I’m officially a 1-year-old today as a freelancer!

How time flies! Today marks my first 365 days working as a freelancer.

After an expected laid off when the Covid-19 pandemic (I’m sure you all still remember) took its first hit in Canada, I realized how “job security” is really a myth. Things can change overnight. Degrees, experiences, past successes, and the value you can offer as an employee won’t matter much once you’ve become a liability to the business due to externalities. Rather than disappointing myself with more rejection letters or gaslighting from recruiters, I decided to do something different by becoming a freelancer.

On May 2nd, 2020…


Pros and cons of setting up your own shop on platforms like Upwork

There are SO many decisions to be made for an aspiring freelancer to set up her own shop providing professional services. Who, what, how, where, when, and why... With an excessive amount of resources, platforms, and options out there, it is almost impossible to make a decision. The overwhelming amount of unknowns and possibilities can cause just enough stress for some people to quit before even starting out.

I have been an exclusive Upwork freelancer on a part-time basis for a year, worked on 20+ projects, and hitting a $15,000 for a first-year record. In this article, I’ll compare the…


Every Writer Should Read About This!

An introduction of AI writing, written with AI writing software

I recently came across an AI writing software, my professor demonstrated this software in class for the topic of dialogues. Essentially, it is an AI writing tool that helps to write for you, or with you. From fiction, blog posts, to academic research, the purpose doesn’t seem to limit its capability.

I was skeptical and pessimistic: if the creative and humane works were to be replaced by the machine, it can’t be good for humanity.

Coincidently, I have recently picked up the book Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, the idea of experts’ intuition reminded me of this software…


A client-hunting strategy to find your feet quick and easy.

Either you are launching your freelance career on platforms like Upwork or a built-from-scratch website, you face the same challenge of landing the first few clients. Without any pre-existed reviews or social proofs, earning trust from clients can be a huge challenge.

It’s the same with everything else in life, that the beginning is often times the hardest time to get through. Not merely because of the lack of experience, but also issues with self-confidence, self-doubt, and imposter syndrome.

It breaks my heart to see people with much potential give up right before things start to get better. Knowing that…


Client Management

It’s easier to pick on things that didn’t involve your own effort.

There’s no doubt that it is hard to work with clients as a freelancer. With your own name on the wall, every step of the way becomes more impactful for your entire career. I bet you feel lonely and stressed sometimes to single-handily fulfill the tasks required by the clients. But what if I tell you that you don’t have to work alone?

In this article, I’ll explain why and how to include your clients in the process to accomplish optimal performance and achieve even higher client satisfaction.

What Does “Assigning Work to the Clients” Mean?

One of the most important lessons I learned from working at ad…


I made this mistake and you don't have to.

In my early days of freelance, I was always eager to get started when landing clients, as if I gotta hurry to punch the timer so that there’s no time left for them to realize they’ve hired the wrong person. While my enthusiasm and diligence often leave a great impression on my clients, the insecurity and self-doubt ended up costing me and taught me a valuable lesson.

My Mistake…

It was one of my first few contracts on Upwork, I was hired as a PR representative by an e-commerce brand to first dip their nose into the hot water of influencer marketing…


Make a first impression that gets you hired.

I started working as a freelancer not long after I graduated from university. At the time, I’ve completed several internships but never had a real full-time job. It was safe to say that I entered the playing field without much professional experience to leverage. Yet, within a year’s time, I managed to establish a 5-figure freelance practice with returning clients on Upwork while studying full-time in university for my master’s degree.

I originally shared this framework as a guest speaker at a freelance-related webinar. Later, several people reached out to me with a thank you note saying that they’ve landed…


Networking

Only real connections count!

If you are somewhat active on social media, you must have heard of Clubhouse (if you haven’t already joined). Since early 2021, this audio-based, invite-only, and IOS-exclusive social app has been a hotshot, attracting 8 million new users in one month.

While the application allows any users to start chat rooms, share unique insights, and build a following, it may disappoint you if you want to rely on it to land new clients. Instead of Clubhouse, I find Lunchclub a better platform to connect with compatible professionals and spark potential for future collaborations.


Client Management

The benefits and field guide to adopting a client’s POV.

95% of clients I work with are not located in my area. We could work for years and have a next to zero chance to ever meet in person. If you think about it from the client’s perspective: it is actually scary and risky to hire a “professional” online with their hard-earned money. If they are more of the hands-on type, it’s easy for them to get insured: What if the person I hire decided to ghost in the middle of the contract? What if they don’t deliver as promised?

How do you build trust and be on your clients’…


Don’t be annoying!

And what to look out for when you are sending one?

Even back in my days as a barista, I got “after-hour” work messages sometimes regarding inventory and schedule changes. I guess it’s safe to say that we’ve all received messages after regular operating hours. Especially when you are a freelancer with a global client base, you are no stranger to receiving work messages around the clock.

So, how fast should you respond to these messages, delivering the best work without exploiting your downtime? In this post, I will share how I approach my “after-hour” work messages.

With my clients and teams located in different time zones, I’m fully aware that…

Vivian Cheng

Top-Rated Digital Marketing & PR Specialist on Upwork. I write about personal stories, reflections, and solutions to a fulfilling and holistic freelance career.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store