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freelancing tips

How to get freelance clients when you’re new to freelancing

1000 things you could do here…

But, let me tell you what I actually did.

First… my first several clients all hired me because they’d seen some YouTube videos I did that were pretty close to what they wanted. At the time, I didn’t have a portfolio up, testimonials or even a page selling my services.

They just found my email and emailed me.

This is why I constantly beat the “create content” drum.

It can work when you have nothing else.

Second… all the projects I worked on were small.

Fix a CSS bug here. Write a little PHP script there. Frankly, I wasn’t ready for big projects and I didn’t have the “proof” to justify hiring me for one. But, little scripts and fixes weren’t a big deal.

And, that helped me BUILD my portfolio, etc.

Third… my portfolio.

One thing, I learned quickly is your portfolio is the #1 things clients will look at/ask for. I was able to get work despite not having one, because of my content. But, I’d have landed a lot more jobs if I had one.

So, this is why I developed the “non-client portfolio”.

Build 5-10 websites/applications for nobody.

Purely to put in your portfolio.

Having something in there is better than nothing. They don’t need to be client projects. Clients want to see examples of your work, at a bare minimum. And, just make sure it’s your best work and visually appealing.

So, if I were starting today, here’s what I’d do:

  1. Build a portfolio of non-client sites/apps in 1-2 weeks.
  2. Start creating YouTube videos solving small tech problems.
  3. At the end of every video, point people to my “hire me” page.
  4. Spend 30/month promoting my YouTube videos on Google Ads.

It’s pretty simple actually.

Then, if you want to know how to grow your freelance business from there, that’s what I’ll teach you in my new Beginner’s Guide to Freelance course. And, you can get access to it for nothing over on SkillShare.

All the details on that are here: https://skl.sh/2pOiF5g

Later,

John

October 21, 2018

Is freelancing income feast or famine?

The #1 question I get from people who WANT to get into freelancing.

But, it’s interesting because 63% of people who DO freelance believe that a diversified portfolio of clients is MORE stable than a single employer. To me, it comes down to HOW you do it.

So, I decided to do a video and explain that.

If you’ve thought about getting into freelancing, but have been worried about the income stability, THIS is the video you should watch:

Later,

John

October 19, 2018

Is this the turning point in YOUR freelance career?

There’s a moment in every Freelancer’s career.

You’ve got a few clients…

Things seem to be going well.

But, you’re not really sure how it all happened. You’re not making quite enough to feel comfortable. And, you can’t help but worry, constantly, about what happens if you lose one of our clients… and can’t get another.

It’s a turning point.

Figure it out and you go onto a successful freelance career.

Don’t and you get stuck… unable to grow.

Eventually, most give up.

For me, it was “the hockey guy”.

A hockey training membership site I’d built for a guy. He was the client that  put more over the top. I’d nudged into the 6-figure range and, honestly, felt like it was all built on a house of cards.

Because, I had almost no idea how I’d done it.

I’d just kind of got the clients.

And, I had no real idea how or why.

I just kept imagining it all falling apart and there being nothing I could do about it. I obsessed over it. And, my anxiety was through the roof 24/7. I remember thinking, “This is supposed to be a GOOD thing. Why does it feel so awful?”

Anyway, it ended up being good for me.

Because, it drove me to dig deeper.

​​​​​​​And, actually figure out what was working… and WHY.

That led me to go from charging 50/hour to 100/hour. To get rid of some clients that were dragging me down. To get a lot more pro-active in my “client-getting”. And, to reach a point where I was getting 30+ project offers/month.

I got one from a well-known internet market named Ryan Lee that I turned down.

Another from Leslie Samuel from Social Media Examiner.

It put me in a lot stronger position.

With a lot more peace of mind and certainty.

Because now I actually KNEW what I was doing.

And, it all came from just taking the time to dig in and really learn how to market, how to get clients and how to build a REAL freelance business that wasn’t beholden to “luck” or change or any freelancing platform.

If that’s the kind of thing you’re after…

Then maybe THIS is the kick in the pants you need…

To turn that corner and get serious.

Anyway, what I learned during that time is what I cover in my new Beginner’s Guide to Freelance course. The big rocks. The chess moves to make to methodically build your freelance business with certainty.

You can get access to it for nothing over on SkillShare.

All the details on that are here: https://skl.sh/2pOiF5g

Later,

John

October 18, 2018

When a freelance client questions what you charge

This is a really good question from Jeenie:

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Two things:

First… and, I know, I know… “that’s what you ALWAYS say”.

