The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success

GOLD! Lex DeVille's: How to Make $1,000 a Week with no Degree, no Feedback, & no Portfolio.

Accelerate wealth. Build a business that pays freedom. Join more than 70,000 entrepreneurs and register for the Fastlane Entrepreneur forum. Remove ads? Join the INSIDERS.

Lex DeVille

Sweeping Shadows from Dreams
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jan 14, 2013
3,780
23,298
4,306
The Underground
Warning. This Story Starts with Failure.

A few weeks ago I pulled back from publishing (progress on the Inside.). It was eating days, draining funds and not really progressing. That’s not the focus of this post, so I’ll just say I scaled back to unplug and regroup.

I kind of felt it coming, but it wasn’t until @tafy asked me where I wanted to be in 5 years that I had to face a harsh reality. A publishing company isn’t in my plan. It sucks because I already dumped thousands of hours & dollars into it. But it is what it is. (It's not dead. Just not moving.)

Now What? Guess I’ll Freelance.

I’ll spare you the details, and cut to the chase. Tafy suggested writing copy to build funds so I can try again. So I headed out on my next great adventure and signed up on Odesk. No profile, no feedback, no hours billed. That was exactly 3 weeks ago.

Here’s my earnings this week.

Odesk This Week.png

That's around $1,000 and I've pre-sold for another $2,000ish before 1 month is over.

Wondering How? I'll Show You.

It starts with a mindset. A mindset you can read all about in @IceCreamKid 's thread here. It's funny, but I actually didn't stumble on his thread until after I started writing copy.

The mindset (for me) goes like this:

1. I will never give up, no matter how f*cking stupid I think I look every time I fail.
2. I will acknowledge my failure, learn from it, and move on.
3. I may hate the feedback others give, but I'll consider it no matter what.
4. I will strive my hardest every damn day to solve problems and create value.
5. I will learn to accept others for who they are, even when I think I hate their guts. (Still working on this one.)

How This Translates to Money on Odesk (or anywhere).

If you Google, "How long does it take to get hired on Odesk?" you'll hit pages of people whining about how it's been months and they haven't had a job.

You'll see stuff like this:

- "Why won't anyone hire me?"
- "I have all the skills the job asks for, wtf?"
- "I've done this for 20 years, have a Masters degree, but clients won't even reply..."
- "I've filled out my profile, taken tons of tests, and sent out 50 applications. Nothing."
- "I've listed every skill under the sun. I can do them all. Why can't I get work?"


The thing is, all the skills and experience in the world don't matter if the client reads me me me me me me.

My guess is 99% of freelancers send me focused applications. So, for those who send a you focused application the opportunities are limitless.

How to Send a You Focused Application when You don't Know Anything About the Client.

This part is super easy, but you can't be lazy. All you have to do is read their job listing. Everything you need to know is right there on the screen. Look for the company name. If it's there, look them up. Find out what they do. Find out who their customer is. Don't just solve the company's problem. Solve the company's customer's problems.

Show how your skills (AKA product features) benefit them first.

Example: (client wants a new web site to increase traffic.)

Bad = "I have 10 years experience designing webpages. I have a Masters degree in web design. Hire me."

Good = "Sounds like you need a design that increases site traffic. Cool, I can build an eye-popping site that makes customer navigation simple, and increases traffic 50% guaranteed. Oh, and I have 10 years of experience and a Masters to back it up.

Clients don't care about your degree, and they don't care about your experience. They care about what they care about, and if you don't show em' you care about the same, then you're not getting shit.

It's Not a Trick. It's a Lifestyle.

Focus on their problems. Focus on giving. Focus on solving. Forget about money. When they say "give first and money follows" they actually mean that shit. I know it seems hard to believe, but I swear to god it's true.

I get it... Freelance and jobs aren't exactly Fastlane, and I'm not rich either. But I'm willing to bet everything on the fact this same lesson applies no matter what business you're in. If you need money to start your real business, or if you're just starting out, or even if you've been grinding for a long time...check your focus.

It's changing everything for me.

I bet it will for you too.
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

Last edited by a moderator:

Lex DeVille

Sweeping Shadows from Dreams
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jan 14, 2013
3,780
23,298
4,306
The Underground
By the way...

For the love of god, anyone who thinks you can't make money without having money...

Read the post above... I didn't spend a dime sending those applications.

Just a bit of time.
 
G

GuestUser116

Guest
Hahah, that's solid. I'm hiring writers on odesk and here is an applicant's cover letter that I've ignored.

"Hello,
My name is ***********. I have Ben a professional writer and editor for many years. Most of my work has been in writing about religion and Editing technical papers in Computer Science and other fields. I am a natural hopeless romantic and it's been my dream to write romance novels. If hired, I would be very enthusiastic about this project and would contribute my most to it."
 

