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
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
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
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 was talking with my little brother about it the other day. His client list is even more impressive: Google, Amazon, Nike, Office Depot, Circle K and a few dozen other Fortune 500 companies. Two “poor white trash” kids, who grew up in a rat-infested trailer home… Landing these kind of “swanky” clients. Especially when you consider we’re both hermits. He’s a hippy who likes working in his garden and woodworking. I’m a nerd who spends most of my time scouring the interwebs for any half-decent sci-fi flick I haven’t seen, yet (seriously, if you know of any, help a
So sayeth Max in response to my earlier email about A-aron: === Lol! Your snark alone is worth the subscription! Little did he know he was getting a free course about how to sell courses like hotcakes. Keep at it and don’t change a thing! === Effusive praise of yours truly aside… Max makes a valid point One even those of you who despise my self-aggrandizing personality should pay attention to. Nothing has done more for my business than these two things: 1. Near-daily email 2. Deadlines Gnash your teeth all you like… Those two simple things have made a
Got this verbal dart from A-aron: === Hey John. I understand why you are doing this but to be honest it’s not awesome. I bought a one year membership of Skillshare specifically for your courses. 🙁 I get it though, you make fore sure way more money selling the courses piecemeal on your website so I can’t fault you for that but it still isn’t great from our perspective. === Actually A-train… I’d say you don’t understand why I do it. I mean look… I’m not an Iowan– uh, idiot. I know I’m going to piss a few people off
Easily one of the questions I get asked most often: “John… everything you’re saying about freelancing sounds awesome. I want to start, but I don’t have any experience or anything to put in a portfolio… how can I get hired when I don’t have anything to show clients?” My usual answer is… “Get stuff.” Meaning, you don’t have to do projects for clients to put them in your portfolio. In fact, one of the most famous painters of all time, Leonardo Da Vinci, did this all the time. One of his most famous “works”, the Vitruvian man (Google it)… Wasn’t
That no Insta-yuppie even knows about It’s one of the things I despise about the incestuous nature of the freelance “guru” space — and YouTube for that matter. Everybody just reads everybody else’s s*** and regurgitates it in a new package to their audience. There’s rarely any new ideas. It’s one of the things I noticed coming up the way I did. There was no social media. YouTube didn’t even exist, yet. Haha, imagine that. Could you imagine trying to learn anything, today, without YouTube? That’s how it was, Punky. Anyway, you had to — heaven forbid — come up
Including 2 nobody else on the planet teaches I just uploaded Part 2 of my Freelance Feast course to Skillshare. In that part of the course, I show you 8 completely unique ways to get clients. Not the lame Upwork is 1, Fiverr is 2, etc. No, 8 completely different and unique methods — including 2 that I’m pretty confident nobody else on the planet teaches. One of which has been the most effective method for me. Several of my celebrity clients were landed this way, in fact. And a good 60-70% of my client work has come from this
Good ol’ “ASAP Charlie”. He was Tim Ferriss’ assistant at the time — and he was the final straw. By this point, I’d already worked with Lewis Howes and Michael Hyatt and Inc. Magazine. So, I’d gotten used to the “awe” of it all. And was starting to see a pattern. Then, Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Body project came calling. They wanted a forum built with WordPress… Locked down for only people who’d purchased his book. Anyway, when you work with these clients, the day-to-day isn’t actually with them. It’s with their “entourage”. And the groupies tend to be way more
Got this YouTube comment from Kodbazis: === Hi John. I follow you since 2016. You motivated me right from the start, to pursue a carreer in web development. Now, after years of working in the field, I started to sell my online courses. 🙂 === I’m going to jam about this a lot more in my June 2021 course called, “The Ascension Matrix”, but it’s a relevant point: Freelancing is *not* the destination. It’s a stepping stone down the path of what I call a “Knowledge Vendor” — someone who makes their living primarily based on what they *know* NOT
The first time I heard the phrase “marketing” funnel… not gonna lie… I snickered a bit. Guy was talking about it like it was some new, genius idea he’d thought up. But, “funnels” have been around since Jesus first roamed the internet. They just weren’t called that. Matter of fact… Clear back in 2004-2005, I had a MySpace marketing “funnel” I used to siphon eyeballs off MySpace and into my offers. And, I was pulling in a few thousand a month with it. Of course, I was basically showing people how to spam on MySpace… And, I started feeling dirty
