You’ll often hear me recommend that you start getting clients by reaching out to your existing networking and, if you can, focus on any in-person meetups like networking groups, chamber of commerce, etc to get clients at the start. But what if you’re in an area of the world where getting local clients is tough? Especially if they’re not your ideal client?

Good news; there are more opportunities than ever to get clients online (as well as in person) depending on what your sales strategy and services look like.

In this episode, host of the Self-Made Web Designer Podcast Chris Misterek is back on the podcast to share his experience, tactics and tips for getting high paying clients purely online via UpWork!

I’ve been very open about the majority of my clientele coming from in person networking groups and local professional networks so this talk was massively educational for me personally. For those of you who either dread going to face to face networking or who don’t have good clients in your area, this episode will be PURE GOLD!

In this episode:

00:00 – Introduction
03:43 – Greeting to Chris
07:33 – What Upwork is looking for
10:44 – How many projects to start
13:36 – Pitching your “Super Powers”
17:21 – Hearing voices
21:14 – There’s a hole in UpWork
25:19 – Networking is the same regardless
27:56 – Projects are not always low-ball
30:00 – Get ground level knowledge
34:45 – Catching fish
43:04 – Rules and benefits of the platform
46:44 – Feedback is worth it’s weight
49:44 – Appease the system you are using
56:44 – Takes a little grit
59:21 – Most impactful thing on a profile

Self-Made Web Designer Page for Josh Hall listeners


Connect with Chris:

Featured links mentioned:

Episode #146 Full Transcription

Josh 0:14
Hey, everybody, welcome into the podcast. This is Episode 146. And in this one, we’re going to be diving into a topic that I actually don’t know too much. And in fact, I don’t know anything about how to do this. And it’s how to get clients through Upwork. And what you’ll learn in this episode, you’ll be able to apply no matter what marketplace you’re a part of, or any online forums or any place that you get clients online. Not face to face, often like I did, and networking groups and meetups and chambers of commerce and stuff like that, right now is a really exciting time in web design, because you can do both. I have a lot of students who get clients purely from face to face networking and stuff like that. But then also online, and some people are just doing online sales and getting clients through places like Upwork, and stuff like that.

Josh 1:06
And in this episode, we’re going to talk with somebody who is one of my favorite people in the WordPress realm. This is Chris Misterek. He is a self made web designer and talk about a transition. His brand is called Self Made Web Designer calm. He also has a really great podcast that I recommend checking out called the self made web designer podcast. Chris has been on the show before and I wanted to have him back to specifically talk about his experience with getting clients through Upwork. Because that’s actually how he started.

Josh 1:36
In his first episode, we talked a little bit about his journey. But this is where we really dive into because I was fascinated. And I was super curious about how the heck you get clients through a marketplace like Upwork it’s so convoluted. It’s, you know, super competitive. How do you stand out? How do you get clients? How do you get clients that are good clients and not just super cheap, DIYers or people that are going to be terrible to work with? Well, all those questions and more answered by Chris. In this episode, I found it fascinating. I really, really did. I love talking with Chris, he’s so much fun to chat with. He’s an open book, he’s very transparent. And I know what you’re going to learn in this episode, you’ll be able to take away and apply to your business.

Josh 2:17
Particularly for those of you who are interested in maybe you’re in an area in the world where local clients aren’t going to be the way to go. Then there’s all sorts of ways to get clients online one avenue is what you’re going to find out here using Upwork. So I can’t wait to hear how this episode impacts you. Now, I would personally love to help you get your business started. Particularly if you’re going to start getting clients one issue you can face is we don’t have your business set up and don’t have things ready to go. It’s going to be a problem you’re not going to get great clients and one of the big points that Chris and I talked about in this episode is the importance of doing really good work in focusing on quality over quantity and I have a free resource for you for those of you who are ready to start your business.

Josh 3:02
It is a 10 step action plan guide that will guide you through starting your web design business you can pick that up right now go to Josh hall.co/start and that’ll take you there again Josh holder.co slash start that will take you there you can sign up and get access to my free guide that’ll give you all sorts of resources to help you start your business so that way when you start getting clients through Upwork you are ready to rock so enjoy this episode here is Chris we’re gonna have some serious fun talk about something that again was really eye opening for me I thoroughly enjoyed this because I didn’t know anything about it. So here we go. Let’s talk getting clients through Upwork.

Josh 3:39
My man Chris dude, welcome back on to the podcast.

Chris 3:43
Josh thanks for having me again, man. stoked to be chatting.

Josh 3:46
I should look this up before we got going. I’m going to look it up now. Let me look at what episode you were initially because I had such a great first chat with you the first time you’re on the podcast. Let’s see your episode. 77 Wow.

Chris 3:59
Yes.

Josh 4:00
I think you’re gonna be in the 140s now, almost almost that full year. Yeah. Really great to have you back on the podcast. Man, you are one of my favorites. In the web design world. It’s funny we were just kind of hanging out chatting before we went live we were going over podcast stats with each other and traffic and ideas, course ideas, your I really love what you’re up to with, with sharing your knowledge of web design and super excited about this particular chat because we’re going to talk about something I don’t know anything about. And that is Upwork. And how to get higher paying jobs and clients on Upwork, which I know you have a lot of experience in. Before we dive in man, do you want to let everybody know, first off who doesn’t know you where you’re based out of? And when people ask you what you do? What do you what do you tell them?

Chris 4:46
Yeah, so my name is Chris and I am based out of Mesa Arizona, which is kind of a subsection of the Phoenix area. Everybody just kind of gathers together around water. So there’s not really a lot of distinguishable cities. Outside of Phoenix, it’s just one big clump of stuff. So, but I help folks who are trying to learn how to break in to tech industry jobs, specifically web design. And I started from a side hustle. And then I changed careers to be a full time UX slash web designer. So I’m taking what I learned all the mistakes that I made, and I’m trying to help folks not make as many mistakes as I did on their journey to building a side hustle, finding freelance web design clients, and then hopefully going on to make it their full time career.

Josh 5:32
Yeah, and that’s one reason I love chatting with folks like you, Chris, because we are, we share a kinship. I mean, we’re doing very much similar thing. In fact, you’re like direct competition to me, but just like you, I love Co Op petition. And I would encourage everyone who hasn’t heard your first episode, because you really, we unpacked your journey, going from really how you doubled your income with a side hustle. So again, that was Episode 77. That’s really worth it’s worthwhile listening to that after this one, because that really gives some, I think, some backstory and some context for really Upwork and doing projects, because this is how you got started, you know, what, I often encourage people getting started to start with your personal network. And I’m a big fan of in person networking, and anything you can do to to build authority, like content marketing. However, there’s a ton of different ways to get clients and you took a path I think a lot of web designers are interested in, even though you’re great on camera, and very well spoken, a lot of people would probably love to, you know, stay behind the screen and do something on Upwork. So yeah, I’m really excited to figure out how you did that. Let’s just start off there, man. What Upwork was not called up work when you started. Right, right?

