5 Ways to Grow Your Freelance Business Like Wildfire

There are tons of guides out there on how you can earn your first income as a newbie freelance writer, but most of them suck.

As a newbie, you need practical guides that will steer you to grow fast your freelance business, not spin content from people who haven't even tried the hacks they've written.

That leaves you with the question; "what then must I do?"

Very well, in this post, I'm going to show you step by step what you should do to grow your freelance business like wildfire if you're starting from scratch.

So, very fast, let's dive into the 5 actions you must take to grow your freelance business like wildfire starting from scratch.

1. Create an Online Presence

I guess you must have met this severally, but how do you do it and what does it entail?

Don't get it from the grapevine! There is much more you need to know when it comes to growing your online presence.

Before we look into how you can grow your online presence, let's talk facts;

  • 97 percent of consumers use the web to search for local businesses
  • Facebook and Twitter are for any business; in 2018, Facebook has a total of 2.23 billion users while Twitter has 336,335 users across the globe
  • Twitter has been growing fast – in 2010; Twitter had only 30 million users. In 2018, Twitter has a total of 336,335
  • Instagram is a powerful photo-sharing network – You can sell beautiful products like jewellery on this platform and make a reasonable profit
  • Instagram has 130 million users, and two-thirds are women aged between 18 and 35

These are too-good-to-true stats to ignore. They should give you an insight that social media is the backbone of all thriving businesses.

So, by now, you should be curiously waiting to devour ways of how you can create and increase your social media presence. Here we go;

  • Know your goals and objectives: Before you do anything, you should know what your aims. Do you want to create awareness on your brand? Do you want to grow your freelance business? For example, if you need to improve your freelance business, there is a need to target the right audience – those who are also doing it. This way, you will connect with the right people.
  • Be human: From the name, "social media", it is clear that it is a platform where people meet and socialize. Note that I didn't say animals. I said people – humans. To make people follow and connect with you, it is wise that you help anyone out who needs your help. For instance, if someone posts a question, be ready to help as fast as possible. Being the first to comment by offering a solution is an added advantage – people get to know you're the go-to-guy.
  • Link your website with your social media profiles: I have linked my site with my Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profile. When I craft a new post, it goes viral via these profiles. Connecting your website and profile is relatively simple. For instance, when you want to link your site with your Facebook profile, here is a step by step guide.
  • Produce valuable content: Poor researched content will make your readers form an opinion about you. They will lose trust in you and will opt for another smart freelance writer or blogger who can provide them with useful and valuable content. In short, craft content and posts that your readers love reading. You can do this by scheming what your audience love reading. For example, if your audience is freelancers, craft posts that will solve most of their problems; how to write articles that clients like.
  • Optimize your accounts: Most bloggers will tell you to optimize your social media accounts and leave it at that. No, that's not what I'm going to do. Instead, I'll give you the hack for optimizing your social accounts such that clients come looking for you instead of you looking for them. Optimizing your accounts mean using the right keywords that relate to what service you offer. For instance, if you're a copywriter who writes copies that sell. You need to indicate that in your bio by using keywords like, "Sales Copywriter for Hire."

Therefore, you should try as much as possible and increase your online presence because it will increase your chances of generating additional revenue, build your customer loyalty, connect you with high-value clients, and reinforce your brand.

2. Join the LinkedIn Community

It's so sad that I'd never heard of LinkedIn till mid-2017 and that's what I don't want you to go through.

That's why I created this post mainly to make you understand that you can help your business thrive through LinkedIn.

Before we dive into how you can attract clients on LinkedIn, lets head over to some eye-catching facts anyone isn't telling you.

  • LinkedIn hit the 500 million-mark registered users in 2017 – according to TechCrunch, Business Insider Intelligence as well as Fortune
  • 260 million log in to LinkedIn each month – according to Aptopia
  • 40 percent of the registered users use LinkedIn daily
  • 60 million LinkedIn users are senior level influencers while 40 million are decision makers – according to LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Blog
  • There are 87 million millennials on LinkedIn – according to Adweek

With all those facts, it is clear that LinkedIn is the right place if you want to grow any business super-fast. So, how do you attract clients on LinkedIn?

