10 Secrets to Successful Freelancing

successful freelancing

Are you aiming for a successful freelancing career, trying to grow your freelancing and your agency, so you can make more money? 

Fiverr is a great place, and Fiverr is a great partner; however, we know that there are so many little pitfalls and different things when you’re trying to get high-paying freelancing gigs.

What are the secrets of successful freelancers, and how do you get clients easily?

1. Build Relationships

For you to be able to grow, you’ve got to be able to build relationships even though it is online, and you want to learn from people who have done it successfully before.

I want you to build these connections because the best way you’re going to learn is not just from some of the things you’re going to share, but when you are around other successful people, you will start to think their way. You will start to build relationships. It will begin to permeate your mind.

2. Be on LinkedIn

You got to be on LinkedIn. You can’t rely on your Fiverr profile only. We love Fiverr. Fiverr is a great marketplace, but clients want to know who you are, and you’ve got to start building these relationships. 

Did you know that you can use LinkedIn to drive results? Here is a Course on How I Used LinkedIn To Drive Results!

3. Choose a Micro Niche 

So instead of trying to do everything for everybody, you’ve got to do one thing really well, so that not only are you good at that because you have a lot of practice, but you create the perception that this is the thing that you do. So it’s easy for people to hire you because you say, “What I do is PR, and everyone knows that you’re really good at PR”.

I realized that so many people were forgetting there was another person on the other side of the screen, and I feel like a lot of times, when it comes to freelancing, that same thing is forgotten by freelancers. 

Think about how many options there are on Fiverr, and the funny thing is, there are all these different options, but most of them are very general, there’s not a lot that is tailored towards something specific. 

So when you niche down, that will significantly set you apart from your competition just by speaking in your written words to a more narrow audience.

It may sound like you’re narrowing yourself like you’re going to get less business by niching down but remember, the riches are in the niches. 

If you don’t know what your niche should be or you haven’t figured that out yet, I want you to think of two different things:

  1. What do you have a competitive advantage in? 

Is there a niche that you just know really well for whatever reason? Maybe you’ve worked in it for years already, or you’ve had a lot of clients in this niche already, or whatever it is. Maybe you personally had a job in this niche.

  1. Who makes the most money out of the different people that I serve in their businesses?

4. Create a powerful profile

 Like some guy who puts screenshots, and I understand he’s trying to show like this is what he’s doing, but what would be a more powerful way would be: 

  • Show your face

You’re not trying to be a model. You’re not a fashion model, but when you show yourself and your smile, that makes a world of difference. 

Would you rather work with somebody who makes you feel good and get the same result as someone who is just like, “I guess it was okay, makes you get the same result”?

If you had the choice, you would want to feel good. And even if you don’t think your smile’s good, especially if you’re showing teeth, just put it out there, you’re just putting out good vibes. 

The reason why this works so well is this communicates positivity. It’s telling people that you’re friendly, it’s easy to work with you, and you’re a pleasure to work with. So put up pictures and videos of you smiling, and people will get a sense of who you are. 

  • Don’t say, “I’ll develop an auto blog WordPress thing on any niche”

You’ve got to show one niche, like news, sports, and health. 

  • Make sure you don’t appear robotic. 
  • Use niche-specific wordings

 So if you are choosing your niche as for dentists, clearly all the wording in that should be towards dentists. 

If you look at any niche, there are certain terms where when you say something, someone inside that niche who lives that niche day in and day out knows that you also know that space well. 

So like, if you’re in PR and you’re talking about a media kit or a press kit, most people don’t know what that is, but that’s a very niche-specific term. 

So if I were scraping, I might say something like, “I will help you get the media contacts so you can fill out your client’s press kits with new features once you do outreach to them.”

That’s a very niche-specific talk. 

  • Show examples and case studies throughout that specific niche. 

This makes a big difference, especially if you guys don’t have a lot of reviews and you’re trying to build up.

You have to really be more specific. You have to show the case studies that you’ve done before off the platform. And if you can make that video, that’s going to help build a lot of trusts.

  • Make sure that you’re bulleting and making it super clear and simple.

You don’t want huge blocks.  

Make sure you format your profile in a way that is super simple, and if somebody ever hits you up with a question that’s already on your profile, don’t tell them to look at your profile.

