Finding the Time to Build Your Freelance Business

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 think that there a lot of developers stuck like me – doing work for others but lack of time for personal promotion. That would be actually a good topic for a blog post if you will, how to escape clients work and start your own promotion and build an online presence.”

There’s a lot of things I could tell you…

But, I think most of them would just be avoiding the real issue.

Because, the reality is… you probably have the time to do what needs done. Or, at least, you could find it if you really had to. Time management (or productivity) isn’t really about time, at all.

It’s about attention.

And, intensity.

It’s about where you choose to focus your attention and how intensely you pursue the activity in that moment. If you’re being honest, you probably can find plenty of moments where your attention or intensity is lacking.

And, that’s really the crux of this…

And, the thing I try to attack.

Most freelancers don’t do the promotion or content marketing they should, because they just don’t believe it’s that important. Thus, it’s okay to push it to the back-burner and never get to it.

And, what I’m here to tell you is it’s the opposite.

That, in fact, it IS the solution to your time problem.

Because, it is what will allow to eventually leave that 9-5 job and free up a bunch more time for you to focus on your business. It’s what will allow you to charge more for your services and therefore not need to take on as many clients.

That the thing that’s eating up your time…

And, keep you from promoting your freelance business…

Is you not promoting your freelance business.

It’s a catch-22.

But, the way out is simpler than you think. One of the things I teach new (and experienced) freelancers is how to create a “system” for consistently bringing in new, targeted clients.

What it really is… is a funnel.

And, once you build it, it’s 95% set and forget. In fact, my daily routine to promote my 6-figure business takes me less than an hour a day. And, that’s it. All my marketing and promotion for the day is done.

And, you can move onto other things.

And, the system builds you a backlog of clients.

And, all you really have to do is say yes or no to new clients.

So yes…

It takes some work upfront. There might be a long night or two in there. But, once it’s up and running, you can keep it running for less than an hour a day and it will methodically build your business and bring you clients.

In any case, this is what I teach in my Beginner’s Guide to Freelance course on Skillshare. Go here to learn how to enroll in the course for free:



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John Morris


I’m a 15-year veteran of freelance web development. I’ve worked with bestselling authors and average Joe’s next door. These days, I focus on helping other freelancers build their freelance business and their lifestyles.

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Bob Patterson

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.

Bradley Smith

John and I have worked together on numerous projects. John is very quick and efficient and was a pleasure to work with.

Steve Dimmick

Steve Dimmick

John has provided expert knowledge and advice on multiple occasions that have helped me better serve my clients. John is a Rockstar!

Thabo Motsoahae

John is one of the best instructors I have come across, I learned a lot from his online tutorials.

Daniel Mohlendick

On the Freelancing on Upwork course: “This is by far the best course i have watched on Skillshare!! Thank you so much.”

Andrew Malone

Andrew Malone

John Morris is exceptional in his ability to give focused insight into Freelancing and starting one’s business. His direct methods inspire confidence in his honesty.

Michael Skye

Michael Skye

John is a man of integrity, who gives generously of himself to projects and people he cares about.

Lewis Howes

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.

Aaron Gott

Aaron Gott

John has a particular knack for the development and training of others.

Xan Barksdale

Xan Barksdale

Very professional worker who is extremely knowledgable in WordPress and Wishlist Member. I would definitely hire again.

Chris Aitken

He significantly improved my site through his expert knowledge of PHP, CSS and Javascript. Would definitely recommend John to others.

Lori Grant

John did an outstanding job on my project. I highly recommend him and look forward to working with him on future projects.

Ray Edwards

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.