That’s because it’s true.

It goes back to selling on value. The value you offer to a client should be MORE than time saved. The expertise you bring to the table. The quality of work. The reassurance it’s being done right.

A whole host of “value-added” benefits beyond time saved.

So, sure…

Maybe, her client could do it themselves in 15 minutes.

But, will it be done right?

Will it be done to the same level of quality?

Will the client know to do X and not Y?

And, to be clear… it’s not just about telling the client this. It’s about actually doing it as a part of the service you offer. If your only benefit is you’ll save them time, you’re going to have a hard time as a freelancer.

It HAS to be more.

Second thing is this…

Walk away.

Or, at least, make sure your client knows you will. From my own experience, all but one of the first group of clients I got… eventually moved on as I raised prices. Just that one stayed as I went from 25/hour to ultimately 100/hour.

Sometimes, there’s a direct conflict between holding onto a client…

And, what you can make as a freelancer.

Is that client really worth you not making what you want?

You only have so many hours in a day.

Maximize them.

And, if you have to let go of a client to do it… then, let them go.

Now, of course, that only really works if you have a new client, willing to pay your increased rate, to replace them. And, this is why I focus so much on teaching freelancers how to get clients.

It needs to be your top skill.

Because, when you can get clients at will.

When you have a backlog of people wanting to hire you.

It’s easier to move on…

And, you’re less likely to put up with this stuff.

In any case, that’s what my new freelancing course is all about. Teaching you how to methodically build your freelance business over the next month, year, 5 years… and create a REAL business around your services.

And, you can get access to it for nothing on SkillShare.

All the details on that are here: https://skl.sh/2pOiF5g

Later,

John

October 17, 2018

Most freelancers REFUSE to learn this

This is probably the hardest thing to convince freelancers of:

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​​​​​​It’s such a mindset shift.

I think most freelancers, understandably, are a bit desperate when they start out. Hell, I was. I was trying to leave a 9-to-5 I hated. I was looking for something to just “work” and help me escape.

And, I’d have begged clients if I had to.

So, I get it.

And, frankly, early on…

You probably should work with clients who don’t pay well…

And, are awful to work with.

You just need experience… any experience almost.

But, if you really wanna make the next step in your freelance career and go from getting paid to getting paid WELL… at some point, you have to become disciplined in how you deal with clients.

Your mindset has to change.

And so, if a client is underbidding a project…

And, you tell them so…

And, you sell them on value.

And, their response is “F!@# off” and they decline the proposal.

Good!

You just saved yourself a massive headache. In fact, most of the time I wouldn’t even bother to bid on projects that are way underbid. Those generally aren’t going to be the clients you wanna work with.

Of course, that’s all hard to do when you’re desperate for clients.

Never knowing where the next one will come from.

If they’ll pay well.

Will they be a pain in the arse.

The trick is to get so much incoming work that you literally can’t work with them all. And, you have to pick and choose who you’re going to work with. THAT’S when your mindset will change.

THAT’S when you become picky.

And, THAT’S when you’ll start making even more as a freelancer.

Anyway, that’s also what my new freelancing course will help you do. How to figure out what (high-paying) services to offer as a freelancer. How to find clients who will hire you for those services. How to get referrals. Repeat clients. And more.

And, you can get access to it for nothing over on SkillShare.

Details on all that are here: https://skl.sh/2pOiF5g

Later,

John

October 16, 2018

Success really is simple sometimes

Take this comment I just got:

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You ever heard the saying: “success leaves clues”.

It’s true.

And, sometimes, success slaps you in the face on a daily basis and implores you to pay attention. To quit using “being skeptical” as an excuse to really just stay comfortable. To get serious about your life and your career.

There’s plenty of complicated things in life.

Relationships.

Kids (oh boy!)

Rocket astro-surgery.

But, this isn’t one of those things. The people who take the time to learn how systems like Upwork operate and put in the effort to take advantage of those systems tend to have success… and have success quickly.

And, just imagine what happens…

When the #1 freelancing platform on the planet turns in YOUR favor.

Or, don’t imagine… and instead see it for yourself.

Learn how it works here: https://skl.sh/2EhufQC

Later,

John

October 15, 2018

Is freelancing worth it?

I guess I’m just an a-hole.

My problem was always the other people I worked with. In particular, my boss. I just couldn’t work for someone I knew I was clearly smarter than and have to swallow my pride and run with all their dumb ideas.

Like I said… a-hole.

So, I’ve always known I had to be my own boss.

I’d go insane otherwise.

