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Upwork

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

The One SPAM Email That Actually Works (To Get Freelance Clients)

This is a SPAM email I just got:

Subject: Can you answer me soon

Greetings,

You may be completely unaware that a few things you’re doing in your website may be boring your visitors half to death. And a visitor who’s bored is a visitor who’s gone. I’m a Web designer, one simple secret will help you identify any snooze-inducing issue on your website and I will quickly eliminate them.

My portfolio is ready for viewing if you’re interested. Besides the price, I cater to what my client wants and that’s why my clients love the service I provide.

Let’s talk more about this at a convenient time for you. I hope to hear back from you soon.

Many Thanks,
Jane Newman

First lesson is that subject line.

I got this email from a Jane Newman. No idea who that was, but the subject line made me open it anyway. Maybe, it was someone I’d forgot to get back to. Or, a potential client. Or, some deadline I missed.

Nope.

It was a cold pitch email.

But, it got me to open it.

That’s the first thing.

Next is the message.

Now, I normally hate on (and make fun of) these things.

Because, they’re usually so awfully done.

But, this one isn’t bad.

The big thing about this one is it introduces some curiosity and FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). When, I read it I actually thought, “Huh, I wonder what she thinks that this.” So, it did its job.

But, the follow-through is all wrong.

The open, too, for that matter.

And, the overall strategy, as well.

Here’s how I’d rewrite this:

Hey John,

59 seconds.

That’s all you get before a visitor leaves your website. And, based on studies from KissMetrics, there are four big reasons why a visitors will leave before that 59 seconds is up.

Know what they are?

Better yet, how to fix them?

That’s where I come in. I’m a web designer that specializes in site usability and I help website owners find and fix the problems that are driving visitors away. Reduce bounce rate, increase stickiness and boost conversions.

Your website may have these problems.

It may not.

But, my job is to tell you if it does and fix them for you, if so.

I offer a no-cost consultation in order to find out. And, competitive rates for re-designing your site, if necessary. You can see my portfolio and client list for yourself at: http://website.com

Give it a look and then get in touch with me.

And, I’ll give your website “the treatment”, too.

Thanks!

Jane

Now, cold pitch emails like this are going to have incredibly low success rates, no matter what you write. You could be offering people free Lamborghinis and most people aren’t going to respond.

But,  if you’re gonna send these things out, use the second one.

You’ll, almost assuredly, have better luck with it.

But, the challenge for you is to figure why email #2 is better.

Understand the principles behind it.

The WHY.

That’s how you truly learn…

And, go beyond the “hacks” and gimmicks…

All the frat boys love to blog about these days.

Of course, if you’d rather just have the clients come to you, then get your butt over to SkillShare and take my Upwork 101 course. It’s 3 hours and 31 minutes crammed full of showing how to get clients to chase YOU.

Whether you use Upwork or not.

Link is here: https://skl.sh/2hfGS0s

Later,

John

July 31, 2018

The Most Vile Client I’ve Ever Dealt With

One of the tougher clients I ever dealt with was one of these “enlightened” types who likes to run around singing koombaya and telling everyone how “centered” and “ego-less” they are.

Of course, they’re usually the most intolerant…

And judgmental people you’ll meet.

Anyway, her site had this weird setup where people could only access a certain lesson for 72 hours or something like that. And, she hired me to write the plugin that did all this checking and whatnot.

So, I did.

And, a few weeks later, she came back and said she was having problems with the timer getting “triggered” early, before she had made these time-limited posts even available on her site.

So, she thought something was wrong with the plugin.

I looked into it and immediately saw.

The posts were live on the site… always.

But, she’d just unlink them from her navigation.

Well, geez… there were all sorts of back doors into the posts. Category listings people could find, search, hell even just a direct link. I told her all of this and gave her several suggestions on what to do.

Nope.

It’s the plugin.

Sigh.

Anyway, we went back and forth like this for a few weeks. I even hired another developer I trusted, on my own dime, to look through everything and tell me what he thought. And, without giving him any indication of my opinion…

He came to the exact same conclusion.

Still… she wouldn’t accept it.

I was getting to the end of my rope with it.

Then, one day, she forwarded me an email thread between her and one of her staff members about some idea they had or whatever. But, she didn’t realize it contained the entire thread.

