There ARE still people who believe the future of work is NOT freelance. Hard to believe, but it’s true. They’re the people who put air quotes around “work” when you say you work from home. And couldn’t tell you what Zoom is. They’ll also be the people asking you how you did it in a few years. Try to be nice. I experienced something similar when I told people, way back in 2004, that the internet would be the future of business. “The Yahoo chat thing? Bahaha. Okaaaay.” they scoffed. We know how that played out. Meanwhile, big companies see
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
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
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
You could get a client today. Some people go on there and never get work. It’s really not about time, it’s about what you do. The freelancers who do the right things and put in the effort tend to get work. And those who go in feeling like Upwork owes them something and expect work to just fall in their lap… don’t. And, they rave about how Upwork is a “scam” or a “huge waste of time”. When I first started on Upwork, I made every mistake I rant about, today. I blasted out a bunch of bids, didn’t spend
The concept is pretty simple (from Investopedia): “The network effect is a phenomenon wherein increased numbers of people or participants improve the value of a good or service.” The internet. Social media. They all operate on this idea of network effects. Both across the platform AND for individual users. So, as Facebook’s user base grows, Facebook becomes more valuable. But, also, as YOUR individual friend’s list grows, Facebook becomes more valuable TO YOU. Save those few “friends” you’d rather not follow, of course. 😀 Thing is… Freelancing platforms have network effects, as well. So, the more freelancers on a platform,
You’ve got a decision to make. What kind of person are you going to be? Person A: Or person B: I can tell you who’s going to get further in life. Who’s going to have more success as a freelancer. Who’s going to actually create the life they imagine for themselves. The funny thing about this is if you look at Miro… He very easily could’ve devolved into the same piss-poor attitude as Terry. He tried Upwork. And, his first attempt didn’t work out. He could have very easily just given up and became a troll who hunted down every Upwork video
Back when little JMO was just a freelancing tadpole… I made the mistake virtually every new freelancer does. That makes freelancing 10X harder than it has to be. Awful clients. Projects you hate. Getting paid pennies. It’s easy to see why so many people give up on it. My mistake was taking any and every client I could. I built a weird e-commerce app for a guy. Jackin’ around with creating PDFs in PHP for another. Hacking WordPress for yet another. I didn’t enjoy any of it. So, I procrastinated HARD. Clients got pissed. I had to refund a couple,
So, I got this comment on a video today: “Sir, I am new on upwork. I’m submitting proposals from 6 months, but no one is accepting my proposal.” And, I gotta be straight up with you… I get this a lot. And, it never makes sense to me. If you try ANYTHING for 6 months and it’s not working… it’s way beyond time to re-think and re-strategize. Whatever you’re doing isn’t working. And, it’s not Upwork… it’s you. Which, nobody wants to hear… But, it’s true. In any case, what I wanna do today is give 3 big things to
To hear the trolls tell it, these people don’t exist: “I have wasted 10 years of my life on a Master’s degree. And guess what? I am happy to realize that I don’t need it at all. Currently I make 100k+ yearly from my freelance business on Upwork/Freelancer, I am absolutely debt free, and going to become financially independent soon.” Boris Vasilenko Nope. Nothing to see here. “These freelance sites are scams!” “La la la la, can’t hear you!” Truth is… There’s plenty of this out there. AND, there’s plenty of people who’ve got on Upwork and never made a
Once upon a week ago, I got a YouTube comment from a student of mine: “Really? I made 35k on Upwork in the last 12 months. Seems like a good scam to me :)” This was in response to the typical loser-screech of the Upwork haters that come out of the woodwork every time I do an Upwork video… calling Upwork a scam or whatever the excuse-word of the day is. Then, some dingbat responds to her with this doosie: “35k on Upwork? That’s because you’re a woman, you’re privileged and people pay you more.” Lol. The excuse-gerbil is spinning
There’s 100s of freelance sites out there. When you’re new, it can be overwhelming trying to sift through all of them to figure out which ones are actually going to get you clients and give new freelancers a fighting chance against all the established ones. One of the things that annoys me about this topic is the articles you see with “73 Best Websites for Beginners” and that ilk. How does that help you any? Are you really going to apply to 73 different websites? So, I’m not going to do that. In my opinion (and experience), these are the
Take this comment I just got: You ever heard the saying: “success leaves clues”. It’s true. And, sometimes, success slaps you in the face on a daily basis and implores you to pay attention. To quit using “being skeptical” as an excuse to really just stay comfortable. To get serious about your life and your career. There’s plenty of complicated things in life. Relationships. Kids (oh boy!) Rocket astro-surgery. But, this isn’t one of those things. The people who take the time to learn how systems like Upwork operate and put in the effort to take advantage of those systems
I get this one a lot. It’s the most common refrain from the “Upwork is a SCAAAAAAM!” folks that troll my YouTube channel. But, there’s also some well-meaning folks who just haven’t learned how to do this, yet. Anyway, there’s a simple way to weed out all the junk projects on Upwork and get to the good, high-paying jobs… with clients that are easy to work with. First, log into your Upwork account and run a search for your niche: Then, click the “Filters” button. A list of filters you can apply will drop down: At a minimum, I recommend
