In today’s episode of Freelance University, Nick breaks down the overall evolution of a freelancer – from just starting out and getting small jobs, to hiring other freelancers and creating your own agency.
This video is part of Nick Tubis’s educational series, Freelance University, which anyone can personally subscribe to by clicking here. Additionally, you can subscribe to Nick Tubis on YouTube to keep up with Freelance University and his other videos as well.
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Hey everyone welcome back to Freelance University and today we’re going to talk about the evolution of a freelancer. So what your journey should look like to reach the pinnacle of freelancing. So there are 4 phases of freelancing that I recommend going through on your freelance journey.
The first phases is establishing your minimum viable credibility. This is where your focus is on getting as many 5 star reviews as fast as you can so you can get a job success score and get the top rated badge on your Upwork profile. You might start out with a lower rate or discount past clients to give you a 5 star review. This is where you start out with maybe offering your services at a lower rate to get some projects under your belt.
In the beginning you want to position yourself as a generalist that can provide a wide variety of services.
Then once you get some reviews the next phase will be becoming a go to freelancer. This is where clients will start reaching out to you instead of you having to always reach out to them. This is the point where you can start raising your rates significantly and positioning yourself as a specialist. The way you figure out what to specialize in is by looking at your work history and looking at your most common projects. If you see a niche or a particular service that clients really seem to like from you, you can position your profile to specialize in that area.
Then the next phase of freelancing is turning your freelance business into an agency. You do this when you hit what I call the inevitable wall which pretty much every successful freelancer will hit at a certain point. Once you continue getting more and more good reviews as well as continue increasing your rates you will hit a wall. You’ll get to a point where you just can’t raise your rates anymore and attract clients. The rates differ depending on the service, but you get what I mean. People will only pay a certain amount for a particular type of service. During this phase you’re extremely busy with a stable of clients and are having to turn away new clients.
So you’re leaving a ton of money on the table. On top of that your freedom is gone and your working around the clock. So the next phases is learning how to build, train, and manage a virtual team of contractors. You still get the clients because you leverage your top rated score and online reputation, but now you start having other freelancers help you with the service delivery.
And the fourth phase of freelancing is expanding outside of Upwork to other channels. For your case it will be using automated personalized messaging using emails and LinkedIn. And this is where you leverage all of the credibility you’ve built and use direct marketing to land even higher ticket clients while building your full time dream team. This is the shift from going from an agency owner to an entrepreneur.
I hope this episode gives you some clarity on where you’re going and sparked some new ideas for you. If you would like more help with starting from scratch and turning your freelance business into an agency be sure to check out our Freelancer Client Acquisition system at the link below.