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Upwork

Opening up Upwork this morning felt like winning the lottery

You’ve got a decision to make.

What kind of person are you going to be? 

Person A:​​​​​​​

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Terry on YouTube

Or person B:

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Miro on Facebook

I can tell you who’s going to get further in life. Who’s going to have more success as a freelancer. Who’s going to actually create the life they imagine for themselves. The funny thing about this is if you look at Miro… 

He very easily could’ve devolved into the same piss-poor attitude as Terry. He tried Upwork. And, his first attempt didn’t work out. 

He could have very easily just given up and became a troll who hunted down every Upwork video he could find so he could leave a negative comment.

And, crack snarky jokes that make him feel better about himself… 

But, do nothing to help him actually get anywhere in life. 

Like Terry. 

But, instead, he chose to keep fighting. 

Learn. 

Be humble. 

And, it led to him to get his first break. From there, it’s about doing good work, being honest, reliable, etc. I don’t know what’ll happen… But, I have a hunch that Miro’s attitude will carry him through. 

Anyway, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…

I’m not bullsh!@#ing you.

I know this stuff works, because I was in exactly the same spot as Miro. And, exactly the same thing happened to me.  You make the changes I show you and things just start happening. 

I’ve seen it over and over and over gain with my students. 

Anyway, if you wanna learn what the trick is, I teach it to you in my Freelancing on Upwork course. You can start taking the course on my free tutorial site at: https://johnsfreetuts.com/upwork101

Later,

John

January 31, 2019

Finding the perfect freelance clients

Back when little JMO was just a freelancing tadpole…

I made the mistake virtually every new freelancer does. That makes freelancing 10X harder than it has to be. Awful clients. Projects you hate. Getting paid pennies. It’s easy to see why so many people give up on it.

My mistake was taking any and every client I could.

I built a weird e-commerce app for a guy.

Jackin’ around with creating PDFs in PHP for another.

Hacking WordPress for yet another.

I didn’t enjoy any of it. So, I procrastinated HARD. Clients got pissed. I had to refund a couple, because I just couldn’t bring myself to finish. And, they weren’t paying me much to begin with.

It was miserable.

Then, I built a membership site for a guy.

And, I really enjoyed it. 

And, I decided to do only that… not out of some genius insight about marketing or freelancing. But, because I was just sick of doing all the other stuff. But, what I discovered is that the more I just built membership sites.

The less I procrastinated.

The more I got paid.

The easier getting clients became.

And, the happier I was.

It all went hand-in-hand.

That’s the trick. The first big step as a freelancer. Figuring out your niche. That “magic” elixir of what you love doing, that you’re good at, that others are willing to pay you to do for them. 

That’s when the freelance “dream” becomes real.

And, it take some thinking…

And, some experimenting.

Trust me, you’ll be 1000x happier as a freelancer if you spend some time figuring out what your niche is… instead of doing what most do, which is either just be a “generalist” who tries to be everything to everybody.

Or, focus only on the muney.

And, try to grunt your way through it.

In any case, once you figure out what your niche is, NOW you need to find those clients… who want exactly what you have to offer. Fortunately, there’s a simple way to consistently find your perfect clients on Upwork…

The largest freelancing platform on the planet.

The exact kinds of projects you want.

The exact budget.

The highest quality clients.

I show you the strategy I use to filter through all the trash on Upwork to find the diamonds in the rough… in lessons 4 and 5 of Module 3 in my Freelancing on Upwork course on SkillShare.

And, it’s more than applying a few search filters.

It’s an entire strategy for consistently finding the best projects at any given time. Since, there’s always so many projects in and out of Upwork.

Anyway, you can start taking the course on my free tutorial site here: https://johnsfreetuts.com/upwork101/

Later,

John​​​​​​​

January 13, 2019

It’s not Upwork. It’s YOU!

So, I got this comment on a video today:

“Sir, I am new on upwork. I’m submitting proposals from 6 months, but no one is accepting my proposal.”

And, I gotta be straight up with you…

I get this a lot.

And, it never makes sense to me.

If you try ANYTHING for 6 months and it’s not working… it’s way beyond time to re-think and re-strategize. Whatever you’re doing isn’t working. And, it’s not Upwork… it’s you. Which, nobody wants to hear…

But, it’s true.

In any case, what I wanna do today is give 3 big things to check…

If you’ve been on Upwork and aren’t getting the results you want.

First thing I’d do is get a client account.

It’s such a good research tool, because you can search the keywords for your niche and see exactly who you’re competing against. What’s in their portfolio? How’d they write their profile overview? What’s their job history.

In any battle, “knowing your enemy” is paramount.

Same with competition in a marketplace.

Plus, you can get ideas for what to put in your profile.

Next, the “big three” to check on your own profile are: 1) your portfolio, 2) your profile picture and 3) your profile overview. Whenever I’m asked to look at profiles from struggling Upworkers…

It’s always a problem with 1 or more of these.

I think the portfolio is obvious.

It needs to be great.

Key thing here is don’t just put everything you have in there. Only put your best stuff because you never know what someone will click on. So, you want to ensure it’s your best work no matter what they look at.

I think the profile picture gets overlooked quite a bit.

Remember, when a client does a search, they’re going to see your profile listed next to everyone you’re competing against. And, your profile pictures is likely to be the first thing they look at. So, it’s your first impression.

