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
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
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
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
Right after I built Platform University for Michael Hyatt. He has a massive following online. And, a bunch of his acolytes wanted a membership site just like his. Well, turns out I was 1 of 2 people in the world that could build it for them. And, the other guy wasn’t taking clients. So, I started getting a ton of quote requests for a “clone” of his site. I charged 3K a piece for these sites. But, I’d written the WordPress theme from scratch, myself. So, I had all the code. I knew exactly how to tweak it and set
This guy I know… Ahem… Once told me that veteran prostitutes demand their money upfront. Because they’ve learned the hard way that once a client gets what they want, they’re a lot more likely to walk away without paying. And, there’s not a lot they can do. Sound familiar? Oddly enough, I’ve never had a client flake like that. I guess growing up like I did, I always had that “[email protected]#$ better have my money” mentality. So, I came up with a system for getting paid that ensured I got mine… But, didn’t require the client to pay 100% upfront…
This isn’t mine. Credit to Jason Martin on Quora, but this story perfectly explains freelancing pricing and the “am I worth it” dilemma: A company is building a product, with a lot of money invested in it, but it just isn’t working. So they hire an outside engineer to look over the design. The consultant comes to the office, looks at the schematics for about 20 minutes, and then asks the director of the project for a pencil. The director taps his pockets, and realizes he doesn’t have one. “No problem”, says the consultant, and he opens his briefcase, opens a
A storm is brewing. I believe a lot of the people who are sitting back, living their comfy little lives are gonna have their world flipped upside down in the next 5- 10 years. They’re not prepared. Complacent. Ripe for the pickin’. I think people grossly underestimate what’s happening. We’re all frogs slowly boiling in the pot. Technology changes so rapidly around us, we almost don’t notice. Then, suddenly, everything we thought we knew vanishes and we’re left to try and pick up the pieces. Think about what’s happening with A.I. and robotics. How long before large swaths of our
I’ve easily made more benjamins as a result of following the great Ben Settle than any other “guru” or marketing expert out there. In fact, since I first listened to that podcast on that fateful day where I discovered him… I’ve quadrupled… and am about to quintuple my income. HE is why I email everyday. HE is why I stopped hard teaching in these here posts. HE is the one who cured me of my shiny object obsession. If my business is my baby… then HE is it’s baby daddy. One of the many things he taught me is how
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,
To hear my haters tell it, the things I do to run my business are “dirty”. I email everyday. I sell my products in every one of those emails. I don’t care one iota about follower counts, open rates, click-throughs or any of the other fake stats most online business owners fool themselves with. I don’t believe the customer is always right. I tell my students when they’re being obtuse. And, I’m never going to stop. Like I said… dirty, dirty, dirty. But, I believe something fundamentally. People abhor bullshit. At least, the people I want to work with. They’d
In the mid-2000s, I got put out of business. The rise of database-driven websites and applications like WordPress and Joomla made what I did obsolete. I rapidly lost all my clients. And, I had to go back to working at pizza restaurant. Disillusioned. Confused. And, believing I was “destined” to live my life this way. That’s what the chaos of technology can do. And, it’s happening even faster, today, than it was then. So, how do you survive? More, how can you GUARANTEE you’ll thrive as everything swirls around you? Can you? Funny thing is… It’s simpler now than it’s
The offer is crucial. You can do everything else right, as a freelancer, but if you screw up the offer, you’ll have a miserable time getting clients because they simply don’t want what you have. This is why I rag on the “generalist” web developer approach so much. Most FREELANCE clients don’t want that. If they did, they’d hire an employee. They want a specialist to build them XYZ thing. That change in offer, alone, has helped 100s of freelancers I’ve taught. Here’s a perfect example. After I built Platform University for Michael Hyatt, I started to get a bunch of
I’m one of those a-holios who doesn’t believe in luck. Chance? Sure. Luck. Meh. I think you make your luck by being disciplined and doing the right things. Then, chance tends to more often fall in your favor. But, it’s not some ethereal thing you either have or you don’t. It’s driven by how YOU behave. If luck were a thing, I’d be [email protected]#ed! Cuz, I ain’t never got none. I got a childhood full of horrors to prove that. Soooo, you can imagine how rustled my jim-jims were when I read this: “Luck is still a factor tho. Can
When little JMO was a wet-eared freelancer… This was the thing that frustrated me the most. It was like someone was crushing me in a vise-grip. On one hand, you have to spend all your time attending to clients and delivering… while on the other working ON your business to get new clients. And, it never seemed like I had enough time in the day. Something always suffered. Drove me nuts. My problem, then, is I was just flying by the booty of my denims. I had no plan. No system. Nothing to rely on. I just got up each
There’s so much BAD advice out there when it comes to freelancing. It’s no wonder people keep falling victim to these stupid myths like, “Freelancing is a numbers game”. No the hell it’s not. Not if you don’t wanna be miserable. Or, “anyone can freelance”. Meh. Maybe, that’s “technically” true because freelancing is a skill that just needs learned. But, that’s like saying “basketball is just a skill” so “anyone can be a pro”. Yeah no. Some people are just better suited to freelancing. And, it comes down to what you value most. If you don’t value certain things MOST,
I was reading this Instagram post from @martin_lasek. (I definitely recommend following him, BTW.) And, his advice was to let family be your first client to help you get comfortable working with clients. And, one thing he said jumped out at me: “Believe me the fact it‘s family doesn‘t make them an easier client it just makes it easier for you to enter the field of project management, delivering and actually finishing it.” Man! Is that so true? And, I’ve been back and forth on this. Family CAN be a great first client. And, it can help give you that
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
I got this question on a video of mine: “So how do you get the to pay for your larger fee vs the guy who will do it for 300.” I get this a lot. The “low-baller” problem. So, what I wanna share with you, today, is a dead simple way for not only dealing with low-ballers, but also be able to raise your freelances fees at will… and, not have clients think twice about it. And, it starts with a simple change in how you think about. Why do people buy a Rolex watch when a Timex tells time
For me, freelancing is about time. Not money. I want to spend as much time as I possibly can with my wife and kids. I want to homeschool my boys. Teach them everything I know. Create a real relationship with them so when they’re adults, we have a friendship beyond parent-child. It’s the most important goal in my life. That’s why I have turned down I don’t know how many “regular job” offers. It’s also why I’m very picky about what clients I work with. And, I why I’ve chunked running my business down to about an hour a day.
