Henrik was an expert at building and optimizing Google AdWords campaigns, a platform for putting ads in Google search results. But at his job, AdWords was all he ever did, and he was starting to get tired of it.
“I was trained to do Adwords, and I’m very good at it. But for me, it’s just one of many tools out there. After a while, I got sick of doing Adwords all day long. I really needed more creativity in my work.”
He hated the feeling of just “going through the motions” at work, so he decided to try his hand at something new.
“I asked my boss if I could do a few writing projects, to add some variety to my day. I wrote a couple of articles and really enjoyed it, but we ended up butting heads over some of the details. That was the last straw for me. I quit soon afterward — there was no way I was going back to AdWords.”
Out on his own with no turning back
After leaving his job, Henrik decided to try things his way. But it didn’t go as smoothly as he’d hoped.
“I started taking on copywriting clients with connections I’d built from years in the AdWords business. I was hoping to focus on writing which I enjoyed more, but my clients kept asking me for help with AdWords because they knew I had a lot of experience.”
In order to finally free himself from AdWords projects, Henrik decided to bring in some outside help.
“I had an old colleague who specialized in AdWords, so I partnered with him. It was perfect: he ran the ad campaigns and I did the copywriting for landing pages and emails.”
The partnership was just what he needed: Henrik was writing, clients were rolling in, and business was booming.
“It felt amazing to finally be doing what I wanted. I was building a client base from all over the world: America, England, Australia, South Africa, the Netherlands. Best of all, I never even had to think about AdWords because my partner handled all of that.”
Back to square one
Just when things were finally looking up, Henrik stumbled upon yet another roadblock: his partner bailed, leaving Henrik to pick up the slack.
“I was back on my own, and I was stuck with the leftover AdWords accounts again. It was so frustrating because I started my own company to get away from AdWords, but it seemed like I couldn’t escape it no matter how hard I tried.”
He was stuck between a rock and a hard place — he hated the work, but he had bills to pay and a family to feed.
“I didn’t want to do another partnership after the last one ended. But at the same time I couldn’t give up those AdWords clients because they were the bulk of my income. I didn’t have a choice, and I really hated that feeling of being trapped. All I wanted to do was write.
Henrik needed to escape his old skill set once and for all. Luckily, a new way of looking at freelancing was just a click away…
“I found out about Freelance to Win from a copywriting site. I signed up for Danny’s Top 5 Upwork Hacks and really liked his way of thinking.”
Henrik started learning about online freelance sites like Upwork and began to see how using them could bring him closer to his true goal.
“I realized that using Upwork could be an easy way to get new copywriting clients — ones that needed writing for something other than AdWords.”
Figuring he had nothing to lose, he set up an Upwork account. With millions of clients now at his fingertips, he felt like he had hit the jackpot.
“At first, I thought I’d only find low-quality jobs. But I was surprised that Danny was right: there were all of these incredible jobs right here in front of me, and they were mine for the taking.”
Hitting the ground running
Henrik didn’t waste any time and started sending out proposals right away. But as the days ticked by without many responses, he started wondering if he was missing something.
“I knew it was possible to start from scratch on Upwork from reading the Freelance To Win blog, but it was really frustrating because I kept sending out proposals and never heard back. I was obviously doing something wrong, but I didn’t know what.”
Instead of spending months fixing his proposals through trial and error, Henrik decided to invest in Secrets of a Six-Figure Upworker. The proven strategies laid out in the course gave Henrik exactly the help he was looking for.
“The course was very easy to follow. I learned how to put together an awesome portfolio really quickly. And I think the part that worked best for me was learning how to write a proposal that adds value — it made clients want to hire me.”
Before long, he was winning jobs left and right. And even better, he also learned how to perfectly position himself on Upwork so that he could start charging premium rates.
“After I got a couple of testimonials on Upwork, I decided to up my rate. I learned that how you see yourself and how you approach clients matters a lot. If you charge low rates, they’re much less likely to see you as a valuable asset.”
Henrik’s dream seemed like it was finally coming true — he was kicking ass in his long-awaited copywriting career. But he couldn’t put his finger on the lingering feeling that something was off…
The dream career he never knew he wanted
The more copywriting jobs Henrik completed, the more he started to wonder if he’d jumped the gun.
“One of the things I still struggled with was figuring out exactly what I wanted to do. I thought I wanted to do copywriting — it was definitely better than AdWords — but writing wasn’t actually my favorite part of the copywriting process.”
Luckily, his copywriting jobs gave him a taste of a new kind of work that seemed like a perfect fit.
“With a lot of my Upwork jobs, I would be hired to do the copywriting or to set up the technical side. Then, whenever I could, I worked my way up to the ‘strategy side’ as soon as possible. Things like interviewing the client, digging into the deeper needs of their target audience, and developing a plan of action, were much more interesting to me.”
With more and more jobs pouring in, Henrik finally started zeroing in on the marketing service he enjoyed the most.
“I finally started to realize that what I really wanted to be is a consultant. I love brainstorming, discussing strategy, and helping clients refine their positioning. I had finally realized what my dream job was — being a marketing consultant.”
Using the techniques laid out in the course, Henrik did it again: he broke into yet another market and quickly started winning jobs by the dozen.
“Thanks to Upwork and the profile I built using lessons from SSFU, I immediately started attracting consulting clients who were willing to pay my rate, respected me as an expert, and were just all-around great to work with.”
An offer he couldn’t refuse
Henrik was truly happy: he had finally settled into a field he loved — and was already earning as much as (or more than) his more experienced competitors.
“I was charging $90/hr at this point and I’d get in 5-6 hours a week on purely consulting, on top of the copywriting I was doing. It was a nice basis to work off of.”
He was even able to land a few long-term consulting clients.
“There was one client in particular who I really liked working with. They didn’t wince at every hour I logged. And they were open to hearing my ideas — for me, that part was really important. It was exactly what I was looking for.”
As their relationship continued, Henrik started to realize that something didn’t feel quite right.
“They were always eager to hear my input but didn’t seem to be implementing the strategies I recommended, and did things that just weren’t my style. I felt kind of bad, like they were wasting money on my services, since they weren’t fully implementing my ideas.”
Although he was worried that they may no longer be a good fit for one another, he took one last shot at helping his client.
“I took a chance and finally said, ‘Listen, I’m having a hard time adding value because I don’t agree with your marketing strategy.’ Half-jokingly, I added, ‘You guys should just hire me to do it for you.’ And in response, they asked how much I’d like to make and how I would do things differently.”
Henrik couldn’t believe his ears. He put together a rock-solid proposal and anxiously waited for a response…
“Soon enough, I was on the phone with the CEO and he was asking me how much I wanted to make. I told him $100,000. His response? ‘We can work with that.’ I couldn’t believe it…it was a dream come true.”
Dream job, unbelievable salary, and a brand-new home
Freelancing took Henrik from being bored, trapped, and unhappy to being well-paid, fulfilled, and in total control.
“I never would have been on Upwork if it wasn’t for Danny’s course. And now with this new job, I’m making twice as much as I did before.”
And his career isn’t the only thing that’s changed…
“When I was hired, I told the CEO that I wanted to move to the US. He was totally on board and told me I could basically pick where I wanted to live. So we’re moving to Denver! Plus, I’m going to have the authority to build my own team there. I think that’s a testament to the kind of relationship we have.”
Best of all, Henrik can still work freelancing gigs on the side whenever he wants.
“Everything I do on Upwork now is extra and I do it in my free time. Even if one day I suddenly lost my job, I feel secure knowing that I can quickly build up a freelance client base with work that pays the same amount as my job — if not more.”