But, I always believed this naive notion that if I worked hard, did good work and did right by people, things would work out. My employers would see that and I’d be rewarded for it.

That notion got shattered in a hotel room in NYC.

After, I’d just watched one of my employers make a pile of money that I was largely responsible for helping him make… and I didn’t get a penny. In fact, my work was never even mentioned and instead I held doors and passed out cookies.

That’s why I freelance.

And, it’s been worth every second.

But, just statistically, it makes more sense, too. Freelancers, globally make more on average than wage workers (39k vs 18k). And, they have more job security (63% believe having multiple client is more secure than 1 employer).

Sure, it takes some work.

And, there’s a learning curve.

But, ONCE you get it…

There’s no looking back.

And, you have 100% control of your own destiny. You’re not beholden to some tech-bro CEO at a startup or some stodgy, old company whose CEO can barely open their email. It’s all on you.

And, that’s best security I know of.

In any case, it’s not for everybody. But, if you’re tired of your 9-5 or you know you’ll never survive in that world, freelancing is a great way to build your own business and be your own boss.

And, my new freelancing course will teach you how to freelance successfully.

And, you can get access to for nothing over on SkillShare.

All the details on that are here: https://skl.sh/2pOiF5g

Later,

John

October 12, 2018

NEW course: Beginner’s Guide to Freelance

Just posted a new course.

It’s called the Beginner’s Guide to Freelance and it’s teaching you everything I’ve learned from 10+ years of freelancing to help you get started, grow and be your own boss. Here’s what you’ll learn in the course:

  • How to figure out what services to offer
  • How to make money AND do what you love
  • How to find people WILLING to hire you
  • How to sell your services without having to become some sales genius or slime ball
  • How to build your freelance business as a sustainable business you can sell or hand to your kids and grandkids
  • And, ultimately, be YOUR OWN boss and control YOUR OWN destiny.

This course is for you if you’re an absolute beginner, tired of working a 9-to-5 you hate and are ready to make the leap into freelancing. It’ll show you how to methodically build and grow your freelance business.

Anyway, you can get it for nothing over on SkillShare.

Link to get started is here: https://skl.sh/2pOiF5g

Later,

John

P.S. If you’re a patron over on Patreon, you can get it here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/beginners-guide-21994444

October 11, 2018

How to find the GOOD jobs on Upwork

I get this one a lot.

It’s the most common refrain from the “Upwork is a SCAAAAAAM!” folks that troll my YouTube channel. But, there’s also some well-meaning folks who just haven’t learned how to do this, yet.

Anyway, there’s a simple way to weed out all the junk projects on Upwork and get to the good, high-paying jobs… with clients that are easy to work with.

First, log into your Upwork account and run a search for your niche:

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Then, click the “Filters” button. A list of filters you can apply will drop down:

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At a minimum, I recommend setting the “Client History”, “Client Info” and “Budget” filters. You want clients who’ve hired other freelancers and have their payment method verified.

NOTE: before a client can pay you, they HAVE to have their payment method verified. So, clients who don’t have that… can’t pay you.

I then, also, look for projects in my desired budget range:

2018-10-08_0933

Notice that the number of projects went from 1,644 to 669.

That’s still a massive amount of jobs.

And, for what I do, I only need maybe 1-2 per month.

So, I have a hard time when people tell me there are no “good jobs” on Upwork. In MY niche, there’s more than I could ever hope to even BID on, let alone get hired for.

Of course, FINDING these jobs is one thing… now, you need to get hired for them. I see a lot of people who have their opinions on this…

But, I see very few who will tell you THE most important thing…

Which is, your opinion doesn’t mean jack.

That it’s not about some sales tactic or how you write your proposals or what “order” a client sees your proposal in. I mean yeah… pay attention to those things.

But, they don’t mean squat if you don’t know what the CLIENT wants.

You can be the smoothest talker in the world, but if you’re not speaking the client’s language, it won’t matter and you’ll struggle to get hired.

The good thing is clients will TELL you exactly what they want. You just gotta know how to look for it AND prioritize what matters to them most, second most, etc.

Anyway, I show you how to do that in Lesson 6 of Module 3 in my Freelancing on Upwork course. I truly believe it’s the single most important thing you can learn about writing proposals on Upwork (or anywhere for that matter)… because it removes all the guesswork.

You’ll know exactly what to say and your proposals will have much greater impact.

In any case, you can get access to the course for nothing on SkillShare.

