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Student Success Story (#2) with Matt Olpinski


We’re sharing a different story each week of how a past student has been able to significantly grow their freelance business by applying the concepts they learned from Double Your Freelancing (check out last week’s with Pia Larson). 

If you feel your story would be a good fit, share why. We’re still looking for one more feature for May, so apply today!

Matt Olpinski was one of the very first student success stories that we featured on Double Your Freelancing. If you haven’t, check out his initial interview first. Don’t worry, we’ll wait!

As a recap, Matt is a freelance UI + UX designer and full-time interactive art director. He’s been working hard and recently landed two AMAZING contracts. Here’s an email we recently received from him:

“I just wanted to let you know that in the last 3 days, I closed a deal for $48,000 and another one for $18,000. (Remember, just 6 months ago I was only closing $2k deals).

The $48k project is for 20 hours per week over the next 6 months. The $18k project is for 20 hours per week over the next 3 months, meaning I can do both at once and still save ~20 hours per week of moonlighting. They signed on both dotted lines today under my terms.

These deals have positioned me to more than comfortably leave my full-time job and pursue a full-time freelancing career, which I am extremely passionate about. I can attribute many of the things I’ve learned to your books and guidance, so from the bottom of my heart, thank you! I have enjoyed putting them all into practice and seeing such amazing results.”

Naturally, we asked if he would come back and tell us how he did it. He graciously agreed to share his experience with y’all. Are you ready?

How did you come across these leads?

Nearly all of my leads are organic or referrals, so they actually found me. One of these recent contracts started on Dribbble, a popular, private designer network where startups commonly seek out freelance designers. The other was a repeat client of mine from last year who I developed a strong working relationship with.

How did you position yourself (i.e. sell them)?

For the repeat client, I didn’t have to do much. We worked extremely well together in the past and they simply found themselves in a position to offer me a much larger project this year.

For the Dribbble inquiry, I am happy to say that my website did most of the selling for me. I relaunched it back in December and recently attached a blog component, which they told me had a positive influence on their decision to hire me. From there, it was as simple as chatting on the phone and answering some get-to-know-you questions. We set expectations and signed contracts shortly afterwards.

Did you give them multiple options?

No. These contracts were unique in that they both asked me to do more work for them than I originally offered. Therefore, there wasn’t much of a need for an up-sell, which was kind of awesome.

What from Brennan’s courses helped you close the deal specifically?

The way I position myself and my services on my website has by far had the most positive influence on my business. I redesigned and rebuilt my website and started a blog/newsletter before I even finished reading “The Blueprint.”

Turns out, content and mindset were the missing glue between my design skills and my client’s business. All I had to do was create a website that focused on my clients and not me!

How would you have handled this prior to taking DYFR/DYFC?

There’s a good chance I would not have had the confidence to charge as much as I did. DYFR/C really helped me understand my worth and increase my rates in proportion to my new positioning.

“I am now able to offer much more than design work to my clients – I am able to offer them a valuable service for their business, which is ultimately what they want anyway.”

Anything else you’d like to add?

I think it’s important for freelancers to remember that they have to absorb, digest, and then apply all of the information and strategies available on the web, not just implement the methods verbatim. I didn’t do everything exactly the way Brennan told me to (sorry, Brennan), but I did learn and apply some specific and relevant tactics that helped transform my career in a way I never imagined.

Every freelancer is a person and every person is different. I believe it’s important to selectively apply what you learn to your business to yield the best results. There are no perfect formulas for success.

You recently launched a new passion project. Tell us more about your new freelancer platform, Boonle!

Boonle

Who is it for?

Boonle is a place for new freelancers entering the market who are looking to enhance their skills, experience, and reputation while turning a small profit. It is also a place for clients to post projects they need completed on a lower budget and without the hassle of scouting, recruiting, and managing the “right” freelancer.

Why’d you create it?

We mainly created it to help kickstart freelancing careers. With the freelancing market being more saturated than ever, it’s difficult to make headway as a beginner and we started to notice a gap in the market forming.

From the client’s standpoint, who wouldn’t want inexpensive and convenient work done from people who are actually motivated to provide quality anyway?

What are your hopes for it?

Right now our focus is on getting more signups and projects on the site. A platform like Boonle can only truly succeed with a high volume of traffic and users.

Eventually, we want to expand the platform into a full-blown knowledge-base for beginner freelancers where they can read and learn from more than just the projects, but also the experiences of successful freelancers. We also want to open up a VIP section of the website where top freelancers can “graduate” and have access to a high-quality lead generation portal.

How does someone get started?

It’s super easy and totally free. Just go to http://boonle.com and sign up. You can be a freelancer (do projects) and a client (post projects) from within the same account. As there is no approval or bidding process on the projects, working on one is as simple as clicking the “start project“ button.

What could I expect as far as work?

Right now, the projects include any service that can be provided digitally. This could be graphic design, web development, video/audio editing, writing, proofreading, etc.

Currently, we are working hard to get more projects on the website as freelancers are working on them at a far more rapid pace than we expected (which seems to be a good problem to have at the moment).

Spread the word! Boonle is a very unique platform that fills a niche market gap for freelancers. Signing up or sharing it with your network would be greatly appreciated as we try to gain more traction. You can read more about how it works in detail here.

mattolpinskiMatt Olpinski designs websites and apps that help startups and small businesses succeed. His primary focus is UX + UI design and front-end web development, but he also has a knack for motion graphics and photography.

After freelancing on the side for over eight years, he is now taking his freelancing career full-time. In addition to designing web and mobile interfaces, he also loves writing about his experiences in the creative industry on his blog.

In his spare time, Matt loves getting outside and exploring the world while capturing it all on Instagram.

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