Freelancing: Best Tips for Success | Kimberly Montgomery | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (27m)
    • 1. Welcome!

    • 2. The Freelancing Life

    • 3. But First . . .

    • 4. This Class Is For You If . . .

    • 5. Hot Tip #1

    • 6. Hot Tip #2

    • 7. Hot Tip #3

    • 8. Hot Tip #4

    • 9. Wait! Before You Go . . .

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About This Class

Join me as I share the best tips I've learned over my 35 years as a Freelancer to help you get your new venture off to a great start!

Meet Your Teacher

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Kimberly Montgomery

Create + Design Your Creative Business


Let me show you exactly how I did it.

About a year and a half ago I was sitting on my couch in Portland, Oregon. It was winter, and I wanted to be somewhere else.

Actually, I wanted to be EVERYWHERE else. I had a burning desire to travel the world, I just needed to figure out a way to pay for it.

I researched, studied and did the things needed to make it happen.

Fast forward 10 months and I had created 9 Passive Income Side Hustles. That's when I had my daughter drive me to the airport. 

I've been traveling to fun and exotic destination ever since.

Come on over and join me at and get the low down on how I created my Passive Income life that allows me to travel the world full time. The information there will round out... See full profile

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1. Welcome!: Hi, I'm Kimberly, and I want to welcome you to my online classroom. I'm really glad you're here. For the past 35 years, I've worked as a professional illustrator, product designer and art licensing agent primarily for the gift and paper products industry . During the course of my career, I've developed illustrated, and during the course of my career, I've illustrated and designed hundreds of products sold in retail, including greeting cards, gift wrap, gift bags, home to core items, floor mats, flags to hang outside of your home, gift books and much more. It's been a very rewarding career, and I've had the opportunity to work with some of the finest talent in the nation. As an art licensing agent, I represented an Emmy Award winning animator, a Disney artist and some of the finest illustrators and photographers working today. It's been a wonderful career, and along the way I've learned a whole lot about developing a small business, branding a small business and how to bring a concept to market so that it really works. And in my classroom here, that's what I'm going to be sharing all that knowledge that I've gathered over the last three decades, we're going to talk about how to build a business from scratch, a small business, a single owner business and particularly a creative business. How do you concept it? How do you define it? Where do you find your customers? How do you brand it? And then how do you make it profitable? Over the course of my working career, I have developed many small businesses for myself and several online businesses in the last 10 years, some of them passive. So it's kind of set it and forget it and some of them a little bit more active where I continue to be involved in the day to day operations of the business. So I've learned a lot about how to take creative ability and turn it into something that can create a profit. So I hope that you'll come along. Is I create more and more classes in my classroom here? If you have a subject that you don't see listed, please let me know and I will be adding more classes over the coming months and years, so please stay tuned. I'm sure there's going to be a lot here that's going to help you develop and create a business that you love that creates a nice income for you, And that is a really rewarding experience. So thank you. And let's in. So thank you for stopping by, and I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you. 2. The Freelancing Life: Hi, I'm Kimberly, and I want to welcome you to freelancing the best tips for success. I'm really glad you're here. So if you have taken some of my other courses here on this platform, first of all, thank you. And secondly, I just want to let you know that this class is gonna be a little bit different than the type of classes I've taught before. Usually I go in a very step by step process with slides that outline completely what you want to do. And this class is not going to be that what we're going to do is just really kind of have a conversation about the things I've learned in my more than 35 years as a freelancer that I would share with my very best friends about starting their own business. So I can remember way back when when I first went out of my own, it was a long, long time ago. All I wished for was someone with a whole lot of experience that I could sit down and ask them a ton of questions. I wanted to get good information from someone who had experience, So I'm hoping that that's what this class will be for you. I'm going to go through what I feel are the most important points for success in any freelance business and share with you what I've learned over my more than three decades of doing this on my own. So if this appeals to you, then I'm so glad you're here. I hope you stick around it. Watching someone talked for several minutes isn't your cup of tea, then this might not be the choice for you, but if you're interested in freelancing starting out as an entrepreneur, I hope you stick around because I think there's gonna be some good information that's gonna make your journey more rewarding your business more successful and get you off toe a faster start. So let's get started. 