Close

freelancing tips

Grizzly Bear Rips Freelancer to Shreds. You Take His Job

Subscribe to the Podcast

[saf]

Here’s the big thing to get to succeed as a freelance web developer:

If you and your buddy are hiking in the forest and are suddenly attacked by a grizzly bear… you don’t need to be the fastest guy in the world. You just need to be faster than your buddy.

There’s your uber-secret, stop-the-presses secret to success.

Freelancing is a competition. To win, you don’t need to be perfect… you just need to be better than the next guy. And, let me tell you… most of your competition is epicly bad at this.

The grizzly would be five bites into a thigh bone before they took two steps.

You just need to do some simple things that others aren’t willing to do. Here’s my 5-point “dominate freelance sites” checklist. Don’t overlook this. It’s nothing earth-shattering… the gold is in the doing:

1. Pick a Niche

Ohmahgawd John! Quit talking about this niche thing. It’s all you ever talk about… blah, blah, blah… I get it.

Do you?

I get that response all the time. THEN, I check their profile:

“I’m a highly motivated web developer with experience in HTML, CSS, PHP, MySQL, Javascript and NodeJS”.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Everybody says that… and it means NOTHING to a client. They don’t even know what half that stuff is. They do not “understand the words that are comin’ out of yo mouth!”

What is the end result you deliver?

“A profit-generating membership site your members will love.”

“A smooth registration form that’s a dream to complete.”

“A dead simple blog you’ll crank out quality content on.”

NOW you’re speaking my language.

Pick a niche, specialize in it and best the best at it. This is the 2nd most important thing you can do to be a wealthy freelancer (#1 is coming).

2. Build a Compelling Profile

You can’t make people hire you. There’s no magic secret to make every client hire you every time. Instead, it’s about making your best case… and, believe me, most freelancers do NOT.

Here’s some obvious stuff most aren’t doing:

  1. Fill out the whole profile.
  2. Use a professional-looking picture
  3. Write more than two sentences in your description
  4. Have a portfolio
  5. Take relevant tests

Brain-busting stuff I know… but you’d be shocked how many freelancers just don’t do it. Then, of course, come to me bewildered about why they’re not getting clients.

Here’s a hint…

If you’re not willing to spend more than 10 minutes on your own profile… chances are you’re not going to put much effort into my project. True or not… that’s what a client thinks when they see it.

Now, I have a video (I’ll tell you about in a moment) where I give you my 3-step formula for writing my service description that I’ve found works like gangbusters… but simply being complete is yuuuuuuuuuge!

3. Bid Intelligently

Here’s another head-scratcher…

I get a lot of freelancers who complain to me about all the “junk projects” on Upwork or Freelancer.com, etc.

Ya know…

You can filter all that junk out right? In fact, there’s a filter right on Upwork when you search for projects… that lets you only see projects from clients who actually hired someone before.

And you can toggle it between:

  • No hires
  • 1-9 hires
  • 10+ hires

IMAGE

So start off by only toggling the 10+ hires option.

Those are presumably the cream of the crop in terms of clients… and avoid all that junk. Plus, there’s filters for client Experience Level, project Budget, Job Type and a lot more.

Finding the right projects to bid on is the “dirty secret” to winning at bidding.

Of course, writing your bid is a whole other animal. But, I recently made a video for you where I go into that. I’ll get to that in a minute.

4. Do Good Work

The #1 most important thing you will do to have success as a freelancer is to do make your clients over the moon about working with you.

It’s about the code you write…

It’s about how fast you get stuff done…

It’s about how well you communicate…

It’s about how easy you are to work with…

It’s about how reliable you are…

It’s the WHOLE thing. You can’t use one to Trump the other. All of them combined will ensure clients love you, hire you again and again and tell everyone they know about you.

But, you’ve likely heard a lot about that… so let’s move onto:

5. Build a Funnel

This is the thing almost every developer balks at:

I just want to put up my profile and get work.

I don’t want to do all this marketing stuff.

Selling is evil.

(Said in my whiniest Gilbert Gottfried voice)

But, it’s THE fastest way to start getting clients.

