Freelancing Fundamentals: How to Build a Successful Freelance Business | Maggie Stara | Skillshare

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Freelancing Fundamentals: How to Build a Successful Freelance Business

teacher avatar Maggie Stara, Digital Marketer & Top Teacher

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

20 Lessons (3h 3m)
    • 1. Welcome!

      1:51
    • 2. Olympic Luging and You

      5:21
    • 3. Develop Atomic Habits

      6:25
    • 4. Create a Powerful Online Presence

      5:02
    • 5. LinkedIn 101

      8:27
    • 6. Success Through Socials

      10:07
    • 7. Freelancing Platform Tips

      12:12
    • 8. Your Business Set Up

      9:25
    • 9. Pitching With Impact

      11:44
    • 10. Watch Me Pitch a Client

      16:08
    • 11. Nail Your Discovery Call

      11:05
    • 12. Proposals and Contracts

      11:35
    • 13. Invoice & Get Paid

      8:53
    • 14. Onboard Your Client

      11:47
    • 15. Setting & Raise Your Rates

      8:31
    • 16. Finance Fundamentals

      9:49
    • 17. Diversify Your Income

      8:26
    • 18. Overcome Obstacles

      9:05
    • 19. Class Project

      14:15
    • 20. What's Next?

      2:27
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About This Class

Maybe you’re looking to shift your existing career into a successful freelance business or you’re changing careers completely. Maybe you’re looking to freelance full-time or just wanting to create a bit of extra income on the side. No matter what your unique situation is, you’ll find the answers and support you’re looking for within this class!

Being able to work online with a variety of amazing clients while travelling the world has completely changed my life. It has allowed me to develop my skills while working on my own terms. And it has given me the ability to work and collaborate with people who appreciate the value I bring to their business and who understand my need for creative freedom. 

And now I want to help you build your dream freelance career with this class!

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We’ll begin the class by setting up the foundations of your freelance career by getting into the right headspace and habits. Then, we will go into the ins and outs of what it takes to get your name out there, approach clients and how to successfully work with them. This is where you will learn how to:

  • Create a powerful online presence 
  • Succeed on freelancing platforms
  • Approach and pitch yourself to clients
  • Send proposals and contracts
  • Invoice your clients with ease
  • Set and raise your rates
  • Manage your finances
  • Bring extra passive income into your business
  • … and more!

We’ll then finish off the class by creating a free, one-page portfolio website as a part of the class project that you can then send to your clients for them to learn more about you and your business.

This class is full of all the things I wish I knew before I began freelancing and everything I learned along the way. So hopefully you find it as valuable as I do and of course, if you have any questions while you’re learning or once you’re already out there building your freelance business  - please don't hesitate to pop into the discussions section and ask me anything and everything and I'll be happy to help!

I can't wait to see you in class :)

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Meet Your Teacher

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Maggie Stara

Digital Marketer & Top Teacher

Top Teacher

Hey I’m Maggie. I'm a digital marketer and your creative instructor!

Back in 2016 I was introduced to the world of social media marketing. I was SO excited about the possibility of working online and being my own boss but I was really struggling with the lack of honest, authentic, and high-quality information out there for beginners. So after learning the ropes the hard way and becoming a successful freelancer, I set out to help make things easier for creative overachievers like myself.

So, I went ahead and created everything with you in mind.

