Alhamdulillah! I have completed 3 levels and this is level 4 (out of 5 levels series) in front of you. I’m sure you’ve learned the tips and tricks about how to start freelancing from zero, then how to begin a freelance career for jobs at top marketplaces. In level 3 you’ve learned how to get jobs, how to deliver, and how to get positive feedback from the clients.
Note: This is a bit higher level of freelancing that is for professional level freelancers who already done the jobs or sold products or became a referral as an affiliate and so on.
Once again you are advised to go through previous levels if you are new or a beginner in freelancing. Just check my guides below:
- Start freelancing from Zero! Basic Freelancing Guide for Level 1 Freelancers
- Step ahead in Freelancing! Beginners Guide for Level 2 Freelancers
- Professional Freelancing! The Ultimate Guide for Level 3 Freelancers
Table of Contents
After reading this Freelancing Guide level 4:
Freelance Service Providers will be able to
- Learn how to get a prospect list from Freelance Clients.
- How to sell more services to a single client as add-on services.
- How to make Freelance Clients an Advocate to convince others for hiring.
Freelance Business Professionals will be able to
- Compare Two types of online businesses
- Start Dropshipping Business as an online vendor
- Understand different other business models
Get Started with Freelancing Guide
So you are here because you are curious to see what comes out from the unfolding guide so you can learn or compare the content with what you already know.
There is no embarrassment or shame to go through the things you might already know or are experts in.
But the fact is every time you do, you learn something new even from the beginner or newbie writer.
I remember sometimes when I’m in need of some data from my old days freelancing work and I open my folders to find that item I come across lots of funny things I made in those days. I sometimes smile and most of the time laugh at that but this is the reality that everyone grows up as time passes through the days and months and years.
But a very strange thing I always noticed that something I did as a beginner without knowing the importance or value at that time, surprisingly that work is the most demanding or expensive nowadays. For example, I started Domain buying a selling in 2012 and I spent my days and nights learning and then earning through domaining.
Lots of times I searched my own name’s domain ShahzadBashir.com and it was available but I didn’t purchase it because I thought my website domain name freelancefront.com is enough and I’ll get it later whenever I needed it.
Phew! Bad decision. Recently I acquired my personal domain name shahzadbasheer.com (ee in my last name) just because the exact matched name was already taken by someone else. Also, lots of Domains I left, were bought and sold for high prices after a couple of years.
Similarly, the proposals I wrote to submit in freelance jobs marketplaces in order to get the jobs but they didn’t work in those days, I made some amendments and used them again and got surprised when the acceptance ratio of those proposals was analyzed higher.
Similarly old days posts and articles were not so good as far as recent days content but I already grabbed something from old content.
Lesson to Learn: Just learn something from anything.
So the main point in the above personal archive is that you always learn something from the old, beginner, non-professionals, and even unskilled people but you have to suck the precise knowledge that electrify you to accelerate for a creative idea.
This Guide consists of 2 chapters:
As I already told you and assumed you as a professional in freelancing. No matter what you do. I mean you may be a Freelance Service Provider, Freelance Business as an Ecommerce Store owner or a Freelancer Agency as a private Digital Marketer, or an Entrepreneur at the top jobs marketplaces.
My goal in this guide is to give you the Tips that I learned and used over the years and found practical to be applied:
For the Freelance Service Providers:
- Grow your Freelance Services
- Add some add-ons to accelerate your income
- Always value the client without estimating a low or high budget.
For the Freelance Business:
- Marketing & Strategy for sales growth
- Make your business a Brand
- Get repeat Sales from the verified customers
Chapter 1: For the Freelance Service Providers:
Grow your Freelance Services with prospecting
Freelance Service Providers Market Analysis, Growth Rate, and Potential Income.
Pakistan is the fastest-growing market according to global surveys. Payoneer also announced the IT sector of Pakistan is growing rapidly. The current analysis shows that Pakistan is the 4th top-ranked freelancers’ global hub.
As a freelance service provider in whatever category and whatever marketplace you are on, you have a portfolio with genuine artwork to showcase and a smooth work history to satisfy the client and an updated skill set that is the most appealing area for a freelance buyer.
You’ve already provided a few or more services to the customers at your job marketplace. There should be a category of clients in your portfolio. like how many clients were:
- Very Good
Let’s start with the clients who were marked as “Excellent clients and Very Good clients“. They know the value of your work. They were happy with the result you delivered. They were honest and quick in releasing the payment after the job was delivered. They communicated well during the job process.
My question is, what is your repeated job ratio?
