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
I get this from time to time with certain clients. I was watching this YouTube video the other day. Some rando off the street apparently went into a boxing gym, talking s***, and challenged the trainer there to a fight. Talking about, “I mess people up on the streets”… blah, blah. You can about guess how this went down. Trainer played with him a bit. Let him throw a few shots. Then, out of nowhere… like a lightning bolt… dropped him with a left hook. Bahaha. Dude was done, then… but, his ego wouldn’t let him stop. Got up… trainer
Lewis Howes mastered this. I first met him at an internet marketing conference around 2011, 2012. Everybody kept calling him the “salsa dancing” guy. “Have you met the salsa dancing guy?” “You should meet Lewis, the salsa dancing guy?” “Did you know Lewis also salsa dances?” Yeah no… I’ve only heard it about 700 times today… thanks! Not gonna lie, my curmudgeonly self found it annoying. Buuut… I had to admit it worked for him. At that time, he was one of the lesser known online marketers. Yet, everyone was talking about him. They were fascinated by his salsa dancing.
I think Ryan Lee was the first one I heard say it. I was backstage at his Continuity Summit seminar he used to do (maybe still does, not sure). A client of mine was good friends with him so they let us backstage and we got to hear their behind-the-scenes strategizing. It’s actually quite interesting how precisely planned these seminars are. Anyway, he said it to his staff. And, I remember thinking… “That’s a bit cynical, but okay.” In the years since, having worked with some of the top people in online business and marketing on numerous 6- and 7-figure
Just got this from Andrew: “I’ve sent out 3 emails to some lawyers in my town using your method, guess the open rate? 100%. Anyway, wanted to thank you for all the content and the courses that you’ve made and shared with us. Right now I’m watching, listening and rewatching, and relistening your course on Content Marketing. It is so good and right now I’m building my sales page (almost done with it) and making the packages as you teach in the Premium Pricing method.” Mic drop! 😀 Now, of course, it’s a small sample size for sure. But, with
It was the closest I ever came to dying. During my year in Iraq, I was stationed on one of (if not THE) smallest bases in country. A “magical place” (eye roll) named Log Base Seitz — or more appropriately nicknamed “Mortaritaville”. It was about a mile long by 300 meters wide. For reference, Camp Victory next door, was 20 square miles. Yeah, we were tiny. A little speck on the war map. Anyway, in the year I was there, 1153 mortar rounds landed in that 1 mile by 300 meter area. Imagine a dart board with every last inch
Grab your tin foil hat, again… But, for real… I’m an optimist, but I sincerely think things are going to get worse before they get better. Just looking through these stories: “We Were Left With Nothing”: Argentina’s Misery Deepens in the Pandemic “Iran’s economy is closer than ever to collapse”, says expert Two blocks from the Federal Reserve, a growing encampment of the homeless grips the economy’s most powerful person China facing economic crisis Economic Recovery After Covid: Scars Will Remain Now, I know… It’s the media… “if it bleeds, it leads”. But, the data, in this case, supports the
You might know… A few years back, I had a mid-life crisis… at least, according to most my family and friends. Haha. Not really, but they all did think I was crazy. My wife and I abruptly sold our lavish 2,000 sqft home… Moved to “hillbilly heaven” in Missouri. And, built a small cabin deep in the Ozark Mountains. It was all pretty bizarre from the outside looking in. But, for us, it made complete sense. We only actually used maybe 500-600 sqft of that house. I was dreaming up s*** to put in the large finished basement we had.
