had another person working for him, he would generate more money.
Hiring people as a seller
Levi wishes Fiverr offered an opportunity where he could hire someone underneath him on Fiverr so that he could start a brand on Fiverr that would offer its services on a larger scale.
Biggest breakthrough moment
“It was the point when I hit $100 a day, it was very uplifting to know that I could do it.”
His jobs “gigs“ on Fiverr
His Amazon gig is the best draw card. The gig service is usually for Amazon products in the US, Canada, UK, and Australia. He writes everything about a product from the title, bullet points and the description. He writes them in a Word document so the buyer can copy paste them into Amazon for themselves. His work enables the buyers to successfully sell their products on Amazon. Levi has done over 9,000 Amazon listings.
In his other gig, Levi offers generalized writing services including writing website content, blog posts, brochures, B2B and B2C emails, personalized letters, and voice over scripts.
A good Amazon listing
Levi says a great Amazon listing has to have keywords in the listing but says that the best way to sell a product is to talk to people about the benefits of the product in comparison to others using simple to understand sixth grade English.
A day in life when starting out on FiverrVs. a day in life now
When starting out, Levi used to wait in anxiety to get orders but today the orders just come in in large numbers. He used to work up to 18 hours a day but later re-evaluated his work process. Now he tries not to work past 10pm at the latest and spends more time with his family. When necessary, he works after his family goes to sleep.
Levi doesn’t focus on direct one to one mentors because he feels that majority of them don’t help people out of goodwill. He lives his life by looking up to certain successful people and working towards becoming similarly successful.
Book recommendation for entrepreneurs:
He prefers reading fiction books because he likes to get away from real life when is reading.
To be remembered for having taught his kids how to be passionate about what they do, to work hard, put in every effort into what they love and make that successful on their terms without necessarily focusing on money but rather on happiness – Levi.