Be A Successful Freelancer | Susan Palmquist | Skillshare
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8 Lessons (33m)
    • 1. Welcome to the Class

    • 2. Freelancer or Contracter?

    • 3. Marketing Budget

    • 4. Finding Your Ideal Client

    • 5. Keeping Your Ideal Client

    • 6. Time Management

    • 7. Preventing Freelance Burnout

    • 8. Marketing Your Services


About This Class

Are you thinking about leaving your job and becoming a freelancer?

Maybe you're freelancing part-time but love it so much you've decided to take the next step by leaving the corporate world.

This class offers easy to follow tips and suggestions to set you up as a successful freelancer.

You'll learn the difference between freelancing and consulting

How to land your ideal client and how to keep them

Marketing your business

Preventing burnout

Managing Your Time



1. Welcome to the Class: hello and welcome to be a successful freelancer. My name is Susan Palmquist. Andi. I've been a freelancer for 20 plus years. I've been teaching here at skill share since 2016. I mostly teach you the writing area novel, writing, freelance writing, but I thought I'd try something a little bit different. This time. I focus old being freelancer Onda. Uh, basically, it's for anyone who dreams of being a grievance with the artist's graphic designer. Just about anyone who is thinking about setting up the role of business. So what will you know off you taking this calls? Well, our distinguish between being a freelancer or consultant, and you can decide which one you'd rather which have a new you'd rather take have to find your ideal call on how to market your services. They will touch on some time management tips that you can utilize once you've got your business up and running. And also this is a big issue. Have to be freelance for now. So that's all the things I will be covering in this quote. It's breathe that show, and it's easy to Paula. So, uh, rob a couple to your beverage of your choice. Pull up a chair. Let's get started on. I'll see you in less than one 2. Freelancer or Contracter?: Hello and welcome to lesson one. Andi. This one I thought would introduce the concept off freelancer versus consultant. And you can decide which kind of avenue you want to take your business. So let's start with what we usually call a freelancer. It's someone who say, gets an assignment, does the work, then gets paid for it. Where is it? Consultant is someone that business usually turns to for advice, expertise or help with being a consultant. You have a little bit more wiggle room and your more in charge of the project on you actually get to do projects your way as a freelance. So you basically, you know, if they say this is how I want the logo to look, uh, you work on it, they approve of it, you get paid. Where is it? A consultant you may be brought in on the company may say to you, we know you've got this huge, you know, experienced background in designing logos on. We need to make maybe, you know, dozen off them. We need your input, your expertise. How would you suggest we go about doing this? And the consultant isn't necessary. The person who does the work. They just offer their advice. And maybe they even hard their own freelances to do the actual say, like the design of the logo. So it's more of Ah, um, you know, consulting over actually doing the work and consultants, on average, make war money, and you're kind of get more repeat work, and you're their go to person who they heart, you know, we've got this problem. Let's bring in. So and so there are consultant. So there two avenues you can take when you open up your freelance business and it's up to you which way you want to go. Maybe you want to start out as a freelancer and then move into consulting with the more experience you get. Oh, are you know, you could work with one corn that you really enjoy, kind of. You got a good kind of relationship with them, and you want to be taken on more as a consultant and just doing or pieces of work for them . So that's lesson one. Helping you decide. Freelancer or consultant Onda, Uh, we're moving to lessen, too, and I'll see you then 3. Marketing Budget: hello and welcome back and listen to is going to focus on how much you should spend on marketing your business on one of the hardest things about getting started as a freelancer is getting your name out there and getting that first client. And once you're over, that hurdle gets to be smooth sailing. So should you spend money on marketing to get kind of your foot in the door? It's an interesting question, and some people don't spend any money on marketing. They just kind of, you know, set up a website and off they go and thing is, you know, getting lots of business. Getting successful in freelancing doesn't happen overnight. On a lot depends on what your goals are you going after? Maybe you know, bigger companies, Or are you gonna start with maybe doing work for friends? You have to know who your audience is on. And, uh, a big question is, how much time and money do you have? I know when you first start out, this was my problem. You know, I didn't have any money in the budget for marketing for advertising on did. It was in the days before really the Internet and email marketing took off, so it was kind of referral on word of mouth for me. Now 11 key thing is, they always say that you should spend 50% of your time in the first couple of months setting up your business marketing, and that's what I tried to do. Half my day would be spent trying to get you know, that first Klein or another client, Andi. I