Have you ever thought about starting your own side business? But then after the motivation rush, the doubts creep in, like:
"Where shall I start and what can I offer, How do I charge enough, and, (my favorite), 'what if no one hires me?' "
During the decade I created my current freelance bz., there were many obstacles.
Starting as a timid student without any notion of what to provide and taking any job to get just get a customer, to now where I now only work with clients who want to move ahead.
Here are the five barriers you likely face to start your freelance business and how you can overcome them based on my experience and what I learned my friends with 6 figure side businesses.
No one knows me Your business starts before you start
The thing that helped to me the most when starting was getting a reference, good will, or a small project from important people before I started my business. Even if they did not purchase from you, they can still be your reference.
Brainstorm everyone with whom your interacted professionally: For example, your colleague, a client you worked with, or someone you met at a conference might be your reference. Ask them to write one line about how you worked with them.
There is too much competition –> Yes but much is crab or far too generic.
I learned this the hard way. You may see hundreds of people on a platform who are willing to work more hours for less pay, but what you don't see is that much of the work is basic or bland.
So what should you do?
Niche, Focus, and Cut.
- First, niche down. If you're a copywriter, you can charge 20 USD per hour for a regular blog post, but if you specialize in corporate content, you can charge 35 USD per hour. If know corporate banking, you can charge 60 USD per hour, and if you can write about corporate banking and AI technology, you can probably charge 100 USD per hour. The more specialized to clients needs the higher the pay!
- Second, focus on a specific solution. When you first start, you'll likely attempt to offer as many solutions as possible to get clients' interest. However, you also need to gain expertise in a single core solution that offers clients greater value. Choose one core solution, improve it, and then move onto the next big issue. I always require myself to earn at least $10,000 before I move to the next phase. My general rule is that I must earn at least $10,000 before I move to the next project.
- Finally, cut down. Clients want you to identify and show what is important, not everything. As a result, slash what you want to offer by half and do a good job with it. You are the CEO.
Clients want YOU to identify and show what is important, not everything.
Prices are too low --> Stop the “time for money grind” and move to packages
- As soon as you can start to create products, bundles, or solutions, you will realise that clients often have the same issues. Those are the bundles.
- It allows you to move from time per money to money per item. You can get inspiration from "Upwork ready projects".
No time, I cant to everything --> Partner-up and outsource
- There will come a time when things will be moving and you will be quite content with your income. However, it will seem quite difficult to move to the next level: you don't have enough time, and you can't do everything.
- You must focus on what you're good at and delegate, automate, or eliminate everything else. For example, you can purchase ready-made slide decks, websites made for you, have someone do data clean up for you.
- Also partner-up with others: For many years, I underestimated partnering with other professionals. You may motivate and inspire each other, split up the project, and come up with new ideas if you another.
I hate selling --> Create your value proposition – what is in for the client
- Even in dating, we try to sell our awesomeness. We always sell, even in dating we sell our awesomeness. But what probably feels wrong is to sell if you don’t know the person or when you don’t believe you deserve it. Your solution is to provide a value proposition to your client.
The value (pleasure) they receive from working with you or the time/money (pain) they save.
- Try to be specific (or ask me for help). You will list all of the benefits they will receive and the cost will simply be an investment. And remember: they can always say no. Often it is not about you but the client may simply not be ready yet.
many freelancers are struggling to get started and to charge what they're worth. Use this to get Started
How to start a freelance business” could easily turn into a book. And there are many others out there that earn a lot more than me.
I've set up a profitable side business where I can work from anywhere and avoid either killing myself with overwork or annoying clients.
If you want to start You Inc. this summer, I can help you—just reach out.
>> Book your first free discovery call here!
How are you trying to kick-off your freelance business?