My classes are made by someone who knows exactly how intimidating it can be to be trying to master 20 tools at once and stay on top of constant updates with each of them. And my hope is to take away some of the o... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Welcome!: I became a freelancer mainly so I could travel the world and take my work with me wherever I went. But over the years, my freelance career has evolved into so much more than just a way for me to be location independent. I'm Maggie Stara and in 2016, I first began freelancing as a social media marketer and virtual assistant and later on as a digital marketing strategist. I know firsthand just how much a freelance career can bring opportunities that you never thought possible and completely change your life. This class is perfect for you if you're an aspiring freelancer who's looking for some guidance on how to create a powerful online presence. How to get consistent work with high-quality clients through freelancing platforms and other avenues online, and you'll even have the opportunity to watch me pitch a client live to see how I take the next steps to close the deal. You'll know how to create beautiful proposals and invoices for each client and how to effectively keep track of your finances. We'll even be going into how to diversify your income streams so that you're not stuck in feeling like you can't take the time off when you really need it. I'll be showing you how you can become an irreplaceable asset in your client's business by making the process of hiring you completely seamless, so you continue to increase your rights as you take on more responsibilities and learn more valuable skills. By the end of the class, you're going to know how to position yourself as an expert in your field and be able to submit a beautiful one-page portfolio website for feedback as part of your class project. You will also have your handy class guide that's full of tips and takeaways from the lessons within this class and some further resources that are really going to help you along your freelance journey. At any point, you guys can use the discussion section within this class to ask any questions that are really specific to your unique circumstances, and I'll be able to help you out a little bit more one-on-one there. I have so much fun stuff to share with you guys in this class. I'm super excited to get going. Thank you so much for being here in advance, and I'll see you in class. 2. Olympic Luging and You: [MUSIC] I'll fess up. The title of this particular lesson was designed to confuse you and spark a bit of curiosity. But considering you're here watching this lesson, I'm going to assume that it's worked, but I promise I have a point, so stick with me. What does Olympic Luging have to do with you as a freelancer and your freelance career? Well, maybe more than you think. I've always been fascinated by how some people stumble into certain careers. Like how does somebody go from being a directionless teenager to becoming the world's most renowned chess boxer or professional mourner? Yes, these are actual jobs and they're fascinating, so I welcome you to come down The Rabbit Hole of weird jobs with me. Then one day I just thought, how does somebody actually become a professional Luger? Surely you don't just wake up one day and think who, I wonder if I'd be like really good at hurling my body down an icy track at deadly fast speeds. That doesn't just happen overnight. It probably starts with something like, you really like the water park and water slides and you like adrenaline and you realize that you're really good at pushing yourself to the limits when it comes to going at really fast speeds. Then maybe trying out a few different sports and then stumbling onto the one that fits. Because suddenly you're seeing more and more opportunities that fit with all of these different things that you're exploring and finding out about yourself, and your freelance career will probably be something similar where there are tens of thousands of jobs that can be done on a freelance basis and trying to pick the one that's the best fit for you right from the beginning when you don't really know what you enjoy doing it, can be really intimidating and it can stop you from even starting because it's really overwhelming to try and figure out what the right path has for you before you've even started. The best thing to do is really just to start with what you know and build from there. When I first moved to Australia at the end of 2015, I began exploring the idea of freelancing because I couldn't get permanent work on the visa that I was on at the time. Having just come from years of working as a tour guide in Europe, all I really knew was that I wanted to be able to work and travel. This led to me stumbling onto the concept of digital nomads, and then I just looked up, what are the easiest digital nomad jobs that you can do as a complete beginner, and that was virtual assistance and social media management, which is how I ended up here. I really decided this was actually a good fit. If it had said something totally different, I might not have been as keen, but I knew I like being creative and I knew I could do the admin side of things because of my past experience. This was a good fit, but I also knew I probably wouldn't end with just virtual assistants and social media management, so also wanted to just work for location independent business owners and support them with their businesses to find out more about what they did and to see if anything resonated with me for what I want to do in the future. I first worked with an eCommerce Brand, and I really enjoyed working for that client. But in terms of it being my future business, I didn't quite see it as a good fit because I didn't want to deal with suppliers and customer service and then really tight profit margins. Then worked with a software as a service company, and I really liked that client and I liked their business model, but I knew that in order to develop a software from scratch, you would have to have a lot of upfront costs which I just didn't have at the time. Then eventually I had a client who was a course instructor. I resonated with something in that business and I thought, is this something I really want for myself? But at that time, I didn't really have the skills yet to back it up, so I knew that I wanted to freelance for a few more years with different clients in different industries of different sizes. I then went into work at a physical-digital marketing agency and in-house in a corporate role, so that by the time I became an educator, I was a lot more confident and a lot more well-rounded in terms of my skills and was able to teach confidently, but also answer people's questions and pull from my own experience as well. It didn't happen overnight for sure, and there was a lot of trial and error in the process. But the beauty of being your own boss is that you can say no to things that don't align with your values, and you can say yes to things that scare you as long as they move you in the right direction. The important thing is to just keep exploring new opportunities, keep evaluating your strengths, keep moving forward in your business. But don't close yourself off from things just because you're not quite sure where it's going to lead to. Because I promise you, your version of this obscure Olympic illusion career might just come about from a very unexpected place when you least expect it as well. Now, just before heading into next lesson, please go ahead and download the class guide from the projects and resources section. As this is where you'll find all of the useful tips, tools, and resources we're going to be covering throughout these lessons. In addition to this, I'm giving you some action items throughout the class that I really want to encourage you to do so that you can get some momentum going and that by the time you're finished with this class, you're going to be ready to submit your class project, which is going to be your beautiful free one-page portfolio website that you can then get feedback on and use straight away once you're done with this class so that you can go out there and actually get freelance work as soon as you're ready. I hope you're excited to get going and I'll see you in the next lesson. 3. Develop Atomic Habits: One of the biggest changes you'll probably experience in your freelance career is the fact that suddenly there's no one around telling him what to do and when to do it. You are the person in charge of getting your new clients and structuring your day and keeping track of your finances and just keeping yourself organized enough to be successful. The upside is that generally as a freelancer, you can get a lot done in a short period of time, because you don't have the distractions of office politics and unnecessary meetings and all the other things that take up 80 percent of your day in a traditional office environment. The downside is that if you know you can get up at noon and get everything done well enough, it can be really difficult to get up at 7:00 AM, go to the gym, cook a really healthy meal, and have a green smoothie, meditate, do all the things that really successful people apparently do before they sit down to work. If that's something you want to do, everybody works very differently, but the point that I'm trying to make is that it can be really hard to make the healthy choices when there's no one around telling you what to do and you're not running on other people's schedules. If like me, you struggle a little bit on the self-motivation front, then I can really recommend checking out this amazing book, Atomic Habits by James Clear, I have linked it in your course guide, and I also wanted to include a few nuggets of wisdom in this particular lesson from the book, as they pertain to building a successful freelance career. Let's look into them now. Many people think they lack motivation when what they really lack is clarity. Really it's a difference between saying I'm going to get more freelance work, and saying every Monday from 9:00-11:00 AM is going to be my time to reach out to 10 potential new client every single week. That's very specific and very actionable. The design of your environment is more powerful than you think. You want to drink more water, make sure you have a water bottle at your desk. You want to be less distracted during the day, make sure that at the end of every workday you go and declutter your desk, so by the time you sit down to work the next day, everything is really nice and there's nothing to be distracted by. But it's not just your physical environment that matters, it's also your virtual or digital environment because that is your new office now is your laptop and your screen, so