What type of clients will you take on? What rates will you charge? Having the answers to these questions can help you very intentionally make the rest of your business decisions throughout 2017 and beyond.
To help you in this process, and in the spirit of the holidays, Freelance Transformation has a small gift for you. We are going to go through a small exercise together that Matt's students have universally found helpful in defining what they want their freelancing to look like, and consequently, how to make better decisions in their freelancing.
Khierstyn Ross, of Crowdfunding Uncut, is a crowdfunding strategist, working on campaigns that raise hundreds of thousands of dollars on Indiegogo and Kickstarter. Khierstyn didn’t start there of course, but discovered what she was best at and most enjoyed while working through client projects. Once she decided to niche down, she became one of the highest in-demand crowdfunding experts.
Khierstyn shares how she went from a generalist to a specialist, what that did for her business, how she built authority in this space, how she finds clients, and how she prices herself for a service where the results are so uncertain.
Mark Fromson is a freelance digital project manager who works for agencies rather than the end client. Agencies frequently rely on freelancers as a way to gain access to skills they otherwise wouldn’t have, and to be able to grow or shrink their team to meet a changing workload.
As a freelancer there can be some advantages to having agencies as clients, such as the possibility of working on larger projects than you’re likely to win on your own, collaborating with a team, and not having to be the one that goes out there and wins the end client.
Mark Fromson shares the ins and outs of what agencies are looking for in a freelancer, how to connect with them and build long-term relationships, and the pros and cons of targeting agencies instead of the end client.
Joe Sanok, founder of Practice of the Practice, shares how you can stop thinking of selling your services as a strictly time for money deal. The secret is thinking about your business as a system that you can build processes around, rather than doing everything yourself.
Joe will be sharing how he built his counselling clinic so it ran without being completely dependent on him, how and why he decided to start coaching other practitioners, how he productized the services that he offers to them, and how he built highly systematized funnels for finding and winning them as clients.
Jana Sedivy performs customer experience research for B2B companies. She helps companies that create and sell software to other businesses better understand their customers and identify ways they can improve the customer experience. Jana has worked with companies such as Adobe and Nuance, and she also holds twenty-one technology patents and is published in peer-reviewed user experience journals.
In this episode, Jana shares how she got started consulting and how you can start building the authority and connections so you can start winning these big clients as well.
Freelancing can grant you tremendous control over your life and your day-to-day work, but being your own boss comes with some challenges. For example, the anxiety and weight of dealing with stressful work situations and clients, the isolation of working alone, and managing all aspects of your life efficiently and responsibly, which includes having the difficult discussions about finances and time management with your significant other.
Sherry Walling is a clinical psychologist, one of her specialties is working with entrepreneurs, and she is the wife of an entrepreneur so she has both the clinical and personal perspective. Sherry reviews how you can balance self care with productivity in your business by identifying and working through anxiety triggers, catching early signs of stress and preventing stress from building up, and maintaining a healthy, supportive relationship with your significant other.
Cassie Howard is a business consultant for bad-ass women entrepreneurs who aren't afraid to be themselves and say what they need to say in order to help their community.
Cassie got into coaching two years ago when she started to engage with potential clients in Facebook groups and started her own group. Cassie loves it and doesn't even feel like she is doing work. She is excited to connect with her clients and create significant things for her clients and community that impact so many people's lives. Plus she gets paid well for it. So well that she hit 6 figures within her first year.
The secret to her success? Being her authentic self and Facebook.
Jake Jorgovan is the founder of Outbound Creative, where he helps consulting companies and agencies win their dream clients. But he doesn’t just talk the talk. Before starting this agency, he did business development at a video production agency where his strategies allowed him to bring in multiple fortune 500 clients and A-list touring artists.
Jake shares strategies to reach out to clients directly as well as strategic partners who have the same clients that you want to target. Jake shares how to identify your dream client and dream strategic partner, how to do the research to figure out who to talk to and how to contact them, and how to reach out through email, conferences, podcasts, and cake. Yes, cake.
If the primary product that you sell is your labour, then how can you leverage your time so that the money you earn isn’t directly tied to the number of hours that you work?
Nina Kaufman is the founder of Business Exponential, where she helps service-based entrepreneurs build companies that don’t rely completely on them. Nina will share the story of the hard truths she discovered when she tried to sell her law firm, and several ways that you can leverage your time, from simply freeing up more time while charging the same, all the way up to building a business that you could even sell.
