The single best way to get better is through feedback. In this channel, you can ask for feedback on anything you're working on.Β 

You can ask for feedback on:

  • Things you're making to share
  • Things you're making for clients
  • Things you're making just for fun
  • ...anything, really.

Tips for giving feedback

It's important to be honest when sharing feedback on someone else's work. A huge part of giving feedback is providing constructive feedback.

So if you dislike or disagree with something someone shares, share that feedback in a constructive way that doesn't attack or insult the person.

Be honest, but be kind.

Tips for receiving feedback

It's best to assume positive intent when someone shares feedback with you. Don't take it personally, and really that when someone takes the time to share feedback with you, they are being generous.

Of course you're not obligated to listen to or take all feedback into account. But you should be open to and thankful for all feedback!
TL;DR: Should I brand myself as a small agency or freelancer?

For a long time, I thought that I would be taken more seriously if I used "we" and "team" in my marketing materials for web design through Blue Drop Design. I felt I would be able to charge more.Β 

Now that I'm more confident in my own abilities (I'm a full-time web designer at a company now as well), I feel that I should own that it's just me working on projects, and charge for my time/expertise because my services are worth it, not because a "team" of a couple of my friends will be helping out. Maybe it should be "Hi, I'm Nathan, a web designer," instead of "Hi, we're a web design agency."

At the same time, sometimes I feel that I work too much on my own website, instead of going out and networking.

Do you think that I should make the Blue Drop Design site more personable, or does it matter?Β 
This is a really great (and common) question. It really depends on how you want to view your business.

I think it'sΒ easierΒ to sell services on behalf of yourself when you own, "I'm the one doing this work, here's some of my past work, here's what people say about working with me."

If you don't aspire to create a larger team, I think this is a good route.Β 

There seems to be a bit of a ceiling though. Larger, more established companies are going to feel more comfortable hiring a reputableΒ companyΒ rather than a freelancer in a lot of cases. Being a solo act, you're allowing the client to make some assumptions about the overall size and maybe even "legitimacy" of your operation.

But on the other side of the token, smaller businesses and individuals would probably rather work with a PERSON than a company.

So, to wrap it all up...

  • Would your ideal clients rather work with a person or an agency?
  • Do you aspire to build a company bigger than yourself?
  • Are you more comfortable selling as an individual or an agency?

Those would be my biggest questions in making the decision.Β 
Hi everyone!

I hope this is the right forum to post this in (if not, definitely let me know for future reference!). In March 2018 I picked up a side gig doing a monthly blog post for a couple who are friends as well as clients, and I found that I really love the challenge of writing in someone else's voice (in this case, a 45-year-old British man). However, I didn't pursue any other ghost writing jobs because I was working full-time for a company as an editor/content writer. Now that the aforementioned job has gone away, I would really like to revisit taking on more of this kind of work. (If you'd like to see some of my posts you can find them here:

I've had some people tell me I should look at the websites of different companies, see whether they have a blog (and if they do, check out what kind of shape its in) then contact them to offer my services. One suggestion that was given to me (because I am passionate about animal welfare) was to approach veterinarians, dog trainers, or other animal-related companies. Being that marketing has **never** been my strong suit (working to change that!), I'm not sure if this is appropriate or would make me look like an amateur. I honestly don't know!

So, if anyone has some advice, guidance or thoughts on this subject, I would welcome them with an open mind and much gratitude.

Thanks for taking the time to read all of this! : )Β 
Mary DeRosa Hughes At the risk of sounding like a broken record, there are 346 blog post writing jobs on Upwork!

You might not be able to find work in the vet/dog training/animal welfare space right away, but you can pick up some work to earn some income and learn more about how to freelance!
Mary DeRosa Hughes replied
  ·  1 reply
Hey Mary DeRosa Hughes!

As Jay mentioned, I have done some ghostwriting. I've written for various brands' blogs and I currently ghostwrite a column for Psychology Today. I've found most of my projects by referral or by applying to posts on various job boards, though I am planning to start pitching companies as you described because I feel like I'm spending way too much time looking for work and not enough time working.

One thing I wish I'd known when I started is that if you aren't getting a byline, it's completely reasonable to hike up your rates. Jay Clouse, I think it was you who shared the rule of thumb for pricing: think of a rate that's high enough to make you uncomfortable β€” then raise it by 40%. I love that one!

Also as Erica Holthausen mentioned in a previous post, be sure to include a clause in your contract so you can use samples of your ghostwriting work in your portfolio. She recommended something like this:

Upon receipt of full and final payment, copyright of the work produced by Consultant is automatically assigned to Client, except that Consultant retains display rights in the work for use in portfolios, promotion, competitions, educational purposes, and marketing. Client’s use of the work produced by Consultant shall not be restricted in any manner.
Hope that helps!
Jay Clouse replied
  ·  1 reply
Hillary LyonsΒ - this is fantastic! I truly appreciate you taking the time to respond with so much awesome information! : )
OK, so I'm writing the next edition of my newsletter. I choose to write about how to get leads via Reddit but something is just not right. I've posted the article below if you have 3 minutes to read it and give some much appreciated feedback.

