With Americans on every front seeking jobs, developing their own outsource operations, and freelancing to make ends meet, you’d think someone would come up with some obvious solutions to help them. Well, I did. You really will want to read this and share it with your friends and family, because there are innovative ideas and solutions for those who need to add some income, or build a business, or grow a life outside the traditional workforce.
Resources are abundantly available for those who wish to start up an “outsource” or freelance for big business, but you need to know where to find them and how to find the jobs. We offer a selection of top quality resources for business development or freelance marketing to increase your business success.
Do to the favor-ability of hiring freelancers or outsourcing business services, many larger companies are using this as option to cut taxes, cut employee costs, and end the overwhelmingly growing costs of in office employee overhead. Nobody needs that, when so many freelancers are ready and available to do the work on contract, by the job. Services from freelance writer, graphic designer, web developer, marketing, and research specialist can be easily offered from your home computer, and business owners will hire your services to meet their needs. Yes, companies hire independent freelance service providers to grow their businesses. You can be one of them!
According to this study 63% of 20-somethings want to start their own business, of those who are not already entrepreneurs, 55% of them expect to be in the near future. If you’re one of these, and don’t know where to start – we have suggestions.
A huge majority of new business start ups maintain their full-time job, while starting a freelance business and we recommend it, because having a full-time income sustains your cash-flow while you build your business.
As a stay-at-home mom, home schooling my four children, I started my freelancing business to increase our family income. When my husband left a few years later, I realized my income was it! I had to make it or go to work. I was still home schooling my kids, so going to a job every day really wasn’t a feasible option. I had to make it.
Freelancing became my full-time business, with the additional basis of a marketing business that I often referred to as my ‘full time job’.
Helping others become financially secure with part time income from freelancing improved my ability to meet my customer’s needs. If I couldn’t do it, didn’t have time, or needed back up on a job, I had it – by offering contracts to my team of freelancers.
I had to be that kind of person, and expecting others to step up made my life easier. Because they tend to meet your expectations!
By the time I relocated from my hometown to the city, I already had a team of freelancers available to do most of the things I needed to outsource. It wasn’t for several years that I realized I could “double-dip” by taking on bigger jobs and hiring them out to freelancers, instead of doing the majority of the work myself. The benefit was two-fold, I had learned how to bring in more business, and I could help a huge team of freelancers grow their online service industries.
Step #1 to Making Your Freelance Business Profitable
Clearly defined and measurable expectations are the biggest and most important first step of making your freelance business profitable. Before you can pull in jobs, you have to know what you can do. Know your skill list inside out, and know how long it actually takes you to do what you say you’ll do. If you can’t write a decent blog post in 30 minutes, you need to raise your skill level, increase your speed, and learn some basic blogging techniques to increase your speed. Selling blog posts for more money means you have better value blog posts. The better the quality, the more profit you can make on a blog post.
Don’t be afraid to charge for the quality you offer.
If you know how to write a keyword optimized blog post that drives traffic, gets results, and brings a consistent conversion rate in a wide variety of subjects, your value is obvious, and worthy of higher prices. If the most interesting thing you’ve ever written is a grocery list, you might be able to learn how to write a quality blog post, but it will take you longer, and conversion may not happen the first few posts you write. Charge for quality and results.
#2 Step to Making Your Freelance Business Profitable
Time is money and visa versa. Manage both well. I have had to learn to write down my projects and keep track of what I’m doing on spreadsheets, with clearly detailed time tables, on my calendars. Otherwise, I was always overwhelmed with the time required to ‘do the next job’. It wasn’t the job I was on that bothered me, but rather worrying about the next job. When I know that at 2 o’clock, I’ll start THAT job, it’s far easier to concentrate on what I’m doing right now. Because I know there will come a time, shortly when I start that one. And I don’t waste time worrying about it now.
Procrastination is not your friend.
If you have a tendency to procrastinate and wait until the last minute to get started, you’re just fooling yourself. Eventually, on the job, that will cost you money. Don’t do it. Don’t wait. Get the job done in a timely manner and before it’s required. I work better, get more done, and provide far better quality if I’m not working for the deadline.
If you wait until the last minute to start a project and you get called away, or a better project comes in, what happens with your project? Think about that…
Why are perfectionists often procrastinators? Solutions.
I love my ADHD Clients!
And you should too. Click here.
The biggest, most important, and BEST tip I can give you for time management is Stop Procrastinating and GET STARTED. If you don’t start a job, it never gets done. And if you don’t set a schedule and follow your schedule, your work time gets all messed up by play time, and facebook time, and you get all lost and frustrated, which results in your not getting the job done and making for very unhappy clients. Do the job. Get started. Finish on time, or early. (I always recommend setting a personal deadline before the client deadline.)
#3 Step to Making Your Freelance Business Profitable
If your audience isn’t hungry for more of what you have to offer, you’re in the wrong niche. Not every topic is marketable, and not every niche of people will buy what they want. If the people you’re selling to want you to give it away for free – find new people or find a better product. You can’t make money if nobody is buying and you won’t be in business long if what you’re selling isn’t making a profit.
If someone tells you they’re in a business strictly because they love what they do – you, right now, have my permission to LAUGH at them. Because if it isn’t profitable, it doesn’t matter how much you love it, you’re going to get hungry. And a hungry worker is not going to do the job well.
EXPECT people to buy what you sell and set a price on it. IF they don’t buy what you sell. They don’t want it bad enough. And you’re selling to the wrong people. OR you’re selling the wrong stuff.
Find a product people will pay for.
Find people who will pay for what you sell.
