2017 Is Here
2017 is right around the corner.
Crazy as it sounds an entire year has passed since 2016 started. Was it your best year ever?
Ask yourself this:
“Are you where you want to be?”
Did you achieve your goals? Did you increase your income, take that trip, see those friends, invest in that group, etc?
(If not start today. Here)
-I increased my income 28% (was shooting for 35%).
-I made new friends.
-I got new business opportunities (marketing consultant).
-I built my audience for this blog (hoping to break 3000 subscribers by the end of 2017).
-I ran the full Chicago Marathon!
(Newspaper Article on me and my friend)
(Right before the race)
Was It My Best Year Ever?
Did I mess up along the way? You bet. I lost contracts, upset clients and struggled to force myself to reach out to bloggers to guest post.
-I fell short on guest posting: Guest post pitching makes me nervous. I don’t like people I look up to telling me ‘no’. Thankfully I built strategies to break through those barriers. You will see more guest posts in the coming months.
-The voice of the blog also bothered me: It took me four months of studying and thinking but I finally captured the voice I wanted for this blog. From my perspective the writing felt to formal. This blog is about awesome strategies to change lives. It wasn’t meant to read like a textbook.
Although I did get to have some cool experiences…
(super cool cocktail bar in Indianapolis)
Enough about me. Let’s get back to my question.
Are you where you want to be?
Or did you settle into the same excuses you had last year? It happens all the time. You get busy only to look around and realize nothing has changed. You tell yourself the same excuses all the time:
I was to busy. I didn’t have time. I wasn’t sure it would work. I was scared. People like me don’t succeed. There’s no good clients left.
(Overcome Excuses and Mental Barriers. Here)
Or did you attempt to change and give up halfway through the process, a quarter of the way, after your first proposal, or did you not even write the proposal?
If you gave up early, didn’t try, didn’t feel you deserved to win, or were scared of success let’s change that. Let’s make this next year your best year yet.
Your Best Year Yet
Want to make 2017 your best year?
Would you enter 2017 with a strategy to succeed if you had one?
What if that strategy helped you to:
*Deliver better service
*Find more clients
*Earn your way to a freedom you’ve been salivating about forever.
-Want to succeed like that? You need to learn strategy.
(Learn the Habits of the Successful for your best year ever. Here)
My Success is Tied to my Strategies.
-Before I started using strategies my monthly freelance income was $175 to $250 (that sucks!). I hated this. My peers were making $500 and more for an article while I pulled long hours for low pay.
It didn’t make sense to me. I struggled to make anything. I made all the beginner mistakes.I took bad jobs, suffered under manipulative clients and nearly gave up.
You’ve been there. You are tired, overworked and trying to build your path to freedom but nothing seems to work. I wanted to blame my clients, the platform, anyone but me.
Hard Truth:I was the reason I was failing.
I wasn’t making money because I was doing everything wrong.
When I did make money it was only because I was trading hard work for little pay. When I finally accepted that I was the cause of my problem everything changed.
How Everything Changed
Once I knew the cause of my problem (myself) I went looking for solutions.
(Learn Solution Goals for Massive Change. Here)
I looked for freelancers who were pulling in six figure incomes year after year. I wanted to know what they did to make their income.
I figured that if I studied the pros I would see what I was doing wrong. And I didn’t study random people who claimed to make six figures. I researched claims and decided to only go with people who could show six figure returns year after year.
I learned a lot of things during my studies. I learned about patience, humility, modesty, hard work and one crazy eye opening thing.
The Eye Opening Moment
I talked to dozens of freelancers across multiple disciplines. Every single person I talked with said the same thing.
Each response was unique but i’ve paraphrased all of them to the core message:
“Success resulted from creating, optimizing and following a few key strategies.”
(Want to Master Success? Here)
Want to follow up on my research? Here is a small list of the people I turned to:
Why Six Figures Matters
Why did I choose six figures? Simple. The difference between four figures and five figures is $1.
The largest four figure year possible is $9,999. You add $1 to that and you have a five figure year. There isn’t much difference between a great four figure year and the smallest possible five figure year.
