How an website positioning Freelancer Who Made $500K Final 12 months Will get Jobs on Upwork

Sam Bazzi is an website positioning advisor.
Sam Bazzi

  • Sam Bazzi turned to Upwork full time in 2016 after well being issues meant he wanted extra flexibility.
  • The website positioning advisor, who’s used the platform on and off because the late 2000s, now makes six figures.
  • He shares his suggestions for scaling a dependable gross sales pipeline and the way he constructs Upwork proposals.

This as-told-to essay relies on a dialog with Sam Bazzi, a 42-year-old advertising and marketing professional from Michigan. Insider has verified Bazzi’s revenue with documentation. It has been edited for size and readability. 

I created my Upwork account as a contract online-marketing consulting in 2008, nevertheless it was a facet gig. 

In 2016, my well being was upended. I used to be recognized with a uncommon kidney illness, amongst different well being considerations. On the time, I used to be a advertising and marketing advisor with a few native shoppers, however they usually needed me on-site some days.

When my well being deteriorated, I went all in on Upwork. All my work on the platform was fully distant so I may nonetheless make an revenue round my physician’s appointments and from my mattress, which wasn’t an choice with my different job. 

My specialty is web advertising and marketing. I assist shoppers with pay-per-click touchdown pages, conversion-rate optimization, on-line adverts, website positioning, and extra. 

I began freelancing full time on Upwork in 2016

I started onboarding tasks extra aggressively in 2016. Purchasers listing tasks on Upwork they need assistance with and freelancers submit proposals to be employed. 

I submitted extra proposals and communicated my new availability to the shoppers I already labored with. 

I used to be on eight to 10 gross sales calls per week; earlier than I went full time, it might be one or two. I up to date my profile and acquired each certification identified to man on the subject of advertising and marketing, and the bulk had been free. Certifications present that you just’re updated with all the brand new options of assorted advertising and marketing platforms.

I take into account myself a “full-stack marketer,” so I’ve labored with dozens of industries however I wish to focus extra on B2B.

My charge was $20 an hour after I first began. Now, I cost $200 an hour — the rise displays a gentle development over time. 

I’ve labored with nearly 500 shoppers on Upwork. I will work with a consumer for just a few months on common, however I have been working with a handful of shoppers for years.

My shoppers had been understanding and type whereas I acquired my well being again on observe. Physician’s appointments had been demanding again then, so having the ability to do business from home at any time was a sport changer. I may sustain with my shoppers and ship wonderful work whereas nonetheless prioritizing my well being. I used to be making $100,000 a yr on common in 2016.  

I constructed my success on Upwork over time utilizing these key issues

On Upwork, your fame and mission historical past are like a credit score rating. You must keep on prime of it, all the time bettering your companies, buying new shoppers, and retaining the present ones completely satisfied.

Retaining my profile up to date and account lively allowed my work to talk for itself. I’ve carried out 491 jobs with over 250 5-star opinions. Up to now 12 months, I’ve made nearly $500,000 by specializing in managing my fame and work historical past.

My constant constructive suggestions and rankings are how I’ve change into profitable on Upwork

Upwork is a feedback-driven platform, so I solely submit proposals for jobs I am certified for and know I can do properly to guard my fame. I customise each proposal.

I submit proposals weekly to maintain my gross sales pipeline full. What number of I submit is determined by the variety of shoppers I am at the moment working with. For each 100 proposals you submit, possibly 20 to 30 will likely be learn, and from there, possibly 4 or 5 will interview you.

I’ve a gross sales name with potential shoppers to get readability on their precise wants, timeline, expectations, and different particulars.

If we agree on the mission, I shut on a few these gross sales calls. The bottom line is to have a full gross sales pipeline always. At instances, I’ve labored with solely three to 5 bigger shoppers, and at different instances, I am working with 10 to fifteen smaller shoppers a month. 

Give attention to longer-term consumer relationships

I favor to tackle long-term working relationships than quick, one-time tasks. Whereas small shoppers are nice, it retains me on the gross sales hamster wheel. Each time I end a mission, I’ve to go get a brand new consumer as an alternative of retaining an present consumer with steady revenue. 

By specializing in long-term relationships, I can prioritize working billable hours with present shoppers, quite than the unpaid work of sourcing shoppers. 

I cost increased charges so I can provide my shoppers the eye they want

My work with shoppers varies day-to-day. My shoppers can name me at any time when with an issue.  

I test in with my shoppers at the very least two to 3 instances per week for 15 to half-hour. Whereas I’ve had shoppers who benefit from my time and ask for “free” work, they’re the minority. Since I cost $200 an hour now, it does stability itself out.

Just lately a consumer was struggling to make gross sales on Amazon. We labored collectively for about six hours over a few days getting him arrange on Google and Bing adverts. He began making gross sales and informed me that that enhance saved his enterprise.

What units me apart on Upwork is that I deal with my prospects as in the event that they’re household and I battle for his or her success. Once I put money into a consumer, I change into a accomplice of their journey. Constructing this relationship means they admire me extra and provides me extra work.

I work extraordinarily exhausting. I get up at about 5 a.m., and I am up till about 11 p.m. working. I work Sunday afternoon to Friday afternoon, and permit a pair hours for breaks day-after-day. Friday evenings and Saturdays are strictly household time.

My aim is to assist remedy kidney illness

Many freelancers assume ‘I am doing my work, who cares’ — that is the mistaken mannequin. One of the best mannequin for me is working remotely with somebody who trusts you with their product or enterprise, and also you collaborate on the tasks to get the best outcomes. 

Although I am making more cash now, I nonetheless stay a easy life.

My aim is to assist discover a remedy for kidney illness, so I put about 80% of the cash I make right into a nonprofit I launched known as Moon Shot Cures. I rent all the workers that assist me with the nonprofit from Upwork.

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