8 Surprisingly High-Paying Freelancing Skills

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Freelancing reports always say technical skills are the highly profitable skills — this post is going to challenge that belief.

From the 2019 freelancing report done by Fundera that reviewed postings on the world’s largest freelancing platforms — Upwork, PeoplePerHour, Guru, and Simply Hired, here are a few points:[*]

  • Top 2 high-paying skills are the usual hard skills: software development and creative design
  • Virtual assistants (or VA’s) made it to the list despite the skill having “relatively low pay levels” — they have high client demand 
  • Skills are considered highly-paid if clients pay over $60 an hour for it

As it has always been pointed out, freelancers with “technical skills” like software development or website design are dubbed as the wealthiest amongst the freelancers.

So does this mean that in order to win big in freelancing, you need to pick and develop technical skills?

Well, most new freelancers will think this way. 

And it’s totally fine — there’s some truth to it…

But what’s currently happening in the freelancing scene today, particularly inside The Freelance Movement Tribe (TFMT), is intriguingly different…

You’ll be surprised at the skills these 8 ordinary freelancers have…

They’re pretty much different from the usual skills that are known to generate 7 FIGURES A YEAR.

Here they are in no particular order:

  • [High-Paying Freelancing Skill #1] Virtual Assistant (VA)
  • [High-Paying Freelancing Skill #2] Direct Response Copywriting
  • [High-Paying Freelancing Skill #3] Animated Video Creation
  • [High-Paying Freelancing Skill #4] Crowdfunding Marketing
  • [High-Paying Freelancing Skill #5] Facebook Ads
  • [High-Paying Freelancing Skill #6] Funnel Building, Design, and Automation
  • [High-Paying Freelancing Skill #7] Bookkeeping
  • [High-Paying Freelancing Skill #8] Lead Generation

Want to find out how to turn the skill you have into something clients would pay a premium for? Hit the SHARE button below and get a free copy of our 7 Skill Criteria Worksheet.

[High-Paying Freelancing Skill #1] Virtual Assistant Skills

Virtual Assistant (VA) work — that so many freelancers think is the plain Jane of the freelancing skills — can actually get you 7 figures in the bank. 

And it might not even take you a year to do that — like how Allie did.

Meet Allie, the VA 

Name: Allie

Previous Role: Call Center Agent

Regular Monthly Income: $17,000 (average)

Nope, that’s no typo. And yes, it’s real. 

If you’re skeptical about how a VA can earn this much, let’s dive into Allie’s story a little more deeper. 

See, Allie is one of those freelancers who are more of an entrepreneur rather than a freelancer.

She started as a VA, but now, she’s handling a Virtual Assistant Agency and is a certified Online Business Manager at the same time. 

What does Allie exactly do?

In contrast to ordinary VAs who only take orders from clients, Allie positions herself as a consultant and gives her clients advice on how to accomplish day-to-day tasks more efficiently.

She even creates systems and automations, provides a Client Acquisition Blueprint, and even trains the client’s teams to use the processes that she implements. 

How does she find clients?

Her biggest project so far is a referral from her other long-term client. 

With 16 years of freelancing under her belt, she has established great relationships with a circle of entrepreneurs worldwide. 

Her outstanding work has made it easier for past clients to recommend her to their network who need help.

Comparing Point A to Point Now

Allie only earns with $2 an hour back in 2003, but when she realized what the clients need, she had upped her game…

“Earning $5/hour is already a dream come true for me as I am only receiving $2/hour from my first client (2003). And when my clients started asking me if I have a team and are interested in working with me and my team, things became different.”

Fast forward to today, Allie is finally living the dream, “Freelancing has enabled me to reach my dreams… Owning an 11-hectare Beachside property, Fully paid Ford Everest, traveling outside the country with my family including my childhood dream Disneyland (Japan), living a comfortable life and be featured in a book about inspiring women, and lastly to be the First Certified Online Business Manager in the Philippines by the International Association of OBM.”

