Another tale from client hell… So I got this client that required them to provide all there new graphics, to create a video on how to demonstrate how to use there new website. They kept informing me it needed to be done immediately, so I provided them the cuts as fast as possible even working over the weekends. When I gave him the video they said that one part the timing was off, so I asked them what’s the time code off so I can adjust the timing appropriately. Then they told me I have to come in to know
This is the “paradigm” shift most freelancers I work with have to make to take the next step in their income. This is from a freelance Unity developer: “This made my blood boil” He’s, of course, the freelancer in this conversation. I think a lot people would look at this and get angry or wonder how to respond, what to do so people don’t lowball you like this, etc. I see it completely differently. Imagine I had a brand new gadget I wanted to sell, the latest and greatest phone or tablet, let’s say. I could try and sell that
A freelance digital marketer asks: “Recently send out a quote to a prospective client and they said my quote was on the high side? How do I approach this nicely without giving too much discount? How do you price your services? I’m a digital marketer.” TLDR; Don’t give a discount. Let me give you an example… I once had a prospective client ask me to discount my price. Luckily, I’d been through the ringer a bit and was on my [email protected], so I told him no. He said okay, then asked me to justify my price to him. I told
A fledgling freelance photog writes: I am writing this because I can’t sleep atm. It’s almost a year ago that I made the jump to kickstart my dream as a freelance photographer. So I began, calling up the magazines and business I really wanted to work for and booked some small successes in the beginning. Then, I tried a new approach of offering small businesses a free shoot. I started to make as much personal work as I could and promote them on Instagram. I also started going to business meetings where (small) business owners would meet to network and chat. This went surprisingly well
A budding product designer asks: “…hourly pricing as opposed to value pricing? What pricing models have worked out best for you and why?” TLDR: value pricing. Full story… A few years back, I got hired by a well-known blogger to build his membership site. At the time, I was charging 75/hour. After the project was complete, I suddenly started getting emails from acolytes of his who wanted me to build them a similar kind of site. I ended up creating a fixed price project and charging 3K for it. Dozens of his followers bought the package. And, I made more
A fledgling freelancer writes: I pitched a non-profit organization my services to revamp their (dreadful) website, manage the site for them, and offered the option of additional content creation… a few weeks later the biz manager replied that the board approved hiring me as their webmaster at the rates I pitched. I offered to send her a list of questions for the board to look over and respond to… I send her the questions and wait a few days. Instead of emailing me directly, the biz manager forwards my email with the questions to the entire board and me with this note:
This one is a doozy: “I have a client who has been an amazing advocate for me. She has brought me in to do work for her, has publicly praised my work, and has given my name to a number of people who have reached out to her for recommendations. The problem is, I think she thinks that is good enough reason to not feel obligated to pay me… she has owed me money for two solid months. I’ve asked for it many times. I’ve told her personal things to explain why, I don’t just want the money owed. I
A young freelance padawan asks: “…One of my ‘anchor’ clients, that has consistently sent me 1,500-1,700 work/month for the past year has inexplicably dropped off the radar and is now ghosting me. I’m worried that this is the latest account that has decided to stop working with me and found someone for half the price on Upwork instead. There’s a definite pattern there. I would say that this is an unusual week except that it isn’t. There always seems to be some form of instability or another. I’ve managed to get through my first year of full time freelancing relatively
That’s an actual article on Hacker Noon. You might think this kind of thing gets my jimmies rustled. Au contraire! I love it. It might be the most glorious summation of crap ideas about Upwork, ever assembled. Here’s a few of my favorites… “There’s no such thing as ‘competition’ in freelancing. Can we agree on that? Every freelancer is unique. Every freelancer plays his or her own game. You set your own price that makes you happy and you bid. You DON’T compete!” Nope. We can’t agree. That’s like saying the 100-meter dash isn’t a competition, because every runner has
From a new freelancer: “I’ve hit the point where I’ve run out of ‘favours’ from my network. I mean, anyone that I personally know from my network that would benefit from my consultancy has made a purchasing decision – they’ve either engaged me or decided they don’t need to/can’t afford to. I’m now reliant on my own marketing and word of mouth from previous clients. I’m having a lot of trouble converting leads in to engagements. People are very interested in what I do, love to talk about it, often ask for a proposal, but very few convert in to
