It’s one of the problems with how available info is these days. Any Joe Schmuck can throw up a blog or a YouTube channel and start pontificating about some topic. No experience, no actual results or success — just a fancy camera and some slick editing software and you can be the next big YouTube sensation. Good for them… Bad for the blokes and blokettes using the “anti-advice” they share. That’s why I actually consume way less info these days. I have a few trusted sources that I’ve fully vetted and I stick to what they say. In many cases,
I don’t know… maybe I’m just crazy. But, the answers to these kinds of questions seem so obvious to me. Was watching a Q&A that Jimmy O. Yang did at Google. He’s a comedian… was in a show called “Silicon Valley” and the movie Crazy Rich Asians. He has an interesting story. He immigrated here from Singapore and a lot of his comedy is based around his experience learning American culture and finding his way in this new country he was in. His comedy is hilarious to me… but it’s also informative. Gives you a real glimpse into what it’s
I tried to tell them. And I mean literally. A couple years back… I woke up one day to several cease and desist letters in my inbox from Upwork — which was weird to say the least. What in the world had I done? Turns out they were implementing a new policy regarding screen recordings of their site. Now, it was suddenly a big no-no. Of course, no warning. No heads up. Just a bunch of cease and desist letters followed by copyright strikes on my YouTube channel. In their defense, they did work with me on it and that
This is something I yappity-yap about in my Premium Pricing for Freelancers course, but let me rap about it here a bit. Little back-story… I’ve been with one of my clients for… well, coming up on 12 years now. And they’re what I’d consider a high-end client. A well-known tech company… Who has 15 or so full-time employees on staff. And pays me a hefty retainer each month. They’ve also been the referral for many (but not all) of my other high-end clients. Inc. Magazine was one. Michael Hyatt another. Having worked with this particular client for so long… all the “trappings”
Started watching this Netflix documentary: “Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb” and it reminded me of one of the more powerful marketing principles I learned as young online business tadpole — and a little twist on it that can help you to command attention in your market and get more clients. It’s really in the first few minutes of the documentary. It starts with two guys in some dusty cave… who make a “startling” discovery. It turns out to be a private tomb for some Egyptian noble — almost fully preserved. They start to explain why this particular tomb was so
I don’t talk politics a lot in here… Not because I’m not political (although, I’m really not anymore) but more because it’s infected virtually every other part of our lives… this is kind of a safe haven from all that noise — for both ME and you… but me, most importantly. 😉 However, business people need to pay attention. Political winds can fill your sails… Or blow your house down. A big one that’s relevant to us freelancers is the labor shortage. If you’ve not heard, here’s some of what’s going on in the labor market: 10.4 million job openings
I want you to imagine YOU are the client. And you’re looking at two Upwork profiles side-by-side. Titles about the same. Overview says similar stuff. Portfolio, skills, certifications, etc… all about the same. Except one glaring difference. One profile has a big Job History. They have a bunch of 5-star reviews, clients raving about how great they are, a perfect Job Success Score… and the other profile has nothing. It’s not bad. There’s no negative reviews. There’s just nothing in terms of Job History or reviews. If YOU were the client, who do YOU hire? It’s that scenario that’s been
I know this might sound strange to you. Especially if you’re and/or have really been struggling to get anything going on Upwork… you might think: “Fat cat client clients? How bout just A client?” I hear ya… BUT, I’m confident that if you start making the changes I’ve been rapping at you about, your results will improve. I genuinely do because I’ve watched it happen so many times with so many students. And, AS that happens… You’re going to have the opposite problem. For example, when *I* made the changes and delivered my first few projects, I suddenly started getting
