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Why you’ll fail as a freelancer

There’s lots of reasons:

  • You’re just not that good at what you do.
  • You’re not very good at dealing with people.
  • You picked the wrong market and services to offer.

I could go on and on.

But, by far, the #1 reason freelancers fail is they never learn how to consistently get clients. They rely on luck or “word of mouth”. They try this and that, but never learn and apply anything consistently.

They constantly worry that one day the clients will dry up.

And, if that does happen…

They have no idea how to fix it.

That was me the first few years of my freelancing career. I’d gotten a few clients by pure dumb luck. I’d picked a few up off Upwork. But, I really had no idea how. I didn’t know what to do to get more.

And, I clung to those clients like a vegan to her tofu.

And then, one of them decided to move on from me.

It was going to be a huge hit to my income.

And, I had no plan.

All the crazy thoughts kicked in. What if I never get another client? What if I can’t pay my bills? What if I have to go back to a regular job? What if my wife and kids see me as a failure?

On and on and on.

The silver lining is all that gave me the motivation to figure this out.

And, I did.

In fact, I built a system so powerful that I was turning away 4-5 clients/month because I simply had too much work. Several of those were high profile clients I’d have killed for just a few years earlier.


Of course, I’m no genius (just ask my kids).

This stuff really isn’t all that hard actually.

In fact, I basically just took what other service businesses had been doing for hundreds of years and combined it in a unique way. Something, I’ve never seen anyone else talk about, but based on well-established, tried and true business principles.

So, it’s no big secret.

Or, overly hard to implement.

You just gotta know what it is.

In any case, that’s what I teach in my Beginner’s Guide to Freelance course. And, you can get access to it for nothing over on SkillShare. All the details on the course and how to get no-cost access are here: https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/freelance.

Later,

John

November 30, 2018

The best freelancing tutorial I’ve seen

Got this review from Mehandi:

“This is one of the best tutorials I have ever seen on freelancing from any tutor. I will highly recommend this course among my peers and others as well.”

I mean…

Clearly, Mehandi is a bright fella.

But, for realz…

The #1 thing that holds most freelancers back is getting new clients. Not delivering, not managing their finances, not “work-life balance” or any other somesuch. Getting new butts in the chair.

And, the #1 reason WHY…

Is they’re shooting from the hip.

No real idea HOW they’re getting the clients they got.

No idea what to do if things slow up.

And, I get it.

I was the same.

And then, I figured out a system. I built out a REAL business. And then, I DID know how I was getting clients. I DID know what to do to get more. I DID know what to do when things slowed up.

I ain’t no genius.

This stuff ain’t rocket surgery.

It’s simply a matter of being able to set your natural skepticism aside for a second, learn the system and then as I like to say: “Run it!” Fire that ish up and watch the clients roll in.

Believe that or not.

I’m not gonna waste time convincing you.

And, it ain’t no sweat off this gander’s back.

But, if you wanna learn that system, you can… for nothing.

Deets here: https://skl.sh/2pOiF5g

Later,

John​​​​​​

November 29, 2018

Blood-sucking freelancers

Fair warning if you’ve never been told.

It’s important to never get too close to your clients.

It’s a recipe for certain disaster.

Something I learned the hard way…

I had this client once I really liked. When we started, she was super laid back and easy to work with. She wasn’t trying to re-invent the wheel. And, she was actually willing to listen to me and my thoughts on her site.

And, I felt like she really liked me, too.

She always was pleasant when we talked.

Always said nice things.

Even as we worked through a stickier issue with the site, she was great.
Then, one day, she forwarded an email thread from one of her staff members about some question they had.

And, I was tracing back through the thread to get some context…

And, that’s when I saw it.

The most vile, explitive-laced paragraph I’ve ever seen a client write.

Calling me every name in the book…

And, spewing venom like I’d never seen.

It was like a knife to the back.

And, a hard lesson.

It’s amazing how quickly a client will turn from “loving you” to telling everyone they know you’re a “blood-sucker”. It can happen in a heartbeat.

In any case, my solution was simple.

I immediately fired her.

Copied that paragraph, sent it to her and said, “I’m done”.

She begged for forgiveness.

Even tried to hire me, again, several months later.

Apologizing profusely.

But, nope.

No dice.

I refused to let her hire me.

I can forgive, but I don’t forget.