And, about three emails back…

Was her calling me every name in the book.

Some of the most vile stuff you’ll ever hear come outta someone’s mouth.

I wrote her back.

Copy and pasted that message she’d wrote.

And said, “I’m done. Effective immediately.”

She emailed me back almost immediately. Apologizing profusely. Begging me to stay on. But, nope. I was done. She even contacted me again almost six months later begging me to let her hire me, again.

Nope.

Point is…

Don’t put up with this kind of B.S.

The client is NOT always right.

Sometimes, they’re horribly, horribly wrong.

And, you shouldn’t pretend like they aren’t.

The money ain’t worth it.

And, you’ll drive yourself insane dealing with people like this.

Of course, I was able to fire her like that because, at the time, I was getting so many invites to other projects, I literally picked up a new client to replace her that next day. That’s the power knowing how to get clients… gives you.

You CAN tell a nasty client to piss off.

Because, you know you can easily replace them.

It’s not just peace of mind and “job security”.

It’s control.

Over who you work with and on what terms.

It’s liberating.

Anyway, that’s what I teach you in my Upwork 101 course. How to build your way toward this kind of control by having so many incoming client requests, you can literally pick and choose who you work with.

If you wanna give it a shot, link to get started for nothing is here: https://skl.sh/2hfGS0s

Later,

John

July 27, 2018

The Poor, Stupid, Ugly Developer

It was my junior year of high school.

I remember it vividly. The moment everything switched. Up to that point, I was the class mule. The butt of every joke. Picked on relentlessly. Ugly, poor, stupid. Whatever they could think up… I got attacked with it.

For over 10 years of my life.

After awhile, you start to believe it.

You start to believe something is wrong with YOU.

And, there’s nothing you can do to change it.

Then, I grew three inches and put on 30 pounds of muscle in one summer (with a lot of hard work in the weight room, mind you). That next football season, I had a breakout year and became the “star” of the team.

And, suddenly everybody was my new best friend.

Kids who just a year before called me every name in the book…

Were suddenly terrified of me and kissing my a!@.

It was weird.

And, I never would’ve believed it was possible…

On the other side of it.

But, sure enough, it was.

Anyway, it’s immediately what I thought of when I read this from Lona:

“Awesome details of every aspect of your Upwork Profile. I got immediate results of connects from a client the first day i changed a few things applying the tips he gives. i suggest changing your profile as you go thru the course with him and not wait till you watch the whole thing.. step by step… ty for a great course.”

I get this all the time.

Freelancers who feel like that ugly, stupid me when they first give Upwork a try. No responses. No hires. No money. And, you can start to believe there’s something wrong with YOU.

And, that there’s nothing you can do to change it.

Then, they try what I teach in my Upwork 101 course…

And, it’s like they put on 30 pounds of client-getting muscle.

Suddenly, clients start responding. They’re excited to talk to you. They’re eager to hire you. You start getting work. You’re making money. And soon, you start thinking about raising your rates and how you expand.

And, it’s all just really weird.

Even as I’m writing this, I know it sounds ridiculous.

Like, “Yeah right!”

Hell, I wouldn’t even believe if it hadn’t happened to me.

It just doesn’t seem like that much changed.

A skeptic wouldn’t believe the small changes I suggest…

Would have that big of an impact.

But, it did for me.

It did for my little brother.

And, it has for student after student of mine…

Who send me messages just like Lona’s.

Anyway, you can choose to believe that or not, but you can actually learn everything I showed these people… for nothing. As a teacher on SkillShare, I can offer you an exclusive 2-month, no-cost trial.

You can take the course.

Learn everything I taught them.

Cancel any time before the 2 months is up.

And, you won’t pay a penny.

I mean…

Why not at least see if it’ll work for you, too?

Anyway, I won’t browbeat you about it.

Up to you.

Link is here if that makes sense to you: https://skl.sh/2hfGS0s

Later,

John

July 26, 2018

The Code That Stopped An Entire State’s Phone Cards From Working

Job security is mostly an illusion.

Any company can go out of business at any time.

I was just reading this story the other day from this guy named Steve. This was back in the early 90s. He was working on this project that affected the entire state of Utah. And, had a project manager who didn’t know his arse from…

Well, you know.