Chris 6:47
Yeah, yeah, so it was oDesk for a really short season of time. And like I signed up to the application process. And then by the time that I was approved, it had switched and become Upwork. So I was right on like the transition bubble of when it all happened. And they’ve made a ton of great updates and new features and different things to try to make it easier for folks who are both beginners and also folks who have been doing it for a while, as far as freelancing in whatever category you’re in to find success so

Josh 7:22
I was actually curious I don’t know what to well, how broad is the are the service categories for that? I mean, is Oh, yeah, web design, graphic design plumbing ever. I mean, what, what what’s all entailed in it?

Chris 7:33
Yeah, you know, anything that you can do remotely and then even some stuff that is not remotely like they also have the ability for a client to say I’m looking for a person in this city, so that it gets a little bit more pointed or specific as to what you’re doing but you know, you can go on there you can find it translators to translate you know, anything from English to Japanese, there’s, there’s web development, web designers, there’s graphic design, there’s audio, there’s voiceovers, there’s absolutely everything. But the the highest end demand skills on the platform, they did a survey last year, all has to do with web development and web design. In fact, WordPress, web design, UX design, those were all in like the top five of the 10 most highly sought after skills on the platform. So interesting is a lot of really good opportunity. If you’ve got skills and web development, you know, specifically, our audiences with WordPress and web design, you know, there’s, you’re gonna find a lot of good, good things to, to go for on there.

Chris 7:33
Well, I can’t wait to dive into the tactics of what you did. And some of the recommendations, you have to get better clients through up work. What made you want to start with that, though, I’m trying to remember from our first talk, and we did touch on this a little bit, but maybe as a refresher, was that recommended to you? Did you just want to try that out? What was your genesis of wanting to start with? What up? Well, it was oDesk or Upwork.

Chris 9:04
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Well, you know, I learned about it from a friend, but really, I had exhausted my network and, you know, built websites for everybody that I knew that needed one. And then a lot of folks who didn’t need one who were just being nice to me. So, as a single dad, I didn’t have a lot of time to go out and build relationships with with the model, like, like you teach with networking, and building relationships and things like that, just because the only time I had available to really learn how to do things, or even find new clients was when my kids went to sleep.

Josh 9:37
So yeah, we should mention too, that you were just doing this part time, right? You got a full time job, right?

Chris 9:42
Exactly. Yeah, yeah, a pretty demanding full time job. I was a worship pastor at a church, you know, oversaw, you know, hundreds of volunteers across multiple multiple campuses in multiple states. So I was super busy and just didn’t really have the time to do that. That method or that model of finding new clients so that that’s when I turned to Upwork. Because it was like I can, I can, you know, stay up until eight or midnight, just finding projects bidding on them, or anytime I have a free free spot in my day or a little bit of free time. And in my work week, like I can just hop on. And it’s not as demanding of me scheduling everything or finding somebody to watch the kids or anything like that.

Josh 10:27
Sure. And I suppose maybe a great place for people to start if they want to go this route is to do some free sites or work with your existing network. That way, you at least have a portfolio right that you can show off on up work, because if you go on up work, but you don’t have any work to show, it probably isn’t gonna go too. Well. I would imagine.

Chris 10:44
There’s a couple things to that. The answer is you do need to have a little bit of proof of concept. Especially if you have no feedback on up work, right? You’ve got to show somebody that you can do something. But a lot of freelancers, I feel like they, they they have this idea that they’ve got to have 20, 30 projects before they are able to go on there and start showing folks like hey, I can actually do this stuff. I had three websites to my name. And one of them was a really bad HTML and CSS website that I built for my band when I was first learning web sites. It wasn’t even responsive, right? It was just so bad. But I used it because it’s like, well, this is this is all I have. So I built, I built two websites for friends. And then I had that one. And that’s what I use to really get everything started so it doesn’t pay as much.

Josh 11:38
Yes. And I just did an episode on the podcast recently about how to build your portfolio when you don’t have any clients? That’s a great question. I didn’t know how to do it. And one of the points I articulated there that all re you know, reinstate right here is Yeah, you don’t need 20 or 30 projects, all you need is three. And sometimes not even that. And the little trick that I used to use that I want to encourage people to try right now this is you is just to say featured work, or recent work, because no one needs to know you only have three projects, if it just says featured work awesome. And no one’s going to go through 30 projects, maybe like point oh, 1% of your clients. And I say that because I did have one client that went through, like, every single one of my websites and made detailed notes. And I was like, first off, I’m not reading I’m not reading this whole email a second. How do you like do you sleep? Because how did you go through all these sites? Uh, yeah, it was she wrote like a mini book on each one. That’s, that is rarely gonna happen. Most people are not going to go past two or three projects.

Chris 12:38
Yeah. And I’ve always only ever, anytime I’m on pitching to a client, I will only ever use three. And I don’t I don’t think I’ve ever really had somebody say, hey, do you have any more, you know, like, and if and if you have only three and they ask you that, of course you want to be honest. But you know, what I would say was I’m new to web design. But I’m committed to give you a website that you’re going to be really proud of that you’re really happy with. And because I’m new, you’re going to get a discounted price, because my price now is not going to be my price. 12 months from now.

Josh 13:11
Beautiful. Well said that’s a great thing. Really think about that. But that’s a great teaching lesson on. Okay, what did they do come to you at least have some sort of answer prepared? That’s awesome. One of the questions I had initially was, how are you getting in front of clients? So are you optimizing your profile for certain services? How does that work on Upwork? And how did you how did you get out there initially for sure,

Chris 13:36
For sure. It’s it’s, it’s a lot different for me now as it was when I first got started. So let me just speak to when when I first got started. So Upwork has just a huge trough of different projects that clients are putting out there to say, I’m looking for someone who can do this for this type of project. So when you’re first getting started you are you’re pitching to those projects. So you’re putting your hat in the ring and saying, Hey, I’m this kind of, you know, Freelancer and I can do these types of things. And I’d be really good for this project.

Chris 13:44
So there’s a lot to that a lot to dial in, you know, I always say it’s best to start with yourself, like going inward a little bit, and looking at what I call your superpowers and your secret sauce. So thinking about what you do really well. And then also thinking about what makes you stand out from all the other freelancers that are out there on Upwork. And this is good not just for Upwork but for everywhere else right you know, if if you had to have a 32nd pitch to say here’s why you should choose me over somebody else.

Chris 14:47
That’s that’s the kind of thing that you need to bring to what you are pitching to clients and, and also with your superpowers and your secret sauce. It kind of lets you know what type of client you serve the best. And so I’ve seen A lot of folks give a lot of advice on when you first getting started on up work, you just pitch to as many things as you possibly can. It’s stupid advice, like it’s dumb, you know, because essentially what you’re doing is you’re wasting your own time and you’re wasting the people who are reading your pitch, you’re wasting their time as well, you know, so you have to have a really dialed in idea of who it is that you serve well and what you can really offer them.