Let’s say you build those dream-like AJAX forms…

Put a video on YouTube showing how you built. The exact code. Point people to your profile at the end of it if they just want it done for them. Throw a $1/day in YouTube advertising at it for a month or two until it gains traction.

Just don’t give away the source code like I do.

And, that’s it.

You’ll start getting viewers, subscribers and eventually clients. And it’s cheap and easy as hell.

Don’t be afraid of this.

You don’t need to be Tom Cruise. You just need to have something that actually works and be able to explain it fairly well. And, clients will see you can do exactly what they need and want to hire.

I get multiple quote requests every single month doing this.

So, that’s all simple stuff… but the trick is in DOING it.

Now I mentioned a video where I get into more detail about this. It’s a 30-minute whopper where I go into a lot more detail about these five steps, including:

  • My 3-part formula for writing my service description
  • How to write your bids to get hired
  • The critical part of your profile everybody gets wrong

And a bunch more.

It’s this month’s Patreon-Only e-course. If you want to keep going with this and get access to the video, just become a supporting listener of $10 or more per month over on Patreon… and you’ll get it.

I’m finishing editing it and it’ll be up on Patreon in the next few days.

So, be sure to jump in right away.

Here’s where to go:

http://www.JohnMorrisOnline.com/Patreon

You’ll also get access to all my other Patreon-only courses, all my source code and priority Q&A access.

No reason not to:

http://www.JohnMorrisOnline.com/Patreon

See ya over there!

P.P.S. If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit. And, you can always find all my tutorials, podcast episodes and more on johnmorrisonline.com, @jpmorris on Twitter and youtube.com/johnmorrisvideo.

April 21, 2016

7 Steps to Make Money on Upwork

My first few months on Upwork (Elance) were a disaster. I wasted a lot of time bidding on dead-end or low-payout jobs, working with horrible clients and making much less than I wanted (read: needed).

About a year later, I was doing well enough to leave Upwork forever and get all my clients through repeat business, referrals and my own website… charging what I wanted and clients seeking me out.

I’m not special or overly smart. I just figured out how Upwork works and changed some simple things about my approach and it made all the difference.

Anybody can do this. If you’re struggling on Upwork or would simply like more from your effort, then study this page closely. I’m going to share what I learned.

Step #1: De-Mystify Upwork

Upwork seems to confuse a lot of freelancers. They think it’s this overtly complex system with convoluted goals and impossible for newbies to break into.

Not true.

Upwork’s goals are simple: connect the best clients with the best freelancers (for their project)… profit.

Trust is the most important currency on Upwork and every feature, algorithm and best practice is designed to increase the trust potential clients have in a) the freelancer they hire and b) as a result Upwork itself.

They want to be the go-to network for hiring the best freelancers.

So, the two most important things for you to focus on with Upwork is:

  1. Building your credibility
  2. Being relevant

You build your credibility by having a killer portfolio, looking professional in your photo, communicating fully and clearly in your bios and descriptions, taking relevant tests, having a long, successful job history, getting 5-star ratings, good client testimonials, etc.

There’s no trick or gimmick to get around this. You have to put in the work, wow your clients and do a good job.

You stay relevant by being a specialist instead of a jack-of-all-trades. This is the biggest mistake new freelancers make. They say, “I know HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP and MySQL”.

No kidding?

So, does every other freelance developer on Upwork. And frankly, most clients don’t even know what those languages really are or what they mean.

The words you use are critical. You should be saying things like…

“I specialize in building membership sites.”

“I’m a user-friendly forms expert”.

“I build the best e-commerce sites on the web.”

Those phrases are specific to the end result a client is after… and clients actually understand what they mean.

Once you get this about Upwork, you can start to see how you need to rework your profile and your entire strategy to maximize your opportunity to get hired. But, we’ll get more specific…

Step #2: Research and Craft Your Brand

Now that you know how Upwork operates, it should be obvious that the first thing you need to do is hone your pitch to attract and convince your most ideal clients.

