GOLD! Most liked posts in thread: Did It: Zero to $12k a Month While Traveling the World
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"Freelancer" basically means an individual working for different companies at different times rather than being permanently employed by one company.
The concept is simple:
If an employer can afford to hire you, that means that he's making money off of you. You might as well just work for yourself and get paid what you're actually worth in the market. What you're worth is based on how well you market yourself, and the value that you provide.
What are you good at?
How can you make someone else money, or their life better?
Those are the questions you need to answer. Then you need to figure out how much the market values those skills, and how you can go out and find people to pay you for those skills.
Good luck man.
I would say I get half my clients from referrals and the other half from content I've produced.
I set myself apart by ignoring my competition and focusing 100% on my prospect. If I think I can get the the results they want I use past success to prove to them I can do it. Then I use creative deal making to lower their risk and make it a no brainier decision.
I used to think this kind of stuff too but the better I get, the less competition I see.
Indeed there are a ton of freelancers but the majority of them are lacking sales skills which leaves them hovering around Upwork competing for the same low paying jobs.
When I talk to prospective customers I am ALWAYS the only one that takes the time to learn about them and their company to identify their specific problems so I can present solutions to THOSE problems.
I show them solutions to their problems. Everyone else shows them a website with 8 pages.
The market being flooded doesn't really mean anything.
Most people seem to give up so easily while I refuse to give up.
It's not just business. When I go into our storage room to find a ball pump and don't find it right away, it's not uncommon for me to have every single box out looking for it...
Over the last few years I've developed a different idea of challenge. It empowers me now. When something doesn't work out right away I get excited. It's weird, honestly.
I get a burst of energy to find that ball pump even though I don't even need it that bad. If I don't end up finding it and do decide to give up eventually, I feel a terrible despair.
That's probably it. When I look back over the last 2 years I can count on 1 hand the things I gave up on before I succeeded.
It's a magical thing too, because once you realize that you have this power, your confidence goes through the roof. When you know without a doubt that you are the type of person that will find a way to the finish line NO MATTER WHAT, you know that you will eventually get what you want.
Then the matter becomes really figuring out what you want, but that's a WHOLE different topic.
Someone asked me in a private message how I recommend they get better at sales. I thought the response would be useful to others in here so I'm posting it publicly.
"Hey! Thanks for taking the time to read my post. I'm glad you got something out of it.
As far as sales goes, it's actually really easy. It starts with truly understanding people and why they do what they do. I learned a lot of this from Tony Robbins.
The way I make sales is I talk to my prospect and do my absolute best to understand them, their business, what they are trying to do, what is holding them back, and what they would like from me. A lot of it is just asking a ton of questions until there's nothing left hiding.
Once I have a clear understanding of the entire situation, I know whether or not I can help them. If I can, I make a plan and present it to them while making sure they know that what I'm really selling is my commitment to solving their problem. If I can't help them then I try to point them to someone who can.
Sales really starts with a mindset of wanting to help as much as possible. Forget about yourself completely and focus 100% on helping them achieve their goals. The cool thing is that if you can get good at helping other achieve their goals, money will magically find it's way to your bank account.
There are lots of strategies, tips, and tricks when it comes to sales, but starting from a place of wanting to make your customers' lives better is the best way to go."
First of all, back when I read TMF I decided then and there I was going to make it happen for myself. Up until that point I guess I just wasn't sure if it was something I could do. Once I learned that other people just like me were changing their lives, I knew there was a way I could it as well.
The thing about mindset is that it's a feedback loop. I look at it like this:
1. I decide to start persevering on everything in my life.
2. I make my way through various situations that require me to try over and over to succeed at something before I get the results I'm after. This is a new pattern of behavior for me so I have to make a conscious effort to do it.
3. My subconscious mind and nervous system get used to this mode of action slowly over time.
4. The decision sinks in even deeper and becomes something I do unconsciously. It becomes who I am.
I think this is true in every part of life. This is why knowing is never as good as doing. Knowing something consciously is easy and only uses a small part of your brain. Doing something allows the rest of your brain and body to know it as well.
The way I made sure I would follow through is I designed my living situation so that I had no choice. At least I felt like I had no choice. This was key.
As far as Tony Robbins' material, I didn't do all the exercises the first time through. Just reading was enough for me to have a thousand epiphanies about life based on my past experiences and current interactions with others.
I've read through Awaken the Giant Within twice and did the exercises in my head the second time. I also listened to Personal Power II while driving to and from work and did the exercises in my head.
A little hack I did was using my Apple Watch to set myself reminders to "consider the pleasure and pain of a decision I made that day". After a month or so of practicing thinking of things in terms of pleasure or pain the material really started to sink in and all my interactions with others improved.