Her advice to aspiring freelancers

Do not be afraid to Fail. 

If you fail, get up, learn from it, move on and expect more failures. It is only when you experience pain, failure and overcome fear will you be successful... Coz with these, you will come out better, stronger and fearless that no challenge or struggles can bring you down. :)”

The takeaway: Not all freelancing skills have a tangible output that you can easily justify. So if ever you feel like your skill is “simple enough”, figure out how you can give more value to your clients.

Like Tisya who offered to build an automated system, create documents and worksheets, and even train the client’s staff on how to use her system, you can increase your skill’s perceived value. Remember, there’s no such thing as a simple skill. Clients hire you because they need your help. 

Plus, cloning yourself — by creating a team — can really x10 your freelancing business.  

[High-Paying Freelancing Skill #2] Direct Response Copywriting

So typing in a bunch of words can help you earn your first million?

Apparently, it can.

But it’s not as easy as it reads. 😉

Here’s April’s story.

Meet April, the Copywriter

Name: April

Previous Role: Blog Writing

Project Fees: $2,000-$6,000

$4,000. Really?

“So how many blog posts and sleepless nights did this take April?”, you might ask.

Let me answer that for you — 10 days and a single sales page.

Because April can justify the worth of her services, she can work less, take a vacation whenever she likes, and still earn money as if she hustled for a whole month.

Interesting, right?

Let’s see how April got to this point of her freelancing career.

First, what does April exactly write about?

April is a copywriter in the health and wellness industry.

She writes highly-converting sales pages (and now emails) that gets people to enroll in a course, subscribe to a newsletter or buy products.

In fact, her biggest gig so far was a single direct mail piece and she got paid

$6,000 for that.

How does she find clients?

It’s no secret, it’s just the CCPP process, which is so generously explained here up to the last detail.

For April, it happened on LinkedIn, “The client approved my request and referred me to the marketing head. After the initial meeting with the copy chief, I started writing.”

But before you can say it’s a walk in the park, come to think of why the situation seemed to line up perfectly for April…

Why did the client approve April’s LinkedIn request?

What did April tell THE copy chief that allowed her to close the deal?

More importantly, how did April know which person to connect on LinkedIn? Was she randomly adding people?

What you didn’t see was what April was doing before it leads up to this event. It took her a lot of practice, perseverance, and profile building.

Here’s a peek on what she did:

The lesson here?

All the seemingly little things that you do every day has a domino effect that will one day break down the wall between you and your success.

Comparing Point A to Point Now

I still remembered April posting how she started and her history of payment charges…

After 2 years, she posted again about how she gained clarity and then this happened…

At 25, April is a pretty accomplished young lady…

“Just this year I have completed my financial pyramid. Yes, I have no debts, savings, emergency fund, insurance, and now building my business. :)

I’m only 25. If nasa corpo pa ako, maybe 40 na ako wala ako nyan. :D”

But when did the breakthrough really happen?

April has been freelancing for already 7 years when she met John in 2017, and according to her that’s when the breakthrough started…

“Just after 2 years of meeting and learning from John (2017-2019), I can now earn a decent income by just working max 3 hours a day.

If only I met John earlier, it won't take me 7 years to achieve this success and freedom.”

April executed and her luck followed…

And luck, in this case, is more like how Tony Robbins described it, “The meeting of preparation with opportunity generates the offspring we call luck.”

Her advice to aspiring freelancers

Want to be like the awesome copywriter that April is? Follow her advice here:

“1. Follow the best mentor(s). Follow John. :)

2. Take action. Keep failing. And learn from your failures.

3. Keep your focus on the goal.
  • Choose 1-2 courses to study.
  • Choose 1-2 mentors to follow.
  • Choose 1-2 market to serve. Eto talaga nakatulong para mas mapabilis progress ko.
4. Pray everyday.”

