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freelancing tips

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:

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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

Freelancing is a lot of B.S. for pennies

It’s a kind of “tale of two freelancers”.

Here’s the first:

“Sounds like a lot of bullshit for pennies. There are simply MUCH better ways of making money using the skills you already possess as a freelancer. Ever heard of “high income skills”? Probably not…get paid what you’re worth.” — Steve Guzman

And, here’s the second:

“Thanks so much John! I recently started freelancing and all of your tips have helped me to stand out and land my first gig :)” — Jaaster Dev

Opinion vs results.

You’ll notice that the people who rag on Upwork or freelancing, in general, rarely provide any facts or evidence. Kinda weird, eh?

Eeh… not so much.

Because the facts don’t fit their narrative.

Like the fact that freelancers in the U.S. went from 30% of the workforce in 2016 to 36% in 2017. And, has been growing like that for awhile.

That’s projected to be over 50% by 2027.

20.9% of freelancers earn 100K or more.

And on and on.

Almost every estimate and expert out there projects that we are headed toward a “gig economy” where the majority of the workforce is freelancers/independent contractors.

But nope.

Ignore all that…

And, listen to me Steve Random YouTube Commenter.

Mkay.

Anyway, if you want an assist getting your first “gig” and wanna learn what Jaaster learned, just enroll in my Freelancing on Upwork course for nothing on SkillShare.

I’ll teach you what I know…

From 14 years of doing this freelance thang.

All the deets are here: https://skl.sh/2OIxQrO

Later,

John

September 7, 2018

I think I’m gonna give up on Upwork

It’s interesting when you talk to people who’ve had success on Upwork… how eerily similar and simple their approach is.

A lot simpler than most imagine.

This comes from this question I saw on Quora:

“I’ve tried my best in UpWork, yet I can’t get any job. Should I give up?”

Reading through the answers, you’ll see a pattern:

  • Don’t copy/paste your proposals
  • Specialize don’t generalize
  • Be picky about the jobs you bid on
  • Charge more
  • Use good grammar

It’s not rocket surgery.

But, to the question, I think this answer said it best:

“It doesn’t matter if the platform you’re trying to succeed is Upwork or some other freelance website. This is the critical point for every freelancer. Now, it has to be decided whether or not you’re going to be a freelancer. Believe me, all freelancers had to go through this phase on their freelance journey. You just have to overcome this waiting period, frustration, and disappointment. There’s no other way.”

Yep.

It’s either in your DNA or it’s not.

And, if not, no big deal. You’re not less of a person or anything. You just need to be honest. And, if one small setback has you ready to give up…

Freelancing probably isn’t for you.

But, if you’re like me…

And, working a regular, 9-5 job just sucks the life out of you, then you just need to persist. That first client CAN be a bear, but once you get it…

The flood gates tend to open.

And, it’s gets easier and easier with each new one.

This comment says is best:

“I started out with with Freelancing as a WordPress professional on Fiverr, started taking on projects there and also at the same time bidding on projects on Upwork. It is think it was on October 2017 I started watching John’s videos where he said to spend atleast one year on Freelancing. Fast forward one year now I am Top Rated on Upwork, 100% job success score. Also on Fiverr I have 140 five-star reviews. Its only because of one thing, I dedicated one year of my life totally to freelancing instead of looking for jobs.”

Pretty simple.

Don’t let a little adversity stop you from going after the career and life you really want for yourself. Commit to yourself that “come hell or high water”…

“I’m gonna make this f!@#ing happen!”

And, it will.

In any case, if you want an assist int getting that first Upwork client, enroll in my Freelancing on Upwork course (for nothing) here: https://skl.sh/2OIxQrO

All the details on no-cost access are on that page.

Later,

John

September 5, 2018

Tips from a 400K Upwork freelancer

Upwork is like the PHP of freelance sites.

The most dominant player in the industry, but the one everybody loves to hate for some reason. I guess when you get big enough, it’s inevitable.

But, because of that…

I get asked a lot:

“Is Upwork worth it?”

Rather than me answer (again), why not hear from someone who has had massive success on Upwork… over 400k earned, in fact.

This is Adam:

“Before getting involved with Upwork, I was in a significant amount of debt from several failed businesses, from restaurants to apps, and the company I was currently working for, recently failed too, leaving me stuck between a rock and a hard space.”

