When Annie started freelancing as an administrative support agent, she was excited to enjoy the perks that would come with being her own boss.
“In the beginning, there was this sense of grandeur about running my own business — setting my own hours, working in my PJs, being ten feet from the refrigerator. The stuff that makes freelancing seem like a dream job.”
But before long, it seemed like business ownership wasn’t all she had cracked it up to be. In fact, freelancing left her more stressed out than ever before.
“I never actually set my own hours because I was always on call for whatever my clients needed. I’d get a call at 3:00 a.m. and have to drive to a location two hours away through rain and fog. It was nuts. I started to worry I’d end up dead on the side of the road.”
But Annie wasn’t ready to give up just yet. She was determined to make her dreams of stress-free freelancing a reality.
“I’m not a fan of pressure-cooker scenarios. I left the banking industry to get away from that kind of environment, and I wasn’t going to let freelancing be stressful like that. Enough was enough.”
She knew she’d need to tweak her approach if she was going to stop answering to others and take back the reins of her business.
One step forward, one step back
After reevaluating her priorities, Annie finally realized how to start making her career work for her, instead of the other way around.
“I decided to shift from an in-person administrative agent to a virtual administrator and run everything 100% remotely from home. It felt a little weird — I was used to being available whenever and wherever my clients needed me — but it was the right decision for the kind of business I wanted.”
But while working remotely solved her commute problems, it created some new issues that she hadn’t encountered before.
“Before I went remote, I never had any trouble getting work. So I was kind of stuck in the mindset of, ‘I’m a pro, and clients should automatically know that.’ But it didn’t work like that. I had a really hard time finding clients when I started working remotely.”
And the clients she did manage to find weren’t willing to treat Annie with the respect she knew she deserved.
“I kept running into clients who considered freelancers to be subprime, like temp workers. I knew I was worth more than that…and I knew there were plenty of clients who would value me that way. I just needed to find them and earn their business.”
Setting skepticism aside
While researching new ways to improve her business, Annie learned of an exciting opportunity from an unlikely source.
“I came across Freelance To Win and found a bunch of stories about people making a lot of money through freelancing sites like Upwork. There were also tips and strategies for readers to try on their own. It caught my attention.”
When she learned there was a course that would teach her specific strategies to grow her freelance career on Upwork, Annie was both excited and a little wary.
“I was a bit worried I was about to be taken for a ride. On one hand, I thought I already knew everything I needed to know. But on the other hand, I couldn’t deny that I wasn’t exactly successful at it yet. I thought that maybe the course would help me see what my mistakes were.”
Finally ready to see some results in her freelance career, she stepped outside of her comfort zone and signed up for Secrets Of A Six-Figure Upworker.
“The more I looked through the material, the more I started thinking, ‘There’s something unique to this that maybe I’ve missed. It’s worth it to give this stuff a shot. You never know what you might learn.’”
Attracting clients by the dozen
After going through all of the material, Annie decided to zero in on just one of the proven methods laid out in the course and put it to the test.
“I followed the SSFU formula for optimizing my profile. I thought, ‘Either it won’t work at all, or maybe it will and I’ll get a little business out if it.’ Well, I’ll tell you what — I’m one of the most skeptical people on this planet, and I’ve never seen anything work that well and that quickly.”
Suddenly, online freelancing was a whole new ballgame.
“For a minute there, I had a panic moment — oh, my God, it works too well! I was bombarded with private invites and I had some decision-making to do about which clients I really wanted to work with. It wasn’t a bad problem to have.”
Annie’s now taking the time to sift through her options. When she’s ready, she has a handful of course strategies in her back pocket when she’s ready to take on more work.
“Once you’re a part of SSFU, you’re in it for life. Right now I’m booked solid, so I’m holding off on using any more of what I’ve learned. I’m thinking about putting together my portfolio next, but only after things die down — if they ever do. It’s nice to know I can go back to it when I’m ready.”
Business is booming with no end in sight
Annie is thrilled to finally have control over every aspect of her business. Now, she finally gets to enjoy high-level success and all those freelance perks she used to dream about.
“The strategies I learned gave me a whole new perspective on Upwork. Sure, I might have gotten some clients and made some money on my own, but now I’m actually building up a business in the upper levels of my field. And I’m doing it my own way.”
And because she’s learned how to win jobs from her dream clients at the drop of a hat, she doesn’t have to waste time sifting through jobs that would jeopardize her lifestyle.
“Setting my own schedule is super important to me. As an administrative support agent, I need the ability to add, move, and adjust as necessary to meet the demands of my clients. I also have things in my personal life that I want to honor. Freelancing lets me do all of that.”
Now, it’s her turn to hire her own assistants so she can take some tasks off of her plate — just like she does for her clients.
“I recently hired a dog sitter which is an exciting step for me. Now I’m thinking about hiring a housekeeper and a gardener. I usually do my own yard work, so it could be nice to have some help with that. I just have more flexibility now. It’s nice to have more balance in my life.”