Mechanical Engineer From Montana Finds Lucrative Side Hustle on Upwork

DISCLAIMER: This post may contain “affiliate” links to products and services I recommend. I’ll receive a small commission if you decide to purchase one of these products or services. I only recommend products I genuinely believe will help you in running your freelance business.

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, a year out of college, I decided I wasn’t making as much as I wanted, so I started looking into things I could do on the side. Web development came up, and I decided that would be a good fit since I had some programming experience from college. I found a few of your videos (HERE) and blog posts (HERE) when I was looking for tutorials, and I subscribed to your email list for the Skillshare subscription (HERE).

Unfortunately, I quickly realized that being a web designer takes some artistic abilities (or at least an eye for color and design), which I didn’t have. That idea eventually fizzled out, and life got busy so freelancing was off my mind for a while.

Meanwhile, I was still subscribed to your email list, and although I wasn’t planning on being a web developer, I found your emails interesting, especially about freelancing in general. It didn’t take long to realize web development wasn’t the only way to freelance, so I started reading all your emails about freelancing (SIGN UP HERE) through the lens of a mechanical engineer, thinking about starting a freelancing business. It took a while for anything to come of it, but that was a game changer.

About 2 years later, I was 3+ years into my engineering career and working for a company where I knew my salary wasn’t going up anytime soon. I also had some time, so I talked my wife into letting me get a CAD software subscription and try my hand at freelancing in my spare time.

The initial investment was $810 for a 3-month Solidworks license, which was scary at the time. I really dug in to your guides about using Upwork (HERE) to get clients, and within a couple of weeks I had a few projects. I quickly learned what you meant by good clients vs. bad clients, and I had some of both. Once I got to a point where I knew I could at least break even, I wasn’t super motivated to get more projects because I had a few bad experience with clients. I also had a lot going on, so I was content to just work a few hours a week for one main client and make a few hundred bucks a month of profit. Not a great business plan, obviously, but I was content

A few months ago, my wife got accepted to medical school and we relocated to a different city, where I got a new job. Needless to say, our living expenses skyrocketed, and I knew I was going to have to be a lot more intentional about freelancing to make it work.

Fortunately, with all of your help, I was in a good position. I hadn’t really screwed anything up on Upwork, and I had a decent rating. No bad ratings, just a few projects with no feedback that took a long time to complete, which apparently the Upwork algorithm doesn’t like. I was getting a job invite every week or two, and I was landing most of the projects that I applied for. That’s all thanks to your awesome proposal writing strategies (HERE).

Within a few weeks, my rating was up, and I’m now getting 2-4 job invites a week! My portfolio isn’t even that good. My website is sparse. I’m not even looking for jobs anymore. I’m only putting 10-20 hours per week into this, and working full-time. I’m at a point where I know I could get enough clients to do this 40 hours a week and make as much as I make at my day job and freelancing combined if I really wanted to. I really like my day job and the stability it provides, but it’s nice to know I have that option.

Seriously, this is thanks to you. I haven’t done everything you suggest (I’m just starting to get into content development, I haven’t put much work into my portfolio, and my website barely meets the minimum requirements), but every single thing I’ve tried that you recommend has been a huge success. How to interact with clients. How to set rates (HERE). How to write a good proposal (HERE). How to build a strong Upwork profile (HERE). The list goes on.

Anyway, that rambled on way too long, sorry. The point is, you’re awesome. I’m a huge fan. Thank you for taking the time to put such great content out over the years, and doing it in a way that’s so genuine. That’s working. That’s what kept me coming back. Keep up the good work!”
 

Here’s the class Dan took: https://www.upwork101.com. The only difference between you and him, right now, is he acted on it. Will you? 

Later, 

John

You might also like

Do you want more freelance clients?

I’ll show you what I learned over the last 15 years to grind out (from absolute scratch) a backlog of new clients wanting to hire you. Who your best client prospect are, what services you should be offering them, where to find them and more. Just enter your email address in the box below and let’s get started:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
John Morris

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.

Do you want more freelance clients?

Enter your email below to get started building your system for consistently bringing in new freelance clients:

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

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!

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.

Thabo Motsoahae

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

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.

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.

Chris Aitken

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

Bradley Smith

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

Close Menu