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10 Tips on How I Earned $1.5 Million USD From Freelancing

Matt from Brightdock shares 10 amazing tips that helped earn him over $1.5 million USD from freelancing.
09.03.2023 • 10 Min. Lesezeit

Video Transcript:

Matt:
Why are you here? Perhaps because you want to start freelancing, but do not know where? Or maybe because you know you can do better? If any of that applies to you, it's time that you discover my million dollar success story, because I'm planning to reveal it all.
I do not have any courses, I do not have any Discord groups, just free and relevant information. And my promise to you is to make my free content better than any of the paid content you can find anywhere else.
Hey guys, I'm Matt and I'm about to close a single $500,000 project on Freelancer.com, but just three or four years ago, my maximum deal size was $100 won. In those three or four years, I managed to get from zero to being number one on Freelancer.com amongst millions and millions of other users. At the same time, I watched countless freelancing courses and channels and some of the things that I'm going to show you have never been shown before. Because it's free and for me to keep making this content, make sure to subscribe and hit the notification bell so that you can always stay up to date. This content will be coming out on weekly basis.
I'm going to unpack a lot of things here, so make sure to go over everything at least a couple of times so that it all sinks in. The value will gradually increase with every new tip, so be patient with me because first tip might be a little bit boring, but everything after that will be super exciting and super relevant for you.
And here are the things that we are going to cover. Freelancing Journey, Profile Prodigy, Portfolio Possibilities, Rate Wizard, The Bid Champion's Formula, Five Minutes to Close: The Royal Introduction, Quotation Book, Communication with Clients, Preferred and Verified: Why and How? Reviews: A Guide to Brilliance.
If you're new to freelancing, my absolute recommendation would be edx.org. It's a free site that collects relevant courses from some of the top schools in the world like Harvard and MIT. If you already have skill, let's start with the one that you know about, but it still needs to be covered.
When I started, I was bidding 16 hours per day and for me, this is not a get rich quick scheme, but an exciting and a life-changing journey. However, I made countless mistakes and I will show you how to automate and reuse the work and what you can do to skip the hard part.
First of all, you need to create a profile, right? Because most of my audience knows how to do so or has already done it, I'm not going to go into that. I'm here to give you motivation. I'm a hard worker and by following this channel, you have more than enough to be at least as successful as me. I will be your accountability partner and you can always shoot me a message when you get stuck. We are here to do it together, so let's do it.
Regarding profiles, I know what works because I heard it directly from the member of the Freelancer.com team, and today I have this unique opportunity to share it with you. They told me that based on their data, a profile photo should be a clear headshot on a white background, and this makes sense when you think about it, right? Employers would rather connect with a person than with a logo or a company. For this, use a tool like removal.bg, and then if you feel experimental, go to Canva and add a different background. I still prefer to stick to white, but that might change soon.
Regarding taglines and descriptions, in the era of AI, it wouldn't make sense to only rely on our knowledge, right? If I were you, I would go into ChatGPT and ask you to write brilliant and custom taglines and descriptions for myself, and here is how you do it. "We are a software on demand company, number one ranked team on Freelancer.com, and some of our clients are Rita Ora, Sky News, Airbus, Freelancer, and many others. We like to keep our communication professional but casual. Write us a 60 character long tagline and a 500 character long description and make it unique." Most importantly, be as specific as possible. You do not want to rely only on AI, but tweak it and make it truly yours.
I'm going to talk about portfolio section next, which is a make or break part of your profile. Have lots of examples and, most importantly, make it visual. If you are in a niche that is hard to visualize, make sure to have either before or after pictures or some results that can prove it. These can be divided into two. You either have previous work or you don't.
In case that you do have a previous work, there are two things I would recommend. Number one, ask industry experts for feedback because there is always room for improvement. And number two, make sure to use a portfolio template generator so that you can produce a unique looking style.
On the other hand, if you do not have a portfolio, there are great sites online like Sharpen the Design, where you can go and get a list of project tasks and build one. You cannot fake a portfolio, but it will provide you with a list of project ideas to sharpen your skills as the name says. And important, make sure [inaudible 00:04:03] the first group to volunteer with different brands and collect relevant experience.
I will be honest with you on this one and let you know that there isn't a specific answer. It can vary greatly by our geographic location, skills, what clients are willing to pay for and numerous other things. However, there are great tools online like ruul.io and their freelancer hourly rate calculator tool and the freelancer rate calculator sheet, so make sure to use one of them. These tools count in your living expenses, taxes, working days, and many other small factors when putting together a final rate. Please know that these rates are only suggestions and it's mandatory that you do them correctly, as otherwise they will provide you with a wrong estimate.
As I have a large team now it's a bit different for me, but I still use the principle of price cards. Bidding is the way to get projects. In the beginning, customer inquiries are rare, so make sure that your bids are fast but custom to the client. And how do you do that? Always being the first time freelancers that put the bid in. But make sure to not automate, because your bids will eventually get reported and banned.