Make it count!

The final check is your bidding strategy.

Too often, I see freelancers bid on anything and everything on Upwork. Like a kid in a candy store, they want EVERYTHING. You need to be disciplined. Focus on a particular service you’re offering.

Build your profile around that service alone.

And, ONLY bid on those jobs.

Your success rate should go up from just that alone.

Anyway, those are the big three to check. Get those in line and you should start seeing results on Upwork. That said, if you want me to walk you through exactly what to do… from building your profile to bidding on jobs…

What to say.

Where to find the best clients.

Etc.

Then, start taking my Freelancing on Upwork course on my free tutorial site here: https://johnsfreetuts.com/upwork101/

I walk you step-by-step through everything.

Later,

John​​​​​​​

December 21, 2018

100k/year on Upwork

To hear the trolls tell it, these people don’t exist:

“I have wasted 10 years of my life on a Master’s degree. And guess what? I am happy to realize that I don’t need it at all. Currently I make 100k+ yearly from my freelance business on Upwork/Freelancer, I am absolutely debt free, and going to become financially independent soon.”

Boris Vasilenko 

Nope.

Nothing to see here.

“These freelance sites are scams!”

“La la la la, can’t hear you!”

Truth is…

There’s plenty of this out there. AND, there’s plenty of people who’ve got on Upwork and never made a penny. With a platform that big, it’s inevitable. There will be winners and there will be losers.

Just how the cookie crumbles.

The difference I’ve noticed, though, is a couple things.

First. Mindset.

The people who tend to lose on Upwork and other freelance sites tend to think of them as  “get out of jail free” card. That they’ll put up a profile, do ZERO marketing themselves and good ol’ Upwork will take care of everything.

It no workey that way.

Successful Upwork freelancers…

Treat their freelancing services like a real business.

And, they market on their own like any other business would.

And, simply use Upwork to amplify their efforts.

Second. Strategy.

The people who are successful on Upwork have one. They take some time to think about how the platform works, what ITS goals are and they adjust their approach to give them the best chance of success.

They don’t just throw up a profile and “hope”.

And, what they find is the effort is worth it.

When the largest freelancing site on the planet suddenly starts seeing you as one of it top freelancers… well, you can imagine just how many projects start coming your way. It’s a bit crazy.

Anyway, I spent a bunch of time figuring Upwork out when I first started.

And, got to a point I was getting invited to so many projects…

I had to turn off my availability because I was getting overrun.

And, it’s simple stuff. 

But, counter-intuitive.

Sounds backwards, at first.

But, once you do it… you see.

Anyway, I teach you what I learned in my Freelancing on Upwork course (the #2 ranked freelancing course on SkillShare). How to build your profile, how to bid on jobs, how to market outside of Upwork and build a real freelancing business, etc.

You can get access to it for nothing on SkillShare here: https://skl.sh/2EhufQC

But, fair warning…

You’ll need to re-think some of what you “think” you know about freelancing and Upwork. If you go in, thinking you already have all the answers and know what will work, you’ll get nothing out of this course.

So, check the ego…

And THEN, let’s get started: https://skl.sh/2EhufQC

Later,

John

December 14, 2018

I can smell your excuse from here

Once upon a week ago, I got a YouTube comment from a student of mine:

“Really? I made 35k on Upwork in the last 12 months. Seems like a good scam to me :)”

This was in response to the typical loser-screech of the Upwork haters that come out of the woodwork every time I do an Upwork video… calling Upwork a scam or whatever the excuse-word of the day is.

Then, some dingbat responds to her with this doosie:

“35k on Upwork? That’s because you’re a woman, you’re privileged and people pay you more.”

Lol.

The excuse-gerbil is spinning at maximum speed on that one. It sort of reminds me of all the excuses people make about why they can’t become a developer. Not smart enough or not “techie” enough (whatever the hell THAT is).

When, really it’s just about persistence.

And, hard work.

And, a little belief in yourself.

You can whine about everyone else and their “privileges” all you want. At the end of the day, nobody cares and it won’t change anything. You’ll be right where you are. And, they’ll be right where they are.

That or get off your arse and make it happen.

Anyway, for a lot of new freelancers, the problem with Upwork is they just don’t understand how it actually works. That it’s an algorithm-driven platform with very specific goals. And, that despite is “propaganda”, the client is king on Upwork.

But, once you do get that stuff.

Understand what its goals are.

And, how its algorithms work to support those goals.

Tweaking your profile and your bidding strategy to manipulate those algorithms in YOUR favor becomes obvious.

And, Upwork can become your little piggy bank.

Anyway, that’s what I teach you in my freelancing on Upwork course here: https://skl.sh/2EhufQC

But, fair warning… leave your stinky excuses at the door.

Ain’t nobody got no time for that s!@#.

Later,

John​​​​​​​

November 24, 2018

The best freelance websites for beginners

This is not some massive list of sites.

I just don’t think that’s all that helpful. Instead it’s 3 specific sites and process for starting and growing as a freelancer and USING the sites to encourage that growth. So, if you’re looking to get started freelancing, watch this:

And, I’d appreciate if you’d share it with any other new freelancers you know.

Later,

John

November 13, 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

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:

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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:

2018-10-04_0807

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

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