There’s actually three… and an exact order to put them in. But, THIS is definitely the most important. It’s the one thing you can change about your Upwork profile overview, in a matter of minutes, that will have the most impact. So, let me show you. (Quick side note: In this article, I’m talking about the “traditional” method of getting work on Upwork and what you’ll, ultimately, want to do long-term. But, if you’re brand new, I have a non-traditional method that’s been working very well for my students. I wrote up an article on that HERE that I recommend
When I first started on Upwork, they didn’t do this. At least, not that I remember. But, apparently, it’s becoming more and more of an issue because I’ve been getting asked this a lot more lately. And, the thing here is… when you understand what Upwork’s goals are and how it’s technology works to support those goals, the answers here start to become obvious. Take this, for example: In case it’s not clear… This is an Upwork employee stating that WHO performs a search and WHEN they perform it affects Upwork’s search results. So, if you’ve been thinking that Upwork
This is the weirdest [email protected]# I get: And, this is not unique. I once had this guy stalk me for about a year. He’d send me these 10-page emails where he spent 9 pages telling me all the ways I was an idiot, then the last page outlining what he needed ME to help him with. I finally blocked him on email. Then, he went to Twitter. Blocked him there and he want to YouTube. Then, Facebook. He was obsessed with telling me how dumb I was… Then, asking for my help. I still can’t explain it. Anyway, to his
I’d been on Upwork about a few months. And, I decided to try this “crazy” thing that ended up being the single most profitable freelancing strategy I’ve discovered. I wound up with 39 job invites that next month. I’d had none the month before and 3 the month before that. It got so bad, I had to turn off my availability in Upwork. And, that year I had my first six-figure year freelancing. When, I started teaching… I took the exact same strategy and applied it to selling my courses. And, it’s how I’ve sold 1000s of copies of those
This is what happened when I turned my digital marketing “machine” exclusively toward my courses on SkillShare: I went from 5,000 minutes of watch time in April… To almost 30,000 minutes in August. And, September is on pace to surpass August. That’s a 600% increase in watch time. And, this is real money in my pocket, because SkillShare pays its teachers based on watch time. So, that’s also a 600% increase in my earnings from SkillShare since April. Here’s another one: That’s 101 students in April to 441 in August. An over 400% increase. None of this is to brag.
“I got, I got, I got, I got Loyalty, got royalty inside my DNA Cocaine quarter piece, got war and peace inside my DNA I got power, poison, pain and joy inside my DNA I got hustle though, ambition, flow, inside my DNA I was born like this, since one like this” — Kendrick Lamar Was rockin’ this song this morning. Got me thinking… My daddy was a gamblin’ man. Not in the old west sense, but absolutely in the early 2000s America sense. The first house I lived in in Colorado he built himself. Took a risk on owning
Came across this on Twitter: I booked this gig using @Upwork btw. This platform has been priceless in my freelance writing career. I’ve been using it for years now. Just passing on a useful tool for all the creatives out there. https://t.co/jQRjXplar8 — Rob Sherrell (@RobJustJokin) September 18, 2018 “But, but Joooohn…” “There’s not any good clients on Upwork.” “This. Does. Not. Compuuuuuuu—” Ooooooor, maybe just maybe all the know-it-alls who rant and rave about how awful Upwork is are wrong. Naaaaaaaaah. Couldn’t be. Sigh. Look. The truth about Upwork is what it’s always been. There’s amazing clients that pay
Got this from Nick: “If the unemployment rate in the USA is 3.9%, why would you Not Want a regular job especially when it clearly a employees market better than in the Dot Com days.” My response: I want to homeschool my kids. I don’t want to commute. I want to be able to work the hours I want. I don’t want to have a boss. I don’t wanna deal with co-workers. I wanna make what I want to make instead of begging my boss for a raise. I don’t wanna work on projects I don’t want to or for
Womp, womp. Ring the alarms, boys! We got us another “epic takedown” of Upwork. Read ’em and weep: Sigh. Guffaw. Welp, guess I’ll cancel all my Upwork contracts… And, pack it up. Seriously, though… average pay rates are maybe the least useful metric ON Upwork. Clients hire all sorts of freelancers… they could be paying some dude 5/hour to walk their dog for all we know. Anyway, Danny Margulies said it best: Here’s a great example. This client’s average hourly rate is 15.28/hour: Yet, they just dropped over 5k… 70/hr for 82 hours on a freelancer: Imagine if you wrote this
It’s a kind of “tale of two freelancers”. Here’s the first: “Sounds like a lot of bullshit for pennies. There are simply MUCH better ways of making money using the skills you already possess as a freelancer. Ever heard of “high income skills”? Probably not…get paid what you’re worth.” — Steve Guzman And, here’s the second: “Thanks so much John! I recently started freelancing and all of your tips have helped me to stand out and land my first gig :)” — Jaaster Dev Opinion vs results. You’ll notice that the people who rag on Upwork or freelancing, in general,
It’s interesting when you talk to people who’ve had success on Upwork… how eerily similar and simple their approach is. A lot simpler than most imagine. This comes from this question I saw on Quora: “I’ve tried my best in UpWork, yet I can’t get any job. Should I give up?” Reading through the answers, you’ll see a pattern: Don’t copy/paste your proposals Specialize don’t generalize Be picky about the jobs you bid on Charge more Use good grammar It’s not rocket surgery. But, to the question, I think this answer said it best: “It doesn’t matter if the platform