think it really did pay off. So don't overlook spending time doing that marketing. And when you do that, sometimes you can save money because you're putting more leg work into it more than show us . So instead of taking an ad out your maybe making cold calls to companies or people that you've worked within your previous job on, and so it's more work than money going into it. So that's a big thing. On another thing, people suggest Is that you? The profits you make during the first year you're in business, you pull back into your marketing effort. I know that's worked for a lot of people. I actually didn't do that because I needed to guide of, you know, put money into kind of making a living more than marketing. But it could work for you. And I would suggest that you spend the first couple of months doing marketing. Don't spend any money. Um, just do it. I just said, making cocoa calls. Referrals on DSI. How that goes and take it from there. And if you haven't got your first client, then maybe think about maybe taking an ad out in, um, some kind of industry publication where people are going to see that you're now a freelancer. Onda. Take it from then. I will be getting into some more marketing further on in this class, so we'll cover a little bit more than but that's it for this lesson and I'll see you in the next one. 4. Finding Your Ideal Client: hello and welcome back. And in this lesson, we're going to talk about finding your ideal Klein. And in the next lesson, we're going to cover how to keep that ideal client, because that's that's really important. Once you find the client that you love to work with, it's very, um, you know, essential to you that you nurture that relationship and you keep them coming back with more work for you. So how do you find that person that you love to work with? Um, well, I think the ideo client for just about everyone who makes you feel like you're in control of the work. That's one of the reasons you set out as a freelancer. To begin with, you kind of broke free off, having to do exactly what someone else told you to do and how to do it. And so that client always makes you feel like you're in control off the work and almost like if you're in control of your destiny. So what I suggest you do is you sit down and you write a detailed profile of who you're who you'd love toe have har you. Is it someone that may be works in an advertising agency public relations agency. Is it another freelancer who maybe is looking for someone to duel their graphic design work for them, kind of. If you will daydream and see an image off them on DA, you know, get a clear picture off who you want to kind of connect with. I think that really helps you steer you in the right direction to where you're going to find them. On one thing, you can check out industry forums. You know, I've always done freelance writing, and lots of times I flat found clients on forums, writing forums, people that we're looking for, you know, maybe a copywriter or someone to write a profile of someone in their business or they had launched a new product and they needed someone to write a press release. I found lots of work that way. Networking is great being with other people within your own industry. You think you're in competition with them, but actually people are very, um, you know, sharing off their contact. That's what I found. Some networking is a very good thing to do on, and you know, if they give you leads or work then you do the same for them and it becomes a really good relationship there, another eyes, a small business network. You know, every industry has its own kind of niche network on its good Teoh get in that community and even go to lots of communities have small business networks that I belong Teoh to When I was started out freelancing and it was just really good, you got some lead and also you kind of got support from people you know, they were going to the same thing as you. They were looking for clients. They were looking for work. Or maybe, you know, it was kind of going through their famine kind of period where they really needed to find declined quickly. And it's kind of from it really does give you a boost that you're not the only one that's going through the same thing when you're freelancing. Another thing. And I I joined a couple of chamber of commerce and got lots of work through them, met lots of people that eventually gave me work or knew someone who was looking for a writer. So definitely check out your local chamber of commerce who may be joined one or two someone sometimes overlapping geographical areas. And, uh, you know, some of them are really, really good for freelancing. So basically, figure out where your ideal client this person that you've daydreamed about hangs out and, you know, also referrals from other people. On another thing that I found helps you get a good client is to give people free advice. Sometimes we're always thinking, Oh, you know, you need to pay me for my expertise. But I've had lots of people that I've given free advice about, You know, how they should write something, and they they've kind of return the favor and hard me to do a job. So these are all things that you can do to land that ideo client, Andi. In the next lesson, I'm gonna share with you tips on hell. Once you found this idea client, you can keep them and keep them coming back and giving you work. So I'll see you then. 5. Keeping Your Ideal Client: hello and welcome back. And in the previous lesson, we looked at finding your ideal client. And now hopefully you'll be out to keep that ideal Klein and keep them