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freelance

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

What’s your biggest fear about becoming a web developer?

Serious question.

I made it into a Quora question, I’m asking you to answer: http://qr.ae/TUIJa1. Please answer it over there and not in a comment.

I’m building this as a resource I can point people to.

Because, I get a lot of this kind of stuff.

And, I want to show people they’re not alone.

Appreciate it.

Later,

John

August 5, 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

The Moment Every Developer Must Conquer

These are the most important posts I write.

I got this YouTube comment from Sir Joelsuf:

“I feel like I’m not learning enough and not doing enough. Its been pretty overwhelming. I wanted to replace a full time job with freelancing but its not working out. Working full time wasn’t either and I was getting nowhere and wasted 8 years of my life at a really bad job. I guess I’m at a crossroads.”

This happens to every developer.

Every developer I know anyway.

There’s that moment… when things aren’t going how you imagined. You’re starting to doubt if you’re cut out for this coding “thing”. You begin to wonder if you’re smart enough to actually do this.

That sick feeling stabbing you in your gut.

“I’ve put so much time and energy into this.”

“If I give up, it’ll be such a waste.”

“But, I’m not getting ANYWHERE! AAAAGH!”

And, the truth is…

That’s when you know you’re ready. Because, it’s not until you reach THIS point that you’re fully ready to put your ego aside, to forget everything you THINK you know, to stop trying to be “right” over everything else.

And, listen.

And, do.

And, be willing to try things you’ve previously written off.

And, work harder than you ever have before.

This is the moment when successful developers are made. And, they’re made by doing one single thing: KEEP MOVING FORWARD! Persist. If you can find a way to do that, this will be your turning point.

If not…

You’ll just be another failed wannabe developer.

So, make your choice.

And, if you decide to persist… I can help. I built my entire training curriculum for this moment. I purposefully put it on SkillShare, where I can give you the 2-month no-cost trial, to make it easy for you to say YES!

It is meant for this moment.

All you gotta do is say, “F!@# IT!”

And, GO for it!

I’ll be waiting.

Link is here if you’re truly ready: https://www.skillshare.com/r/user/johnmorris

Later,

John

July 23, 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

How to Raise Your Freelance Prices

Had this guy ask me:

“What should I do to raise my freelance prices?”

So, look this isn’t as simple as “just doing it” or some trick or gimmick that’ll magically make clients go “oh okay”. There’s a lot more going on here. And, a lot of the advice you see out there just plain ignores that.

Take my first time for example.

I was terrified to raise my fees.

It might seem stupid, but I started out charging 25/hour. And, that was the most I’d ever made in my life up to that point. So, the idea of charging more? That was insane to me.

I couldn’t imagine anyone willing to pay more.

I figured I’d stop getting clients if I did.

And, my existing clients would get pissed and leave.

And, I’d be back to nothing.

In my mind, I’d built it up as this huge risk.

And, having just climbed my way out of being dirt poor, there was no way in hell I was going to risk that. Problem was, I’d gotten a lot better tech-wise. And, I was delivering on projects way faster.

So, even though, I was getting better…

And, doing a better job for my clients…

I was making less.

It’s pretty f!@#$d up when you think about it.

I felt like I was stuck, though. And to my shame, I’ll be honest and say I considered some of the “shady solutions”. Like purposefully going slower so I went back to clocking the same amount of hours.

Or, just padding my hours.

Anything but charging more.

Man… I can still feel that.

Was one of the more effed up points in my career.

Then, you see these guys charging 75, 100… even 125/hour. And, not just charging more, but getting 1000s of hours of work. There’s freelancers on Upwork who have over 500k in total earnings.

What did they know that I didn’t?

It’s really frustrating.

Well, here’s what I figured out.

What you charge isn’t about “less” or “more”.

That’s not how clients look at it.

It’s about two different words:

Value.

Accuracy.

Value is about YOU. Are you worth it? And, here’s the thing… if you’re at the point where you’re starting to lose muney because you’re delivering so efficiently it’s costing you… THAT is the definition of being worth “more”.

And, clients will know.

They’ll be expecting you to raise rates.

Sooo… you should raise your hourly fee.

Accuracy is about the individual project.

Can you accurately quote it?

Whether flat fee or number of hours to complete.

And after 14 years of doing this, I’ve developed a process for that. The big thing with this process is being accurate, but also presenting it in a way that alleviates all the client’s natural fears about being overcharged.

You can’t underestimate this.

This is what terrifies clients.

And, keeps them up at night.

And, THIS is why they would stop hiring you when you raise rates. Because they’re scared. So, if you can keep them from freaking out and worrying about being overcharged… you can easily raise rates and keep all your clients.

And, there’s a simple way to do that.