I chose to study six figure earners because the difference between the smallest possible five figure year and the smallest possible six figure year is $90,000.
I reasoned that consistent six figure earners maintain their position through planning and not labor. Thinking in these ways helped me learn what set five and six figure earners apart.
(Get Six Figure Freelance Secrets. Here)
Why Freelancing Rocks
I love freelancing. There is no other faster way to earn six figures (minus an expensive education) where your costs are low to non-existent.
Ask yourself this:
What if you could make an extra four, five, or six figures a year only working a couple hours a week?
Sound impossible? For most people it is.
For a select few it isn’t.
Why do most freelancers struggle to bring home $300-$400 a month on the side while others continually pull five figure months working part time?
“Six figures is a lot. There is no way you can make that part time.”
If freelancing was like a normal job you’d be right. Freelancing is not like a normal job. The strategies that you use to succeed on the job aren’t the same.
We can agree that regular jobs are mismanaged. How they use time is largely ineffective. Work is disrupted with memos, pointless meetings and office politics.
That is why I love freelancing, why it is different.
Why Freelancing is Different
What follows is a deep dive into one of the MANY six figure strategies for freelancing. I chose this strategy because it applies across the board to all service industry positions (writer, designer, coder, marketer, blogger, social media expert, consultant, etc).
I’ve shared a boots on the ground method for transforming your monthly income into daily earnings, multiplying the projects you work and more.
-Pay attention to the strategies behind the thinking. Take note of how I build failure into the model, how I prepare before taking action, why I choose to order the process the way I do. The best methods continue massive value in the tiny details.
Ready? Let’s go.
Six Figure Freelancing
At your normal job if your boss gives you an assignment they expect you to do it.
As a freelance consultant your client expects the job to get done. They don’t care how the finished project reaches them. What they care about is that they get results you sold them on.
That means if you can find a way to get your clients the results they want without having to do the work you can take on dozens of projects a week.
(notebook I use to keep my projects up to schedule with one of my good luck coins!).
What This Means
Traditional freelancing goes like this:You take projects until your schedule is filled. You stop sending proposals, finish the project, and then start looking for work again.
Six-Figure Freelancing:Taking on as many as ten, twenty or fifty projects a week. While your help is doing the work you delegate you keep sending proposals and getting more work.
It’s not. You can do it if you have the right systems. You just need to know the one secret freelancers don’t talk about.
Secret No One Talks About
Reality Check:Freelancers who make six figures a year aren’t always the best in their field (sometimes they are barely good).
Freelancers who make six figures a year are good at three things.
-Successful freelancers write amazing proposals. They multiply their income using a simple formula to make more money.
The Make More Money Formula:
Proposals X Clients=Income
-The more proposals you write the more clients you can book. The more clients you book the more work you do the more money you make. By delegating the work part of the formula you can continually add projects to your roster.
The barrier you run into is handling multiple client’s work loads. If you aren’t a sadist you don’t want to be pulling 13 hour days in front of a screen.
To maximize the make more money formula, get the work done without losing sleep and do it all while getting great review you need to learn to delegate assignments.
-Six figure freelancers have teams that work for them.
I save myself time and my clients money by hiring a proofreader for my projects (and soon, this blog!).
Clients appreciate saving $300-$500 a month and I save 7-15 hours a week paying someone to proofread..
1)I charge $95/hr. If I book a sales page for $5K I write it then pass it to my proofreader for final edits.
2)The proofreader charges $500. Okay. I pay him out of my fee, book another gig and work while he finishes my first project.
3)The income I make on the next project exceeds the $500 I spend to free up my time. I make more money, do more projects and submit grammatically perfect content.
(my face when I have to do math.)
How it Works:
For this to make sense I need my profit with the new project to exceed the cost my editor charges.
Because I work on large projects I can do this.
If I pay the editor $500 to free up my time to book a $1500 project I make $1000 more than if I had not paid the editor and didn’t book the new gig.
