March 31, 2023


Moving Forward

How an SEO Freelancer Who Made $500K Last Year Gets Jobs on Upwork

  • Sam Bazzi turned to Upwork whole time in 2016 soon after health complications intended he desired far more overall flexibility.
  • The Search engine optimisation guide, who’s applied the platform on and off given that the late 2000s, now will make 6 figures.
  • He shares his tips for scaling a reliable sales pipeline and how he constructs Upwork proposals.

This as-advised-to essay is primarily based on a dialogue with Sam Bazzi, a 42-calendar year-outdated internet marketing pro from Michigan. Insider has confirmed Bazzi’s earnings with documentation. It has been edited for duration and clarity. 

I created my Upwork account as a freelance on-line-advertising and marketing consulting in 2008, but it was a side gig. 

In 2016, my wellbeing was upended. I was diagnosed with a unusual kidney condition, amongst other overall health problems. At the time, I was a marketing and advertising specialist with a few of area customers, but they frequently desired me on-web page some days.

When my health and fitness deteriorated, I went all in on Upwork. All my do the job on the platform was fully distant so I could nonetheless make an profits all-around my doctor’s appointments and from my bed, which wasn’t an choice with my other job. 

My specialty is web marketing and advertising. I assist clientele with spend-for each-click on landing pages, conversion-amount optimization, on the internet adverts, Search engine optimisation, and more. 

I started freelancing entire time on Upwork in 2016

I started onboarding jobs far more aggressively in 2016. Purchasers list tasks on Upwork they need to have assistance with and freelancers post proposals to be hired. 

I submitted a lot more proposals and communicated my new availability to the shoppers I by now labored with. 

I was on 8 to 10 gross sales calls a week right before I went entire time, it would be just one or two. I updated my profile and got every single certification known to male when it comes to marketing, and the the vast majority ended up totally free. Certifications demonstrate that you’re up to day with all the new functions of numerous marketing and advertising platforms.

I take into account myself a “total-stack marketer,” so I’ve labored with dozens of industries but I like to emphasis a lot more on B2B.

My fee was $20 an hour when I to start with commenced. Now, I cost $200 an hour — the boost displays a continuous development in excess of the several years. 

I’ve worked with virtually 500 purchasers on Upwork. I will operate with a shopper for a number of months on typical, but I have been functioning with a handful of customers for decades.

My shoppers were knowing and variety while I received my wellness back again on monitor. Doctor’s appointments had been demanding back again then, so staying capable to operate from household at any time was a recreation changer. I could keep up with my clientele and deliver fantastic do the job whilst continue to prioritizing my wellness. I was generating $100,000 a yr on normal in 2016.  

I built my results on Upwork in excess of time applying these crucial matters

On Upwork, your track record and challenge background are like a credit rating score. You have to stay on major of it, generally improving upon your companies, buying new customers, and retaining the latest types joyful.

Holding my profile current and account active permitted my perform to converse for by itself. I have done 491 jobs with in excess of 250 5-star testimonials. In the past 12 months, I have made almost $500,000 by concentrating on managing my track record and do the job heritage.

My constant optimistic suggestions and scores are how I have grow to be successful on Upwork

Upwork is a opinions-driven system, so I only submit proposals for work I’m capable for and know I can do nicely to safeguard my reputation. I customize just about every proposal.

I post proposals weekly to hold my gross sales pipeline total. How a lot of I post depends on the variety of customers I am at present working with. For each individual 100 proposals you submit, perhaps 20 to 30 will be go through, and from there, possibly 4 or five will interview you.

I have a revenue connect with with doable shoppers to get clarity on their correct requirements, timeline, anticipations, and other information.

If we concur on the challenge, I shut on a couple of those people product sales calls. The essential is to have a total revenue pipeline at all moments. At periods, I have worked with only 3 to 5 larger sized shoppers, and at other times, I am working with 10 to 15 smaller sized clientele a thirty day period. 

Concentration on for a longer period-time period shopper associations

I desire to consider on very long-phrase operating associations than limited, just one-time initiatives. While small shoppers are wonderful, it retains me on the gross sales hamster wheel. Each time I complete a job, I have to go get a new customer in its place of preserving an existing customer with ongoing profits. 

By concentrating on extensive-expression relationships, I can prioritize functioning billable hours with present clientele, somewhat than the unpaid function of sourcing clients. 

I cost better premiums so I can give my purchasers the awareness they need to have

My operate with shoppers varies day-to-working day. My clientele can contact me every time with a issue.  

I verify in with my customers at minimum two to three periods a week for 15 to 30 minutes. Whilst I have experienced shoppers who get advantage of my time and question for “free” operate, they are the minority. Since I demand $200 an hour now, it does balance by itself out.

Lately a customer was struggling to make product sales on Amazon. We labored together for about 6 hours more than a pair of times obtaining him established up on Google and Bing advertisements. He commenced generating gross sales and informed me that that strengthen saved his company.

What sets me apart on Upwork is that I handle my customers as if they’re household and I fight for their good results. When I invest in a consumer, I turn into a spouse in their journey. Creating this relationship implies they value me a lot more and give me additional perform.

I operate extremely hard. I wake up at about 5 a.m., and I am up until finally about 11 p.m. doing the job. I operate Sunday afternoon to Friday afternoon, and make it possible for a pair several hours for breaks each working day. Friday evenings and Saturdays are strictly loved ones time.

My target is to assistance get rid of kidney disease

Quite a few freelancers feel ‘I’m carrying out my work, who cares’ — which is the erroneous product. The greatest product for me is doing the job remotely with someone who trusts you with their item or business, and you collaborate on the tasks to get the biggest outcomes. 

Even though I’m producing more cash now, I even now reside a very simple everyday living.

My goal is to help obtain a heal for kidney condition, so I set about 80% of the funds I make into a nonprofit I launched identified as Moon Shot Cures. I retain the services of all the staff that support me with the nonprofit from Upwork.