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How I make $3500+/month as a part-time freelancer

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Becoming a world class chef.

Building a “buffet-like” investment portfolio.

Earning $3500+/month working less than 20 hours per week.

You'll also enjoy this episode of our new podcast...

All these achievements were once thought to be impossible to obtain by many people. Yet, after personally starting to earn more than $3500 a month working part-time, I know firsthand that making great money as an online freelancer is not just a mere dream.

You might ask how I did this, but the answer is pretty simple: I followed a system which can be used by anyone who wants to earn good money as a freelancer.

Let’s talk about some of the strategies I’ve used, and how they can help you have the type of freedom that no 9-to-5 job can offer.

Build a professional freelance profile

Focus on your client, not yourself

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The classic profile overview of a freelancer looks something like this:

“Hi, I am passionate about…! In the past I did…and have strong skills in…. I would be happy to take care of your project!

I follow the best practices…I use the latest technologies…I write clean code/design great interfaces…”

Do you feel something like a “déjà vu” when you end a sentence and start another one?

Maybe it has to do with that little word “I”?

Most freelancers do exactly the same thing.

From the first sentence, you see something like “I have a diploma in Y”, or “I have X years of experience”.

But clients are mainly interested in themselves and accomplishing their goals. So if you start by talking about yourself, then another freelancer will attract the client by focusing on his/her needs.

One way of avoiding this type of self-centered profile is to start by putting a testimonial at the top of your overview.

It doesn’t even need to be from a previous employer. Friends, coworkers and even family members can give you a testimonial if you’ve ever done work for them.

This shows the client from the beginning that you are a professional who already delivered authentic and high-quality services, and for this particular reason, you justify the premium rate that you charge.

Instant matching

Think about when you shop online and slide through thousands of different products, all addressing different needs.

What makes you choose a specific product and not anything else from the large pool of choices?

I bet it’s the one that from the first sentence, addresses your needs directly, whether it’s for a specific occasion such a wedding or a party, or has the unique trait that you are searching for.

This principle also works on freelancing.

You need to view the situation from the client’s perspective:

“Does this freelancer contribute with personal opinions about the project?”

“Can this partnership guarantee that my product will be ready in time?”

“Does this freelancer understand what I really want to achieve?”

Take all the problems that a client has and address them through a combination of questions for which the answer is a straight “yes”, or use a method that I call “The Self-Fulfilling Expectation.”

Here’s an example that I wrote in my LinkedIn overview:

“You are here because you want your Android app to work seamlessly. You know that lack of great functionality is the #1 reason apps get 1 star ratings.

You know that even the greatest app in the world can go unnoticed without someone to constantly maintain and care about the good code behind it.

But you don’t want only “good”. You need GREAT.”

The only point of interest in the freelance universe is what we can do for clients.

Offer a money back guarantee

Your profile needs to address the burden that all employers have when they hire someone new.

Oftentimes, clients are anxious about wasting time and money on a collaboration that might or might not work.

That’s why you’re there to help.

Offering a money back guarantee before starting a project throws that nasty burden off the client’s shoulders and makes the hiring process more bearable.

Avoid doing free work

Many “pro” freelancers on the web suggest that when you’re just starting out, you need to build your portfolio and “get exposure” in order to kickstart your career.

That used to be true…probably a few decades ago.

But today, this entire concept is totally obsolete.

Why? Because you can find entry level jobs that anyone can do on many freelance platforms, from Upwork to Guru.

It’s more practical to get paid for all of the work you do — even if you’re just beginning.

For example, my first job as a freelancer took me 3 days and I got only $50, but imagine that now I can choose to make $600+ in the same amount of time, working maximum 4 hours per day.

The strategies paid off and now I can focus on improving my craft without an overburn from work.

Now imagine that I started working for nothing, and basically being the “zero profit dude”,I doubt that I would have been able to raise my rates dramatically.

Plus, charging what you’re worth shows the clients that you respect yourself and your services, thus giving you more confidence in your craft and also in your business.

Send specific portfolio samples

Many freelancers are concerned about filling their portfolio with tons of samples to show that they’ve done their homework.

But the truth is that clients are more interested in specific samples that are relevant to what they ask in the job post.

Having only one high-quality work sample is infinitely more powerful than random portfolio work, if that sample is highly relevant to what the client actually needs.

Instead of focusing on quantity, send clients 1 – 2 pieces that show you can do the work described. Doing so will give you a better chance of getting a positive response from them, simply because you don’t just boast about how much you previously accomplished.

You demonstrate your skill in a single niche.

Respond to clients fast

Most clients receive dozens of proposals on a single job post, so they often shortlist a couple of candidates that they think are more suitable and start sending messages to those people to see which one is the best fit.

This is a perfect situation where you can outshine your more experienced competitors.

The busiest freelancers take a while to get back to clients, so you can secure your position by being more responsive.

Some people think that if you reply too fast, you might look desperate. But when you’re just starting out, you need to use every tool from your arsenal.

Guess what? Clients want you to respond quickly, because it shows them that you are likable, professional and punctual.

Build a portfolio in 3 days, not three decades

There is a widely spread myth about building freelance portfolios.

Many gurus will tell you that you need years and years of experience to show even the faintest sample of work and finally get a project where you’re paid top dollar.

But that’s simply not true.

Let me show you a shortcut that can help you build a consistent portfolio in a maximum of three days and drive these old pros nuts.

Utilize videos or voice recordings

Say, for example, you’re a video editor. You can take a short animation from the internet and start analyzing it while you’re recording what you’re saying.

After you do this, upload the recording to your portfolio, and bam! You have a sample that clearly shows your expertise, ideas and creativity about video editing.

But you don’t need to be a video editor to do this.

Writers, designers, programmers and many other professionals can record video or voice samples to impress prospective clients.

For example: an iOS programmer can record a video where he/she explains what technology is used for every part of the app; a writer can make an analysis of a sample and explain the process used to create it.

Show off snippets of work

Wrote half a blog post, or coded only half a mobile app?

Show it off!

If you’re proud of the work you’ve done, upload it as a sample to your portfolio. Worry not about being creative — that’s what winners do.

After showing you these strategies about how you can quickly start earning money doing freelance work, I’m curious about one thing: what will you do with this knowledge?

Leave a comment below and tell me about your plan!

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About Stefan Ionescu

Stefan Ionescu is the creator of Propi, a mobile app that analyzes proposals and offers suggestions to make them more persuasive. Get Propi and start getting more top paying projects.

Leave a Comment



  1. It’s really helpful. Thanks a lot.

  2. It really inspiring, I will try out this tips and get back to you here, cus I have been on upwork and fiverr for 2 years now and I never got a single job, my jobs are mostly offline and referrals, if you have more tips that can help me I do appreciate. Thank you so much for the ideas in this article.


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