Chris 15:25
So when I got started, I only had a real limited set of skills. And so that actually worked in my favor. You know, I had done a couple of websites for some folks who wanted to use the optimized press membership plugin where you know, it’s essentially a membership site, it’s it’s kind of an outdated plug in, not a lot of people use it as much as they did back in the day. But it was like cutting edge when I was getting started. And so. So that’s, that’s the skill that I put and was one of the only skills that I put because it’s all I had.

Josh 15:58
So that’s fascinating, man, that is a really great point. I hope that’s empowering for people who maybe are early in the journey, and you might know a little bit about something but not that much about everything else. That really can be a benefit. Because Yeah, this is what you know, this is what you feel comfortable in. Whereas if you’re like, I can do websites, landing pages, e commerce, SEO, copywriting, graphic design, content, marketing, social media, video photography, that everyone’s like, I don’t even know what to do. So that can actually be a bit. It’s funny, because I came to that realization, when I started scaling my business consistently at six figures. And that is the power of reducing your services and getting really good at the few that you offer.

Chris 16:40
Yeah, absolutely. And you have to think about it from the clients perspective, because I have been a client on up work, and I’ve hired folks for different things. And when I go to hire somebody, I’m not looking for somebody who’s kind of okay, at a lot of different things, right? I’m looking for somebody who is the expert in the thing that I’m looking for, right? And everybody has that mindset when they are going to find somebody to help them with their website, or with whatever project they’re working on, you know, so, you know, like, if, if I’ve got a WooCommerce site that sells clothing, right, I’m looking for the WooCommerce clothing website builder, you know, so thinking about it in that terms.

I think it’s just good to always think from behind the eyes of the client, and I call it hearing voices. – Chris

Chris 17:21
And you know, you don’t necessarily have to get that pointed, but I think it’s just good to always think from behind the eyes of the client, and I call it hearing voices, right and not, you know, not the kind of voices that make your family concern for you. But the kind of voices where you’re hearing the voices of your clients that are saying, I wish that you could do this, I wish that you would say these things, I wish that you would approach me this way. And that will give you a leg up on 90% of the other people who are pitching on Upwork. Because I’m telling you having received those pitches, it is a lot of copy and paste. And you didn’t even really read through my project description. You just threw something in there. And you know, like using, like weird language like Hello, sir. Or madam. It’s like, okay, that you’re not like, I’m a person, your person, like, let’s start there. But most guys just don’t?

Josh 18:14
Yeah, well, I’ll be honest, that’s one of the weirdest analogies I’ve ever heard. But it’s it makes a lot of sense to hear voices. Yeah, so that that definitely that makes a lot of sense. And I think sometimes if you put yourself in your clients shoes, whether it is up work, or in a local networking group, or however you come across, you do have to think about what they’re looking for, which can definitely help you position. Now I’m curious, because this could come into play when people talk about going niche or niche into a certain industry. Is that viable? Like, is that a good strategy for Upwork? If people are really good at like blue collar type websites or doing sites for coaches, or you know, like certain entrepreneur, like, I don’t know, is that is that kind of a thing in Upwork? On the go yet?

Chris 18:58
Absolutely, I would say 100%. You know, Upwork is like a normal market, right? It’s just on a specific platform. In a in a real, you know, I would I would say like structured type environment, right? And so everything that would benefit somebody outside of Upwork is also going to benefit somebody on Upwork because there are there are hundreds of new projects that are getting put on per day for web designers alone. And I think it was something like 500 new projects per week for web designers and I I’m back to where I remembered that so because I’m hopefully hopefully not getting that information wrong. But suffice it to say is there’s there’s new stuff that gets a lot of opportunity. Yeah, there’s a lot of opportunities, you know, they Upwork paid freelancers, $2.52 billion in 2020 alone, right? Like that’s the amount of money that they paid. So there’s there’s a lot of business being going on there and they’re actively marketing every single day to folks to get more and more business on there. I think this their, their marketing budget was like 96 million. And so, go ahead,

Josh 20:12
I was just gonna say, Chris, as far as like, this is a really great time to talk about positioning to where, like how, because with a lot of great opportunities and a plethora of opportunities, also comes a lot of other people who are in the same boat. So before we even get to like the getting clients and getting good clients and getting higher paying clients through Upwork. How do we position ourselves for anyone who wants to try this as not a commodity, because let’s be honest, it’s really easy in this type of situation. To be a commodity This is kind of one reason I liked the networking approach which again, we had different life circumstances I was able to go to groups and and do in person stuff and even being in the Divi community online, I was, you know, there weren’t that many Divi authorities. I was one of maybe a dozen, so it was easier for me to kind of like get up in the ranks, per se. Yeah, but in this case, yeah, you’re alongside like hundreds 1000s, maybe 10s of 1000s of competition. How do we not come across like a commodity? It’s as simple as just positioning yourself, right?

Chris 21:14
Yeah, yeah, great question. And it’s this is, this is kind of one of the things I think that deters people from from Upwork is that the idea that, you know, most clients are just looking for, as cheap as it can get, I’m going to give you a task sheet and you’re going to get it done. And, and listen, there are those type of projects on Upwork. Just like there’s those type of projects anywhere, right? Like, you know, you could find somebody who’s like, hey, I need you to, you know, fix the logo, move it over 1010 pixels, I need you to make this, you know, Canvas a little bit higher. You know, but there’s also on Upwork, a lot of folks who are looking for more than just somebody who can be a task manager for them. They’re they’re looking for, and I happy to see Lee blue on on a recent podcast, great guy, somebody I’ve connected with years ago.

The CEO said that there’s a big skill gap between what our top level clients are looking for and what our Freelancer pool is able to provide. – Chris

Chris 22:05
But you know, Lee talks about positioning yourself as the expert or as a consultant. And there are so many projects on Upwork, where the clients, that’s what they’re looking for, they’re not looking for somebody who can just do what they say to get done, because they don’t even know what they need. They just know they’ve got a website and is to be redesigned. Or maybe it’s you know, there’s a hole in the ship. And it’s losing money every day, because it’s not customized or set up for conversion. And so if you look for those types of folks, then you’ll be able to find them. And so, you know, they even recently, I had a meeting with a lot of Upwork investors. And the CEO said that there’s a big skill gap between what our top level clients are looking for and what our Freelancer pool is able to provide. And so as a result, interesting, they Yeah, yeah, they, they got rid of something like one and 1.2 million freelancers on Upwork, because you because they were like these guys are all in the lower skill category. They’re only past managers. So there’s actually a big market right now for folks who are just able to kind of fill that gap and say, like, I’m going for the top level folks who need more than just a task list to be finished.

Josh 23:24
That’s a great point. So maybe while there is a lot of competition, there may not be near as much on that top level or those people who are more experts in certain areas, because I’m sure Upwork Fiverr. A lot of these are the marketplaces, some people do want something quick and cheap. But it does sound like interestingly enough, a lot of companies with budgets are going this route, which is is pretty fascinating, because I still think there’s a lot of people and I know just with all my students who are still rocking it, like the in person kind of stuff. There’s a lot of people who want to stay local, but there are people abroad, or there are people in certain situations where maybe they tried local networking groups, they just haven’t met anybody. So Plan B is a marketplace like this.