For example…

They had no systems for testing.

None.

Everything was just rolled live immediately.

Bug fixes were just tested on production servers.

And, his project manager thought it was no big deal.

He talks about this one developer on the team who wrote a single function that went on for screen after screen after screen. Then, the same code was repeated three more times in the application!

These guys even made the news…

When all the phone cards for the entire state of Utah stopped working.

Lol!

The guy begged and pleaded for a testing environment so they could do some kind of testing before their code went live. But nope. They just kept rolling everything straight to production.

Well, as you can imagine.

The company went belly up.

Everybody got laid off.

And, this guy ended up being the one who had to collect everyone’s badges.

Damn!

Poor Steve.

Anyway, goes to my point. Even big companies are notoriously mismanaged. And, that tech job you thought would be your meal ticket for the next 30 years can be gone at any moment.

Or, even worse… the startups run by some tech-brooooo…

Who decides to blow all your seed money on a weekend bender.

Bump that!

That’s why I freelance.

At least, if I fail… it’s on me.

That’s the only kind of “security” I’ll bank on.

Anyway, if you’re like me and wanna get into the freelance game, you can learn everything I know about freelancing inside my Upwork 101 course. And, you can get started with it for nothing on SkillShare at this link: https://skl.sh/2hfGS0s

Or, you know, take your chances with some “just do it live!” project manager.

Whatever floats your boat.

Later,

John

July 25, 2018

Overcoming Pricing Insecurities and Raising Your Freelancing Rates

I stumbled across this on Instagram:

“Every Monday I send out invoices and ever since I raised my rates, Mondays have also become absolutely the hardest part of my week. As much as I love money, ASKING for money from the clients that I have actually provided something of value to makes me really uncomfortable.”

Ain’t that the truth.

At first, it just feels weird.

And, there’s all these insecurities around, “Am I worth it? Do my clients feel like they’re getting their money’s worth? Are they eventually just going to drop me, because they feel like they’re getting screwed?”

And, on and on.

Stops a lot of freelancers from even raising rates in the first place.

And, of course, then you feel undervalued. Like you’re putting in all these hours, but not making what you deserve. You get overworked and burned out. But, you feel stuck to raise rates.

It can be a real nightmare.

A lot just quit at this point.

But, one of the comments on this post got it right:

“People pay for great service. Whether it’s at a restaurant, salon, or a workout trainer, if your service is good then you will and should be compensated for it. Don’t feel guilty sweetie.”

^^Truth.

My little brother brags talks about his $45 steak moment.

For me, it was a $300 microphone (let me pause for a second to flex).

People WILL pay for great products and services.

Actually, I remember the first time I raised my rates.

There was this one guy, in particular. His reaction threw me for a loop. Because, he didn’t react. He just sorta went, “Oh okay. I wondered when you were gonna raise your prices.” And said, “Sounds good.”

I was just like… “Well, that was easy.”

And, what it made me realize is we are a lot more emotionally attached to our pricing than our clients are. To them, it’s a lot more of a black and white “worth it, not worth it” thing.

And, when you get good at pricing accurately

You’ll feel a lot less guilty.

And, a lot less uncomfortable raising rates.

And, you can actually get paid what you deserve.

Without all the emotional baggage.

So, that’s the trick.

Think of it less in terms of what you’re “worth” and more in terms of “what is an objectively accurate fee to charge for the particular service I’m providing.” Which, yeah, sounds like something Poindexter would say.

But, it’s true.

And then, it’s just about being accurate with that objective assessment.

Of course, pricing accuracy is one of the hardest things to do.

Clients and developers are notoriously bad at it.

One of the things I’ve learned in over 14 years of doing this is that accurate pricing is a process. And, it differs from market to market and service to service. But, when you learn and use the process…

You can be confident in your pricing.

Know you’re charging reasonable rates.

Know when to raise rates.

And, not get bogged down by all those insecurities.

In any case, I show you the process I learned in Lesson 9 of Module 3 of my Upwork 101 course. Fair warning. This isn’t some gimmick or magic “trick” that suddenly makes everything awesome.

It takes research.

Something a lot wannabe freelancers refuse to do.