I will go over this material once a year for the rest of my life as I think it's so critical to understand how and why do things on an individual basis. It helps a ton with copywriting and sales as well, understanding why people do what they do.
Simply understanding the fundamentals of human behavior is incredibly effective for business. Think about it, business is all about trading humans value for money. Understanding what they find valuable, why they find it valuable, and how they decide to buy it gets you a really long ways towards having a successful company.
Besides business, Tony Robbins' material has helped me understand my friends and family better which has given me A LOT more empathy for them than I used to feel.
My suggestion is to split your time in half between doing and studying.
My approach to trying new things had changed a lot.
I start by writing down what I know now. I make a list of questions as thorough as I can and I answer them with my present knowledge.
Let's use surfing as an example since I'll be trying that soon.
I have never surfed or taken a lesson. I've spent a lot of time thinking about it though and applying my knowledge of snowboarding to what I expect surfing to be like.
Next, I'll rent a board and go give it a try. I'll probably struggle at some parts and be pretty good at others.
Then I'll go get a lesson. By this time I'll already have some working knowledge and experience to use as a foundation for learning the details. I'll likely have some questions and be able to get more out of the lesson than I would have with zero foundation.
This is what I recommend for people starting something like web design.
First, write down the steps you'll take the best you can with your current knowledge. Then, go find a YouTube video and follow along in buying a domain, setting up hosting, and start in on building the site.
See how far you can get. It will be a struggle and that's GOOD.
If you reach points you can't progress past, use Google to help. You can literally Google your way to building anything online...
Once you have a website live and you have produced something, then go find a course.
You will have a solid foundation of experience to build your knowledge on.
Without the foundation the knowledge will have no leg to stand on.
Ive learned to use courses as a boost rather than a foundation.
I'm sure will disagree, but one thing we can all agree on is that it's really easy to get into the trap of taking tons of course and feeling like you're taking action even though you aren't actually producing anything.
Producing vs Consuming 101.
I use WordPress to build 99% of the websites I build. I use page builders which make it easier.
My clients don't hire me for the tools, they hire me for the results I get.
What goes on the website and how it fits in with their sales system, business, and customers experience is where I add the real value.
Business is all super simple. People will pay for what they want or need, so if you can deliver that, they will pay you for it.
People don't come to me for websites. They come to me to help them sell more product and acquire more customers.
I'm glad you joined TFF. Its a good place to surround one's self with like-minded people.
The review funnel thing started with Grade.us.
You can purchase their service for 3 websites for 90/mo. There are tons of these services these days so you can probably do a search for "review management" and find a bunch.
Some of my clients didn't need the full reputation management service so I made a very similar thing with WordPress.
Be aware that "review gating" is against Google terms of service so don't try to ward off bad reviews.
A neat thing about the review funnel is you give it its own URL and make it no index so the only people that go there are the ones sent there.
Even if everyones’ sites were good, then how would business owners set themselves apart from the herd? By raising the bar constantly.
Since I started this thread I've been trying to think of more valuable experiences I could share that would be helpful to you guys and gals.
One thing I think we all struggle with, especially in the beginning is getting overwhelmed.
In the beginning of 2018 I was constantly feeling like I was barely keeping my head above water. My mind was plagued with doubts of whether or not I was making the progress I desired.
The solution I found helped a lot. It's possible that the method I'm about to share is one of the main reasons I've had the success I've had.
It's called the Power List method. The power list is a concept made popular by a man named Andy Frisella. Hid podcast The MFCEO Podcast was a great source of inspiration and motivation for me during this time.
The power list concept is simple. You start every day by writing down the 5 more important things you have to do that day. No matter what happens, you make sure those 5 things get done. Even if you don't do everything on your agenda, if you do this 5 things, you win the day.
What isn't immediately apparrent about this productivity method is how effective it is at negating feelings of being overwhelmed.
The way I see it, even if I can't get to everything I want to do, or even remember everything, as long as I do those 5 things every day, I am headed in the right direction.
Frisella did a podcast about this. I think it was called "trust your instruments."
He likened being an entrepreneur to being an airplane pilot flying through fog. You can't see where you're going, but you have instruments that guide you one mile at a time and you have to trust they will take you in the right direction.
The power list is my instrument and I know that as long as I keep doing those 5 things each day, I will get to where I want to go. It's inevitable.
This takes a lot of the pressure off and let's me relax and enjoy the process.
A tool I use for my power list is called Trello. I create a card for each day and have 30+ days of cards made ahead of time.
I use these cards as my schedule. If I have an appointment or a sales call coming up, it goes on my power list.
If I'm working on a project, I break it into pieces and put those pieces on various power lists.
I start each day by opening up Trello and looking to see what I have on the list. I complete everything on there and I move the card to the 2019 folder.