3. But First . . .: as you go through these lessons, I want you to have a pencil and paper with you, and I want you to write down the questions that you have. You know, my desire here is to answer your questions because I remember how frustrating was in the very beginning, not having someone I could go to to talk to you about my new business. So as you're going through these lessons and you have additional questions, write them down and then I want you to email them to me at 50 jewels blawg at gmail dot com . That's 50 jewels blawg f i f t Y j E W E L s blogged at gmail dot com, and I'll do another course just like this one. A question and answer answering the questions that you have and I'll even to give you a shout out with the question that you submit. So go ahead and use this as an opportunity toe. Ask me anything and will put together a class just for you entering just your questions 4. This Class Is For You If . . .: If you're just thinking about starting your new business, if it's something that's been on your mind for years and you just haven't pulled the trigger or if your brand new at your freelancing or entrepreneurial journey, then this class is for you. We're going to be going over what I feel are the most important must have for a successful entrepreneur or freelancing business. So if that's you, stick around. If you're a little ways down the road on a new business, you might want to watch it as well, because there might be a few things that you can learn and apply to your new adventure. So this class is definitely going to answer a lot of questions for those of you that are just in the beginning process of either a freelancing career or entrepreneur building your own business. So let's get on to what I feel is the number one thing that you want to have in place before you even get started. 5. Hot Tip #1: what's the number one thing that I would really recommend that you have in place in a really meaningful way before you start your new venture? That's your Why why are you doing this? And I know that might sound a little bit like a cliche, but it's a cliche for a reason. And I'll tell you why. There is so much that goes into starting a new venture and a new business. And it can seem overwhelming and confusing. And you might wake up morning after morning wondering, What the heck am I doing? And why am I doing this Having that, why in place that really meaningful? Why in place is the Onley thing? Sometimes that's going to keep you going. It's a challenge starting a new business. That's why so fruit people do it and even fewer succeed at it. So give yourself a leg up by establishing a really clear why you're doing this. And then you may be saying, Well, what do you mean by why? And what I mean is, What are you building the business? Four. Is it because you have AH passion for this industry or this topic or this service is it because you no longer want to get up and work the 9 to 5 anymore, and you're just trying to find a way to get out of it. Is it because you want to buy a new car or be able to take a great vacation every year and not worry about the money? Or you want to be able to help your child get through college? Whatever your why is establish it now at the very beginning and get really clear on it. Is it important enough that is going to keep you going when the going seems really, really tough? Because starting a new venture has a bunch of challenges to it. So connecting to that why is really important? And what I do is that I make sure when I start a new venture and trust me, I've started so many I can't even remember anymore. Is that I decide? What is this new venture going to do for my life? How's it going to improve my life and what changes in my life am I looking for that it's going to provide for me? And by golly, I write it down because when you're in the midst of it or you're waking up at three. In the morning because you forgot to do that X y z thing that was gonna move your business forward and you're feeling a little bit overwhelmed. Being able to connect back into the reason you started This whole thing in the beginning becomes so much more important than you even realize right now. Please trust me on this. And you might be saying, Well, I know what my why is I just want to make more money. Well, more money isn't really what any of us are after. What we're after is what we think that money is going to bring to our lives. Is it going to bring freedom? Is it going to be a sense of less stress over buying extras? Is it going to be a sense of accomplishment in helping a family member get in education or I have something more in their life? It's not the money we're looking for. It's the results of the money. So if you can connect to what you think the results will be and how it will impact your life, you're going to have a much easier time slugging through those harder times than someone who just says, Well, I'm doing it because I want more money. It's not enough of a motivator. So get really clear. Sit down and think to yourself. You know why I actually, am I doing this? Is it too? Just because, you know, one know that I can or is there a tangible change in my life that I'm looking for this business to provide for me and connect with that? Write it down. I write all mine down. I'm using the the APP, the program on the computer, Terrell Oh, now to, um, outline my tasks and my goals and my wise and all my different ventures So you won't get that chance a try if you haven't used it anyway, so please don't look at this is a cliche and something that really doesn't need to happen. It really, really does. And you will be emailing me down the road and saying, I'm so glad I connected to my Why? Because it's that important. So write down your why. Make sure it's specific. Make sure it's really important to you. And remember, having more money isn't a why. That's just the pathway to the y. All right, let's go on to the next Now 6. Hot Tip #2: for your first venture. What I highly suggest, recommend and almost insist on is that you develop a business around something that you're really, really good at or that you really, really love. And there's a few reasons for this. The 1st 1 is is that putting together a business is, ah, lot of work. There's a ton of moving parts. There's ton of things that need to get done and most of them you might never have done before. So it's a strong learning curve. It's like I can remember when I first started every day I'd wake up and I had a task ahead of me that I knew nothing about that I've never done before. So I had to learn this whole new task in order to push my business forward. Of course, it's not like that Now, you know, Humpty up years down the road. But in the beginning, everything that you're doing to grow your business, you most likely have never done before, You know, I'll tell you, running your own business is a lot of work. I mean, it's a whole lot of fun when you get it up and going and you're earning money. But in the beginning, boy, it seems like it's one thing after another that you have tow, learn to do to make your business of success. So wrapping your business around a skill that you already have it, or something that used super