Lex DeVille

Sweeping Shadows from Dreams
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jan 14, 2013
3,780
23,298
4,306
The Underground
Hahah, that's solid. I'm hiring writers on odesk and here is an applicant's cover letter that I've ignored.

"Hello,
My name is ***********. I have Ben a professional writer and editor for many years. Most of my work has been in writing about religion and Editing technical papers in Computer Science and other fields. I am a natural hopeless romantic and it's been my dream to write romance novels. If hired, I would be very enthusiastic about this project and would contribute my most to it."

Yep! That's the one. That's the exact email clients trash. It's also the kind of resume / application employers trash.

I looked at the other copywriter's profiles that applied to the same gigs as me. Almost all of them, even the big guys, had profiles talking about their passion for copywriting, and how many years of experience they have. They talk about how they've trained under every guru under the sun, and taken all the top courses, and have a degree in copywriting.

Then I get the job with my 2 weeks of experience and a few notes on Cashvertising...

Man, anyone on this forum should thank god they found it. How can you not make money here? It's literally not possible. You have to do nothing, and never listen to anything to not walk away with something.
 

ssvaley

New Contributor
Jun 17, 2013
11
14
12
this is exactly I need, I got no income at the moment, I want to start freelancing on the site to start somewhere. Then probably I can start building my own niche site. Having no income is really sucks.
 

Vansita

New Contributor
Feb 21, 2015
27
8
17
31
this is exactly I need, I got no income at the moment, I want to start freelancing on the site to start somewhere. Then probably I can start building my own niche site. Having no income is really sucks.
What are your skills? If you have absolutely no income.. I could help out..
 

Lex DeVille

Sweeping Shadows from Dreams
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jan 14, 2013
3,780
23,298
4,306
The Underground
this is exactly I need, I got no income at the moment, I want to start freelancing on the site to start somewhere. Then probably I can start building my own niche site. Having no income is really sucks.

There's literally nothing stopping you. No barriers whatsoever.

It's free to sign up, free to build a profile, free to apply.

Here's a link I found today that fills in a lot of the blanks.

Browse the categories, and apply to jobs you know you can over-deliver on.

How to Make $1,000 a Week on Odesk
 

ssvaley

New Contributor
Jun 17, 2013
11
14
12
My skill include wordpress site setup, making youtube video, this is example video I made:

SEO - keyword research, link building, Facebook Ads - have experience doing contest - increasing page 2k page likes, google adwords campaign, basic photoshop - image editing. Can learn fast, any skills related to job.

My experience include - setup this website, I did some part of content design/upload: http://mbsales.net.au and

for this site, I have set it up with a theme for this site: http://www.ozbiztotal.com/
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

Lex DeVille

Sweeping Shadows from Dreams
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jan 14, 2013
3,780
23,298
4,306
The Underground
My skill include wordpress site setup, making youtube video, this is example video I made:

SEO - keyword research, link building, Facebook Ads - have experience doing contest - increasing page 2k page likes, google adwords campaign, basic photoshop - image editing. Can learn fast, any skills related to job.

My experience include - setup this website, I did some part of content design/upload: http://mbsales.net.au and

for this site, I have set it up with a theme for this site: http://www.ozbiztotal.com/

These are high-demand skills on Odesk. I'm billing over a thousand the week after next for a Wordpress site... Could easily have charged way more, but wanted to cut the guy a deal.

All you have to do is go find jobs. Read the description, and tell them how your skills help them. Inform them. Even tell them what they should look for in a good video/website. Give them helpful info. It doesn't matter if they choose someone else. This is how you create value. If you do it, they'll pick you. If they don't pick you this time, they'll come back later. They'll remember you. But you have to give them a reason to remember.
 

Ma Co

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Apr 2, 2012
55
195
148
Vietnam
SinisterLex,

First of all, fantastic writing style!

I think the essence of what you're saying is:

=> LEARN COPYWRITING <=

Thanks to this awesome forum I started studying Gary Halbert & Co.

You will benefit from learning copywriting, no matter what you're doing for a living.

P.S. I love your idea of having the "P.S." as a second post, just below the opening post!
 

BrenndenK

Contributor
Jul 11, 2013
21
74
23
Working on my profile now, I've wanted to dip into this but I wasnt sure whether it was more worth focusing on creating an ecommerce business, but now I realize I need a stronger cashflow and more savings in order to be able to successfully start a business that takes investment. Along the way I will learn alot about copywriting and selling myself so it's a great idea. Dedicating myself to this 100% to replace my near minimum wage income, and then going to transition into my bigger ideas.

Focus on the customer and their needs, show them how you can solve them, and then charge them. Very simple.
 

tafy

Gold Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Aug 21, 2013
1,647
1,887
490
UK
Lex here is copywriting and building a great skill for later, where he WILL sell his own shit.

