This 100% FREE Freelancing course was written by successful freelancer and mentor Suzie Larcombe who left her native Scotland and now lives her dream life in the south of France:-
Can you really make money working from home? Successful freelancer Suzie Larcombe quit her highly paid job 10 years ago to spend more time at home with her young children. She now makes a BIG income, working form home as a freelancer and she has kindly supplied us with a full course on how she did it and how you can copy her freelancing blueprint to success
As I explained in the previous post, a freelancer is probably best described as someone who “works for different companies at different times, rather than being permanently employed by any one company”.
Normally based at home and equipped with only a desk, a computer and an internet connection. The costs involved in setting yourself up as a freelancer are minimal. I set up my business for well under £2000 and that included a super duper MacBook Pro and all the software to go with it.
In a nutshell, a freelancer is someone who:
Irrespective of whether you want to become a freelance copywriter like me; if your skills are more IT related or you want to offer a straightforward data entry or typing service to your clients, it’s essential to clearly define what it is you’re offering. There’s little point saying to your clients that you can do pretty much anything, because that’s likely to lead them to expect that you’re jack-of-all-trades and master of none ;-). Defining your offering before you start to promote yourself is essential and something we’ll cover later in the course.
Once you’ve defined what you will offer, you need to do some research to suss out your competitors. When you’re doing this, you need to remember that competition can be direct and indirect, so think out of the box for this one. It may well be that recruiting a freelancer is only one of your potential client’s options and because of that, needs to be more attractive than the others for you to win the business. Again, we’ll look in more detail at this later.
Offer defined and competition analysed, you then need to start looking at who is likely to need your service sufficiently that they’ll be prepared to pay you. Defining your target market is an extremely important part of your promotional process and will save you a whole lot of wasted time and effort if you get it right at the outset. Once more, we’ll be looking at this element of freelancing later.
These things, alongside a great sales process and strong admin are what will make your freelance experience above and beyond the rest. I know, because it’s all of these things that have allowed me to live the dream!
The tools of the freelancer’s trade are normally a laptop computer, an internet connection, a skill and a whole lot of optimism and determination. Although the list of work carried out freelancers is extensive, we’ve decided to focus on some of the most popular freelance jobs here, in order to help you get some ideas flowing.
Here’s just some of the work people ask freelancers to do:
As you can see, there’s any number of opportunities to launch yourself as a freelancer. Finding the best solution for you is about analyzing your skills and deciding which job you would enjoy most. If you need help with that, why not give me a shout? email@example.com
Doing anything new takes courage and requires commitment and getting started in freelancing is no different. That said, if you’re keen to secure your financial future, freelancing truly is a great way to do it. Not only will it allow you to experience being self-employed without having to invest in stock, equipment or premises, but it’s something you can do in your spare time at the start, allowing you to really test the water.
If you fancy getting started on the freelance ladder but are hesitating, you need to stop and ask yourself why?
Why have you not taken the step to securing your financial future before now? Why are you not prepared to commit to the notion of freelancing as a great way to get your first foot on the ladder? Why have you not yet taken the plunge?
When it comes to taking the plunge, first of all you need to identify what you have to gain from giving freelancing a go and write it down. Marc will be the first to tell you that goals that are written down or said out loud are way more likely to be achieved than goals that stay locked up inside your head. I know also, when I decided to change my life with a view of living the dream, the downsides were enormous, but only by focusing on the upside was I able to get to where I am today. You can do the same.
Here is the link to the “Goal Setting” module of the site. CLICK HERE – ALL the mentors here at the Winners Inner Circle and ALL successful people I know have a winning mindset & work to a plan. Its vital to your success, DO IT NOW: CLICK HERE
Have a good dig around the freelancing sites and get comfortable with them and then realistically work out how much time you can devote to freelancing on a daily basis. Then work out how many days a week you can devote to freelancing and then you’ll be able to start to see the income potential on a monthly basis. Be realistic here though, there’s no point in setting inaccessible goals, particularly at the start. If you think you can spend 3 or 4 hours a day, 3 days a week, that comes out at somewhere between 9 and 12 hours at anything up to £50 per hour. You don’t need me to do that maths, that is one great incentive.
Once you’ve got your goal set, it’s time to figure out what might stop you from achieving it. You’ll have stuff like family pressures, work pressures, social pressures and even sport to manage if you’re going to make this work. If you identify all the possible barriers before you start, you’ll be much better able to deal with them as they raise their ugly heads. I know for me, living in a new country and trying to set up a business was a real challenge – I just wanted to be out and about living the dream all the time. That said, I also knew if I did that, my stay would be short-lived, like so many other expats. That’s why I got my head down and got focused.