And, once I figured this out.

I raised my rates multiple times on existing clients…

And, never got any backlash.

In any case, Lesson 9 in Module 3 of my Upwork 101 course will teach you this process along with everything else I know about pricing projects. So, you can start off charging accurately and getting paid what you deserve…

AND, easily raise rates when that time comes.

And, your clients will trust you so much…

That they won’t raise a big stink about it.

Link to get started learning all this for nothing is here: https://skl.sh/2hfGS0s. Just start that 2-month, no-cost trial. Take the full Upwork 101 course (plus all my others). Cancel any time before the 2 month is up… and never pay a penny.

Really nothing to lose on this…

But, to each their own.

Link is here: https://skl.sh/2hfGS0s

Later,

John

July 13, 2018

The Freelancing Lessons In Fortnite Season 5

These two boys.

They have been waiting for this for over a month. My 10-year-old was so excited and anxious yesterday he got a stomach ache. They were up until almost midnight because they couldn’t sleep.

Then, up at six this morning.

And, these are two dudes who love their sleep.

Needless to say, they were excited.

Thing is… it’s not unlike what a client feels when they hire a freelancer who does a good job of marketing themselves. You’ve sold them on you. They believe in you. They’re thinking, “My project will finally get done right!”

They’re excited.

They’re, anxious.

Their hope is through the roof.

Of course, the excitement quickly crashed into reality for my boys when they started playing the new season of Fortnite. Day 1 bugs. A new meta. A totally different map. It got HARD again.

(There’s a whole other lesson about persistence in here, too.)

And, about five minutes in, they were frustrated.

The six-year-old was crying.

I could see that “WTF” look in my 10-year-old’s eyes.

Excitement quickly become disappointment.

And, again, it’s not unlike what can happen with clients… when they’re as excited as they are when they hire you… but a cold reality slaps them in the face when you don’t deliver like they imagined you would.

They can end up MORE frustrated.

Than if they’d reluctantly hired you.

It’s a curious thing.

Expectation management.

And, the truth is, a lot of freelancers oversell themselves. And, create a perception in their new client’s mind that they can NEVER live up to. In fact, this is one of the worst side effects of “generalist” syndrome.

But, there is a way to get freelance clients without overselling yourself.

And, it’s not some gimmick.

In fact, it’s one of the oldest sales “tactics” in the book.

Clients will come in knowing EXACTLY what to expect. In fact, I’d call this the “anti-hype” tactic. It’s the exact opposite of hyping yourself up. Yet, you end up being MORE convincing and getting hired more.

Been my experience anyway.

In any case, I cover this “tactic” in Lesson 3 of Module 3 in my Upwork 101 course. And, you can get started with it for nothing over on SkillShare. Just go here to start your 2-month no-cost trial: https://skl.sh/2hfGS0s

Take the entire course (plus all my others).

Cancel anytime before the 2 months is up.

And, never pay a penny.

Simple.

Anyhoo, up to you.

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

Later,

John

July 12, 2018

What a super gorilla can teach you about getting freelance work

I watched Rampage for the first time, last night.

It’s the one with The Ro… I mean Dwayne John– I mean The Rock… or whatever the hell he wants to be called now. And the super serum that turns his monkey friend into King Kong.

Anyway, there’s this stretch in the movie.

Ol’ DJ’s trying to tell all these govt people what they should do.

And, they keep ignoring him.

And, of course, everything blows up in their face.

(Surprise, surprise).

And, he keeps looking at ’em like, “Damn, would you just fuggin’ listen to me already”. I couldn’t help but having a bit of deja vu. All those times I tried to warn clients about some stupid thing they were about to do…

And, they just wouldn’t freakin’ listen!

And, of course, stuff blew up.

And, they’re looking at me like “WTF?”

And, I’m like: “Dude, I tried to tell you!”

Now, in the movie, the problem with the Rockinator is he’s a bit of an a-hole. He’s not really into “persuading” people… except with a quick 1-2 to the temple. Not much of a communicator. So, of course, nobody listens.

That was my problem, too.

In fact, I see a lot of devs who struggle with this.

You get the code thing down.

But, now it’s time to get work. And, you try to rely on your technical skill. You talk about the languages you know or where you went to school. And, think that’ll do it. Or, it’s the other way, and you really don’t know what to say.

And, you find out quickly… there’s more to this “getting work” thing.

Well, the truth is, it doesn’t matter how good you are technically.

There’s so many good developers out there, now.

You can’t get by on just skill alone.

You’ve gotta be able to present yourself…

And your work in a compelling way.

And, persuade people to hire you.

Build rapport, gain people’s trust and give them compelling reasons to want to hire you. What I discovered is there are systematic ways you can do this. Processes you can follow that’ll accomplish all this for you.

