The Ultimate and Only Guide to Freelancing…In 4 Bullets
A while back, in response to one of my daily emails (though I can’t remember what it was about), I got the following response.
I think it’s worth sharing, because it talks about what I’d consider to be the “easiest” way to make money online, but also one that I did very, very little of when I was coming up, and one that I sincerely hope I never have to do again.
Anyways, take it away dear reader…
(By the way, I got asked recently, “Do you mind getting questions via email?” and the answer is no, I don’t, as long as they are intelligent questions that I can answer publicly and create content out of. Also, tone matters. Don’t come at me with expectations for free consulting. Y’all know I don’t roll that way.
I’ll start things off by saying my name may be [redacted], and I May be into e-commerce, but I am not the guilty party.
New folks pop up and start acting like they’re the second coming of Christ when it’s clear they know fuck all about what they’re selling.
His first course was on freelance copywriting, so I figured I’d take a look at his sales page. Thats what people were paying him to write after all.
It was utter garbage.
He had different prices listed for the product throughout the copy. (Noob mistake)
His pictures were of varying sizes. Some were phone screenshots that needed to be cropped. (Noob mistake)
Some of his testimonials provide zero convincing social proof — “I can definitely see how anyone can use this course to sign their first client” — If it’s such a good course, why haven’t you signed your first client?
Here’s the thing…
I don’t even claim to be good at this shit, yet I can see how awful his product is. Unfortunately, complete beginners can’t, and that’s why this is only the beginning of the incompetent course pumpers
But, you might not know that when I first got started, I did do a little bit of freelance web design here and there to make ends meet. I’ve been designing sites since I was a wee lad in middle school, it’s easy for me, and it kept me afloat for my first year living abroad. I very rarely actually take any clients now.
(You might enjoy this interview I did with my personal friend Sam last year about running a web design agency).
You want to know the reason you see so many people teaching “freelancing” (even though there’s really not much to teach about it).
Because it has zero barrier to entry.
Even less than niche sites.
It’s totally free to go on Upwork and pitch a client. But yes, as this reader attested, you see garbage—often. Freelance copywriters who can’t write copy. Freelance web designers whose website looks like it was built in 1995. Video editors who have never produced a video other than their “hobby”.
So, while I do think freelancing is a great idea, it’s much, much more about the way you approach people and actually ”do business” (i.e. sign deals) than anything else. That’s more or less…well, charisma and psychology.
As I said, people go this route of selling how to freelance because it’s easy for them to phrase it as “there’s no barrier to entry, all you need is my course”. And, it doesn’t really take much for them to make a product around. Look, here’s the system:
- Decide on your speciality
- Call clients
- Sign deals
- Create work you promised (hope you actually know something!)
It’s not rocket science, really.
Something a bit more complex like niche sites or dropshipping—yeah, it does make sense to make a course because they are far more complex than just “emailing or calling lots of people”.
Most “how to be a freelancer” guides don’t actually teach you said skills.
It’s just about the business model.
(Because most of them ain’t dun it)
So, in conclusion…
Don’t buy any “freelancing” info products.
- Step One: Just LEARN a skill BEFORE you sell it.
- Step Two: Start selling it.
Two simple steps is all it takes.
Anyways, I do think freelancing is a great way to start, but you won’t see me doing it anytime soon. I prefer the passive models that bring in money while sleeping…and that I don’t have to actually talk to people, since I’m a cranky old grinch now.
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