Here's how:

  • Have a professional LinkedIn profile.
  • Identify your prospects
  • Send connection requests
  • Thank people who accept your connection requests by sending them a thank you message
  • Send messages that intend to build business relationships
  • Engage with people on LinkedIn groups

Don't worry if any of the points aren't clear. You can shoot me an email for explanations or read them on a post I'll craft expounding on them.

3. Craft Samples that Clients Love

There are tons of freelance trainers who will promise to give you writing samples, that's not right.

I believe that samples you craft by yourself are more meaningful than the ones you're given for free. So, instead of waiting to be given free samples, I'll walk you through on how to craft writing samples that clients love.

Here we go:

  • Select ideas from real job postings: This is a hack I believe no blogger is telling you out there, and even if they're, then they're not telling you how to select the right job postings that can be used for crafting writing samples that clients love. Before you apply for any job, a writing sample will help you "speak". Upwork has 3 million jobs posted annually. That means getting writing sample topics is fairly simple. You need to log in to your Upwork account and select topics on every niche you specialize on and write using the descriptions given.
  • Craft samples in all your niches: As stated above, Upwork is the best place to select writing sample ideas. With that in mind, you can navigate through Upwork categories to find different ideas in different niches. For instance, you can choose to copywrite and write one sample on sales, then another on Search Engine Optimization and another on technology. By doing that, you're assured you will land most copywriting jobs because you have relevant writing samples.

4. Join the Upwork Community

Initially, I never liked Upwork because I believed getting jobs from Upwork was a nightmare. I may not have landed many clients, but I can confess that I love it on Upwork.

So, what was the reason why I had a sudden change of attitude towards Upwork? Here's why:

  • There are 5 million clients on Upwork that need to hire freelancers on a daily basis
  • 3 million jobs are posted on Upwork annually
  • Escrow protects your deposit until your work is approved by the client – in short, you're assured of payment when you do your assignments as per the client's requirements, and…
  • A total of $1 billion is spent on Upwork annually

I believe you can see the reason why I decided to jump onto the bandwagon – some opportunities are waiting for every freelancer, whether experienced or not.

Before you move to the last hack of how to grow your freelance business like wildfire, let me give you some hacks to making sure your Upwork profile is accepted.

I'm doing this because I know Upwork these days don't approve just anyone. So, it's better if you took your time to make your profile.

So, here are the hacks:

  • Use a professional photo as your profile picture. Make sure it has a clear background and not backgrounds that will drive away focus from the subject (you) and focus on the background. For example, don't use a photo that has a background of beautiful flowers.
  • Include only the skills you know. I'm saying this because including the skills you know will give you easy time when crafting your bio. If you are a copywriter, be sure that you have depth knowledge and that you can offer unique services compared to what other people are providing.
  • Take the Upwork tests and make sure that you pass in any that you choose to take. This will increase your chances of approval. I would recommend that you take the Upwork tests before you even get approved.
  • Include any certifications you have. This hack worked for one of my friends. He had a degree in software engineering, and he included a certificate of the same. The skills he added in his profile also matched with the certification. Within 24 hours, he was approved.

I hope that these hacks work for you too and if they do, kindly leave a comment or shoot me an email confirming the same.

5. Craft Excellent Upwork Proposals

Tons of people are desperate to find ways of writing excellent proposals that prompt clients to hire them.

The only sad thing is that many bloggers or Upwork gurus aren't ready to spill the beans. Don't worry. That's what I'm going to show you right away so that you can finish reading this article and try the hacks and be a badass freelance writer who crafts proposals that clients love.

Are you ready for the hacks?

It's coming.