Hey there,

As you may know, I'm a big fan of Reddit.

90% of my clients come from Reddit.

Today I want to share with you how to write effective Reddit posts for getting leads.

Give, give, give, ask rule

Reddit and Redditors hate self-promotion but they are more relaxed on that rule in cases when a post has tremendous value.

Here's an example of how such a post looks like.

u/malchik23 is promoting his marketing agency but he's so providing such an in-depth guide for SEO for startups that it's okay.

You want to be like u/malchik23.

Give, give, give, ask rule states that you should provide three times the value before asking for something in return.

Use Correct Format for Your Posts

r/forhire is my main source of clients. It's heavily moderated and has very strict rules which in the end make a great community for freelancers and clients alike.

But I noticed that a lot of people write posts that are not converting readers into leads.

Now, I'm not some kind of marketing/sales guru but my [For Hire] posts to get at least two or three responses.

I can thank my formula for that which goes:
  1. Make headline super-specific so that only your target clients will click to see the whole posts. For example: *[For Hire] Freelance JavaScript Developer for B2B Startups*. This way the only people who click to read my post are founders or hiring managers of B2B startups that use JavaScript (pretty self-explanatory when I think about it XD).
  2. Introduce yourself and what you do. You don't any copywriting magic here. Just explain who you are, what do you do, and how long have you been doing it.
  3. Showcase your portfolio and your past clients. Tell your readers where can they check out your previous work (portfolio page, blog page, dribble page, etc). Also, tell them a bit about your previous clients and what did they get by hiring you.
  4. Answer any questions a potential client could have. I usually use a different subheading for each of these questions. For e.g. "You want to hire me but it'd break your budget?". You can answer something like: "I'm a business owner myself and I understand the struggle of finding good talent without breaking my budget. You are still free to message me. I'm sure we can arrange some kind of deal. If not I can direct you to some other freelancer from my network that would more than happy to help you out."
  5. Create a call-to-action. Leave a way a client can connect with you. I usually let people know that my DMs are open and leave my email.

Clean Up Your Profile

Whenever I want to connect with a fellow Redditor I can check out their profile. I'm sure other people do this as well.

You need to remove any NSFW or edgy content you have on your profile.

Be Active in Communities Where Your Clients Hang Out

After you've defined who your clientele is you should join subreddits where they hang out.

My clients are usually startups so I tend to spend a lot of time on subreddits such as r/startupsΒ or r/saas.

Be active, comment on posts (don't spam of course), and give feedback when people ask for it.

Hope you've had fun reading this email as much as I had fun writing it.

Do you have any Reddit tips that you'd like to share?Β 

Have a nice day,

What isn't working for you? Why doesn't it feel quite right? The one suggestion I have is to include a screenshot of your sample post so folks don't have to leave the newsletter to visit Reddit (especially those of us who know nothing about the platform). And what is NSFW content? I'm not familiar with the acronym.
Adem Hodzic replied
  ·  2 replies
Adem, I think Jay and Erica had the two greatest points because this is pretty great and informative!

In general, I think most content like this can take an informal/casual tone - just write like you would speak when talking with someone!

Example (maybe this isn't exactly how you talk but is still helpful :):

"Give, give, give, ask rule states that you should provide three times the value before asking for something in return."


The give, give, give, ask rule says you should offer three times the value you want to ask forΒ  - before you ask for it.
Adem HodzicΒ  You mentioned "You need to remove any NSFW or edgy content you have on your profile." (FYI for someone who asked, NSFW = Not Safe For Work.) I would think that folks on this forum, Freelancing School, would have very professional business profiles.Β  Just curious why you felt the need to add that.

My personal experience on Reddit is many of the people there are NSFW or edgy, but I was just exploring the technology sections.
Adem Hodzic replied
  ·  1 reply
Hey guys,

I tried my best in setting this space up to keep notifications (email especially) pretty minimal.

How is that going? Too much? Too little?

This platform has an automated Thursday email digest too (which I think is great). But if you need help configuring your notifications, you can do so here.

It's also covered in the video tour!
I've tweaked them a couple of times, but it's working out just fine!
To be honest, no idea how those work so I just have them automatically routed to a folder.

Like how slack just emails me notifications about any mentions, then lets me know what channels have new activity
It seems only right that I "go first" and ask for feedback...

I want this to be a place that actually connects you to people and opportunity, so don't hold back in helping me make it better.

So tell me, what do you think about this space? What do you like, dislike, and what feels like it's missing?
Can "dark mode" be optional? I've never liked it (though, in all fairness, I can be a little resistant to change and dark mode is probably better for my eyes)!
Jay Clouse replied
  ·  1 reply
I only have 2 points:
1) Dark mode should be an option.
2) Future webinars should be recorded in case one is an available at the time.
Other than that so far so good.
One more piece to add to the list! I would love to be able to flag a post so I can come back to it later. For example, I'd like to watchΒ Jay Clouse's webinar with Honeybook because I couldn't be on the call, but I can't do it today. I'd love to be able to flag it and come back to it when I have more time. There are also a few podcast episodes I'd like to listen to.Β 
Jay Clouse replied
  ·  1 reply