I wish I could remember the guy’s name. I pull ideas and insights from anywhere and everywhere. I fancy myself a mere “observer” of the comings and goings of the interwebs — and using what I see to fuel new ideas and approaches for my (and your) online business. Although, I readily admit I’ve probably watched one too many Marvel movies. 😀 In any case, this was a random blog post I happened upon, but the principle he was rappings upons has been maybe the biggest insight for me (and the clients I work with) as of late. It’s pretty
A lot of Upworkers are losing clients because of this. When I first started on Upwork, I made over 14K in the first couple months I was on there. That’s why I laugh at the “earned over 400K” people. It took most of them close to a decade to get there. Had I stayed on Upwork I could probably write “earned over 2 mil”… Or something close to that. But, I had bigger fish to fry. Yeah, I know… I sound like an arrogant a-hole right now, but facts are facts. Anyway, I took what I knew and have taught
FYI, I just uploaded a new episode of Let’s Talk Freelance on the Skillshares. This is a deep dive into building your Upwork profile — covering every little detail from how you write your title, your profile overview, portfolio and everything in between — according to our “evil” strategy from Episode 5 so you… ya know… actually get hired. Here’s some of what you’ll find inside this episode: A sneaky way to write your profile title that can help you rank higher in Upwork’s search and suggestion listings than you might deserve based solely on Rank. Three unique and little-known
I still shake my head at the old me. What a goon. The ideas I had about online business, social media, getting clients… sigh. I used to do what Jeff Walker (internet business celeb) calls “hope marketing”. You see this all the time on the socials. People who post all kinds of free… really good… content. And then “hope” people will think they’re swell and hire them or buy their stuff. In case you don’t know… That’s WHY so many of your favorite developers or graphic designers, writers, etc… end up becoming full-time content creators. They learned how to create
I got this review from Alfin on my social media course and I think there’s a deeper lesson here for those of you considering using social media as a client source. Here she be: === This is has no fluff in it. Just plain and simple actionable steps on how to have a presence as a freelancer on social media. Great Work! === I bring this up because it’s one of the things I hear when I talk about getting clients from the socials. I’m kind of a curmudgeon myself. All this selfie-ing, over-filtering, yapping about how great you are
As I mentioned, this started with MySpace. Back then, you could add custom HTML to your MySpace profile and completely change how it looked. So, what I did was turn my profile into a landing page. The offer was a free book they got when they signed up to my mailing list. When they signed up to the mailing list, they were then presented with a one-time offer to by my full service at a discount. It was a real one-time deal that they only got on that page, that one time. If they passed, they went on my mailing
Quick one for you today… The way the world is, these days, there’s a lot of hoopla and “sizzle” and breathlessly hyping this new technology or trick, this fancy new technique… and this or that. But, the reality is… There’s a few fundamental truths… That account for 90% of the success people have. Often boring, non-secksy-sounding… “yeah, yeah, I know” type stuff that people just simply aren’t willing to do. And, I’ve always found Sundays were a good litmus test. IF… and this is a legit if… IF your life isn’t the way you want it to be. If you’re
Let me give you youngins a brief history lesson! 😀 Way back when Tom from MySpace was everybody’s friend and ol’ Zuck was “modeling” HarvardConnection, business peeps like you and I spent a lot of time and handwringing trying figure out how to use this shiny new object to to move units. Get hired. Sell stuff. Kinda funny that many are still trying to figure it out. Anyhoo, yours sneaky was no different. And, to my infamy, I became a quasi-spammer as a result. Truthfully, back then, the socials were so anti-business you didn’t have much choice. There were no
You tell me what really matters here. So,I recently got this “scathing” review of my Social Media Marketing for Freelancer course. Okay, not really scathing, but a negative one. And I’ve noticed a trend with these. I don’t know if it applies to every online teacher, but it’s a definite trend with me. Two things are almost always true with the negative reviews I get: They don’t leave a comment explaining why They enrolled in the course 1-2 days before leaving the review The thing I find funny is none of my courses can be properly evaluated in 1-2 days.