The takeaway: April’s journey spanned 2 years before her biggest breakthrough… she had to change niches several times… She had to try writing different materials… She endured harsh criticisms on her writing before she got to where she is now…

Sometimes, it takes time before you find the specialized skill that will take your freelancing business to the next level. What’s important is that you don’t stop trying.

[High-Paying Freelancing Skill #3] Animated Video Creation

Those too-good-to-pass videos on Facebook that stop you from scrolling down your news feed?

They’re short, undeniably entertaining — and expensive. Just ask Charlie. He creates those kinds of videos.

Meet Charlie, an Animated Video Creator

Name: Charlie

Previous Role: Product Development Manage

Regular Monthly Income:$8,000-$10,000

Yes, animated videos can make you this much.

In fact, our guy Charlie here sealed a $20,000 deal.

It’s just mind-blowing how something so short can actually get you a paycheck that can last for months…

Or even a year…

You probably have a lot of questions about videos right now…

Why do clients pay this big for a few minutes of videos?

Where can you get clients like them?

What industry are they in?

How does Charlie convince his clients that his video is worth that much?

Easy, Charlie will spill the beans on this one.

First, what videos does Charlie create?

He creates animated explainer videos to help clients quickly explain what they really do for their clients. This way, they can easily communicate the value that they can bring for potential customers.

But instead of just telling clients all the video programs he knows and all the types of videos he can create…

He positions himself more as a video strategist than a video creator, meaning he develops an actionable plan on how the client can market the video to get more customers.

When he started, he really didn’t know video creation that well…

“I fell in love with the task and realized that I had most of the skills needed for it except the animation part. From that point on I made a personal decision, with some push from my wife, to stop everything else I was doing and just focus on learning and making explainer videos. And that's where it began.”

He used to create videos for a variety of industries, but in the past years, he zoned in specific markets — SaaS and FinTech — because he enjoyed creating videos for those kinds of projects.

How does he find clients?

Charlie confesses…

One of the reasons why I joined the tribe is because I am so bad in lead generation. I don’t really have a very solid system in place...It was my wife who’s getting the projects for me. I was good at the fulfillment.”

He narrates how he was able to overcome this…

I reconnected with this old client of mine last August 2018 through Linkedin as we only previously connected via Upwork (oDesk at that time) and thanked them for helping us out during our early days in freelancing.

I also told him we were available in case they needed help on a video for his new company.

A couple of months passed (January) and he referred me to his former business partner who happened to be in need of an explainer video for their new start-up and that is how we met our biggest client to date.”

If you’re like Charlie who has a lot of past clients that were happy with your work, then you might just be sitting on a gold mine.

Comparing Point A to Point Now

He worked in corporate for 11 years. And then he just got tired of these 5 things:

  1. Traffic.
  2. Waking up early to go to the office.
  3. Being stuck for 8-hours in the office even if you have already finished your work.
  4. Needing to ask permission to go on vacation
  5. Your earnings doesn’t correlate with your effort.

Now with freelancing, he’s happy to say that he’s said goodbye to all 5 of them.

He adds, “Except maybe for #2, but the office is just at home and I don’t have to do it everyday. I didn’t have kids when I started freelancing but I’m grateful now that I am able to spend time with them everyday and see them grow.

But it not just the traffic avoidance and “anytime vacation” that he was happy about…

“What surprised me about freelancing is how fast it has allowed me and my wife to achieve many of our dreams.

Within one year we paid off a 6-figure credit card debt. Within 5 years we were able to buy our own house. A car after 7 years. We were able to afford four pregnancies without worrying for funds. All while still able to put a part of our earnings on investments.

My wife hasn't worked as a freelancer since 2013, yet we are still blessed with enough to support our growing family. Freelancing has been a real blessing for us.”

His advice to aspiring freelancers

Charlie’s struggle lies in being inconsistent, lacking the focus and in getting complacent — just about the same things both new and pro freelancers struggle with too.