Because a lot of times, what’s happening is people are hitting up multiple people for the job and trying to figure out who’s going to be able to best help them. 

If you do that, what’s going to happen and I have experienced this so many times, and I’m like, “Okay, I already kind of don’t want to work with this person because they’re making me do more work.”

Remember, people are busy, and that is why they are looking for the path of least resistance and looking for people who are really helpful and willing to go that extra mile and copy and paste their own profile to give me the answer instead of telling me to click three more times to look at it.

It’s the little things like that, that matter. 

  • Show business results via the X, Y, Z model. 

“I help X achieve Y via Z. 

“I help personal injury attorneys get more truck cases through our six-phase Social Amplification Engine”.

Who do you help, what’s the result that you achieve, why would they pay money for it, and how do you do it?

 So if what you’ve done is do graphic design and you never really thought about what’s that worth to the client, I want you to take a step further and think about what business result are you driving for your client. 

Now, when you can show that client that you drive a business result like you could be good at Photoshop, you could be good at Canva, you could be good at WordPress like whatever tool you have, you could be super good at the thing that you do, but clients want to see if you can drive that business result? 

Start thinking about, “Where am I adding value?”

  • Show testimonials from other people.

Once they give you the five stars, that’s great, but think about how you can even build into the process. 

It’s about having the right customers. All the stuff that we are talking about is positioning for the right customers because there are some people whose time is worth so much that they’ll pay a premium to have you do the work, even if someone else could do it for $5. Do you guys see the difference?

Because if it’s for a real estate agent and this guy’s a real estate agent, and he’s a super successful real estate agent, and he does 6 million a year, he will not hesitate to pay a hundred dollars for you even though someone else does something similar for $5. 

They’re actually going to be looking for the people who are more expensive because they just care about getting the job done really well and not having to do it again than trying to save an extra 50 bucks and find someone for 50. 

So clearly, you know, you need to build up your reviews.

It’s going to be hard to charge a really high amount right out the gate if you don’t have that but if you do what we have suggested above– make that video and all the different things in your profile tailored toward that, then you can bump that price and really start playing to that specific niche. 

The point is you want to start that conversation. 

And the reason for that is because if you help somebody, let’s say, get 1% better in their business, let’s say they’re making a hundred thousand dollars, you help them get a thousand more dollars. But if you help them get 1% better and they’re making a hundred million dollars, that means that you just help them make an extra million dollars.

Most people make the mistake of thinking they need to get better at what they do when they really need to get better at communicating and presenting. 

And a lot of times, that’s what’s going to kill you. The inability to communicate effectively because if you can communicate effectively through your profile, then you have a really good chance at being able to level up your skills over time as you do more and more of these jobs as well. Especially if you take care of your first few clients.

5. Show Personal Connection

I want to show you guys a little hack that I’ve seen almost nobody do before, but it works super well. When we build these relationships, we are putting these relationships in our profile, on our Twitter, on our LinkedIn, and on our Facebook because we want potential customers to see that we know how to build relationships. 

Find moments that show that you’re a trustworthy human being.

Show this personal connection and show how you care, that will be night and day, the difference in the income that you can make.

Where do we post them? 

Of course, you want to post them where people are going to encounter you– when they’re searching for you. So the best ones are on your Fiverr profile, another one on social media, and LinkedIn. 

Step back and ask yourself the question, “How do I get people to trust me more?”

How can you build trust and help people feel like you can solve the problem? 

6. Take care of your client

So the way you make more money on Fiverr or any system is that you take such good care of that client that they will continue to hire you. 

I want you to understand from the buyer’s standpoint, the number one pain that I hear as frustration is there are so many people that offer these different services, and what I end up doing is I hire this one guy for a website, this one guy for Canva, this one guy for video editing and I got to hire some other person for other things. 

So as business owners, we want to hire one person and then continue to use that person over and over again. 

So all of us as sellers, in order to get more buyers to agree to click the button, to pay money to buy our gig, it’s not about trying to convince other people that we’re really good. 

But there’s one thing you guys are probably missing, and that’s the buyers, by definition, are starting from a position of no trust.

So they’re thinking, “This guy’s from Kenya, they’re from Pakistan, I don’t know who they are, they’re 8,000 miles away, or whatever. How do I trust them? How do I know that they understand what I’m trying to do?” 

