It always boggles my mind why people wait around for raises instead of raising their talents on their own. I think this is why I enjoy freelancing the most and taking on jobs that are slightly beyond my skill set. Not too far gone, but definitely enough gone to make me work for it. I’d rather blow my brains out than do monotonous work that robots could do at the end of the day. I like to think on my own and build strategies with clients so they can overcome issues they’re having. You don’t do this by opening up an instruction manual. At the end of the day, YOU are the instruction manual.
Sure, you can find blog entries, maybe some videos about extremely nuanced errors, or instructions on how to make certain software platform integrations work, but you’re going to have to know enough to get there in the first place. In a lot of these issues that I’m helping clients with, there could be countless issues that can be destroying the site from functioning, let alone converting.
These things all need to be discovered, and all it really requires is some thoughtful dedication.
The more experience you get when you’re trying to figure out a problem, the more you’ll grow the muscles in your brain that can identify how to learn to fix certain issues quickly. This is what really starts to separate the pros out from lesser freelancers who cannot connect the dots and also solve issues a client is having with the system.
The key to longevity is fixing the unique problem the client is experiencing early, and then helping to introduce techniques and ways the client can start showing a positive ROI on you as a hire.
I’ve said it numerous times. If a client can show that they’ll make money from the hours that you’re working, they’ll keep this going all day. All day all day.
The ancillary benefit of learning how to fix these issues helps you keep increasing your hourly rate because now you have more social proof about what you can accomplish through Upwork. I like to give myself a raise after every one of these accomplishments, as a bonus to me and my company, since I’m internally trying to gamify my experience on Upwork.
Just because Upwork doesn’t increase your rate automatically doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.
This is why I call it Earning While Learning.
As you increase your rate, other clients will see it and will want to stay on because they don’t want to have a contract with me at a higher rate. That’s cool with me if they stay loyal!