Of course, I could fire her and reject her constant overtures because I had a backlog of clients waiting to hire me. And, I had that backlog because I’d created a system for GETTING those clients.

Makes things a helluva lot easier when you freelance.

And, you don’t gotta “swallow your pride” with s!@#%y clients.

Anyway, I teach you how to build that same system in my Beginner’s Guide to Freelance course. And, you can get access to it for nothing over on SkillShare. All the details on how are here: https://skl.sh/2pOiF5g

Later,

John​​​​​​​

November 28, 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 Black Friday deal

This time of year, boy!

Cracks me up. I assume your inbox was pounded with about 1000 Black Friday emails like mine was. CTRL+A. Delete. 😀

I used to HATE this time of year.

In fact, it was right about this time, several years, ago I hit rock bottom. I remember, I was going into town to get the kids some gifts. And, I already felt awful because they weren’t really getting much.

Because we were basically broke.

And, I also had this thing I really wanted.

And, I was driving, trying to figure out how I could do both.

And, for a brief moment, the thought of just getting what I wanted and saying “Ah, the kids have enough” flashed in my mind. And, it was like instant shame. I couldn’t help but think of my dad.

He used to do that s!@# to us all the time.

Christmas.

Birthdays.

He’d go “shopping” for us and come back with all this stuff for him…

And, little to nothing for us.

So, I felt like a complete dirt bag when that thought even crossed my mind.

And, that was the moment I said “NEVER AGAIN!”

Never again would I feel this way.

I will NOT become my dad.

And, I made a bunch of changes in my life.

And, I fortunately HAVEN’T been in that position since.

But, the biggest lesson I’ve learned along the way is persistence. Which is why I harp on it so much. It’s not effort or hard work or intelligence. It’s simply the ability to keep moving forward.

No matter what comes your way.

Stay focused on what you want.

And, continue to pursue it.

In the face of anything and everything.

It’s hard as hell, sometimes.

But, it ALWAYS pays off.

So, if you’re feeling it this time of year. And, things aren’t exactly how you might wish them to be. Remember…

NEVER AGAIN!

Steel your mind and get after it.

Anyway, one of the things that trips people up is learning how to get paid to do all this. It’s one thing to learn how to code. It’s a whole other to learn how to get PAID to do it. AND, paid well.

Becoming a freelancer was one of the things I changed when I hit rock bottom.

And, it’s been a god-send.

Completely changed my life.

Once I learned how to do it right.

Anyway, I’ll teach you everything I’ve learned along the way, becoming a 6-figure freelancer, in my Beginner’s Guide to Freelance course. Best part is you can get it for nothing over on SkillShare.

Zip. Zero. Nada.

Now, THAT is a “Black Friday” deal you can’t beat.

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

Later,

John

November 23, 2018

How to ask for a raise as a developer

Don’t just go in and ask.

Have a plan. And make sure your plan includes these three things… I learned from my brother as he went from 40K to over 110K in about 2 years:

Later,

John

November 21, 2018

The freelance nobody wants to hear

There are no secrets. There is no magic. The keys to success as a freelancer are boring, non-sexy and deadly effective… once you know them. Watch the video to learn them:

Later,

John

November 20, 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

How to get clients for web development

I learned this when my brother got into insurance.

It was all but required for any new insurance agent and the primary way they went about drumming up those first few clients and building the network they’d use to reliably get clients the rest of their career.

Going around with him…

I quickly learned how hot a commodity I was as a web developer.

And, had people asking me to build them websites from day one.

It was easy to see why every insurance agent did this.

Anyway, that’s #4 of the 5 tips I reveal in my latest video on how to get clients for web development. If you wanna get paid to do this, but don’t necessarily wanna work for “the man”… give it a watch:

And, I’d appreciate it if you’d share it with any developers you know.

Later,

John

November 7, 2018

The biggest mistakes freelancers make

Man! I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my freelance career. But, each time, I always learned something important that helped me be successful later on.

But, these three.

These three mistakes were the biggest lessons I learned in 14+ years of freelancing. So, I made this video to just tell you what they are and what to do to avoid them. Give it a watch here:

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

Later,

John

November 2, 2018

How to make 100K as a developer

New video just posted for you. In this one… a lot of developers wanna hit that 100K range, but don’t have a plan for how to do it. THIS is how you build that plan to make sure you’re grinding in the right direction. Give it a watch:

And, I’d appreciate if you’d share it with any developers you know.