Then, he joined Upwork:

“It wasn’t more than a couple days into my pursuit for paying projects, that I came across my first client that hired me to do a small 40 task on Infusionsoft. It took me about 30 minutes to complete, but I went above and beyond. My man was ecstatic!Not only did he write me an amazing review, but he basically offered to hire me for unlimited hours at 40/hour, which to me at the time sounded amazing!”

And, now?

Well, a picture’s worth 1000 words, right?

So yeah… definitely worth it.

But, his biggest insight on succeeding on Upwork…

Might sound a bit familiar:

“I quickly figured out that the above skills are pretty common and the competition was fierce. What was different about me, was my motivation to help the client achieve their desired goals. In a word… “Competency”. For some reason, many freelancers on the site were/are unreliable. Not only did I experience this when I was hiring people, but also when I spoke with potential clients when I was interviewing for gigs. There wasn’t a lot of trust at all.”

Hmmm…

Think I know someone who has been hammering this point home for years now. Trust is the #1, most essential part of ALL freelancing… including Upwork.

And, knowing how to demonstrate you’re trustworthy.

Beyond reviews.

Or your portfolio.

Everybody does that.

But, doing it simply in the words you say.

And, how you say them.

So, everything you write, every phone call with a potential client, every ounce of messaging they get from you just oozes with trustworthiness.

That’s when this freelance thing gets easy.

And, you can charge 295/hour.

And, make 400k or more.

Anyway, that’s the main thrust of my freelancing on Upwork course over on SkillShare… showing you how to demonstrate your trustworthiness.

Even if you don’t have a big client history…

Or tons of reviews…

Or, a perfect portfolio.

You can still have success from day one there.

Anyway, you can get access to that course for nothing on SkillShare. As a teacher, I can give you a 2-month, no-cost trial of SkillShare.

You get full access to all the courses there.

Including all of my courses.

Dig into as much as you want in that 2 months.

Cancel anytime before the 2 months is up…

And, never pay a penny.

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

Later,

John

September 2, 2018

How to make 100K as a freelancer

In today’s podcast, I reveal the “non-secret” to making 100K as a freelancer. From Benjamin Franklin to Thomas Edison, both Trump AND Clinton, Dwight Eisenhower…

Every successful person ever talks about it.

But, so few DO it.

Anyway, it’s here: https://www.johnmorrisshow.com/343/

Listen… and then DO.

Later,

John

August 26, 2018

What the Upwork IPO means for freelancers

Yes, you read that right.

Upwork is going public. They quietly filed to do so at the end of July. These IPOs are always a bit tricky. Lots of potential for growth and collapse all at the same time.

So, one has to wonder…

Is this just a big cash grab for investors before they jump ship? Or, is this just the next logical step in growing the business? Will Upwork still be around 5 years from now?

Here’s what I think you can expect:

Later,

John

August 25, 2018

The 1 thing Upwork haters get right

For all their blubbering and sniveling…

There IS one thing Upwork haters get right.

It’s getting way more competitive.

I mentioned this before, but freelancing is exploding. 36% of the U.S. population already freelances. In the next 10 years, that will jump to over 50%.

Plus, tech is also on the rise.

Hitting its highest workforce rate since the dotcom bubble.

So, all those freelancers ain’t gonna be walking dogs.

They’ll be developers and designers just like you.

That’s, in part, why Upwork decided to begin “curating” its freelancers and not just letting any swinging… ahem… in the front door.

So, now, you have “apply” and get accepted.

All this DOES make it more work.

But, I’m reminded of the Pareto principle.

80% of the revenue often goes to 20% of the freelancers.

The freelancers who DO get in on Upwork, who figure out how it works and how to get steady job invites, who learn how to deliver and make clients happy…

Those who put in the work.

They tend to get all the reward.

While everyone else fights for the scraps.

So, the question becomes… how do YOU get into that 20%? Well, in this kind of hyper-competitive environment, every little advantage counts.

Stacking those advantages is how you win.

So, imagine for a second if you had insight on exactly how Upwork’s algorithms for matching and listing freelancers worked… and, all your competitors didn’t.

If a little advantage, can give you a leg up…

What will a big advantage give you?

How much easier could you get work?

How much more could you charge?

Anyway, that’s why I always try to illustrate to Upwork freelancers how important understanding their algorithms is. It’s crucial to winning consistently there.