And here they are:

  • Don't sell yourself: It's right that you want to tell the client why they should hire you, but it's not right to desperately sell yourself. Don't include too many "I." Doing so can send a bad picture to the client which may stop him or her from hiring you even if you were the right person for the job.
  • Show instead of saying: Clients want to see not to hear. Suppose you were applying for a job that wants freelancers to write a blog post, it would be better to copy and paste a good review you earned on Upwork (crediting you like the best blogger) right on top of your cover letter – in the first paragraph.
  • Answer "Additional" Upwork proposal questions perfectly: 34 percent of Upwork proposals require additional questions. Tons of freelancers treat these questions as an afterthought which is wrong. These additional proposal questions are what clients see first. For example, you may say that "…below is a link to my latest post." You may do this not knowing that clients see the additional questions first. That sucks, right?
  • Don't use canned cover letters: It is unfortunate that many freelancers still use cover letter templates to apply to every job posting on Upwork. I also tried this when I joined Upwork, and I can confirm that it failed terribly. My first job on Upwork was through an excellent proposal I crafted by myself. Since then, I have made it a rule that every job posting requires a unique cover letter in response to what the client needs.
  • Don't bid too low: One of my best mentors and top-rated freelancers on Upwork, Danny Margulies says that it sucks to read a proposal where a freelancer makes a low counteroffer when he or she can see the client average spend is more than the counteroffer. It's clear that Danny never hired the freelance writer.
  • Don't force out compliments: It's good to compliment the client in your cover letter, but it is useless to force out compliments. He or she will know that you are flattering him or her. You know what happens when that happens. You don't get hired.

Bottom Line

Growing or maintaining your freelance business can prove challenging, but only if you don't do it right. The most common mistakes freelance writers make is the failure to take action.

I hope that you'll take action after reading this article and implement those that you haven't implemented so far.

Do you have any other ways to break through into your freelance business? Kindly leave it in the comments. I'll be happy to read it.

9 Overlooked Finance Hacks That Will Boost Your Finances in 2018

Every person’s wish is to boost their finances and live a happy life, but what holds them back? Is it their destiny? If no, then what is it?

Well, destiny is the situation that come to you – you didn’t choose them and have no control over them. For example, you didn’t choose your looks or which country to be born, right?

In short, situations are destiny – they come to you and so you have to make a choice, because the choice you make defines your destiny.

Just like your destiny, you have to make the right choices in managing your finances to establish a better future. That’s why we’re going to look into these 9 overlooked finance hacks to help you boost your finances in 2018 and have a better future!

9 Overlooked Finance Hacks That Will Boost Your Finances in 2018

1. Reconsider Your Recurring Expenses

2018 should be the year you realize your financial freedom, and not the vice versa. There are those costs that keep on recurring every day, but you haven’t realized that they are affecting your finances.

The truth is that they are weighing you down financially and it’s time you find solutions to them.

Recurring expenses include car repairs, insurance plans, internet connection bills, electricity bills, etcetera. You can find solutions to these expenses by finding ways of trimming down the costs.

For instance, you can find a cheaper internet connection subscription, you can fix your home with energy saving bulbs etcetera.

Additionally, there is a solution with your insurance plans if you live in one of these cities; California, Illinois, Virginia, Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington.

Metromile is a car insurance that has introduced pay-per-mile. That means, if you’re from one of the above-mentioned cities, then you don’t have to worry about your car insurances anymore.

You can now pay-per-mile at a flat rate of only $29 and save up to $500 per year. So, take advantage of the opportunity!

2. Invest in Real Estate

There could be tons of investments one could go for. That’s right, but what’s actually selling right now?

Have you ever imagined why people are increasingly and desperately in demand for land?

The secret is that real estate is a promising investment that never depreciates. Instead, it appreciates every year.

Assuming you wake up tomorrow and find that a packet of milk goes for $10. Whoa! How would you feel?

It’s no secret that you will be overjoyed that you will bag more dollars due to the inflation of prices of commodities. In short, when there is an economic inflation, real estate also doubles its rates.

Additionally, did you know that you can lower tax rates by investing in real estate? Well, when you collect your rental fees from your tenants, is it taxed? What of if you have a business in town?

Income from a business will definitely be taxed more because you have to register the business with your local county government.

3. Find a Side Hustle

Imagine one day you go to your workplace as normal and find a retrenchment letter on your desk. What will you do?

I’m sure you’ll be frustrated to the point you wished you could just die, especially, if you hadn’t invested some of your income somewhere.

Now, if you haven’t heard of freelancing, you deserve to slap yourself hard (hmm, take care not to hurt yourself).

By early 2018, 30 percent of American citizens were recorded as freelancers – fulltime freelancers.

The world is moving online. Everything can be done online – starting from purchasing products all the way to hiring services, can be done online.

The beautiful advantage with freelancing is that you can work anywhere, anytime as long as you have an internet connection.

You can write online, offer services like web designing, software development, tutor online and get paid instantly at the comfort of your home.

The security feature of freelancing is that even if you develop bitter relationships with one or two clients, you can still get more clients whom you can offer your services to.

In the traditional jobs, when you’re fired, you lose everything, including your income. So, make an attempt to start your freelancing business and secure your 9 to 5 job today. Read ways of how you can make money online here.

4.Open a Savings Account

If you’re looking for a smart way of saving a portion of your income, then opening a savings account will be a brilliant option you’ll never regret.

A savings account is a bank account that keeps your money safe and earns you some amount of interest each month. So, how does a savings account operate?

After you open a savings account with the bank of your choice and start saving, that money is loaned to other customers at an interest. So, it’s actually a portion of the interest got from the borrowers that is awarded to you as interest.

A savings account is fairly simple to open. You can go to your bank and tell the attendants you need to open a savings account. They will then help you create one and boom! You have your savings account.

The best of all is that even when you decide to purchase items using your debit card, your balance in your savings account remains intact.

You can also inform your bank through standing orders to channel some of your income to your savings account.

5. Avoid Gambling at All Costs

If you were asked to account for where all your lost money from gambling, what would you say?

Well, it appears like not many people know where these money goes to, but here’s the truth;

The owners of these gambling companies use their huge profits on investments like real estate. Sounds, hurting, right?

Yes, of course, it is. So, how can you stay away from tons of casinos and betting sites all over the internet and countries?

Simple. All you need to do is uninstall all apps related to gambling from your phone, never walk with your debit card (as you may be tempted to play casinos and pay using your debit cards), and avoid online money banking.

6. Did You Know You Could Trim Your Taxes?

Sure, you can slash off your taxes in a number of ways which I will show you.

First, you need to know that Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are normally tax-free. That means, you’re charged no cent when you save your money in a HSA. In addition, you will also be charged no cent when making withdrawals from your HSA.

That’s not the only way you can trim your taxes. You can also reduce your tax rates on student loans.

Thanks to the government’s awareness that student loans are becoming a problem and recognizing that there’s need to find a solution.

In order to get access to the reduction on your student loan interests, you need to push for a student loan interest reduction on each tax return until you fully settle it.

7. Take Advantage of the Low Prices of Used Items

It is a strategy that works for many and it should work for you too.

Have you ever wondered why till date people still go for second hand items? Is it because they believe old is gold? Or is it because they are cheap?

Either way. Used items can still serve the same purpose if maintained well, just like the new items.

Examples of items that can be reused include; furniture, refurbished phones, refurbished laptops, cars and even college books.

A college book used decades ago, can still be used by a student ten or more years later, if maintained well. Similarly, cars, furniture and other items could still be bought at fairly low prices and reused by future generations.

The advantage with purchasing used items is that you can save up to 50 percent of the original price. The remaining 50 percent can be saved into your savings account or saved in a HSA.

8. Avoid Minimum Payments

If you’ve ever had or have a credit card, you must have come across this; credit card issuers attracting you with “minimum payment” options in order to lure you get your credit card when you’re a first timer.

The truth is that there are more disadvantages than advantages to this brilliant-perceived plan. Well, the advantage is that with such credit cards, you will be saved from fines and penalties.

On the contrary, it has more disadvantages. Firstly, such credit cards attract interests.