So here’s his advice.

“Your biggest challenge today is you have a lot of options but the good thing is that all of them are viable freelancing options.

Realize that the biggest struggle you will face is not in picking a skill but in doing the actual CCPP process. If you can do that well, you can succeed in any skill you choose. Stop overthinking, pick a skill and start connecting.

The takeaway: From Charlie, we learned that the fastest way to premium-ize your skill is to back it up with strategy and one of the easiest ways to find premium clients is by reaching out to your past clients.

If you still have a lot of questions, what-ifs, and are hesitant, just try following his advice: stop overthinking, just pick a skill and go out offering it.

JOHN’S NOTES: How much you charge isn’t based on how complicated your skill is or how much you think you are worth. It’s about how much VALUE your client gets regardless of how easy or simple you think your service is. 

Think about it, which one would you rather pay more? The one who worked for 7 days straight but gave you no revenue or the one who only worked for 3 measly hours but helped you generate an extra $10k for your company? Not even a choice. 

[High-Paying Freelancing Skill #4] Crowdfunding Marketing

Crowdfunding Marketing…

Now here is a skill that you might not have heard of yet.

And fair warning, his identity might be as mysterious as his skill, but his story will reveal so much.

Meet The Farmer, the Crowdfunding Marketer 

Name: The Farmer (this one’s a bit mysterious)

Previous Role: IT Director

Regular Monthly Income: Don’t want to disclose (But we’re pretty sure it’s banging the ceiling, his project fees range from $2,000 to $5,000)

First, what does The Farmer exactly do?

He does crowdfunding marketing.

In simpler terms, it’s helping startups advertise their inventions on the internet (particularly on platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo) so they can secure funds for developing their project further.

As a Crowdfunding Marketer, he helps clients advertise their project via social media, blogging, and even messenger marketing so they can convince people to become early adopters and donate money to continue building better prototypes.

How does he find clients?

Can you believe he gets clients that are paying thousands of dollars on Upwork?

He closes thousand dollar deals ($5,000 being the most recent) and he usually don’t get questions on his pricing, because he’s a “developer with a media IT background” and he has a way with the internet and crowdfunding scene.  

It’s indeed difficult to find someone with his skillset.

All he does is follow the Tribe’s process on making his clients excited to work with him even when connecting with potential clients from Upwork.

And no, he doesn’t get interviewed because as one of the rules inside The Tribe, freelancers should be the one asking the questions.

Plus, he gets clients through recommendations — “My name gets passed from one satisfied client to another.”

Comparing Point A to Point Now

When asked what’s the major difference between his freelancing and pre-freelancing life, The Farmer answers…

“Can't compare, they're totally different seasons in my life. I like them both... my regular job and my freelancing jobs. Both give me joy.”

Before he became a Crowdfunding Marketer, he has a regular job. He’s an IT Director (big role, right?). 

The only reason he jumped into freelancing is because he wants variety. 

Now, he’s happy to do new things and to work with international clients. As for 

the pay, he says, “Being paid to do it… just a bonus for me.” 

His advice to aspiring freelancers

If you also want to get premium pay from your Upwork clients, follow his unconventional advice:

“Get a pet.

They help you relax.

They care about you.

They break the bored mind to create new things.”

The takeaway: When you position your unique skill to a targeted group of clients, you can earn premium even on freelancing sites like Upwork.

More often than not, you don’t have to look far enough when choosing your unique skill. Go back to what you were (or are) always doing in your day job… or what you have been doing as a hobby… I’m sure you’ll find something that you can leverage as your freelancing skill.

[High-Paying Freelancing Skill #5] Facebook Ads

Ugh, ads in your feed. Again. In your messenger inbox. Again.

They’re just so annoying.

But… If Jungie was the one who crafted those ads, you’ll probably be ecstatic and go on shopping mode when you see them — because it’ll be something that you must really like.

