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But when you're just starting out, how can you get your name out there? Sure, you can write blog posts and craft some good SEO, but who is going to trust someone without reviews from a centralized source?

Centralized sources have the same problem though. Almost every job on upwork is posted with a requirement of a job score of 90+. You can only get a job score by completing something on their platform and getting a positive review.

OP said he did a project for $10, which for most freelancers is maybe 5 minutes of work at their standard rate. If you're going to work for free, might as well do it in your own circle and build out from there.

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