Josh 24:06
And that’s a really valid point to think about nowadays is to maybe even have a presence in both maybe do networking locally but also have something and you know, if you’re really needing more Legion to have something like this, so that’s fascinating man. This is a good transition into to how to get clients practically because it sounds like there’s really two routes and I’ve been on the hiring end of this because I use Fiverr for a lot of stuff. mainly for just graphic stuff. I have a few people on Fiverr that I always go to. Like I’ve got a Vietnamese girl who always does great work on like graphic stuff for me, particularly if it’s like chopping myself out of an image or helping me prepare certain graphics or like turning something into vector. She’s always really great. I kind of I don’t know I’ve never talked to her but I’ve used or over the years. Quite a few times. So that’s another benefit from something like this. But I say that say I kind of sought out those services. So I would imagine there’s really two legions for this and correct me if I’m wrong, I would imagine you can either bid for a certain project or somebody is going to search and find you, depending on what the need is. Is that true? Or is there anything? Absolutely,

Chris 25:19
Yeah. So and this is this gets into some really good Upwork insider stuff, right? So with with Upwork, for the first little bit of time, you’re going to be going and finding the projects and bidding on them. And this is exactly what happened to me. But there wasn’t a Nexus level where I became a top rated freelancer. And this was in the first six months of being on the platform altogether. So it’s not like it takes years but became a top rated freelancer. And at that point, I hardly ever had to bid on another project again, because clients were at that point, finding me and saying, Would you interview for this project that we’re doing, and even still, to this day, I’m not super active on the platform, but I’m still consistently getting requests to do interviews, and, you know, and and I get to pick Like, who do I say yes to, I had a job come in, and their budget was $10,000. And I was like, Yes, I will talk to you about your website. You know, so it’s, it comes to a point where, you know, there’s, it’s just like anything else, you’re gonna, you’re gonna invest a little bit of time upfront, you’re gonna invest some effort, you’re, you’re maybe gonna take on some projects that you’re not super thrilled about, but you’re just, you’re putting in the foundation for your business, or for who you are on the platform. And eventually, pretty quickly, you’re gonna get to a point where it just starts working for you without having to do much.

Josh 26:46
Yeah, it’s just like any means of growing your network and getting clients it often starts with a lot of work and really good positioning and some sales and getting out of your comfort zone, then the referral train starts, yeah, if, if you do a good job, and this is why I am really trying to drill this mindset in the people that stop freaking focusing on getting new client after a new client, a new client and just do a really good damn job for one client at a time. And if you do a really good job and making an amazing experience, they will refer you and then suddenly, you don’t have to sell so much. So that sounds like that’s the approach you took, I love to hear that it works on Upwork. Just like it works in person. Because I think about the gal who I use all the time. I’ve referred her profile out numerous times to students and people who say like, Do you know anyone who can do graphic stuff, and I’m like, check this person out. It’s like freakin five bucks on Fiverr for a quick job. So interesting to know that you were able to get some high end projects like that on Fiverr, which is what this is all about. I’m curious, that 10th k project was that was that recent? Or was that later on in your journey? When did that come about?

Chris 27:56
It was later on. And it was, it was about a year ago. And I actually didn’t have time to work on it. So I referred it out to a friend of mine. And I you know, at that point, he told me Yeah, this is a $10,000 job. And I was like, oh, okay, shoot.

Josh 28:12
But it’s still good to know that those projects are on Upwork. It’s not $100 website.

Chris 28:18
Right? Well, and that wasn’t the first $10,000 project that I had bid on or talk to somebody about on on Upwork there’s, you know, there’s there’s, there’s, there’s just like in the regular marketplace, there’s all sorts of folks with all sorts of different types of budgets who are going to find work on on Upwork. And so, you know, I’ve got I have friends, Gani Morgan overhauled, she’s a graphic designer, she made $500,000, in right around four years of working on Upwork there’s another guy, his name is Josh burns, he does my SQL development, you know, he’s just absolutely crushing it. I think he’s making like $600,000 in the last three years.

Josh 28:57
Talk about a niche guy and have a nice, yeah. database related or something like that. I’m sure that high in demand.

Chris 29:05
It’s Yeah, I mean, oddly enough, like my SQL like some would say, you know, with with the technologies with react and JavaScript that are coming out it’s it’s it’s changing a little bit, but he’s still finding plenty of work you

Josh 29:18
Still like so siteground, which is who I host through, they recently changed their back end from cPanel to a new back end. I don’t know I don’t know what they’re using. I shouldn’t know what they’re using Exactly. But it all looks very different. It’s not cPanel. But the databases are still SQL like they’re it’s still WordPress core. It’s still PHP, and I won’t get too technical for everybody on this but it is still the same stuff. This is one reason because I have a cPanel course. And a lot of people ask me if it’s still relevant and I’m like Yep, it totally is because even if a system is a little bit different on the front end, once you get past the prettiness all the stuff is the same file manager MySQL databases, all that stuff is still what you would see in C panels. Yeah.

Chris 30:00
Now that’s great. That’s a great point, I actually just got off a coaching call where someone was asking me like, what, what should I really invest in learning, because I’m afraid that, you know, in five years, what I’ve spent so much time in is going to be obsolete. And my response was, number one, you can’t predict the future. So if you if you have that mindset, you’re always going to constantly be evaluating and never getting started. So just put something. But the next thing is that all of this stuff is kind of the same. So to your point your your cPanel course, you’re going to be able to apply that and multiple different environments because it’s, it’s all the same idea, you’ve got the front end, you’ve got the back end, you’ve got different stuff that you’re looking to manage what you’re doing. And so if you get some of that ground level knowledge, it’s going to serve you for the rest of your career.

Josh 30:48
That’s 100% true man. And I, it’s interesting, because web design is an industry that changes, evolve, evolves and grows in a lot of different ways pretty quickly. However, the core stuff like you just talked about stays the same, even sometimes there may be additions or revamps or whatever. But like the nuts and bolts of something generally doesn’t change the stuff I learned about CSS back in 2012. And 2013, when I learned about it, and at community college, is still what I apply to them. And that’s one thing I actually just funny. Just last week, somebody asked me about my CSS course, which at the time of recording, this is actually almost, let’s see, it’s almost three years old. Yeah. And they were like, you know, is it still relevant? And I’m like, honestly, if I were to re record and redo that entire course, I would do it exactly the same. So like, there’s no reason for me to revamp the course right now.