It’s one of the things I never understood with business people. My brother is a good example. A few years back he got into insurance. And, being the unsolicited advice giver I am, I gave him simple one: “All that matters right now is getting clients.” I know… epic! But, it’s funny how many people “know” that, but don’t “do” it. And, he was no different. Even though, he “knew” getting clients was most important, he proceeded to start renting an office (that he didn’t need). Bought him a fancy desk for that office. Had a sweet dual screen monitor
One of my first serious clients. I dabbled a bit before that, but this was my first “all-in, I’m doing this shyte” client. I was an okay developer at the time. Hadn’t had the big “aha” moment that all devs have where everything clicked… But, I could crank out a little of this and that. And, I’d built this WordPress plugin. This was before BuddyPress and BuddyBoss, the big forum software — and all the community plugins that are popular now. And I believed all that kind of functionality was going to take off in WordPress. Which, of course, I
Got this truth bomb from Sir Joelsuf on the YouTubes: “Most ‘courses’ I’ve been running into aren’t very actionable. I don’t really care if the course is taught by a tiktok ‘influencer’ who acts like a drunk sorority chick, if the content is actionable and produces results, it has value to me.” Then he followed up with this: “Actionable = Straightforward stuff: Here’s what to do, here’s what not to do, here’s why you do this, here’s why you ought to avoid that, stuff like that. Like your courses haha. But that’s not what I see in most other courses,
Question: what’s a simple way to pandemic proof your business? Or what about the next recession? There’s always one around the corner for one reason or another. Or even worse… hyper-inflation, currency crisis, financial collapse? I know it sounds all doom and gloom… But these things do happen. Or what happened with my dad. Car wreck. He was a plumber and suddenly became a paraplegic. Couldn’t do plumbing anymore. A lot of people go through life assuming things will work out for the best. Not me. I’m optimistic, but I don’t assume. I’ve seen the worse happened. I’ve watched people
That’s been the top, so far. The highest I’ve hit on Skillshare. And that IS just Skillshare. Doesn’t count Udemy, sales on my own website, YouTube or what I get from the freelancing I do. That’s purely Skillshare revenue. But, the more important thing… Is the consistency. 5193.46, 5463.99, 5857.20, 5744.70, 5392.63, 5042.92, 5277.12. And sure some some months it might be a bit lower. But, constantly hitting that 4-5K range from a single revenue stream… Ain’t a bad gig. It’s kinda like my own personal UBI. And a simple way to become pandemic proof. Now, obviously, I’m not saying
It was about six months into my tour in Iraq. I was in charge of a supply unit. And, over there, supplies were like gold. So, we had people, from all over Iraq, that’d show up and all but beg us for one thing or another. We did our best to help out… But, sometimes, we had to say no. Anyway, this guy showed up and wanted this generator we had. A buddy of mine and I gave him the standard response that we’d need to check with our “Chief” — the officer in charge of the warehouse. Yada, yada,
I was at a bar in Lawton, Oklahoma. The town just outside Fort Sill. A couple Army buddies and I were out having a few drinks and playing darts (me smokin’ them since I was a freakin’ darts sharp shooter!) when it happened. This dude was sitting in the corner… And he kept eyeballing us. I generally try to keep things chill so I let it ride for awhile. But, he just kept staring us down and it was blatantly obvious. So, finally, I just walked up to him and asked him “What’s up?” What he said floored me. He
I wanna talk about this a little more: === I have been following John Morris for several years now. John has a very unique way of seeing what motivates people (not always muney!) and how to please others, while earning a nice living doing that. He constantly provides new content and his instruction ranges from beginner to advanced, to CEO level guidance. I have referred friends and clients to John, and have encouraged my own daughter to pay attention to what he says. When John offers a new course, I sign up instantly and I am always ready to pay
It’s one of the reasons I focus on accomplished authors. Any rando can write a book. I want people who’ve actually done what I want to do OR are universally considered some of the greatest thinkers in history. Getting to see how they actually thought and what they focused on… in their own words. Far more impactful than the 20-something know-it-alls on YouTube… Who just regurgitate what they read on a blog… From another 20-something know-it-all. But I digress… Einstein, of course, is among those great thinkers. And one of the things he harped on was the importance of being
