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Many freelancers are bound by their marketplaces. If you work in Upwork then your career is limited to that platform only. You go by the rule of the marketplace.
So the next logical step to advance your career is to go independent. Get clients from outside of the marketplaces.
Here’s how to do that:
Build an Asset:
Make an asset to attract people to your services. Like I did with my blog here. I wrote about various topics on internet marketing. It helped me build a following and reputation. Clients come to me directly from Google searches and hired me.
Improve Your Game:
Don’t be a generic professional. Do something unique and always up your game. The better you do your craft, the higher you get paid. Constantly learn new things.
Connect with people on social media, spend time on groups, build an email list. Befriend with your clients and help them for free when you can.
Adapt with Change:
Your work and the market won’t be the same forever. So it’s your job to always adapt with new trends and changes in the tech.
How I get clients outside of Upwork:
I blog and create content and spread them online. These content leads the interested folks towards me. I get them contacting me via my contact form in my website.
I get paid directly with Payoneer’s payment service. It’s easy for my client to pay me. I also use other services like 2CheckOut.
One client leads to another and if I do it well, I don’t get any shortage of clients. A pro freelancer builds his/hers business on referrals.
I get to pick my price when clients come to me. Comparing to a marketplace setting, you go and apply to jobs which makes it harder to charge more.
I am in control of my platform, my website and how much I charge. There is no middleman and no worry of my account getting banned.
You can do the same, just need to put some effort and creativity. Once you do that, you will be on the way to becoming a pro freelancer.