Elyse had a successful sales career…but she dreamed of doing something else.
“I was getting kind of burned out in corporate sales. I’d been playing around with copywriting at work, helping our marketing department with it whenever I could. It was something I really enjoyed.”
Working long hours and not having control over her schedule were also taking a toll on Elyse’s quality of life.
“One of my biggest passions is spending time with my horses. But it got to the point where I was working a lot of hours to support them, and yet I didn’t have any time to really enjoy them! I finally said to myself: This is stupid; there’s no sense having a hobby I don’t even get to participate in.”
To break free from her 9 to 5 job, Elyse fantasized about the idea of becoming a freelance copywriter. But she found it difficult to get over the inertia of getting started.
“Each year I’d think: Really? It’s been a whole ‘nother year and you haven’t done anything towards your goals yet? I was definitely ready for a change.”
Springing into action
After years of thinking about freelancing, a single email helped Elyse get over the hump once and for all.
“It was an email from Ramit Sethi. It said: ‘A year from now you’ll be another year older. What will you have accomplished?’ That was the nudge I needed to get started.”
The next day, Elyse began to dabble in various types of online freelancing.
“I started out with Shopify implementations and quickly realized that I really hated doing that. I had hired people on Upwork (formerly Elance) before, so I started playing around with online freelancing sites like Upwork and Fiverr. I liked it — it felt like something I could really get used to.”
Setting herself up for success
Elyse’s freelancing career was off to a decent start. But her ambitious nature drove her to look for any information that could give her an extra advantage.
Elyse quickly realized she’d come to the right place. “I responded to one of Danny’s emails, and got a little bit of a dialogue going with him. I realized that everything he was saying would definitely help me speed things up.”
To supercharge the pace of her success, she decided to sign up for Secrets Of A Six-Figure Upworker.
“It seemed like a good financial investment, and also a good investment in my quality of life. I needed to make sure I was able to charge what I deserve, so I could replace my corporate income while still having plenty of free time to do the things I enjoy.”
Scoring some quick wins
Elyse was surprised by how fast she started seeing results on Upwork.
“Out of the first seven jobs I applied for, I ended up getting hired for two of them. I knew Danny’s material was good, but I didn’t expect to get clients and earn money as fast as I did.”
She was even more shocked by the fact that she was already able to charge significantly more than her competitors, even though many of them had more experience.
“I got paid $80 for that first project, whereas the next highest bid was only $50. The client could easily have gone with someone cheaper, but didn’t.”
Elyse credits the proposal lessons in SSFU with helping her get ahead of the pack.
“I used the system and it worked. The stuff Danny teaches — understanding clients’ psychology, commenting on their specific needs, and taking the extra time to listen to what they want — really pays off.”
More work than she can handle
Investing in SSFU turned out to be a major turning point for Elyse’s freelancing career.
“Had it cost $2,000, it would have paid for itself and been worth every penny. Some of this stuff you may never find out on your own, especially if you don’t have a sales background.”
After a few months, Elyse was doing so well on Upwork that she actually found herself getting more work than she could handle.
“I just followed the process. I did prospecting and applied to jobs on the marketplace for a little bit, I optimized my profile… I did the core big-win type of stuff you need to do — and then I just stopped looking for clients altogether. I said to myself, whoever comes to me, comes to me. I was EXHAUSTED from getting so much work. Which, by the way, is a great problem to have!”
With so many jobs coming her way, Elyse decided to strategically raise her prices.
“I had to keep increasing my Upwork rate because people kept trying to get me to do work for them that I didn’t have time to do. I thought: This is great! I’ll just keep increasing my fees and if they want to work with me they can pay that rate and it’ll make it worth the extra effort. If they balked at my new prices then it didn’t matter anyway since I was so busy.”
Leveraging the power of Upwork
Elyse’s colleagues are astounded she’s been so successful while barely spending any time at all looking for new work.
“Everyone asks me, ‘Where do you find all these clients?’ And when I tell them about this site called Upwork, they say, ‘That exists?!’”
Nor does Elyse have to worry about the dry spells that average freelancers often complain about. Most of her income now comes from repeat clients who are happy to give her as much work as she’d like.
“If you know what to do, finding clients doesn’t have to be stressful at all. It’s not the struggle people make it out to be, at least if you’ve gone through Danny’s course. Then there’s no ‘feast or famine’ — it’s just feast all the time!”
Enjoying the freelance lifestyle
By December of 2015, Elyse had fully replaced her corporate income through freelancing.
“That was super exciting. I sent out lots of excited emails with plenty of exclamation points. I was like, ‘OMG, OMG, I did it!!’”
Today, she’s enjoying the perks of earning a great income, while having more free time than ever to do what she loves.
“Lately I’ve been spending more time than ever around horses. I recently went to the Biltmore Estate endurance team selections in North Carolina with a friend of mine, and had an amazing time. I would never have been able to go on such short notice if I hadn’t already left my full time job.”
All in all, Elyse has found freelancing to be her dream career.
“Five times a day I still think to myself, ‘This is incredible, I can’t believe I did it!’ That’s not to say there aren’t little bumps here and there, like juggling clients and things like that. But all of the stress of my corporate job is just gone. It’s the most amazing feeling.”