Getting A Massive Payout For the Simple Skills [Part 2]

I wrote this a few weeks ago. This is another post on a similar theme. I recently spoke with two sellers on fiverr that are doing really large volume per month ($10K+) and so I thought to write a bit more on this.

One of the sellers sells graphic design services. Most people think that the graphic design industry especially on fiverr is a $5-$10 space and this discourages them to take this as an opportunity worth exploring. The person I spoke with, however, specializes in box designs and so he has a much higher order value than someone making birthday cards for example.

There are many reasons why he has a higher order value but it could simply be because his customers are businesses and not people. His customers are likely in the e-commerce space which is why they are hiring box design services on the internet. E-commerce is going through forced adoption and insane growth right now so his business could be blowing because of that too.

The takeaway here is that the problem is not being a graphic designer on fiverr. The problem is what you decide to do with your simple skills. If you’ve decided to do what everyone else does with photoshop, sure your chances are bleak. You’re likely in a high competition low average order value business. But it really is your choice what you make out of your skills or what service do you offer in the graphic design space. Or how rich your average customer is. Or how big a problem you’ve decided to solve with your graphics. It’s really you who choose.

The other person I spoke with is in the video editing space. Because of COVID-19, the over-all video-editing work is down. Lesser ads are being made. Lesser people are doing events. And so the post-production work is on the decline for him. But the gaming industry is booming through the COVID-19. There are more and more people playing and streaming games as well as more viewers than ever who are watching these live streams. Gamers are making a killing right now, and so this video editor is offering gaming highlights editing service. Not only he found customers in these circumstances, he found customers that are paying top dollar right now and so his average order value is much higher than his previous gig.

It’s really not about the skills you have. It’s about what you do with them.

The Chinese Live Streaming E-Commerce Craze

Tech adoption and associated consumer trends in China are a few years ahead of the west. One such trend took a massive boost through the COVID-19 crisis in China and has become a major craze.

It is the live-stream e-commerce which Chinese believe is the closest experience to shopping offline in a retail store.

Many Chinese e-commerce apps, live-streaming apps and super-apps have embraced this trend including TaoBao, WeChat and Douyin (TikTok China) and the shopping experience really is friction-less.

Here are some of the reasons why I think this trend will grow, not just in China, but in the west too.

Firstly, live-stream e-comm is great for product discovery. Amazon in its current form is great for search and buy shopping experience but awful for discovering new products. On the other hand, Instagram is a good platform for discovering new products, but doesn’t have a seamless shopping experience in its present form. Although, with the announcement of “shops”, there’s an obvious plan to change that.

Secondly, all the Chinese apps are offering in-app checkout. So you can tap on the products shown in the live-stream and conduct your purchase right within the app while the live-stream stays uninterrupted. Instagram plans to bring in-app checkout with “shops”.

Thirdly, the Chinese apps have in-app frictionless payment options e.g AliPay and WeChat Pay. Facebook/Instagram do not yet posses the capability to offer in-app payments, but plan to offer with Libra.

Fourthly, in-app streaming & shopping experience enhances consumer trust as the products are shown live instead of the photoshopped 3D photos and professional videos.

Fifthly, apps also offer AR try-ons. So you can try the products e.g glasses, shirts etc to get a feel of how they would look on you.

And lastly, the apps have built-in game mechanics with features to induce scarcity, and get credits/cashback for sharing the stream with your friends etc.

It is unbelievable how far in the future China is with e-commerce in comparison with the western counterparts. But I’m sure that the west will catch up to these trends.

Instagram and TikTok are best positioned in the west to capture this in the future. If you’re an influencer on one of these platforms, the great days will come as the west catches up with the Chinese frenzy.