And here's how to automate it and still be safe. Make sure to have pre-made templates for every single service you provide and just change the introduction. Affirm to the client that you understood the assignment and connected to one of the previous examples that is the most similar to what client is after. To have your templates ready, use Clippy or any other clipboard manager app, it is an absolute live saver.
Also, here's how you can use ChatGPT into your advantage. Let's say that the client is looking for an animator that can provide him with the style of Brad Bird. Add that info to the tool and ask it to analyze the style and provide a reply which covers a few lines on what it knows about that style and how you can help them do it in a similar way. In the meantime, always monitor the bid inside section on Freelancer and make sure to add those bids into ChatGPT, and then ask it to analyze it and let you know what works and what doesn't work, and then you can simply redo it based off of that feedback.
In the following video, I will break down my bid winning formula that helps me win five time more projects than all of the best freelancers on the site, so make sure to stay until the end. This one is a bit of magic, which I've been saving for later.
Hagrid:
Sorry about that.
Matt:
I've closed numerous large sized clients in as little as five or 10 minutes, and it comes down to a three step process. Again, you can use AI to write it for you, and here is what I usually write. In case I was introduced by the preferred team, which I will cover in the rest of the video, here is what I write. "Hello, my name is Matt and I was referred to you by Joe who is a recruiter at Freelancer.com. How are you doing today?"
If it's just a regular client, pretty much the same. Just appreciation plus introduction, plus inquiry, and here is how it usually looks like. "Hey, thanks for reaching out. My name is Matt and we are happy to have the opportunity to chat with you about the project. That being said, could you share some more information about yourself, the project, and anything else that you might find helpful?"
Next one, the genuine interest plus an occasional joke. I cannot explain how important it is to not only show genuine interest but actually be interested in the client and their project. Spend a couple of minutes, ask relevant questions, and if you're a humorous type of person, even crack a joke or two. It'll make them relaxed and get a bit of trust in you.
And last one, the close. I always, always, always ask clients for a deadline and a budget and how to explain why I need it. Number one, I want to understand what is the level of quality they are after. Number two, I want to understand the creativity and urgency they want to achieve. And number three, I want to be able to plan our resources and that's how I explain it to them. Remember, in sales, whoever speaks first loses, and you didn't hear this from me, but in case they speak first, there is always a bit of room for an improvement, right?
Clients always want to see a structured and a detailed offering. Because we are an agency now, I usually send custom quotes which require a very detailed breakdowns, but do not worry because Freelancer.com has got you covered here. Their quote system is easy to use and gives you the option to give an accurate description of your project and set out deliverables in the list items section of the quote. This is great for clients, especially when they have a document to share with the rest of the decision makers in their team. If it's great for the client, it's great for you as well.
Another excellent element of the quote system is the "valid until" section. It will give your clients a sense of urgency, especially if you give them a discount. Remember, the faster you close, the better you are. This one deserves a bit on its own, but I will give you a couple of major points. If you're planning to build a successful freelancing career. It comes down to honesty, dedication and quality. Honesty, rather under promise and over-deliver than the other way around. If you get to a roadblock, make sure to communicate it with the client because it'll be so much easier to sort it out together.
Dedication, always, but especially when starting out, dedicate 1,000% of your being and your existence to the project. I know it's hard, but it'll result in so much additional work that it's going to be well worth it. And quality. This one speaks for itself. Always ask for feedback, provide the best work you can and make sure to make client happy. It is your moral obligation.
To give you the short answer, getting into the Preferred Program is the biggest game changer on the platform, while getting verified is more or less just a necessary step in the right direction. Getting verified will give you higher credibility amongst clients and give you the ability to bid on better paying projects. At the same time, getting into the Preferred Program has certain prerequisites that you can check on the link below, but you need to collect about 10 reviews which need to be excellent and you are on your way to becoming a preferred freelancer.
And why is it a game changer? Because now you will get the recruiters to do the work for you. Instead of browsing through numerous projects, you will have recruiters that will send you messages when there is a project that is matching your skills. How cool is that? And number two, it gives you premium credibility and access to the big bucks. From the moment I got my Preferred Freelancer status, majority of my clients are from the Preferred Program. For me, that's the big boys' league in freelancing.
I've always said that the review is king. It's the number one thing clients are looking at when selecting a freelancer to work on their project. And nobody can just buy a five star review, you need to earn it. When you are starting out, take projects that you can actually over-deliver and make sure to have great and timely communication with your client. To earn a five star review, make sure to put everything on paper, either a contract or a written paper, Google Docs, it doesn't matter, so that both you and the client can sign it off and that both you and the client know what will be worked on. As I said earlier, it's always better to under-promise and over-deliver, trust me guys.
But it doesn't end here. In the next video, I'm breaking down my custom bid winning formula so that you know exactly what I do and what tools I use to make it a seamless process. It is yours, you just need to click here. Let me know down in the comments what you think about this and make sure to subscribe to get a lot more of these. See you in the next one.
 
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