Meet Jungie, the Facebook Ads Expert 

Name: Jungie

Previous Role: Marketing Executive

Regular Monthly Income: $8,000 

First, what does Jungie exactly do?

See those ads on Facebook?

Well, Jungie doesn’t only create those ads, but he also helps clients figure out who to target, how to target them and how to build an ad strategy that’ll take visitors from ads straight to the checkout page.

In short, he helps clients sell more through Facebook Ads.

As to how he figured out his skill, it’s just trying a lot of things and sticking to the one that he likes.

How does he find clients?

Funny, but he found his biggest client through Facebook ads too. 

He saw the ad, saw the potential, and reached out to the page that ran the ad. 

He knew he could improve it so he offered his services, got into a face-to-face meeting with the client (yes, freelancers also get out of the house), sent out a tailored strategy document… 

And BAM — he got himself a client.

It wasn’t a smooth ride though. 

The client was hesitant at first, particularly on the pricing and impact on their business

But with a few proposal tweaks (like including a money-back guarantee) that countered the clients’ objections, the client gave him a nod and started the project with him. 

Good for the client — Jungie just 5x’ed his revs and the e-commerce store went from 1Million to almost 5Million in just 20 days

Comparing Point A to Point Now

Jungie didn’t exactly plan to leave corporate, he was just left high and dry because of unforeseen circumstances… 

After I was fired at my last work on a Monday morning for being ‘not good enough,’ I decided, I no longer wanted to go back to corporate . Damn, It was heartbreaking.”

In fact, he didn’t even know that he’s doing it already…

“At that time, I have my travel blog running and think that I should just monetize it. Also, I already have a client for 3 months even before I get fired. So I focus on it as well. Didn't realize that I'm doing freelancing haha.”

Now, with all his BIG wins, he never imagined myself achieving this kind of success — consistent 6-figure months, more travels, and more time to himself. 

In corporate, I was given the idea that It would take you years before you even get promoted and climbed up the corporate ladder. Sometimes, 2, 5, 10 years or sometimes not at all. It would depend on how your "good" you are to your boss. In freelancing, you are at your own phase.” 

His advice to aspiring freelancers

It’s simple really, “In freelancing, you are at your own phase. Your progress will depend on your grit, on how bad you really want it.”

The takeaway: Your chosen skill today may not be the skill that you want to do for the rest of your freelancing career. So pick one skill, try it out, and you’ll eventually figure out what you really want to do. Only action breeds clarity.And if you don’t have any prior experience, you can still start offering your skills to clients.

Jungie wouldn’t have discovered Facebook ads if he didn’t say yes to the accountant that needs help in running his firm. He worked on the SEO, social media marketing, email marketing, and LinkedIn Lead Generation for only $800 — and again, with no experience to back him up. 

[High-Paying Freelancing Skill #6] Funnel Building, Design & Automation

A trifecta of highly-specialized skills?

Our next featured freelancer has definitely accumulated a lot of skills when she started as a VA!

Now, she creates not just pretty websites, but websites that get her clients sales. Here’s Bea’s story.

Meet Bea, the Funnel Builder + Designer 

Name: Bea

Previous Role: All-Around VA

Regular Monthly Income: $4,000 to $5,000 

First, what does Bea exactly do?

Bea builds not just beautiful, but more importantly, profitable websites for her service-based clients.

How does she find clients?

Oops, wrong question for Bea. 

I should have asked, how did the client found you this time?

Since Bea has quite established her name as a funnel builder by actively connecting with Clickfunnels experts and sharing valuable insights in certain Facebook groups, she’s now the hunted instead of the hunter…

Like how her biggest client found her…

“Actually, he was the one who found me on the Clickfunnels Official group. There's a post there that's looking for a funnel builder and I posted a link to my site in the comments, to my surprise, he inquired to my website and filled out my pre-qualifying lead form.”

