Inspired by the great Jessica Chan’s post on Instagram. What are the non-tech skills you need to cultivate to go from good to great in web development? 4 of hers, three of mine.
8 things to look at and rework if you’ve been applying for developer jobs and can’t get hired.
This Reddit thread blew up over the weekend with lots of devs feeling the same way. Is that you? If so, here’s advice from the community and my own thoughts and how to deal with feeling burnt out and overwhelmed.
Just uploaded a new episode of the podcast. Here’s the breakdown: Ever getting overwhelmed with how fast things change in web development and the constant learning you have to do to keep up? Heard the horror stories of developers getting burned out and scared it’s gonna happen to you? In this episode, I’m going to show you how to develop a habit of lifetime learning, the strategies I use for learning new things quickly and painlessly and how to develop and maintain stamina when learning AND in your career. Give it a listen here: https://www.johnmorrisshow.com/jms394-how-to-develop-a-habit-of-lifetime-learning-without-getting-burned-out/
Just uploaded a new episode of the podcast. Here’s the breakdown: Changing (or thinking about changing) your career to development, but uncertain because you’re a bit older? Not sure how you to make the switch and still pay the bills? Unsure if you can even make it as a developer. In this episode, I’ll show you how I made the switch later in life — what you need to know skill-wise, how to build a resume, how to get interviews and how develop plan to manage your switch. Give it a listen here: https://www.johnmorrisshow.com/jms393-how-to-change-your-career-to-development-later-in-life/
Just uploaded a new episode of the podcast. Here’s the breakdown: The future of web development is clear. You can choose one of 3 paths. And, if you’re not on the right one, FOR YOU, it’s going to be increasingly difficult to succeed. Fortunately, it’s all about self-awareness and is 100% within your control. It just comes down to knowing those 3 paths and which one is best suited to YOU. I’ll tell you how to figure that out in this episode. Give it a listen here: https://www.johnmorrisshow.com/jms390-the-future-of-web-development/
Winners don’t sell themselves short. Winners don’t expect other people or platforms to do it for them. Winners don’t make excuses. They don’t whine and complain when Upwork changes its fee structure or starts charging to bid on jobs. They don’t immediately blame “crappy clients” when a project goes wrong or they don’t get hired. Not because these aren’t true. Sometimes they are. But, because they’re not productive. They weaken you as a competitor. Like a basketball player blaming their loss on the refs. The refs could’ve been terrible. Doesn’t matter. Win anyway. That’s what the greats do. That’s what
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,
When it comes to freelance marketing, this is the most important thing I can teach you. It’s not sexy or flashy. In fact, it’s a lot of hard work. But, it’s the one thing I know I can rely on year after year, no matter the scenario. And since I started doing it, my business has grown over 500%. So, take it for what it’s worth to you.
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
Sam Walton started in the first Walmart in Rogers, Arkansas. If you look, today, the population is about 66,000… but back then it was just 5,700. And, he did this despite the prevailing wisdom at the time that a mass retailer needed to be started in a big city, otherwise it would fail. But, Walton actually listened to his customers. He knew that consumers in rural areas often bought in larger quantities because they had larger families and took fewer trips to the store. The result is, of course, the largest retailer on the planet, today. Listening to your customers/clients
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
That’s the headline. Of the most effective services sales page I ever ran. In fact, I ran it for years on my site before I whittled down to just one client. It’s easily brought in tens of 1000s of the greenbacks for me. I don’t care what kind of web development you do… This should be your headline. It grabs the reader by the eyeballs… And, forces them to read. Because, it’s every client’s worst nightmare. It’s like a car wreck, they can’t NOT look. And, it works no matter what kind of services you offer. Of course, you gotta
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…
Do you know about the Global Game Jam? It’s a challenge/event to create games in one weekend in hundreds of locations worldwide. Anyway, chat about that and how to stay laser-focused in a world full of distractions and chaos. Specifically, that focus is NOT about discipline or will power and the 3 things you need to do to stay focused no matter what’s happening around you.
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
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
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
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
I’ve always been smarter than most of the people I know. It might sound arrogant, but it’s just something I’ve always known. I was constantly told how smart I was growing up. All the things I’d do with my life because I was smart. How “easy” I’d have it. After a while, I started to believe it. And, I began to believe that “being smart” meant I was destined to be successful. That, one day, it’d just happen. By 28, it hadn’t happened. And, I remember I would sit there and stew over it. “How can all these dumb people
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
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
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
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
The simple secrets to high-paying freelance clients
What makes clients willing to pay $5,000, $10,000 even $20,000 and up for your services? Download and install my mobile app and I’ll show you. It’s free. Just click the button below:
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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.
John has a relaxed and engaging manner. His advice is solid and the explanations are well thought out.
Very professional worker who is extremely knowledgable in WordPress and Wishlist Member. I would definitely hire again.
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.
John is top-notch and a great guy to work with.
John and I have worked together on numerous projects. John is very quick and efficient and was a pleasure to work with.
I’m a fan. I have completed several of John’s courses. I find him very knowledgeable and he has a great delivery.
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.
John has a habit of over-delivering on the expectations he sets up. That’s why he’s the best.
John has provided expert knowledge and advice on multiple occasions that have helped me better serve my clients. John is a Rockstar!
John is a man of integrity, who gives generously of himself to projects and people he cares about.
John really delivers!
John has a particular knack for the development and training of others.
On the Freelancing on Upwork course: “This is by far the best course i have watched on Skillshare!! Thank you so much.”
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!