Esther Kiss is the founder of Born to Influence, a boutique publicity firm that helps her clients get featured on TV, newspapers, magazines, and top podcasts. In a sea of people all claiming to do the same thing, Esther stands out and gets noticed by both clients and the media that she gets them booked on.
Esther shares how she built up her business from very humble beginnings, why she’s able to connect with influencers, how to attract the right clients through referrals, how to qualify if a client is a great fit, and much much more.
Why is it that some people seem to pull off seemingly impossible feats, such as winning incredible clients, scaling their business, or just getting something that they really want? Meanwhile others seem to get stuck at every obstacle that’s put in their way. To be a successful freelancer, you have to think like an entrepreneur. That’s true whether you’re looking to stay solo and small, or you’re looking to build multiple seven figure businesses.
Cole Hatter is a serial entrepreneur, and somebody that embodies finding a path forward instead of giving up. Cole started out as a fireman, found himself wheelchair bound after a really bad accident, started a real estate business, had that fall apart in the 2008 crash, learned his lessons, then rebounded with new companies, and helped others along the way.
Rachel Pedersen's daughter was going to start school in a few months and Rachel suddenly had this vision of someone else driving her daughter to school and picking her up and spending time with her while Rachel worked in an office 9-5. This image was Rachel's breaking point and her drive to give freelancing another go.
The first attempt at freelancing on her own left her stressed out because she didn't know how to get clients. But for the second attempt, Rachel had a plan. She leveraged her network on LinkedIn to make connections to over 7,500 people. After only 1 year, she no longer has to actively search for clients and makes a 6-figure income. Rachel shares how she went from being a hairstylist to a social media manager and strategist.
The goal for many freelancers is freedom. Freedom from the stress of debt, making payments on time, and saving for the future. Freedom to schedule your time the way you want to so you can make time to spend with your children and go on vacation. And freedom to run a business the way you want so that you enjoy your job and your life.
Vincent Pugliese and his wife made freedom a priority in their life so they set up their own photography business, paid off their debts, started a family, and get to run their own lives while making ten times more than what they made working full time. Vincent shares how.
If you feel like you can’t be the one that gets in front of the great clients, if you’re wondering why the heck anyone would listen to you, if you’re wondering how to build up a personal brand from scratch and get it in front of the right people, the ones that can buy from you, this interview is for you.
Louie La Vella has interviewed and sometimes partied with A-List celebrities, built up a consulting practice helping entertainment personalities, concerts, and festivals market themselves, and he built all this with a deceptively simple approach to his career and business.
The vast majority of the people that could be amazing clients for you are not currently looking for your services. Only about 3% of your target audience is actively looking for a freelancer. So you end up dumpster diving for those 3% and competing as a commodity. Stop!
Joshua Lisec shares how you can reach the 97% who have the specific problem that you know how to expertly solve and convert them into paying customers. Joshua shares how he positions himself as the trusted advisor in the community, thus cultivating desire for his services.
In this episode, Matt answers some of the frequently asked listener questions about freelancing.
Does working remotely mean no local clients?
How do I start getting clients?
What is a fair price to charge?
How much time should I spend on client work?
With connections come opportunities. Connections can lead to mentors, new clients, speaking engagements, publications, and collaborations. But how do you meet people and intentionally build connections?
Michael Roderick is a relationship designer, a master connector. Michael has a talent for connecting people who can mutually benefit from each other's expertise. Here, Michael shares how you can build your own connections, why connections are so important, who to connect with, and how to maintain these valuable relationships.
There are a lot of great reasons to get industry experience first before setting off on your own. When Ram Castillo graduated from design school, he acquired experience by working at a major agency. How did he get into a design firm when no one was hiring designers? He took a job in the mailroom. While he delivered mail and fetched coffee, he also had conversations with some of the top designers in the world who gave him insight into how projects are run in the real world and how to balance quality with budget.
Ram shares how he rapidly built a career working at major agencies and on major brands, how he created mentorship opportunities for himself at every step, why he constantly stood out, and how and why he transitioned all that into freelancing.