Comparing Point A to Point Now

From a VA, Bea is now a Funnel Builder + Designer…

What surprised me the most is how quickly I was able to reach my goals when I joined the tribe

JTL and the whole tribe fast-tracked my success. Before joining the tribe, I knew I would reach this goal but it will take 5 years or more before I reach it. But with the help of the whole tribe, it only took me under a year to become a highly-paid freelancer.

So what does Bea enjoy now?

More time with the family. We were able to send our daughter to an amazing school, buy a car, and a lot area for our future dream home. I was able to give my mom the best party ever as well for her 50th birthday. :-)

Things that I wouldn't be able to achieve if I'm not freelancing.”

Her advice to aspiring freelancers

“When choosing a skill, and when you're still starting out, don't think about what your passion is, think about WHAT YOU CAN OFFER to solve their problems and start from there.” 

Just like what she did for one of her clients…

Bea advises to pivot when you can already afford to…

And soon, once you're already established, and you've already mastered the process, you can now pursue the skill that you really wanted to offer by positioning yourself as an expert go-to person for that by boosting your online visibility and creating a demand for your offer, in my case, that's funnel building and design.”

The takeaway: When faced with a skill you like and a skill that can get you clients, choose the one that solves actual customer pains and one that can get you money first

You can always go after the skill that you really like — or even incorporate it with your skillset — when you have already established your freelancing business.

JOHN’S NOTES: For those who are just starting out, I suggest choosing a skill that solves huge problems because it’s an easy sell compared to a skill that’s simply nice-to-have.

[High-Paying Freelancing Skill #7] Bookkeeping

Who knew with a traditional skill like bookkeeping, you can strike gold in the world of freelancing? 

VP Alfie might know something that modern-day accountants don’t, but should!

Meet VP Alfie, the Bookkeeper 

Name: VP Alfie

Previous Role: Accountant

Project Fees: $1,200 – $3,600 

First, what does VP Alfie exactly do?

She cleans up messy accounting books using QBO. 

But a clean book is not just her only promise. Her selling factor is helping clients take away stress from running their business.

Even though she was an accountant, the bookkeeping skill didn’t come clear as a bell… 

She tried social media, copywriting, web design, Facebook ads, and a whole lot more, name it nasubukan ko na”.

She said, “I stick to this skill because the market is sooo huge. A lot of businesses with messy books need attention. So help is needed. I don’t know, I just love to find errors and correct them. Ika nga, I love doing this. Kaya I stick to this skill.”

How does she find clients?

Through referrals from her friends and her clients.

“When I got my first US client, he believed in me. The app was so new to me I just watched Youtube videos for tutorials and my experience in auditing and accounting. I was exposed before on reconciling books kaya this is a blessing in disguise sa akin. Then I found the premium skill. I told myself, ‘pwede itong skill na ito na masaya ko siyang ginagawa and they will pay me premium’." 

After that, more projects pa. That client referred my service to his customers. So, ayun, naging mabilis.”

Here’s a quick look on how she does it…

Comparing Point A to Point Now

When I met VP Alfie online, she still has a day job and was working on client work when she comes home. Before freelancing, she also has been to 5 companies already…

But just within months of being in the tribe, she was able to finally transition into becoming a full-time freelancer…

With 7 ongoing clients so far…

“I want freedom. I don't want someone to dictate me what to do and what not to do. Then, of course, being with my family and my son.”

And as to how she’s liking freelancing?

“So far, I can work anywhere, be with my family, can go to mall anytime, walang traffic, walang boss, get to watch korean dramas anytime (hahaha wag lang pa addict kasi delikado) at got to read books anytime and be able to send my son every morning sa school.”

Her advice to aspiring freelancers

Being the accountant that she is, she didn’t only stop at giving advice on how to start freelancing, but on money matters as well:

Go for something that you love to do. Don't aspire something na it is because malaki ang bayad sa ganitong skill, hahaha I had been there before, I tell you hindi masaya kundi napilitan ka. 