I don't worry about what's on the list tomorrow or next week. I don't dwell on the mountain ahead of me. I just focus on what is on my plate today.
This breaks the gigantic process of building a multi-million dollar lifestyle into tiny bite sized chunks that are easy to swallow.
This keeps me from getting overwhelmed and even allows me to enjoy the process.
I can look in the 2018 Trello board and see 365 cards with completed power lists. The life I'm enjoying today is a result of the work that is displayed on those cards.
With this method literally anyone can do anything one power list at a time.
Thank you Andy Frisella for this awesome podcast. If you want to learn more about this concept you can listen to the episode here: Trust Your Instruments, with Andy Frisella - MFCEO183A
If you are feeling overwhelmed about the mountain of work you see in front of you, try the power list method. I promise it will change your life.
You will alternate between really excited and unsure whether it's the right path. It's normal.
When you are taking lots of action and things don't seem to get happening, that's a good sign. It means you're getting close to a breakthrough. If you can learn to recognize these feelings and use them to give you a boost of energy and effort, you will make it.
Don't give up before you succeed! If you want to give up, do it after.
I think this is the one.
Web Design Business Foundation
Fox also created some excellent threads:
GOLD! - How to Learn Code, Start a Web Company, $15k+ per month within 9 months
Fox's Travelling the World while Coding Thread
EDIT: Thank you for sharing your story @GoodluckChuck. It was inspiring.Last edited: Mar 25, 2019
1.High end or low end for part time work... It varies. I say part time but to be honest I don't really know how much time I spend working. To be clear, when I saw work part time I mean work part time on paying projects. The amount of time I've spent reading, taking courses, practicing on my own projects, etc. would account for much more than full time hours if I added them all up. It's been an obsession for me.
Did any of this feel like work to me? No, because not only do I enjoy learning but the idea of taking action now that will pay off later is extremely motivating to me.
So, when I say I work part time, I mean I work part time on acquiring and delivering client projects. The rest of my time is spent working on myself and my own projects. Without the second part, the first part wouldn't be paying so much after 2 years. To quantify it with a guess, I would say I've spent about 15 focused hours per week average on client projects over the last 2 years.
The way I work is not focused so I quantify this by thinking "If the client was standing there watching me how much time would I bill them for." It's not uncommon for me to be doing research on how to do something while I'm doing it. Learning on the fly.
1.2 Do I plan to make it 100% passive? No. This model can't be 100% passive. Even if I hire someone to manage it all for me, I have to manage them so it will take some of my time. The MRR part of this model suffers from client turnover meaning some clients drop out after a while so in order to keep the income the same I have to be making constant sales.
My plan for the marketing agency is to keep it going organically as I focus my power on things that can be either more passive or bring in exponentially more income.
If I created something that was 100% passive I might sell it for a lot of $. I'm a busy body and the idea of 100% passive doesn't seem all that sustainable to me. The world changes as do the markets in it so nothing lasts forever.
2. Most difficult obstacles... To put it in a ratio I attribute my success 3:1 mindset to skillset. In the beginning I was terrified of selling because I was unsure of what I could deliver. I learned to rely on my commitment rather than track record because I didn't have one. I told myself, "If I get this job I will not sleep until I get the results I promised."
After a few projects, I realized this was a good way to go about things because it allowed me to take on projects I was under-qualified for while being confident enough to sell them. Don't get me wrong, it was still difficult to sell because I still lacked confidence. I would find a million reasons why not to get on the phone. This resulted in me taking lots of courses... (Action faking)
As my skillset grew from the courses and practice, my confidence did as well and I was better able to take bigger bites and be more ambitious with my endeavors.
When I look back now I can see it is mostly mindset and self esteem that separates me now from me then. I have experience but I'm not doing things a whole lot different than I was then. If I could have been more courageous a year ago I could have probably been making a lot more money then. On the same token, I could probably be making 5x what I am now just by having a more advanced mindset...
This is the way it goes. We see things from the perspective of the place we're at. That's why I spend most of my free time now working on understanding mindset and how to shape that. The difference between someone with 100k in the bank and 100b in the bank is the way they view themselves and the world.
Another huge obstacle for me was comfort. When I'm comfortable I get lazzyyyyy. Traveling helped get me out of my comfort zone where I perform much better and with more vigor and endurance. Being in a new place where nobody speaks the language or gives 2 shits about me made me feel like I had to work a lot harder to survive. This made me work a lot harder. This is why Mexico City will always hold a special place in my heart. It's where I found my inner strength and courage and built the momentum that carried me to where I am today.