To getting into that 20%.

I happened to stumbled on the keys to those algorithms…

By pure dumb luck…

Back before they became a closely-guarded secret.

And, it changed everything for me.

I went from “crickets” on Upwork to my first 2K job in a matter of days. And, eventually, more job invites than I could handle.

I’ve seen the same happen to students of mine…

Who learn this.

In fact, I just got this comment from one this morning:

“This is Julia again.  I have made changes you suggested on my upwork profile and I am glad to say I received my FIRST invitation this morning (11am eastern time).  It definitely put a smile on my face, I accepted the invitation and been going back and forth in regards to the job description.”

I’m still always amazed at how quickly this happens.

I get these “sudden change” messages all the time.

And, that’s the big thing I’m trying to hammer home.

You change your behavior, you change your results. Hell, that’s with anything, but especially on Upwork. And, I’ve seen it happen time after time after time.

Anyway, if you want to learn what I learned…

And, what I’ve taught all this people.

It’s in my Freelancing on Upwork course on SkillShare.

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

Later,

John

August 14, 2018

Nevermind, Upwork DOES suck

I get a kick out of these guys…

But, YOU have a choice to make.

Who are you gonna believe?

This guy:

“UpWork is a joke… Clients on there are awful, getting paid is in no way guaranteed. I mean, you can’t even gain valuable experience, let alone earn a living. UpWork might not be a scam, but it is a joke.”

Oh well then.

You’re totally unsubstantiated opinion convinced me.

Nevermind, Upwork does suck.

Eye roll.

So, you gonna believe that or these:

“Yes! I get almost all of my work through Upwork. Great clients, long-term relationships, well-paying jobs. Upwork is only going to be as good as you are.”

“Upwork is definitely not a scam. I started out with with Freelancing as a WordPress professional on Fiverr, started taking on projects there and also at the same time bidding on projects on Upwork. Fast forward one year now I am Top Rated on Upwork, 100% job success score. Also on Fiverr I have 140 five-star reviews.”

“If it is such a ‘scam’ as people say it is, then how come I’ve made $3000 or so off of clients there just by writing really meh blog posts for them? I work like 10 hours a week AT MOST on my upwork projects.”

To me, there’s three things:

  1. What’s the truth?
  2. What’s the intent?
  3. Where does it lead?

Know-it-alls like the above try to get you focused on their narrow version of truth. Based almost completely on some bad experience they had.

Okay. I get it.

But, what’s the full truth?

I’ve always said this about Upwork. You can find whatever you want over there. You can find awful clients. You can find great ones.

It comes down to how you position yourself.

But, beyond that, it’s about intent.

Do these know-it-alls who constantly scream about the horrors of Upwork care more about you or care more about being right?

I think the answer is obvious.

And then, there’s the question of where this all leads. These guys are telling you to NOT take a crack at the largest freelancing site on the planet…

Where 1000s of new jobs roll in every day…

With freelancers who’ve made 300, 400, 500k…

No, no… eff all that…

Listen to me.

My opinion is right.

Don’t even try it.

To me, it’s pure arrogance.

And, classic know-it-all-ism.

But, like I said… I can’t talk about this all day. But, I’ve already been on Upwork. Did my thing. I know that it is. It’s YOU who have to decide.

Who you wanna believe.

And, what you’re gonna do.

I’ve said all along… Upwork is not perfect. It’s not some “work magically falls in your lap” utopia. It takes work. It takes understanding how the system works.

And, you shouldn’t only ever get work from it.

You shouldn’t base your entire freelancing career on it.

But, it’s a great stepping stone.

And, full of opportunity.

But, again, you have to decide that… not me.

Anyway, if you want some help, my Freelancing on Upwork course will show you how to build your profile to take advantage of Upwork’s algorithms.

To help you show up higher in searches…

And, suggested freelancers lists.

And, to be more compelling and persuasive to clients.

Plus, how to find the best jobs and best clients. How break down their job description to find the key hiring criteria. And, how to write compelling proposals that get the job.

All to help you have more success on Upwork.

So, you actually take advantage of the opportunity it is.

But, that, too, is up to you.

If you’re in, link to get started is here: https://skl.sh/2OIxQrO

Later,

John

August 13, 2018

Upwork is NOT a scam so stop saying it

This is bigger than even Upwork, really.

