Of all the freelancing advice I hear the Instagurus throw around, this is by far the worst and most devasating. If you’ve ever heard this or worse believed it, go get a scrub brush and scour this out of your mind forever. It, without question, is hurting your business and costing you clients: “Freelancing is a numbers game” The idea being you just have to blast your name and your pitch out to as many people as possible and eventually you’ll get some clients trickling in. And that’s exactly what happens. Instead of a fire hose of new clients banging down
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
Freelancer.com, Fiverr, LinkedIn, TopTal, Guru, PeoplePerHour, Indeed for remote jobs (have to set location to remote): Google can be a good place to look, as well: Look for industry-specific job boards. For example, Dribbble is a website dedicated to graphic designers and they have their own job board with listings for remote jobs: And then, let me give you one last one (more for getting freelance work)… local business meetup groups. These can be crazy effective. I was in two for almost two years until I moved to a really small town. Each one met once a month. And, every
I remember this feeling. Early on in my freelancing career (way back in 20–… well, I won’t say how long ago that was :D) with no idea how to do any of this. The anxious feeling in my gut. The thoughts of failure and embarrassment swirling in my head. And, I ended up just guessing. And, I paid for it. So, let me save you from that. You start with research… When freelancing… And, I want to highlight that, because it’s different than when applying for a job at a company. So, when freelancing, you start by doing research. It’s
This is kind of like those jokes: “Question What’s 2+3?” “Answer: Purple.” The real answer to this question is: Specialize. I know. “Huh?” My assumption, from the question, is that you’re thinking when you freelance you’ll just put yourself out there as a “freelance web developer” and be taking on any number of different projects. It’s really NOT the way to go. You want to specialize in something. Maybe, it’s building Joomla websites for non-profits. Or, landing pages in WordPress for online businesses. Or, custom coding plugins. Or membership sites from scratch. Clients think in “end results”. They don’t want
I hear this all the time from freelancers: John, I WANT to start a blog or I WANT to start making YouTube videos, but I’m so busy with my 9-5 job and my client work on the side… I just don’t have the time to promote my freelance services. This is cutting of your nose to spite your face. Promotion… Blogging. YouTube. Social media. That IS the solution to your time problem. Because, it’s how you’ll get MORE clients, higher-paying clients… and how you’ll be able to leave your 9-5 job. Which will free up an enormous amount of time.
Back when I was just a freelancing tadpole… I was working a 9-5 at a local pizza joint. I’d spend my days slinging pizza and my nights working on client projects and trying to build my freelance business. I had more than my share of “all-nighters” in those days. So, I can 100% relate to this question I got from Jan: “My problem is that I do not have much time to build my own website and so portfolio or blog as doing lots of clients work while having 9-5 job but I know it is dead important. I think
Back when ol’ JMO was just a freelancing tadpole… I was working a 9-5 at a local pizza joint. I’d spend my days slinging pizza and my nights working on client projects and trying to build my freelance business. I had more than my share of “all-nighters” in those days. So, I can 100% relate to this question I got from Jan: “My problem is that I do not have much time to build my own website and so portfolio or blog as doing lots of clients work while having 9-5 job but I know it is dead important. I
Start a blog to get more freelance clients? Why would I do that? To quote the infamous, Gary Vaynerchuck: Producing content is now the BASELINE for all brands and companies. It literally doesn’t matter what business you’re in, what industry you operate in, if you’re not producing content, you basically don’t exist. Of course, it’s not just his opinion. There are plenty of studies and statistics to back up the fact the content marketing is the most effective way to start getting clients and customers from scratch: 69% of people bought something because of a tweet 94% plan to make
Once upon a few years back… I was working on a project for Inc. Magazine. And, the guy I was working with, Lewis, was one of their Executive Directors and a very sharp guy. A bestselling author and spent his days rubbing elbows with multi-millionaires. At that point, I hadn’t yet worked with Michael Hyatt or Lewis Howes. So, it was surreal experience for me. Anyway, I learned a lot from him. One of the things I learned was a crazy effective way to manage large projects. As a young freelance developer, I’d never seen this before. But, it was