coming back and providing you with a steady income That should be your number one goal. And first of all, always be easy to work with. Make their job easy. You know, if they're you know, they're struggling with something within their job. Maybe officers, you know, suggestions on how you think that they can overcome a problem. You don't necessarily have to be paid for it. But I think if you make someone's life and job easier, they'll remember you. I know. I always remember people that, um, you know, went that extra mile to do something. They stand out and they're always the people that you think. Well, I need to heart some. Oh, yes, but they're easy to work with. They go the extra mall on DA, you'll get repeat business. Um, another thing is, always feel pride about your work. You know, always always give, as I always say, give 101% not 100%. And that's what I was used to tell people you know when some people would say, Well, there's lots of people wanting this re lance position. Why should I hire you? I always used to say, Well, maybe I'm not the best writer in the world, but I can honestly say that you'll be an important part of my business and I'll give you 101% off my effort on. I think that really used Teoh kind of, you know, buy me lots of work and really win win clients over on. Also, another thing you can dio this is always What I set out to do is deliver more than you promised. You know, if you said you were going to maybe write one article, maybe you'll add a sidebar. You know, this is like for me for freelance writing. I used to always add a little bit extra. Rather than just hand the article in, I'd heart hand them in, maybe a resource list in a sidebar and, you know, for their readers or something. Ah, nothing that really went a long way. Andi kind of plant within their mind that you are their service provider. If they need something, you are always the person they pick up the phone and call or email. You're the person that comes to their mind immediately when they have a job opening or need something. Uhm and another thing is, you know, honor your commitments. If you say you're going to do something, don't have the client phone up and say, you know, you promised you were gonna get this. Ah, you know, logo designed to me two days ago. I'm waiting for it. We need toe. Put it up on a website. What happened? Never be the person that they have toe follow up on. Always on a your commitment. This really goes along, right? I mean, I've I know from personal experience I've had lots of people I've hard to do work around my home and, you know, we're all set. I've stayed at home ready to let them in to do the work on. They've not shown up that not even called to tell me why they haven't shown up. And I've had Teoh call them or, you know, there's been no response. So whatever you do, honor your commitments. Whatever you've told the client you're going to do, please do it or you will lose work and you don't have a freelance business any anymore. So provide that exceptional customer service. You could think that. Oh, yes, that's a given. Everyone provides that. But you'd be surprised today how many people don't give good customer service And it can really set you apart in what has become a very competitive world because lots of people have turned Teoh freelancing in the last. Maybe what? 10 years? So you do need to stand out on another thing you can do to keep your client is to keep in touch. Even if I hadn't worked with a client for a couple of months, I would email them and you know, how you doing? If there was an event that I knew was coming up like, you know, they were getting married on, you know, help, help, you know, wedding go blub a blow. And it's just a way of keeping in touch with them and then maybe being sneak in easy and and like old next time you have some work coming up, you know I'm available and I'm looking for worker, and it's surprising how many times you get work that day that you either email them will give them a call because it was kind of like, you know, the universe was lining up for you knew that they were looking for, Ah, work that they or someone Tahar and you happen to phone them. So do stay in touch with the clients regularly on nurture that relationship. And you know, the ideal Klein is the one you want. The easy to work with clients, So be aware of that and provide that good customer service. That's it for clients. And the next lesson is going to focus on time management, so I'll see you then. 6. Time Management: hello and welcome back. And in this lesson, we're gonna touch on time management, which is a topic that every freelancer has to be aware off. And if you don't manage your time efficiently and correctly, then it's, you know it's the difference between failure and success, and before you know it, you have no work coming in. No clients are calling you, so the main thing to do is to grab the calendar. It could be maybe software that you have on your computer or a planner. I still like using a physical planner to plan out my day and what needs to be done on. Make sure you use it. A lot of people by the software for, ah, project management and never use it. And, you know, do it. It's not only a waste of money if you brought it and you're not using it, but it really can save your business in the end, you know, and put them when projects a Jew, when so you never get behind and you never have the embarrassing situation of, ah client calling and saying, you know, where's my work? Where is the graphic design? Where's my you know you told me my website was going to be ready last week and I'm