2015 was a fantastic year for the great of Envato, and one part of the business which saw some incredible results was Envato Studio.
I got in contact with two of the most notable service providers of 2015, and asked them how they achieved their status’ of “Top earner” and Over 1,000 jobs done, respectively.
Name: Erwin T / Location: Indonesia / Services: WordPress & Website/Programming
How many jobs did you complete this year?
Around 900 projects.
What type of work was it mostly?
PSD to HTML jobs and theme setup and wordpress modifications.
How long have you been a studio service provider?
A little more than 2 years now.
Has this been your best year ever?
Yes, definitely my best year.
Is this your full time job?
Yes, ever since March 2014 when I discovered Envato could offer more than freelance work for me. Since then I’ve been working towards becoming one of the top service providers.
What’s a lesson you took out of working on studio this year?
Keeping an eye on the pattern of our clients so we can best arrange our schedule, including following our clients’ holiday time. If they’re on holiday, we are too. If they’re not, we’re not.
How do you think you achieved “top earner” status this year?
First and foremost, because of the help and guidance I get from God. In the 2008 market crash, I lost everything. But God has been generous to me, and even in my despair I managed to make ends meet. Secondly, before joining Envato, I managed websites for several clients in Spain. One of them was very tough and I guess working for very tough clients has taught me how to deal with them. So when I’ve come across tough clients on Envato Studio, I’ve been more than prepared.
Is there some advice you can give to other service providers that will help them earn more in 2016?
The client is king, no matter how wrong they are. You always need to keep your cool and entertain their needs. Always aim higher. If a client asks for 10 points of requirements, give them 12, 15 or even 20 points. Go further for them to make sure they’re satisfied with the results and they will consider you again for more projects in the future.
Name: Sukianto Tan (sukiafat) / Location: Indonesia / Services: Logo design
What’s the actual number of jobs you completed this year?
To be honest, I’m not sure, but from what I counted, it’s about 1500+. I might be wrong.
How long have you been a studio service provider?
I think it’s been more than 2 years since I first became a service provider.
Where does this year rank for you? Is this the most jobs you’ve ever done in a year?
From 1-10, I would rank this year as an 11. It’s been a really great experience working on Envato Studio, and I’ve really enjoyed it. And yes, this is the most jobs I’ve ever done in a year. I could never have imagined doing as many before.
Is this your full-time job?
Yes, from this year Studio is my full-time job.
What’s a lesson you took out of working on Studio this year?
It reminded me why I love my job. I love the work and it’s been a great experience working with various people from other countries. Also, every job I’ve done has improved me in a different way. One big lesson I took from this year is how to improve my time management and why that’s so important.
Is there some advice you can give to other service providers that will help them do more jobs in 2016?
I think the most important thing is to build trust with our clients and potential clients. Do the best you can and be consistent. Communication is also important. Be responsive and be polite.
What was it like doing so many jobs? Would you do that many again?
It was great. It was of course stressful but mostly fun! Doing so many jobs kept my brain active and made me more productive. I could focus on my target and forget about the distractions that might have made me unproductive. Focussing on getting work done also meant I had more time to relax and have better quality rest.
How did you manage to do it?
Time management is important, so I created a “to-do” list and targets for each day helped. Focussing when you’re working and never delaying any of your work is important. And when I’m working, I’ll usually turn on my TV (to Fox Movies or HBO mostly) as background noise, which often gives me inspiration and ideas and helps me work faster.
How did you improve your time management?
Because I have experience creating a lot of logos for clients (more than 1000), the process of creating one logo is faster for me than it was a year ago, because my ideas kepy flowing based on the experience of creating the previous one. Understanding the client’s business makes things a lot easier too, since I learnt quite a lot from previous clients with similar businesses.
How have you changed the way you manage your time now?
I set time for each project that I need to finish each project within. I usually devote about 12 hours a day to work effectively of which I use about 8 hours to create new logos, and 4 hours for revisions and then spare the other times for my other activities. Also it’s so I can get enough sleep too.
Can you give me some examples of you being responsive and polite and how that improves the customer experience?
Yes! Being responsive is always replying to your client’s messages as fast as you can but responsibly. This means that if you don’t have time to read your client’s message, you simply let them know that you’ve received their message you will read it later when you’ve got time. In regards to being polite, sometimes if things are not working as well as expected (e.g. a client doesn’t like my logo after a few drafts), you need to communicate to your client what your concerns are and what are the best solutions as well as ask their opinion of what they’re thinking. The main point being, always ask their opinion because you care about them. And personally, I like to use the smile emoticon “:)” on my messages because I want to be friendly and make them feel comfortable with me. By building this relationship with your client, they will get more comfortable with you and feel confident to contact you when needed.
What was distracting that would make you unproductive before, and what did you do to change this behaviour?
My worst distractions were Facebook and YouTube. Browsing on social media sites like Facebook or watching random videos on YouTube made me spend a lot of time being unproductive. So, what I did was set a timeline for my work each day, (e.g. “I need to finish the “A” logo before 3 PM, then continue working on “B” logo until 6 PM). By setting up that timeline, I have the urge to push through and work, and if I finish it ahead of the timeline, then I reward myself by watching a random video on YouTube or spending time on Facebook. It makes my time more manageable and prevents me from having to work overtime.