Like I said earlier, I have been freelancing on Upwork for more than a year now. I specialize in SEM and more specifically in Facebook Ads.
I started doing Facebook Ads in 2012 for a former employer and thought it was pretty cool, but that was it really. At the time, I was not showing any real interest in SEM. In 2013, I started working on Google Ads campaigns for another company and started to enjoy it really. And then again, in 2014, I had the opportunity of being in charge of all the Facebook Ads for a post-secondary institution.
I worked on a lot of different campaigns and I knew Facebook Ads was starting to get huge. When I went back to Upwork after a 4-year hiatus, I knew I would probably be doing ads or market myself as an SEM specialist.
And that’s what I did.
Being a Facebook Ads Consultant on Upwork
It took me a while to figure out how to market myself and what to offer. I wasn’t sure if I had to be a consultant or a specialist.
I received a lot of invitations from small business owners that mostly wanted me to take care of their campaigns or to update them. At first, I was doing it on a monthly basis. Clients would pay me a monthly fee.
The problem was that some clients would talk to me for an hour a day when other clients would only need my help for an hour a week. So it was really difficult to make money with clients that wanted my help on a daily basis.
I decided to switch to something different. Now I was charging about the same amount of money but only for the setup. If clients needed more help, they would have to pay me on an hourly basis. It worked pretty well for a couple months.
And then I had back to back clients that were unresponsive.
Basically, when I do a Facebook Ads Campaign setup, it takes approximately a week to figure everything out. The right targeting, the right daily spend, copy, graphics etc. I tell my clients that they need to be around or it’s not going to work. I can’t decide to go from $20 a day to $50 without their approval for example.
In January, I had 3 clients that agreed to work with me (2 on the same day!). I had to create their Facebook Ads campaign from scratch. At first, they were really responsive but after I started my testing and basically told them we needed to refine the targeting + their landing page because we were not getting results, I almost didn’t hear back.
I know they are really busy, I know Facebook Ads is not really their top priority but still. I ask for 50% upfront anyway so that way I get somewhat compensated no matter what. It’s still extremely frustrating. AND it was the first time that I had to face this.
Client 1: Paid 85%, project is on hold until he figures things out with his new business. It’s been 2 months.
Client 2: Paid 50%, haven’t heard back from him in a week, not sure what he wants to do. I gave him options.
Client 3: Paid 50%, doesn’t seem to be in a rush, she is supposed to provide me with graphics and had to update her landing page. It’s been almost 2 weeks.
What I have learned
Once again, I have decided to change the way I work. I will most probably charge people on an hourly basis now. If they want to hold off that’s fine, but at least I am getting paid no matter what. I have also raised my fee to make sure I get serious clients.
Don’t get me wrong, I know people are busy, I get that but when they start to become unresponsive and you have to chase them to continue working on their project, there is a problem. And Upwork doesn’t like when contracts are not getting any new milestones.
I’ll have to end the contract with client 1 soon, I already told him, he never got back to me.