love, you know that you love to get better at and you'd love to teach and learn as you grow is going to make the whole journey that much more fun, exciting and motivating for you. Now the next thing that you might be saying is that wait a minute. There's nothing I'm good at or I don't know what to do. I'm not so sure that you know I'm good at anything or there's anything I'm passionate about . You know what? Trust me. I've been doing this a long, long time and coaching and helping other people for a long, long time. I've never met anyone that didn't have something, some type of skill or passion or talent that they could turn into a business. So let me give you a couple of examples. I have a friend that I met and she had unfortunately, several years ago, an industrial accident that damaged a good portion of her lungs. She only has about 15% of her lung capacity now. Not a good story. But what happened as a result is that she became very, very health conscious and sensitive to chemicals. So one of the things she did after the accident was noticed all the chemicals in the face cream that she was using. So she decided to make her own. So for the past 10 years since the accident, she's been making her own face cream out of all natural ingredients, and it's wonderful. Their skin is beautiful. Well, she shared that face cream with a friend, and the friend would Oh my gosh, I feel so quenched from it. Well, off a sudden, this friend of mine realized that she had something that other people might like. So she's decided to start a business. I kind of helped walk her through the whole thing, and she named it quench. And now she's up and running with a business that she never, ever even dreamed up with, a skill that she didn't even really know that she had. She was just, you know, giving herself the very best face treatment that she could giving her medical condition. So here's an example of someone who didn't know that they had a skill or an idea that was marketable. Who's now up and running and selling, You know, so many jars a month, which is a wonderful story. Another idea here is I just moved to a new small town. Now the town itself is a very small town atmosphere, but it happens to be a vacation destination on the Northern California coast. People come here for romantic getaways. The bed and breakfast scene here is huge, but the local population really isn't that interested in keeping up with the times. I mean, they just got cell phone service here in town, maybe four years ago. So it's dawned on me that starting a website that lists all the events in this community could be a good little business. So I would start the website, put up a calendar, make sure everybody in town knew to give me their events that were going on in their business or their being be or with a community organization. And once I get enough traffic to that website, I'm gonna start throwing a bads on the side bars for local businesses, charging them a nominal fee. And it's gonna be another passive income source, almost passive income source for me just to build up a community website that everyone can participate in. So there are two ideas right there about something that you could do. You know, maybe you're passionate about biking the local trails in town. Do a local website on that and you could sell ads to the bike shops or to the foods shops are, you know, lunch shops along the way. So there's lots of ideas out there. Just make sure it's something that you love and something that you're good at, because what's gonna happen. And I know you don't believe this now, but when that first dollar in that 1st $10 in the 1st $20 the 1st $100 comes in, you're going to go, Oh, my gosh, this dust work And then your mind is going to go into overdrive and you're going to come up with so many different ideas that it will no longer be. What should I do but will be? What should I pick next? So start off easy. This is kind of like the training wheels of your entrepreneur life. This first little business start off easy on yourself. Pick something that you love that you're super passionate about, so that when you get up in the morning you feel confident in the service or the product that you're offering, and that's going to get your business off to a great first start, Mary. 7. Hot Tip #3: the next tip I want to share with you is make a plan. I know, I know, I know, I know. You know, say the word business plan to any entrepreneur freelancer, and they're just going to run out of the room. We don't want to hear it. And I understand that. You know, the reason that we want to work for ourselves is we're gonna have that independence and that, you know, wanting to love to do what you're doing and not having to do anything and a business land. Sounds horrifying. I know I don't think I've ever written out a formal business plan, and I don't ever plan to. But that doesn't mean that I don't have a plan for my business. And I want you to have one, too. And what do you mean by a plan, Kimberly? Well, I want you to know where you're going with the business. You know what the business is? Is that a product or a service? Who? You, Your target market is? Who are you going to sell this to? Who needs your product? Where are you going? To promote it? How are you going to promote if you're going to do it locally. If you're going to do it online, What social media platforms are you gonna use? How are you going to monetize your business? You know, these days a lot of businesses aren't necessarily dollars for product or dollars for service. It might be that you sell advertising on a popular local website or that you generate revenue through another means. That's not necessarily what you're putting out to the public. You know, Amazon affiliate dollars or something like that. Have a plan like, what is it exactly that you're doing? Who are you going to be doing it with, like who your customers are going to be, how you're going to promote that business and how you know what ways are the revenue going to come in? I know today when I do a business, and I actually am just starting putting together another new business. Right now, I write down what all the potential revenue streams are, because today there's so many different ways to make money off. Ah, business, particularly an online business that making sure I'm clear on what my revenue streams are is important and will be important for you to so have a plan. Know where