having things all over the shop can be very distracting to your process because you're always searching for where things are, what did I label this thing, where can it be found? Make sure you're setting aside a little bit of time every week or every month, whatever works for you, to organize your Google Drive, organize your desktop, put away all those messy screenshots that you've inevitably got on your desktop somewhere as we all do, but make sure you set aside a little bit of time to organize things so it's all nice and accessible for you. One of the most effective things you can do to build better habits is to join a culture where, one, your desired behavior is the normal behavior, and two, you already have something in common with the group. This is a big reason why I really enjoy working from co-working spaces and networking communities in general, and it doesn't have to be every single day, it can be a couple of times a month, but for me in particular, freelancing was really lonely because people in my existing physical environment and in my existing circle of friends and family just didn't quite get what I was doing, and instead of trying to force them to understand it, I just went where my people were already hanging out, and it made all the difference in the world. Motion versus action. We are so focused on figuring out the best approach that we never get around to taking action. Controversially enough, I'm going to suggest that taking online courses like this one can be one of the motion loops where it feels like motion because you're learning a new skill, but in reality, if you're not actively practicing the skills that you're learning, then you're not going to get very far because you're not actually putting the information into practice. This is why I always encourage my students, including new guys here, to not take all of the courses on everything you think you need to know in order to start all at the same time. Take one course, implement a skill, actually take some time doing it, get the ins and outs, get the trial and error, learn from your mistakes, and then take another course, implement the skill and keep going that way, because that is going to be so much more valuable to you than having all of this amazing knowledge in your brain without having really implemented any of it, because that's really not how we learn. If you're having trouble quitting a bad habit, create resistance, and this can be something simple like just putting your phone in another room while you're working so you don't get distracted by notifications popping up and everything happening around you, or you can use apps like Freedom, which can block some sites on your desktop, or on your phone during specific times of the day, and of course, you can control when this happens, different times of the week as well. I did this a lot when I'm writing articles or scripting because it's not my favorite part of what I do, so I get distracted really easily because I'm always looking for a way to do something else, and that in particularly when I need to be controlled with an app like Freedom where I'll be like, well, I can't access these things, I guess I have to do the work. That's a really great way to keep yourself from getting distracted. If successful and unsuccessful people share the same goals, then the goal cannot be what differentiates the winners from the losers. Everyone going into the Olympics is hoping to win, and everyone applying for a job interview is probably hoping to get the job. The goal can't be the thing that separates the winners from the losers, it has to be something about their process. The winners probably work a little bit harder, they get up a little bit earlier, they persist a little bit longer in training themselves for the thing they're hoping to achieve. Goals are good and you should have goals, processes are even better because by having a strong process, you will inevitably achieve the goals that you want anyways, and it might feel a little unnatural at first, but I think this quote sums it up quite nicely as to why persistence, even in the face of discomfort, is the key. If you want something you've never had, you must be willing to do something you've never done, and now with that in mind, in the next lesson, we're going to jump into how you can create a powerful online presence for yourself. I'll see you there. 4. Create a Powerful Online Presence: Before we get into where to find clients online and how to actually talk to them and how to get work, it's important for us to talk about how to actually present yourself and your services online. Whenever you're thinking about how to present yourself, what you do, who you do it for, and all of the things that go into your online presence, I want you to always think of one thing, what would I want to read if I was the client? This one thing is going to help you make sure that this is going to stay relevant because showing off your personality is great. Don't get me wrong, absolutely, people should know a little bit about you and what makes you unique but business owners are very busy people. If you can really cut out the fluff as much as possible and only tell them what they need to know in order to make a decision, that in itself is going to make you stand out. Because if you're coming at this from an employee mindset and a cover letter mindset, you're going to be a little bit tempted to think about or talk about things like your degree or your use of experience or your proficiency in Microsoft Word and things that maybe in a corporate role or in a traditional office role they might want to know about but the freelancing world is very different. For example, no one has ever referenced checked me for freelance job and that is mainly because if you're absolutely terrible as a freelancer, they can just let you go. They don't even have to give you a notice period, likewise, you don't have to give them a notice period. It's good practice, of course, but if it's not a good fit, they can just go, "we'll look onto the next freelancer." People just don't bother with the same things in the freelance world. It's much more fast pace so think of your online presence less like a cover letter and more like a sales page where you are the offer or the product that you're trying to sell to your dream client. At this point, I want to encourage you to write down your answers to these questions. Why should someone hire you to be a part of their team? How will you help them to grow or manage their business? What can you actually help them with? I'll be showing you how I do this for my own business a little later on, but for now I just want to encourage you to just jot a few things down. It doesn't have to be perfect. It just has to be something so that you start thinking about the stuff and so that you can get one step closer to having your beautiful one-page portfolio site at the end of this course. As you're doing this, just remember this is way less about you and way more about them and what you can do for them. It might help you to think about some things as to why someone would actually be hiring you, which is actually just three things. This might be because they don't know how to do it, they have no time to do it, or they have the knowledge and the time, but they just really have no interest in doing this task. Keep these three things in mind as you're writing down your ideas. The other aspect of your online presence comes from taking a really good profile photo and that is a photo that you can then take for your professional Gmail account, your LinkedIn, your Upwork profile, your social media sites, basically anywhere that a client could communicate with you. You can easily take your own photos just by having a continuous video on your phone and do a few different poses and pause the video so you can take some screenshots of the poses that you enjoyed. You can even change outfits if you want to have a few different options, but it can be just as easy as doing this and getting some really nice photos as screenshots. You can also go through to your phone and just jump on the Edit function, whether you're on Android or Apple, and just tweak a few things slightly to get the photo to the standard that you want. Just make sure you're always facing the camera, there's no one else in your photo, you have a slight smile and look friendly and it's going to look nice once it's cropped into a circle for a profile image and it's a good idea to have your photo in focus and in color. Now before we head into the next lesson, I did just want to acknowledge at this point that it is so scary putting yourself out there because you might be at the beginning of changing careers completely not just structure. Some of you might be going from working for other people to wanting to do the same skillset freelance but some of you might be starting a brand new career and on a freelance basis, it's a lot of changes all at the same time and it can be really scary and you're probably not ready to be shouting it from the rooftops just yet that this is something you're pursuing. But I wanted to share one thing with you that has really changed how I think about this in my own career. People aren't judging you nearly as much as you're judging yourself. Just don't let other people's opinions of what you're doing and how you're doing it stop you from living your best life. [LAUGHTER] Now in the next lesson, we're going to jump into creating a beautiful presence on your LinkedIn profile so I'll see you there. 