It’s not magic…

Or rocket surgery.

It’s just a matter of learning the processes.

Anyway, I teach you the 3-step process I learned in Lesson 8 of Module 3 in my Upwork 101 course. I’ve used this over and over again throughout my career to get clients, to get jobs…

Hell, I’m doing it right now, in fact.

(Let’s see if you can spot it once you learn the process ;).)

Once you learn it, it’s dead simple…

And, you’ll start using it any time you need to persuade someone.

And, have a helluva lot more success than just “winging” it.

Anyway, you can get started with that Upwork 101 course for nothing over on SkillShare. This is the link: https://skl.sh/2hfGS0s. Jump on that 2-month no-cost trial. Take the course (and all my others).

Cancel any time before the 2 months is up…

And, never pay a cent.

Why not give it a try?

Who knows… it might just be a revelation for you like it was me.

Anyhoo, up to you.

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

Later,

John

July 9, 2018

The Biggest Mistakes Freelancers Make (Part 1)

Let me tell you about Ted (name changed to protect the guilty)

Ted decided he wanted to be a freelance developer over 5 years ago. And, Ted did what most developers do… he went about figuring out what he needed to learn, taking a bunch of courses and getting good at web development.

And, he did get good.

He could crank out websites.

Build professional level applications.

He learned all the languages.

Everything you’d need to do in order to do web development for a living. YET, five years later, he still had not got a single paid client. Not because he couldn’t — because he didn’t think he could.

In fact, he’d been offered a few freelance jobs.

And, he turned them down.

Because, he didn’t think he was ready.

He’d convinced himself he just needed to learn a “little bit more”…

And, THEN he’d be ready.

Now, if you’ve been around these parts for any amount of time, you’ll know that Ted is actually ME. This is what I did the first five years I got into web development… and it was awful.

I’d convinced myself I didn’t know enough.

Even though, I had people almost begging me to build stuff for them.

The truth was, I was scared.

That I’d mess it up.

That I’d get asked to do something I didn’t know how to do.

That clients would get pissed and tell everyone they knew…

And, my freelancing dream would be over.

And, that’s one of the biggest mistakes freelancers make. Buying into that fear and not getting started soon enough. Putting off trying to get clients until they learn just that “little bit more”.

Which, of course, just keeps growing.

But, building a freelance business takes time.

And, the sooner you get started, the better.

I always think about where I’d be now, if I had.

It’s one of my few regrets in life.

In any case, I eventually got it figured it out. And, of course, the world didn’t come to an end like I imagined it would. Even the few times I DID fail with a client… it wasn’t the nightmare I had imagined.

Bottom line: get started now.

You’re probably more ready than you think.

And, even if you aren’t, you’re smart enough to figure it out as you go.

That said, freelancing is a skill in and of itself. One that doesn’t come natural to a lot of developers (me included). But, it can be learned. In fact, it’s ultimately just a process that once you know…

You can just repeat over and over.

To get clients, deliver and grow your freelance business.

Just gotta learn the process.

Anyway, I lay out the process I discovered in my Upwork 101 course over on SkillShare. You can get started with it for nothing with the 2-month no-cost trial I can give you as a teacher.

Just go here: https://www.skillshare.com/r/user/johnmorris

Start the trial.

Take all my courses, including Upwork 101.

Cancel anytime before the trial is up and never pay a penny.

Really is a no-brainer.

But, don’t let the fear hold you back… whatever you do.

You WILL regret it if you do.

Anyway, link is here: https://www.skillshare.com/r/user/johnmorris

I’ll see ya over there.

John

July 1, 2018

Why Most Developers Can’t Freelance

I saw this comment on that Clever Programmer video I mentioned yesterday:

“I think a lot of those people have the ‘impostor’ syndrome? I mean that they [think they] aren’t good at something 🙂 When they are. So if they charge more, they will feel bad or guilty. Other than that, marketing itself is also a big one 🙂 I changed my marketing and I got like boom a client there and here, instantly lol. It takes time to learn it though. It’s very specific.”

It IS very specific.

In fact, it’s a whole other skillset. One that’s almost the opposite of what being a developer takes. It’s not logical or rational or black and white. It’s an art, not a science. Which is why I think developers tend to struggle with it.

And, as a result, avoid freelancing like the plague.

I was fortunate to get thrown to the wolves early in life.

Working face-to-face sales…

And, so desperate I HAD to figure it out.

And, the thing that got hammered into me. The thing that once I really “got” it, I suddenly felt like I could sell anything to anybody… was that sales is a process. A very definite and repeatable process.

And, when you figure out the process for the thing you’re selling…

You can do it over and over and over…

And, it becomes almost effortless.