Take a minute and really think about it.

But, anyway, let’s get into it…

Web development was the first thing I came across in my life that I really believed, deep in my soul, was my “way out”. I’ve talked about this before…

But, I came from a dirt poor family.

I lived in a trailer house.

A run-down, dirty one, in fact.

And, when you grow up like that, you’re always looking for something to “get you out”. For some people, it’s football or basketball. Others it’s music.

Whatever it is…

It’s your “way out” of that life.

And, web development was that for me.

And, I spent a lot of years getting really good at it. I poured my heart and soul into it. I stayed up way too many hours, late at night mastering it…

Because, I felt like it was my one shot.

Otherwise, I’d just be stuck.

Some low-paying, boring job.

Workin’ with a bunch of jack-holes I couldn’t stand.

And, no real hope for ever getting out of it.

And, I did get good. But, when it came time to now actually start doing this for a living… I quickly realized that being good at coding wasn’t gonna be enough.

I remember I put my profile up on Elance (now Upwork).

And, it was a big deal for me.

It took me a long time just to get to THAT point.

To put myself out there like that.

But, the response I got devastated me…

*Crickets*

Nothing.

I can’t put into words how mad it made me. Like, “Why can’t just one thing… one f!@#ing thing just go my way. For once. Is that too much to ask?”

I can still feel how angry and disappointed I was.

Now, I say all that so you know… I get it. I get it when people go through that and we have all this social media now and they get pissed…

And, they start posting about how Upwork is a scam…

And, all that.

If Twitter or YouTube had existed when I was going through it… yeah, I’d probably have went on a tirade, too. So, I understand where it comes from.

It’s just not true is all.

I’ll continue with my own example. After I calmed down, I did what I think any rational person does in that situation… I started researching.

“Ok, let me just figure THIS out, too, then.”

(Which is a lesson that’s bigger than Upwork.)

And, what I found changed everything. I came across a series of blog posts where Upwork (still called Elance, then) explained how their algorithms worked.

Thinking back now…

It’s kinda hard to believe.

It’s like if Google just said how their algorithms work.

People would be all over it. But, these freelancing sites were still getting popular and so these posts were pretty obscure. Nobody really talked about them.

And, of course, they’ve since been deleted.

But, when I read them…

It became so obvious what was going on.

Why no one was hiring me.

AND, most importantly, what I needed to do to fix it.

And so, I did. I went back and completely rewrote my profile. Removed a bunch of stuff, in fact. Adding things that were now obvious omissions.

And, it didn’t take long.

That first job came in almost immediately:

Then another:

And, another and another and another


And, before I knew it, I had to turn it off, because I was overwhelmed with job invites and having a hard time saying “no” to work.

And, I was getting burned out.

But, the point is…

Nothing changed about Upwork.

Nothing changed about me…

My skill…

My experience.

It was all exactly the same as when I was getting no work. What changed was my understanding of Upwork. And, how to present myself there.

That’s it.

So, while I get people get frustrated.

Again, it’s just not true.

And, the reality is THEY are the ones missing out. Because, for anyone who wants to freelance… Upwork is the largest freelancing platform on the planet.

The opportunity is immense…

IF you can figure out how it works.

So, no… it’s not a scam.

It’s just not going to hand you work, either.

Which seems like the mentality a lot people have toward it.

In any case, if you wanna learn what I discovered in those blog posts, and how to re-work your profile AND you bidding strategy to take advantage of those algorithms…

It’s all in my Freelancing on Upwork course on SkillShare: https://skl.sh/2OIxQrO

And yes…

Upwork, today, still operates on those same basic principles. Sure, they’ve gotten more sophisticated, but the underlying principles are exactly the same.

And, when you see it, you’ll realize…

That’s because their algorithms HAVE to work that way.

They couldn’t do what they do otherwise.

Anyway, with that link above, you’ll get 2 months of SkillShare for nothing. That way, you can take the entire course, cancel before the 2 months is up…

And, learn it all without ever paying a penny.

But, fair warning…

It’s not some 5-second trick.

It still takes research and work.

So, if you’re just looking for gimmicks…

Don’t enroll.

It won’t work for you.

Otherwise, though, link is here: https://skl.sh/2OIxQrO

Later,

John

August 11, 2018