still waiting for it. Never, never do that because you're gonna lose a ah, a client that could be person that gives you continue money for maybe 5 10 years down the road. So manage your time. Make sure you know when products and you and also keep track of when you're gonna be doing marketing everything that you do within your business has to be put on that calendar. If you're going out to maybe network going to a Chamber of Commerce meeting, make sure you have every hour of every day accounted for. It might sound like it's overkill, but it's the only way to successfully run a freelance business. Another thing that you need to do And, you know, life happens. There's always some something that, you know, a family member gets sick. Maybe they get in an accident, the Children get sick and you have to go to the school to pick them up. Or maybe, you know, you have to find a baby sitter at the last minute or, um, you know, if someone from that you haven't seen for a while stop spy. And you think, Oh, that would be rude if I told them I'm working at the moment. So give your schedule some wiggle room that you can, you know, play around with it. And so Well, I took an hour off to talk to so and so now you know, that's that's kind of that times blocked off. Now I need to get back to work. Onda, Uh, you know, make sure you stay focused on that. Don't one day think Oh, you know, I'm gonna forget my schedule today. I'm going out and, uh, doing something fun. Don't do that because it's very easy to get into those bad habits. And for those bad habits to become continual, have it, Andi, The whole business starts to fall to bits. But on the other side, don't be work, work, work. I did this for the first couple of years that I turned to freelance writing on. I was just continuing working, thinking about work, trying to get work. And, um, you know, you become and I'll be touching on listening In another lesson. You you get burnout. So always schedule what I call your playtime where maybe your go and watch a movie for a couple of hours or you'll go out to eat with some friends. I kind of find that balance. Andi, try and get into good habits off, staying focused, but at the same time knowing when you have to take a break. As I said, time management is he to the difference between failure and success when you're a freelancer. So, Mike, sure you manage it Well, that's it for this lesson. And in the next listen, I'm going to touch on preventing that freelance burnout some tips that I found along the way, so I'll see you then. 7. Preventing Freelance Burnout: Hello. I'm welcome back, and in this lesson I'm going to give you some tips on preventing freelance burnout, and it's something that's gonna happen. It's inevitable. Ah, you know when you work for yourself, Sometimes we have the tendency to overwork. I know I always feel that I work harder working for myself than I ever did working for, you know, an outside in employer on. And I think it's just a given on. No matter how much you enjoy your work, you are gonna get burnout and need to take a rest. So you usually know when you're starting to get that burnout feeling when you think, Oh, I can't do another project. I Sometimes I used to sit down and have quite a bit work in front of me, and I think if I have to write another article, I just can't do this on you. Get to the point where you start putting things off your looking more for that playtime that I mentioned in the previous lesson than you are. The scheduled work and that usually is is an indication you maybe even need a vacation, and that's hard to do as well to think about taking a vacation when you're your own boss, because any time you take off is lost income. So that's really hard, Andi. Sometimes, you know, you do need to find that balance on what I suggest is you do kind of ah, monthly or yearly checkup away your at How do you feel physically? Mentally? Um, are you still enjoying being a freelancer? Or maybe there are a lot of people that find out it's not for them, and they do return to working in a for one employer again. And some of the things that can happen is maybe you're working in the wrong knee. Show the wrong area, baby, you've been a designer and you think, you know, maybe it's been more aren't that you've done and some using all design website and you've been doing that for a while. Maybe, you know, business has been pouring in and you've been making good money, but suddenly it's not fun anymore on da Baby. You're not meant to do that. Maybe you should go back and launcher free lunch in our artists. Maybe more Graphic design Web design on DA Lots of times two is people become bored on its because nothing is a challenge anymore. You get into that routine, Yes, I've got work coming in and I'm no longer having to chase work on your just kind of like the hamster in the world. You're just going round and that can cause burn out to If you're bored. It's always look for a new challenge. I always think that, you know, with my own writing, I'm I don't know how it is for other industries, but for writing, I always think, Well, I've been writing on this topic. Andi. Maybe I should spread my wings and go into another area of, like, maybe technical writing or something, something that will challenge me, something that will make me feel like I did when I first started out. So maybe look for a new nation. You outlet before you throw in the towel completely. But do take those brakes. You deserved them. And who knows? You may need a full vacation on did it? It's It's better to take that break than to burn out. Maybe not be a big toe hand