That is, you need to know:

  1. What end result can I give my clients?
  2. Who wants that end result the most?
  3. What do they need to see to believe I can do it for them?

This takes research and a little bit of soul-searching. First you need to uncover your niche. Your niche is that perfect space in the market where you can do what you do best and others will pay you handsomely to do it for them.

You uncover that niche by accurately answering these questions:

  1. What do I love to do?
  2. That I’m great (or willing to work to be great) at?
  3. That others will pay me for?

If you’re honest with those questions, you will get a much clearer picture of the value you have to offer and exactly what you should be doing.

From there, you need to research your ideal client. Who are they? What is their life like? What are their hopes and dreams? What’s their ideal scenario? Where to they hang out online?

Everything you can uncover about them to know them intimately…. better than they know themselves.

So, you can accurately implement the last part which is to craft a brand that naturally appeals to your most ideal clients and messaging you know speaks to them and will convince them you are the man/woman for their job.

Step #3: Build Your Profile

Now armed with an attractive brand and loads of intel on your ideal clients, building your profile is a cinch.

  • You know how to get their attention.
  • You know exactly what your ideal clients want to hear.
  • You know exactly what matters to them.
  • You know exaclty how to speak to them.
  • You know exactly what portfolio items will appeal to them.
  • You know exactly what testimonials will influence them.
  • You know exactly what tests they’ll check for.

The keys here are simple:

  1. Fill out your entire profile in fine detail
  2. Make your entire profile relevant to the specific niche you’re targeting

You’d be surprised how many freelancers who contact me asking what’s wrong with their profile… and when I check it’s only half or three-quarters filled out.

Look at that from the client’s perspective. If you’ll half-ass your own profile what makes me think you won’t half-ass my project?

Also, be relevant. Everything on your profile should speak to the specific niche you’re targeting. If you’re a forms-builder… then the only items in your portfolio should be forms you’ve built.

Nothing less. Nothing more.

Step #4: Win Job Bids

A great profile will help you to show up in the search results when clients search for freelancers related to their project. And, you’ll get invites to bid on jobs as a result.

Also (especially at first) you’ll want to search for jobs pro-actively and bid on the ones relevant to what you do.

To win the bid, you need to do these things (in this order):

  1. Verify it’s a real job (unfortunately, there’s a lot of riff-raff)
  2. Get the attention of the job poster
  3. Get them to trust you
  4. Get them to decide for themselves you’re their best bet
  5. Get them to act now using scarcity
  6. Blow them away and make them never want to hire anyone else and say all kinds of great things about you

Before I get into the details of this… know this… the way you succeed on Upwork (or anywhere else) is through repeat business and referrals. So, 100x more important than the other 5… #6 is above is where 99.9% of your focus should be.

Everything else is pointless unless you’re doing #6.

That said, clients do need to go through a fairly standard emotional process in order to hire you.

First, you need their attention. The key phrase here is: “stick out in a good way”. I’ve found the most fail-safe way to do that is to simply be overly helpful.

In my job bids… instead of telling them all the reasons I’m awesome and why they should hire me, I would just try and help them a little bit.

Give them info, point out anything I saw could be a problem with their bid (in a nice way), answer questions and so forth.

Yes… some clients would take advantage of me. But, the overwhelming majority ended up hiring me and I know I got more work than I would have had I not taken this approach.

This also happens to be how you get them to trust you and convince them you’re the best option as a freelancer. And, it’s simple. Just be helpful.

You have to think about clients beyond the one job they’re posting right this second. Don’t worry about getting that one job. Worry about winning the client over and establishing a relationship with them.

Then, you get all their jobs. I’d gladly give up the one job they’re posting right now for the 10 they’ll need help with down the road.

Take that mindset and it gets easy.

In order to get them to act now… simply “always be walking away”.  Always seem like you have one foot toward the door. The more you seem like you don’t care if you get the job… the more they’ll want you to take it.

It sounds backwards I know… but it’s true.

Of course, don’t overtly say you don’t want it or offend them… just don’t be overly eager. Of course, the best way to do that is to simply have a lots of work already so you’re genuinely not concerned if you get that one job or not… but you’ll get there.