Upwork is like the PHP of freelance sites. The most dominant player in the industry, but the one everybody loves to hate for some reason. I guess when you get big enough, it’s inevitable. But, because of that… I get asked a lot: “Is Upwork worth it?” Rather than me answer (again), why not hear from someone who has had massive success on Upwork… over 400k earned, in fact. This is Adam: “Before getting involved with Upwork, I was in a significant amount of debt from several failed businesses, from restaurants to apps, and the company I was currently working
In today’s podcast, I reveal the “non-secret” to making 100K as a freelancer. From Benjamin Franklin to Thomas Edison, both Trump AND Clinton, Dwight Eisenhower… Every successful person ever talks about it. But, so few DO it. Anyway, it’s here: https://www.johnmorrisshow.com/343/ Listen… and then DO. Later, John
Yes, you read that right. Upwork is going public. They quietly filed to do so at the end of July. These IPOs are always a bit tricky. Lots of potential for growth and collapse all at the same time. So, one has to wonder… Is this just a big cash grab for investors before they jump ship? Or, is this just the next logical step in growing the business? Will Upwork still be around 5 years from now? Here’s what I think you can expect: Later, John
For all their blubbering and sniveling… There IS one thing Upwork haters get right. It’s getting way more competitive. I mentioned this before, but freelancing is exploding. 36% of the U.S. population already freelances. In the next 10 years, that will jump to over 50%. Plus, tech is also on the rise. Hitting its highest workforce rate since the dotcom bubble. So, all those freelancers ain’t gonna be walking dogs. They’ll be developers and designers just like you. That’s, in part, why Upwork decided to begin “curating” its freelancers and not just letting any swinging… ahem… in the front door.
I get a kick out of these guys… But, YOU have a choice to make. Who are you gonna believe? This guy: “UpWork is a joke… Clients on there are awful, getting paid is in no way guaranteed. I mean, you can’t even gain valuable experience, let alone earn a living. UpWork might not be a scam, but it is a joke.” Oh well then. You’re totally unsubstantiated opinion convinced me. Nevermind, Upwork does suck. Eye roll. So, you gonna believe that or these: “Yes! I get almost all of my work through Upwork. Great clients, long-term relationships, well-paying jobs. Upwork is
This is bigger than even Upwork, really. Take a minute and really think about it. But, anyway, let’s get into it… Web development was the first thing I came across in my life that I really believed, deep in my soul, was my “way out”. I’ve talked about this before… But, I came from a dirt poor family. I lived in a trailer house. A run-down, dirty one, in fact. And, when you grow up like that, you’re always looking for something to “get you out”. For some people, it’s football or basketball. Others it’s music. Whatever it is… It’s
This is a SPAM email I just got: Subject: Can you answer me soon Greetings, You may be completely unaware that a few things you’re doing in your website may be boring your visitors half to death. And a visitor who’s bored is a visitor who’s gone. I’m a Web designer, one simple secret will help you identify any snooze-inducing issue on your website and I will quickly eliminate them. My portfolio is ready for viewing if you’re interested. Besides the price, I cater to what my client wants and that’s why my clients love the service I provide. Let’s
One of the tougher clients I ever dealt with was one of these “enlightened” types who likes to run around singing koombaya and telling everyone how “centered” and “ego-less” they are. Of course, they’re usually the most intolerant… And judgmental people you’ll meet. Anyway, her site had this weird setup where people could only access a certain lesson for 72 hours or something like that. And, she hired me to write the plugin that did all this checking and whatnot. So, I did. And, a few weeks later, she came back and said she was having problems with the timer
It was my junior year of high school. I remember it vividly. The moment everything switched. Up to that point, I was the class mule. The butt of every joke. Picked on relentlessly. Ugly, poor, stupid. Whatever they could think up… I got attacked with it. For over 10 years of my life. After awhile, you start to believe it. You start to believe something is wrong with YOU. And, there’s nothing you can do to change it. Then, I grew three inches and put on 30 pounds of muscle in one summer (with a lot of hard work in
Job security is mostly an illusion. Any company can go out of business at any time. I was just reading this story the other day from this guy named Steve. This was back in the early 90s. He was working on this project that affected the entire state of Utah. And, had a project manager who didn’t know his arse from… Well, you know. For example… They had no systems for testing. None. Everything was just rolled live immediately. Bug fixes were just tested on production servers. And, his project manager thought it was no big deal. He talks about
I stumbled across this on Instagram: “Every Monday I send out invoices and ever since I raised my rates, Mondays have also become absolutely the hardest part of my week. As much as I love money, ASKING for money from the clients that I have actually provided something of value to makes me really uncomfortable.” Ain’t that the truth. At first, it just feels weird. And, there’s all these insecurities around, “Am I worth it? Do my clients feel like they’re getting their money’s worth? Are they eventually just going to drop me, because they feel like they’re getting screwed?”
