Freelance Success Story Bamidele Onibalusi can, by example, show you the ropes. In any venture, you need to find reliable people to follow.
Coming at these next posts from the angle of 4 Bloggers who are also Maniac Marketers, I realized too late (as this first one is late), that I had not grasped the significance of calling them Marketers.
They are writers – darn good writers – but they have also learned to let others know they exist without appearing to be shouting at you from a street corner.
Apart from having a website, what does that entail?
In Bamidele’s case, I checked back to when I first subscribed to his mailing list: September 2015. And what made me do it? A freebie…and what I perceived to be over-delivery–not a list of 100, but 110 websites that pay freelancers for their writing.
That’s a very valuable tool (and many people have followed suit and now offer what Bamidele offers, some simply by copying his list–kind of a shame–but there’s no end to what some people will do to ‘get ahead’!)
Have I done anything with the list? Nope. Not yet. But I was like Doc from Back to the Future trying to fathom what a smartphone is. The list looked like some magic tool created to bridge gaps and foster communication (which it is), but I’m still using it to send funny cat videos to my friends.
So what’s missing here?
What do you need besides a website?
In my case, a vocabulary and a mindset. My vocabulary has grown over the past few months to grapple with words like:
- cold pitch, niche market, soft-sell vs. sleazy-sell, keywords
- distinguish between ‘blog’ and ‘post’ (that caused a cold sweat)
- and I’m still in combat with acronyms like SEO, SERPs, B2B, CTR, and GA
- and let’s not even talk about hashtags – that’s Alpha Centauri to me
And as to mindset? Who says I can earn money from home working at my computer? Not me! (Not helpful.)
I believe ability can get you to the top,” says coach John Wooden, “but it takes character to keep you there.… It’s so easy to … begin thinking you can just ‘turn it on’ automatically, without proper preparation. It takes real character to keep working as hard or even harder once you’re there. When you read about an athlete or team that wins over and over and over, remind yourself, ‘More than ability, they have character.’ – Carol Dweck
Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane…
Blogger is only a smidgeon of what Bamidele Onibalusi is about. He is also an oversubscribed content writer for several niches, a catfish farmer, and now a produce farmer in his quest to feed the hungry.
Just this week, Write Worldwide published a telling interview that includes how Bamidele felt about starting so young (in his teens). That was coming off the presses as I was about to post this, and I held off so that I wouldn’t duplicate content.
So, what is it about this young African gentleman that impresses me? First off, that he’s a young African. In Africa. Ibadan, Nigeria, to be precise. But more to the point, he is a unique leader. And the lovely part is, his name, Bamidele, means ‘follow me home’.
There are a lot of gurus out there with advice on how to become a successful freelancer. But there is only one I know of who did what Bamidele did the Summer and Fall of 2016.
I’ve seen courses that cost anywhere from $27 to $2700, and they vary in their promises. Not one of them took on the live challenge of making an unknown freelancer a success, taking them from $0 to $1000 in income in just 60 days, but Bamidele did that:
Without further ado, the challenge will be starting with immediate effect: that’s today, the 25th of July, 2016. My aim is that exactly two months from now (by the 25th of September, 2016), not only would this challenge have been a success, but as many people as are following along would have a freelance writing career generating thousands of dollars monthly.
There are a number of skills needed to be a writer. If you want to make money from your writing, you must also learn proper marketing, and apart from the freebie at Bamidele’s website, he offers practical advice in his posts, and once he had my email, he has communicated regularly, even personally, which I find gratifying.
To become a freelance success story, you need to explore this real person’s journey and follow him, because Bamidele is still on his way up.
I love that he is open about his life, his work, his background. Just last week, he told me he was planting plantains and yams.
Me: Is catfish farming something you intend to continue with? It looks like you are helping others learn to do it
Bamidele: Yes, catfish farming is something I absolutely intend to continue with. It’s a core part of my future business trajectory. I’m constantly expanding my other farming ventures, too; last year/this year, too, I planted about 3,000 suckers of plantains, and I’m already working on planting at least 40,000 heaps of yams on one of my farms — about 26 acres.
Me: Wow, thanks. How many farms do you have?
You’re not planting all these by yourself, are you? Does this employ others? I’m absolutely ignorant of the economy and all else where you live.
I have wondered if some of your drive comes from hardship that some people don’t experience…
Bamidele: I’ll be darned if I had to make and plant 40,000 heaps by myself — it takes 10 people a day to make 1,000 heaps. And it will take them a day to plant about 3,000 to 4,000 heaps. Currently, I employ about 12 people at my farms; I have farms at about four different locations, but I’m currently actively working on two.
Me: You are too ‘darn’ busy as you say!
Bamidele: In terms of hardship, it has indeed shaped me — however, my current drive goes beyond just hardship. Sometimes, in a single month, I can spend tens of thousands of dollars on my offline businesses, and that’s a lot of money here — which is more than sufficient for my daily living. However, it is part of my dreams to feed Africa and the world, and I’m gradually making moves towards this
Are you marketing your strengths?
Until last July when the 1K Challenge began, I had not established any social media accounts. I take that back; I might have had seven Facebook Friends. I’d had a previous Facebook Profile when I was a music teacher, but I’ve deleted that account and ‘Friends’ along with it; I wanted to move on from that career.
How did I learn about Bamidele Onibalusi? Knowing I wanted to earn money online, I found a lot of people to follow.
I started exploring his website, where I found: One. Practical. Bit. Of. Advice. After. Another. The Writers in Charge website is truly chock full of actionable suggestions and step-by-step methods for achieving success as a freelancer, mostly free as blog posts, a bit to buy which he removed currently, but will reinstate, he tells me. I bought his Freelancer’s Success Guide and it’s a great guide.
What Bamidele offers to everyone
Based on this entrepreneur’s success, when he offered a FREE ticket to watch him use an alias to go from being an unknown writer to earning $1000 a month, I for one, could not resist. Soon he had a well over a thousand people interested.
There are classes aplenty you can spend your money on to do this very thing. I’ve run into those offers so much, I realize it’s become an industry. Here was Bamidele (still don’t know if my phonetic pronunciation of his name in my head is the way he would say it), an ESL writer, a black man, and an African to boot going to show us how it’s done. Fantabulous—what fool would not go along with this?
And you can still take him up on the challenge, free.
What do you have to offer?
As a music teacher, I had to use a vocabulary of obtuse words like:
- ‘quarter note, half note, whole note’ (which I learned to say as ‘crotchet, minim, semibreve’ when I taught in England)
- Italian terms like forte, piano, crescendo, diminuendo, subito, allegro and French and German to keep it simple (ha ha)
I worked all my life to help people express themselves musically, making those words become tools for people so they could more purposely practice their instrument, create music, and listen to music with greater understanding.
I was a marketing genius in the classroom and in private teaching. I created interactive materials that drew people into the world of music using all five senses: hearing, touch/movement, taste (yes, M&M’s can be awesome rewards), sight, and even smell when it came to baking cookies that we sold to raise money for the department.
And you can do it too
Bamidele offers practical advice on places to pitch your writing and much, much more.
In the following weeks, looking at Henneke Duistermaat, Jon Morrow, and Carol Tice, I will explore how these marketers too, have made use of their strengths, and how we can learn from them in our climb to be the best we can be.
Any particular advice you might have for a new freelancer?
Any experience that set you in the right direction?
Let us know in the comments!