All the details on how to do that are here: https://skl.sh/2OIxQrO

Later,

John

October 8, 2018

How to build a freelance portfolio that’ll get you hired (even if you have no past client history)

Your portfolio may be the most important part of your freelancing profile. It’s the thing that concretely PROVES (or not) that you know what you’re doing.

But, it needs to be built a certain way, otherwise it can actually work AGAINST you.

First is visual appeal. Take these stats for instance:

  • When people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later.
  • Eye-tracking studies show internet readers pay close attention to information-carrying images. In fact, when the images are relevant, readers spend more time looking at the images than they do reading text on the page.
  • People following directions with text and illustrations do 323% better than people following directions without illustrations.
  • Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images.

I know… shocker.

Adding images makes things perform better. But, I’m always baffled by freelancer profiles. A lot of freelancers don’t properly prioritize visual appeal. Your portfolio HAS to look good. Even if, you’re in an industry that lacks it (writers, back-end development, etc).

One way to accomplish that, of course, is to make sure you always build nice-looking things.

But, again, that can be tough in some industries.

One trick I see being used a lot more lately is using “graphical representations” instead of screenshots. Take this graphic for Infusionsoft, for example:

2018-10-07_1120

This is obviously not what the actual interface looks like. But, it gives the impression that it is. And, it communicates the point.

So, get creative with your portfolio. Don’t tie yourself to having to just take screenshots. If you’re a writer, use the graphics from the websites or books you’ve written for. If you’re a back-end developer, show the front-end result. Use graphics instead of screenshots, if necessary.

But, PRIORITIZE visual appeal.

The second big thing is your portfolio needs to function AS proof.

I talked about how to inject proof into your profile overview in this article. It’s critical. But, when you mention projects you’ve worked on in your overview, clients will immediately go to your portfolio to SEE those projects. So, make sure anything you mention in your overview is visually represented in your portfolio.

I’m telling you as sure as I’m sitting here… if you combine that 1-2 punch (overview and portfolio) in the way I outline… clients will stop and give you a hard look.

And, you’ll make a very compelling case.

And, over time, my experience is you’ll win a lot more jobs.

Of course, the big objection I get at this point is…

I don’t have past clients to put in a portfolio.

And, it IS tricky when you first get started. It’s hard to get work without a portfolio, but you can’t build a portfolio without work. And, the main advice you’ll hear is to do FREE work.

That’s fine, but it’s actually not necessary.

There’s a simple (and quicker) way to build your portfolio that doesn’t require doing a bunch of free work for people who often end up being a pain in the a!@ to work with.

I show you what that is in Module 2, Lesson 6 of my Freelancing on Upwork course on SkillShare.

And, you can get access to that course for nothing.

All the details on that are here: https://skl.sh/2OIxQrO

Later,

John

October 7, 2018

The one thing your Upwork profile overview MUST have

There’s actually three.

And, an exact order to put them in.

But, THIS is definitely the most important.

Thing is…

Most clients on Upwork aren’t looking at just YOUR proposal or profile. I mean, you’ve seen this. There’s often 20, 30 or even more proposals on any good job on Upwork. So, they’re sifting through dozens of freelancers.

And, it’s silly to think they’re doing some kind of in-depth technical analysis.

People don’t make decisions that way.

They skim through things rapidly…

And, try to “get a feel”…

Or, look for something that JUMPS out at them.

And, if they click through to your profile, the first thing they’ll see and likely read is your profile overview. Of course, you have about 3 seconds to grab their attention otherwise they’ll move on.

So, you have hit them hard in those first few seconds.

But, you also have to remember that this is a marketplace.

They are there to buy.

So, a lot of the typical marketing advice doesn’t apply.

Telling a story and all that.

They’re past that.

So, what do you hit them with?

PROOF.

But, as soon as I say that a lot of freelancers immediately think of their portfolio.

Or, aren’t sure how to put proof into an overview.

So, let me give you an example:

“Hi, I’m John. You might know me from my work on Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Body website, or the site I built for Inc. Magazine, maybe my work on Michael Hyatt’s Platform University or the membership sites I’ve built for Lewis Howes.”

Now, that opening may or may not hit YOU.

But, I know my market.

These people are legends in my market.

I’ve literally had clients say to me:

“I saw you worked with XYZ person. If they trust you, I trust you.”​​​​​​​

That Tim Ferris 4-Hour Body line grabs them by the eyeballs…

And, makes them read.

But, also establishes credibility, authority and, ultimately, TRUST. So, NOW, they’ll actually believe what you say in the rest of profile overview. They’ll rush to your portfolio to SEE what you built for these people.