This girl I know. Me and here got it– oh wait, that’s and Adam Sandler movie… haha. Anyway, I once knew this local photographer. Smart, smart, smart. I used to marvel at how well she understood business for someone who looked like your regular Jane down the street. Hmph. Faaaar from it. She was a shark business-wise. She, of course, had a photography business. But, she also owned a daycare and a kid’s clothing store. And she ran it all “synergistically” — to use an overused buzzword. But, she did it — as well as I’ve seen even from the
I used to have this client. His name was Stu McLaren. He’s gone on to become one of those “evangelical” business celebrities doing massive multi-million dollar product launches and such. But, at that time, he was a niche membership site guy. But, he *knew* membership sites. He had these massive mindmaps. Creating content, member retention, outsourcing… every minute detail of building and running a membership site… he had multiple tips, techniques, processes, etc. Anyway, one of the most effective is what I’ve come to all: “Object-oriented marketing.” Every month, we’d create a new WordPress plugin that was *only* available if
I used to work with this client. He ran a tech company whose flagship product was a mobile app service. And just being straight up… dude was kind of a prick. The type whose always right, his ideas are always “genius”, won’t listen to anybody… Thought of himself as the “next Steve jobs” (like they all do). And, if things don’t go exactly his way… comes stomping in yelling at everyone else — even if he’s completely wrong. And will NEVER admit when he IS wrong. A real douche-canoe. Buuuuut… Despite all that, this company was doing well — very
Stop acting like your client’s servant — like you’re there to kowtow to their every whim and wish and you’re lucky they’ve graced you with their business. It’s not just about having a little self-respect… it’s bad business. Was reading a Ben Settle email… He was talking about “History’s greatest ad man’s advice for dealing with clients”. He was talking about David Ogilvy… who is arguably history’s greatest ad man… and his “rules for respect in business” and Ogilvy said this: === In meeting with clients, do not assume the posture of servants… They need you as much as you
One of the reasons why I’ve all but tried to kill my YouTube channel. It’s become a cesspool off “broooo’s” flashing their rented Lambo’s outside their 20-room house (just for them) — and other various dumb s*** they do with their moolah. It’s like watching a Real Housewives episode. They just rounded up all the idiots… And pointed a camera at them. And people eat it up because it’s “entertaining”. Particularly egregious in the freelance/side hustle/online business space. There are always exceptions, but you check the trending… complete garbage for the most part. But, here’s the insidious part. Because of
I’d just gotten back from Basic Training for the Army. It was a weird time in my life. Just six months previous, I was a regular ol’ college student. Was playing football at the University of Nebraska, partying too much and doing as little school work as possible. In the interim… I’d joined the Army. I’d gotten married. My wife got pregnant. 9/11 happened and I shipped off to Basic. The possibility of deploying to Iraq hung over my head — and I returned home not sure what the hell I was going to do. I joined the Army Reserves…
Saw this scrub on Twitter post this namby-pamby bullshizen: === I will NEVER be impressed by your money, car, looks, social status or job title. I’m impressed by the way you treat me and other people. === Uuuuuuugh! Clearly, she ain’t seen my Ford Focus with its after market fenders. The glass packs and carbon fiber spoiler. Got 2 18-inch subwoofers in the trunk. Pfft. Whenever I drive by the little league games at the park… All the soccer moms give me that eye. You know. I’m basically a chick magnet. Hahahaha. Obviously, I’m kidding… but you know what “chicks”
Was reading this article in the New York Times. It was about a study, just published in the academic journal, Med, where Japaneses researchers tested delivering oxygen-filled enemas to severely oxygen-deprived mice and pigs (yes, this is real, haha). And it worked. The animals had been laying down because they were too oxygen-deprived to move. The skin of the pigs had become discolored. But, a few minutes after the enema, the color returned in the pigs. The mice got up and start walking around. And they went back to “normal” for the most part. They were basically able to bypass
A few years back, my wife and I uprooted our entire lives and sold our 2,000-sqft home in Omaha to move to “hillbilly heaven” in southern Missouri and build our version of a “tiny house”. A small-ish, 800-sqft home on 3.5 acres. Backed up to a lake deep in the Ozark Mountains. And when I say “we built”… I mean WE built it. My little brother and I did almost everything… from digging the trenches for the water and electrical to building the custom, gabled roof, running the electrical — all of it except for the siding. That’s the one
Ready to get REAL wacky? Haha. Seriously, though, in my early 20s I came across this collection of books. It was from an obscure writer and publishing company — who only sold their books via direct mail and only to a highly curated list of people. Somehow I ended up on that list. Who the hell knows how that happened… Because these books were expensive. But, as it turned out… it was the best money I ever spent. Those books dragged me, kicking and screaming, out of feeling sorry for myself and a deep pit of internal dishonesty and rationalizations.