Step #5: Make Your Clients Happy

I’ve mentioned this several times now. It’s that important. But, how?

Here’s the un-sexy dead simple way to ensure your clients are always happy:

  1. Do what you say you’re going to
  2. Talk to them

Brilliant stuff there, eh?

You’d be surprised how many freelancers (especially web developers) don’t do a great job of either one of these.

Here’s the secret to knocking these out of the park:

  1. Build things you’re really great at
  2. Have a step-by-step plan for how you build stuff
  3. Have a day-by-day schedule for how you’ll talk to the client

That is… pick a niche and ONLY build things related to that niche. So, if you identified your niche as “form-building”… don’t take on membership site projects.

If you do that, you’ll be building really similar things project after project. You’ll get really good at doing it AND you’ll be able to create a…

Delivery schedule. You’ll know exactly how long it takes you to build the project and what you’ll have done on what days. Write that down and give it to your clients when they hire you.

Then, since you know the key points in your delivery…  you’ll know the key points at which you need to communicate with the client. So you can build a…

Communication schedule. Write down exactly what days you’re going to communicate with your client about key points in the delivery. Give that to your clients AND actually communicate with them on those days.

Trust me… you do this and your clients will LOVE you.

Step #6: Get Traffic to Your Profile

This is my secret weapon. I have an emal list of over 24,000 subscribers, a YouTube channel that gets ~100,000 video views a month and has over 20,000 subscribers and a website that gets roughly 20,000+ visitors/month.

Any time I choose I can point all the traffic to my profile in order to get freelance work. And, it has nothing to do with Upwork’s “algorithms”.

I’ve worked hard to build that audience.

Point is… don’t rely on Upwork to bring you all your freelance work! Get out in your market and build your own audience and then leverage that audience to win on Upwork.

After a few months on Upwork, most of the work I got came from my own website… and I’d simply tell those people to hire me over on Upwork.

Those jobs still count toward my job history. Those 5-star ratings still counted. Those testimonials still showed on my profile. And, the more of all those I got… the better I ranked on Upwork.

So, bust your butt outside of Upwork to build an audience that then helps rank better inside Upwork.

Post YouTube videos, answer questions on Quora or StackOverflow, write articles on your blog, etc.

It’s the simplest way to outflank the Upwork algorithms that do reward higher rated freelancers. Just become a high rated freelancer without them.

Don’t have a blog yet? Yikes! You need to fix that first! But, don’t worry… click here to take my free tutorial on how to start a blog in 15 minutes or less and let’s get that fixed right now.

Step #7: Your Exit Strategy

All of this culminates with your exit from the wild world of Upwork. Look, Upwork is great and all but you’ll be miserable if you try to only get jobs from Upwork the rest of your career.

The competitive nature of freelance sites dictates that you’ll make less doing more.

Ultimately, you want to get off of Upwork and get all your clients through your own website.

You do this in two ways:

  1. Transfer clients from Upwork to working with you directly
  2. Get enough clients directly you don’t need Upwork

I know Upwork has terms that say you can’t encourage clients you acquired on their site to work with you directly. But I also know that clients don’t care what Upwork wants and usually move to working with you directly anyway.

Also, if you’re following step #6 like you should… eventually, you’ll get enough clients through your own website that you won’t need Upwork. That’s what happened to me. It took about a year but after that I never looked back.

Moving Forward From Here…

There’s a lot in those seven steps… no doubt. So, where do you start? Here’s the first three things I recommend you do:

  1. Know yourself (what you love to do, what you’re great at)
  2. Know your client (what they want, how to find them)
  3. Start a blog (it takes time to get going so get started now)

If you do just those three things, you’ll be way ahead of 99% of freelancers out there and well on your way to a full-time income on (and off) Upwork.

November 18, 2015

Why Can’t I Get Work at Upwork But Others Can?

It boils down to how freelance sites work. They are designed to surface the best freelancers on their platforms.

