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The Classified Method

Use Upwork.com To Find Freelance Clients

I call this the Classified Method because it involves finding clients via the modern-day equivalent of newspaper classified ads.

That is: online job boards.

The biggest and most popular online job board for freelancers is Upwork.com.

Here’s what I recommend you do on Upwork.com to find your first clients:

  • Create a profile and get it approved
  • Search for high-quality jobs that interest you
  • Apply for those jobs (aim for at least 20)

Yes, that is really simplifying things, but it’s all you really need to get started.

And to help speed up this process I recommend you check out two guides I wrote about Upwork:

That guide will help you ensure you’re not wasting your time applying for crappy jobs, because there are a lot of crappy jobs posted on Upwork and you have to filter heavily to get to the good stuff.

That one will help you craft really good proposals really fast, so you can apply for more jobs on Upwork and thereby have a better chance of getting hired.

Upwork Tip

One additional tip I’ll give you for Upwork before we wrap up.

When you’re creating and sending pitches, as much as possible, include a relevant sample of your work.

If you put yourself in a client’s shoes for a minute, and imagine you’re hiring a freelancer off Upwork, what would be your biggest concern, your biggest fear?

Your biggest fear would be that you’ll hire someone who proves to be incompetent and fails to deliver the work.

As a freelancer, you can TELL clients that you can do great work for them, but it’s much more powerful to actually SHOW them.

And you do that with samples of your work.


  • If you’re applying for a writing job on Upwork, include a relevant writing sample in your pitch.
  • If you’re applying for a graphic design job, include a relevant piece of graphic design work you’ve done.
  • If you’re applying for a web design job, include a link to a website you’ve built.

Now of course, if you don’t already have those samples created, you’re probably not going to be able to create them along with doing everything else we’ve talked about this weekend, but that’s something you should be creating and adding to your arsenal going forward.

So that’s the third method in our step-by-step plan to find your first clients: Set up a profile on Upwork.com and apply for at least 20 jobs on there.

That is the Classified Method.

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