Looting From Your Clients

I once had a client who was reluctant to work with me because he’d previously worked with a developer on Upwork and caught that freelancer watching porn when he was supposed to be working and tracking time for the client.

I’ve had clients whose freelancers took their money and never delivered on the project. I’ve had clients who’ve worked with different developers for up to two years to try and get their site built, paying thousands of dollars, and still had nothing to show for it.

I could go on and on with the horror stories I’ve heard from clients.

And to be honest with you I have zero respect or sympathy for freelancers who do this kind of thing. I’ve even had some contact me and ask me for my advice on their career. And my advice is always the same: quit being a dirtbag.

They give the rest of us a bad name and they make it 10 times harder for us to work with our clients. Because those clients often come in jaded and skeptical and much more difficult to work with.

They’re like the ANTIFA thugs, looting and rioting, ruining it for all the legitimate protestors doing it peacefully.

But I’ll assume that’s not you.

(If it is, quit being a dirtbag!)

But there’s two big lessons that I want you to draw from all of this.

The first is that this is some of your competition. And I say that because I see a lot of freelancers who tend to overthink what it takes to be successful as a freelancer. They get caught up in freelancing sites or fancy marketing or social media or any of the hot new trends that come up that, while important and useful, can also distract you from the thing that matters most to your long-term success.

And that is your character.

How you treat people.

If you’re honest, trustworthy and reliable.

The sad truth of our industry is there’s a lot of freelancers out there who simply are not. That IS a bad thing but it’s also a good thing from a competitive sense. Because if you’re NOT a dirtbag, you already have an advantage.

A bigger advantage than you might think or realize.

So, take solace in that.

Know that once you get going, clients will see you for who you are, see your quality character, they’ll appreciate it, they’ll recognize that it’s rare and they’ll want to work with you again and again and again and again. And whenever someone asks them who they recommend, your name will be the first out of their mouth.

THAT is how you win the long game.

There’s no other magic secret.

No fancy marketing trick.

No social media hack.

Be a good person. Do right by people. It really IS that simple.

The second lesson here, though, affects that “getting going” part. It’s a realization you must have in order to truly understand what it takes to get a client to hire you. And, when you have this epiphany, it becomes crystal clear what you need to do in order to sell yourself.

Then, suddenly, all of your marketing, all of your social media, all of your networking — everything that you’re doing to put yourself out there and try and get clients — takes on a whole new tone and the results you’re getting improve drastically.

Because you understand where your clients are coming from.

What their biggest fear is.

And what you need to do to alleviate that fear, so they’ll hire you.

And that, put bluntly, is the fear of getting screwed.

They’re jaded. They’ve likely already been screwed over at least once. They’ve had money essentially stolen from them.

Now imagine if that had happened to you. Would you be a little reluctant? Would you be a little skeptical? Would you ask annoying questions and not care?

You know darn well you would.

So, you have to understand that mindset when you sit down to write an Upwork profile or build out a services page on your website or talk with someone at a networking event. You have to recognize that they’ve likely already been hurt.

They’re like a dog who’s been abused.

If you just walk up and start petting it, you’re likely going to get bit. Instead you have to take some time to earn its trust. To show it that you’re not like those other people that have hurt it. But once you DO that AND you back it up with your actions, that dog, those clients will be loyal to you forever.

Again, THAT is the big magic secret.

And it’s also why so many new freelancers struggle to have success on sites like Upwork or Freelancer or Fiverr or even just going out on their own, building their own website or networking etc.

Because they fail to recognize most clients are wounded.

And, they assume trust is easy and automatic.

And you can’t.

You have to CREATE trust.

Now, I know this to be true so wholeheartedly — it’s been shown to me so many times in my 15 years as a freelancer — that I sneakily inject into everything I teach. It’s like the plate of broccoli, covered in melted cheese, that I sneak into your dinner between the juicy steak and the luscious dessert.

In particular, in my Upwork course, in lesson 14 and lesson 21… I reveal what I call the trust threshold and how to build rapport with your clients to get them over that threshold — via email, Upwork messenger or whatever platform you use. And get them to trust you in an environment where we don’t see each other face-to-face and trust is much more difficult to create.

