This is the first part in my series about freelancing. I’ll be answering your questions about finding clients, getting paid, and building your brand/business. Since earning more money is a big motivator, I’ll start with that.
To back things up for those just tuning in: Two years ago I quit my corporate job to start a travel company without much in the way of savings or a plan. One year ago after falling $21K in debt, I had started supplementing my income with freelance presentation design (i.e. making PowerPoints look good) and things had really started taking off. Fast forward to today, I’ve officially established a presentation design agency, hired two full-time contractors, paid off my debt, and now generate over five figures monthly in revenue.
And the craziest part of all? I don't have a website or any work publicly displayed online.
While half of my income is from contracts with large corporations and agencies, the other half stems from Upwork. For those who don’t know Upwork is a freelancer platform where you can bid and be awarded projects from clients all over the world. They didn’t pay me to write this post (promise!) but they were a key player in my success and will be mentioned often.
How much have I earned on Upwork since I started 1.5 years ago? $105,439-- $86K of it from this year alone.
Update 1/3/18: I ended the year with $101,448 made in 2017 off Upwork and $129,048 total earnings from the site.
(Disclaimer: Don’t get confused and think that I am taking home all of this money. I pay my designers, taxes, and Upwork [they take a 5-20% percentage.])
The first thing I want to talk about is your money mindset. Not having a stable and secure income was one of the most terrifying feelings starting out. I’ll never forget the morning, six months in, I looked at my earnings and realized that I wasn’t just surviving, but thriving as a freelancer. I literally ran around my place screaming, "I DID IT. I'M GOING TO MAKE IT!"
Here are some money mindsets to think about as a freelancer:
The biggest reason most people quit Upwork after just getting started is that they either get no work from being priced too high or low-paying work from bad clients. Specifically for Upwork, follow these pricing steps and you’ll likely see much greater success.
Well, that’s it for Part 1. Next week, be on the lookout for Part 2!