That doesn’t meant you’re not good if you’re struggling to get any traction. It means if you’re new to Upwork you’re at a big disadvantage.

But, it’s also not hopeless. With the strategy I’m about to show you, you can quickly gain momentum and rise to the top where getting work is a whole lot easier.

Think of this like an “Upwork Fast-Start Guide”.

The benefit of following this formula is you virtually eliminate the advantage veteran Upwork developers have so you can:

  • Rank higher for relevant freelancer searches and get in front of more potential clients…
  • Eliminate the natural skepticism a potential client will have about your profile not being as “robust” as other developers…
  • Strategically grow your presence on the platform until you end up ranking high on the list for the biggest search terms…

Here’s why this formula works…

Imagine you’re shopping for a new computer. Let’s say you’re looking for a fast computer that can handle a lot of HD video editing.

You’ve narrowed your search down to two options.

The sales page for computer 1 reads like this:

“High powered computer that can handle the most resource-intensive tasks with ease.”

And, the sales page for computer 2 reads like this:

“A 3.2GHz Quad-Core Intel I-7 process with 16MB RAM designed specifically for editing massive HD videos with ease.”

Almost universally, people will instinctively choose the second computer because it’s messaging is aimed right at what they’re after.

This is the advantage you have as a new developer on Upwork.

Most of the well-established developers on Upwork market themselves as “generalists” and have generic profiles. They’re marketing themselves as the “high-powered computer”.

You can out-maneuveur them by marketing yourself as a specialist which will accomplish two things on Upwork:

  1. Cause you to rank higher for specific keywords because your profile is more relevant to that search
  2. Appeal to potential client’s instinct to choose the more targeted option

This is critical when you first start because you simply cannot compete with those developers based on the authority algorithms Upwork uses.

They have a longer job history, more reviews, ratings and so on.

And, they’ll continue to suck up all the work and leave none for you unless you implement this fast-start formula.

So, here’s what to do:

1. Choose Your Target

Pick a very specific niche to go after. Don’t market yourself as a “web designer”. It’s too broad and dominated by established developers.

Instead market yourself in specific terms…

  • “ajax developer”
  • “jquery developer”
  • “html and css guru”
  • “mobile website specialist”

I marketed myself as a “WishList Member Developer” who built (only) membership sites using WordPress and WishList Member.

I was able to rank in the top 3 consistently for the keywords “wishlist member” and won most of the jobs that came through for that term.

The way to do this is to think of 3-5 aspects of web development that you enjoy.

For example: jQuery, WordPress themes and AJAX forms.

Then, go on Upwork and search the job posting for related terms. I’ve found that a new job posting once every 24 hours is usually plenty of potential work to sustain what I want to make each month.

Look at the different terms and decide on the one that is the best combination of what you enjoy, volume of jobs, and potential revenue.

2. Market Yourself as a Specialist

Relevance is how you’re going to win in the beginning. So, now that you’ve chosen a targeted niche to go after you’ll want to build your profile around that niche:

  • Your title should include your main keyword (WordPress Theme Developer instead of Web Designer)
  • Your keywords should all be related to your niche
  • You should naturally sprinkle relevant keywords throughout your description
  • Your portfolio items should all be projects related to this niche
  • Any test, certifications, skills, etc… should all be relevant to the niche

Everything should point to you being an expert in this very specific area of web development.

Not only will you rank higher in searches but you’ll be more appealing to clients looking for specifically what you offer.

3. Build Your Job History

With your niche targeted and your profile set up, don’t sit back and wait for jobs to come to you. You need to start building your job history so you can gain authority like the more-established Upwork developers.

Search for job postings related to your niche and bid aggressively. At this stage, it’s not about making money… it’s about building your profile.

Here’s a quick tip…

When you bid on a job you can bid whatever price you like while keeping the price on your profile the same.

So, keep the your profile price at your ideal rate. But, in the beginning don’t be afraid to discount your rated in order to get the job when bidding on individual projects.

Just be sure to say in your proposal something like: “I’m new to Upwork and wanting to establish my credibility here so I’m willing to take this job at a 50% discount on my regular rate. Any future jobs will be at my regular rate.”