And, you’re 90% of the way to getting hired…

Because you made them STOP…

And, pay attention to you.

THAT is how you cut through the 30 other proposals.

Now, the big objection I get here is:

“I don’t have those past clients. I can’t do that.”

Mmmmm… I don’t know. You don’t need huge names like that. You don’t need even need past clients, per se. You just need proof that you know what you’re doing. So, “11 years at a web design shop” can work.

Hell, even “Top of my class at college” is better than nothing.

Point is…

Talk about what you’ve DONE.

Anything of note.

Even if you don’t think it’s that big of a deal.

And, if you literally have nothing OR you want to build up what you can put there, get out and do things. Work on projects. Work with clients… for free if you have to. That’s the thing about that Tim Ferriss project.

I didn’t get paid for it.

In the end, they moved away from WordPress…

And, the site I built got replaced.

But, I still built a site for Tim Ferriss.

Put it in there.

Anyway, like I said, this is 1 of the 3 things you need to include your profile overview. Once you have their attention and established credibility, now you need to lead them by the hand to hiring you.

And, that’s what the next two parts do.

I teach those in Lesson 4 of Module 2 in my Freelancing on Upwok course.

You can get access to it for nothing over on SkillShare.

All the details on that are here: https://skl.sh/2OIxQrO

Later,

John

October 6, 2018

How to get your profile approved on Upwork

When I first started on Upwork, they didn’t do this.

At least, not that I remember.

But, apparently, it’s becoming more and more of an issue because I’ve been getting asked this a lot more lately. And, the thing here is… when you understand what Upwork’s goals are and how it’s technology works to support those goals, the answers here start to become obvious.

Take this, for example:

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In case it’s not clear…

This is an Upwork employee stating that WHO performs a search and WHEN they perform it affects Upwork’s search results. So, if you’ve been thinking that Upwork is 100% rank, this is probably a big eye-opener.

It should tell you two things:

  1. Relevance is a MAJOR factor in how Upwork operates. Search results and suggested freelancer lists don’t just come down to Rank.
  2. Upwork’s algorithms are HIGHLY sophisticated… down to the time of day affecting search results.

So, this goes back to the point I continually try to hammer home about Upwork:

RELEVANCE, RELEVANCE, RELEVANCE!

Upwork’s stated to goal is to match clients with the best freelancers for their project. That last bit can’t be overstated.

What does that have to do with getting your profile approved?

Well, it should tell you a lot about how Upwork thinks about its ecosystem and who they let in. And, when you first apply, you have ZERO rank in their system. So, it is 100% about relevance. Specifically, Upwork looks at what kind of projects clients are actually posting for, how many quality freelancers it has for those projects and where the holes are.

Categories where there’s a lot of job postings but few quality freelancers.

Those are the freelancers they want.

And, who will breeze through their approval process.

Wouldn’t it be nice if they just told you what those categories are?

Well, they kind of do.

Every quarter, Upwork releases a Quarterly Skills Index. Just go to: https://www.upwork.com/press/ and scroll down to the “Upwork Skills Index” link. Scroll down and you’ll see a list of what Upwork has determined to be the 20 fastest growing skills for freelancers in that quarter:

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You think maybe they’d be dying to find freelancers in these categories for their platform?

Absolutely.

Now, I don’t work at Upwork and I don’t know exactly how their application process works, but I’d bet if you were to include a couple of these skills in your application, there’s a good chance you’re going to get approved.

But, John, I don’t know any of this stuff!

Are you sure?

“Rapid prototyping”.

“Product photography”.

“Google Cloud Platform”.

Some of these are vague enough and enough apart of a developer’s day-to-day activities that you could probably get away with listing it. Down the list there’s also “eLearning” and  “Customer retention”. I think almost anybody could list those as a skill you’re, at least, familiar with.

Now, of course, this isn’t foolproof.

It’s possible to list one or more of these skills and still get rejected. Which is why I constantly tell freelancers to stack as many of the cards in your favor as you can. This is just one. In fact, there’s 10 more things you can do when applying to Upwork to help get your profile approved. And, I outline all 10 in my Freelancing on Upwork course on SkillShare.

You can get no-cost access to that course here: https://skl.sh/2OIxQrO

It’s a 35-lesson course that will teach you everything I know about freelancing on Upwork.

Anyway, do with that what you will.

Later,

John

October 5, 2018

You’re an idiot, please help!

This is the weirdest s!@# I get:

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And, this is not unique.