Winners don’t sell themselves short. Winners don’t expect other people or platforms to do it for them. Winners don’t make excuses. They don’t whine and complain when Upwork changes its fee structure or starts charging to bid on jobs. They don’t immediately blame “crappy clients” when a project goes wrong or they don’t get hired. Not because these aren’t true. Sometimes they are. But, because they’re not productive. They weaken you as a competitor. Like a basketball player blaming their loss on the refs. The refs could’ve been terrible. Doesn’t matter. Win anyway. That’s what the greats do. That’s what
It’s a minimum of 4 years of your life. Very little of which you’ll actually learn how to code. The stuff you do learn will almost certainly be outdated. And, for your trouble, you’re going to fork over 5-6 figures for a piece of paper. And, that’s IF you actually graduate. And, don’t get sucked into the bottomless pit of parties and alcohol. But, but, John… you’ll learn computer science at college. Great. Take one of the many computer science courses you’ll find on online… many for less than 100 buqs. And, learn your precious computer science concepts. No need
Question: “What are you doing TODAY to market your freelance business?” If you can’t answer… Or, the answer is a little vague… Or, something you’re still figuring out… Whatever income woes you might be experiencing, I can point you to the culprit. The reality is: no marketing = no business. This is the simplest, yet most effective, “freelance marketing” advice I can give you: Do it daily. Let me give you an example… People often get horrified when they find out that I mail my mailing list on a daily basis. Sure, I miss some days here and there, but
Sam Walton started in the first Walmart in Rogers, Arkansas. If you look, today, the population is about 66,000… but back then it was just 5,700. And, he did this despite the prevailing wisdom at the time that a mass retailer needed to be started in a big city, otherwise it would fail. But, Walton actually listened to his customers. He knew that consumers in rural areas often bought in larger quantities because they had larger families and took fewer trips to the store. The result is, of course, the largest retailer on the planet, today. Listening to your customers/clients
I used to sell shoes. Was damn good at it, too. In fact, I made it through the company’s 18-month manager training program in just over 9 months. In my first store, as a manager, I was the #3 selling manager in one of the smallest stores in the chain. And, I broke several store sales records along the way. Anyway, we had this thing we did. Out of Al Bundy’s bag of “tricks” if you will. Let me give you an example. “This is an XYZ Brand shoe. You’ll notice the high quality leather upper. The better the leather,
I took my dog to the vet to get spayed the other day. The week prior when I called, I got a masterclass in selling your services. As I explained what I needed, one of the first things they asked me was, “Is it a stray?” Our dog, Marley, is. A neighbor rescued her, but wasn’t able to take care of her, so we took her from him. Because of that, the animal clinic gave us 40 bucks off. That’s lesson #1. The hook. When I called I was just gathering information. I was going to call a couple clinics
Another common question I get, this time from Gary: “Sir, I’m a self taught web developer with no job experience. My question about freelancing is how to price a website? For example do I need to let the client pay for the hosting website and etc.” Perceived quality. Note the emphasis on perceived. Here’s the analogy I use. Imagine you need to get a medical procedure done. So, you go to the nearest clinic. As you pull up, you notice the clinic is in a sketchy part of town. The parking lot is cracked and littered with trash. The clinic’s
That’s the headline. Of the most effective services sales page I ever ran. In fact, I ran it for years on my site before I whittled down to just one client. It’s easily brought in tens of 1000s of the greenbacks for me. I don’t care what kind of web development you do… This should be your headline. It grabs the reader by the eyeballs… And, forces them to read. Because, it’s every client’s worst nightmare. It’s like a car wreck, they can’t NOT look. And, it works no matter what kind of services you offer. Of course, you gotta
My older brother was an insurance agent. If you don’t know, insurance is an uber-competitive industry because it has such huge profit margins. So, these people are dialed in when it comes to sales and getting new clients. I learned a ton from watching my him. For example… When he first started, his trainer had him write up a list of all the people he knew. He started with about 50 on his list. But, after some pushing and prodding, he got it up to about 300. Then, he had him write letter to those people… Letting them know he
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