He's already looking at building lead pages and other stuff based on experience he's had in copywriting for a particular niche from an Odesk client which he would never have thought of before.

I remember that 5 year conversation haha

Me "Lex where do you want to be in 5 years time"

Lex "I want a successful ecommerce business or to be a life coach" <--- Thats right I cant remeber 100% Lex?

Me "WTF are you dicking around on this website that is full of sidewalkers and is making no income?"

The rest is history, Lex if you remember the conversation better can you say it more eloquently
 

Lex DeVille

Sweeping Shadows from Dreams
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jan 14, 2013
3,780
23,298
4,306
The Underground
SinisterLex,

First of all, fantastic writing style!

I think the essence of what you're saying is:

=> LEARN COPYWRITING <=

Thanks to this awesome forum I started studying Gary Halbert & Co.

You will benefit from learning copywriting, no matter what you're doing for a living.

P.S. I love your idea of having the "P.S." as a second post, just below the opening post!


Hey Ma Co,

Thanks for the compliment!

The essence is this:

Pick a direction
Take Action
Help Others
Learn as you go


Forget copywriting. It's a skill. Copywriting has nothing to do with this post. My first Odesk gigs weren't copywriting. They were transcribing because I type really fast (like, fast enough to over-deliver for sure).

No single skill is gonna make all the difference. In fact, nothing in the world makes a difference until you show how it helps other people.

Copywriting may help get attention, but it won't help at all if you're focused on yourself. If copywriting was what counted, then all those people with way more experience would crush me on every application.

But it's not what counts, and they don't.
 

Lex DeVille

Sweeping Shadows from Dreams
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jan 14, 2013
3,780
23,298
4,306
The Underground
Lex here is copywriting and building a great skill for later, where he WILL sell his own shit.

He's already looking at building lead pages and other stuff based on experience he's had in copywriting for a particular niche from an Odesk client which he would never have thought of before.

I remember that 5 year conversation haha

Me "Lex where do you want to be in 5 years time"

Lex "I want a successful ecommerce business or to be a life coach" <--- Thats right I cant remeber 100% Lex?

Me "WTF are you dicking around on this website that is full of sidewalkers and is making no income?"

The rest is history, Lex if you remember the conversation better can you say it more eloquently


Haha, yeah I think I told you "Men's Pole fitness" too.

I can just imagine the look on your face!
 

Lex DeVille

Sweeping Shadows from Dreams
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jan 14, 2013
3,780
23,298
4,306
The Underground
Create Value. It's Not Just A Saying. It's Literal.

I raised my hourly price $10.00 last night. Had an offer when I woke up. The thing is, this is the fourth offer in 2 weeks, and the second I had to turn down. I literally have no more hours to give...

It's not like these people just pick someone and hire. They do a lot of researching, just like buying a car. They have to be sure they can trust you. They have to be sure you're not gonna destroy their business.

They do look at your profile, so it's important to fill it out. But before they look at your education and experience, they read your bio to see if you're even a match.

It's not just about showing value in your cover letter. Your whole profile, in fact, your whole mindset has to reflect it. Clients smell fake from a mile away. This is a big part of why my last few businesses failed.

There's tons of ways to create value. Raising prices creates more perceived value. But, raising prices isn't what it's all about. Even if you get hired because of perceived value... If it's fake, you'll crash and burn.

Perceived value only works when you back it up.

Backing it up only works when you have the right mindset.

Start here:

"I can, and will help people."


That should be your foundation for all contact you have with anyone.

The second part is this:

Show them how you'll do it.

Guys, I have like a 1.0 GPA because I let my grades slip while focusing on business. Lol it's terrible, I know. But you know what. I started helping people, and now I'm overloaded with clients and earning $50.00/hr with 3 weeks of experience...

Pick a Direction - Take Action - Help People - Learn - Repeat.
 

Andy Black

Pick a direction. Get started. Keep going.
Staff member
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
May 20, 2014
12,715
49,596
4,306
Ireland
But, but, but ... freelancing isn't fastlane Mr Lex.

You should not start anything until you've worked out how to make money without spending any of your time.
 

Lex DeVille

Sweeping Shadows from Dreams
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jan 14, 2013
3,780
23,298
4,306
The Underground
You know, the thought crossed my mind.

Actually, I was gonna share on Facebook in response to people crying about the government holding them back, minimum wage being low, CEO's being paid too much, and how the poor common man can't get ahead.

But it felt like the energy would flow better and have more impact, here.
 

Andy Black

Pick a direction. Get started. Keep going.
Staff member
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
May 20, 2014
12,715
49,596
4,306
Ireland
He's on track to sell the system to those looking for work on odesk.......
Not even "looking for work on odesk".

Just "looking for work".

The problem is that there's some work to do to get that work... and many refuse to do unpaid work to get paid work.
 