in work to your client. Good quality work. Um, it's better it it doesn't take that break than be known for kind of your standards dropping or your work dropping And, you know, you got no no money coming in anyway. So probably the vacation would be the better option for you. So that's it for tips on preventing the dreaded freelance burnout on in our final lesson. I'm gonna tell you some ways that you can kind of market your business and try and get those clients So I'll see you then. 8. Marketing Your Services: hello and welcome back. And this is our lost lesson of the class. And it's all about marketing your freelance business. And I touched a little bit on this in the beginning of the class and the importance of marketing, especially when you first start out. So I thought I'd go through some things that worked for May and continue to work for May. When I'm looking for you know, new plants or work on a great thing now is to be a guest blogger. There's lots of blog's out there. In fact, I think just about everyone has a blawg. So, you know, find someone that's a good match. Maybe you're a artist, and you could guess Borg on a fellow artists or, you know, kind of cross promote. Have them on your blog's or ah, in a voice bursa on this 2nd 1 I touched him to is off of what I call freebies. Don't always be looking for, ah, you know, income. Reward about what you're doing, marketing wise. Offer something free. Maybe even there's a charity that's looking for someone to design their website, and you can be there. The person who does that and you know, Osco, could you put my name on the kind of contributor list or volunteer list? People think. Well, that's a great looking website. Oh, so and so did that. I need a website. I think I will contact them. It's amazing. You know, you do some good some good comes back to you. It's kind of the universe paying you back. And another thing is article marketing. You probably won't get paid for it, but write an article and maybe one of your industry, newspapers, magazines, people that are looking to hire. Ah, you know, freelances often read those. And I think all this is interesting. This person seems like a perfect match to what I need on they contact you. Andi tip. They always make sure you have your contact information that they can easily get hold of. You put together a newsletter. I've done this many times. You know, there again it's not gonna turn you any money, but it could earn you a client tips. Ah, you know, if you're a graphic designer tips on great graphic design, you know, colors that work together, fonts that work together lots of people are always looking for for tips on graphic design because with we're in such a visual age now, website business cards, everything. So people always looking for tips for those kind of things. Another thing. Always ask for referrals. If you're even working for a client, you could say, Well, you know, if you've enjoyed my work, do you know anyone else that's looking for maybe someone who So you were an accountant looking for a new bookkeeper? Always doesn't. Doesn't hurt to ask. Network mentioned this before network with your peers. It's not that you're in competition with them. You're working together. There's enough. You know, this enough work out there for everyone. Andi, you know, do some promotion, get out there and maybe mentioned this before. Baby, you you do some charity work. Uh, now, the great thing is this Starting with guest blogging. Start a blogger. Give tips. People are always looking for advice. Now you know, you go on YouTube, there's that. It's another thing you could even start a YouTube channel and maybe give tips on, you know, hair design, cooking, whatever your freelance businesses final thing. And this is what I've been doing is teach. I've been teaching for a on online school. I've been teaching, you know, for Maybe must be over a decade now on it really has helped my writing business. It's a great way to get your name out there. People see you as someone that nos the topic on da they are you So think about teaching. It could be here on skill Shit you could teach. Maybe through your own blawg you could teach through YouTube your community college. Uh, there's so many ways that you can reach potential students and clients now, so that's that's something definitely to think about. Well, that's about it. For this class. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope I've given you some tips into things things to think about if you're, you know, in the process of launching a freelance business. Or maybe you're still on the fence about whether you should do it or no, um, I hope I've given you some food for thought. Onda, Uh, I want to thank you very much for taking this class. Appreciate you, Onda uh, make sure you hit the follow button and you'll be, you know, top. When I upload two more classes, I'm going to be putting some more writing classes on here in the future. But I'd also like some feedback. What do you want to say? What? What? Your needs. Um what what classes? The topics that you'd like to see. That would be great to get some feedback on that on once again. Thank you very much for taking the class. And you can reach me any time. If you have any questions about freelancing as a set up in doing it for 20 years, uh, kind of knows what works and what doesn't so feel free to reach out and contact me if you need any advice or have a specific question. Especially if it's something that I haven't covered in the class. So finally. Thank you. Take care and hope to see you again soon. Here on skill share. Bye for now.