That way, if a client is really impressed with your work they know that they’ll be paying your regular rate going forward and it’s easy to transition them over.

No… not all clients will hire you again because of that.

But, many will… and regardless getting the job will help you build your authority on Upwork so eventually you no longer need to discount your fee.

As you get more work, you’ll begin to notice your profile ranking higher for relevant searches and more job invites flowing in.

At that point, you can then consider reworking your profile to target larger, more general niche if you wish.

Although, I never did because I liked working the projects I was getting.

If you follow this formula, you’ll be much more likely to have success on Upwork and get clients instead of wondering why everyone else is getting them and you aren’t.

First Steps…

We’ve covered a lot… what do you need to do to get started with this formula quickly?

I like to think up a few niches I want to target and do the searches on Upwork to see how many jobs are there.

It gives me a good indicator of the kind of volume I can expect and whether a particular niche is viable or not.

So, write down 3-5 web development niches you’re interested in, head over to Upwork and search the available jobs to see what’s available.

(Photo by: flickr.com/photos/sybrenstuvel)

August 4, 2015

7 Steps to Get New Web Design Clients on Autopilot

When I first got into the online business/internet marketing space (way back in 2004) one of the ideas I saw thrown around a lot was this notion of getting business on “autopilot”.

I always thought it was a little silly. It sounded like straight up hype to me. I mean how is it possible to get traffic, leads and sales on “autopilot”… the same numbers week after week without a lot of input on your part?

Didn’t seem possible. And, for a lot of years I simply wrote it off as hype and didn’t think much more about it.

Then, I started getting serious about my online business. I started putting a lot more effort into creating content and focusing and getting traffic and leads, in particular.

And as I started to track all the numbers, I started to notice something interesting.

It looked like this:

(more…)

January 9, 2015

WARNING: Are You Ruining Your Career by Following This Common Piece of Freelancing Advice?

When I first entered the web design world, I felt like a fish out of water. For a long time, I felt like I really didn’t belong.

Admittedly, my background is probably a bit atypical. I wasn’t born a “geek”. I grew up in a military and sports-oriented family.

My first job ever was working construction for my dad. I was a star football player in high school. And, I had a fairly extensive background in sales my first few years in the workforce.

I certainly wasn’t in the Mark Zuckerberg mold of learning to code from age 7. I was 23 before I even know what web design was.

So, there were a lot of things that those who’ve “grown up” in a tech-heavy environment take for granted that really stood out to me.

More specifically, a lot of ideas that get accepted as dogma… that aren’t necessarily looked at the same way by the rest of the world.

ONE of those ideas is incredibly dangerous for your freelance career. I’ve literally watched it kill the careers of some of those most talented coders I know because they refused to change their thinking.

I’ve also watched mediocre coders ignore this dogmatic advice and go on to have fantastic careers without ever really becoming what I’d consider a highly-talented developer.

Here’s how it works…

(more…)

January 9, 2015

How can a newbie freelancer become popular in freelancing websites?

Watch on YouTube: http://youtu.be/RpgTS3VZltA
Listen on SoundCloud: http://soundcloud.com

You gain popularity by doing more work and getting good reviews and recommendations from the clients you work with.

Elance uses a sophisticated algorithm to determine an individual freelancer’s level. You can see this level displayed on the side of your profile here:

Elance Level

This level is important because it plays a major role in how you show up in profile listings throughout Elance. In general, the higher your level the more likely you are to show up at the top of those lists and get seen by potential clients.

How to Consistently Outrank Popular Freelancers on Elance

However, there is an equally important ranking factor that I see many new and even advanced freelancers miss…

(more…)

November 18, 2014

How to Position Yourself to Get More Freelance Jobs

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/161948278″ params=”color=2eaef0&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

I was recently asked: “How do I fill out my profile on sites like Elance and oDesk? How do I fill them out in a way that’s honest but more impressive than leaving them blank?”

Here’s the simplest way I can put this…

Your unique situation can and SHOULD be positioned to highlight your advantages. For example, when I started looking to get hired for freelance IT jobs I was completely self-taught and I believed that was a disadvantage.

