What about cookies?

We use Google Analytics to count visitors and see how you interact with the site.
Ok, it's fine   Opt me out

Written by
Slava K.

Story Shardik

How to become a successful freelancer

A practical guide to start and thrive on Upwork

Note: this article is a part of our Upwork series. See the next article here.

Do you work an 8-5 job and want to know what is out there on the market?
Or do you need more information before the switch?
Or maybe you already started freelancing, but not satisfied with the pace?

Need more info? Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

The new is always scary a little, and it’s easy to give up and abandon even a very fruitful adventure.

We start a new series of articles. The articles contain all our productive freelancing insights. We’re providing you handpicked advice on how to start and boost your career. We started freelancing at $27,300, and in less than three years, we landed at more than $105,000.

We reached Top Rated status. It means top 5% of freelancers by the community opinion. We got all 5-stars reviews.

We worked long-term and short-term, with clients from Europe and the USA, part-time and full-time. We refused to take a job even after the initial proposal went five times up in price. We got refused too. We struggled to get the first offer and also considered backup plans.

We helped to switch careers and become a software engineer. We supported solid developers to become freelancers. We want to tell you about it here, now, in the Shardik blog.

The story begins Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

We didn’t have much info when we decided to start freelancing. This blindness scared a shit out of us. The freelance culture was not in place among our fellow developers. The overwhelming opinion was that a remote gig isn’t worth it. Former remote workers told us that it had been fun to travel and work from different places in the world. But all of them came back into office jobs, claiming that remote work didn’t generate sufficient income. There is always a mysterious friend of your friend who works two hours per day and makes a ton of money. Let us know if you meet him. :)

That was hard for us. We saw a few articles from distant freelancers about their success. The lack of confirmation from our first-hand contacts demotivated us at the same time. But we are tough, so we proceeded.

We're stubborn! Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

The very first step was to discover the existing freelancing platforms. We searched for possible projects while still working full-time. Not a single client answered to our applications. Besides that, we saw any decent project got tons of replies almost immediately. That meant that our chances against professional freelancers with polished profiles were meager. We understood that it’s useless to make the research this way.

We were stubborn. We quit our jobs and focused thoroughly on looking for a freelance project. We sent a lot of proposals and tried different approaches. We spent more than two months without a suitable outcome and any income. Eventually, we got banned on Upwork. It was like a cold shower. We thought that it was a moment of ruined dreams. The message was ultimate, and the ban was permanent. But we are the lucky lads!

Shardik lads Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

At the same time, we had contract negotiations in progress. The client took some time to consider the proposal. We used this as leverage in our communication with the support to lift the ban. If the contract wasn’t there, the whole enterprise could have died out. It’s not possible to make a deal with a blocked account.

Upwork support went the extra mile, and they gave us the last chance. We started our freelance career!

We started freelancing! Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

We had to invent guidelines on communication, development, and planning. We made a handful of mistakes until the instructions were ready, and we could apply them easily.

Looking back at the path, I’m sure that we would have done many things faster if we had the insights at the very beginning.

That’s why we at Shardik start the new series of articles. We share our experience on how to become successful as a freelancer. We collected the most critical topics that held us up on the way, and we will give them to you in essence.

You will get all the info needed for a successful start in a short, precise way.
See the next article here.

Stay tuned with Shardik!

We are happy to hear about your project, answer questions or just chat: