"You're Too Smart To Be This Broke!"

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Hi everyone!

My name is Daniel and I'm 22 years old. I've been in the entrepreneurship game for about 4 years now, and I've spent 3.5 of these 4 years failing (learning).

Originally, I decided to pursue entrepreneurship after quitting my factory job. I had this factory job for 6 months, and I hated it by month 2, so by the time month 6 came around and my contract was over, I was happy to be leaving.

The first venture I pursued was affiliate marketing. I grasped the concept quite quickly, and I started a website in a niche that I was (and still am) passionate about. However, I only completed about 3 articles and then I completely reset the website because I was tired of writing articles and hadn't gotten any sales after 3 months.

After affiliate marketing, I pursued YouTube marketing. Basically, I uploaded creative commons videos, optimized them following YouTube SEO best practices, and earned ad revenue via. Google Adwords. Obviously, this was back in 2016 when any YouTube channel could monetize using Google Adwords.

Eventually, YouTube brought in their partner program requirements and none of my YouTube channels qualified for monetization privileges, so I decided to stop trying to earn money on YouTube via. Google Adwords.

Around September 2016, I started offering a particular service on Fiverr. In my first month I earned $200.00, and in my 7th month (March 2017) I earned $940.00. Things were looking great! Until of course, Fiverr had to screw me and remove my successful gigs from their search results. I went from earning $940.00 in March 2017 to earning $488.00 in April 2017. My earnings kept decreasing and I earned $28.00 in August 2017. I decided to pull the plug at this point and move on with the $3500.00 (approx.) I made during my 11 month Fiverr stint.

In December 2017 I returned to YouTube. I daily uploaded for 3 months straight (December 2017, January 2018, and February 2018) and I saw great growth on my channel in terms of month-over-month viewership. However, by the time April 2018 rolled around I was burned out on creating YouTube videos, so I quit YouTube again.

Now, something I should mention is, I started automating Instagram accounts in November 2017 (I used the money I was earning from Fiverr to pay for my software and proxies). By the time August 2018 rolled around I had 6 Instagram accounts totaling 102K followers. I ended up making about $200.00 from Instagram shoutouts in August 2018. Then all my Instagram accounts got banned because Instagram decided to purge accounts using low-quality IPV6 datacenter proxies. From 102K followers to 0 followers in 24 hours.

So, what did I do next? Well, I went back to Fiverr of course!

In September 2018 I earned $235.00 on Fiverr. Great, things are looking up! Can you guess what happened next? My earnings declined because Fiverr decided to remove my gigs from their search results... again. Deja vu! In December 2018 I earned $40.00 and this caused me to pull the plug on Fiverr... again.

Over the course of 2-3 years, I had successfully managed to build my income on 3 platforms only to have it all disappear overnight with the flick of a switch.

Oh well, plenty of lessons learned!

In January 2019, I decided to give Upwork a try. In January 2019, I earned $472.50 on Upwork. After hovering around that same number for the next few months, I managed to earn $1500.00 on Upwork in May 2019. In this most recent month (June 2019) I earned $1755.00 on Upwork, and I'll make a minimum of $1600.00 this month (July 2019). I managed to find a client on Upwork who has an agency of his own, so he's essentially outsourcing all the work he gets to me (in my area of expertise).

Now... here's the deal.

I have a terrible record with platforms. Every platform I've depended on has in some way screwed me over up until this point. This is 100% my fault and I take total blame for this. Depending on a specific platform for earning money is basically a disaster waiting to happen. So then WHY am I still earning all my money through a platform, being Upwork?

I need to find a way to earn money independant (for the most part) of a specific platform- eventually.

I've learned so, so much over the past 4 years. I've taken all the best courses (according to the internet) and I've been blessed with the opportunity of having direct access to information from other entrepreneurs in forums like this one. If I actually make the effort to create a website with a legitimate sales page, send cold emails, market via. social media, etc. then there's literally no reason I cannot earn a solid income online independant from a particular platform. I'm too smart to be this broke.

Here are my goals at this point in time:

1. Earn $2000.00 per. month on Upwork by October 2019 (5 hours of work, Monday to Friday).
2. Create a long-form sales page/letter for my service on my own website (service will be $500.00 a month at this point).
3. Reach out to 100 potential clients via. personalized cold email.
4. Convert 3/100 potential clients into paying clients (totaling $1500.00 a month earned) by February 2019.

If/when I am earning a total of $3500.00 a month, I will then shift my focus to creating a digital product in my areas of expertise and selling this product via. paid advertising and email marketing. I'm thinking the price of the product will be $365.00 or $720.00 depending on where the market is at in the future.

My BIG goal is to be earning $4000.00 a month so I can comfortably move out into my own apartment by June 2019. I'll be 23 years old by then and while I don't mind living at home with my parents, I think having the pressure of needing to earn money in order to not be homeless would be good for me.