Been reading this book… “Fingerprints of the Gods” by Graham Hancock. It’s this interesting look at human history and his argument that there used to be a super-advanced civilization on Earth that created all the big wonders of the world. And are the source of “God” in all the ancient myths and religions. I have to admit… it’s pretty fascinating. Even if, I don’t really buy his theory. Tracing back through history and all the ancient ruins, taking a second look… with the dramatic twist… “Could this be a sign of a super-advanced civilization?” Definitely satisfies my sci-fi nerd-iosity. Anyway,
Kinda messed up. I came across it the other day. Of course, it’s Twitter… so shaker of salt and all that, but it was a freelancer saying how they’d been let go by their client because they didn’t want to get the corona vaccine. Ultimately, it’s two adults… With different opinions… And every right to run their lives how they wish. Still… it’s a stark reminder of how wacky the world has gotten. I actually had a similar situation with a client. She didn’t said I had to get it or anything… but she was “horrified” I hadn’t yet. Which
You ever have those moments where you’re suddenly realize: “OMG, I’m becoming my parents.” Haha. Stargate is that for me. When the show was still airing, I’d visit my parents and there was this growing stack of SG-1 DVDs next to their TV. Every visit, it grew just a little bit more. Until it was damn near taller than the TV. And, I’d always make fun of my dad. “Still watching your ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ TV show, huh?” This went on for at least a decade. So, it wasn’t some one-time thing. I gave him s*** about that TV show
My little brother is addicted. I avoid the s*** like the plague. Don’t have the app. Don’t watch the stupid videos people send me. Want nothing to do with it. But, him and I work out every day after he gets off work and he’s always watching that s***. Anyway, the other day he was watching something. And, it’s video after video of grown adults… Acting like complete morons. Dancing around like idiots, telling very bad jokes, dumping ketchup or some other crazy liquid on their head — all for attention. And, let’s be real… the vague hope that their
I about fell outta my truck. Was at the Evil Clown joint (McDonald’s) the other day. Was sitting in the curbside waiting on my food. When we pulled in… a cop had some dude pulled over in the parking lot. So, we’re sitting there watching as they go back and forth. At some point, the cop says he’s searching the guy’s car. And the guy goes ballistic. Just starts laying into this cop: “You’re the lowest of low. You’re such a douchebag. You f***ing loser! Do you have any idea what I’ve been through? Did you stop to think about
Comes this from Hamid: “I want to buy your course, but do i have to pay to get email leads?” In short, no. I’ll say it once more for the kids in the back… I do NOT teach you how to buy some rando lead list, load it up in some software and blast a cookie-cutter email out to 1,000 nobodies who may or may not need your services. No, no and no. So, no… you don’t pay for leads. Instead, I show you how to find, sift and sort the thousands of very highly qualified leads that are all
Little bit of a rant today. Haha. But, seriously, it’s one of the more annoying things about being a teacher. Not gonna lie, sometimes… some students… I want to slap them in the forehead and ask them, “What the f*** are you doing?” Not in some mean-spirited way. Sometimes, it just feels like *I* take their life more seriously than they do. Here’s one example… Y’all know… most of you anyway. When you sign up to this here mailing list, I now have a one-question survey that asks you what your biggest road block is when it comes to freelancing.
