Work Online » Freelancing

How A College Dropout 5xed His Freelance Rate In 12 Months

by Niall Doherty Updated: July 31, 2018

About a week ago I got an email from Justin, a member of Freedom Business Builder (formerly 3M1K).

He wrote:

It has been about 1.25 years since I took your course, and I’m so glad that I decided to give running an online business a shot. Since I started, my earnings have increased significantly.

As you’ll see, “significantly” turned out to mean raising his rate from $9/hour a year ago to $50/hour today!

Justin had used the resources listed inside FBB to become proficient in web development and digital marketing, and then learned (also within FBB) how to find clients and steadily raise his rate.

Justin mentioned in his email a video he’d uploaded to YouTube:

The video isn’t super polished, but I think it does a nice job of summarizing the steps it takes to build an online business.

Here’s the video:

Two key points from the video I’d like to highlight:


You don’t need to have a degree in some technical skill to build an online business.

Many people think they need to go to college for four years and spend a bunch of money before they’ll be qualified to do freelance work online, but as Justin notes, you can become a "relative expert" in many fields within 90 days of part-time self-study, and it won’t cost you a fortune.


After joining FBB, Justin spent a month building his skillset, another month practicing his skills on some personal projects, then landed his first freelance web development job on Upwork one week after he started looking for one.

I followed up with Justin and he was kind enough to share more details about how he built his business:

My first major job on Upwork was only $7.2/hr after the 20% fee. I landed that first job about a year ago. Now, I typically get paid around $40/hr.

Last week, I landed a job on Upwork for $45/hr before fees. It was a strange situation…the job had several proposals already, but the client decided to invite me to the job.

I typed up a short proposal in about 10 mins. I woke up the next day, and she had sent me the job offer. No interview or anything. And the job is to clean up an Adwords account that spends roughly $2000 per month.

A few days later, another message from Justin:

I just landed a long-term $50/hr job on Upwork… This is the biggest client I’ve ever been matched up with at Upwork. This client has spent over $50k on Upwork.

I was invited yesterday, and I had my interview this morning. As far as I know, I was the only person he invited/interviewed.

I asked Justin to share more details about his Upwork proposals:

I typically use the same model for Upwork proposals: I ask about 3-4 relevant questions about the job in the first paragraph, and I qualify myself in the second paragraph.

Honestly, I think that my Upwork profile overview and track record does more to attract people than my proposals.

On average, I get 1-2 job invites every week from Upwork. Naturally, I’m not interested in every job that gets sent my way. One of the big perks of freelancing is having the authority to decide which jobs you want to take on.

Justin also sent along screenshots of that $50/hour job description and his proposal:

Upwork Job Description

Upwork Job Description

Upwork Client History

Upwork Client History

Justin's Proposal

Justin’s Proposal

Job Secured

Job Secured

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