My first sales manager beat that into me.

And, I’m glad as hell he did.

Now, here’s the thing… selling your freelance services IS a process, as well. It’s a definite and repeatable process. And, once you understand it, you can do it client after client after client.

That doesn’t mean you’ll land EVERY client.

But, you’ll land them more often than not.

And, quickly have more people wanting to hire you than you can handle.

Then, you can charge more. Your freelance income not only goes up, but it’s a lot more stable. You feel a lot more confident and secure. And, you’ll have the freedom to do the things you want to do.

All you gotta do is learn the process.

In any case, there’s a process for doing all this, specifically, on Upwork, as well. I figured out one that worked great for me and got me more clients than I could ever handle. And, I’m willing to share it with you.

It’s inside my Upwork 101 course on SkillShare.

Just go here to start your 2-month no-cost trial: https://skl.sh/2hfGS0s

Take that course AND all my others.

Cancel anytime before the two months is up and never pay a penny.

Nothing to risk.

Anyhoo, I’ll see ya over there: https://skl.sh/2hfGS0s

Later,

John

June 25, 2018

How to Get Known (And Hired) When You’re New to Freelancing

There’s two things I did:

1. Start creating content. YouTube videos are the best, because people can get a good sense of who you are and what your personality is. But, written tutorials work, too. Answering questions on Quora, etc. Just be sure to create content for YOUR target client and NOT for other developers.

2. Local business meetup groups. As the tech person, you’ll be in high demand. Virtually every meeting I went to I had someone who asked me to take a look at a project. It can be a very quick way to get work without a ton of vetting.

And, when you’e ready to make your living as developer, get serious and up your skills by starting your 2-month FREE trial of SkillShare where you’ll not only get access to all my courses, but over 20,000 others on web design/developer, freelancing, graphic design and more. Get started here: https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/skillshare

May 30, 2018

What Are Good Projects to Have In Your Portfolio?

In my opinion, there really are no “one-size-fits-all” projects you can put in a portfolio that will suddenly make every client want to hire you.

It’s about relevance.

Clients want to see if you can build THEIR thing and don’t care too much about anything else. So, it comes down to specializing and making sure you have THOSE items in your portfolio.

THAT is what matters.

Notes

May 14, 2018

What Freelance Services You Should Offer and How Much You Should Charge

I see a lot of freelancers get tripped up at this stage. Thing is, the info is out there… it’s just a matter of finding it. Even something as obscure as “formatting kindle ebook” services… the data is there. So, in this video, I’m going to show you how to find it so you can figure out exactly what services to offer AND what you should charge for those services. If you get value from what I do, consider becoming a Patron. You’ll be helping me, but also get access to perks like all my current and future web development and freelancing course, access to all my source code, exclusive Patron-only videos, course and more. Learn more about becoming a patron here.

May 1, 2018

SCREW IT! Just Quit Your Day Job and Freelance

I got this comment from Sir Joelsuf on YouTube:

“I would actually say that might put someone at a disadvantage, especially since the temptation of giving up location independent income for returning to the 9-5 is really REALLY great. If you are committed to something like running your own business, I say that things will improve way quicker if you just burn the boats, quit that 9-5 and just get obsessed with it.”

“Freelancing/self employment is a lifestyle change not just a career change and that is why most just abandon it and go back to the 9-5 after a year or so instead of taking the 2-3 years of full dedication to actually become established. They aren’t patient or mentally tough enough.”

(This is in response to my advice about freelancing with a full-time job.)

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this.

Often, it’s positioned as the ONLY way to go out on your own:

“Burn the boats and sink or swim.”

Here’s the problem with that.

There are real-world consequences. Not everybody’s fresh out of college. Some of us have families and houses and responsibilities we have to meet. So, when we burn the boat, there are others who could drown with us.

That’s not a risk I’m willing to take.

But, the bigger thing…

It’s just not necessary.

Some people see a lion in the woods and they come alive. The adrenaline starts pumping and they feel like they can take on the world. And, they slay the lion with their bare hands. Some people, though…

FREEZE.

Like a deer in headlights.

And, the lion swiftly devours them.

The trick here isn’t a dogmatic “this can only be done ONE way”…

It’s knowing yourself.

And, knowing the advantages and disadvantages. Freelancing WITH a full-time job has advantages (like money you can spend to outsource certain things) and disadvantages. Same with “burning the boats”.

Don’t get caught up in what others are doing.

Know YOU!

Then, be smart about how you transition.

And, if you want some help getting into freelancing, check out the free lessons from my Upwork 101 course at https://johnsfreetuts.com. It’ll show you my strategy for building your profile so you can get work from the start and grow your profile to become of the top freelancers on Upwork.

April 11, 2018