D

DeletedUser12

Guest
I've been freelancing on oDesk for over a year and it has worked out pretty good for me. The only thing I'd caution anyone starting out is to really try and set boundaries with clients early. Almost everyone seems to need everything turned around ASAP. For short term clients this is not so much of a problem. But I have a long term client, who has given me lots of steady work, but also makes me feel like I'm constantly 'on call'. Like I've gotten 'URGENT' texted to me several times along with voicemails and emails on a saturday morning.

I think the lesson goes both ways here: for freelancers, set boundaries early on with clients so you are treated as a true independent contractor. For business owners, a freelancer you've never met shouldn't be so integral to your business that not being able to get a hold of them for day is a catastrophe.
 

Lex DeVille

Sweeping Shadows from Dreams
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jan 14, 2013
3,780
23,298
4,306
The Underground
I've been freelancing on oDesk for over a year and it has worked out pretty good for me. The only thing I'd caution anyone starting out is to really try and set boundaries with clients early. Almost everyone seems to need everything turned around ASAP. For short term clients this is not so much of a problem. But I have a long term client, who has given me lots of steady work, but also makes me feel like I'm constantly 'on call'. Like I've gotten 'URGENT' texted to me several times along with voicemails and emails on a saturday morning.

I think the lesson goes both ways here: for freelancers, set boundaries early on with clients so you are treated as a true independent contractor. For business owners, a freelancer you've never met shouldn't be so integral to your business that not being able to get a hold of them for day is a catastrophe.

If you focus on building mutual relationships, then you won't need to set boundaries.

When you think about it, the whole client/freelancer relationship isn't really what people make it to be. The client isn't the boss. Freelancers aren't employees. There's just two people who may or may not be right for each other on a particular project.

Whether you contact them, or they contact you, if you put all cards on the table from the start, there's no extra expectations later on. I tell them my style, hours, and everything in between. Then I ask questions to find out what they're like and what they need. All of this before accepting an offer.

If I'm not right for them, then it is what it is. They can move on. No hard feelings. Same goes for if they aren't right for me.

If you want to help people, then you have to make sure you can help them. By filtering clients first, you cut your work in half, and you only end up with clients who's problems you can truly solve.

This works especially well when it comes to getting good feedback. With a good relationship from the start, satisfaction is almost guaranteed (even if you don't offer a satisfaction guarantee haha.).
 

Lex DeVille

Sweeping Shadows from Dreams
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jan 14, 2013
3,780
23,298
4,306
The Underground
Haha don't get me started on online courses. That's a whole nother realm of passive income people are missing out on.

Costs like $500 to get a 1080p cam, good mic, and lighting. Add a sprinkle of knowledge, a dash of personality and you're in business.

A bit of marketing combined with problem solving and the result is a course that sells.

But you gotta be willing to risk $500. I did.
 

The-J

Dog Dad
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Aug 28, 2011
3,913
9,773
2,206
Ontario
100% agree with everything you said. Love the headline, too.

I started doing freelance work without a portfolio or a website... or using eLance/odesk at all. I'd just meet people, ask them what they need, do the work they need and get referrals. But now I'll be looking at my online options. Thanks mate, rep+
 

Growth & Learn

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Jan 1, 2015
282
248
122
Southern California
What is your fast lane strategy here? Getting freelance gigs is a good thing but it's only step 1. You're trading time for money w

You figured out how to sell your services on a simple level. Very nice!

But to use a video game term…I assume you want to keep leveling up?
 

Lex DeVille

Sweeping Shadows from Dreams
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jan 14, 2013
3,780
23,298
4,306
The Underground
What is your fast lane strategy here? Getting freelance gigs is a good thing but it's only step 1. You're trading time for money w

You figured out how to sell your services on a simple level. Very nice!

But to use a video game term…I assume you want to keep leveling up?

Solve problems. Get freedom.

That's it.

:)
 

Sponsored Offers

  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE NEW: The Best School for Going Fastlane (Now open for summer enrollment)
The new program website is live with a deal from now till the end of October...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE Freelance University: Solve Every Freelance Problem (Especially on Upwork)
For those who are just seeing this, there are currently a total of 15 live courses and 1...
MARKETPLACE Fox Web School "Legend" Group Coaching Program 2021
Fox's Web School helps you learn a specialized skill which you can use to get to Fastlane. It's...
MARKETPLACE Not sure how to start? This free book will teach you how to build a successful web design business
Hi Fox. Starting the book and got through the introduction. Had a conversation with Andy Black...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE You Are One Call Away From Living Your Dream Life - LightHouse’s Accountability Program ⚡
Chris is super sharp and is aware of many facets of entrepreneurship and can help get your...

Learn Fastlane Business Skills & Get Profitable Within 30 Days...

Get Started Now

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

New Topics

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Top Bottom