Later,

John

October 31, 2018

4 ways to work from home as a developer

I’ve worked from home full-time for 8 years now.

My little brother is going on 3 years. My mentor has worked from home full-time for ever a decade and a half. And, we all do it in very different ways. If that’s something you’d like to do, watch this video:

I’ll show you what I do.

What they do.

And, several other ways you can be a developer AND work from home.

Later,

John

 

October 30, 2018

How to start working as a freelancer

FYI. I just uploaded a video with step-by-step instructions on how to start and grow your very own freelance business:

Please share with anyone you know who is interested in freelancing.

Later,

John

October 29, 2018

Dreading tomorrow?

I remember this construction job I had.

I must’ve pissed somebody off, at some point, because I got relegated to “trash guy”. I remember I used to battle with my watch. It took everything in me to not keep looking down at it. I’d think an hour had gone by and it’d be just 15 minutes.

On this one site, I had my “spot”.

It was a bell tower for a church.

And, it had these loud ass steps.

So, I’d go up there, clean it up real quick then go take a nap in one of the nooks up there. Not because I was tired, but I was hoping I’d konk out for three or four hours and the day would be over.

If anybody ever came up, the stairs always woke me up.

Anyway, most people hate Mondays.

I always hated Sunday night.

As that feeling of “God, I gotta go to work tomorrow” slowly starts to creep over your body. “Is there some way I could quit? Maybe I’ll call in sick.” That anticipation was worse than the actual experience.

But, those were also the moments I was most motivated to make a change.

Eventually, I figured out how to channel that energy.

And, used it to finally, actually, make that change in my life.

In any case, if that’s you… if you’re thinking about tomorrow and dreading getting up and going to work… use it. That impulse to make a change is real. They’re moments of crystal clarity and tough honesty.

Don’t ignore them.

Wallow in them.

Make it hurt.

Feel it.

Then, get up and do something about it.

String enough of them together and you can make things happen.

And, of course, if you want assist when it comes to your web development and/or freelancing career, I’m here to help. I’ve got a whole curriculum for you to grind through and actually make that change.

It’s all there for you to make it happen.

Just gotta make that leap and decide to do it.

But, up to you.

If you’re in,  you can get access to the entire curriculum for nothing over on SkillShare. All the details on that are here: https://www.skillshare.com/r/user/johnmorris

Later,

John

October 28, 2018

The truth about wealth

I had this talk with my parents, last night.

Most people have a warped view of what wealth is.

I was telling them how my vision goes way beyond just myself. I don’t just want to have made myself wealthy. I want my kids and their kids and their kids and so on… to be wealthy. To build a kind of family dynasty.

Where the habits that lead to wealth are just expected.

The resources.

The knowledge.

That’s how legacies are built.

And, growing up the way I did, I NEVER want my kids or grandkids or great grandkids to go through what my brothers and I did. And, will literally spend the rest of my life working to make damn SURE it doesn’t.

Anyway, my dad said:

“Well, your mom and I are past that. We’ll never be wealthy.”

And, I was like hold on a minute.

What debt do you have?

None.

Student loans?

No.

Credit cards?

No.

Car payment?

No.

Mortgage?

No.

ANY loan?

No.

See, THAT is wealth. A lot of people equate wealth with a nice house or a fancy car. But, a lot of the people who own that stuff are buried in debt. You add up their net worth and they’re firmly in the negative.

Being ZERO net worth-wise is a win.

It’s a start.

Now, the land they own. The house. Every little thing puts them in the positive. And sure, if you added it all up, it wouldn’t be that big of a number for my parents. But, it’d be a positive one. And, that’s better than a lot of households.

Point is…

Don’t get too caught up in chasing the “appearance” of wealth.

Which is a lesson I wish 23-year-old me had been taught!

Instead, build real wealth.

Which is about profit, not just revenue.

Assets.

Eliminating debt.

Etc.

Anyway, take that for what it’s worth.

MY path to do all this included freelancing because it’s one of the simplest ways to get out on your own and start building your own legacy. I can’t hand my job down to my kids, but I can give them my freelance business.