I’m putting the finishes touches on my new Freelance Feast course… Which will be the course I release for the month of May — and will be my flagship entry-level course for freelancers. It’ll be for people who know nothing about freelancing except they want to do it… And, it’ll walk you through all the steps, processes and systems… You’ll need to build in order make your freelancing all feast and no famine. Thus the name. In any case, I just finished up a lesson on the 80/20 of freelancing. It’s a reference to what I discovered early on in
Nearly a 1/3 of the entire company has quit. Including the heads of marketing, support and design. That’s a pretty wild mass exodus. Basecamp’s been around for 20 years and has always been pretty adept at traversing the rapid changes that come with being an internet company. So, it makes you wonder… What the hell happened? Get this… The company changed its policies on political and social conversations within its official work channels. Basically, they’re no longer allowing their employees to bicker about politics in official channels. And boy-o-boy… You know that has the know-it-all, 20-something, purple hairs lighting the
It is D-day my good people of the diaspora… Your absolute last chance to grab my latest course, the Cold Email Method, over on Skillshare before it comes down and, like an evil villain, I make you fork over your heart and soul (probably $100 or so) to get it. So, let me bonk you over the head with a small taste of what’s inside: A clever way to send your emails that guarantees near-100% deliverability — this sneaky little trick is dead simple, but almost nobody does it… and it all but guarantees your prospect will not only open
Was reading a Ben Settle email the other day… And, he said something that’d make most people, even hard core, Bernie Madoff-types, soil their pantalones. He was talking about a client he’d work with several years back in the aftermath of the housing crisis. And how that guy drooled over recessions. He almost wished they’d happen. Here’s what Ben wrote: “Early on we started talking about the economy, and he said: ‘Direct response marketers love recessions, this is when we make all the money.’ Yes, hardcore direct marketers (and clients) don’t spend less during bad times. They spend more. They
Got this sweet-nothing from Scotty P: “The content in this class is great stuff. I know some of it will be taken down and turned into a paid class. I can’t wait to whip out my credit card. I hope it turns into something I can download and play on my phone while driving. The thought of owning some of this content makes me pretty excited!” Well, Scotty… don’t you worry. It will… And, I will give you that chance. Haha. That’s how some people like it. Others, either can’t or don’t want to invest in their own education. I
My little brother calls himself a “master procrastinator”. Keep in mind, he’s not some scrub polishing rocks for a living. He’s a Director at one of Fortune’s 500 fastest growing companies. His client list includes Google, Amazon, Nike, Office Depot, Home Depot… and on and on. He’s wildly successful for all intents and purposes. But, openly admits he procrastinates hard. I always find that fascinating… how many people continually struggle with it. Especially since I’m not much of a procrastinator. It’s not something I never do, but I am ruthless with prioritization. As a matter of fact, I just fired
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WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
John has a particular knack for the development and training of others.
John is a man of integrity, who gives generously of himself to projects and people he cares about.
John has a habit of over-delivering on the expectations he sets up. That’s why he’s the best.
On the Freelancing on Upwork course: “This is by far the best course i have watched on Skillshare!! Thank you so much.”
John did an outstanding job on my project. I highly recommend him and look forward to working with him on future projects.
John is an excellent teacher.
John is top-notch and a great guy to work with.
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 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 provided expert knowledge and advice on multiple occasions that have helped me better serve my clients. John is a Rockstar!
John and I have worked together on numerous projects. John is very quick and efficient and was a pleasure to work with.
John has a relaxed and engaging manner. His advice is solid and the explanations are well thought out.
John is amazing at building membership sites. He converted one of my sites over from it’s existing (hardly working) platform over to the clean and simple to use WishList membership platform. I highly recommend using John and WishList for any of your membership site needs.
I recommend John every chance I get. If every person I worked with were as committed to excellence, punctuality, value, and unquestionable integrity… the world would be a better place. Highest recommendation.