I once had this guy stalk me for about a year. He’d send me these 10-page emails where he spent 9 pages telling me all the ways I was an idiot, then the last page outlining what he needed ME to help him with.

I finally blocked him on email.

Then, he went to Twitter.

Blocked him there and he want to YouTube.

Then, Facebook.

He was obsessed with telling me how dumb I was…

Then, asking for my help.

I still can’t explain it.

Anyway, to his question…

You get work on freelance sites by understanding how clients think, by figuring out how each platform and its algorithms work and by creating a following of people online who are potential clients for your services.

It’s literally how EVERY online business operates these days.

It’s kinda like learning HTML.

Not necessarily anything “magical” about it…

But, you either know it or you don’t.

Anyway, I’ve been at this for over 14 years now and I teach you everything I know about getting freelance work in my Freelancing on Upwork course. AND, you can get access to to for nothing over on SkillShare.

My story and all the details are here: https://skl.sh/2OIxQrO

Later,

John

October 4, 2018

How I got 39 Upwork job invites a month step-by-step

I’d been on Upwork about a few months.

And, I decided to try this “crazy” thing that ended up being the single most profitable freelancing strategy I’ve discovered. I wound up with 39 job invites that next month. I’d had none the month before and 3 the month before that.

It got so bad, I had to turn off my availability in Upwork.

And, that year I had my first six-figure year freelancing.

When, I started teaching…

I took the exact same strategy and applied it to selling my courses.

And, it’s how I’ve sold 1000s of copies of those courses.

Funny thing is…

Whenever I tell someone what I did, their immediate reaction is “why would you do that?” It IS counter-intuitive in a way, but it’s also a perfect example of how short-sighted most freelancers are.

Would you like to learn this strategy?

And, the reason WHY it works so well?

And, how to apply it to YOUR freelancing business?

Then, check out the first lesson in the new Module 4 of my Freelancing on Upwork course. I just uploaded that module and in it, I show you what the strategy is and exactly how to implement it step-by-step.

It is THE thing that is responsible for the success I’ve had.

And, it’s not rocket surgery.

Just gotta know what it is…

And, how to do it.

Anyway, you can get access to the course for nothing over on SkillShare. As a teacher, I can give you a 2-month, no-cost trial of SkillShare. You get FULL access to all 21,000+ courses on the site, including mine.

Including my Freelancing on Upwork course.

So, sign up, take the entire course…

Cancel any time before the 2 months is up…

And, never pay a penny.

Link to get started is here: https://skl.sh/2OIxQrO

Later,

John

P.S. Here’s a recent review from one of my students:

“This class made me just jump into Upwork and land my first job right away!! ♥ thanks” — Lucre Garino

So, I’m not just tooting my own kazoo.

Link again is here:  https://skl.sh/2OIxQrO

September 22, 2018

My exact digital marketing strategy

This is what happened when I turned my digital marketing “machine” exclusively toward my courses on SkillShare:
​​​​​​​

I went from 5,000 minutes of watch time in April…

To almost 30,000 minutes in August.

And, September is on pace to surpass August.

That’s a 600% increase in watch time. And, this is real money in my pocket, because SkillShare pays its teachers based on watch time. So, that’s also a 600% increase in my earnings from SkillShare since April.

Here’s another one:
​​​​​​​

That’s 101 students in April to 441 in August.

An over 400% increase.

None of this is to brag.

It’s to provide you with evidence of the power of digital marketing. And, here’s how this is relevant to YOU. These days, I point this at my courses. But, I USED to point it at my freelancing services.

And, it works just as well.

Probably even better, because services are often easier to sell than products.

So, I just uploaded 14 new lessons to my Freelancing on Upwork course over on SkillShare where I show you exactly what I do to create content and promote my courses. So, you can build a similar machine.

And, I show you how (and why) to use it with Upwork.

But, honestly, you could point it at whatever you like.

And, I show you how in the new lessons.

Anyway, if you wanna learn what I know about digital marketing, what I focus on, how I set it all up, what I automate and what I don’t, how to create content that sells and on and on… it’s in Module 4 of the course.

Link to get no-cost access to the course is here: https://skl.sh/2OIxQrO

Later,

John

P.S. If you’re a Patron, the new module is already uploaded over there, as well. You can download it here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/15080008

September 21, 2018

Freelancing is SO dumb

“I got, I got, I got, I got
Loyalty, got royalty inside my DNA
Cocaine quarter piece, got war and peace inside my DNA
I got power, poison, pain and joy inside my DNA
I got hustle though, ambition, flow, inside my DNA
I was born like this, since one like this”

— Kendrick Lamar

Was rockin’ this song this morning.