I think a lot of developers make a mistake when thinking about this… that CAUSES that insecurity. You’re probably taking a generalist’s view of freelancing and “what if I get asked to do something I can’t do?”
Got this comment on YouTube: “But do you think this is a good profile? I don’t want to bump my profile here just like that, but if you could check, perhaps you could use me as an example 😀 But this is what you mean following your advice, right?” I took a look and… Sigh. Sometimes, I hate being the bad guy… But, no. Not even close. But, I feel like it’s my job to be ruthlessly honest so you can get better, because me filling you full of hot air and telling you it’s great (when it’s not) won’t
I got this question on YouTube the other day: “How do I create a client base outside of freelance networks?“ Actually, I get this question a lot. And, usually, it comes from someone who’s about to send letters full of anthrax to the owners of Upwork (or Freelancer, Guru, etc) because they’ve tried everything and can’t get clients. Let me tell you a story… I often talk about what happened to me after I changed my approach on Elance and how I started sucking in clients like kids to a candy store. But, I talk less about what happened before.
Subscribe to the Podcast [saf] Nobody owes you anything. Period. If you haven’t heard, Upwork just changed the fees it charges to freelancers. It moved from a flat fee of 10% to a “sliding fee structure” like this: First $500 of lifetime client earnings – 20% $500+ up to $10,000 – 10% $10,000+ – 5% And boy oh boy did the kids get angry! Check out some of these comments: “go hang yourself. I hope all your people leave and you are dead.” “U evil. Stahp.” “This is the worst policy any market place have ever taken.” “Moderate your greed. (Even
Subscribe to the Podcast [saf] Do you judge a suit by the tailor’s bill or the fit and finish of the clothes themselves? Do you judge a car by the MSRP or how it feels when you hit the gas? Do you judge a dinner by the cost or the taste and tenderness of the steak? I get this all the time… Freelancers who complain about freelancing sites like Upwork because clients always go with the lowest bidder. And, so-and-so from XYZ country can afford to low-ball me… yada, yada. Look, price is as big of a problem as you allow
In this episode of the John Morris Show we dive into the new features in PHP 7, using the MVC design pattern, writing your bio on Upwork to get more clients, our weekly Q&A and more: Here’s the line-up: Opening and Managing Negativity in the Web Developer Community [00:37] The New Features in PHP 7 [13:40] The Thinking Trap That Stops Most Developers From Being Successful [24:28] MVC: What You Need to Know [35:08] Writing Your Upwork Service Description [48:27] Weekly WebDev Q&A [1:03:34] Links mentioned in this episode: Head First Design Patterns The MVC Pattern and PHP MVC For
My first few months on Upwork (Elance) were a disaster. I wasted a lot of time bidding on dead-end or low-payout jobs, working with horrible clients and making much less than I wanted (read: needed). About a year later, I was doing well enough to leave Upwork forever and get all my clients through repeat business, referrals and my own website… charging what I wanted and clients seeking me out. Now, I have an Upwork course where I’ve helped, to date, 3,739 other Upworkers make a similar kind of transition. I’m not special or overly smart. I just figured out
I was recently asked to answer this question on Quora and it’s something I get asked quite a bit: Do you have to take the skill tests on Upwork.com? You don’t have to but I highly recommend you do. My answer below explains why. Upvote if you get value from it: You have to take the “Upwork Readiness Test for Independent Contractors and Company Managers” test (as of when I joined). Beyond that, you don’t have to take any of the other tests. And, while some of the other commenters are right that you can have success without taking any of
The simple secrets to high-paying freelance clients
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