5. LinkedIn 101: [MUSIC] Some of you watching this might be in the same position that I was in when I first started freelancing, which is that you probably still working full-time or part-time at the moment as you're hoping to soft launch yourself into the freelance world, maybe get a couple of projects under your belt before you make it your full-time thing. That is very common, and if that's the case, you may not want to make drastic changes to your LinkedIn profile just yet and make your boss a little bit suspicious that you're leaving them for this amazing new career path. [LAUGHTER] I totally understand that, but there is no harm in just keeping your LinkedIn profile really professional and up-to-date, and knowing the ins and outs of what it takes to create a beautiful LinkedIn profile. Maybe you don't have one yet, in which cases this is your chance to set one up. But either way, for those of you who maybe are ready to make some of those changes because you're in a position, well, that's okay and you don't have to worry about other people worrying about your LinkedIn profile changing, or do you want to say that LinkedIn is such an untapped resource for freelancers wanting to build relationships with potential clients. But also wanting to build relationships with other freelancers and get that support, and build their support network. Let's now talk about how to make the most out of your time on LinkedIn. Make sure first of all, that your profile is as complete as conveyed to the best of your abilities depending on your situation, and that can include having a beautiful profile image, having a nice cover image, or banner image. This can be really simple or it can be customized like this and I have included a resource for you guys on how to make banners just like this one. Then you want to make sure you have a nice tagline there. Ideally it's something that would be keyword heavy and something that people will actually be searching for, like digital marketing, strategist marketing educator. If you put in growth queen [LAUGHTER] or something like that, that's not something people are searching for. You may not come up in search results quite as frequently if it's not something that is keyword optimized. This is where you can also say that you're actively looking for work. You would put in job titles that you're looking for. You can say that you are looking for remotely and then you can say, are you looking countrywide or even region-wide? For me, I could potentially be looking at APAC which would be Australia and surrounding countries that are on a specific honest time zone, so that makes it a little bit easier for clients looking for freelancers within their time zone. But you can also just look at it locally, in which case you could potentially be looking for hybrid, not just for the remote jobs as well. Then in terms of start dates, I would probably put in flexible and casually browsing but you can also say you're actively applying and job types wise, probably, most likely you'll be looking for contract roles. But if you want to take a couple of these just to keep your options open, you absolutely can. This is where you would then say, I only want recruiters to say this. I don't want everybody on LinkedIn seeing that. Again, that's especially key if you're still working full-time and you're just looking to get a few freelance gigs on the side before deciding to quit your job completely. Then you want to continue to fill out your profile, so your about section, your featured section, if you have any portfolio items that you want to put ahead of your career history, that can be a good place to feature those. Your activity on LinkedIn will be featured there and then you'll have your experience. I would encourage you to audit your experience to only feature roles that are relevant to your current career path but that can mean a lot of things. For me for example, prior to being in marketing and working online, and working for myself, I was primarily working in travel and tourism. Now, I wouldn't necessarily take these off of my LinkedIn profile because I might be looking to work with clients within these industries, in which case I can bring in that outside experience into my new freelance role. As long as this makes sense to you, just so you know you do not have to list every job you've ever had in your LinkedIn profile. Then ideally you want to sprinkle the word freelance throughout your profile and potentially even in your actual job title or your tagline of your profile because this helps for people who are specifically searching for the word freelance or freelancer. If it's throughout your profile, you're going to be much more likely to come up for those search terms. You can also bulk up your profile by adding rich media files to every job description. If there are particular things that you may be worked on in each role that you can attach to your profile, that can be a great way to bulk things up if you don't have a huge amount of experience in your field yet, you can add some media files just by going into each particular role and then adding some additional media here. That can be things like graphics, videos, guest posts, anything that you think would look really good to potential future clients who can get a sense of your work. That can be a really great way to make your profile stand out. If we keep going, you'll also see there is a space for education and any certifications as well and you volunteering, and then your skills and recommendations. At the beginning, if you don't have a huge amount of connections on LinkedIn yet, you absolutely can just ask friends and family to come in here and endorse you for the skills that you want to appear on your profile. You can come in here and add the skills, and then ask your friends and family to come in and endorse you for those skills, which makes it a lot easier when you're applying for particular roles through LinkedIn, when your profile matches very closely to the skills that they're looking for under that job description. Same with recommendations, you can ask past employers or even past colleagues to give you recommendations. If you were feeling like you need to bulk up your LinkedIn profile a little bit more. You also want to regularly review who's actually looking at your profile and seeing if there are people there that you want to connect with that you haven't maybe connected with yet. Keep in mind if you're not on the premium version of LinkedIn, you're not going to see everyone who's ever viewed your profile. If LinkedIn becomes a really big part of your marketing strategy for your business, then I would recommend getting premium and try just because you can cancel it. So you could keep it for a couple of months just to really increase your awareness of your connections, build up your network, get a few advanced analytics and different features, and then you could potentially cancel it if you don't find it to be valuable moving forward. But do keep in mind that LinkedIn is all about growing your connections network. I would really encourage you to try and connect with people who are in the same industry or who have the same job title, or people who potentially are hiring managers of the work that you do. If they are content managers, social media managers, marketing managers, CMOs, people in positions where they would potentially be looking for contractors and freelancers in your industry. Go out and connect with as many people as you can, and then continue to build that trust and build those conversations by sharing really great content on LinkedIn, whether that's original content or just sharing content from industry publications, new books you're reading, basically anything that gives people an opportunity to start a conversation with you on LinkedIn. Then finally, of course, you can also look for jobs on LinkedIn. If you put in the job title that your particular skill set would fall under and then you could potentially put in a contract as a role. In terms of locations, it can be countrywide, but it can be region-wide as well. For me, for example, I could look Australia wide, but I can also look at Australia and New Zealand or APAC, and that really helps to widen the search. Then in all filters, I could also have a look at remote roles as well. It's cut down my options quite a lot. But that's not necessarily a bad thing because now I know that the four roles that I'm looking at here are definitely contract, definitely remote, and looking for someone with my particular skill set. Get to know the LinkedIn platform, make sure your profile is filled out an up-to-date, and really just start connecting with people in your industry that you would want to network with as fellow freelancers or would want as clients. 6. Success Through Socials: One thing that's true for all of us as freelancers, I think, is the pressure we feel to be on every social media platform and be consistent with our content on every social media platform. But the truth is that as a solo freelancer, unless you're an actual octopus and have eight arms, it is impossible to be everything to everyone on every platform. You are going to have so much more impact by narrowing your focus to 1-2 social networks and really understanding those in your audience on those really well, rather than dividing up your time between all of these different avenues. When it comes time to select the right networks for you, I really want to encourage you to think less about the platforms you are familiar with or the platforms you enjoy consuming content on as a consumer, and more about what platforms are your clients on and what platforms are you really lucky to have the most impact on within your particular industry? For example, if I was trying to get work as a video editor, it would be really silly of me to continue to spend my time on trying to grow a Twitter account or a LinkedIn account, when my clients are probably hanging out on YouTube or looking for answers to their questions on YouTube. But then if I was freelancing as a financial services virtual assistant, I would be most likely to have the best impact in spending my time on LinkedIn because that is probably where my clients in this professional services industry are already hanging out. At this point, I want to encourage you to write a few more ideas down based on who your ideal client is of the services that you want to provide and where will they most likely be found online. If you're at the very beginning of your freelance journey and you're not quite sure how to answer this yet, then drop down what you ideally want to be doing and who you ideally want to be doing it for. For example, for me, when I first began learning about freelancing, what I knew was that I would want to work on social media accounts and also be a virtual assistant, so I could organize people's schedules, do administrative stuff, do some community management and those things. I knew that the people I would most likely be working with to start with as a beginner in this field would be small businesses. That would be soloprenuers who are maybe overwhelmed with trying to do everything themselves. I also knew they'd probably be spending a lot of their time on YouTube and Google trying to figure out how to do certain things for their business themselves, and I would also probably want to be doing some LinkedIn networking with other business owners. That was my main focus, and then I just started creating content for my ideal clients on these platforms where they were already looking for answers to their questions or they were hanging out and networking. But I do recognize that not everyone's in marketing and knows exactly what businesses and people can be found in different social networks, so I have included a bit of a cheat sheet for you in your course guide, so make sure to check that out there if you're still not quite sure which platforms are right for you and your business. But no matter which platforms you choose to set your presence up on, let's talk about some tips for