Back when I was just a wee freelance green-ear… A client of mine flew me out to one of those snazzy internet marketing conferences that used to be popular back in the day. Lots of big name speakers and early online celebrities. In fact, a lot of the big name business celebrities you see today… Were just start getting started back then and were there. Anyway, they had me running their booth… answering questions about their product and such. And I got stuck next to this guy… oh, this guy. The type who just loves to talk… and talk and
I’m not a big woo-woo guy. But, sometimes… even grumpy old me has to admit there’s some serendipity goin’ down. The very day I release my new course… on courses… I begrudgingly hop on the Facebooks to do my weekly check-in on the weirdos… And what’s the first ad I see? Some chick peddling her course “boot camp”. Dressed up in Army gear, carrying a spatula, screaming at some dude to get up and make his online course. And the text of the video is some long-winded rant about getting serious about course creation. (I think. I only read like
No, not writing a book and putting your link in it… Or anything boring and obvious like that. It’s a tactic I started using to bring in high quality leads — potential clients that are primed to buy, pre-sold on you and have muney to spend. The best kind of leads… And the best kind of clients. High information clients who hire you with both eyes open… so, they know exactly who you are, what they’re getting into and want to work with YOU, specifically. Which, of course, means… There’s rarely any haggling on price. They almost always take your
A lot of people use Blockbuster as an example. Rightfully so… their fall from grace is a poignant reminder that anyone can crash and burn no matter how great things are going now. But, there’s a part of that story almost no one talks about… That I think is the most important lesson. A lot of people dig into the why… And the how. Which is all important. But, also kinda obvious. They were arrogant, slow-moving and made some bad business investments — and they got burnt. Yeah, no kidding. But, this other part of the story is the thing
Recently got this comment from one Scotty P on my Ascension Matrix course: === I have NEVER been a fan of stealing your content but I think at some point I might encourage my 12 year old daughter to sit down with headphones and listen to this. Your ideas are amazing. I will certainly sign my daughter up. === Ooh, talk dirty to me, Scotty! Haha. Mind you… Ol’ Scotty P is a seasoned vet. And I mean *well* seasoned. In fact, Scotty P. is so old, his Social Security Number is 1. He’s so old when HE was in
It’s one of the things I hate about Facebook. A bunch of know-it-all losers trolling the site taking a dump on anyone actually out making something of themselves. Facebook ads are especially rancid. It’s like all the losers collect in one place to spew their snark. But, there’s one particular kind of product. Every time, it pops up in my feed… You can bet the comments are a cess pool… without fail. But little do these purple-haired grape swallowers know… the people selling those products are earning hundreds, probably thousands per hour selling them. I estimate I earn about 5,000/hour
My first unit in the Army. My platoon sergeant. Still, to this day, the best leader I’ve ever had. He had this knack for pulling the absolute max out of every soldier in his unit. And making his subordinates love him for it. To us, he was kind of a god. Truth be told, it was a bit cultish. Haha. But he was highly effective at getting his troops to perform. Not surprising that he made 1SG faster than all his peers. Faster than almost anyone ever does. I eventually got pulled out of that unit and sent to Iraq
It’s the 4th of July here in the States… And far be it for me to take a dump on someone’s holiday, but I do find that holidays tend to be great opportunities for dramatic change in people’s lives. Many of the defining moments in my life centered around holidays. We tend to be reflective. Take stock of where we’re at in life. And become acutely aware when things ain’t how we’d like. It’s fitting that “Independence Day” is the holiday that’s come up while I’m also in the middle of launching my Ascension Matrix course. I’d like to say
It’s this frantic scene in the Hitman’s Bodyguard. Ryan Reynolds, who’s been assigned to protect Jackson, is being chased by a group of thugs trying to kill him. There’s a fight scene in the back of a restaurant — where one dude gets faceplanted into a hot grill. Then, they wind up in a hardware store. There’s an ax. A nail gun. And eventually, a chain that Reynolds uses to finish the fight — quite gruesomely I might add. So, there he is… completely out of breath, just fought off 4-5 would-be assassins… and Jackson comes flying up in their
