Freelancing is fun. It’s all about doing work you enjoy, when you want, and where you want. The freelance economy has seen a massive growth in the last few years, and this growth comes with competition.
For someone who has built his own portfolio and career on Upwork, staying in the game can be especially tough, since a lot more people are offering the same services we offer, and some of them at silly rates.
Here are some of the tips I have found helpful. Note, though, that they are not a guarantee for success. Rather, they’ll help you stay ahead of the competition.
Concentrate on value
That’s the first and most valuable piece of advice I give to everyone who is facing, and sometimes suffering from, the competition. When you have a lot of people who are sending proposals at half the price of what you’re bidding, there is always the tendency to feel like dropping the price and offering the same level of service as others, just to stay afloat. When you offer your services at lower rates, you get more low-paying projects, you get little for your work, and in most cases, these clients that are not willing to pay much have the highest expectations and most instructions. Don’t fall to that level. That level isn’t fun.
Pro Tip: You’ll do more work when you charge less. Imagine working with a client who pays you $50 to write a 1000 words article and someone who pays you $8 to write same. How many articles will it take you to reach a target of $100 for the former, and how many articles will you have to write to reach your target with the latter? High paying clients come once, and when they do, you’ll ditch all low-paying projects because, in just one month of working on a well-paying project, you beat your earnings on lower-paying projects.
So know your worth. Fight your competition with quality services, not with lower prices.
Upgrade your skills
When you’re stop getting well-paying projects, it may just be time to take a look at your profile and see areas you need to improve on. You may want to rewrite your profile, change your heading, learn one or two new things and give your services a complete overhaul.
Specialise in some unique types of writing, get better, and bid on those projects. One of the most sought after areas of writing is guest posting on authority websites. You could try to get published on big publications like Entrepreneur, Business Insider and Forbes, and offer people guest posting services after showing them articles you have published on those publications.
Getting published on those publications is very profitable, with you being able to charge as much as $300 per article. Imagine doing that three to four times a week?
You could also offer services like fiction and non-fiction eBook writing. Many low-charging freelancers can’t handle large projects, so when the client shows that they have a specialised need, or they need an article that is over 5000 words, low-quality freelancers are quick to step back. This is when you jump in. Show you can do the job, send them your portfolio, charge your desired rate, and land the contract. Always offer quality content, and I can tell you that
projects like that last for quite a long time.
You could also offer services like copywriting and white paper writing. These writing projects have the least competition and, interestingly, come with the highest rewards. Just get creative. Think of niches with the least competition. Be really good at that niche and see your freelance career stay afloat.
Explore other options
It’s said that you should not put all your eggs in one basket. And the same is true of freelancing. I have not seen any other freelance marketplace that’s up to the standard of Upwork, so I can’t tell you that I have been a good example in this regard. I have invested in agriculture, though, so although I haven’t tried other freelance alternatives, I have tried to diversify my income in case I get thrown out of the freelance race.
I once wrote an article on some of the best alternatives to Upwork, both in Nigeria and internationally, so you might want to see which ones you need to explore. I mentioned platforms like Freelancer and Fiverr. When I said I didn’t have any real alternative to Upwork in the preceding paragraph, I wasn’t trying to contradict myself. I meant it. Upwork is designed for longer-term projects, but platforms like Freelancer and Fiverr are designed for short-term gigs. I have seen that long-term projects are bae. That’s my two cents.
Let me know if you derived any value from this article. Feel free to ask any questions. If you’d like to join my WhatsApp freelancers group and get a chance to learn everything freelancing, drop your number in the comments.