But, the ones who do have their eyes opened.

And, tend to have a lot more success.

Anyway, you can get access to that Upwork 101 course for nothing over on SkillShare. As a teacher, I can give you a 2-month, no-cost trial. Take the entire course, cancel any time before the two month is up.

And, never pay a penny.

A no-brainer for those smart enough to recognize it.

Anyway, up to you.

Link is here: https://skl.sh/2hfGS0s

Later,

John

July 24, 2018

Why Freelancing Is Terrifying, But Doesn’t HAVE to Be

I talk a lot about freelancing.

And, I still think that every developer should freelance, at some point. What you learn about working with clients will give you a leg up no matter what you end up doing with your development career.

But, what if you’re not sure if you’re capable of freelancing?

I get this a lot.

Just got it, in fact, in a YouTube comment.

“not sure if I’m capable to do a freelance work, how’s that?”

And, I get it.

You’re out there on your own.

Your success is 100% on you.

That can be terrifying.

And, you can begin to wonder if YOU’re even capable of that kind of thing.

But, I think a lot of developers make a mistake when thinking about this… that CAUSES that insecurity. You’re probably taking a generalist’s view of freelancing and “what if I get asked to do something I can’t do?”

Doesn’t have to be that way.

Here’s what I wrote back to that YouTube commenter:

Well, you’re a smart person.

I’m sure you have some sense of the kinds of things other freelancers are building for clients. And, if not, you can take a little bit and research it. Then, look at those things and ask yourself:

“Can I build even just one of those things?”

You don’t have to be able to do all of them.

Just one.

If you can, then you’re ready to freelance and build clients that ONE thing. My freelance career has consisted 95% of building membership sites for people. I fell into that, got a lot of work doing it and just stuck with it.

So, you don’t need to know 1000 things.

Just one.

And, if you can’t do one thing, yet… then okay. But, then, pick one and focus on learning how to build it and THEN start freelancing. And, if you approach it that way… you’ll probably get there a lot faster than you might think.

It really is (or can be) that simple.

IF you take that approach to it.

Then, once you’re ready to start getting clients, let me show you how to use the largest freelancing platform on the planet, Upwork, to do just that. I’ll teach you everything I know about getting and working with clients.

Plus, a bunch of freelance marketing fundamentals…

That’ll serve you no matter what you do.

You can get started with that course, Upwork 101, over on SkillShare here: https://skl.sh/2hfGS0s. Get two months for no-cost. Take all my courses, including Upwork 101 in that 2 months.

Cancel anytime before the 2 months is up…

And, never pay a penny.

Who knows?

Could just be the confidence boost you need to put yourself out there.

Here’s the link: https://skl.sh/2hfGS0s

Later,

John

July 22, 2018

The Developer Killer

It kills the careers of more developers than anything I’ve seen.

Take my little bro for example.

He was 3 years into his C.S. degree. He was working at an apparel factory, in a town of less than 1,200, making less than 10 buqs an hour. And, he was married with five kids to feed.

To say he was broke is a colossal understatement.

If it weren’t for the neighbors bringing them food.

They wouldn’t have eaten.

That’s how bad it was.

Then, three months later…

He was working at IBM, making over 40k a year. Within two years, he got hired out of IBM and was making 6 figures a year. Not long after that, I was sitting in the car with him as he turned down 180K because it wasn’t “enough”.

So, what the hell changed?

Well, at his breaking point…

He came to stay with me for a few weeks.

Things weren’t going well at home, because of all this.

And, he finally said “f!@# it, I need to get this figured out”.

And, in that two weeks he was there, I basically put him through developer boot camp. I forced him to start freelancing and I taught him everything I knew about getting and working with clients. I made him face the big thing holding him back.

Fear.

THAT is the developer killer.

I’ve seen more good, skilled developers give up on this coding “thing”…

Because they were scared to take that next step into getting paid…

It really is the scourge of our industry.

But, the only way through it is to do it.

To reach your “eff it” moment…

And, decide come hell or high water, you’re gonna make this happen.

As for my little brother…

Just other day he said:

“I still use what I learned in those two weeks every single day.”

With big clients like Nike and Office Depot. Fed Ex and others.

