Freelance Business Month: Insights
Active, independent, and eager to improve. More than 1000 professionals spent two additional hours every day improving their entrepreneurial skills so that our clients could have better results. This is the extra mile we are willing to go. And now you can enjoy the fine selection of hand-picked insights in a 7-minute read.
My expertise combines graphic design and behavioural science.
But my profession needs to cover so much more than that.
As a freelancer, I need to be an agile negotiator, a powerful networker, and a fair boss. An intrepid solo-preneur. My own cheerleader.
How to navigate the sea of endless options and avoid possible pitfalls? Get inspired...
#Quotable: Freelancing is like dating.
Alison Grade, Masterclass: What Makes a Successful Freelancer?
Why is freelancing like dating? The very first impression counts. You need to believe your bring something valuable to the table. Both parties seeks a long-term relationship, both need to share values to be able to communicate, both want to spend their time with someone who they feel comfortable around.
Alison´s advice? Just like you start a date, start low key, do your best and see where it goes. Build lasting relationships step by step.
#Relatable: I failed a lot.
Almost Everyone, FBM
Freelancing and entrepeneurship in general are not easy, especially at the very beginning. You can´t expect to become a national star from day one. It takes time and effort to build your brand. Success does not come overnight.
Ross Welch: We are all so scared of failing all the time that just need to go for it. If you do what makes you happy than you cannot make any bad decisions. Every decision that you make in life will be the right decision for that moment in your life so there´s no good looking back on it in 10 years with regret.
Matthew Mottola: When scaling your business, you are going to fail. You are going to fail a lot. But get out there and act. You have to act, you have to measure and you have to learn.
#HotTip: Start with research, do your homework.
Anastasiia Dehtiarova, Livestream: Content Strategy
When Anastasiia started working on her first projects, she always got one folder to collect all the content she could find. Moodboard, research, everything relevant.
Always start with research: What are your competitors saying? What are they not saying? What do you know from people who looked into similar topic before you? Can you find bigger publications to get inspiration and knowledge from? Why other companies failed pursuing what you pursure? How is you situation different? How are you different?
This is what I would call a shift from assumption-based to research-based creativity. I am happy to see academical approach fighting for its way into freelance business. My tip: Collaborate with a diligent student. They know how to do it. You can learn a lot from them.
#Enlightened: Thought-leaders win more contracts.
Angela Heath, Masterclass: 10X Your Freelance Business Through Public Speaking
Writing and speaking makes you a thought-leader. Thought-leaders make more money and get more contracts. Period.
But how do you write a book? Pick 12 topics that people in your field talk about. Make them your chapters. Find out more and divide each topic into 15 sub-topics. Write one page per sub-topic. Not so hard, is it?
#Audacious: Feel free to fire your clients.
Paul Rulkens, Masterclass: The Power of Strategic Quitting
Strategic quitting is not giving up. It is a thoughful way to declutter a busy schedule so that you could invest your energy somewhere else. One of your options: apply the 80/20 principle to your client management.
How? 80% of overall value comes from the top 20% of your clients.
Similarly, 80% of your headaches comes from the low 20% of your clients.
These two groups do not usually overlap.
Hire, fire a promote your clients accordingly. If you need more time to work on your business behind the scenes, well.. this option is always available.
#KnowYourValue: Freelancers offer hyper-relevant skills.
Matthew Mottola, Presentation: The Future of Freelancing
One of the main strategic values of freelancers lies in the hyper-relevant skills we acquire when going freelance. We are not only highly specialized experts in our respective fields. We also have a hyper-relevant skill set ranging from flexibile communication to project management.
Clients hiring agencies do not know who exactly is going to work on their project. They depend on the reputation and achieved results of the agency. Nothing bad about it, this option can work seamlessly too. With freelancers though, clients choose a specific person with a specific mindset and skill set that is highly relevant to what the company wants to achieve.
#NoF1Here: This is not a race to the lowest price.