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
There’s lots of reasons: You’re just not that good at what you do. You’re not very good at dealing with people. You picked the wrong market and services to offer. I could go on and on. But, by far, the #1 reason freelancers fail is they never learn how to consistently get clients. They rely on luck or “word of mouth”. They try this and that, but never learn and apply anything consistently. They constantly worry that one day the clients will dry up. And, if that does happen… They have no idea how to fix it. That was me
Got this review from Mehandi: “This is one of the best tutorials I have ever seen on freelancing from any tutor. I will highly recommend this course among my peers and others as well.” I mean… Clearly, Mehandi is a bright fella. But, for realz… The #1 thing that holds most freelancers back is getting new clients. Not delivering, not managing their finances, not “work-life balance” or any other somesuch. Getting new butts in the chair. And, the #1 reason WHY… Is they’re shooting from the hip. No real idea HOW they’re getting the clients they got. No idea what
Fair warning if you’ve never been told. It’s important to never get too close to your clients. It’s a recipe for certain disaster. Something I learned the hard way… I had this client once I really liked. When we started, she was super laid back and easy to work with. She wasn’t trying to re-invent the wheel. And, she was actually willing to listen to me and my thoughts on her site. And, I felt like she really liked me, too. She always was pleasant when we talked. Always said nice things. Even as we worked through a stickier issue
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
This time of year, boy! Cracks me up. I assume your inbox was pounded with about 1000 Black Friday emails like mine was. CTRL+A. Delete. 😀 I used to HATE this time of year. In fact, it was right about this time, several years, ago I hit rock bottom. I remember, I was going into town to get the kids some gifts. And, I already felt awful because they weren’t really getting much. Because we were basically broke. And, I also had this thing I really wanted. And, I was driving, trying to figure out how I could do both. And, for
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
I learned this when my brother got into insurance. It was all but required for any new insurance agent and the primary way they went about drumming up those first few clients and building the network they’d use to reliably get clients the rest of their career. Going around with him… I quickly learned how hot a commodity I was as a web developer. And, had people asking me to build them websites from day one. It was easy to see why every insurance agent did this. Anyway, that’s #4 of the 5 tips I reveal in my latest video
Man! I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my freelance career. But, each time, I always learned something important that helped me be successful later on. But, these three. These three mistakes were the biggest lessons I learned in 14+ years of freelancing. So, I made this video to just tell you what they are and what to do to avoid them. Give it a watch here: And, I’d appreciate if you’d share it with any freelancers you know. Later, John
New video just posted for you. In this one… a lot of developers wanna hit that 100K range, but don’t have a plan for how to do it. THIS is how you build that plan to make sure you’re grinding in the right direction. Give it a watch: And, I’d appreciate if you’d share it with any developers you know. Later, John
I’ve worked from home full-time for 8 years now. My little brother is going on 3 years. My mentor has worked from home full-time for ever a decade and a half. And, we all do it in very different ways. If that’s something you’d like to do, watch this video: I’ll show you what I do. What they do. And, several other ways you can be a developer AND work from home. Later, John
I remember this construction job I had. I must’ve pissed somebody off, at some point, because I got relegated to “trash guy”. I remember I used to battle with my watch. It took everything in me to not keep looking down at it. I’d think an hour had gone by and it’d be just 15 minutes. On this one site, I had my “spot”. It was a bell tower for a church. And, it had these loud ass steps. So, I’d go up there, clean it up real quick then go take a nap in one of the nooks up
I had this talk with my parents, last night. Most people have a warped view of what wealth is. I was telling them how my vision goes way beyond just myself. I don’t just want to have made myself wealthy. I want my kids and their kids and their kids and so on… to be wealthy. To build a kind of family dynasty. Where the habits that lead to wealth are just expected. The resources. The knowledge. That’s how legacies are built. And, growing up the way I did, I NEVER want my kids or grandkids or great grandkids to
Wanna sell your freelance services a lot easier? I mean without feeling like a sleezeball? Without needing to read 1000 books and become a sales genius? Quick story… The project I worked on for Inc. Magazine, I worked for this guy named Lewis. He was some kind of director at the company. I can’t remember exactly what, but he had quite a few people who worked for him. He’d written several books. One big best-seller, if I remember right. Dude was a heavyweight. And, he didn’t take any [email protected]#. I remember the first meeting we had. I don’t think I’ve been
I got this from Mikhail: Another example of how simple this can be. Your job is to grind. Mine is to point you in the right direction. In any case, I’ll keep it short, today. If you wanna become another success story like this… yes, of course, I truly believe in my courses and the fact that they’ll help you get there… and faster. BUUUUT… Don’t do what 90% do. Don’t join up and then do nothing. GRIIIIIIND! Hit it hard. Squeeze very last drop out of it. THAT is how you win. Anyway, if you want to know what
This from the Joelsuf-inator: “One thing I’ve discovered is that doing this DOES require the same kind of productivity as a full time job. Just because you’re making money from home does not mean you can just cut your commitment levels in half. In many cases you should be tripling your commitment. I’m discovering this now. Sure I can pick anytime during the day to work, but I better be productive for 8-12 hours a day like with any kind of job. Separate learning from marketing from doing work.” I literally can’t say it better. As sure as the Earth
IIIIIIII know. Get your “scaaaammer” shrieking and eye rolls in since I said the evil phrase: “make money”. Ok, done? Aight… noooow. Had this guy, Chase, email me and ask me this for a blog post he’s writing. Normally, I ignore this stuff. But, I’m feeling froggy. So, I decided I’m gonna answer him. And, this is what I’m going to say: Persistence. The reality is this. No matter how smart you think you are. No matter how good you think your idea is. The likelihood of you succeeding at the very first entrepreneurial thing you try is about 0.00000000000000001%.
This is that turning point I keep bringing up: You get a little taste of success. But, really don’t know how. Then, all of sudden, it stops. And, all the fears… all the doubts and insecurities, all the “why me” and “can’t ONE thing just [email protected]#ing work!?”… the nightmares about being stuck in a 9 to 5 forever, all the people saying, “I told you so”. You bounce from depressed to pissed to confused… This is the moment you decide to get serious… Or, walk away. THIS is what I mean by building a real business around your freelancing services. KNOWING
1000 things you could do here… But, let me tell you what I actually did. First… my first several clients all hired me because they’d seen some YouTube videos I did that were pretty close to what they wanted. At the time, I didn’t have a portfolio up, testimonials or even a page selling my services. They just found my email and emailed me. This is why I constantly beat the “create content” drum. It can work when you have nothing else. Second… all the projects I worked on were small. Fix a CSS bug here. Write a little PHP
The #1 question I get from people who WANT to get into freelancing. But, it’s interesting because 63% of people who DO freelance believe that a diversified portfolio of clients is MORE stable than a single employer. To me, it comes down to HOW you do it. So, I decided to do a video and explain that. If you’ve thought about getting into freelancing, but have been worried about the income stability, THIS is the video you should watch: Later, John
There’s a moment in every Freelancer’s career. You’ve got a few clients… Things seem to be going well. But, you’re not really sure how it all happened. You’re not making quite enough to feel comfortable. And, you can’t help but worry, constantly, about what happens if you lose one of our clients… and can’t get another. It’s a turning point. Figure it out and you go onto a successful freelance career. Don’t and you get stuck… unable to grow. Eventually, most give up. For me, it was “the hockey guy”. A hockey training membership site I’d built for a guy.
This is a really good question from Jeenie: Two things: First… and, I know, I know… “that’s what you ALWAYS say”. That’s because it’s true. It goes back to selling on value. The value you offer to a client should be MORE than time saved. The expertise you bring to the table. The quality of work. The reassurance it’s being done right. A whole host of “value-added” benefits beyond time saved. So, sure… Maybe, her client could do it themselves in 15 minutes. But, will it be done right? Will it be done to the same level of quality? Will
This is probably the hardest thing to convince freelancers of: It’s such a mindset shift. I think most freelancers, understandably, are a bit desperate when they start out. Hell, I was. I was trying to leave a 9-to-5 I hated. I was looking for something to just “work” and help me escape. And, I’d have begged clients if I had to. So, I get it. And, frankly, early on… You probably should work with clients who don’t pay well… And, are awful to work with. You just need experience… any experience almost. But, if you really wanna make the next
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 guess I’m just an a-hole. My problem was always the other people I worked with. In particular, my boss. I just couldn’t work for someone I knew I was clearly smarter than and have to swallow my pride and run with all their dumb ideas. Like I said… a-hole. So, I’ve always known I had to be my own boss. I’d go insane otherwise. But, I always believed this naive notion that if I worked hard, did good work and did right by people, things would work out. My employers would see that and I’d be rewarded for it.
Who else wants to build a thriving freelance business?
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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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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).