Josh 31:45
I mean, yeah, I can make the video quality better on my, you know, myself and stuff, but there’s really no reason to revamp it because all that stuff is 100% applicable right now what I’m learning to do with my courses, at least, is to just sprinkle in new lessons where needed or if something is new, like in the case of my Divi beginners course, I recently added a couple new lessons in there that are on top of what’s already there, just because, again, I don’t need to redo it, which is really, really empowering for people when it comes to what they should learn. Because if you know the basics of SEO, that’s never going to change, yeah, there’s going to be additions and new stuff that’s going to that’s never going to change the basics of cPanel. The basics of a lot of this stuff not gonna change. And when we get to strategies, like sales and all that stuff that’s evergreen, so didn’t mean to take us on a tangent, but it is really important for people learning web design, and to figure out what they want to offer is to know that just learn the basics, because that’s it’s not going to change, it’s going to be the foundation of everything that’s going to eventually be added on to it later.

Chris 32:46
Yeah, 100% I definitely agree. And you know, there’s really no, you can’t get it wrong, even if even if let’s say you learn something, and then then a year from now it changes, right, you still learn the process of of learning and of problem solving. And this is something I learned, and I’m sorry to take this tangent even further, I’ll quit talking about after this. But when I when I became a part of a development team at a tech company, and I realized, like the folks that were senior, it’s not that they knew so much more than I did, it’s just that they have learned the core ideas of troubleshooting and figuring out where to find the information that they needed. That I didn’t know, because they had so much experience of being out of their depth, and then having to figure out how to close the gap between what they were trying to do and what they didn’t know, you know, so that’s the kind of stuff, it’s never wasted effort, it’s never a wasted opportunity. Even if you learn something that you’re never going to use again, right? You’ve learned skills about learning and having grit and figuring things out, you’ll make bricks in the wall, you know,

Josh 33:49
You’ll use it in some sort of fashion. It’s I liken this to my band experience, I’ve talked about this a lot, my band days in, like, prepared me in so many ways for business, and I would have never thought that playing shows in a band and learning how to, you know, think about our target demographic and think about how to create our product. And of course, I you know, I didn’t call it like that. But that was all the perfect lessons that segwayed into business. Everyone can use everything they know for this. And to bring this back around to Upwork. I think this is a perfect kind of interesting point to think about. How far do we go on offering stuff that we’re experts in and that we know really well versus, you know, what can serve our audience depending on the type of project they need? And that’s kind of a confusing way to ask how like, what are the boundaries and constraints you think people should set on up work as far as like what we offer and what we do? Sure.

Chris 34:45
Yeah. So the way I said I like and I’m full of analogies. So here’s another one for you. It’s It’s It’s a fishing analogy, okay. And I, I’m not an expert fisherman, but I grew up in Texas where it’s basically somewhat required for you to have an idea of how to fish so, so there’s there’s two paths, right? And one path is to say, Okay, I’m going to go after this type of fish. So let me learn the skills and let me put together the equipment, and maybe find the right lures that attracts those fish. The other path, which is the one that I encourage people to, to do is to figure out what you have, like, figure out what type of lures are in your toolbox, you know, or in your lower kit, or whatever it’s called, figuring out what stuff you already know how to do, and then, and then go after that type of fish, the fish that that serves the best.

Chris 35:35
But while you’re doing that, you need to kind of go to the end of end of the race. So the finish line and say, where would I love to be at eventually, two or three years from now? What types of clients would I want to be serving? And you know, what, what level of income do I want to be making, what level of projects as far as like pricing do I want to be getting, and then you start strategizing and saying, okay, in order to get there, I’m going to add this lure, or this method of fishing, or I’m gonna have to learn how to navigate these types of waters. So the same is true for your skills, right?

Chris 36:11
You’re saying, I want to end up here, I’m starting at the end, I’m starting at the finish line. And so along the way, I’m adding things that will help me get there. So when somebody comes along and says, Hey, I’d like for you to do this, which is in your skill set. But I’d also like for you to do this, which is outside of your skill set, then you look at your game plan, you look at the finish line, and you say, is this moving me in the direction that I’m wanting to be going? And if the answer is yes, then that’s a no brainer, right? You’re gonna be gaining some skills that is getting you to the place that you want to be at? If the answer is no, why you got you got to think about it, you got to say, is it worth the effort to learn an entirely new plug in system that I never thought that I was going to have to mess with before? And it’s probably only going to serve me for this one client? Well, that probably not, you know, but at the same time, there’s a mixture of like, Do I have any other jobs coming up? You know, like, yeah,

Josh 37:06
there is Yeah, there’s a lot that could be factored into that for sure. It is interesting to hear you phrase all this just like I would teach anybody outside of Upwork or any sort of referral source it really is. It it does, at the end of the day, you’re working with people, right and whether it’s on a marketplace or whether it’s in person or whether it’s in a Facebook group or whatever, it’s still a client it’s still a person and figuring out how you position yourself what you’re willing to offer within the constraints of you know, what you feel I think you made that analogy perfect Chris having different laws for the type of fish you want to get and then sometimes it’s maybe I’ll branch outside a little bit for this client because they’re a really good client or maybe they could be a really good referral source but even if they’re a really good client and I found this all the time, people would ask me will you do Facebook ads for me and I’m like nope, I don’t do Facebook ads will you do Google ads? No, I’m I’m not an ad guy. I don’t I don’t do ads. I don’t do social media but we can connect you with somebody or I’ll partner I have some partners who are really great.

Josh 38:11
This is the value of surrounding yourself with good community which I know you and I are both building this is kind of why I have my web design club so people can have really good and I know you’re a part of that now really good trusted web design partnerships and referrals. So all that to say I think probably a moral of the story would be to offer what is going to get you the end result with some contingencies if need be but definitely stick to your guns and in manage those constraints and I do think one valuable lesson when it comes to this is every time you say yes you’re saying no to a lot of other things. So if you agree to mowing the lawn for your client after you build their website just remember not only is that far outside your service, but you’re gonna you know while you’re mowing your client’s lawn you’re not able to build the website and I know that’s drastic now I am not so good with the analogies but that’s the point it makes your If you say yes to something just remember what you’re going to have to say no to if you’re going to say yes.

Chris 39:09
100% and it’s kind of tough at the very beginning you kind of want to say yes to everything and honestly like you know i if you’re just getting started and you have no work then it’s not necessarily gonna hurt you to say yes to something just because it kind of stretches you a little bit or maybe pulls you in the direction of an area that you weren’t necessarily thinking about going in. Some of the directions that I was pulled in when I first got started they ended up becoming something that I was really passionate about like oh man I love this site builder or I love this thing I would have never used it had the client not asked for it and so you know there’s there’s kind of there’s multiple layers to this I think.

Chris 39:48
And so you really just kind of have to evaluate and say where am I at right now where do I want to be going and is this going to get me ahead in the game and and I’ve done the same thing Josh where you know, kind of my came back and said, Hey, you know, we’d really love to optimize the site a little bit more for speed. And so my response was, listen, you would have to pay me a lot of money to do something, I don’t know a ton of how to do, and that doesn’t really make a lot of sense, you know, like your best bet. Like I’ve optimized the speed. As much as I know how, like I’ve done I put the WP rocket on there, I click the buttons, and I said, to have have fun, you know, that’s, that’s about as far as I can go with site speed. If you’re wanting to somebody to like get in the code and remove the bulk. And without it breaking the theme all together, like that’s, you’re gonna have to go find somebody. And so they were happy to do that, you know, they were happy to go find somebody else. And they were thankful that I didn’t waste their time and their money, trying to figure out how to do something, I had no business trying to figure out how to do.