Got me thinking…

My daddy was a gamblin’ man.

Not in the old west sense, but absolutely in the early 2000s America sense. The first house I lived in in Colorado he built himself. Took a risk on owning and paying a fraction of the price… but lost.

So, we moved to Nebraska.

He took a chance on starting his own business.

A car accident ended that one.

Then he got into the unsavory.

Started out innocent enough with the lottery. It eventually devolved into an “inheritance from South Africa” (that one got him thrown in jail for a few days) and he hit rock bottom when he eventually stole from his own son.

That’s why I’m not surprised I’m a bit of a gambler myself.

Never could work a steady 9 to 5.

It just wasn’t in my DNA.

And, your DNA is what your DNA is.

But, it’s not a matter of you’re destined to be something or you’re locked into a certain kind behavior. I believe it deals with who you are at your CORE and what you ultimately value in life.

I value freedom above security.

I value controlling my own destiny over feeling safe from the unknown.

I value time over muney.

That’s just WHO I am.

And, the more I’ve embraced that and have tried to act in congruence with my DNA, the more success I’ve had… but, more importantly, the happier I’ve been. I am what I am and I no longer apologize for it.

There’s an important lesson in there if you’re paying attention.

Anyway, this is why I freelance over working a 9 to 5. This is why it’s really hard for ME to understand why anybody would WANT to work  a 9 to 5. It’s just goes against everything I value. It’s not in MY DNA.

My wife, though.

She’s different.

She loves a good 9 to 5.

And, she really is perfectly happy.

And, people like her often think freelancing is dumb.

It’s so risky.

She’s taught me a lot in that regard.

Because, I used to be very judgmental of the “9 to 5 drones”.

But, now I get it.

Point is…

You need to know who YOU are. What YOU value. What YOUR DNA is. And then, embrace it. Be congruent with it. And, don’t apologize for it. The more you do, the happier you’ll be… and likely, you’ll be more successful, as well.

In any case, whatever YOUR route…

My training curriculum can help you. From my Freelancing on Upwork course to my HTML, PHP and OOP courses… whether freelancing is in your DNA or a steady 9 to 5, the training can help you get there faster.

In fact, I recently got this review of one of my courses:

“I thought you were just praising yourself in the intro but this is seriously one of the best tutorials ever. Its consistent, clear, and most importantly has examples and tells us why we are doing things. Just like you said. Thank you for this great effort.”

So yeah, I’m not just stuffing rainbows up your wazoo.

Anyway, it’s up to you…

But, you can get access to the curriculum for nothing over on SkillShare.

All the details on that are here: https://www.skillshare.com/r/user/johnmorris

But, whatever you do… don’t deny who you are.

Embrace it… then ACT on it.

And, you can thank me later. 😉

Later,

John

September 20, 2018

I just sold a script for a Toyota commercial

Came across this on Twitter:

“But, but Joooohn…”

“There’s not any good clients on Upwork.”

“This. Does. Not. Compuuuuuuu—”

Ooooooor, maybe just maybe all the know-it-alls who rant and rave about how awful Upwork is are wrong. Naaaaaaaaah. Couldn’t be.

Sigh.

Look.

The truth about Upwork is what it’s always been.

There’s amazing clients that pay well and are awesome to work with.

And, there’s dirtbags.

It comes down to 2 things:

  1. Knowing how to FIND the good ones.
  2. APPEALING to the good ones so they hire you.

Figure those two things out and Upwork suddenly becomes this amazing client-getting machine that can send you so much work you have to shut it down so you don’t get overwhelmed.

Soooo… will you put in the work to learn this two things or no?

That’s what it comes down to.

But, that’s up to you.

I can’t tell you what to do.

Anyway, I teach both in my Freelancing on Upwork course. How to consistently find the best clients and pull out the key hiring criteria from their projects so you can write persuasive proposals.

And, you can learn it for nothing on SkillShare.

Details on that are here: https://skl.sh/2OIxQrO

Do what you will with it.

Later,

John

September 19, 2018

Why would anyone wanna freelance?

Got this from Nick:

“If the unemployment rate in the USA is 3.9%, why would you Not Want a regular job especially when it clearly a employees market better than in the Dot Com days.”

My response:

I want to homeschool my kids.

I don’t want to commute.

I want to be able to work the hours I want.

I don’t want to have a boss.

I don’t wanna deal with co-workers.

I wanna make what I want to make instead of begging my boss for a raise.

