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How to start your career as a freelancer?

Things you need to know for freelancing as your career.


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Alexander Biega

3 years ago | 2 min read

You might hate me for this, Marketplaces (specifically Upwork) are the simplest way to start freelancing. Notice, I said “simple” not “best” or “easy”. I have started my freelancing/copywriting career on Upwork. It’s fast, cheap, and a good place to learn. The important thing with Upwork is DO NOT DEPEND ON UPWORK. This is kind of what has happened to me. I started out on Upwork with zero experience. I realize this was a mistake. Cold pitching and going to conferences to build up a network is a much better alternative. The one good thing about Upwork is the experience you can get there. After that, your income potential and personal development is limited. I will say that Upwork can be a great platform for freelancers of any skill level. Don’t make it your #1 source of income though.

Here’s some tips for upwork:

  1. Always charge what you’re worth.
  2. Never lower your prices.
  3. Watch out for client red flags (there are some crazy, evil clients on Upwork).
  4. Never work for free.
  5. When people are willing to pay for something they want, price is irrelevant 99% of the time.
  6. Always try to exceed the expectations of your clients. Your competitors won’t.

PS: I was requested by Danny Margulies. He used to be a freelancer. Now he teaches people how to be freelancers. He chose the teaching route because being a freelancer ain’t easy, no matter what.

Lessons that I have learned in my freelancing career :

  1. There are two types of freelancers- Those who are an expense, and those who help their clients make more profits The freelancers who get paid the most are the ones who increase profits. Be the freelancer who helps increase profits.
  2. Relationships = work- If you don’t have good relationships with your clients, you will get less work and less pay. If your clients like you more, they’ll always refer you to their friends and come back to you. But they won’t like you if you don’t help them achieve great results.
  3. Always put in more effort than your competition- Most people put in the least amount of effort possible because they want to get paid. That’s bad because your clients will notice that. When you give your client “extra” effort, they will notice that too. And you will be the only person they know who puts in extra effort, so you will always get work from them.
  4. Think in terms of transformation, not transaction- Every client you have is an opportunity to transform the world, and your freelance business, into something better. There is more at stake than money. Your success, and the success of your client, will determine the future. When you think about transformation, you will do better work and your clients will like you more. Thinking about transactions will make you unhappy and lonely.
  5. Make time or someone else will- While you are wasting your time, someone is investing theirs. Who do you think will get more clients, be happier, and make more money in the long run? The more time you invest in your clients and freelance business, the better EVERYTHING will be.
  6. Make sure people respect your schedule- Because you can work from home or anywhere, people think you have so much free time. They call you anytime and expect you to answer. This can put strains on your relationships. Set boundaries when you live with your spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend/children or you will become poor very quickly.

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Alexander Biega


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