Josh 40:44
And obviously, you know, having partners and colleagues in online networks and local networks are great for this. What about like, Upwork? though? Is there any sort of Co Op petition and collaborating and partnerships on Upwork? Or is it just like, you know, if I were to see Chris Chris’s profile, would there be like, similar type profiles? Is that how that works?

People are pretty understanding of limitations, when it comes to your abilities and a warning sign, if a client isn’t Okay with a limitation that you have, they’re probably a bad client. – Chris

Chris 41:07
Yeah, for sure. So there have been times where I have gotten a project, and the client has said, like, hey, I’d really like for it to have this one component. And so I knew almost instantly, that was outside of my ability. And so I would just kind of tell them, like, this is kind of outside of my ability, I’m gonna, I’m gonna find somebody else to help me with this, as long as you’re okay with that. Most the time, they are most of the time, people are pretty understanding of limitations, when it comes to your abilities. And if a warning sign, if a client isn’t Okay, with a limitation that you have, they’re probably a bad client. That means they’re going to be bad boundaries, they’re, they’re not going to really know what is a realistic expectation. So So I went and I just found somebody and and, and interviewed for this one little component on this website and said, I need this thing on this website, and then found somebody on Upwork. The the other side of that is you can build an agency and I have an agency, I haven’t used it as as much as I would like to. But you can have a crew of other people who are Upwork freelancers who are part of your agency, and then you can bid on projects as an agency, and then kind of divvy out the work amongst the people who are a part of your co op, so to speak. So there are multiple rounds.

Josh 42:25
If you use Divi, you can use that pond to great extent, because you can divvy out the work. Hey, there’s my daily dad joke for everybody publicly. Like girls, one of my girls loves my dad jokes. The other one gives me the look a lot now and she’s only like a year and a half. I’m like, dang it already. Alright, so I do have a question about the your leads. They’re like the type of clients you got on Upwork? Because as you started, you know how you didn’t have to hustle as much the referral train started. Were those leads coming through Upwork still? Or did you just happen to get a good couple good clients and Upwork that eventually took you outside of Upwork? What did that look like?

Chris 43:04
Yeah, yeah, it’s a mixture of both, actually. You know, so the majority of the leads that I got, were just all up work in trinsic leads. So you know, they were finding me on Upwork they’re reaching out to me, folks I’d never met before, I guess a works algorithm, you know, push me to the top being a top rated freelancer, you know, so that that was definitely the crux of where I got most of the projects from now. You can’t take clients. So let’s say somebody finds you on Upwork. You can’t take you can’t get the interview, and they say yes to you. And then you say, Okay, let’s do this off of Upwork. So we don’t have to pay fees. That’s actually a quick way to get kicked out of Upwork.

Josh 43:45
I was wondering about that great point. Yeah.

Chris 43:46
And you know, rightly so like Upwork, found the client, they found the job, they got the money to come to you. And so they’re wanting, they’re wanting to keep everything up, work centric. If you’ve been with a client past two years, then they do allow you to take the contract off up work, and I’ve had a few clients where that’s the case, like, I’ve got them, you know, four or five years ago. And so now anytime they need updates, or they need help, we just email and interact with each other off of Upwork. But I have gotten clients from Upwork, who then referred me to other people off of Upwork. And

Josh 44:24
I was kind of wondering, yeah, yeah, yeah, there’s no real like, you’re not going to make them sign up on Upwork or Upwork. And then hire you through that, right? Like, Is this right? No, be outside.

Chris 44:34
And you know, for sure, like, there are a lot of benefits to bring in clients on Upwork. And I even you know, I’ve got a client that I’m about to sign up for a project who I will probably just bring on Upwork because there’s a lot of really good systems on Upwork with with payments and, and even you know, like time management staff where you can track your hours and the client can see what you’re doing, which is kind of a helpful thing when it comes to working with people who are maybe a little bit less trusted. You know, there’s a lot of assurances when it comes to getting paid. So for instance, you know, Upwork forces clients to keep their credit cards on file. That way, when you request a payment, it goes into escrow between you online and can be evaluated. Versus like always just hounding clients, like, please pay me please pay that invoice. You know, so.

Josh 45:23
That’s interesting. What a good benefit for Upwork. Yeah, yeah,

Chris 45:27
Yeah. So it’s, it’s kind of a cool thing. You know, you do you do, I think it’s zero fees. If you’re a top rated Freelancer and you bring them to the platform. But if you’re not a top rated freelancer, then of course, they have to sign up on their own. And there’s some fees that’s associated with it. But you know, outside of that, like, I don’t necessarily like I’ve had quite a few clients who found me just organically or through referrals, word of mouth, who I’m like, okay, go sign up for Upwork. And we’ll do this thing.

Josh 45:55
Yeah, yeah, that makes sense. Cuz I’m sure the same, the same approach of like, quality over quantity probably applies here, right? It’s probably better to have 10 really good projects that are highly rated on your profile than 100 projects. But maybe you get two ratings. Yeah. And actually, on that note, on the rating system, one big key component, whether it’s on Upwork, or outside Upwork, is to get really good reviews, and testimonials and rating. So this is something I do to my business course, which is like my whole process for after the project goes live. I have a whole sequence for getting testimonials and a Google review. Do you have anything like that for up work? Any tips on getting a really good review? I mean, I imagine you have to strike while the iron is hot. Is that built in on up work that once a project is completed, they have a system? What’s that look like for getting those ratings?

Chris 46:44
Yeah, yeah, yeah. So there’s a couple routes to go with here for sure you’re getting a project. And then once the contract is closed, an email automatically gets sent to the client, and to the freelancer where you’re giving the client feedback, and the client is giving you feedback. And feedback is good feedback on Upwork is worth its weight in gold, right? Like, you know, having proof of concept like I’ve been on up work, I’ve done projects before, like a lot of clients are looking for that. And so there are, you know, just as it would be important to follow up with clients and ask them for feedback outside of up work, it’s also important to do that within up work.

