Jingle bells, tasty smells, super ugly sweaters – the reds and greens and piney things… It’s that season again. You know, the one where you dash around in a frantic haze like a heat-seeking candy cane missile. You target the best gadgets and coolest toys, and it’s worth it, of course, to see the glowing smiles on their faces when they unwrap the exact perfect gift!
But what about the look on your face when you peek inside your checking account? As much as you’d love a special Santa deposit, mostly it’s zeros – no ones at the front. Yep, the holidays can be a real DRAIN on your wallet. So many to buy for, so little cash, how can you afford a great Christmas without a second job…
…and how can you do it from home?
Being broke for the holidays used to be a real problem for me. Pockets were empty, money was tight and omgthisissoawesome gifts were totally out of the question.
But this year’s a little different. Instead of a modest budget or loads of credit card debt, I’ll bring home an extra $1000 to $2000 without ever leaving the couch.
Today I’ll show you how I do it and how you can do it too, even in time for Christmas!
Step 1 – Assess Your Skills
Before I started down this path, I built an online publishing company that grew too fast and failed. After shutting it down I had no direction and wasn’t sure where to go. Luckily, my mentor had a heart to heart with me on Skype. He helped me get really clear about the skills I had and how to apply them for cash.
Turns out, publishing ebooks and writing are a great fit for the freelance marketplace. So the first step along this path is to assess your skills and figure out which ones you can use as a freelancer to help other businesses grow.
- Are you good at writing or editing?
- What about web design?
- Can you make digital music or illustrations?
- What other skills do you have?
Step 2 – Become a Freelancer
Freelancing used to carry a completely different meaning than it does now. Today if you have skills businesses need, you can make money overnight from anywhere. To do that you have to set up a free account on a freelance platform. The biggest one is Upwork.com – they have the most jobs and clients.
For this part you need to fill out your profile and submit it for approval. Once you’re approved you’re free to apply to jobs right away. How much you work is completely up to you, and even if you only have a few hours a week you can earn an extra paycheck rivaling a full-time job.
Step 3 – Focus on Y.O.U.
Upwork alone has 50,000 to 100,000 freelancers and some have been at it for years. So how do you get noticed when you don’t have proof of what you can do? I started with no degree, no 5 star feedback, and no portfolio. But there were two MAJOR advantages I had over others.
First, most new freelancers set rates based on what they’d earn at a job. To stand out, I set rates below minimum wage at $5/hr to start. Then I searched for gigs and waited until I found a client who was an exact perfect match so I could over-deliver and impress. This ensured I’d get more work in the future and maybe even referrals.
Second, I used what I call a Y.O.U. Focus. When you write a resume, you focus on yourself. You talk about your experience and education and certificates. Most freelancers do it too. The thing is, clients don’t care about any of that. They just want to know how you can help them!
So if you want to get jobs fast, it’s simple…
All you have to do is switch to a Y.O.U. Focus. The word “you” should literally be one of the first words in your application. It’s kind of like writing a book in second person point of view. Write a draft of your application, then review it. Count how many times you use the word “I” and find ways to rephrase those parts with “you.”
Do that and I guarantee you’ll get hired over others in days!
Step 4 – Get Great Feedback & Grow
Everything to this point is to secure those first jobs. But $5/hr doesn’t add up fast. Plus you have a holiday deadline to meet! So how do you go from $5 to $1000 by Christmas?
Here’s how I did it:
After finishing my first $5/hr job, I asked the client to leave feedback about my work. He was so happy with the product he left 5 full stars. Getting 5 stars is important because that’s how you get more work. People see the stars and they feel comfortable hiring you.
So now that I had 5 star feedback, I gave myself a BIG raise to $10 an hour! Then I used the exact same process to land more clients. I repeated the strategy over and over. For each job, I delivered great work fast, and asked for feedback. Then I gave myself another raise.
At the end of the first week I pulled in $300 extra without ever leaving home. In week two I raised my rates to over $30/hr. and closed $1000. By the end of a month I landed my first $100/hr. client and continued to grow from there and today I write from home full-time.
So if money’s tight and you need Christmas cash, maybe give freelance a try. Who knows, if you love what you do this could even become a full-time thing for you!
Start small, create MASSIVE value, and focus on solving the client’s problems. Do that and when Christmas rolls around you’ll have an extra stash of cash for an epic holiday bash!