Vasily Kichigin, is the man who turned a Fiverr side hustle into a global million dollar business in just four years. In this Interview, Vasily Kichigin shares his story about how he achieved this seemingly impossible feat.
How it all began…
Sometimes, I’m amazed I got here – I never had a masterplan to become a millionaire freelancer when I started, but here I am.
It started in Russia, where I was born. I loved tennis, becoming a professional at a young age and dreaming of international success on the global tennis circuit. My success on the court led to a scholarship at the College of Charleston, where I played Division I NCAA tennis while majoring in business.
I wasn’t the best student, but I was looking for a side hustle. I created an account on Fiverr, loving the freedom freelancing offered. At the same time, playing tennis gave me the grit and determination I needed to embrace the challenges of this world head-on.
Soon, orders were flying in, and I was working anywhere that had a WiFi (Starbucks baristas knew me by name!). I focused on delivering exceptionally attentive services to clients by going above and beyond to ensure their satisfaction.
I attained Level 1 and 2 on Fiverr quickly, finding a comfortable niche in social media marketing. If I didn’t know something, I’d Google it or ask experts. This is what the hustle is about: pushing yourself to deliver high quality, no matter what.
That’s not to say this was an easy journey; I wanted to quit more times than I can count. My gig was constantly bouncing around the rankings, and I always seemed to miss the cut for Top Rated Seller (TRS).
I felt like I had no control.
Although I was working hard, TRS is a hand-picked level that is given to top sellers based on their reviews, order volume, earnings, and completion rate. Although I felt I met these criteria, not getting TRS left me feeling my career was stalling.
One morning, I woke up exhausted from the constant work, opening my laptop for another day of hard hustling. A new notification told me I had been made a TRS overnight – and a new fire for freelancing roared in my belly.
I doubled down, transforming an energetic hustle into a full-time business and connecting with bigger brands and clients like Marriott, Holiday Inn, and DoubleTree by Hilton, Movenpick. I also worked with globally known celebrities and artists.
Today, I oversee a team of 14 people with offices in St. Petersburg, New York, and Manila, helping clients around the world to reach their social media and video production goals. To date, I have over 7,000 5-star reviews and 19,000 completed orders from working with over 11,000 clients on Fiverr.
That side-hustle on Fiverr has paid off immensely. I’ve hosted Fiverr events in Britain, Germany, and Finland. Once I hit the $1,000,000 mark in sales on Fiverr, the company invited me to the NYSE, where I rung the bell after Fiverr filed for an IPO in June 2019.
Fiverr helped me to grow my business and also gave me the freedom to explore opportunities. I’ve made connections with some of the best businesses and been invited to speak at events around the world.
However, my success doesn’t mean I’ve dropped the side-hustle – far from it. Recently, I started a new one: WNOG MEDIA, a team that specializes in full video production and motion graphics work. I also founded FreelanceHustle.com, a site with online courses and resources for freelancers.
All of this has happened in just six short years: even four years ago, I would have laughed in your face if you suggested I might be enjoying the success I am now. But it is possible: all you need is determination, grit, hard work, and a lot of coffee…
You can check out Vasily Kichigin on Instagram.