Keys to the Castillo

How to Make Your First $1000 As An Online Freelancer in 2022

Table of Contents

Making money online isn’t just something that’d be ‘nice to do’ anymore…

It’s a necessity.

That is… if you desire to wield control over your life, and NOT be flung about like a rag doll by tyrannical governments and soulless corporations.

This article is going to cut through all the noise and give you the nitty-gritty on how you can go out and make your first $1000 – with just a laptop, an internet connection, and a willingness to make it happen.

If you ACTUALLY apply what I talk about here, you can absolutely figure it out within a month.

And if you keep at it?

After a few months, you can even quit your job, and do this full-time.

Without further ado…

What is freelancing? And why is it the perfect business model for beginners?

Take a second to think about someone who’s chosen ‘the traditional path’ in life.

A few years in college, maybe even a master’s, and then they go straight into a job with a fancy title at some big corporation.

They’re doing alright – enough to afford a decent apartment, a car, and go out a few nights a week.

All they have to do is clock in from 9-5, Monday to Friday, and maybe answer a few emails here and there outside of work hours, even though they should be ‘off’.

For all intents and purposes, they’ve got a ‘safe and secure’ job.

However, dark clouds loom on the horizon…

Bad news from the company – they’re laying people off. All of a sudden, what seemed ‘safe and secure’ has collapsed overnight. People’s lives have been thrown into disarray.

It could take weeks, or even MONTHS to find another job… and when one DOES pop up, it doesn’t quite measure up to the old job…

But what if that weren’t the case?

What if you could protect yourself from scenarios like this indefinitely? If you could be ‘recession-proof’?

What if you could go through life with peace of mind that you’ll never be without work, because you have the skills and the network to immediately find opportunities on demand?

Or, better yet, to be flooded with so much work, you can’t even handle it all?

That’s the beauty of freelancing. 

Once you learn to get clients and provide quality results, you have peace of mind knowing you can go into the marketplace at any time, provide these results, and make money.

The guys and gals who invested their entire lives into their cushy corporate careers couldn’t fathom that level of freedom. And that’s fine – truth is, the world needs worker bees. 

If you’ve read this far in, that probably isn’t you, though.

Freelancing is a great way to dip your toes into the world of business, because it usually doesn’t cost much to start. 

If you’re still under the impression that you need investors and an office and all these permits and licenses to get started in business, especially with online freelancing… you’ve got to get that out of your head. You don’t need any of those things to get started.

Having a valuable skillset that you can sell on a freelance basis is like a hedge against any sort of uncertainty that may creep up in your life.

Take 2020 as a prime example, where we saw entire governments turn rogue, and effectively imprison their citizens against their will. 

As you might know, I grew up in Canada. I was running a promising cleaning business out in Vancouver in the summer of 2020, when I realized that things were looking bleak. Yes, I could’ve stayed and continued building up my business, but at what cost? My freedom? My civil liberties? My bodily autonomy? 

Aw hell naw.

That’s when I knew I had to take the money I’d earned, fly to Mexico, and dive head-first into the world of freelancing. It made me fully aware of the power you wield, when you’re able to make money from any corner of the globe… and all you need, is a stable internet connection, and a computer.

It’s the power to say ‘fuck you’. 

Of course, the question is… what can you do online, as a freelancing service, to make a living?

What skill should I sell? How can I learn it?

 

It’s embarrassing to admit this, but even after a few years of reading ‘make money online’ blogs and watching videos, I still couldn’t wrap my head around HOW the money was made… let alone how I could make it, and how it would be best for me to make it.

So, let’s make sure we’ve got the basics covered first…

Money is the way we represent value – whether you like it or not.

It’s a much more efficient system than bartering, since the kinds of transactions that can occur are infinite. Sure, back in the day, you might want to exchange eggs for milk, or cheese for chickens… but nowadays, such a system is severely restrictive. 

So, we use money. We use it to pay for goods and services, with the intention of either taking pain away from us, or bringing pleasure.

What’s a service you can do online, that either takes pain away from people, or provides them with pleasure?

Look, I’m going to assume you’re not a computer programmer, so we’ll rule that out entirely. It takes a certain kind of person to actually see that skillset through and not get bored to tears.

