Hello! This is Usama Shahid from Faisalabad.
From an early age, I fancied computers, and later on when I discovered the internet and the things we could build using it, led me to pursue Computer Sciences in the university.
(2015) Ever since I entered the university, I was trying to make money on the internet although for a year or so I couldn’t, so I gave up on traditional freelancing platforms. My initial expertise was graphics designing and there was a lot of competition in this niche on freelancing platforms. I decided to volunteer this expertise in different organizations and societies which ultimately helped me to get experience and improve my skillset.
Fast forward a few years, I dropped out of university as I was not able to maintain a good Grade Point Average (GPA). Being a computer and internet enthusiast, I fancied practical learning over classes, and during my studies, I spent a lot of time working with international organizations and companies which limited down my time to prepare for exams in the university. Ultimately the university terminated my degree in the 7th semester.
A new chapter:
(2019) After dropping out, I put all my focus on work. At this moment, I had picked up a few more skills (marketing automation, chatbots, digital marketing) which I used to cater to a few local clients, although at this moment, I also decided to give another shot to the top freelancing platforms.
How Fiverr helped me revive my freelancing journey:
I opened my Fiverr profile again (that I had established In 2015) and made new gigs that revolved around marketing automation (at that time this niche had low competition), and in a month or two, my gigs started to pick up. From that day onwards it has been my #1 source of revenue in terms of freelancing. My approach on Fiverr was simple, deliver great work but at a considerable amount. This led me to build good relations with some clients which gave me much more projects. Over the last 2 years, I have delivered 300+ projects maintaining a 5-star rating (223 reviews).
Fiverr has been great, in 2015 it didn’t work for me but this time around I knew that I had to target the right niche which got me the results.
Fiverr is my go-to platform but I dedicate only a couple of hours a day, while the rest of my day is focused on growing my digital agency.
Diversifying my freelancing profile:
After hearing about the experiences of a few people who were suspended by Fiverr for whichever reason, I decided to try other platforms like Upwork and PPH too so I don’t put all the eggs in one basket. I already had repeat buyers/ clients so I asked them for a favor (that they hire me on PPH or Upwork for the next projects) in exchange for a discounted fee on my service.
This helped me build up to two more profiles on two different platforms which then made it easy for me to get more business. I’d highly recommend any freelancer to do this so they can have multiple streams of income (from different freelancing platforms).
Adding a new revenue stream:
As I was also providing digital marketing services, some of the clients started hiring me for consultancy. I’d advise them which tools to use and help them set up. As this work required researching about what tools can help my clients, I started to join the AFFILIATE PROGRAMS of multiple tools, and when my clients needed those tools I’d use my referral (and inform them), they had no problem with it as most tools gave discounts via Affiliates.
This helped me build up a new revenue stream. I remember my first commission was $2, but slowly over time this started increasing and in less than 2 years, I was able to achieve $500/ month recurring affiliate commissions.
It is important to note that I mostly preferred AFFILIATE PROGRAMS that pay recurring commissions and not just one time. This helps you establish a good and stable revenue stream.
Conclusion: What is in it for you?
I hope this story helps you in your freelancing journey. Starting Freelancing and never giving up on it has been a life-changing decision for me and I know it can help transform the lives of much more people out there. As of now, I have transitioned to running a full-time digital agency which couldn’t have been possible without freelancing. Getting featured in the Unsung heroes series by Hisham Sarwar sums up my freelancing journey.
From almost giving up on freelancing to forming my own agency, it has been a long and blissful journey.
Now, what can you take away from this?
- Change your approach towards freelancing if it’s not working out for you
- Diversify your profile and transition to an agency/ company
Thank you for reading my story, I wish you all the luck in your freelancing journey.