Brindas Filip Andrei. Quite the mouthful. Haha. Anyway, so speaketh Andrei (or Brindas… or Filip): “When I’ve received the notification from Gmail I started laughing as I could not believe that you’ve given me a shout-out. Here’s my average open rate: somewhere around 70-80%. I really believe that cold email is more like a superpower rather than a client acquisition method. Email is so set in stone that you could reach anyone by email if you do the research. This can get you clients (like it did for me), a job, partnerships, whatever you want or need.” Ah yes… my
All you really need to do is read Aristotle. Er’body these days is just ripping him off. When I was getting my business marketing degree, studying Aristotle and his Art of Rhetoric was one of the few useful things we learned. I’ve sold millions worth of courses and services over my career. And, most of what I do still goes back to Aristotle. Of course, devishly applied to today’s technology. Anyway, tell me if any of this sounds familiar: “Persuasion cannot occur in the absence of emotion.” “The best way to ‘transfer’ emotion is through storytelling.” “The most important part
So spaketh Filip: “The cold email course is pure gold! [It] brought me the first client that I’ve reached out to. It was amazing. Thanks a lot for the value you offer us.” 1 email. 1 client. Told you. Haha… sorry, but I can’t help but rub it in the face of all the negative nancy’s that constantly natter on about how “cold email doesn’t work, duuuuh”… when they’ve never actually taken the time to learn what I teach… Let alone actually TRY it. No hard feelings, but you’re just wrong. As you can see, we’re not blasting out thousands
Just created this video breaking down a terrible cold email I received the other day. The kind you probably get and are imagining I teach you how to write — which couldn’t be more wrong. I show you all the things wrong with it… And, why it will never work… Including why 99% of cold emails are doomed to fail no matter what words are written in the email. Avoiding this one mistake, in and of itself, will instantly lead to better results with cold email. And, of course, I’ll show you what to do instead. If you’re even mildly
I saw this coming after 2016. I was never big into Facebook ads, but I’d figured out a few things. I had one that I’d run for several years that brought me in a few thousand smackers each and every month like clockwork. Tons of “hate comments”… but tons of business. Anyway, freakin’ Donald Trump. Screwed everything up! Haha. After 2016, Facebook started really cracking down on its ad platform. I wasn’t doing anything nefarious, but my ad was admittedly controversial. One day, they just up and rejected the ad — after it having run for years with no issues.
One of the later sales jobs I had was for this company called CPI. I honestly don’t even remember what that stood for. I think it was the owner’s name. Gotta love those self-aggrandizing CEOs! Haha. Anyway, they sold what now would be called “managed” Qwest phone service. Every month, we got a list of Qwest business phone subscribers whose contracts were up in 2 months or less. Our job was to convince them to renew… But, with our add-on service. Basically, we became their account managers. So, instead of calling the Qwest hotline if they needed help and waiting
Let me rap about the nay-sayers for a minute. I had someone ask me this: “Do you think, someone will respond on any random, unknown person’s email?” Oh, my young padawan… there’s a lot of assumptions wrapped up in that little question. It’s someone who’s never actually done it… jumping to conclusions about how *they* would do it and thinking it won’t work. Well okay… but that’s not how *I* do it. Don’t blame me for YOUR lack of imagination. Haha. Anyway, here was my response: “If you just blast out a templated email to a bunch of people with
There’s a few steps to this… so, stick with me. It starts with who you trust. In my opinion, the only real way to have complete, top-to-bottom control of your business, your finances and your life… is to be 100% dependent on yourself for how you make your living. Not a job. Not your government. Not a parent or spouse. You. Nobody else. Now, some people will start arguing here… “We live in an interdependent society… you still rely on clients…”, etc, etc. Yes, but I’m talking about this at a root level — a visceral, no bullshyte, no airy,
So, I just want to show you this. Enough talky-talk, Johnny Boy! Am I right? SHOW ME THE LEADS! Haha. Anyway, I made a video showing you where to find highly qualified leads on Google. It’s about 10 minutes of research and you can start building your list… Of potential clients you KNOW have the moolah to pay you (and well)… And who you KNOW are in urgent need of your services. As the saying goes: “The money is in the list”. This is how to build yours: https://myjohn.us/leadology Give it a watch and let me know if you gotsa
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WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
John has a relaxed and engaging manner. His advice is solid and the explanations are well thought out.
John really delivers!
I’m a fan. I have completed several of John’s courses. I find him very knowledgeable and he has a great delivery.
John is a man of integrity, who gives generously of himself to projects and people he cares about.
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.
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 and I have worked together on numerous projects. John is very quick and efficient and was a pleasure to work with.
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!
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 has a habit of over-delivering on the expectations he sets up. That’s why he’s the best.
John has a particular knack for the development and training of others.
John is one of the best instructors I have come across, I learned a lot from his online tutorials.