In any case, if you wanna learn everything I’ve discovered in 14+ years…

And, build your own legacy…

Check out my new freelancing course here: https://skl.sh/2pOiF5g

Later,

John

October 27, 2018

What working with Inc. magazine taught me about freelancing

Wanna sell your freelance services a lot easier?

I mean without feeling like a sleezeball?

Without needing to read 1000 books and become a sales genius?

Quick story…

The project I worked on for Inc. Magazine, I worked for this guy named Lewis. He was some kind of director at the company. I can’t remember exactly what, but he had quite a few people who worked for him.

He’d written several books.

One big best-seller, if I remember right.

Dude was a heavyweight.

And, he didn’t take any s!@#. I remember the first meeting we had. I don’t think I’ve been asked “why” that many times by all my other clients combined. And, it continued throughout the entire project.

He NEVER just took my word for it.

I had to explain every little thing.

But, he wasn’t a d!@# about it.

When I gave him a good reason, he accepted it and we moved on it. When I didn’t, we dug in and figured it out. And, by the end of the project, I felt like we both had a lot of mutual respect for each other.

And, it taught me a lot.

About how to be believable when talking with clients. How to generate trust not just with WHAT you say, but HOW you say it. And, I took what I learned there and applied it to selling my freelance services.

That’s a big part of why I got to work with Michael Hyatt.

And, Lewis Howes.

And, all these other heavyweights.

TRUST.

The people I worked with trusted me to work on these projects.

So, selling your services isn’t about some slick presentation or fancy sales “triggers” or gimmicks or whatever phrase the Twitter-heads use these days. It’s about trust. And, establishing it quickly with people who know very little about you.

Anyway, I reveal what I learned in lesson 6 of my new freelancing course.

How to be more believable in everything you say…

So, clients just “feel” like you’re trustworthy…

And, you get hired a helluva a lot easier.

So, you can get to the point where you’re not struggling or hoping and wishing to get clients each month. Instead, you have a backlog of clients. And, you can pick and choose who you work with and what you charge.

I know you can get there.

But, you gotta learn how to be convincing and believable.

To push more clients over the hump to hiring you.

Anyway, you can get access to the course for free over on SkillShare. As a teacher, I can give you an exclusive 2-month free trial. You get FULL access to all the courses on the site, including mine. Then, just take the course.

Cancel any time before the 2 months is up.

And, you never pay a dime.

Simple.

Anyway, link to get started is here: https://skl.sh/2pOiF5g

Later,

John

October 26, 2018

Advice from a CodeCanyon success story

I got this from Mikhail:

2018-10-25_1142

Another example of how simple this can be.

Your job is to grind.

Mine is to point you in the right direction.

In any case, I’ll keep it short, today. If you wanna become another success story like this… yes, of course, I truly believe in my courses and the fact that they’ll help you get there… and faster.

BUUUUT…

Don’t do what 90% do.

Don’t join up and then do nothing.

GRIIIIIIND!

Hit it hard.

Squeeze very last drop out of it.

THAT is how you win.

Anyway, if you want to know what to do and HOW, jump into my curriculum. You can get access to it for nothing on SkillShare. All the details on that are here: https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/skillshare.

Later,

John

October 25, 2018

The best freelancing advice you’ll hear

This from the Joelsuf-inator:

“One thing I’ve discovered is that doing this DOES require the same kind of productivity as a full time job. Just because you’re making money from home does not mean you can just cut your commitment levels in half. In many cases you should be tripling your commitment. I’m discovering this now. Sure I can pick anytime during the day to work, but I better be productive for 8-12 hours a day like with any kind of job. Separate learning from marketing from doing work.”

I literally can’t say it better.

As sure as the Earth ain’t flat…

If you follow this advice, you’ll eventually succeed.

I can’t tell you how many freelancers I’ve talked to who get into it thinking they’re gonna work 4 hours a day, right from the start, and make more than they did working their 9 to 5.

You can get there.

But, not until you’ve put in years of work.

Building your reputation.

Upping your prices.

Honing your execution.

Getting to that point requires you to be willing to put in triple the effort. This is why I say, for most people, freelancing is either in your DNA or it’s not. Some people hear what I just said and think:

“Why the hell would I do that?”

Others are so allergic to a 9 to 5…

They say:

“Whatever it takes.”

If you’re the latter, heed Sir Joelsuf’s advice.

And, you almost can’t lose.