But, that still leaves us with plenty of options. Thing is, some skills are definitely easier to learn that others, and you can make way more money with them.

For example – lots of artistic types want to get into graphic design. They want to take advantage of all the opportunities available online to make money with their creative talents.

And that’s great.

Problem is, strong visuals are usually just something that’s ‘nice to have’, but isn’t totally necessary in a lot of cases. Maybe the person who’s hiring you might make a bit more money, or a bit less, depending on the designs they use for their stuff (books, courses, YouTube thumbnails, whatever), but what’ll really make them money, is selling the product or service itself. 

On the other hand, there are services you can do that directly influence the bottom line of a company.

What I mean by that, is that if your work can directly result in someone making more sales, then you can charge them in direct proportion to how much you bring in.

I’ll illustrate my point with an example from Ecommerce Email marketing, which is a skill I’ve learned and delivered tangible results for many, many times.

If a store makes $100,000 in revenue one month…

and $40,000 of that is attributable to the automated email sequences you made for that store…

Then them paying you $4000 for that month is completely feasible (of course, it could change depending on the margins that the store’s running on).

And the crazy thing is…

You may have only worked a total of 15 hours or less that month for the store in question, in order to earn that $4000.

That’s another mentality you should try to move away from as quick as you can in the freelancing game – the idea of getting paid a set hourly wage.

Not that that’s necessarily bad – if you’re charging an average of $100+ per hour, then getting paid hourly can totally be worth it. 

My point is that there are many ways to skin the proverbial cat. And, also, that the amount of hours you work to make something happen, doesn’t really matter to people who hire you to do something. What’s important, is that you get them the results they want (or better), whether it takes you two hours or 20.  

Now, back to the skills…

What skills can be learned relatively quickly, by virtually anyone, that can directly affect a business’ bottom line?

  • Copywriting – emails, web copy, sales pages, landing pages, Facebook ads, Instagram captions, Facebook posts – all of these tasks are a form of copywriting.
  • SEO – if you can help a site rank higher on search engines, they’ll get more visitors… which inevitably translates into more sales, which means more money for you.
  • Lead generation – Every single business needs leads. QUALITY leads, that will show up to sales calls, and have a high chance of ‘converting’ (aka making a purchase). There are plenty of ways to make this happen, but some of the most common tend to be calling other businesses, sending cold emails, and sending messages on Linkedin.
  • Content Writing – You’re looking at it! Savvy business owners understand that having high-quality blog content written on their site on a regular basis can result in way more traffic, which means more sales. It also shows more authority in a specific niche.
  • Closing – No, not doors… closing sales. You can partner up with busy business owners who can’t be bothered or have no time to take sales calls. You get a commission for closing deals, which can sometimes run well into 5 figures. It all depends on the size of the offer.
  • Coaching – This might not be as accessible as the others. But, if you’ve got a rare or in-demand skill, such as playing the guitar, there are people out there who understand the value of paying a teacher to fast-track their learning. Also, if you’ve got some major life achievements under your belt, like getting into a prestigious university, or getting hired for a competitive position at a big company, then you can absolutely sell this advice to people who want to get an edge on their competition.

Of course, there are plenty of other skills you can sell. But frankly, I would recommend sticking with high-ticket services. Yes, you can get paid well for graphic design or translation, but again, these services aren’t directly affecting a business’ bottom line. It’ll be much harder to justify charging high prices for them… but hey, prove me wrong.

And when it comes to learning your chosen skill, thank your lucky starts you’ve got the internet at your fingertips. Back in the good ol’ days, you had to go to a library and read books. Or, if you were lucky, you our your family knew someone who could train you.

With the internet, you can google any skill, read about it, and watch videos on YouTube. 

And if you really want to fast-track your learning, you can take paid courses, buy books, get personalized coaching, and even join communities where others are on the same journey as you, and you can share valuable tips. 

And don’t be intimidated – everyone starts from zero. think of attending college classes. If you’re trying to become a computer programmer, for example – everyone there is ‘in competition’, but you’re gaining valuable knowledge and building a network. Approach it from a collaborative viewpoint instead.

What niche should I sell to?

 

A HUGE problem I had when first venturing into online business, was who I should sell to, and what.

