50 legitimate ways to compete with more experienced freelancers

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People always ask me how they can succeed at freelancing when others have more experience.

So I wrote down 50 ways to do it.

You can use many of these right now, regardless of where you’re at.

Some are so easy, it’s almost funny.

You can probably implement 20 of them today with zero effort. And they will add up to huge advantages.

  1. Be friendlier.
  2. Learn a new skill.
  3. Write better proposals.
  4. Be more helpful.
  5. Read about your industry every week (or every day).
  6. Become an idea machine.
  7. Be more generous.
  8. Learn to negotiate better.
  9. Share your knowledge with clients.
  10. Use a better picture of yourself online.
  11. Connect and collaborate with other freelancers.
  12. Find a mentor.
  13. Learn skills that compliment your existing skill(s).
  14. Show clients where they can improve their business.
  15. Make your Upwork profile better.
  16. Beef up an existing skill.
  17. Create a talent stack for yourself.
  18. Build up your portfolio (quickly and easily).
  19. Get testimonials from previous clients.
  20. Get testimonials from coworkers or even friends.
  21. Discover hidden ways to make money freelancing.
  22. Become friends with your clients.
  23. Make a simple-but-cool website. (Mine took minutes to make using Wix.)
  24. Proactively update clients on projects.
  25. Learn how to nail an interview.
  26. Connect with successful freelancers online.
  27. Get clients with my Crystal Ball Technique. (It’s not just for copywriters.)
  28. Learn how to make a project run smoothly.
  29. Compliment clients.
  30. Get inspired by others. (Like Oleg.)
  31. Show enthusiasm.
  32. Don’t let your background hold you back.
  33. Turn clients into repeat clients.
  34. Learn the secrets of charging more.
  35. Write a guest post for a credible website.
  36. Collaborate with other freelancers.
  37. Refer clients to other freelancers in exchange for a finder’s fee.
  38. Avoid proposal-killing phrases.
  39. Offer a finder’s fee to other freelancers in exchange for referrals.
  40. Give clients useful suggestions.
  41. Boost credibility by going on a podcast.
  42. Thank your clients for the opportunity to work with them.
  43. Give clients pain relief.
  44. Thank your clients when they send you a payment.
  45. Tell clients you’re excited to work with them.
  46. Steal like an artist.
  47. Write a case study about a customer you helped 
  48. Interview an expert in your field and show it to clients.
  49. Write a guest post for an “authority” site. 
  50. Be a better listener.

Now you have two choices.

You can say, “Oh, number-X is too advanced, I can’t do that.”

Or you can pick 10-20 of the easiest ones for you to do right now, and start to create a real advantage for yourself.

Now I’d love to hear from you…

Did any of these surprise you?

Are there any you’re going to try first?

Do you have any you’d like to add to the list?

Do you have any questions about any of them?

Or do you have any stories about competing against people with more experience?

Leave a comment and let me know — I’ll do my best to respond to as many as possible.

(Flickr Creative Commons image via Jeremy Stoutamyer)

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