I believed coders who had gone to school were in a better position than me and would have an easier time convincing clients to hire them.

But, I quickly found out that clients were often MORE impressed with someone who was self-taught and so I began using that to my advantage.

I would highlight that I was self-taught and I learned by working on REAL projects (instead of fake scenarios in some college “lab”).

And guess what… it works!

Since then I’ve come to understand that whatever situation you’re in… you can position it to your advantage. It’s “all about how you tell the story”… and it’s your job to tell YOUR story and not worry about anyone else’s.

So, how can you tell your story in a way that is compelling… that highlights your unique skills, qualifications and experiences?

Got a Question?

Call (515) 344-3163 to ask me your most burning coding question right now?

Subscription Links

 

Photo by: Kat Ter Haar

August 6, 2014

Most Web Designers Don’t Do This… But It’s How I Get 99% of My Freelance Jobs

Most freelancers and web designers immediately roll their eyes when I say the word, “branding”.

Mostly because they’re thinking of big brand branding done by companies like Coke or McDonalds… that’s “not meant to actually make sales”.

Yet, “branding” is how I get 99% of my clients.

In fact, you’re here reading this right now because of the “branding” I do.

So, if you can put aside all the mis-information you’ve probably heard about the word “branding”…

Check out the video below and let me show you the #1 thing I do get more freelance IT jobs:

July 31, 2014

The Most Important Freelance Job Getting Activity You’re Not Doing

Most web designers don’t this. Most web designers think it’s dumb or not necessary. Most web designers roll their eyes when I bring it up.

Most web designers are also BROKE.

There’s one single thing I’ve done that most other web designers don’t do (or don’t do that well) that brings me 99% of my freelance jobs…

And, in this video I’ll show you what it is (and how to do it RIGHT):

photo by: Dan Moyle

July 28, 2014

2014 Trends That Could Make You Obsolete, Should You Use Code Frameworks, and How to Attract High-Paying Clients Using Content

Segment 1: Web Design Trends You Need to Watch Out For (2:56)

Several years ago when the “Web 2.0” movement hit, I lost my entire freelance business because I didn’t actually know how to code. I had been using MS FrontPage to build static HTML web sites for clients.

And the move to dynamic database-driven web sites killed me.

That taught me to pay close attention to web trends and to break them down to understand the larger motivations at work. So, I could begin to predict trends and stay ahead of the curve.

In this segment, I break down 8 of the hottest web design trends in 2014 and show you the larger forces at work… so you can begin to predict what’s going to happen and adapt your business accordingly so you don’t get destroyed like I did.
(more…)

May 5, 2014

How to Get Hired on Elance and oDesk

Why You’re Not Getting Hired on Elance and oDesk

When I first started out on Elance, I really had no clue what I was doing. In fact, I was pretty nervous about the whole thing. I had this sinking feeling that nobody was going to hire me and I’d quit the whole thing feeling like a failure (and maybe give up on coding for good).

And, at first… that’s exactly what happened.

The first few freelance jobs I bid on I got undercut by another developer willing to do the work for a price so low it made me question if I’d be able to every make any money as a freelance coder.

And it really burned me!

It made me angry that a potential client was willing to give control of a huge chunk of their business (and livelihood)… to the lowest bidder. It just seemed so stupid.

Then, a friend of mine (another coder who was killing it on Elance) showed me what he was doing and how he was able to get clients to hire him over and over… even though he was often the highest bid on the project.

And, he laid out a 3-step plan for me to kill it (like he was) on Elance. Here’s what it looked like:
(more…)

May 2, 2014

Be Remarkable… Or Don’t Be a Coder

remarkable(adj): worthy of attention; unlikely or surprising; likely to be noticed

It was Iraq 2005 and there was a girl I liked. Problem was… so did every other guy. In fact, you could say she was overloaded with guys trying to get her attention. She was gorgeous… as you can see from this picture:

sonja

And, she had an intriguing personality. She was the kind of person everybody just wanted to get to know. So, it was no surprise every guy was “after” her.