you to consider, starting with optimizing your presence for searchability. For example, if I was a virtual assistant and I wrote organizational goddess as my tagline or as what I do, this is not something people search for on platforms like LinkedIn, or Instagram, or anywhere else. It is not a keyword that's going to put you in search results in front of people who are searching for your skillset. You want to make sure you're using keywords that are very specific to the job that you're performing. My next tip is all about how to be human, tell stories, and solve problems. People often make the mistake of sharing what it is that they do and not how it helps people. If I was going to put my clients hat on for a sec here, and what I would connect with online would probably not be things like, I can improve your website speed. A lot of clients don't even know why they need to have fast websites, so I would connect with something like, I can move your customers through your website so that they can buy things faster and you can make more sales in less time and have happier customers and a better user experience. That's something I would connect with and that's something that would make sense to me. When you're thinking about how to actually communicate what you do, and why you do it, and who you do it for, always be thinking about it in terms of what's valuable for the client to read, what would make sense to them in like human speak, not industry speak as well. Marketers, we often talk about click-through rates, conversion rates, conversion rate optimization, lots of clients have no idea what any of that means. But if you put it in words they can understand by telling the stories of how it's going to help their business with you as a member of their team, that's something they can really connect with. Next, let's talk about building meaningful relationships. Let's say you had to Facebook and you're looking for groups to network in and add some value and build some connections, I think that's a really great place to start. The problem is most people are going to search terms like remote work, or looking for digital freelance work, or whatever it might be. But the point is, you end up in a lot of these groups where there's over a 100,000 people who are all competing for this work. The problem is that a lot of these groups are generally filled with a lot of people looking for work and not enough people giving it. If I can give you one piece of advice, it would be to actually add value to groups where there's a lot more people who are likely to hire rather than people who are seeking work, and people you can add value to business owners and even fellow freelancers in different areas who might be able to refer work to you. My favorite way to build meaningful connections online is one, to be in business groups where people are looking for particular advice, so Like Minded ******* Drinking Wine is an awesome example of one of these groups that I really like using for this demo. As soon as you look for result in this group, for people who have used the term looking for, you will notice that people are constantly jumping in here. This is in the last couple of days, looking for tax agents, accountants, bookkeepers, virtual assistants, and looking for advice for branding and design work, wanting guest bloggers. This is constantly being updated with people who are looking for advice on who other business owners would recommend, but also for freelancers to actually jump in there and say, hey, I actually I'm a bookkeeper, I am an accountant, or I would love to guess blog for you or I'm a virtual assistant, and you can then jump in there. Of course there's 89 comments, and later in the course we're going to be talking about how to cut through the fluff and actually make yourself stand out from the competition even on these types of platforms. But I can guarantee you that these 11,40,89 comments, is still a heck of a lot less than you will see in groups where you're competing with a 100,000 freelancers. It's something to really consider from a business networking perspective. My next tip would honestly be to jump into skill based Facebook groups. I'm in a lot of ones that are specifically around tools or different areas of my expertise. Whether that's video editing, or graphic creation, or Facebook ads, that are very specific areas of my skillset. That's where you can come in here and talk to other people who maybe are looking to expand that skill set, but then they go, all right look, this is too hard. I really want to be a better video editor, but I actually don't have the time, can somebody do this for me? A lot of the time the relationships you build in these skill based communities help you form really strong bonds with other people who have that skillset and can refer work to you when they don't have the capacity, and also for people who are coming into these groups hoping to learn, but then they just find it too overwhelming and really want to outsource to other people within the group. Next, let's talk about experimenting with video whenever possible. Not everyone's going to be comfortable jumping on video like this. It took me years to get comfortable jumping on video like this, and it's not a prerequisite for success as a freelancer. But the way that the world is going, it's definitely becoming increasingly about video content, and that is the stuff that people really connect with, so much more than an image of you, or a static graphic, or even written text. If you can get a little bit uncomfortable and push past that discomfort and get on camera for even 30 seconds, 60 seconds, and shoot a really quick clip of you sharing something about your experience or answering frequently asked question that lots of your clients asked you and you want to answer that in a video clip and share that on social media, that is the stuff that people are going to stop the scroll for and actually hit play and get to know you. Because more often than not, clients aren't just hiring you for your skills because there are hundreds, if not thousands of people who can do what you do. None of us are unique in what we do. What makes us unique is who we are, and that is often the thing that gets clients to hire you over someone else because there might just be something that they've connected with your story, or your experience, or your passions, your values is something that's really, really connected with them. That's the stuff that people can really get a good sense of in a video so much more than they can in static content. Whenever possible, I really want to encourage you to explore video content in your content strategy on social media. Now, in the next lesson, let's jump into looking at some freelancing platforms. 7. Freelancing Platform Tips: [MUSIC] I got my start as a freelancer on Upwork and then since then I've primarily freelance outside of freelancing platforms. I think I can be relatively objective about pros and cons of both approaches but the major upsides of going through a freelancing platform as a beginner is the fact that you already know the people on these platforms are looking for someone with your skill set and your only job is to really convince them that you're the right person for the job. You don't really have to be hunting around for clients. You don't have to be even handling your own contracts, your own invoices, you don't have to have a business name, you don't have to have a fancy website setup. You can get started with minimum friction and you can get started straightaway. I liked that because I think the main reason I see people not succeeding in their freelance career is because they're spending so much time trying to make everything perfect and just have the right business name, have the right website setup and have all their ducks in a row before they even start reaching out to potential clients. As a path of least resistance, it can be a really great way to just get out there, get started, get a couple of jobs under your belt, see if you actually enjoy the work you're doing as well and then potentially move off of the platforms if you need to. Because the major downsides of these platforms, of course, is that yes, the competition is quite high. You are always competing with all the other freelancers that are on these platforms. Of course, the platforms do take a percentage of your salary because that's how they make money. It can be more beneficial for you and for the client to have a relationship outside of these platforms and look for clients outside of these platforms. But it can be a really, really great way to get going especially because as a beginner, you can really get noticed on these platforms because of that amazing care factor that we talked about. That is just because a lot of people are copying and pasting for job applications on these platforms. They're going for the volume approach, so they're copying and pasting for 20 jobs a day. Clients can really tell on the client side of it when you're reading these proposals or these cover letter type applications that are coming through, you can really tell when someone's read your job description and customize it to your specific names and when they haven't. For you by the time you're finished with this course, you're going to be really well-equipped to be one of those people who's going to stand out just because of your care factor on the application front. The other upside to this is that as soon as you have a few jobs under your belt and on your actual profile on these platforms, your profile will then rank higher in search results for clients who are specifically looking for people with your skill set. It may not have a public job posting that people can apply to the best clients will keep that a little bit secret. They will actually manually go out there and find the people they want to apply to a job that sort of secret, which means that the competition then isn't really there because the client is seeking you out and going hey, ''I've got a job that I think you'd be really good for if you're interested please apply.'' That's a really good position to be in because then you're not really competing with other people and you have the power to do that once you have really good reviews on your profile. That gives you that visibility and a little bit of a leverage point, which is just something you don't have outside of freelancing platforms because you don't have the review based system and there's no search engine just out there in the online space on Google to say find me a freelancer. In this particular area, it will always lead to freelancing platforms. Those are some upsides and some downsides. We're just going to take a look at a few things that you might want to consider when it comes to creating a profile