Although Dan was a successful digital marketer at a growing marketing agency, there were a few things he wished he could change about his job.
“When you’re working in a big agency, you’re stuck with clients the agency gives you. So I didn’t have a lot of say in who I worked with and whether it was the kind of client I actually wanted to be working with.”
While he enjoyed the type of digital marketing work he was doing, Dan knew that he wanted something more than what a traditional job could offer him.
“I liked the idea of owning my own freelance business. Especially because the earning potential is really nice — you can decide when to increase your rates or what you want to charge for particular projects.”
Dan also craved the freedom and flexibility of being able to work on his own terms, in his own time.
“In a big city like London, the commute can be pretty trying. I was just so tired of working for traditional marketing agencies — the ones with the big inner-city office spaces where everyone just goes with the usual 9 to 5 and there’s not much flexibility.”
Most of all, for Dan, having his own business meant opening himself up to a whole new world of possibilities.
“I was reading different blogs and articles about people who travel all the time while working and I thought it’d be great to be able to do that someday.”
Searching for something different
Determined to break free of the traditional workplace, Dan started experimenting with other options.
“I started doing contract work part-time and slowly eased out of my full-time work at the agency. Initially, I started taking on short term contracting gigs with agencies — just three or six months at a time.”
Working as a contractor gave Dan more control over the work he was doing but he knew he still wanted to go a step further.
“I was getting paid a lot more with contracting than at my traditional job so that was great. But in the back of my mind I knew I wanted to do something like freelancing so that I could work from home full-time.”
While searching for a way to start his own freelance business, Dan came across one of the biggest online freelancing platforms in the world — Upwork. He was ecstatic to finally find something that’d allow him to lead the lifestyle he’d always dreamed of.
Unfortunately, Dan’s freelancing journey didn’t start as smoothly as he had hoped.
“I’d sent out a flurry of proposals on Upwork. I mostly just focused on traditional ways of applying — I’d say stuff like, ‘I’ve got X years of experience,’ and other kinds of things you’d put on a CV. Now, I know that approach doesn’t work particularly well — so obviously, I didn’t get very far with it.”
Building his freelance business on Upwork
While striving to find new ways to improve his freelancing business on Upwork and make changes to his Upwork profile, Dan found the Freelance To Win blog. But he wasn’t quite sold on it immediately.
“When I first found Freelance To Win, I was quite skeptical of taking anyone’s advice because in the Upwork niche especially, there’s plenty of people offering tips that aren’t really going to take you anywhere.”
Despite his initial skepticism, Dan decided to take a leap of faith…
He signed up for Danny’s 5 Upwork Hacks and started testing out some of the tips.
“Initially, it was nice to have someone explain things from the client’s perspective. For example, with proposals, clients really just want to know, ‘How can you help me?’ Once you’ve heard someone explain it in those terms, it seems so obvious.”
Dan was ready to continue growing his freelancing business. Since he was already starting to see results from the free hacks, Dan decided to dive in and sign up for Secrets of a Six-Figure Upworker.
“I joined Secrets Of A Six-Figure Upworker last August and I’m so glad I did. Using the techniques I learned in the course, I started steadily raising my rate up and I was surprised to see that I was still getting invitations at those higher rates.”
Dan was also happy to find support within the private SSFU forum.
“The forum is a huge help — especially because you get access to all of the questions people have asked in the past. It’s a good resource for those small questions you have that can all make a big difference together.”
Tapping into the Hidden Upwork Economy
But most of all, Dan was excited to learn exact strategies and techniques to optimize his Upwork profile so that clients would be come to him — instead of the other way around.
“After going through the course and focusing especially on the Advanced Profile Optimization lesson, I made a lot of changes to my profile — including doing a big rewrite of my Overview. Then, I started tracking my profile views.”
To Dan’s delight, the results were almost instant.
“Once I’d optimized my entire profile, I noticed a big spike in the number of views I was getting. All of a sudden, I went from zero to five views some weeks to 10 -15 views a week — and that became quite consistent.”
If that weren’t enough, other doors started opening up for Dan as well.
“I started getting personalized invites from prospective clients. I was also contacted by Upwork and invited to join one of their premium programs. From that, I got my highest paying client to date which has been a big ongoing job. I think those changes to my profile, based on what I learned in the course, was the link that made Upwork take notice.”
Living the lifestyle he always dreamed of
Today, Dan’s enjoying the perks freelancing has to offer.
“Not having to commute is a big one for me — I roll out of bed and set my own hours. So far I’ve been pretty disciplined and still get up early, so I guess that just shows that I’m working with clients I enjoy working with, which makes the work day go by faster.”
Dan’s successful freelancing career means he’s free to spend his spare time traveling like he’d always dreamed.
“It’s been nice to take a few trips on short notice, and take advantage of cheaper airfares. So far, I’ve managed to get to Rome, done quite a bit of France and Spain. I also did a rail trip through Europe at the end of last year and got to visit lots of countries like Prague and the Netherlands.”
And when he’s not working or traveling, his flexible schedule gives him the chance to spend time learning new things and picking up different hobbies.
“I recently just started trying to learn golf. I’ve never really had the chance to play it in school. I’ve been just messing around with some friends so far on the driving range, but I’m thinking about getting some lessons.”