After all, if you’re new to all this, this stuff isn’t exactly that obvious. It took me a while to understand that ecommerce stores pay for a whole host of services, such as email marketing, Facebook ads, Google ads, web design, and SEO. 

My recommendation here would be to first brainstorm all the businesses you know about, and try to identify what online component exists. Local businesses run ads, too. I remember meeting a copywriter once who worked with roofers. He would generate leads for them, and get a nice commission per close, since roofers sell a fairly high-ticket service.

Also. ask yourself what skill pairs up well with a niche. For example, if a fitness coach is selling programs, books, and coaching, then that’s an opportunity right there. They’ll definitely need quality copy written, traffic driven to their offer, and if it’s particularly expensive, a seasoned salesperson to close the deal.

How do I get my first client?

 

Ah yes, the question of all questions. Believe me, the faster you can get started in online business, the faster momentum is going to propel you forward.

Now, some are going to be totally against this, but I recommend hopping onto a freelancer marketplace like Upwork or Fiverr. I prefer Upwork, since I’ve personally had more success on there.

Yes, there are lots of people on Upwork, but don’t worry about it. Use the information I wrote above to effectively hunt for good jobs. 

What I do, is I tend to type ‘copywriting’ and ‘content writing’ (for example) in the search bar. I then get a list of everyone looking for those services, and what their budget is. 

Don’t be afraid to apply to high-paying gigs, either. 

Think about it like this – if you’re looking to hire a freelancer for an important project, you’ll probably want to invest some decent cash into them. 

Why? Because people who are good at what they do aren’t going to bother competing for bottom-of-the-barrel jobs. They know their worth, and they expect to be paid accordingly. 

So, even if you’re not the most skilled at what you do just yet, you can learn on the job – by doing. 

Worst case scenario, the client wants you to edit your work and resubmit it. As long as you’re open to making changes and collaborating, clients will be happy to work with you.

Now, I know you might be thinking… “how do I stand out from everyone else?”

Here’s a secret killer tactic I learned recently that landed me some very decent-paying gigs on Upwork.

It’s called the Crystal Ball Method.

How does it work? Well, a crystal ball is used to perceive the future. In that sense, you want to be able to give your potential client a look at the quality of work you’ll do for them. 

You do this by first carefully reading their job description. Say they need an email sequence written for a cryptocurrency investing course (a super hot niche right now).

You’ve probably never written a sales email, let alone one for the crypto niche. But that’s exactly what you’re going to do!

Pull up a site selling a crypto investment course, and take a look at what benefits they’re promising from it. Then, put together a sample email under 500 words. Give it your best shot. Then, attach it as a sample for the client to see.

Believe me, you’ll stand out. By showing the client a piece of work that’s in the exact same niche, you’re giving them a glimpse of what you’ll be able to produce for them.

Moving Forward

Freelancing is a great way to get your feet wet in the world of business. Not only do you learn how to deliver a valuable service, but you pick up all the other subtle skills that can be applied in virtually any business – how to negotiate, how to find leads, how to schedule calls, how to learn effectively, how to focus, and so on.

Hopefully this isn’t too overwhelming for you. Just keep in mind that you don’t have to be a genius to make good money on the internet – you just have to do great work, and learn how to position yourself so that you can get more and more business.

Another beautiful thing about freelancing online, is that once you really start getting traction, and you’ve even got clients coming to YOU for help, you can start building a team, and outsourcing the work. Over time, you can morph into an agency, build the business up, and sell it – if that’s what you want.

On top of that, as I mentioned before, if you’ve got some remarkable achievements under your belt… such as learning the freelancing game and making good money from it, you can turn around and sell that information in the form of a course, book, or coaching program. 

And finally, once you start making more connections and establishing relationships with others in the online business space, you can make some lifelong friends, and meet amazing people who share a lot of your values.

I’m extremely thankful for the connections I’ve made, just by joining a few groups, as well as having business referred to me by past clients who enjoyed working with me and were blown away by my work.

Don’t delay – start your freelancing journey TODAY.

Throw up profiles on Upwork and Fiverr, and start applying for gigs. 

At first, it’ll be slow… but believe me, it’s so worth it.

Just don’t forget the #1 secret to succeeding in anything…

NEVER GIVE UP!

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