I show you all the things that I’ve learned in my 15 years as a freelancer, freelancing primarily online, to build that trust and get hired, create loyalty and create a lifetime client. There’s a reason my main client has been with me for over 10 years now.

And I show you what I do in those lessons.

In any case, you can take the course for free over on Skillshare. I created a video that explains the offer and how to get free access to all my courses and you can simply head to this link to watch the video and get free access: https://johnmorrisonline.com/skillshare



Join 7,700 Other Freelancers Who've Built Thriving Freelance Businesses

Over 7,700 other freelancers have started thriving freelance businesses using the information on this blog. Are you next? Subscribe below to get notified whenever a new article is posted and create your own success story:

You might also like

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.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join 7,700 Other Freelancers Who've Built Thriving Freelance Businesses

Over 7,700 other freelancers have started thriving freelance businesses using the information on this blog. Are you next? Subscribe below to get notified whenever a new article is posted and create your own success story:

Success Stories

Ready to add your name here?

Tim Covello

Tim Covello

75 SEO and website clients now. My income went from sub zero to over 6K just last month. Tracking 10K for next month. Seriously, you changed my life.

Michael Phoenix

Michael Phoenix

By the way, just hit 95K for the year. I can’t thank you enough for everything you’ve taught me. You’ve changed my life. Thank you!

Stephanie Korski

Stephanie Korski

I started this 3 days ago, following John’s suggestions, and I gained the Upwork Rising Talent badge in less than 2 days. I have a call with my first potential client tomorrow. Thanks, John!

Jithin Veedu

Jithin Veedu

John is the man! I followed his steps and I am flooded with interviews in a week. I got into two Talent clouds. The very next day, I got an invitation from the talent specialists from Upwork and a lot more. I wanna shout out, he is the best in this. Thanks John for helping me out!

Divyendra Singh Jadoun

Divyendra Singh Jadoun

After viewing John’s course, I made an Upwork account and it got approved the same day. Amazingly, I got my first job the very same day, I couldn’t believe it, I thought maybe I got it by coincidence. Anyways I completed the job and received my first earnings. Then, after two days, I got another job and within a week I got 3 jobs and completed them successfully. All the things he says seem to be minute but have a very great impact on your freelancing career.

Sarah Mui

Sarah Mui

I’ve been in an existential crisis for the last week about what the heck I’m doing as a business owner. Even though I’ve been a business for about a year, I’m constantly trying to think of how to prune and refine services. This was very personable and enjoyable to watch. Usually, business courses like this are dry and hard to get through…. repeating the same things over and over again. This was a breath of fresh air. THANK YOU.

Waqas Abdul Majeed

Waqas Abdul Majeed

I’ve definitely learnt so much in 2.5 hours than I’d learn watching different videos online on Youtube and reading tons of articles on the web. John has a natural way of teaching, where he is passionately diving in the topics and he makes it very easy to grasp — someone who wants you to really start running your business well by learning about the right tools and implement them in your online business. I will definitely share with many of the people I know who have been struggling for so long, I did find my answers and I’m sure will do too.

Scott Plude

Scott Plude

I have been following John Morris for several years now. His instruction ranges from beginner to advanced, to CEO-level guidance. I have referred friends and clients to John, and have encouraged my own daughter to pay attention to what he says. All of his teachings create wealth for me (and happiness for my clients!) I can’t speak highly enough about John, his name is well known in my home.

Sukh Plaha

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!

Mohamed Misrab

Misrab Mohamed

John has been the most important person in my freelance career ever since I started. Without him, I would have taken 10 or 20 years more to reach the position I am at now (Level 2 seller on Fiverr and Top Rated on Upwork).

Join 7,700 Other Freelancers Who've Built Thriving Freelance Businesses

Over 7,700 other freelancers have started thriving freelance businesses using the information on this blog. Are you next? Subscribe below to get notified whenever a new article is posted and create your own success story: