How to Step Up Your Freelance Game and Income on Upwork

Nothing less than unbridaled, unreasonable freedom.  That’s Danny Margulies’ passionate guarantee for aspiring freelance writers.In one word, “freelancing” evokes incredible promise and petrifying fear. Margulies will hear none of the latter.

“How would it feel to enjoy every minute of your day, and have total freedom and control over your time?” he said. “Some people are just too ‘reasonable’ to pursue a life full of this type of freedom and enjoyment,” Margulies said. “They’ll tell you that you have to compromise — a word I despise with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns.”

With equal enthusiasm, millennial expert, global speaker and LinkedIn instructor Chelsea Krost talked with Margulies during her #MillennialTalk Twitter chat about how to unlock true earning potential as a freelancer. “Attract those great clients,” Margulies said. “Yes, they really exist. They are not a mythical creature.” For freelancers sheltering in place, don’t let the lack of distractions be a distraction. This is a good time to let your imagination go and write about it.

“Stay calm, don’t panic,” Margulies said. “It’s easy to think, ‘Oh no, all the work will dry up,’ but it won’t. Even if some of it does, there will be plenty of other opportunities. “It’s also a great time to perfect your skills because great freelancers stay in demand even in ‘bad’ economies,” he said. “When companies lay off employees — as unfortunate as that is — they often hire freelancers to take up the slack.”

Deep breath and focus

He noted that even in such rough times, businesses still flock to Upwork, an online talent solution for businesses and freelancers. “Stay calm, stay focused, stay sharp, and you can still get plenty of clients,” Margulies said.

Krost has noticed a rebound in freelance work after an initial slump. “At first, everything stopped, but business is slowly coming back,” she said. “Don’t give up. This has given us time to step back, refocus and build new relationships as we move forward.” The pro about freelancing in a digital world is that anyone can do it. The con is that anyone can do it. You have to write to set yourself apart from the pack.

Margulies weighed both sides of venturing into freelancing:

  • Pros: Control your schedule, your income and everything about your work. Limitless income potential — take as much time off as you want — have the option to do only work you enjoy. Also, freedom to work from anywhere, and forge your own “perfect” career path.
  • Cons: If you’re someone who needs others to tell them what to do, how to do it, when to do it — in other words, if you feel you need a boss-slash-prefab corporate structure in order to thrive — freelancing may feel frustrating and confusing to you.

“Having control of when and who you work for is freedom,” Krost said. “You definitely need to be disciplined to be successful long term. The best part is to be able to determine when you want to take a vacation, how much you want to work or not work.”

This is why Margulies favors Upwork. “It has the best mix of many clients, diversity of clients to choose from and great quality clients,” he said. “It’s the Gold Standard of freelancing sites. I also know many people who work at Upwork, and they really care about freelancers’ success.”

Compatibility with clients is one consideration for freelancers, but perhaps the biggest question is price: What’s too much or too little? Margulies gets into that and more in the rest of his #MillennialTalk conversation.


About Jim Katzman
Jim Katzaman is a manager at Largo Financial Services and worked in public affairs for the Air Force and federal government. You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebookand LinkedIn.

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