on freelancing platforms. These platforms act like search engines so you have to provide them with lots of good keywords to make sure that you show up when clients are searching for your skill set. You could have the best profile in the world but unless it's specifically mentions the services you offer and the tools you're confident in using. Clients may not be able to find you in the search results. For example, if I'm here on Upwork looking for social media talent, these are the two top profiles that come up. I can see that this particular profile was suggested because they have 23 jobs that match my search. While Heather only has three jobs that match my search but she's obviously optimize her profile enough for my particular search term where she's popping up for that actually above someone who has seven jobs that match my search. She has obviously listed social media as her skills, which I can see there. If I then click into her profile I can also say that in her actual bio she's got proficient in Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. This is exactly what I'm talking about when I'm talking about keywords. These are things that are really specific and allow the search engine to do its thing and figure out what's present on your profile and match that with what the clients are searching for. You also want to be starting with a powerful statement and a specific job title. Heather here has a pretty short bio but when it comes up in search results the first thing that I say is let me tell your story through social media. It's about more than just likes. I want to help you create lasting impressions through social connections. That is really captivating. Whether this first line is something that just draws me in to want to know more and click on the profile or whether it's something really impressive in terms of results that person has achieved, just something that makes me want to learn more. I would also encourage you to not use fluff words like goddess or guru, things that are not searchable by the platforms. This is also just a couple of screenshots from the few different freelancing platforms including Guru and Freelancer. You can feel confident that no matter which freelancing platform you'd decide to set yourself up on if any, or all the freelancing platforms will have some sort of version of his displaying your job title, your skill set, and a few lines from your actual profile. My next tip is all about not just saying it but actually showing it. If you're a great writer, don't just say you're a great writer, be a great writer by I writing a really great profile overview that's compelling and makes the client want to work with you. Similarly, don't just say you're creative but put together some portfolio samples that show off that creativity. Remember you do not have to have past clients in order to have a portfolio. When I first started I just use myself as an example with these kind of portfolio samples that I attached to my own profile. It's really not honestly a big deal. A lot of the time clients just want to see what you can do. But once you have a few gigs under your belt and of course you can continue to replace these with actual client work. The benefit of having some portfolio items attached to your profile is that they will now show up in search results on Upwork, it is not the same for every freelancing platform but on Upwork it'll try to pull through some of your portfolio samples if you have any. It can just make you stand out a little bit more and maybe spark that curiosity for clients who are browsing the search results for people with your skills. In addition to this you can now also have a video introduction on your profile. If you are a beginner and maybe you don't have the past client experience. Here's where you can shine a little bit by just putting in a little bit of your personality letting clients get to know you by jumping on camera for even 30 seconds to a minute creating a really quick video that you can attach your profile so that clients can get to know you better before they decide whether you're the right fit for them. You can also take on small projects to build your reputation on these platforms. For example, these are the first few jobs I picked up on Upwork when I first began freelancing. Notice they're all fixed small jobs that I did really quickly to get my reviews up. Whereas actually I had a few bigger clients that I started working with around the same time or even earlier than this but I didn't get reviews from them until we finish working together which sometimes could take months or even years for ongoing work. The benefit of these quick little jobs is that every good review helps your profile stand out more on these platforms. If you can start off with just small one-off projects and get a few reviews that will help you take on bigger projects and increase your rates in no time. You also want to be careful of what you say. Platforms do monitor the conversations that clients have with their freelancers on the platforms. It might be a bot monitoring it but there is some sort of monitoring system that happens. It can be an easy way to get you banned both you and the client if you start talking about moving your relationship off the platform. Because like we talked about obviously these platforms do you take a percentage of your income. Sometimes people do move their relationships off these platforms especially if you're working with a client for several months or several years it then maybe no longer makes sense to keep paying that extra fee through the platform. It's not exactly something that the platforms want happening for obvious reasons. It's something that they do monitor for and it's a breach of their contracts. Just something for you to be aware of. Have those conversations via e-mail or via another communication software like Slack or whatever you're using to communicate with your clients. You also want to work within your hourly rate. For example, when I first started working online I charged $20 an hour through my freelancing profile. If I was applying for a job where the client listed their budget as being $200 but a new job would only take me four hours to complete I would bid $80 instead of the $2,00 and then explain my reasoning behind this bid in my proposal. Clients really appreciate that. This is more of an issue when clients are putting jobs out there that they say they have a budget for it, $2,000 let's say. Then a freelancer who charges $10 an hour on their profile will say they estimate it'll be a $2,000 job, then another freelancer who charges $100 an hour I will also say they estimate it'll be a $2,000 job. That discrepancy and the amount of time it'll take based on your hourly rate is where things start to get a little bit tricky. Let's just use a real life example on Upwork so I can show you exactly what I mean. As an example, this is a job that I've just found that is asking for a social media specialist anywhere in the world for a fixed price project of $700. They are wanting an expert for this project but I actually think it's pretty suited even to kind of medium level of skill set in the social media world. Because this client has already had an audit done of their entire social media presence. They just need someone to help them actually implement the suggestions that someone else has provided. They need an implementer not a strategist. It sounds like they also want to learn a little bit about how to actually create things and postings themselves. They need someone to train them and potentially work with them to implement the changes. This could be a really good starting job and if I was applying for this so if I look at my profile I've got my rate at $60 an hour. They're asking for $700 as a fixed rate. Which is just under 12 hours of my time if I was looking at it at $60 an hour. Now, I do think this type of project would take longer than 12 hours to complete but that's where I can communicate this with the client and give them a little bit of a discount off of my hourly rate and still bid $700. But specify the amount of time that I think would be required to complete this so that they can manage their expectations as to how much of my time I'm willing to give up to complete this project. Because this would actually show up on my profile as a fixed price projects none of my future clients will actually know that I got paid potentially a slightly lower hourly rate for this project. They would just see that it was that fixed price. This is also a project I could complete quite quickly, probably within a week distributed over a couple of hours, over a couple of days, allowing me to hopefully get a really nice review and give my profile that extra visibility for future clients. 8. Your Business Set Up: [MUSIC] Unfortunately, I can't advise you guys on how to set yourself up from [inaudible] goal structure point of view because this course is being taken by people from all over the world and every country and every region has their own regulations and rules as to how everything should be set up and not to mention that this is not my area of expertise. I wouldn't feel confident advising you on that anyhow. Please, please make sure you're consulting a local legal professional and definitely an accountant to make sure that your setup correctly for tax purposes in your specific region, especially, if you're traveling so you know exactly where it's supposed to be reporting your taxes and making sure that you're doing everything the right way. But sole proprietorship or sole trader, is the most common business structure for freelancers to operate under, especially if your business has revenue below a certain threshold. Once your business starts making a bit more money, your accountant might advise you to switch your company's structure because you might get better tax breaks. On that note, I personally wish that I had really worked with an accountant earlier because mine has saved me an enormous amount of money and time. But I understand it's not within everyone's budget to work with an accountant straightaway, and there are lots of helpful resources out there for freelancers in all the different countries about how to set up your business, how to calculate your tax rates, etc. For those of you who might want to go down that path, I've included lots of handy articles from Upwork in your course guide about the pros and cons of different business entities, the different deductions you can claim as a freelancer, especially in the US. Now, if you are freelancing outside of the US, you can still use these articles as a guide and then lookup specific rules for your particular country. Because again, every country is going to have a different set of rules. This is just scratching the