When you consistently pay the minimum amount of your debt, the remaining debt is carried forward to the next month and the interest accumulates. You get the sense?

Secondly, when balances are carried forward, you are not financially free. Each month, you get worried that you need to pay some debt. This will distract you from any investment plans you may be having, thus making you financially weak.

9. Say No to Online Mobile Banking

The last hack that’s going to lead you into financial freedom is to avoid online mobile banking.

Early this year, I faced the most difficult financial crisis in my life.

Was it that I lacked money? No! Was it that I didn’t know how to plan well? No!

I did a terrible mistake by downloading a bank app on my android phone and linking it to my bank account.

Whenever I went to shop, I would pay online. Whenever I lacked internet connection, I would purchase some data bundles online and the list is painfully long.

Within a month, I had slashed $200. It’s tough to believe, but it’s the truth.

It’s after this financial crisis that I started freelancing and so far, it’s amazing. It’s a side hustle I would highly recommend to anyone.

So, my point is this; when you decide to transact via the online mobile banking, there is usually additional charges deducted by your financial institution.

Secondly, it influences your purchasing decisions – you can end up purchasing what you may never have planned to purchase. So, instead of installing a mobile money app, it’s better to have just a debit card.

Bottom Line

Boosting your finance should be your top priority. Of course, you want to have a happy life after your retirement and equally never want to see your children suffer. The only way to escape this is by finding ways of boosting your finances (which already you have the approved hacks to). You only need to take action and begin working your way through to financial freedom.

Do you have any other financial hacks? Feel free to add some on the comments section.

5 Freelance Lesson From Freelance Great Writers

You may have read tons of freelance success stories all over the social media and perhaps learned at least a freelance lesson, but have you ever interrogated these people to know who they are and how they made it?

Maybe yes, maybe not.

Don't worry.

That's what I want to share with you today, so that it may shape your freelance journey in the right direction.

By the end of this post, I'm hopeful that you'll have learned something and taken action.

So, let's dive into the first lesson.

Freelance Lesson #1 You Don't Need a Degree to Succeed in Freelancing

Yes. It's true, and I'm not just saying it for the sake of it. Most of the successful freelance writers I know dropped out from campus.

A good example is Walter Akolo. Walter Akolo, a Kenyan freelancer, top rated on Upwork and founder of the most popular blog in Kenya.

His story is a little bit touching though. Walter says that he had the desire to pursue law. Instead, he was selected to take Architecture, which he never liked. He had just missed his dream course (which was also my dream course some years back)

As if that's not enough, he lost 17kgs!

The architectural course had a unit called design – it was all about drawing. Walter didn't know how to draw, but he tried, tried and tried. Unfortunately, he failed in the design unit.

In Architecture, if you fail in the design unit, you repeat a whole year. The worst of it is that when you repeated and failed again, you'd have to quit. He failed!

So, he had only two options; to either repeat the second year and get a pass in the design unit or drop out of campus. What would you do if you were in Walter's shoe?

He dropped! Did he make the wrong decision?

Well, in Kenya, tons of people still have the traditional belief; if you don't have a degree, you're nobody. So, Walter had decided to be nobody. Painful!

He struggled, not for days, weeks, months, but years. And finally, at the age of 26, Walter found his feet once again. This time around, bigger and better!

Today, Walter has trained over 2,000 trainees on how to make money online. Additionally, he is the founder of the most popular blog in making money online niche and top-rated on Upwork.

He can comfortably take responsibility for his family and keep things rolling!

Keep struggling and turn things around, just like Walter did.

Whether you own degree or not, you will only get your pay for what you do, not what you know.

Do things that matter.

Freelance Lesson #2 You Can Get Fired and Still Make it

Jorden Roper was fired from her 9 to 5 job.

Wait. Have you ever imagined of what you'd do when you're fired from your 9 to 5 job today? Think about it!

So, on the same day, her husband's contract had just come to an end in the same workplace. A coincidence? Was it some lousy omen?

Maybe, maybe not.

Santiago, a character in the novel, "The Alchemist" would readily believe that was a bad omen.