Plus $1,500 for the new project bring my total, after costs, to:
Without Editor my total would be:
-I save $500 not paying the editor but that costs me time I would have used to book the $1,500 gig resulting in a $1,000 loss in profits.
-For this to work you need to find quality freelancers.
Finding quality freelancers isn’t hard. There a ton of great freelancers out there (a know a lot who read this blog).
Three Things To Building an Epic Team:
1)Do the leg work before starting:
-Have freelancers who are ready to work before starting. In sports they have a saying:
Your best work is done before you step on the court.
The same is true here. Don’t make the mistake of getting more work than they have help to do it with. Don’t be caught unprepared.
2)Have backup freelancers you can call in case of accidents or schedule changes:
-People get busy, people flake out, it happens. Have backups to your main team. It is what a professional would do.
Example:I paid a premium to take this amazing food tour (The Roman Guys) in Rome. This was the most expensive tour I ever paid for but I looked forward to it.
During the tour one of the spots we were going to visit was closed due to emergency. Instead of ignoring this the tour guide made a call and we were whisked off to a tiny family restaurant where we were waited on hand and foot.
This blew me away. They were prepared for problems. I’ve been on tours before where something goes wrong and the tour guide ignores it. You don’t get a refund, you missed out on what you were promised and they didn’t care.
The Roman Guys cared. They may have lost money on this but it paid off massive later when I sent them a family who booked a full regional tour of Florence.
(Ps-Heading to Italy. Check out the Roman Guys Food Tour. Here)
Lesson:Deliver the value you’d like to receive if it was you.
3)Be prepared to throw in and help if something needs your attention:
Sometimes the work your team submits won’t be up to snuff. Be prepared for this (see example above). Don’t be afraid to step in to finalize and rework anything that isn’t up to par.
*This brings me to number three..
3)Reviewing final submission before sending work to clients:
-You have to review everything before final submission. If you hire quality freelancers this won’t take long.
The Formula For Great Work
Great freelancers spend 10% of their time to get 80% of the results their clients want. This takes little time. The other 20% (the part that takes a lot of time) you pay someone else to complete.
-Reviewing, finalizing edits, changing language and optimizing final content means you spend 10% of your time to get your clients 80% of the results.
Focus on delivering results in your area of expertise. Let your staff handle the rest. Do the work that commands your fee.
Does This Really Work
Outsourcing is a powerful way to focus on doing what you are good at and handing off everything else. You can’t outsource everything though. Your stamp needs to be somewhere on the project.
I mentioned earlier that I pay someone to proofread. My voice will be the same if someone else proofreads a project. My voice would not come through if someone else wrote the project. They don’t have the training, experience and decision making skills I do.
Let’s Explore Further:
-This system works. The level it scales to will be different per service.
I am a copywriter. Like I mentioned I write all my content. That is what I am paid for. I am not paid to edit. I pay someone for that. I am not paid to insert graphics. I pay someone for that.
If you were a content writer who specialized in long form content you could hire out secondary help and proof their work.
If you were a photographer you could take the photos and hire someone to do the photoshop.
If you were a graphic designer you could do the main design and hand off the finalization to another freelancer.
The list is endless. Outsourcing is about removing yourself from the equation where your presence won’t make a difference. Once you can do that your workload will grow.
How to Get Started
Want a no failure chance to start this process?
-Find what value you bring to a project and overdeliver on it. (which is easy now because of all the time you’ll free up not doing secondary work).
Think about the Roman Guys example earlier. They way overdelivered after an accident and because of that they booked a massive private weekend tour. Be like the Roman Guys. You’ll never know when a small lead will hook a big client.
-Hire out someone to finalize the rest of a project.
-Submit it and ask your client for review. If the client has complaints tied to the service answer them and correct any issues.
(Want More In Depth Strategies for Success? Here)
Wow. That was a lot of content (Over 2,5000 words).
The main point behind the entire article is this:
There are many paths to success. It is not where you end up that matters. What matters is the path you follow to get there.
You ready to make 2017 your best year yet?
Post your goals, ideas, and strategies for the coming year below. I’ll be sure to comment, answer questions and more!
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