surface. But just as an example, if I had a profit of $100,000 with a business registered in America versus Australia, the amount of tax I would have to pay as a sole trader is completely different. But then I might be able to also use different types of deductions in each country as well, so it is important to just do some research on what's best for freelancers in your own country, maybe even talk to a couple of established freelancers in your country and apply for a business tax numbers so that you can definitely start tracking your earnings and doing everything right from the get-go. But it's important to remember that while you do need to be registered for tax purposes, you don't need a company brand name, a professional service website, a logo, brand colors, or any of those things to get started with working online. But eventually you might want these things, so when that time comes, make sure to head to name Check.com to check out whether the usernames you're looking for might already be taken. I'm just putting like maggieworks or something that I might be using for my social media profiles and it's going to check over 90 social media accounts to tell me whether this username might be available on those networks. That actually includes domains as well. If I wanted to have maggieworks.com, awesome. I can have that maggieworks.me is not available. Then in terms of usernames, I can see that this username is available on quite a lot of things, but probably the main things in terms of social media accounts that I would want to be available in terms of Facebook and probably Twitter, Pinterest are not available. That's where I can start playing around with a few things like putting a dot or an underscore in-between the two words or switching them around. This can just be really handy so you don't get to a point where you have registered a particular username on all the networks and you can't get it on like that one last network, and then a little bit inconsistent, which may not be a big deal to some of you, but for those of you who like to have things consistent, it's a good idea to maybe just do this check before you commit yourself to a particular username or handle. In terms of how should you be picking a brand name or should you even have a brand name or should you just use your own personal brand? Should you just be like at Maggie Stara? There is no perfect answer to this, and people will probably have their preferences based on what they've done and what they've enjoyed doing. For me, it made sense to operate under living to roam, which to me was at brand that primarily focused on teaching people how to work in travel and big digital nomads, which is what my main focus was when I started the brand. But mainly it was selected to be really flexible. I knew that social media management and virtual assistants, which is what I was at the very beginning, was probably not where I was going to end with my skillset. For me to register a brand name like social mags or VA mags probably didn't make sense to me because it would put me into a box. I wanted to have something that was flexible enough that I could then branch out to other areas of the digital space and it would still make sense onto the same brand, but really it just has to make sense to you. Some other examples of this are Peggy Dean who operates under the brand name the pigeon letters and burnt toast here who is an incredible artists as well, but in terms of the actual name of it, doesn't necessarily scream NFTs and art for you, and really even big brands like Canva and Apple developed their own brand names that no one naturally associates with designing or Sleek Tech. But it makes sense to people who understand these brands now. Lots of people out there are just using their own names as their business brand, and that's also a totally, totally fine option. It also gives you a little bit more flexibility because as you then as a human being evolve and your business evolves, you don't necessarily need to change anything about your brand name, whereas if you have a brand name like Maggie VA and I am no longer a virtual assistant, then brand name is no longer relevant. Whereas if I just operate under me, Maggie Stara, then I can go from being a VA to a developer, to a photographer and people will evolve with me. There are pros and cons of both categories, but just don't get too hung up on the details, honestly, if you are waiting for everything to be flawless and for your work to be perfect and your online presence will be perfect and have the greatest logo and the greatest website before you get started, you're never going to get there, because really the only way to actually get better at this stuff is to take action. At this point, I just want to encourage you to set up a professional presence on one to two social media platforms, where you can begin building your presence and connecting with your ideal clients and put in place a plan of attack for creating content for these platforms. Now, let me give you an example of what's possible when you take action. My friend and incredible graphic designer and illustrator kit started posting what she calls movie makeovers as a book cover designs of popular movies that everyone can relate to and knows what the original looks like, and this led to her doing this particular fictitious book cover design, which actually lead to a publishing company getting in touch with her when they discovered her through this one graphic about doing recurring book cover designs their clients. It lead to repeated business from one Instagram posts and this is the power of just putting your genius out there on social media, even if you don't have a huge following. Because of stories like kits and my own and what I've experienced in my own freelancing journey. I am such a big believer in content marketing as a way to attract people into your business, because they will then see examples of you doing the work they need done for their business or providing answers to their questions or solutions to their problems and this is a system that can work for you from months and years to come, so you're not always having to actively go out there and pitch and find clients and do the work creating content and really valuable content like videos, articles, even posts on social media platforms, especially platforms like YouTube that have a really long lifespan and can continue to circulate for years to come, that's the stuff that's going to really work for you while you sleep essentially. Yes, it's a little bit more work up front, but it does have a much bigger effect for you in the long run, because you don't have to actively continue to put the work in, day in and day out. Because let's face it, if opportunity doesn't knock, build the door. But I'm also really aware of the fact that not all of you here watching this are going to have an interest in marketing or it's not something you want to upskill yourself in and you would much prefer to actually go out there and proactively find clients, do the networking, sell yourself to potential clients because that's the stuff you're really good at and interested in. That's totally, totally fine. To be honest, it doesn't have to be one or the other. It should be a blend of both anyways. It is really, really valuable to still have the skills to proactively go out there and find work, as well as potentially implementing some of these content marketing tips that will attract people into your business. For those of you who are more interested in the proactive stuff and actually learning how to pitch to clients and where to find them, the next couple of lessons are just for you. I will see you in the next one. 9. Pitching With Impact: At the beginning of your freelancing journey, it can be difficult to know what to say when you can't say things like, "I've helped clients exactly like you to improve their conversion rates by 20 percent." Or, "I've taken product photos similar to a brand like yours and here's some examples of what that looks like." These are powerful statements that you can leverage when you've got a few jobs under your belt and you're able to pull some impressive stats from the previous jobs to get clients to start thinking about what it would be like to work with you and have you on their team. But even as a beginner when you're not able to do this yet you still have a superpower and your superpower is your care factor. Because trust me when I say that the longer people work in any job, the more money they charge, we know that. But the more arrogant they get and the more careless they get. That sounds negative but it's just how it goes when you feel like you've done something 1000 times so you don't feel the need to check everything twice or go through every single approval process. Naturally, you start to get really automatic at certain things but that's also how mistakes get made and that's how people get a little bit too cocky at what they're doing. But as a beginner, you have this amazing care factor that just makes you go above and beyond and have such incredible attention to detail and all the amazing things that you start to lose the longer you are practicing any skill and the longer you are in any career path. Your job at the beginning is just to find people who understand your superpower. Let's now get started with some tips on how you can use this to win over potential clients, starting with some tips that will be useful if you're pitching in response to a job description you've seen online. First of all, read the job description fully. Sometimes specifically on freelancing platforms, you'll see people say some really weird stuff in the job description. Something like, "in submitting your proposal, start your first sentence with 'Dear hot-dog lover'." It sounds insane but it serves a very important function. Out of all the incoming proposals they're going to naturally filter out anyone who doesn't start their proposal with this sentence because it means they never read the job description fully and they never go up to the part at the end where it gives them the instruction to do this. The rest of their proposal might be amazing but if they miss this one crucial step, it means they probably rushed through the process of identifying what are the key things in the job description I should be replying to in my proposal. Ask useful questions about specific parts of the job description that would make them intrigued to continue the conversation with you. Basically, your job at this stage is just to start a conversation and get them to reply. By asking useful questions this is how you can get the conversation going because people naturally want to answer if they feel they've been asked a really specific question. For example, I often saw marketing roles