- Did they give you a repeat job? YES – NO
- Did they give you 5 start feedback with at least 20+ words (around 2 lines of comments)? YES – NO
- Did they refer you to any other client? YES – NO
If your answer is NO for the first one “They didn’t give the repeat job”, then I’m sorry the other two options are just enough to display on your profile. An “Excellent buyer” is your center of influence and you can “force him” to provide at least 5 users from his contact list so you can contact them by email, Skype, chat room, or phone call with that “Excellent buyer and Good buyers”.
Effective Tip: Prospecting the freelance buyers:
This is called prospecting. You should, No You must do prospecting for new freelance buyers if you have an excellent buyer. Ask your excellent buyer to either provide you with at least 5 genuine prospects for online web services.
Now if the buyer refers any new customer that exactly wants to hire you for the same freelance category you already providing services in, that’s awesome and just do it.
But in case the new customer needs a different freelance service that you don’t provide, you can simply hire someone from fiverr.com or any local freelance service provider but don’t let the customer go with a reply saying “Sorry Sir we don’t deal in this category“
Remember the Golden Rule:
Don’t let the guy go, who comes to “Spend Money” for his need!
Lesson to Learn: Always try to get a prospects list from your Excellent Clients.
The center of influence is your excellent client and this is my experience that a satisfied client can easily convince the other prospects and entice him/her to hire you for the services with 100% satisfaction.
I learned this in my beginning as a life insurance sales representative but this is equally effective in freelancing.
Add some add-ons to accelerate your income
As an established and professional freelancer, you must know what add-ons you can use to increase your freelance skills, potential income, and circle of satisfied clients at the job marketplace. So for example you are a web designer and simply providing WordPress Web Designing Services to freelance customers, you can ask your client:
- Will they start marketing the website you are creating?
- Will they hire anyone for Search Engine Optimization?
- Will they require a content writer for website or blog content writing?
- Will they hire someone for social media marketing?
- Will they hire someone for an Ads campaign on Google?
All these can be added to your proposal or at the delivery once you did the job. So if the client needs more services but you didn’t ask him/her, they might have already talked or hired someone else so this is your loss not only for the income you possibly could make but the client itself as well.
Effective Tip: Don’t let your client go buying just one service when they can buy more
The sharp salesman always focuses on one item to sell but as soon as the deal is finalized, He starts displaying or telling about the other add-ons just like a bakery person. If you go to buy Bread, He can ask whether or not you need, Butter, Jam, Egg, etc and then suddenly you think, oh yes! I need butter and jam as well. That’s it!
Lesson to Learn: Try to offer relevant services or products.
If you are a Web developer, You should know the key points of Web Hosting because most clients don’t have any idea about web hosting so once you started the job, you are now trusted by the client and he/she can discuss the relevant things to you so just ask them if they have already purchased a web hosting account or not. Similarly, go for asking about Logo designing or Brand material if the job is corporate web designing. You may ask firmly about SEO or social media marketing so the sky is the limit. These are the add-ons you may put into your proposal and make extra money.
Don’t evaluate your client’s worth with a low or high budget.
Although you are satisfied with your current position at the job marketplace where you have a great profile with a number of successful projects completed with 5-star feedback. You may be a Top Rated Freelancer but still, you are not done. You should keep checking and doing comparisons with the other “freelance service providers”.
In the freelance job marketplaces, you are not alone. There are millions of others who trying to do exactly the same as you do so staying in a position is not a wise decision.
Your competitors in freelancing are just like a war enemy. You lose, you die. And the Game is over!
Why I’m saying this because the client is an invisible income for every freelancer. You don’t know the client and so as the clients. They are not relevant. They even don’t know who you are and where you live. They don’t care if you have an expert team, High-quality services, 100s of 5-star reviews, and an extraordinary portfolio. Once you missed that client and someone else got him, you lose.
Effective Tip: Be quick in replying to the client’s message:
As soon as you received a chat or conversation message in reply to your submitted proposal to a posted job from the client, consider him as he sitting on your table with spendable money in his pocket. What will you do?
- Ignore and start doing your in-hand job.
- Go through the job description but oh, I’ll reply to him in a short while. OR
- Leave everything you are doing and give him full attention. Read the job carefully and give attention to detail. Then reply with a fresh proposal replying point to point for the requirements. Add examples and references wherever needed.
You should obviously go for the 3rd option even if the job price is low. For example, if your current hourly rate or fixed price job rate is $50 USD but the client’s budget is $30, don’t just ignore the low price. Just think he is sitting before you to pay you so once you are his guy, you can make more money using the previously discussed tips.
Remember: If you are failed in getting the job from the client who came to you, you don’t consider yourself as an “Expert Freelancer” but just a professional freelancer.
