– Are you a freelancer who needs clients and your considering using Upwork? Are you not sure if you should use this platform or go it alone? Watch this video because I’m going to give you the truth about making money as a freelancer. (dramatic electronic music) If you wanna find clients, get paid, and double your revenue, stick around because you’re in the right place. Be sure to subscribe and click the bell so you never miss a video. No matter what kind of freelancer you are, you’ve probably heard of job sites like Upwork. And you’re wondering, “Hey, is this a good place to find clients, or not.” I’m Maggie from Small Business Boss, and I’ve been freelancing and running my own business for over 14 years and I’m here to share with you today a little bit of insight into whether you should use those platforms or not, and the truth about making money online as a freelancer. I know finding clients can be super challenging.

So a site like Upwork, that has everyone there waiting for you, to hire you, to help you make money seems really appealing. After all, having that built in audience of clients prevents you from having to get out there and find clients on your own. But is it really worth it? So here’s a few hard truths about being a freelancer. Number one is no one else is looking out for you. So if you’re on a platform like Upwork, you’re going to have to be prepared to put some work in as well. It’s not just a magical way of logging in and hundreds of clients are going to come for you.

Because, yes there’s thousands of people on there, but there’s also thousands of people waiting to be hired. So it’s equally as competitive. Honestly, as a freelancer, the best thing you can do is be your own best champion. So yes, maybe you’re going to relay on a site like Upwork in the beginning, but your goal should be to build a network to help you find clients on your own. Why? Pricing. You’re going to be able to make exponentially more money if you don’t have the middle man. If you don’t have a site where people are going to find cheap people to do freelance jobs. For you to go from struggling freelancer, to total boss rock star, what that really comes down to is pricing. And it’s really hard for you to get premium pricing when you are working on a site like Upwork. Now, there are people on Upwork who make lots and lots of money. But they are the exception, not the rule. So, temper your expectations if you are going to use it.

So, do I think Upwork is a bad idea? No I think there are some instances where using a platform like Upwork, or ones like it, can actually be really good. Number one is you’re just starting out and you need to get some experience. What you’re really looking for is to get some clients under your belt. This is a great way to get started. Or maybe you have an established business and things are a little rocky right now and you have some gaps to fill.

I actually think that relying on some extra gigs to come in from Upwork wouldn’t be a bad idea. And, quite frankly, if you’re not making the money you want in your business and you’re not able to find clients on your own, because you’ve done all the things that Brittany and I have suggested to you here at Small Business Boss, don’t be precious. That is the death of many a freelancer who has to go back and get their job. I respect your hustle, so if you need to get on Upwork and find some clients, do it. But what I really encourage you, the truth about making money as a freelancer is that you shouldn’t have to rely on any sort of third party platform indefinitely.

You need to be building your own brand so you can bring in more of this. If you’re going to use a platform for finding freelance jobs a couple things you want to think about. Number one, you’re not in control. So it is a buyers market. So there’s going to be people, let’s say you write blog posts, that are willing to write blog posts for like $3 a blog post. And it’s gonna be pretty disenheartening. It’s also very challenging to make money in that kind of environment. So if you’re going to go into it, go into it with your eyes open. And finally, probably my least favorite thing about these sites is yes, you can actually find clients and bring in money, but your skills are a commodity.

That $3 blog post is something you should probably be charging $300 for. So it turns you into a little bit of a sweatshop worker. It is very hard to get to big money as a freelancer, and make meaningful money, when you don’t have that control. So, let me know in the comments, do you want to be able to make more money online as a freelancer? Answer yes or no below. Maybe Upwork is the right solution for you, maybe it’s not. What should you do instead? Number one, like I alluded to off the top, build your professional network. Even if you are brand new in what you are doing, you probably have some skills or experience that you have picked up along the way. So this is a good place for you to consider, who are my professional colleagues? When I first started freelancing, a lot of my work came from past coworkers or contacts I had in the industry.

I really worked on that. But maybe you don’t have that. Hey, guys, my very first client came from my college professor. So, there is always someone who will help you and who will want you to succeed in your business. So, don’t shy away from sharing your business. Number two is get known for what you do. For you to be successful making money online a a freelancer away from those platforms, a lot of this is going to be you getting known for what you do. You building a reputation. So this might be you getting special certifications, you showcasing the results you bring your clients. It’s really important that you step up and own your expertise. Finally, one of my favorite ways is, you’re like, “How is anyone going to find me?” There are other platforms out there like media platforms, speaking platforms, being a guest on a podcast, guest teaching, there’s so many options.

Figure out where your people are. Maybe you need to be speaking at events. Figure out where your would be clients are and go and meet them there. When you’re using other peoples platforms, or as we call it around here, OPPs, yeah you know me (giggles). I couldn’t resist the 90s music reference cause I’m a child of the 90s. But ultimately for you to get ahead as a freelancer you need to be thinking bigger than just you going to a job site and hoping and praying you get that gig. If you’re using Upwork today or considering using it to get started as a freelancer you need to go in with your eyes open and understand that for you to make a viable business long term as a freelancer you probably aren’t gonna wanna rely on this. You wanna look at how you’re gonna build your network and how you’re actually going to establish yourself so you don’t have to commodify your prices or give up anything and you can get paid well for what you do.

Watch this video next to help you go to total boss status, and help you start building your network. If you wanna build your business and double your revenue, be sure to subscribe to our channel and click the bell so you never miss a video. Do you want help finding clients so you don’t have to rely on platforms like Upwork? You’re gonna wanna grab the free course 5 Steps to Consistent 5k Months to help you get started. It covers some of the most powerful things you can do as a freelancer, creative, or consultant, to help you get started. Head to smallbusinessboss.co/5kmonths to get started right now. You’ll get immediate access and this is the last course you’re ever going to need. And it’s going to help you build your brand as a freelancer. Thank you guys so much for watching and we’ll see you soon boss. (upbeat electronic music).

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