We’re continuing to share 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 Ruben Ugarte).
If you feel your story would be a good fit, share why.
Andrew Marcinkevičius runs a web development company and has been freelancing for over two years now. As a gift to himself for his 26th birthday, he quit his full-time job and went freelance.
What got you into freelancing? Was it what you expected?
I had my first tries with it while I still studying. It wasn’t much, but it was great earning some money on the side without even having to leave my room.
While working for a company, I started to do some calculations and it was disappointing that I was doing most of the work and earning only a small part of that. Some would say that working for a company provides other benefits like health insurance and steady pay, but the way I see it benefits are only a suggestion, not a requirement.
(I’ve met enough people that got screwed out of their salary, etc.) And by keeping most of the money yourself, you can figure out how to get most of the benefits anyhow.
After getting a small buffer in my bank account, I decided that life is too short and sometimes a leap of faith is required to make it more interesting. Like everything, freelancing has its pros and cons, but right now I think I’m just too hooked on all the hustle that goes with it.
What’s been most challenging so far?
I think it would still be finding the right clients.
It was more of the challenge in the beginning and it’s getting easier now. It feels good to be in the position where you can say no if you don’t feel like the relationship with the client will work out (or you won’t be able to bring enough value to the project).
Did you ever want to give up? Please expand.
Sometimes the thought of quitting comes to mind, but mostly when I’m having issues finding my next project. At those times, it’s easy to think it would be easier to just find a full-time job and not worry about finding clients, paying taxes, etc.
And then after awhile, I remember having so much fun hustling and everything goes back to normal.
What were you struggling with the most when you came across the DYF material?
Charging that I’m worth. I had a comfortable rate, but it felt like being a rat in the wheel.
Not everyone understands why they should pay $X amount for you when someone is willing to work for a lot less. What they miss is that I can do it in five minutes, while they (or the other guy) takes hours (and is a lot more expensive in the end).
What are some big successes you’ve had recently?
After New Year’s, I started to feel like a rat in a wheel, which lead to starting to look how to earn more. I was earning enough to have a comfortable living, but it always felt like a big piece of the pie was left on the table.
After finding some resources about how to charge based on the value, rather than hours worked (one of them was DYFR), I changed the approach of how to explain to clients what value I bring.
What are some specific strategies, tactics or pieces of advice that helped you grow?
I started to focus on why something is being done. It’s much easier to get a client when you can show him that by actually spending more on me, he’s earning money, not wasting it.
I also started to expend more effort on selling and marketing myself. It wasn’t easy at first, as like most I was in the “My skills are good, so they will come” camp, but once I noticed the problem, it was easier to work on the solution.
What are you most excited about for your business in 2015?
I’m getting very excited about the new project opportunities I’ve been receiving.
Andrew is a web developer/consultant who enjoys helping his clients solve the problems they have. He loves to share what he learned or experienced on his personal blog. And in his free time, Andrew loves taking long walks, learning something new or doing something exciting.