And, I was stuck.

I wanted to get to get her attention. I wanted to impress her. I wanted to get her to like me. But so did everybody else. And, so I kept trying to figure out…

How do I stand out?
(more…)

April 24, 2014

Separation of Concerns, MVC, and How to Get Started as a Freelance Coder

Build Better Websites Using a Separation of Concerns

Easily one of the biggest mistakes new coders make… inter-mingling content, presentation, and behavior… making it a nightmare to maintain and update your code. In the first segment of this episode of the John Morris Show, I reveal how to avoid that whole mess by building your websites using a “separation of concerns”.

What is MVC? How Do I Use It?

I get this question every day. MVC has become a buzzword in the developer community and many developers have been told they need to build their applications this way… but don’t know what it is or how to do it.

In the 2nd segment of this episode, I answer those questions and show you how to start building your applications using the MVC pattern.

How Do I Start Getting Freelance Clients?
(more…)

April 22, 2014

Why Does Coding Take Forever to Learn? You’re Making THIS Mistake

This cost me 4 years of my life…

4 years I could have been doing what I loved for a living…

4 years I could have been living well instead of struggling to make ends meet…

4 years further down the road to success I could be right now…

I regret those 4 years every day of my life because the mistake I was making is SO easy to solve… and it was a mistake I didn’t have to make.

In this episode of the John Morris Show, I’m going to share with you what that mistake, why almost EVERY coder makes it, and how to quickly get over it.
(more…)

April 14, 2014

Have You Lost Your Passion for Coding?

Ever felt unmotivated or uninspired while working on a project?

You felt it at first… you were super excited to get started… you felt like you could take on the world…

Then, about halfway through it was ALL gone.

No passion. No inspiration. No motivation.

It happens for a reason.

It’s not chance or luck. It’s not a fluke… or even something you necessarily did wrong.

And, there IS a way to fix it.
(more…)

April 7, 2014

These 5 steps fast-track your coding career

One of the biggest mistakes I think coders make is getting so caught up in the technical side of their coding career that they lose track of all the other (often MORE important) aspects of being a successful coder.

I know I did.

In fact, for the longest time I held this completely erroneous belief that talent trumped everything. That all I needed to worry about was being talented and I’d be good.

WRONG!

Because of that I couldn’t figure out why I started to lose out on client after client and constantly get underbid by coders who I KNEW were less talented.

Couldn’t my potential clients see?

Well, things got bad enough that I eventually had to swallow my pride and figure it out. And, as I did I began to realize that your technical talent is only one very small part of being successful as a freelance coder.

Eventually, I discovered what I call “The 5 Stages of Coding Career Development“… and man did my life change.
(more…)

March 31, 2014

I Was Lost and Didn’t Know What to Do Next…

A few years ago, I was really lost in my coding career. I had spent so much time mastering the technical aspects of coding that I never gave any thought to my career as a whole.

And as I was becoming more and more comfortable with the technical side, I began to wonder…

What’s next?

Where do I go from there and how do I get there?

As I searched for answers, I discovered what I call the 5 stages of coding career development.
(more…)

March 27, 2014

How to Set Yourself Apart and Get Clients to Chase You

Several years ago, I was in a really tough spot with my freelance coding business. I kept getting undercut by low bidders on Elance and oDesk and it was hurting my family financially.

Then, I discovered a little-known strategy for branding yourself as a coder.

Now, I turn down more work than I accept, clients gladly pay my fees and, I’ve left the Elance bidding wars behind forever.

In this episode, I share that same strategy with you and show you how you can implement it in your freelancing business.
(more…)

March 24, 2014

Why YOUR Freelance Jobs are Getting Outsourced to Someone Who’ll Do It Cheaper

The answer: You’re not branding yourself effectively. If you were, your potential clients would never hire another developer just because they’re cheaper.

As business guru, Tom Peters, puts it:

“All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.”

Of course, the big question is… how do you brand yourself effectively and fix your “outsourcing problem”?
(more…)

January 28, 2014