This Technique I used to get a quick reply from the clients:
If you see the job description is long and will take time in reading and applying. Don’t put the client on wait. Just replying to him instantly with this: Hi, Thank you for contacting me, Let me go through the job description thoroughly so that I can get back to you with the answers and/or solutions in reply to your question or query.
You’ll see a quick positive reply from the client saying thank you for your quick reply. That’s the plus point. Try it.
Don’t leave or ignore your client because of low budget job.
Make a low-budget client your center of influence and advocate to get the most out of him/her.
I learned this lesson when I was a Sales Officer in a Life Insurance Company. Once my sister called me to guide her neighbor about Life Insurance because her neighbor (a lady) wanted to be insured. I asked my sister how much premium she can afford. My sister told me that she is a housewife so she can invest a little, not that much.
It was a simple life insurance policy sale where the client was already agreed to pay just because of prospecting from my sister for me. But just like I discussed above, I thought it’s a small insurance policy so just a little commission will be there for me. I asked one of my new representatives to go and get that policy in his account. My representative finalized that policy and took the commission that was not enough according to me.
But after a short period, the same lady called my representative to meet one of his relatives whom she prospected for my representative, and that customer took a life insurance policy of one million from my representative so he earned a big money in commission with a long prospects list from that client. Did you get my point now?
Lesson to Learn:
Always try to go beyond the limit in order to make your client an Excellent client as well as a center of influence. In other words, make your client an “Advocate” because the client can inspire others when telling about the experience with you. So if your client is your advocate, He or She can easily convince others to just hire you for all the web services you do or you may not do but you can get their job done.
Chapter 2: For the Freelance Business Professionals:
This chapter is focused on Freelance Business. The difference between freelance services and freelance business has been discussed in previous levels of guides so you can refer if not clear about this.
The important thing is to consider here.
Why did I combine 2 different categories into one EBook / Guide in the level 4 freelancing guide?
You are right. Freelance Service providers and Freelance Business Professionals are different from each other but they are relevant too.
A good freelancer can enjoy the perks of “freelance business professionals”. Freelance business professionals can upgrade their business to become a freelance agency so these are the most relevant to each other or they are steps towards success.
A freelance service provider always relies on him/herself as an individual entity but sooner or later after having a few or more projects added to the portfolio the freelance service providers start thinking bigger than they do.
The first idea comes from the client whom a service provider dealt with in a good manner and delivered the job.
Usually, A freelance Service Provider has more powerful ideas than a freelance business professional. Because a service provider has been working on clients’ business projects so let’s say one has provided 50 services to business owners, He has 50 ideas for a business startup.
Note: There are lots of already used freelance businesses like:
Affiliate Marking for promotions of someone else products
Affiliate Store with Amazon, eBay, and other brands
Commission-based business like referral commission.
Selling Website Traffic online
Selling Social Media Services
Selling Domain Names and Websites
And the list goes on…
But here I’ll talk about a business that is very easy to adopt and easy to earn. So keep reading…
Freelance Business Professional:
Now come the Business professional’s skills and capabilities. Although the freelance service provider has ideas of business startups but the practical implementation to start a business requires some essentials:
- Determination to start a business that stands out from the crowd
- Capital investment to get started with buying some online essentials
- Skills to learn business ethics and knowledge about the business product
- Most important, the patience to service in a hard time
- Commitment to providing customer support with 100% Satisfaction
Basic Freelance Businesses fall into two categories:
- Selling “tangible” Products online
- Selling “intangible” Products online
- Business, selling online Physical Products (Tangible products) that need to be shipped. (For example Shoes, Clothes, Jewelry, etc.)
- Business, selling online Digital Products (inTangible) that don’t need to be shipped but can be downloaded or shared through the link. (For example E-Book, Software, Course Material in PDF and Stock images, etc.)
You better know the difference between Tangible and intangible items and infect an intangible product is very easy to sell with less hard work, support, and issues than a Tangible (Physical product).
- Intangible Products don’t need to be stocked at the warehouse so you save warehouse expenses.
|Physical Product (Tangibles)
|Digital Products (Intangible)
There are lots of advantages of selling intangible/ Downloadable products than physical products but if this is your primary focus and mainstream business like Shoes, Clothes, Jewelry, and other thousands of physical products then how would you avoid the above expenses and costs from your hard-earned money?
Let’s talk about the most popular and trendy way that makes your life easy to sell physical products without any pain of warehouse, staff salary, product delivery, and refund issues.
Dropshipping: The Most popular easy-to-use and million dollars business opportunity trend for 2020.
You may know or may not hear about Dropshipping but this is the real online business trend these days. Anybody can start in a few minutes and make money from home. So basically it’s a home-managed online business that automatically works even if you are sleeping, playing your favorite game, traveling around the world, or enjoying your holidays.
What is Dropshipping and how does it work?
