Why Upwork and Freelancer Won’t Get You Booked Out

Some people swear by Upwork, Freelancer, and other sites that are similar to build clientele. It gets your name out there and you have easier access to clients.. Sounds great right?

Not necessarily.

Of course, it’s your business and you can do what you want, but if you do your research you can see that these websites could make you sell yourself short. If you want your business to bring in $40-70,000 your first year, these sites are not the way to go.

If you’re not familiar with Upwork or Freelancer, they’re sites that allow clients to post jobs for designers, VAs, coaches, etc. to bid on. Basically what you’re doing is competing on price in order to land a client, rather than basing it off of your work and what you can actually accomplish. Essentially what you’re doing is losing control over your own business, and sacrificing your worth in order to score the client, all so they can pay the lowest price possible. (Screw that!)

What does this mean? Shitty clients, bottom line. With this type of system, it’s inevitable to get those shitty, micromanaging clients. They’re going to monitor every move you make for each minute or hour you’re charging them for, because they’re focused on time and cost rather than quality. You’re great at what you do, and doing what you do well requires time.

At the end of the day a client should be happy if you get them results, regardless of how much time it takes. I would much rather pay somebody for a result, rather than paying somebody for an hour of their time.

Upwork and Freelancer are basically saying, “Fuck results! We’re just going to base it on money!”

It makes sense for them, because it means they can book out more people to more clients and make more commission off of you and everyone else on their platform, BUT- as a freelancer, virtual assistant, designer, coach, developer, project manager, marketer, copywriter… that’s not for you buddy. It might be a nice way to start, but over time it will destroy your soul because you continuously have to compete on price rather than raising your rates as your quality builds. You are not going to have control over the packages you supply. You are not going to be able to build a clientele off this system, because you’ll always have to be negotiating your worth rather than standing firm behind your work. It’s just not feasible long term. (This also applies to Facebook groups!)

These clients, they don’t know any better. Mostly because you don’t have the chance to market yourself properly, if even at all. It’s hard to market yourself enough in that brief little description for your client to say, “Oh fuck yeah! I’d be more than happy to pay twice the going rate for this person to work with me!” Ever have a great experience at Supercuts? Exactly. I don’t want you to be the Supercuts of your service, we want you to be top shelf shit. I want you to get paid well.

The thing that I see a lot of people succeeding with is their website. You need to have a website where you can educate, cultivate, and have clients barging down your door. If you don’t, you’re always going to be at the whim of your clients, and that’s not okay. You need to have the lead in the relationship.

Own the price point you’re setting yourself at- which should be an equation, not a feeling.

You need to be confident and deliver the quality you’re charging for in order to generate a consistent stream of clients. You need to keep going to the point where you have a waitlist of people desperate for the packages you offer.

When you offer one specific package, or even 3 specific packages, that allows you to simplify your life, charge more for them, and always have people waiting at your door. Those people will wait 6 MONTHS if they’re confident that you’re the shit and you’ll deliver. The first step is taking control and setting it up on your own terms- otherwise you’re going to get burnt the fuck out chasing clients instead of having them chase you.

If you know you can deliver results, you can easily book those clients without the help of Upwork or Freelancer. Sign up for Be Booked Out now and it’ll help you in the long-run. People who go through this 8 week course go from not making any money and/or dealing with micromanaging clients to having a fully booked out clientele who love the services they put out. Go sign up, get first dibs, or even just request more info. We’re going to be opening up the next session soon, so make sure your spot secured.


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  • That is so true, I wouldn’t recommend anyone to go down that road. It’s bad for you professionally and emotionally. I started off with 99Designs and worked myself to a burn out there.