So overcoming the trust piece is important and understanding that there is that barrier that all buyers have because they’re looking, they do a search, and they see like 89 other people do this one thing when they do a search.

So when your gigs are showing up, it’s starting from a position of distrust. 

So yes, show your skill, show your process, but the number one thing is you got to overcome that distrust by your profile set-up and communication. 

7. Under promise, Over-deliver 

What’s the plan? What happens next? 

And if you can provide the plan to somebody in a written format, where they ask a question, you answer the question they’re asking you like how your process typically goes, what you need from your client, then that pretty much just lay out your process from start to finish

And if you’re already working and something changes, just communicate what’s going to be changing but ideally, you want to communicate. 

 And if my expectation is it’s going to take 10 days and you get it done in seven, I’m going to be really happy. But if my expectation is that it’s going to be seven days and you get it done in 10, now I’m going to be like, “Oh dang, they’re three days late”.

But if you would’ve set the expectation at 10 and it ends up being 10, it’s the same. I’m like, okay, they did what they said they were going to do. 

Under promise, over-deliver. 

8. Partner with other people that do things that you suck at

The other thing too is that to be able to deliver bigger value, you often have to partner with other people that do things that maybe you suck at.

So maybe you’re good at more technical things and maybe someone else is better at account management. Maybe someone else is better at creative things and you’re better at more like programming sorts of things.

 It’s totally okay to be able to partner with other people to start agencies and be able to offer higher value packages against a particular niche. 

Let’s say you do just graphic design so you may want to partner with someone who does ads because they can run ads against your creative, and now you can measure the ROI on that and that person who does ads, they’re good at ads, but they suck at doing creative or video editing. 

There are so many different ways that you can combine these different things.

You don’t just partner with someone because you think it will sound good for the two services in one. Think about what your niche wants. 

But you want to make sure you partner with other people who are reputable as well.

Where to find those people?

I would say Social Media but Fiverr would also be great. You can see who’s getting lots of gigs and who is also working in your niche and how you reach out to them is kind of your decision. 

9. Build your Personal Brand

When you build a personal brand so that people see that you are personable and you share in your profile on Fiverr, Twitter, and LinkedIn that you are a person, that you care, you serve a particular niche, you drive a particular result, then people are more likely to hire you and give you the benefit of the doubts.

You always want to start from the business standpoint, not the technical standpoint of the task, and that’s the XYZ model. 

And that’s one of the most valuable things for people who are placing these orders, they’re wanting to save time and getting these projects done. So just know that they will pay extra, pay a premium for that if you can help them more. 

Need help with your Personal Brand? Here is a course in Personal Branding that will help!

10. Reverse Engineer the Process

Need more convincing on why you need to Reverse Engineer and how it can do magic for you? Here is a Coach Yu Episode where Dennis sits down with the famous Dr. Glen Vo to discuss the concept.

The biggest thing that killed me and my growth at the beginning of my journey was not taking enough action. I used to think, “Well, it’s okay if I get this done, like by the end of the week but once I got further on the game, I realized that people who were crushing it were the people that’s taking action and moving at such a faster pace than everyone else and because they were moving faster, they were making mistakes faster, which means that they were learning way faster, which means that they could have success way faster. 

So take one thing, implement it today, and then just keep looking to implement one thing every single day. 

Ready to take your freelancing to another level? Here is a course on how to go from being a freelancer to a “fully equipped” agency in three basic phases.

Dennis Yu

About the Author

Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu is co-author of the #1 best-selling book on Amazon in social media, The Definitive Guide to TikTok Ads.  He has spent a billion dollars on Facebook ads across his agencies and agencies he advises. Mr. Yu is the "million jobs" guy-- on a mission to create one million jobs via hands-on social media training, partnering with universities and professional organizations.

You can find him quoted in major publications and on television such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and LA Times. Clients have included Nike, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Ashley Furniture, Quiznos-- down to local service businesses like real estate agents and dentists. He's spoken at over 750 conferences in 20 countries, having flown over 6 million miles in the last 30 years to train up young adults and business owners. He speaks for free as long as the organization believes in the job-creation mission and covers business class travel.

You can find him hiking tall mountains, eating chicken wings, and taking Kaqun oxygen baths-- likely in a city near you.