Away from that. As if that is not enough, Roper had been diagnosed with skin cancer a week ago.

It would be regular bills + Medical bills + Stress, anxiety, and uncertainty. Was she to lose hope and blame her boss who fired her?

No! She took a bold step to start her full-time freelance writing.

She was broke, but she never cared.

Guess what?

After four months, she was earning $5000 per month.

Learn how she made $5,000 within four months here.

Freelance Lesson #3 Negative Feedback Shouldn't Weigh You Down

The next freelance lesson is from my experience on Upwork.

"Bad English, Poor English," a message from Upwork popped.

It was my second client on Upwork, and I thought it would have ended well.

In fact, I had to end an ongoing contract to work on this client's project.

After doing all the eight articles, all he had to say was that the pieces are spin contents and he wouldn't pay for them.

I tried to solicit the Bristol client to at least consider a revision, but he seemed to have made a decision.

So, what's next Denzil?

Winners never quit, quitters never win.

Nonetheless, I let go!

I stopped bidding on Upwork for more than a week, thinking my writing was weak.

So, what did I do?

  • I downloaded an application called HI NATIVE. I used this application to learn both American and British English and a bit of American culture.
  • Joined several Facebook groups like Writing Revolters, which I'm still a member up to date.
  • Read tons of freelancing blog posts.
  • Subscribed to lots and lots of emails.
  • Signed up for training.

Read more on how I used negative feedback to improve my writing here.

So, my point is; Never let any negative feedback weigh you down.

Instead, strive to always perfect whatever you're working on and always prepare to meet hurdles in life because they are the bridge to your success.

In life, you'll fall seven times and rise the eighth time, and stronger!

Freelance Lesson #4 Even the Disabled Can Make It

Another freelance lesson that would encourage you is Jonathan Morrow's personal life story.

When he was one year old, he was diagnosed with the neuromuscular disorder; Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

Wait do you know Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)?

Let me take you through a bit so that you get the rough idea of what this is.

SMA is a neuromuscular disorder that's caused by genetic defect. It leads to loss of motor neurons and progressive muscle wasting, which leads to early death. Usually, it attacks children, and it's almost impossible to live more than two years.

So, Jon wasn't going to live past that, right?

A miracle happened; He did live. In fact, more than anyone can ever imagine!

Besides God's miracle, his mother did everything possible to make him live. He narrates how his mother slept in a chair beside him in hospital, sometimes up to 30 days consecutively. Today, he's one of the most aged people with the SMA.

You can read more of his story here.

And finally, the last lesson is...

Freelance Lesson #5 You Will Be Paid for What You Do Not What You Know

Still on Jonathan Morrow. He narrates a short story of how he learned that you only earn for what you do and not what you know.

He gives a story of how his family hit a rough spot such that they couldn't afford food.

They went to churches to find something to eat.

He thought he could make money by placing a plastic bucket and branding it, "please help, we need money."

He put a bucket by the road and looked through the window to wait for someone to drop some money in it.

Guess what?

No one dropped any money.

A few days later, he noticed a girl scout going door-to-door selling cookies.

However, he realized one strange thing.

By the time the girl got to the end of the street, she had sold all her cookies and was holding some reasonable sum of money.

That's when Jon Morrow learned that you don't get paid for what you know but what you do.

So, he thought tentatively to decide on what he could do to also earn money just like the girl scout.

After much thought, he decided to write poems and sell them.

So, in the next few days, he wrote a series of poems and made some frames for them using popsicle sticks.

When he was through, he went door-to-door to sell his poems in a wheelchair.

That day, he made $36 sales – he sold all his poems!

So, Jon did it in a wheelchair!

From that, he learned that you shouldn't just sit and wait for someone to give you money or think someone will give you pay for what you know.

You must work for it.

You might be struggling to set up your freelance business now. That shouldn't worry you.

If you are not putting in more effort, attempt to do so.

If already you're working hard, continue with the hard work.

Soon, you are going to bag your first $1000, and you will see the importance of hard work.