My freelance career started in 2007.
The genesis was a class project in college that required us to build an Interactive Resume (personal website), and it went from there. I started building personal websites for other people, and then sites for small businesses. After I quit my job in 2010, I started freelancing full-time.
I wasn’t a particularly skilled designer or developer at the time, but I knew more than my clients (an important prerequisite…) and I was better at connecting with humans than my “competitors.” So my reputation grew, as did my client base.
I had no idea what I was doing, but I tried hard and I didn’t quit. The low cost of living in Atlanta helped, but that’s beside the point.
Looking back, I could have probably increased my income by a factor of five if I actually knew what I was doing. Many of the things that make my projects successful today are a result of the lessons I learned the hard way between 2007 and 2011.
I would not recommend learning how to freelance the hard way if you can help it.
There probably isn’t a human alive who has had a bigger impact on how I think about about business and connection and freelancing than Seth Godin. Seth is not available for consulting or coaching at any price, but the lessons he’s learned over 30 years of successful freelancing can be found in his new course for freelancers on Udemy.
Udemy is running a promotion through the end of April that lets you get the course at a considerable discount when you use the code MOVEUP, which makes this no-brainer even no-brainerer.