This your 2-day warning, skippy. The Ascension Matrix course comes down from Skillshare in just a little over 2 days from now: June 30th, 2021. After that, the only way to get it will be to hand me some cold, hard cash. So, if you want it now while it’s essentially free. In the words of a great philosopher: “Tick tock muthaf***a!” This is especially true because this course is over 4 hours long. It’s not enough to simply join up to the Skillshare trial. You have to actually watch the course. Once it comes down, you won’t even be
If you have the IQ of a salamander… This probably won’t make much sense. People hear something and they suddenly think it applies to every single instance, everywhere, always — no matter what… context and nuance be damned! If you have half a brain… You realize how dumb that is. Enter my thoughts on “niches”. Was chatting with my little brother about this the other day and how I probably look like a hypocrite to the lizard-heads. Because one of the first things I teach freelancers is to pick a niche. Yet, in my latest course, the Ascension Matrix… I
Not to mention his real-life counterpart, Kevin “windowless van” Spacey This one ain’t for the faint of heart, toots. Frank Underwood or Kevin “Windowless Van” Spacey… (Who’s actually the bigger villain here?) Would probably even blush at some of this stuff. So, if you count yourself among the koombaya crowd who thinks freelancing (and business) is all lollipops and sunshine, “we’re all in this together” and “the client is always right” bubble gum nonsense… May just want to close this one up. Because, the truth is, power dynamics are real. And he-she who has the power calls the shots. Case
Was rapping with a student of mine about this. Many moons ago, when I worked at the window factory… we had this guy come in. Old, grizzly manufacturing vet. And the company I worked for at the time was paying, I found out later, 5,000/hour for this guy — and he was there for three hours. So, a swanky 15K for just 3 hours of work. That’s some serious leverage. Still time for money… But, at that rate, it almost doesn’t matter. Anyway, the guy didn’t DO anything while he was there. That was the weird thing. And the company
Sometimes the best jobs are the biggest killers. Case in point… A couple decades ago now (yeah, yeah… oooold! You shush! :D)… I landed maybe the best job I ever had. I started working for this company called CPI — which… the company was literally named after the CEO (slaps forehead). These dudes and their big egos… And small… ahem… sense of self-awareness. Anyway, the job was an easy 6-figures if you were any good at all — which I was. It was sales which was/is kinda my thang. And, it was selling to customers who already had the service…
Let’s start by agreeing that Nazis are bad. Okay? No need to send me your pearl-clutching emails that I’m somehow condoning Nazism or some other childish s***. I firmly disavows all Nazis… mkay? Still, I remember studying them in school. Specifically, the war tactics they used. Which, for the time, were revolutionary. We even studied them when I was in the military. When a previously downtrodden nation suddenly rises up and takes over an entire continent that quickly… you might want to pay attention. Anyway, that’s where I discovered a unique tactic for wow-ing new clients. Turning them into zealots…
Was having this conversation with a client of mine. I was explaining to them why they needed to expand their product line. My most profitable product… the one that’s responsible for a good 40-50% of what I earn — has paid for my house, my truck… All kinds of gadgets. Kid’s birthdays and Christmases. Making my wife still love me… 😀 This one product… I’ve tracked it and, for several years now, it’s consistently been my biggest money-maker. But, I made it 6-7 years ago. I’ve made a few updates to it over the years, but nothing major. I’ve probably
It started happening a few years ago. I’d hit a wall with my life, my business — everything really. I’d been freelancing for so long it had lost all its novelty. It wasn’t “fresh” and “exciting” to me anymore. And procrastination hit me HARD. Most days… I’d be lucky to do anything before noon. A lot of times, I’d just check out for the entire day. Watching Netflix and eating junk food. I ballooned up to over 300 pounds — and not “good” weight. I drank too much and kinda just lived in a haze. It was like I was
He deserves every bit of it, too. I always think of my little brother. He’s been a kind of guinea pig for me over the years. Today, I was recording another lesson for the Ascension Matrix course and the topic (I won’t spill the beans on it just yet) was exactly what he does now. With clients like Amazon, Google, Nike, Office Depot, etc. Truthfully, on this, he’s far beyond me. It’s his thing. Anyway, we have an office together so he could hear the entire recording. When I got done he said, “Quite the diatribe there!” And, of course,
