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Meet and Learn From Fellow Upwork Freelancers

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Community Manager
Lena E Community Manager Member Since: Apr 7, 2015
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John Kuehne started hosting Upwork Huddles to help build an in-person community of local freelancers that could socialize and share what they’ve learned. “Being a freelancer, you spend a lot of time alone in front of the computer with little to no human interaction. It’s good to get out,” he said. Upwork Huddles, independently organized meetups that are hosted by experienced Top Rated freelancers for the local Upwork freelancer community, are a great way to do that.

But there is more. Kuehne shares that his favorite part of hosting Upwork Huddles is the energy of the people in the group: “I can see the collective encouragement between people. The sharing of stories of both success and struggle are invaluable to really get the most out of Upwork.”

Meeting other freelancers provides an opportunity to bounce ideas and experiences off of someone else. Some freelancers also find it valuable to get to know other locals with different skills sets that they can potentially partner with for bigger projects.

Freelancing helped improve this Huddle host’s health and attitude

Kuehne has built his freelance business as a professional voice talent, video editor, and video producer. He’s enjoyed working on a variety of projects, from national radio spots for a chain of auto parts stores to building the diversity and inclusion training course for a global oil company.

Before he started freelancing, Kuehne was in IT management for more than 25 years, working for some very large tech and retail companies. Thinking back on those days, Kuehne said he often felt held back. “Many days I would leave the office without being able to definitively say that I had done anything truly constructive,” he said. “Freelancing gave me the ability to get out from underneath the pressure and politics of being in a corporate position. Overall, I have seen an improvement in my health and attitude.”

Kuehne also appreciates that he now has the opportunity to learn new techniques and push his skills to achieve better results: “Freelancing allows me to be both creative and deliver something that actually helps build the clients’ business prospects or brand.”

The secrets to his success? Good communication and consistency

Kuehne beat his revenue target for his first year in business and doubled his earnings in his second year. Now in his third year of business, he’s already exceeded last year’s earnings in just the first quarter.

What’s Kuehne’s secret sauce? He shared a few tips to help other freelancers grow their businesses.

First, master your communication skills and focus on the client’s needs from the start. “When you bid for a contract, give the client the impression that their project is the most important thing you’re working on,” he said.

Also essential to his success on Upwork: He’s made a habit of staying active on the platform. Regular check-ins help him:

  • Respond quickly to new inquiries, which keeps his published response time to a minimum
  • Be aggressive when it comes to reviewing new opportunities and submitting proposals to potential projects
  • Maintain regular communication and provide status updates to clients

Kuehne’s commitment and dedication to building a freelance business have helped him create a solid foundation to build on while he expands his professional network as a Huddle host.
Interested in meeting with fellow freelancers in your city, too?

Upwork has a network of dynamic Upwork Huddle hosts all around the world. Becoming a host like Kuehne can be a great way to expand your network, connect with other freelancers in person, and have fun!

To learn more about Upwork Huddles and how you can become a host, check out this help article. Please note that becoming a Huddle host is a perk for freelancers who have obtained Top Rated status.

Thanks to all Upwork Huddle hosts and attendees for helping to develop local Upwork freelancer communities. Watch for an upcoming Huddle in your community and follow the buzz online: #upworkhuddle on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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