Discover something that excites you, something you love to do and stick to it. Harness it if possible I am sure you will go a long way. Tapus pag kumita ka ng malaki, save 70% of it if possible kasi there are times na dry season just like any business din. Basta stick to reaching out and connecting to your market, for sure you will have more clients to come.”

The takeaway: Don’t be too caught up on the newest, most popular, trending freelancing skills that you think will make you the most money. Don’t stress yourself if you don’t see yourself practicing those skills too.

Thing is, your freelancing skill might be the skill that you honestly not thought about doing as a freelancer. 

[High-Paying Freelancing Skill #8] Lead Generation and Website Building

Ahhh, the good old website building. No question, that’s a highly paid skill! 

But, see Dina doesn’t just stop after she creates or optimizes your website, she does something else that makes her offer even more irresistible to clients. 

Read on to find out what it is.

Meet Dina, the Lead Generation Specialist

Name: Dina Samuel

Previous Role: Sales Director

Project Fees: $2,000-$20,000

First, what does Dina exactly do?

Dina creates websites that gets leads, appointments, and clients for home contractors. And run Facebook ads to drive traffic to that website.

How does she find clients?

Her first freelancing stint was when her former boss contacted her on LinkedIn to do lead generation and appointment setting for a client. But the work from her boss was not consistent, so she had to figure out how to find clients herself.

She started with cold emails selling different skills to different markets… 10 emails for copywriting… 10 for social media marketing… 10 for website development… basically every freelancing skill that she could think of.

She explains why she does this… 

“I was testing it out, email marketing, web development, social media, at kung ano man… Again, I was just testing out ano ba ang mag wo-work, san ba ako makakakuha ng response.”

Choices are crossroads and Dina’s path led to her first epoxy flooring client, whom she connected with in a local buy and sell Facebook group. 

She reached out, used JTL’s scripts, invited the client to a DC, and threw out a random price ($3,500) for that web design and lead generation via Facebook ads project  — and the client said yes.  

And mind you, she doesn’t even know how to do Facebook ads when she offered it! She just said that she knows she can do it.

Now, even with her past and steady success, Dina doesn’t stop at being ruthless in doing outreach. 

These are what she does on a regular basis:

Generously giving out actionable tips on getting inquiries on her timeline

Podcast that consistently drops value bombs on how flooring contractors can get clients

Comparing Point A to Point Now

She started freelancing when she has to quit working so she and her husband can have a safe pregnancy. 

She finally had her first freelancing job when her previous boss in corporate offered her work. But when her boss doesn’t have clients, she also doesn’t have work. 

So she went to Upwork and researched on how to do freelancing right — all while having a difficult pregnancy. 

But with an unstable freelancing income, a difficult pregnancy that ended up with a premature delivery, and being told that her baby might not be able to make it (Respiratory Distress Syndrome)… 

Dina has hit the lowest of lows during the start of her freelancing journey, but that didn’t stop her.

In fact, it motivated her all the more.

Fast forward to now, Dina is one of the most bad-ass freelancers in the group and has shared so many wins since:

  • Moving to a new home that they can now call theirs
  • Bought her father a Navara Pick-up
  • Traveling whenever she likes
  • Closed a $20,000 deal for a single project (after taking on how Charlie shared on how she closed that deal inside the tribe)

Her advice to aspiring freelancers

You really need to find the biggest reason why are you doing this.As for her, it’s, “I cannot afford to go back to Makati and work again. I need to figure this out because I cannot be absent in my son’s life with what we’ve been through.”

She just wanted it so badly. 

“There is no other way that I will make a living sacrificing my time sa kanya because I begged for his life, and he fought for his life to be with me, to be with us.”

Second, “You will be overwhelmed with so many things — ano skills ko, ano yung i-ooffer ko, sino magiging cliente ko, pano ko sila mahahanap. Just keep doing that because, fortunately and unfortunately, it is part of the equation. Just like learning, and we all need to go through that.”