#4 Step to Making Your Freelance Business Profitable
Value and price are not the same thing.
My youngest daughter is highly attracted to streamlined furniture that you can break down, pack and haul in a minimum amount of space, while still having high quality, function, and workmanship when you arrive at the next location. She’s married to a soldier and has learned that the military is going to ‘move their asses’ at least once every three years. The two times she’s hired movers, they broke and damaged a large portion of their belongings, so she’s stopped opting for ‘movers’ and started opting for ‘pack and move’. Furniture purchased from non-mobile is not designed to be broken down and moved. It may be cheaper, but the value doesn’t exist. She will pay more for furniture she can break down and rebuild, and that’s okay, because the value is in mobility and quality construction.
Where’s your value?
If you offer great value with writing skills, and have no graphics skills, you’re going to find a graphics artist and use their skills. Many graphics can be purchased at low prices, or downloaded FREE with some limitations of use, but the value is incredibly greater than the price. Find the value in what you offer, and learn the difference between price point, and value of results.
Your buyers will appreciate your knowledge when they can count on your value.
Set the price for your market.
While it’s always tempting to set your prices for the top of your market, you may want to rethink that decision. Consider the value of your product and who may benefit most from what you offer. Last Saturday, a client contacted me about a website. I have websites of different prices based on what they actually want and need. And then I have websites based on the kind of client who is either high maintenance or low maintenance. I often have clients contact me and ask for cheaper sites, but in the process of talking to the client, I realize that this client needs me to set a price I can afford to work with them – because they need my attention more than other clients do. High maintenance clients get a different price, because if they don’t get a different price from the beginning, they’re going to be paying for every single thing they ask me to do before very long, due to the demands they make on my time.
#5 Step to Making Your Freelance Business Successful
Know how to pitch and who you’re pitching to when you market your business. Who needs your services? Do you know? Did you do any market research, or review any markets to know how to reach your audience?
Not every person who is going to retire can or will use your retirement financial assessment, and management, or investment planning package.
Not every person who plans a wedding wants a Las Vegas quality cover band to play their reception.
And not every business owner is willing to pay your high prices for gift cards, Christmas wrapping paper, or office decor.
Who will buy what you offer? Who needs what you offer? Who can afford what you offer? And at what point is the value of what you offer relevant to the price and the person you’re pitching your product to?
Know your buying client. This is important because you should be able to identify who will buy what you offer based on the value, quality, and price of your product. Yeah, by name. You need to know someone who will buy what you offer. Once you know someone, you can temper your marketing to that person and others will buy from you too.
Know how to pitch to the client. If you show up in a three piece suit and $800 shoes to sell pig feed to a farmer, you can bet your bottom dollar you’ll need new shoes when you leave, because he will without a doubt walk you through the pig pen and show you his prized sow. Don’t over do it. Learn how to pitch to the right clients, and don’t get caught up in the presentation, so much as in the product and client you’re pitching to.
#6 Step to Making Your Freelance Business Successful
Yeah, you need a website. If you’re marketing your services and you don’t have a website, you’ll lose clients left and right, because they won’t be able to find you. In fact, if your website doesn’t have the right information on it, you’ll lose them. You need a website. And you don’t want the cheapest site on the block, nor do you want to spend your last dollar on the most expensive one in the country.
You should typically plan to spend between 5 and 10% of what you intend to profit from your website each year on your website. This isn’t necessarily the cost of setting up the site and developing the site, but is what you should expect to spend annually on maintenance and content development for your website. This cost may move up or down, depending on how much of the content you’re going to write yourself and how much value you expect to gain from your website.
If you want a cheaper site up front, be prepared to pay for specific details as you go, because those additional “details” aren’t cheap, and they require time to install and set up on your site. The cost of the site build one-piece-at-a-time won’t be more expensive overall, by most companies, but you’ll feel like the costs never end, because there is always something else to add. I most often recommend paying for the whole site package – everything you’re going to need – as determined through a consultation, not just a click-to-purchase, and a continuum package. Because there will be maintenance, marketing additions, and other additional needs as you go. If you go for the cheapest option, you should plan to pay for each additional product or service as it is added.
Along with a website, you’ll need a list. If you haven’t got a list already, you’ll want to join my list and learn how to build a high-impact, targeted buyers list.
When you build your own, well targeted list and make an effort to develop those relationships, the end result is a quality buying list that will support your marketing efforts for years, because they’ll need what you’re offering them. Click the link on the right for more information about building a targeted list.
List Building with Jan is a relevant and valuable set of skills to have when you’re marketing your freelance business online.
#7 Step to Making Your Freelance Business Profitable
Resources. This is a huge key to being successful and profitable doing freelance. You MUST have resources. One of my favorite resources is my billing operations. Of course, for many areas of billing, I simply use Paypal.com and let the fees come out of my payments, without doing a lot of preplanning, invoicing, and other billing options, but when I need to do invoicing for clients and my freelance market, I use Invoice.2go, which has proven to be a valuable asset to my business. There are several resources that I consider absolutely important to my success and profit, among them aweber.com and EzineArticles.com – both of these are absolute requirements for driving traffic and bringing buyers back to my sites.
The thing is, we must have resources, and as online marketers, we need to use our resources, call in our people and motivate them to bring in support. We MUST network to increase our numbers, for profit. If we’re building our numbers, we have access to buyers, and those buyers, even if they’re only buying one product a year – such as the $7 business model – are keeping us in business and successful, because when you have a large number of return buyers, they don’t need to buy a lot to help you maintain your success.
Increase your numbers… But first, join my list at ListBuildingWithJan.com