Dropshipping is modern and the most popular business model in 2019 and 2020. Dropshippers just sell the products from reliable suppliers on the aliexpress.com marketplace (individual or company) inside his online store built with WordPress using the woo-commerce plugin as a free tool to import products from aliexpress.com
The shopify.com and aliexpress.com are the major sources of dropshipping business. The shopify.com is a platform where a newbie can easily start an online business without having the stuff and issues mentioned in the table above.
But Shopify provides only 14 days trial and after that, if you want to keep your store live, you have to pay a monthly fee which is $25 USD per month.
On the other hand, you can use woo commerce in your WordPress Website as a free fully functional e-commerce plugin that makes your website a fully automated online store.
Note: You can buy Pre-made eCommerce Dropship Store to skip development cost and issues.
You can import products from aliexpress.com absolutely free using a free tool “ezusy” which makes you able to Import 100s of products from the aliexpress.com marketplace to your online store for FREE. If you need to import more than 500 products, you have to buy an upgrade account.
This is what I’ve been doing and recommending. Also creating a WordPress website and converting it into an online e-commerce Dropship store is very easy when you know your stuff.
So why pay any fee when you can use free smart tools to create an online store in 2020 with aliexpress? Simply do the following:
Search for a keyword-rich domain name for any product that is trendy. Find trendy products for 2020 with the Google search engine. For example, the top trendy products in 2019 are “Shoes”.
Go to Google Trends and find the keyword trends analysis about Shoes or any other product.
I recommend you buy the exact matched domain name with a .com extension but if in case .com is not available, you can try either two words domain with for .com or you can find a .co extension that represents a company domain.
These days almost all single-word keyword domains are already taken in .com extension so if you want to buy, it will be much more expensive. Also, two words domain names are very rare but can be searched or bought from the domain name marketplaces.
Anyways once you purchased the domain name for your product, just create an online store using WordPress and Woocommerce plugin.
Install a free or paid store template in “WordPress” and configure it for payment, Shipping, Shop, and other essentials.
Create Product categories if you are going to sell shoes through your online store, create categories like “Men’s Shoes” “Women’s shoes” “Kids shoes” etc.
Search “ezusy” browser extension in your Google Chrome or another browser. Once ezusy is installed you are all set to import products in your online store.
Now go to create your store account in ezusy. It’s free but you have to link your online store with a simple configuration process.
You can learn how to configure and set up store with ezusy. Just search on Google or Youtube to find the tutorials.
Visit aliexpress.com and find your product through a search.
Here is a “tip to find the best product”. When you search product in aliexpress, it displays the product under the “Best Match” category but you should search through the “order” link.
This is because when you search products by order, you will see how many orders have been received and fulfilled by the supplier with each product.
So you want to import highly sellable items. Also, you can search by adding the filter “Free Shipping”. Just click on the checkbox.
Now you see a blue icon appears on each product when you roll your mouse pointer over the products.
This is ezusy so just click this logo/icon and it will import the product into your ezusy account where you have already created your store account and linked it to your online store.
Now start importing products from aliexpress to your online store under the specific categories.
You will be all set to go and sell your products online.
There are many other businesses that you can start as a freelancer. For example:
Sell Web Hosting accounts as a Reseller.
Sell Premium themes for WordPress.
Sell Premium Plugins online
Sell Products through Facebook Page
Sell your services online as a premium/custom package
Write paid content, Blog online. Get custom orders through the website.
Provide SEO Audit service if you are an expert
Sell SEO service as a business package
The main purpose of this chapter is to entice you for adding more addons to your professional online skills and services.
- If your business is just selling products, then find new marketplaces to expand your operations.
- If you are a graphic designer at fiverr.com as a business entity, try to add your samples in more upcoming marketplaces.
- Hire virtual assistants and give them jobs as sub-contractor at 70% – 30% or 60%-40% percentage.
- Put Advertisements for selling ad space in your store, website, and blog.
- Create social Media stores like Facebook to get orders and traffic.
- Sell domain names on brand seller’s marketplaces like brandpa.com
- Sell your ecommerce Store at Flippa.com EmpireFlipper.com and other marketplaces. Some are free to sell.
The Freelancing Guide Level 4 Ends here. But the possibilities are endless. As a freelance service provider or a business professional, you can earn in a smart way.
All you need to do is, just improve your skills and add on the trendy skills in order to upgrade.
The upgrade is the most essential part of a freelance career. If you won’t go for an upgrade, you won’t go longer than you deserve.
So in the next and last level 5 freelancing guide I’ll guide how to upgrade freelance service providers and business professionals in a freelance agency.
So the last level 5 is based and focused on “How to start a Digital Agency in 2020“.