I’m sure you noticed. 🙂 I didn’t show up in your inbox the last 4-5 days like usual. Hell, you’re probably in full-on withdrawal mode at this point! Johnny, Johnny! Wherefore art though, Johnny!? Haha. Well, my wife and I decided to take an impromptu mini-vacation. We woke up in the morning and decided just to go. I told my clients I’d be out for the next 4-5 days… And off we went. Now, this is the point where the usual cadre of Instagram “influencers” would rap on endlessly about #freelancelife and this is the freedom freelancing affords them… blah,
My brother and I were talking about this on the way to the gym yesterday. We obviously both grew up in the same house — except it wasn’t a house at all. It was a mobile home — not a nice one. Rusted out, leaky roof, bitter cold in the winter because the walls were paper thin — and infested with rats. Of course, my parents were broke. So, we couldn’t afford to do anything about the rats. We just dealt with it. Fun times. One time (at band camp)… our water got shut off because my parents couldn’t afford
This is beyond tin foil hat. You’re gonna think I had one too many funky mushrooms… haha. But, my next course — for some of you — will be the single most important one I’ve ever created. It’s the next “evolution” of being a freelancer. And can give you so much clarity about your next 30 years… You might start to feel like you’re trippin’ a bit. The course is called: “The Ascension Matrix”. Which already sounds a bit whacky. But, it has been my own personal focus for the past 5-10 years. I talk a lot about freelancing. I
Yo muchacho! A little freebie lovin’ for ya. Now, that I’ve hammered you over the head with my latest course promotion, I figure I’ll throw you a bone. Anyway, the latest episode of my podcast is out. In it, I reveal 6 legit ways you can land your first freelance client. As per my style… This ain’t the usual… Upwork, Fiverr, blah, blah, blah. There’s some stuff you’ve probably thought of. And a few I guarantee you haven’t. And a collection plate full of tips for being successful with all six… Gleaned from my 17 years of experience. Probably even
One of my mentors talks about this all the time. One of the simplest things you can do to win in business is simply zig when everybody else is zagging. Matter of fact, he says he generally looks at what everyone else is doing and explicitly tries to do the exact opposite. And he runs a 7-figure *print* newsletter. Right in the middle of a tech boom. Haha. Who am I to argue? Anyway, I’ve noticed this with freelancing, too. Right now, everybody is rushing to the freelance sites, social media, YouTube, etc, etc — meanwhile one of the most
I got this question other day: “To that point, I feel like I’m at a stalemate when it comes to my freelance business. Again, I can kind of get stuff done on Upwork but it’s just not enough. Does your new course cover this kind of thing?” And, it got me thinking about the “state of things” in our freelance world. I know I’m the grumpy old man hrmph-ing in the corner, but I can’t help but roll my eyes at all the so-called “experts” out there that plaster things like “300K earned on Upwork” all over their social media.
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On the Freelancing on Upwork course: “This is by far the best course i have watched on Skillshare!! Thank you so much.”
John is a fantastic and patient tutor, who is not just able to share knowledge and communicate it very effectively – but able to support one in applying it. However, I believe that John has a very rare ability to go further than just imparting knowledge and showing one how to apply it. He is able to innately provoke one’s curiosity when explaining and demonstrating concepts, to the extent that one can explore and unravel their own learning journey. Thanks very much John!
John has a particular knack for the development and training of others.
Not only is John a very talented programmer and developer, he is also an excellent communicator. He has a talent for taking complex subjects and communicating them in terms that anyone can understand. This is a rare combination. This ability has enabled me to take my skills and knowledge to the next level. Thank you John for for all that you do.
John has a relaxed and engaging manner. His advice is solid and the explanations are well thought out.
John is one of the best instructors I have come across, I learned a lot from his online tutorials.
John is a man of integrity, who gives generously of himself to projects and people he cares about.
Very professional worker who is extremely knowledgable in WordPress and Wishlist Member. I would definitely hire again.
John is top-notch and a great guy to work with.