Chris 47:22
I’ve even had clients who I hounded for a year before they finally went in and said, okay, hey, yeah, I’d love to give you some feedback. I’m sorry, it took me so long. And that was after they were like, Hey, can you make an adjustment on this picture on our contact page, I’m like, Yes, if you give me feedback, you know, so you know, you do a lot of the same stuff you follow up with, with the you know, with them and just try to be really kind about it, I think there’s some, there’s something to say about doing a good enough job throughout the process, that it’s a no brainer for the client to say, of course, I’m going to take five minutes out of my day, and, and give you feedback, because you were amazing. I also always kind of remind them of the importance of getting good feedback on Upwork. And say, like, it’s really important for me, and, and, you know, getting more business or more projects on Upwork to have good feedback on my profile. And so if you could take a second it would, it would really help me, you know, so I make sure that they know the importance like this is not just like, hey, if you could be nice, like no, this is this is a part of me actually making more money, so it’s gonna be really helpful. So, go ahead,

Josh 48:27
I’ll go ahead, and I’ll go ahead, please finish that thought, Chris, I have a question. But that’s gonna derail us, my question. Yeah,

Chris 48:31
For sure. Well, I was gonna say the the other route, and this is fairly new, is let’s say you are new to Upwork. But you’re not new to web design or freelancing. You can actually request other people outside of Upwork to give you testimonies. And so you don’t necessarily have to just have upward testimonies to show people that you know what you’re doing. And so that’s interesting. I actually have a couple of projects where they weren’t enough work, but I sent them a review from Upwork. And they put it on there. And it’s really helpful. You know, that way you don’t have to, you don’t have to work so hard on those first few jobs to show people that you’re, you’re worth your weight.

Josh 49:11
Yeah, that’s great, great tips for getting testimonials and reviews for that better ratings. For client communication. I’ve always been curious about this for a big project like website design, which includes Content Collection and project management and revisions onboarding. offboarding. Of course, I have my own processes and systems for this. A lot of my students are using Basecamp or Asana or something to do project management. Can you use that on Upwork? Or are you confined to having a project under the Upwork? roof?

Chris 49:44
Yeah, good question. So Upwork and they just changed their terms of service a couple years ago, but when when it comes to the interview process, they want you to keep all of that communication within the app. Work platform. So you know, going back and forth, you have video conferencing, they have phone conferencing where you know, you can dial in an audio. And they even just added a schedule, scheduling a component where you can send your client your schedule and your availability. So you’re not having to go back and forth on like, when you’re available, like, this day does that work for you, now, there’s no use, so just makes it a lot easier. So after you win the project, you’re free to open up communication. And so I use a Trello board with my clients and I have a Trello board per project and have clients sign up for it takes them through a few of the cards where they can kind of get familiar with the system and and I can tag them on things that I need as far as like, you know, images or content or whatever. And so it’s it’s kind of the same deal after that point. Like you can use whatever, whatever platform works best for you to communicate with your clients and make sure that the project is managed in a way that everybody feels like it’s a success.

Josh 51:00
Gotcha. That’s Yeah, that was interesting. I honestly didn’t think about that until we were talking a little bit ago. And I kind of wondered, like, what does that look like is that anytime I’ve used Fiverr, or anything like that, it’s always a quick project that’s just managed inside the platform. So yeah, that’s really interesting. And it’s good to know, there’s a little bit of leeway. But at the same time, I can’t imagine what they had to do to like set boundaries and constraints for for both sides, not only service providers, but clients as well, in there, which is man, gosh, I can’t imagine, you know,

Chris 51:32
Yeah, you know that stuff. But there’s a lot of folks and a lot of freelancers try to cheat the system, unfortunately. And so that, you know, somewhat creates these rules and structures. I think, for the most part, like I actually just learned about not being able to take a client off of Upwork until they’ve, you know, contracted you as far as communication goes. So I’ve been having zoom calls with clients all the time. But I think the whole point is like if Upwork, sees that you’re interviewing for jobs, and then also winning the contracts, like they’re not going to, they’re not going to punish you. And I’m going on here. So if anybody from Upwork is listening, I’m sorry, if I’m wrong, you can email me Chris, at self made web designer calm and just tell me I’m stupid. But for the most part, you know, like, as long as you are winning the business there and keeping it there, like they’re probably not going to be too much of a stickler about what you’re doing or not doing.

Josh 52:23
Right? Yeah, gosh, I really hope you email me after this episode is live. And it’s a screenshot of somebody from Upwork. This is Chris, you’re stupid. Amazing, you know, you but you’re right. Like, this is a really good point. If you are on the platform, you have got to respect the platform. And here’s a this is something I am learning. Even though I’m not an ads person, I am getting much more into social media and learning how that market better on social media and, and all that and I have learned probably the most important thing I’ve learned on with any sort of social media advertising, is if you play by their rules, and you appease the system, it will reward you.

Josh 53:07
So if you are on Upwork, you, if you respect the rules do a really good job and you know, follow their standards, they will I’m sure this is how you had a profile that was getting ranked higher, I guarantee you weren’t being shady and shifty and taking things off of Upwork, which is probably why they rewarded you like, yeah, these systems are not dumb. They know what the heck’s going on. And they’re going to know if you talk with a bunch of clients, and then build them outside of the system. And then suddenly, this client came back to you a year later and said, Hey, I love working with you. I know, I mean, I don’t know, but I guarantee the system knows, oh, this person, Chris didn’t build this person and Upwork Chris bill, this person elsewhere, I’m not saying he did that.

Josh 53:48
But just as an example, it’s a really important point, because you do have to kind of respect the system that you’re in. And I found this to be true with my networking group was same thing. We had to respect the rules and the constraints and the boundaries that were in place for the good of everybody to be able to not only for the system to, you know, stay healthy and that, you know, get more clients and to get more customers, but also for us as service providers, because no one wants to join a platform that’s not regulated very well, when it comes to like selling services, then it’s like, well, I don’t know, what the heck am I getting into? So all that to say, I think it’s a some important points to kind of, I guess, in short, respect the system.

Chris 54:30
100% Yeah, 100%. And I even had, especially in the early days, when it was was really tough to say no to a client, but there were clients who were like, Hey, I don’t really want to work on up work. And I’d be like, well, you found me on Upwork and I feel like I need to honor that. You know, and I even had a client drop me as as a result, you know, but because I’ve stayed with up work and didn’t go to that one client. It’s like I could have maybe gotten a few $1,000 From that one client or I could have stayed on Upwork and then gotten 10s of 1000s of dollars from all the future projects that I’ve got. So it’s kind of a no brainer.

Josh 55:08
Yeah, that’s a great point, man. Well, man, I want to recap this combo real quick, I do have one final question for you. But if we could kind of put a bullet list of what we’ve talked about together, for getting higher paying and better clients on Upwork, let me know if you would add anything or correct anything on this, it would be to really figure out your services and what you want to offer, position yourself Well, on the platform with what your profile looks like, how you come across, what you offer, I imagine you’re bidding on projects that are a good fit for you is a great way to get out there and start, maybe make some connections, you know, collaborate with people.

Josh 55:44
When you get projects, just do a really good job and the referral train will start, you can start charging more, really push on getting those reviews and ratings, respect the platform, you know, do things, you know, intentionally and on the platform and with trust and respect towards you know, with the tools that they have, and make sure you’re not doing anything, quote unquote, illegal outside of the boundaries, I think that’s actually a really important point to think about, then suddenly, you can probably attract better clients, because you have a higher rating, you can bid for bigger projects, you’ll get referrals, of course, it’s fine to get referrals outside of work, that’s fine as well. But maybe having up work alongside other forms of marketing, I think can be really good. I think I probably would have taken that route. Had I heard this episode, when I got started, I definitely would have gone this route and said, maybe white labeling or some of the things I did. I think that’s kind of a a capsule on what we talked about anything else you would add to that before I ask you the final question here, Chris?