If you are a small solo operator or you have a small team working on software development, efficient project management is just as important as it is for larger teams in enterprises. However, does it make sense to implement something as heavy as agile methodology, designed for the big teams, if you are small?
Jason Mundok, co-founder of Elusive Moose, has taken the principles of agile project management and rescaled it for his one-person software development consultancy. He shares how using an agile-like approach keeps his projects on track, saves time and money, and creates happy clients.
Working remotely is a big part of the freelancing dream for many of us, working from your home office, and having the ability to travel anywhere even with very short notice. The bottom line is that there are some freedoms that come from not having your geography dictate who you can work with or how you work with them. For instance, when you work remotely, you don't end up losing a half day of work every time you have to drive somewhere to meet a client and then realize that the client didn't have all the much to say.
Laura Elizabeth has figured out the formula for working remotely with clients around the world while sitting in her home office in a fairly small town in the UK. Laura has built structures and processes that let her work effectively and efficiently with her clients, independent of geography, while also building amazing client relationships. In this episode, Laura explains why clients hire her instead of someone local, how to deliver on great work, and how to being remote has become an advantage rather than something that gets in her way.
Brennan Dunn was a guest on Freelance Transformation all the way back in FT 006: How to be a High Value Consultant with Brennan Dunn. Brennan, of Double Your Freelancing Academy, is back again in episode 75 to describe the successes of his students from Double Your Freelancing Clients and Double Your Freelancing Rate.
That's right, episode 75! Of course, we have you, wonderful listeners, to thank! And to thank you properly, at the end of the episode, Matt and Brennan describe a unique opportunity for FT listeners for Brennan's latest course, Double Your Freelancing Academy, a high intensity course that will give you the equivalent of an MBA in Freelancing!
There are just not enough hours in the day to hustle through client work and also build relationships with prospects. It is easy to neglect one or the other group. But what if both groups were the same, client and prospects? There is so much potential for repeat business and long-term engagements!
Dan Englander, author of Mastering Account Management and The B2B Sales Blueprint, digs into how to manage your client accounts so you can build longterm relationships with your clients. Dan explains how you can build mutual understanding with your client, how to figure out your client pains, how to keep the client form going quiet, and how to decide who to work with.
Does this scenario sound familiar? A prospective client comes to you with a set of specifications for a project they want done. You clarify the specs a bit, quote the project, hopefully win the work and deliver? What could go wrong?
Plenty. For starters you’re doing the client a big disservice by expecting them to know what they want, rather than you, as the expert, recommending a solution. And you’re doing your own bank account a big disservice as well, since simply executing work a client gives you turns you into a commodity labourer, instead of an expert. That means your rates and ability to attract high quality clients will suffer accordingly.
So what’s the alternative? Figure out what the client really wants and the problem they want to solve.
Eric White, from Think Motile, uses a fascinating framework called Jobs-to-Be-Done to dig out why someone is looking for a product or a service, such as consulting work. Eric shares some of the tools in this framework that you can use to figure out what a client actually wants, what is prompting the client to desire this project, and ultimately how that allows you to deliver much better results for your clients and yourself.
Finding and on-boarding new clients is time-consuming and emotionally straining. So why not focus on the clients you already have? Chances are, you have much more to offer your existing clients than what the original project addressed which makes existing clients a valuable asset to your freelancing business.
Christopher Hawkins shares how he maintained a six-figure income by selling to existing clients and created a sustainable business and income stream for himself. He explains how he changed his perspective when approaching client projects from looking at his project in isolation to seeing how it fits in with the bigger business goals. He also explains how to build and maintain client relationships so selling to existing clients is more like catching up rather than pushing a sale.
Ready to start selling to your existing freelancing clients?
Today's episode features the story of a someone who is always pushing himself and taking on new opportunities, passionately living in the moment and loving what he does for work.
This is the story of Kevin Rogers, now a prominent copy chief (http://copychief.com/) who connects clients with freelance copywriters and coaches freelancers along the way. But his current position is a long way from the 18 year old comedian who toured the country for a decade in a beat up Chevy Nova, hoping he would have enough gas to make it to the next gig. It was an awesome life for a twenty something, but not sustainable.
Kevin shares why and how he made the transition. Kevin's success can be attributed to his inspiring personality, his desire to strive to be his best and constantly challenge himself, and, of course, the many mentors who showed him what was possible.