An astute Upworker posteth: “I’m not sure why everyone says don’t use a generic letter, because my ‘generic’ letter works great. But when I start seeing examples of other people’s ‘generic’ letters, I start to understand. Boilerplate text is good to have and useful, and my generic letter is pretty successful. Yes, I do some personalization for each one. But the key is: is your generic letter any good? I get lots of responses to something I consider generic and not hurting for work, so we need to steer away from telling people they shouldn’t have a standard cover letter
From a wise freelancer: “There’s something to be said for not burning bridges. Especially in freelance, all of my work has come through past relationships and word of mouth referrals. I left this employer in 2014 when they wouldn’t give me a raise I asked for. I made sure to leave on as positive terms as possible. They reached out to me this week to see if I can help them with several websites that had become so out-dated that upgrading them and applying security fixes would be very difficult and likely to cause issues. My Freelance hourly rate is
As some of you may know, my wife gave birth to our daughter, Remei Luxe, a few weeks back. And, even though she’s our third (my fourth), at 38 years old, it’s been an adjustment… and a lesson for those of you on your freelance grind. If I’m being honest, the first week or so after we got home from the hospital, I did nothing. The first week I was just euphoric and wanted to spend all my time with her. I forgot just how tiny they are when they’re first born. But, they start growing quickly. And, the long
I just got this email from Dan: “I’m starting to do really well in my freelancing career, and it’s mostly thanks to you. Just today, I reached a 100% job success score on Upwork. I just wanted to say thank you, and share my story with you. Read it if you’re interested, skip it if you want (I get it, it’s long), but either way I think you deserve to know how big of an impact you’ve had on my success. I just checked: I’ve been following you for over 3 years. I’m a mechanical engineer, and 3 years ago,
You’ve never seen this strategy before. And, for a minute, you’re going to think I’m crazy. But, trust me, this works and it’s the simplest way I know to make money on Upwork (or anywhere else for that matter). (BTW, if you also want to learn the more traditional approach to making money on Upwork, I have an article on that, too… here). This is a 3-part strategy. The first part is… 1. A Problem-Focused Title In the traditional approach, we focus on keywords. So, we might do something like “WooCommerce | WordPress eCommerce | WordPress”. In fact, you’ll find hundreds
Your portfolio will make or break you. It’s usually the first thing a client will look at and it’s the main thing they’ll use to decide whether to hire you or not. So, nailing it is critical. But, there’s a lot of variables: What all should I put in it? How many portfolio items should I have? How do I make it persuasive so clients hire me? So, that’s what I’m going to tackle in this article. I’m going to show you the six essentials your freelance portfolio must have if you want to get hired and paid more for
Now, that we’ve picked our freelance niche (article on that here if you haven’t done it, yet), it’s time to create, package and price our freelance services. This is another step that’s easy to just gloss over. But, let me ask you: Do you want to sell more of your services? And sell them more easily? Without guessing what your clients will pay a premium for? When I first started freelancing, this stuff was all foreign to me. My first attempt, I just offered up generic “web design” services. And, the response was… “crickets”. Nobody hired me. And, the more
When you decide to start freelancing, the very first thing you need to do is figure out your niche. If you’re like I was 15 years ago, you’ll have no idea what I mean by that. “What in the world is a niche? Why do I need one? Can’t I just ‘wing’ it?” That’s what we’re going to tackle in this article. By the time you’re done, you’ll know what a niche is, why it’s critical to success in freelancing and have yours all picked out and ready to move on to the next step. Here’s what we’re going to
Can I rant at you for just a quick second? Do you get as annoyed as I do at the “373 Billion Skills That’ll Get You Hired” articles? It’s like… that’s NOT what I’m asking and how the heck is that even useful? Sigh. Anyway, I understand this question as what skills do you NEED… which, yes of course, your “core” skillset is one of those. But, beyond THAT. So, if that’s what you’re after, that’s what this article is going to cover (By the way, if you are looking to figure out what core skills are best, instead of
When I first started freelancing, I got lucky. I happen to fall into one of the highest paying freelance jobs without actually researching it. But, the freelance space is way different than the “normal” job market. So, it’s important to know what freelance jobs pay the best. To break it down, the three highest paying freelances jobs are: legal services ($96 per hour), developer ($58 per hour) and IT security specialist ($51 per hour). And, here are some honorable mentions: Copywriter ($31 per hour) Online Marketer ($41 – $59 per hour) Graphic Designer ($35 per hour) SEO Specialist ($45 per
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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!