I started freelancing on Upwork almost 2 years ago alongside my full-time job. I started this side hustle in hopes of making some extra money and honing my skills.
It was tough to secure projects in the beginning but as I started getting work, it became difficult to balance a full-time job and my freelancing career. I figured out ways to manage both my sources and cut to now: I have earned more than $30k on Upwork.
Here are a few of the things that helped me manage my full-time job and freelancing career that earned me more than $ 30k:
As you guessed, the first step to managing your career is managing your time.
I followed a strict schedule of work with room for uncertainties of course. After my 9-6 I took a couple of hours to refresh myself and then work for 2-3 hours max. Don’t overwork and burn yourself, I made this mistake in the beginning and it wasn’t worth it.
Make a schedule, keep room for some self-time in that, and follow it consistently. You can increase the working hours on weekends like I did. I dedicated my weekends to big & complex projects.
When I started on Upwork as a freelancer I made sure to take small projects as they were easier to fulfill and I didn’t want to compromise the quality of my work.
When you have a full-time job, there are high chances that could compromise on the quality of work you deliver as a freelancer due to lack of time.
This is why you should take small projects initially and deliver them with quality in order to build credibility and trust among your clients, so they keep coming back to you.
Balancing freelancing and a full-time job can be demanding.
I learned it the hard way after over-committing to my clients and not getting the job done on time. That’s how I discovered my capacity. I started maintaining a 50/50 balance between my full-time job and my freelance work. Stopped over-committing and started delivering projects on time.
The more you learn to balance your workload, the longer your freelancer career will last. Remember it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
The first piece of advice I give to beginners starting as freelancers is to continuously upskill themselves.
I wasted a lot of time doing tasks that could have been done in minutes if I knew how to use the correct technique. That’s when I realized the importance of upskilling. Once I started learning new skills, it saved my hours of work plus I could take on new projects with that new skill.
No matter how far you reach never stop upskilling, I still keep taking new courses and learn from them every now and then.
Whether you’re working as a full-time employee or a freelancer, you have to maintain a strong and long-term relationship with your clients only then they will return with more work.
I used to communicate with my clients regularly and kept them updated about the work. Once the work was done I connected with them on LinkedIn and regularly engaged with their content. Occasionally I used to send out newsletters to clients, addressing their specific niches and outlining how I could help them further.
These long-term clients contributed to my earnings a lot. Always keep in mind that these types of clients are mostly high-ticket, so you don’t wanna lose them.
Maintaining a full-time job and freelancing is never going to be easy but with great work, comes great rewards.
I made mistakes but stayed consistent with my efforts and that’s how I earned $30k. You just need dedication, a strategic plan, and willingness to put in the effort and you’ll see yourself juggling both roles perfectly.
I hope my shared experiences and tips help you achieve your goals.
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