Anywho, just wanted to introduce myself to the forum and tell my story. Thanks for taking the time to read this long post and I look forward to providing value to this forum in my area of expertise.

BTW- My area of expertise is YouTube marketing. Feel free to ask me any questions about YouTube marketing and I'll be happy to answer! (I also know a lot about email marketing and Instagram marketing, but I don't really have any measurable results to display my expertise in these areas).
 

Ryuzaki

女性以上のお金
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Welcome aboard.

I see a pattern in your story. You've been doing low-quality (basically spam) stuff that either gets banned, or can't meet the basic requirements for monetization, or you give up on it too soon. I've done the same thing in terms of losing my income a few times. It sucks really bad. You've shown persistence for sure.

I hope you run into the problem of running out of time because you have too many clients. Then you can raise your price or train an employee and start scaling harder.

Best of luck with this. Service-based business is big bucks.
 
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Welcome aboard.

I see a pattern in your story. You've been doing low-quality (basically spam) stuff that either gets banned, or can't meet the basic requirements for monetization, or you give up on it too soon. I've done the same thing in terms of losing my income a few times. It sucks really bad. You've shown persistence for sure.

I hope you run into the problem of running out of time because you have too many clients. Then you can raise your price or train an employee and start scaling harder.

Best of luck with this. Service-based business is big bucks.
Thank you!

I 100% have given up far too soon on past projects. For example, I started my first YouTube channel in 2011. Imagine if I would have simply uploaded 3 videos a week over the course of the past 8 years, combined with what I know about YouTube marketing- I would have had at least 100K subscribers by now.

As far as raising my price, I'm currently working at $20.00 an hour for 4 hours a day for my current client on Upwork, and I actually had another job lined up at $25.00 an hour for 4 hours a day for another client, but the project was a complete mess so I "fired" the client before I even gave him 1 hour of work.

Have you ever had any doubts about raising your prices in regards to providing a service? Or maybe you have some thoughts on this: I'm worried about out-pricing myself from the market. Meaning, I don't know if I can even provide enough value to clients in order to justify charging more than $25.00 an hour, as the work I do seems like it's complicated, but it really isn't.
 
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Yeah dude, let go of the spammy approach and just focus on getting really, really good at one thing.
 
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It's been a while since I've been on UpWork (way before they switched over to their new paid credit model) but I had the most success a) pricing myself at nearly double the average rate of other freelancers and b) getting clients off of UpWork as soon as possible. If you're getting a lot of repeat business, you can make more and your client can pay less if you cut out the middleman. Also, if you're confident in your work, have a clearly-defined project scope, and feel comfortable with your relationship with your client, then fixed price projects can be a gold mine.
 

eliquid

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Yeah...

So the reason why UpWork is working for you is because you are providing value in a non-spam way.

Focus on providing value.

All of your prior projects provided no real value with the exception of maybe your Fiverr stuff. But from what you wrote and your history, I'm assuming your Fiverr stuff was low quality, spammy, or against their terms or service.

You also gave up too early on stuff.

2-4 months is too early to give up. Quitting on a client before you start work is too early too. But in your specific case it might not have been too bad since many of the things you were doing provided no value anyways.

At this point you are giving specific value to specific people of what they want. That's why it is working.

Keeping doing that in new areas, and you will have success.

.
 
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Yeah...

So the reason why UpWork is working for you is because you are providing value in a non-spam way.

Focus on providing value.

All of your prior projects provided no real value with the exception of maybe your Fiverr stuff. But from what you wrote and your history, I'm assuming your Fiverr stuff was low quality, spammy, or against their terms or service.

You also gave up too early on stuff.

2-4 months is too early to give up. Quitting on a client before you start work is too early too. But in your specific case it might not have been too bad since many of the things you were doing provided no value anyways.

At this point you are giving specific value to specific people of what they want. That's why it is working.

Keeping doing that in new areas, and you will have success.
Thank you for your feedback!

So, I will say the 1st go around with YouTube that I commented on above was spammy. Creative commons videos are typically low-quality, low-value videos. Also, I guess I could say that the Instagram automation I did was kind of spammy, even though I did have a legitimate following of real followers with 5% to 10% engagement rates.

As far as it goes for Fiverr, I was actually offering the same service on Fiverr that I am currently on Upwork, but just with less time put in. The service I offered on Fiverr wasn't against the T.O.S or spammy or anything- Fiverr simply removed my gig from the search results because "everyone deserves a chance to earn money on their platform" (their words, not mine).

(I would attach a screen shot showing my Fiverr stats, but I can't seen to get the image upload to work, so I will say that I received 324 5-star ratings vs. 1 1-star rating)
With all this said, I 100% agree with your statement about 2-4 months being too early to give up. As far as quitting on the client goes, if I would have had more information about where they were at with the work they did before getting in contact with me, I would have avoided the project from the start. However, only after asking more and more questions and "feeling out" the client did I get a real look at how poor of shape the project was in.