Many people are now seeing the possibilities of freelancing. Most first-timers sign up on freelancing platforms like Upwork. But they often find difficulty getting paid more by the hour. The problem? Freelancers don’t give value. Services are more than just simple tasks. There’s always an opportunity to do more based on your unique perspectives and skills.
In this episode, Niel Reichl shares how he went from a beginner freelancer to landing million peso contracts. He discusses the importance of value and challenges clients to look into other markets like the Philippines. He also challenges freelancers to provide more value by building a strong revenue line. Finally, Niel provides insight into the biggest mistakes of freelancers and clients and the future of freelancing!
If you’re looking for insights into freelancing business and getting paid more as a freelancer, this episode is for you!
Here are three reasons why you should listen to this episode:
- Discover the three pillars of the revenue line and how freelancers can adopt an owner mentality.
- Understand how to provide value to clients by specialization and combining your unique skills.
- Learn the biggest mistakes of freelancers and clients and how freelancing business and values are changing.
- Entrepreneurs on Fire by John Lee Dumas
- The Freelance Movement Tribe by John Pagulayan
- Connect with Niel: Facebook I The Authority Circle
[01:24] How Niel Started Freelancing
- Niel didn’t come from a family of entrepreneurs. He worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 11 years.
- In 2015, he was fired from his work. In addition, his wife had a miscarriage with their first daughter.
- Desperate to support his wife, he started looking for freelance gigs.
- Niel started with editing out filler words from podcast episodes. He eventually got other gigs in content writing and copywriting.
Niel: “If you have a skill, whether you're a freelancer, a coach, or marketer…whatever it is, as long as you have that lesson ingrained in you — the revenue line, you know how to charge more for what you're delivering, because you now understand the value that you're giving to the other person.”
[06:12] The Three Pillars of the Revenue Line
- The revenue line’s pillars are leads, conversion, and retention.
- You can upskill any work, no matter how simple it may seem, to give the client more value.
- You need to create something that can generate and convert leads, build trust, and retain them.
[08:59] How Niel Started Getting Bigger Clients
- Until then, Niel started buying copywriting programs but did not start anything. His wife said he needed to do something or she’ll send companies his resume.
- Upwork is full of competition, and the trend was going to companies and chatbots. He then approached Mary Catherine Johnson and learned from her.
- To differentiate yourself as a freelancer, you must upskill and combine your skills.
- That is how Niel started to charge higher than the typical freelancer.
- Remember, you’re selling money at a discount, as long as your pricing is a fraction of what your client can earn.
[16:05] Importance of Specialists
- Specialists often receive higher payments because they are confident they can deliver results.
- Your unique value is your unique combination of skills.
- For example, take a podcast editor. Their job is to edit out the filler words. They can upskill by splicing clips to serve as lead magnets. That is an example of specialization.
[19:21] Tips for First-time Online Freelancers
- Niel shares the brutal truth: sometimes, we must burn ourselves out.
- Find a problem people are willing to pay for and solve it.
- Know who your target clients are.
- Ask yourself these questions: what problem will you solve? Who is having these problems, and where are they?
- You don’t need to do the work yourself. You can be a connector and find others to help solve problems.
Niel: “Stop whining. The best thing that you could do right now is if you've got a full-time job [and] you wanna start something online….freelancing business is one of the best ways to make your first money online [and build] that bit of confidence in you. First is to find a problem that you can solve.”
[26:11] Biggest Mistakes of Freelancers and Clients
- Freelancers are often too scared to raise their rates.
- Most freelancers stay within their job description. They need to have an ownership mentality.
- Clients often think getting Filipino freelancers will allow them to pay the cheapest rates. If you’re trying to buy results, you need to be willing to pay more.
- Remember, if you’re getting the cheapest rate, you may not be getting good quality service. That applies everywhere, no matter in the US or the Philippines.
- Clients can consider progressive billing to protect themselves.
[34:47] How Value is Changing
- Our world is built on colonization. To this day, we see trade tariffs that benefit first-world countries more.
- Remember that real value doesn’t back world currencies.
- Recently, Russia declared that clients should pay Rubal or gold-backed currencies for their oil.
- However, the US stepped back from gold-backed currencies and used fiat money since 1971.
- The advantage of earning certain currencies is going away.
- Remember, no matter what happens, know how to create value for others. That can also involve how much someone is losing because their problem remains unfixed.
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[42:30] Key Takeaways
- Don’t be afraid of hard work.
- Specialize and focus on solving problems.
- Know who and where your target clients are.
- Charge according to the value you offer.
- Be willing to take a risk with the client.
- It doesn’t matter where you are. Once the sun comes up, you need to start running.
Daryl: “Every morning in Africa, when the sun comes up, a gazelle wakes up, and it knows it must outrun the fastest, or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up, and it knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle, or it will starve to death. So the moral of the story is that it doesn't matter if you're a lion or a gazelle. When the sun comes up, you better be running.”
[44:57] The Future of Freelancing
- The future of freelancing will become even bigger. Freelancers need to establish themselves and earn clients’ trust.
- Start thinking about how you can generate more value for your clients.
- If you don’t act, nothing will happen.
- Hire a coach if you can. That will help you get results faster and with fewer failures.
- Markets are unknown. But you can be excellent when you combine unique skills.
[49:45] How to Succeed
- In the business world, everything is almost equal.
- You don’t have to compete or become the smartest person in the room.
- Have a cooperative mentality and learn to work with others.
- Don’t close yourself off in the US market. Learn to see untapped opportunities elsewhere, like the Philippines.
Niel Reichl is a Senior Growth Consultant at Augmen Digital and Head of Marketing at BottBott Industries. He offers consultancy for direct messaging and sales offers. Niel started his freelancing journey in 2015 and has helped big companies scale their sales through qualified leads. He has helped businesses improve sales conversion and increase retention through Performance Marketing Strategies too.
Niel also helps coaches hire world-class Filipino freelancers who can add $100,000 to their business in just 90 days!
You can connect with Niel through his Facebook.
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