Once you’ve got your “goal” and your “barriers” list, then it’s time to drill down on the detail. At this stage you can let your imagination run riot. Imagine how you’ll feel when you’ve got your freelance package established and you’re rolling it out to happy clients. Imagine how you’ll feel when you’re preparing your first invoice. Imagine how you’ll feel when you’ve banked enough income to really start making a difference; irrespective of whether that means paying some debt off; having the deposit for a new car or financing a holiday: this sort of income will make a real difference to your life.
If you’re hesitating, today’s the day to take the plunge. Focus first on what you have to gain; address the things that’ll be difficult and then get your eye on the end result. If you want to do it, you can.
One of the most important parts of setting yourself up as a freelancer is establishing your offering. Yes, it’s easy to say “I’m a copywriter” or “I’m a website designer”, but I’m sorry, that’s simply not enough. What you need to do is identify first and foremost “the problem” you’re solving and then “why you’re the best person to solve it”.
It’s only by facing this really tough challenge that you have any chance of standing out in the crowded freelance marketplace.
“The problem” is the situation the client is facing that they don’t have the skills, time or expertise to resolve themselves. “The problem” is what is bringing them to the freelance market in the first instance. They need something doing and they don’t have the inclination, time or knowledge to do it themselves.
Think of all the business people you know. Think about the hours they work and the things they keep banging on about not having the time to do. That will give you some insight into “the problem”. It may be that they moan non-stop about burning the midnight oil doing their bookkeeping or that they need articles writing for SEO purposes but they struggle to string a meaningful sentence together. Either way, by getting inside their head you get a great insight into “the problem” and how it affects them. This is key to establishing your offering.
Once you have clearly identified the “problem” that your potential clients are facing, you can start to define “why you’re the best person to solve it”. Only by really understanding what keeps your potential clients awake at night or what really aggravates them during the day will you find the voice you need to speak to them about why you’re the best person to solve their problem.
At the start of any business, the temptation is to be cheap in order to attract clients. If you’re good at what you do, this results in becoming a busy fool, because you’ll get clients but you’ll be working for virtually nothing. If you’re not good at what you do, you’ll just get a load of complaints and disappointments. Cheap rarely means good and that’s well worth bearing in mind.
When it comes to defining exactly why you’re the best person to solve your clients’ problems, you need to focus in on what they need. Their main need might be having someone they can trust; having someone they can be confident will deliver on time; someone who is good at their job but also takes an out of the box view to finding the right solution. The reasons will vary, even from client to client, but you must define exactly what makes you different.
For me (above and beyond qualifications and experience) it’s commitment to delivering top quality copy on time and at a great price as well as tenacity and vision that I sell to my clients. Once I have a client I tend to keep them for a very long time, because they are delighted with my service, my product, my price and overall what I bring to their business. That’s what you need to be aiming for when you define your offering.
Dig deep to identify your clients’ problems; dig even deeper into your make up and your psychometric profile (if you don’t have one, get one) and identify the subtle reasons why you and your potential client will be a marriage made in heaven. This is what I mean by establishing your offering.
All of that said, I know this is one of the hardest bits of what you’re going to do, so if you need help, I’m there for you…firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another temptation often experienced by freelancers is to try to do business with pretty much anyone. This rarely works. I have a war cry that is “if you aim for too many targets, the chances are that you won’t hit any”.
This is really important, particularly when you’re starting out. Determining your target market and getting really up close and personal with who they are; where they are; how they think and what their problems are will stand you in great stead when it comes time to promote your business.
When it comes to marketing yourself as a freelancer,
The chances are, only a proportion of the whole market is likely to buy from you. This restriction may be enforced by any number of factors, but there’s no getting away from the fact that it’s true, so don’t try to fight it. By identifying clearly your target market and keeping their needs and characteristics in mind all the time, you can gear your sales and marketing efforts precisely to them. By doing this with precision and tenacity, not only will you save yourself a serious amount of time and hassle, you’ll start to become a pretty serious player in your market too.
Invest a good amount of time asking yourself “what do your potential clients look like?” In order to sell successfully to anyone, you must really know them. When you put your business offering together, it’s important that you have a mental picture of what your potential clients are like: what are their values; what are their needs; their mindset; their habits etc. Only by knowing these people inside out can you really tailor your product or service and your promotion to satisfying their needs.
Finally, don’t worry too much about having too narrow a target market. Often, when people start up in business, they think niche=negative, that niche marketing will restrict their potential. Generally speaking, in small business, the opposite is true. If you can define your niche accurately and target your message directly to the needs of that niche, niche marketing will give you real power to your business elbow. To define your niche, ask yourself: what do my buyers have in common? How do I differ from my competitors? What are the unique benefits I offer? And what do I offer above and beyond the norm? By doing this you’ll really start to engage with your target market in a way that’ll have them eating out of the palm of your hand.