I don’t wanna work on projects I don’t want to or for people I can’t stand.

Need I go on?

It’s like I’ve said. I feel like it’s in your DNA or not. Me… I honestly think I’d go broke freelancing before I’d “sell my soul” and be some corporate “drone”. Okay, okay. Probably a bit extreme.

But, there’s 1000 reasons why I’d freelance over getting a regular job.

And, I know you just might feel the same way.

Question is… are you doing it?

And, if not… have you been lying to yourself about it?

Truth is… you can’t escape it.

It’ll just keep gnawing away at you.

Anyway, it’s your life.

Do what you want.

But, if you’re like me and want an assist getting going with freelancing OR growing it from a side gig into your full-time gig… check out my Freelancing on Upwork course over on SkillShare.

It goes beyond just Upwork.

And, will teach fundamental freelancing principles along the way.

That you can use whether you use Upwork or not.

And, you can get access to it for nothing.

Anyway, details on all that are here: https://skl.sh/2OIxQrO

Later,

John

September 15, 2018

Upwork clients don’t pay jack

Womp, womp.

Ring the alarms, boys!

We got us another “epic takedown” of Upwork.

Read ’em and weep:

Sigh. Guffaw.

Welp, guess I’ll cancel all my Upwork contracts…

And, pack it up.

Seriously, though… average pay rates are maybe the least useful metric ON Upwork. Clients hire all sorts of freelancers… they could be paying some dude 5/hour to walk their dog for all we know.

Anyway, Danny Margulies said it best:

Here’s a great example.

This client’s average hourly rate is 15.28/hour:

Yet, they just dropped over 5k… 70/hr for 82 hours on a freelancer:

Imagine if you wrote this client off because of their average hourly rate!

That and finding these clients isn’t that hard. Took me about 10 seconds to set up my search filters and BOOM… a whole list of projects where the client is payment verified, has hired over 10 freelancers and is willing to pay more for good work.

Truth is…

People who say this s!@#…

Probably never actually used Upwork.

Because, they’d know how epicly stupid this comment is.

Anyway, don’t mind lil’ ol’ me. Do what you want. But, if you wanna learn how to turn the largest freelancer platform in the world, Upwork, into your personal client-delivering machine, give my Freelancing on Upwork course a look.

You can get access to it for nothing over on SkillShare…

Sooooo… why not?

Anyway, deets on all that are here: http://www.upwork101.com

Later,

John

September 14, 2018

What pisses me off about developers

This s!@#:

“I really feel blessed now that I have stumbled on to you. I say you and not your YouTube channel or your patreon site. I have been in freelancing for many years. I cannot make a living doing what I do now, I don’t really have the passion for it that I had over 20 years ago, and felt a bit burned out on life in general. Not a good place for a father and husband to be.I contacted another much respected programmer over a year ago about my passion for coding but he is an employee and has no freelancing experience. He told me that it would be almost impossible to get into the coding world unless you get hired and work at the office at least for the immediate future. I took that to heart and was truly heartbroken.”

Look, I get we all have our biases.

I certainly have mine.

But, the incessant refrain from some corners of our industry on a range of “dirty” topics like freelancing (ewww) or PHP (noooob) is annoying as f!@#.

Or the genuflecting towards anything with A.I. in it.

I’m convinced I could take a dump in a bag…

Say it has A.I. in it…

And, these clowns would fawn all over it…

Without even thinking.

I don’t know. Maybe, I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed, but I feel like while part of my job certainly is to inform other developers.

Underneath that…

It’s to inspire and motivate.

To open your mind.

Challenge you.

And, most of all…

Not take a big ol’ dump all over your hopes and dreams.

Why certain developers get into a position of authority and then do that, I’ll never understand. Especially, when their “advice” flies in the face of the facts.

I told you this yesterday.

But, speaking on freelancing, specifically.

We’ll look back and laugh hysterically at all these people who looked down or scoffed at freelancing and actually said, “You can’t make a good living as a freelancer”.

Because, most of us will be doing it.

That’s the way the world is heading.

All the data shows it.

Anyway, let me get off my angry soapbox. If you don’t buy into all this B.S. and know freelancing is the future and want to get rolling now.

Check out my Freelancing on Upwork course.

I’ll show you what I’ve learned in 14 years as freelancer.

And, how to get rolling quickly on Upwork…

The world’s largest freelancing platform.

You can get started with it for nothing on SkillShare.

Deets for that are here: https://skl.sh/2OIxQrO

Later,

John

September 8, 2018