2.2 Am I good at picking up new skills? Yes. I've always been really good at developing new skills. It's a strength of mine. As a kid I was always better than my peers at skate boarding, baseball, subjects in school that interested me (I almost flunked out of high school). On the flip side my weakness is that I have a hard time sticking with things once I break past the initial difficulty phase. I just get bored. Maybe that's why I run a marketing agency with no niche. I like to learn new things then move on. Discipline is a challenge for me.
As for why I can charge more than other web developers and designers... That's just because I choose to. Pricing in this industry is incredible arbitrary. In the Fox Web School gang we focus on value pricing because it allows us to create win-win deals with every client. If I can make someone 100k with a new website then charging 20k is still a no brainer for everyone.
Do I get a knot in my stomach when I throw out a high price tag? Yeah... When they say yes immediately I wonder if I could have asked for more... I get about 50% of the projects I propose so I think that's okay.
A lot of web developers and coders don't understand why they can't make as much. A lot of them are self-proclaimed "bad at dealing with people". That's just a mindset + skillset thing. It takes practice like everything else as well as the courage to suck at it for a while.
My message to anyone in this industry that wants to make more is this: Work on your people skills and sell your own projects. You can ask for as much as you want. If you have a full time job then ask for a high amount that you feel like you probably won't get. An amount that if you did get it, you could quit your job and start freelance full time. After enough sales calls you will eventually find someone willing to pay this... It truly is a numbers game.
Thank you for starting and maintaining this community. I can't imagine the ripples you've started and how big of an impact you've had through the lives you've changed.
It's so cool that I can connect with the person who sparked the fire for me in the beginning.
1. Past results
Have I done this before? Based on past results can I expect to get the desired results?
A lot of marketing and sales is numbers and probabilities. With a big enough pool of prospective customers I can be reasonably certain to make some sales.
2. My time constraints.
Like it or not, time is always a factor in this type of service, whether it's mine or someone else's that I'm paying for.
When I sell a project the main thing I'm selling is my commitment to produce the results. This is where the confidence comes from. I am certain that I can do it, it's just a matter of how long it will take.
I weigh time with other more subjective factors like:
Do I like this client?
Do I like this project?
Do I like this market?
Is this a bite I can chew?
In the beginning I asked questions just like this. "How do you know if you can get results?"
You can know with your conscious brain by learning how others do it.
You can learn with your sub conscious brain and nervous system by doing it.
In the end, you never know for sure. You just get more confident in your ability.
If you can manage to commit 100% to it, then you know you'll either make it happen or die. Of you die, then who cares?
Hi, I'm new to the forum. Just joined because your post is inspiring. Thank you for sharing.
I liked this review funnels thing you mentioned. Where can I find how to do something like that? Do you integrate some kind of special tool/form for this? Do you host the page yourself and then get paid monthly while your client uses it?
Thanks in advance, and congrats on the business!
I use a tool called Ahrefs to research what websites are out there, what keywords they rank for, and roughly how much traffic those keywords generate. This way, if there's a topic I want to write about, I can do research and know how to make my content get found by more people.
The techniques I use branch into many different disciplines such as SEO, content marketing, email marketing, as well as web design.
Once the content is written, I promote it through various channels like Facebook, Medium, etc.
A good way to start is to write things about your local area. Local topics are typically easier to rank for because they are more niched.
I understand where you are coming from when you say "but I don't want it to get lost" but you have to get rid of that mindset. This tiny sentence turned an actionable idea into a non-actionable idea.
If you want to start making content, do it. Focus on helping people and you seriously can't go wrong. Once you have 20 pieces of valuable content I can almost guarantee it will be found by someone. Even if it doesn't, you've already taken care of the hard part. Attracting eyeballs is easy when you have something of value.
In the beginning I did a bit of networking. Networking events were not very lucrative as they were mostly made up of insurance salesmen and mortgage brokers.
The kind of networking that worked for me was reaching out to other web designers and marketers. The fact is people don't have a ton of friends so if you call them up and offer to buy them lunch, they usually say yes.
With a hand full of people referring me work about 50% of new projects come from this channel.
The other 50% comes through my website.
I don't do any cold outbound but I would if I had no clients.
Sales process is simple.
1. First touch to schedule a longer call.
2. Second touch I'll try and get as many details as I can about their challenges and goals.
3. Third touch is about reviewing their pain points and presenting a solution to their problems while informing them about what I discovered while researching their business/market. I always try and close them on the phone at this point before I send any kind of proposal.
4. When they soft close on the phone I'll send a proposal/invoice. If they don't immediately pay then I follow up weekly until they pay or ask me to stop. Sometimes I have to follow up 10+ times. People are weird and they have their own reasons for not responding right away.
Another good % of work comes from past clients and their referrals.
As for secrets, there's no need to be secretive. There are a bajillion businesses out there that need marketing and a shortage of good people to give it to them.
People who think the market is saturated are making excuses why they dont have success in the industry.
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