Chris 56:44
No, I think that’s that’s a great summary, I think the only thing I would say is it’s going to take a little bit of grit, you know, just like any just like building your web design business outside of Upwork, there’s going to be a season of time that you’re, you’re kind of working this thing out and figuring out what works for you and what what doesn’t. And so you really need to approach it as a scientist and I like to claim uh, you know, say that you’re, you’re using the freelancer, scientific method, you know, you’re making a hypothesis, you’re testing that hypothesis out, and then you’re seeing what the results are. And then those results are going to really determine how what your next hypothesis is going to look like, right? So you take what happened or what didn’t happen, what you would have liked to happen, you make a few guesses as to why it did or didn’t happen. And then you change your approach or you change the way that you’re going after it in, you know, for sure on Upwork. But really everywhere in life. If you approach your freelance career, your freelance business or you know, whatever, web design, business, web design agency, whatever you’re doing, if you approach it in that way, you really are bound to win at some point in time like you are destined to be successful.

Josh 57:54
Woo…what a motivational little segment there. Man, these episodes, these interviews come out on Monday. So there’s our Monday motivation for the week right there. On Monday motivation with Christmas trick. My last question for before we get to that though, Chris, where would you like people to go to find out more? Do you want people to go to your website, your podcast? Where would you like, yeah,

Chris 58:12
Yeah, so I’m, I’m gonna put up a page self made web designer.com forward slash Josh Hall. So actually just did a webinar, teaching people three simple steps on landing high paying upward clients. And so, so I’m gonna, I’m gonna make that webinar available to your audience, and they can go there and sign up for it, and I’ll send it straight to them. So that’d be the best place to dig a little bit deeper into the Upwork atmosphere.

Josh 58:39
Awesome. Awesome. We’ll definitely link that up. I’m so glad to have that resource available for everybody. I imagine it’ll be a lot of this just more visual and more, you know, direct and compact from you. And I do want to give a plug for your podcast as well. Everyone, check out the self made web designer podcast. In fact, if you search web design podcast, you should see me and Chris, up at the top on those searches. I did that recently. And I saw you were neck and neck. So it’s pretty cool, man. I am curious as a final thought last question, which you kind of gave me an amazing final thought there before. But if you could pinpoint maybe the most impactful thing that you did on your Upwork profile to help you get a higher rating. What do you think that was?

Chris 59:21
Yeah, absolutely. I think the main thing is that you need to start with the underlying motivations of the clients right and and, and so you know, I’m sure you’re probably teaching this to your to your audience as well. Like when, when a client comes to you, it’s never just the thing that they’re coming to you about, right? They they’re never just coming for a website, they’re never just coming for, you know, adding a plugin or making their site perform better with speed or maybe a little SEO optimization. There’s always some underlying motivation that they’re really kind of after and and Your job is to kind of pull back the brush a little bit to see what it is that they’re really after they might be embarrassed of their website, they might, you know, not have, they might be afraid to show it to somebody because of how it’s going to make them look. And so rather than saying, I’m gonna do a good job building your website, you say things like, I’m going to build you a website that you’re proud to show other people and it’s gonna make you look really good as a business. It’s kind of like that age old adage of people don’t buy a drill because they want to drill, right? They want what the drill is going to help them to do, right? And so you’ve got to start there. And this is something I see so many freelancers on Upwork make the mistake of they make it all about the thing when they need to make it the why behind the thing. So

Josh 1:00:45
Wow that’s a great, that’s a great principle for showing off your services and marketing in general and sales. Yeah, to go with the why. What’s behind what you offer, what’s the result? You mentioned, Lee blue had him on recently on the podcast. That’s a lot of what we talked about. I’m so glad you articulated that here because I don’t know what your profile looked like initially, but I’m guessing it was more results driven. And just Hi, I’m Chris and I build websites. Nothing voice sounded like that a few years ago. That’s

Chris 1:01:15
What it is. You got it. You’ve been played five years ago and was still young guy. So

Josh 1:01:20
Well, Chris, man, dude, you’re awesome. I really, really enjoyed this talk. It was very enlightening for me because this is not a route I had any familiarity with from that in the things. So it was really cool to hear your your story and how you managed to make this work for you. And I know you’re teaching a lot of other people, I don’t really know anyone else that’s kind of doing what you’re doing with with really encouraging this. So I think you’ve kind of found your own little kind of niche and this market of web design because it’s a really, Val, a really valid and valuable aspect for marketing.

Josh 1:01:54
To have Upwork as a part of your lead gen and I, I don’t know man, I’m gonna reference this a lot, because I think it’s a really great way particularly for folks who are abroad or in a place in the world where local clients are not great clients are not your ideal clients. So having an upward profile and being able to work with people all over and different currencies. It’s pretty dang cool. So I’m really excited about this man, you got me jazzed up as far as another really good resource for people to utilize particularly early on. I think folks who are just starting out can do a lot of really good things on Upwork and it’s a really great way to do things behind the screen if you don’t want to go to local networking groups or stuff this is a really valuable approach so got me fired up man, thank you so much for sharing all your knowledge and yeah, I’m pumped man,

Chris 1:02:44
Josh I appreciate it man. Thank you so much for having me and just love love your podcast love what you’re doing with your community. You know, you mentioned us being in competition if anybody’s wondering just listen to Josh. Don’t worry about what I have to say is amazing. But you’re right I looked at what was out there as far as like what was helpful to people and said, you know, not a lot of web designers are talking about Upwork and so you know, hopefully this will be something that can really help folks out.

Josh 1:03:08
Yeah, I will for sure. I mean yeah, you and I have a lot of the same mindset and principles but the strategies might be a little different like the end result is always generally the same but it’s how you get there. That’s what’s kind of that’s what I really like about doing this podcast and because I’ve had a lot of entrepreneurs and web designers who are in kind of different realms they’re not exactly you and I are like straight competition with each other that’s actually really cool because you have a different approach and it’s funny because you and I still we come from band and you know you’re a part of a charity of our church like we’re kind of like different you know brothers from another mother Yeah, but you like we have different entry points and experiences in the web design world which is really cool so that’s another valuable lesson today in this off there’s no exact path to kill it in web design you can take a number of different approaches which is I think it’s really cool so yeah, man Yeah. Oh, let’s say man thanks for coming on Chris looking forward to having you on for round three eventually and I’m excited to see how this goes for you with what you’re doing again everyone just go to self made web designer comm slash Josh Hall. One word right Chris?

Chris 1:04:19
One word.

Josh 1:04:20
There you go Josh, all one word and check out Chris’s resources for you. So thanks for coming on, man. Looking forward to doing it again sometime.

Chris 1:04:26
Thanks, Josh.

 

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