Then more importantly, be consistent and test. Stop being lazy.

The takeaway: Always have that GRIT and hold on to the reason of why you want to do freelancing. Because everything’s going to be overwhelming when you start, from choosing what skill you want to do to figuring out your ideal clients. Your WHYS will push you through your journey.

And remember, even if there are thousands of other freelancers with the same skill, you can still offer it and make it as your own because you’re YOU and you are unique.

Want to find out how to turn the skill you have into something clients would pay premium for? Hit the SHARE button below and get a free copy of our 7 Skill Criteria Worksheet.

Find THE Skill That Will Make You 7-Figures

Everyone featured in this post has sailed rough seas, climbed mountains, and made a few detours before they found their ONE SKILL… 

And the difficult journey lasted for a few months to a couple of years.

The commonality between them?

They tried several skills and several markets first, but they never gave up.

But, here’s the point that I want to stress out…

It’s counterintuitive and you may find it ironic, but here goes:

Charging premium has little to do with what skills you have…

…but has everything to do with how you position your chosen skill in a way that makes your potential clients realize you can solve their problems.

Doing that, they would be begging you to come take their money in exchange for your services.

As Jake Jorgovan put it, “Clients don’t hire for expertise, clients hire to fix problems.”[*] 

However, choosing a skill is the first step that you need to do to start your freelancing career.

You will almost always try one skill after another…

You will eventually pick one skill and narrow it down…

You will need to handle all the overwhelm that comes with the process…

But with these key learnings in mind, you’ll find your clarity faster:

  1. There is no such thing as a simple skill. If your skill can solve a problem and people are willing to pay you to do that, then your skill is essential. Highlight how it can give value to your clients and you’ll get paid premium for that.
  2. Continue specializing. It’s counterintuitive, but the more specialised your skill is, the more money you will make. Because clients see you as a specialist and an expert that they are willing to pay huge money for it. 
  3. If you choose a skill that plays well with your mindset — meaning a skill that you don’t have to force upon yourself — you can enjoy doing the projects and have more energy to spend on more important things like family. 
  4. Positioning your unique skill that’s highly valuable to a targeted group of clients can earn you premium pay — even if they’re from Upwork.
  5. Accepting a large-scope role (i.e. an all-around digital marketer) when you’re just starting out can pave the way for you to find your special skill. It’s okay to try a lot of skills at first. 
  6. Don’t be afraid to start with a skill that you’re not passionate about. Grab that opportunity, learn, and build your reputation. Once you’re established, you can always explore other markets pursue the skill that you really want to offer.
  7. You will be overwhelmed trying to figure out what skill to offer. But that’s part of learning and we all need to go through that. Just keep pushing, be consistent, and test the demand of your chosen skills.
  8. Don’t be too caught up with the popular freelancing skills that make huge money. Look within you, your freelancing skill might be the skill that you honestly not thought about doing as a freelancer.

Now that we have busted some of the assumptions that might be stopping you from moving forward with your chosen skill, it’s time for some real action—connecting with clients, offering your services, and closing deals. 

And because you’ve read until the end, there’s a good chance you’re someone who understands that focusing on what your clients want is far more important than what you do as a service. 

While most people would focus on what they think they are worth…

You focus on the VALUE you can give your would-be clients.

Just like what we do inside the Tribe.

And if you’re someone who fits the description, someone who’s out to build a freelance business that’s both meaningful and fulfilling.

And you want to discover more about how to build your freelancing business the right way.

Click this link to join The Freelance Movement Community.

Aiza Coronado Domingcil

Aiza Coronado Domingcil

Aiza writes onboarding emails that help SaaS teams get their users from sign up to success. She used to be a generalist copywriter before she joined SPAG, the first ever TRIBE that John put together. She’s also a mom of a bouncy little boy who adds a bit of crazy, but tons of love, meaning and inspiration to her freelancing days. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.