Confessions of an Uber Pro Diamond Ant

Do you need a rideshare coach? It depends – are you making enough money with the strategies you’re using? Senior RSG contributor Sergio Avedian shares how his coaching of a self-confessed Uber Pro Diamond Ant completely changed how he views rideshare driving – and how he nearly doubled his hourly earnings after one session.

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Knowledge is Power

Over the past few months, as a senior contributor for RSG, I have learned a lot. I knew that drivers needed help to make more money, but I did not imagine how even general knowledge and application of simplest of strategies could affect someone’s pocketbook in such a drastic fashion. It has truly been gratifying to see my students doing so well.

After I interviewed 40 Uber and Lyft drivers, my belief in teaching and coaching of drivers was solidified. According to our Uber driver survey, over 60% of rideshare drivers quit in less than a year, with the main reason being burnout and low earnings. I wish I could reach them all and show them that there is a way to be successful as a full- or part-time driver.

There are a lot of skeptics out there who tell me that I live in a major city (Los Angeles), surge is plentiful and ride requests are non-stop 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Yes, there is some truth to that, but I must emphasize that Los Angeles has some of the lowest rates in the country for UberX. We get paid 60 cents a mile and 21 cents a minute for base fare rides. At those rates, most rides are not profitable, hence the necessity of surge only strategies.

I won’t sugarcoat things: drivers have seen rates get slashed, bonuses disappear and more. Most drivers do not drive in California, where things are looking up thanks to recent driver fare card changes and more. And don’t even get me started on Lyft!

However, I still believe drivers can maximize the earnings regardless of what city they live in. Until autonomous vehicles really take over, we are in charge. Below, I’ll share how one driver implemented my strategies to increase his earnings in Washington, D.C.

Introducing Ken

I got Ken’s request for rideshare coaching a couple of months ago. I live in Los Angeles, he lives in Maryland and mainly drives in Washington, DC. Initially, I thought I wouldn’t be able to help him because I don’t know Washington, DC well enough. But over the past few years, I have coached many drivers in different cities/states with very similar results, with their earnings immediately improving to the tune of 25-50%! Armed with the basic fundamentals, advanced strategies and Ken’s open mindedness, we went to work. I usually keep in touch with my students after the initial coaching session to see how quickly they are improving. In Ken’s case, it didn’t take long to see positive results, and I couldn’t be more proud!

Before Sergio Driving

Ken began driving for Uber in Washington, DC in 2019. Prior to working with me, Ken was an ‘ant’ – someone who blindly drives for Uber, going where Uber tells them to go. This term was coined because on the Uber rider app, drivers look like ants moving all over the place. Like ants, they cover a lot of ground, and do a lot of work, but they end up getting squashed.

In fact, Ken was not just any ant. Ken was an Uber Pro Diamond Ant! He had close to 3,000 rides and a 4.95 rating, but he was putting a lot of miles on his car and dealing with costly repairs.

Before working with me (Ken calls me ‘surging Sergio’), Ken made around $17-19 an hour (see images below) before expenses. In the images below, you can see he drove many hours (51 in this case) and barely made above minimum wage (after expenses) – in a very expensive city, no less!

After Sergio Driving

After Ken’s coaching call with me, he went out for a weekend of driving. On Friday, 17 out of 20 rides were surge rides. The next day, Saturday, 14 out of 15 rides were surge rides. Ken ended his week earning $1080 for 33 hours of driving, coming in at $32 an hour.

Ken now makes between $27-32 an hour based on my strategies (see images below).

Main Takeaways: Why You Need a Rideshare Coach

In Ken’s own words:

“I had a coaching call with Sergio Avedian, and it only cost me $75, but after a few weeks of applying his strategies, I must say it is worth 10 times that. My Return on Investment (ROI) was ridiculously short. In one week I recouped more than the $75 I paid him. Sergio specializes in surge only/mostly driving techniques, and that one hour (he spent more time with me than that) coaching session opened my eyes to how I could be earning a lot more and work a lot less.

If you only get one thing from this article, do this one thing. Seek the advice of people who know how to maximize their earnings, because there is another way to go about doing rideshare. You can still earn a living wage despite the Uber cuts, if you learn from those who have figured how to optimize driving for Uber by earning the most while working the least.”

Specifically, I recommend the following for drivers looking to maximize their earnings on the road:

1) Don’t drive blind – Get a second phone. It can be a cheap old phone. You don’t have to get a new number, just hotspot it off your current phone. You can be logged on to both phones, but you will only accept rides on one of your phones. Use the other phone to see what is going on around the area.

2) If it’s surging or busy, learn how to stop requests as soon as you pick up the passenger. If it’s not busy, it’s fine to receive stacked requests but if it’s busy, don’t accept requests until you get close to passenger drop off and during the ride, determine your next move. Often you will get a request that takes you away from the surge while there was one couple of minutes away.

3) Learn surge intelligence – surge is not a mysterious animal, it has a rhythm. Find out your city’s surge rhythm. Where and why does it normally surge? What time? How does the surge grow, does the center of the surge move North, South, East or West? How long does that surge last?

4) Learn the 3 P’s. Sergio covered this in his previous article on rideshare coaching, but it bears repeating. Make sure to plan, position and be patient!

Ken realized that when the government shutdown, Uber drivers suffered since DC is such a government town. There was less demand and more drivers out, since people were not working. These types of external events can be demoralizing if you don’t have a plan, but now having obtained rideshare coaching, Ken has a new motto (‘drive and learn’) and finds driving more exciting.

Are you interested in rideshare coaching? Sign up with one of our coaches here.

What do you think, does coaching a driver produce better than average results? Would you be interested in live seminars? What would you pay for it?

-Sergio @ RSG