Now, the caveat here is making sure all that hard work is actually productive. If you’re gonna run 100mph, make sure you’re headed in the right direction. Otherwise, you’re running yourself ragged for nothing.

And, as you know, that’s what my Beginner’s Guide to Freelance course is for.

It’s the map.

The big mile markers along the way to get you to a REAL business around your freelance services. So, you can methodically build it to the point you can work as much or as little as you want.

Make as much or as little as you want.

And, ensure all your hard work pays off.

In any case, you can get access to it for nothing over on SkillShare.

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

Later,

John

October 24, 2018

My #1 tip for making money online

IIIIIIII know.

Get your “scaaaammer” shrieking and eye rolls in since I said the evil phrase: “make money”. Ok, done? Aight… noooow. Had this guy, Chase, email me and ask me this for a blog post he’s writing.

Normally, I ignore this stuff.

But, I’m feeling froggy.

So, I decided I’m gonna answer him.

And, this is what I’m going to say:

Persistence.

The reality is this. No matter how smart you think you are. No matter how good you think your idea is. The likelihood of you succeeding at the very first entrepreneurial thing you try is about 0.00000000000000001%.

In fact, the first, second, 4th, 8th…

You’re gonna do a ton of failing before you ever come close to succeeding.

You might get lucky.

But, don’t bank on it.

Take yours truly, for example. One of my first “make money online” gimmicks was yoga poses. Yeah… 6’4″, 250-pound football player selling yoga poses. Do I even have to say that little venture didn’t work out?

Even when I did finally figure out my niche and what I was good at…

It’s been a long, hard road building that business.

So, what happens when you fail that first time?

Fall flat on your face.

All your friends and family snicker, “I told you so” behind your back.

Will the uncertainty stop you? Or will you keep driving forward?

The truth is… a lot of teachers in the “make money online” space will tell you how easy it is, how simple it can all be… and it can be. But, look at almost any one of their stories and you’ll see a rocky road.

Be prepared for it.

Because, it IS worth it.

It just won’t always be easy.

So, that’s it.

Now, I really doubt ol’ Chase is gonna publish that. It doesn’t fit the “this is all so simple and easy” narrative. But, I know this… go in with that mindset and you’ll be about 100 times more likely to be successful.

So, take it for what it’s worth.

In any case, freelancing is one of the simpler ways to get going on your own and be your own boss. Services are much easier to sell than products and “what works” is much more established and known.

It still takes work.

It still takes discipline.

But, it doesn’t take near as much guessing.

Anyway, I teach you all of these “knowns” in my new Beginner’s Guide to Freelance course. The big rocks for methodically building a real business around your freelance services over the next month, year, 5 years and beyond.

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

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

Later,

John

October 23, 2018

I got a few freelance clients, now I’m stuck

This is that turning point I keep bringing up:

2018-10-22_1443

You get a little taste of success.

But, really don’t know how.

Then, all of sudden, it stops.

And, all the fears… all the doubts and insecurities, all the “why me” and “can’t ONE thing just f!@#ing work!?”… the nightmares about being stuck in a 9 to 5 forever, all the people saying, “I told you so”.

You bounce from depressed to pissed to confused…

This is the moment you decide to get serious…

Or, walk away.

THIS is what I mean by building a real business around your freelancing services. KNOWING how you got those clients. KNOWING how to get more. KNOWING you don’t have to worry about that ever again.

So, the solution?

How do you do it?

You saw my answer, right?

THAT is a start.

I’ll keep quoting him until people stop asking me:

“If you’re not producing content online, you basically don’t exist.”

— Gary Vaynerchuk

But, most freelancers will find an excuse not to.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

What do you do?

Of course, that’s just a start. Freelancers are service providers. And, that industry is well-established. What works is well-established. You don’t have to guess. You don’t have to wonder. You just have to learn it then DO it.

Repeat clients.

Referrals.

Service quality.

On and on down the list… it’s all known.

Anyway, THAT is what I teach you in my new Beginner’s Guide to Freelance course. All the things we KNOW work that most freelancers just simply refuse to do. And, if you do them… long-term, you can’t lose.

So, if you’ve reached that point…

Where it’s time to quit f!@#ing around…

And, time to get serious.

Get started learning what works here: https://skl.sh/2pOiF5g

Later,

John

October 22, 2018