you're going with this? Because trust me. And I've said it before in one of the earlier lessons. There's so many moving parts when you start a business that you could become confused and overwhelmed about what exactly it is that you're doing. And believe me, this still happens to me because I have so many businesses, and eventually, you know, if you stick with this, you will too. You know, sometimes I think to myself, you know? What is it I'm doing now? Where's the money supposed to come from? Now you know what's my next step? That sort of thing and riding out that plan again. I use Trela right now. That just happens to be what I'm using. I'm not affiliated with them in any way. It just seems to work right now. You know, having a plan about exactly what the business is, who you're selling to, how you're going to sell it, how you're going to promote it and what all the revenue streams are for that business as super important. So please, just take a few minutes right out of plan. It doesn't mean that it won't change it probably will. I've never had a business build out exactly how I planned or as fast as I hoped. And you know that that might work the same way for you as well. So put together a plan. You're gonna be thankful that you did. And it's gonna save you a lot of sleepless nights. 8. Hot Tip #4: The final thing that I want to stress in this course is commitment. And I know I'm a commitment folk, too. So don't tell me that you don't like. What I'm talking about is making a commitment to your new venture because you know no business build out nearly as fast as any of us hope. It just doesn't happen that way. And any time that you see some superstar that's making a $1,000,000 in the first year, that's not the whole story. They either designed and built in businesses before that one, or they have a huge email list or something. Trust me, no business builds out like lightning. It just doesn't happen that way because you've got to get the word out there. You know, business, a small business, a freelance business and entrepreneurial business. It's usually just a numbers game. You know, you have to have enough numbers of people who need what you're doing and want to give you money for it to make your business a success. And how do you get those numbers time? It just takes time for you to get the message out, toe all of them. And not only do you need to get the message out. You need to get it out to them repeatedly. So when you think about your customers, you know they might see you. You know, you see your business or your promotional material the first time, and they go Oh, and then they see the second through the 10th time and they go, Oh, and then they see it through the 11th time. They think, Oh, does that guy teach guitar lessons? And then they see it the 30 of time And they think, Oh, my daughter talked about wanting to learn the guitar and then they see at the 40th time, and then they think hook, looking for contact information to give you a call and find out about your services. So any lead that you get, they've seen your business over and over and over again because you promoted over and over and over again. And you know what? My time they're making that Yes decision. You may have thought about quitting nine times in between the first time they saw your business information. In the time that they pick up the phone, it just takes commitment. You know, I've never had a business build out nearly as fast as I hoped. And really, no one has either. You know, some of the biggest successes out there have been doing it for 20 or 30 years. Now, don't let that scare you. That doesn't mean that you're not gonna be earning and income for 20 to 30 years. It just means that getting to where you want your business to be a mature business that really is growing on its own with the promotion plan, it just takes time. So in the beginning, make a commitment. What I do personally is that when I start any new venture, my job for the first year is simply to promote that venture. That's all I look at. I don't look a revenue numbers. I don't look at followers. I don't look at enquiries. Nothing. My job in the first year is to just promote that business. And by golly, I write down the date that I start promoting. And I don't even look up from that promotional push for the first year. And then after that first year, I tweak it a little bit, find out what's working, and then I commit for another year. So, please, if you want your business to be a success, you have to say the same thing. To promote your business over and over and over again. And when you're done with that, you have to say it over and over and over again. Again. It takes commitment. So just commit to your business for a full year. Your job in the first year primary job is to promote that business over and over and over again. Commitment to your business. You're gonna be so glad you did, because the last thing you want to do is quit right before that person was gonna call you up. Inquire about your business or services, so don't do that. Commit. So write down the date that you start promoting. Ride down the data year out on your calendar, and when you get to that year out, take a look at what that promotion is done. That commitment has done to your business. It takes commitment just like anything else in life. So keep at it. Don't quit, keep moving forward and keep that commitment 9. Wait! Before You Go . . .: Well, I want to thank you so much for joining me, man. This class freelancing the best tips for success I'm really, really glad that you've stuck with the whole course. Thank you for that. Now. You may have questions that didn't get answered during the course, and I would love to hear about them. So go ahead and email all those questions that you work down during the class to 50 tools blawg at gmail dot com. That's 50 jewels block at gmail dot com, and I'll put together another class and answer just your questions. So we'll have another class just for you answering just what it is you want to know. So thank you again. I really wish you all the best in your entrepreneurial journey. It's a wonderful, wonderful way to earn a few bucks or a whole lot of bucks or a lot of bucks from a lot of different ways. So however, it works for you, I wish you the very best. If there's anything that I could do for you along the way, please don't hesitate to contact me, and I'll see you in the next class by now.