Every month thousands of people ask me the same question:
“Can you do well at freelancing — even freelance writing — if English isn’t your first language?”
Everyone who asks that should meet my friend Oleg. Actually, anyone who wants to raise their rate (on Upwork or anywhere else) should meet him.
Oleg doesn’t live in the US. English isn’t even his second language — it’s his third.
But none of that stops him from charging what he’s worth and choosing projects he enjoys.
I brought him on the podcast to tell you how he does it.
There are some surprises in store for you in this episode, including:
- Why Oleg decided to try his hand at freelance writing even though he felt English was his weakest language
- His unconventional first freelance writing job, and how he got it
- Why he feels he’s one of the better writers around (I agree with this btw) even though he isn’t a native English speaker
- How he started freelancing part-time and later transitioned to full time
- The major life change that literally forced him to raise his rate by several multiples overnight
- How he dealt with the financial pressures of living in an expensive city
- His non-traditional approach for raising his rate by 6x
- How Oleg presents himself as an English copywriter, even though Upwork clients can see he’s from a non-English speaking country
- The psychological barriers that keep many freelancers (especially non-US ones) from charging what they’re worth
- What clients are really looking for in a freelancer (hint: it has little to do with what their first language is)
- The keys to charging more than your competitors
- The big misunderstandings that cause freelance writers to get paid less than they should
- Why all freelance writers (not just copywriters) can charge more than they probably think
- Major mistakes Oleg sees other copywriters making — and how to avoid them
- Simple ways to perform better than your competitors
- What to do if you’ve quoted too low of a price
- The real reason most freelancers don’t get hired (it has nothing to do with how much they charge)
- How Oleg overcame the fear of raising his rates
- The best way to attract clients to you in droves
And much more…
Ep 005: “Can you succeed at freelance writing if English isn’t your first language?” with Oleg Starko
Note: We didn’t mention that last link in the show but Oleg sent me an email afterward that said this: “This is the recording of a live workshop that Ramit put on for CreativeLive way back in 2012, and it’s what motivated me to bump up my hourly rate for the first time. I don’t mention it on the episode, but I highly recommend checking it out.”
And finally: Get the free pricing hacks Oleg used to go from $30/hr to $150/hr on his blog.
Previous episode: “This is how you get great clients on Upwork” with Summer Felix