Anyway, I’ve taken what I taught him in those two weeks and packaged it up in my Upwork 101 course. It’ll teach you everything I know about getting freelance work on the largest freelancing platform on the planet.

Plus, a bunch of freelance marketing fundamentals…

You can use anywhere… Upwork or otherwise.

Anyhoo, you can get started with it for nothing on SkillShare. As a teacher, I can give you an exclusive 2-month, no-cost trial. In that 2 months, take my Upwork course (plus all my others). Cancel anytime before the 2 month is up.

And, never pay a penny.

Who knows?

It could be that thing that puts you over the hump just like it did my brother.

Link is here: https://www.skillshare.com/r/user/johnmorris

Later,

John

July 20, 2018

Don’t Read If You’re a Developer

Fundamentals, my fellow ruffian, fundamentals.

Not “super slick” and “epic” gimmicks…

Or, shiny new “hacks”.

Boring, but proven, fundamentals.

The more I spin around this little blue planet, the more I’m reminded that… when you focus on fundamentals over all the bright, shiny “hacks” and “techniques” the Medium-heads love to preach about… everything gets a helluva lot easier.

Take this comment I just got from a non-coder:

“John im not into coding at all but Ive found your course [Upwork 101] to be insanely helpful even though Im only a few parts in. The research section alone blew my mind just now as i have multiple skills (Video editing, writing, social media ect). Upon following your advice I just started researching and its shocking the difference between social media/marketing (what i will be studying soon) vs a skill i have (video editing). Saw examples of guys doing marketing who made over 500k on upwork [insert mind blown emoji]…The research step alone is an eye opener. Cant wait to get on with the rest of the course!”

I get asked this all the time:

“Does your Upwork course work for non-developers.”

The short answer is: Yes!

That’s because I’m not teaching you a bunch of gimmicks or “techniques” that only work in one industry, at one time, for one person. Instead, I’m teaching you the fundamentals of marketing applied to freelancing.

And, that’s something that’ll work in any industry.

At any time.

For anybody.

And, that’s the kind of stuff you should look for… not all this gimmicky, bubble gum bull crap… that worked for that one guy with that one thing that one time. That’s a rocky road to hell.

Anyway, if you’re up for learning the “boooring” fundamentals…

That are a helluva lot more likely to put the benjis in your pantalones…

Go hither child: https://skl.sh/2hfGS0s

Later,

John

July 19, 2018

Upwork Ruined My Life

I tell you what, man.

It’s really starting to sink in that I’m getting old. I’m finding myself having less and less patience for the whining and belly-aching I see these days. I’m turning into a grumpy older coder grunting angrily at all the kids passing by.

Take this comment I just got:

“No, not worth it. Colossal waste of time as you are working for scammers, desperate saps, and cheapskates. Working on Upwork, ruins your freelancing career.”

Now, I know, I know…

I don’t need the lecture.

You’re right.

The thing to do is just ignore it.

But, it’s really annoying the hell outta me.

Like, what in the hell do you want?

Do you expect you’re going to just throw up a profile on Upwork and suddenly have clients tripping over themselves to hand you fistfuls of the benjamins? I mean… “it ruins your freelancing career”.

Oh dear.

Honestly, if that’s your attitude…

Just stop.

Put the keyboard down.

And, never touch a computer again.

Sigh.

I know I shouldn’t get this annoyed… but damn.

Then… then… these are the same people who won’t take the time to listen to someone who will actually show them how to use a site like Upwork. Or, immediately yell “SCAM” at anyone offering some advice.

I saw this ad on Twitter the other day.

It was the most innocuous ad.

Dude’s like:

“I learned some freelance stuff. If you’re struggling, let me show you.”

I mean, it was the most tame thing you can imagine.

OMG, the replies.

Just got lampooned.

People screaming “SCAM!” every other tweet.

Like, how the hell do YOU know?

Anyway, it is what it is. No sense wasting my energy worrying about these people. Some people just can’t get out of their own way and couldn’t grab hold of success if it was handed to them on a silver platter.

If that’s NOT you, let me show you how Upwork works.

How to get clients from the very beginning.

And, how to methodically build your freelance business.

This is the link: https://skl.sh/2hfGS0s

Later,

John

July 17, 2018