Ross Welsch, Masterclass: Creating a Stable Business and Getting Clients
Chris Raulf, Masterclass: Proven and Tested SEO Strategies for Freelancers
As a beginning freelancer, you come to a saturated market. People come out of schools with these cookie-cutter shaped minds and there are loads of people asking "hey, can I make a video for you?" and there are hundreds people to choose from in your industry. So what separates you from everyone else leaving the school? Usually it becomes a race to the lowest price and there we go.
Freelancing is shouldn´t be reduced to this rat race towards low-cost outcomes. Create additional value for your clients and offer them something more. Cheap rarely wins the game. Don´t feel you have to cater to people with low price, play the value card.
#Daring: Overcome the fear of naming your price.
Peter Janssens, Masterclass: Pricing your expertise
Many freelancers are scared to name their price. They feel deep down that they are asking too much. They are not comfortable enough. How to deal with that?
TIP 1. Set yourself a minimum and maximum price. You will have a daily rate of 600 - 800 EUR based on other crierita of each project and each client.
TIP 2. Your price consists of three elements: perceived trust + perceived credibility + perceived likeability. Is your price in harmony with the perceived qualities? Your rates should reflect the client´s perception. Too low or too high, it is bound to feel off.
#NeverLateAgain: Plan it or miss it.
Pavel Minar, Masterclass: Google Calendar
Declutter your mind, delegate planning and time-tracking. You don´t have to keep thinking about your errands all day every day. Google Calendar can take care of your meetings, deadlines as well as your goals for 2021.
Best practices? Create multiple calendars on your account to keep track of travelling, deadlines, and goals for the day. Pavel´s rule is simple: Plan it or miss it. If you don´t put an even in your calendar, it will never happen. Schedule time for you professional activities as well as family fun to keep up the healthy work-life balance.
#Resilient: Give yourself a good deal.
Jeroen Walravens, Masterclass: How Can We Find Resilience
There can never be a worse boss than yourself. With a normal boss, you can slack off and then pretend you are really busy when they see you. The problems is that when you are your own boss, you are always watching yourself. Breating on your own neck, watching over your own shoulder. As your own boss, you are inside your own head. You know all your thing that almost went wrong, all your doubts and insecurities. There is no getting away from it, turning off your phone will not help you.
So we are bad bosses, but we are even worse employees. It is easy to break your promise to yourself. What are you going to do? Fire yourself?
What now? Negotiate between the two of them and give yourself a good deal. Stop trying to satisfy your inner critique. Be diligent and keep your word.
#RealWorld: Optimize your negotiation process.
Robert Vlach, Interview: Freelance Business Negotiation
Don’t spend so much of your precious time on prospects with a relatively low chance of closing a deal. The sooner you start optimizing your negotiations, the better.
One way to do that is to design an optimized negotiation process. First, set your own basic rules, especially about how much time you are willing to give to something for free. Then run each negotiation along carefully designed steps to protect your time and identify possible red flags. You may reuse your preparations quite easily by using private guidelines or checklists, having email and proposal templates, a price list to sort out prospects who can’t afford you, etc. It will shorten ordinary negotiations, and mitigate risks as well.
#PerfectOneLiner: Make your pitch easy to repeat.
Stefan Palios, Presentation: How to Build an Inbound Funnel as a Freelancer
Philip Verhaege, Training: Create a Strong and Compelling Business Pitch in One Hour
So what do you do? What can you do for me? Why should I care?
A strong business pitch builds up to a conversation. Don´t think of it as a monologue. The pitch itself should be the gatekeeper to question follow-up around your client’s needs.
Your opening one-liner must be easy to repeat. Imagine your customer recommends you to their friend a few days after hearing you talk about your work. They won´t think much about the accuracy of your pitch. They don´t understand the nuances in your field. If you focus too much on accuracy in your pitch one-liner, you loose the end goal.
#Prophet: You are the future of work.
Matthew Mottola, Masterclass: The Secret to Scaling Your Business
Freelancing is not a gig economy.
Freelancing is not the 4-hour workweek.
Digital + Remote + Independent. This is the fundamental transformation of how we think about work. We go from the full-time office with physical space to the digital, remote and independent work. This is the best time to become an independent expert in your field in the history of our society.
#NoFOMO: Do not miss the next FBM!
Literally Every Participant.
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