that might say something like, "I need your help with setting up a Facebook ad and landing page." I might reply by saying something like, "I saw in your posts that you said you need help with your Facebook ads and landing pages. Are you also looking for someone to create a welcome sequence for your leads and segment your subscribers based on the content that they came from?" This does three things: it tells them I read the posts thoroughly, it makes me sound helpful by suggesting additional things they might not be thinking of, and it shows off my expertise. Next let's talk about what's in it for them. Your initial page doesn't and shouldn't include your life story. Always be thinking about what do you possess or what can you provide to the client that helps them and provide solution to their problem. The fact that you have a university degree doesn't help them. The fact that you can use a software that they need you to use for this particular job, that definitely helps them. Don't feel you need to put in every bit of information about you from birth to present day. Just share the bits that are relevant to the specific job description that you're applying for. Let's now talk about some other general rules for pitching with impact even if you're not responding directly to a job post. Starting with making sure you give people context. This slide is mainly for a little bit of fun but for anyone who has seen The Princess Bride, this is actually a pretty good rule to follow. Make sure when you're talking to clients you introduce yourself, you include some a personal link whenever possible and you manage people's expectations as to what's about to happen. My entire LinkedIn inbox is filled with people who clearly know nothing about who I am or why we would ever be a good fit for one another and they're already pitching me on what they have to offer. This shotgun approach of copying and pasting and just putting in my name doesn't work. You haven't actually found out if I have a need for your services or what my business is about, there's just no personalization to this and this just does not work. I can't imagine that many people reply to those types of messages. What would work for me in particular even if I maybe don't have a need for a freelancer with a particular skill set but it would start the conversation and put them on my radar, is if they approach it from a perspective of curiosity and wanting to know a bit more about me and my business. A lot of the time I have people saying, "I like her YouTube channel." Okay, cool, that is good. I'm glad you do but how does that help me or what does that mean? You know I have a YouTube channel but you haven't told me if you've watched the video, all I know is that you know how to use YouTube. But if somebody says to me, "I read your blog post on the Digital Marketer blog, I can't believe how much the demand for digital marketing freelancers has risen over the last couple of years. That was such an interesting part of the article." That tells me you know what I do, you know who I do it for, you know that I've posted on other websites other than my own, and you've bothered to read the thing that I wrote and engage in a meaningful conversation with me. Does this approach take a lot more time than just saying, "Hey, Megs, I like your video, here is everything I have to offer." Absolutely, it definitely takes a lot more time. But is the success rate of this approach so much higher than if you just copy and paste and just try and hit up 100 people a day with a totally non-personalized approach? Yes, it's so much more successful. It may not lead to a job but it will lead to a conversation because I would be silly not to reply to a message like that. Even if it leads to me saying, "Hey, I don't have a need for someone with your skills at this time." That doesn't mean I won't in the future and it doesn't mean that I don't know someone else who does. Always include one call to action but don't say things like, check out my portfolio, reach me on Instagram, you can email me, you can fax me, you can send a carrier pigeon. [LAUGHTER] Just stick to one thing, what's the one thing that would be an ideal result of a conversation? Give them one call to action so they know exactly what steps you want them to take. Start simple and follow up. Remember your goal is just to start a conversation. Your goal at the beginning is not to get the job or even pitch your services. Your goal is just to get somebody to reply, that in itself is already a huge win. Because so many people get so many emails and so many messages every single day and they probably reply to one percent of them. If you can just get somebody to say something back, that is already a huge win. You will not get a reply from a copy and pasted proposal letter or cover letter. What you will probably get a reply from is something that makes people feel a little bit guilty about not following up. One of my favorite email subject lines for follow-up emails if a client has not replied is, have you given up on this and their name. I would say, "Have you given up on this, Maggie?" Because it makes people feel guilty and curious which are very powerful emotions to tap into. This is how I ended up starting in conversation with the senior entertainment and lifestyle writer of Cosmopolitan before I had any writing experience or any portfolio samples to show. I just had an idea for a pitch and ended up following up. Could not believe I got a reply from someone who is so ridiculously busy. It is such a powerful way to just start a conversation. It won't always be a yes, it wasn't a yes then either. But it just starts a conversation and gets to that reply and that is a good first place to start. My odds are about three out of every five people I send this type of email to will hit me up and give me a reply. It's not always a good reply, but it is a place to start. Definitely give it a try because it's definitely been my magic bullet in my freelancing career. Create a process for pitching and do this in whatever way works for you. You can have sticky notes, you can have physical calendars or you can set this up in your project management tool online so you can have a process in there for people you've contacted. When did you contact them? When do you want to follow up? If you've had any conversations you can put that in there as well so you've got some contexts. You can also have information about where you contacted them. That's important because you will naturally assume it's your preferred method of reaching out to clients. But sometimes it might be something weird like it was a tweet or it was Instagram or something that you don't normally use to reach out to clients. Have some process in place so that you can make sure nothing gets lost because things absolutely get lost in this process. You can manually do this within your own Google Calendar but if you use tools like Asana they will have templates that you can actually use based on different departments. I would be going to sales in this case and it will give you templates that you can then import into your own free Asana project management tool. That will help you to track who are people you're talking to, how much would the contract be worth, and set reminders for follow-ups for people that you've already spoken to. Finally, for something a little bit different I just want you to think about fun and creative ways that you can use to make yourself stand out from the competition. This was a copywriter named Alec Brownstein who spends $6 on Google ads targeting the names of the top five creative directors in New York that he wanted to work for. When those directors then Google themselves, which apparently is something that creative directors do quite often, which I can totally understand. They would then find his ad saying, "Googling yourself is a lot of fun, hiring me is fun too." This led to him working at his dream job all for one $6 campaign. This was back in 2010 and a creative stunt like this would cost you a lot more than that now. But it's just an example of how you can get your creative ideas flowing. Think about how you can do things a little bit differently with your pitches. Well, it doesn't have to always be this cold email that follows a specific structure. Try different things, try weird things, try approaching people in ways that you wouldn't have thought about otherwise. Even if it hasn't been done before it doesn't mean it can't be done by you. Just think a little bit creatively especially if you're in a creative industry because that's the stuff that your clients are going to be drawn to. Now I'm going to see you in the next lesson. We're going to continue to talk about creative ways to pitch. 10. Watch Me Pitch a Client: [MUSIC] In this lesson, I'm going to be sharing with you my winning strategy for pitching clients. To start off, I would first find people who are looking for my skill set either on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or other platforms or in Facebook groups like this one. Because that then allows me to search the group for the term looking for to see what people might be needing and find the requests that fits with my skill set. I can see that Christine is looking for a business coach, marketing strategist, mentor or motivator, or someone who's maybe a blend of these areas. She's looking for someone with experience in private practice, which I don't have, but I do have a degree in psychology, so I could potentially leverage that in my pitch. I would then look at her profile to see where she works and then look up Hargan Psychology online to see where I can see some room for offering my expertise. Keeping in mind, I'm looking at this from a marketing angle so you do need to adapt the strategy to your own area of expertise of course. I can see that there are running some Google Ads here for their brand, which I can probably only see because they're in their local area. Now on their website, I can see that they do offer some different therapies. Knowing that I am seeing their Google ads, I could also look these up on Google to see if they're advertising for these specifically. Now, just because they don't come up, doesn't mean that they're not necessarily advertising for them or haven't in the past. But it might just give me a bit of a conversation prompt that I could bring into my pitch. I would then continue to look for things like, are they posting or advertising on Facebook on Instagram as well as other platforms and maybe write down a couple of different talking points that I then wanted to cover about how I can add value to their business. Then once I'm ready, it's time to press record. Hi Christine, My name is Tara, and I'm reaching out today because I saw your post in the Facebook group asking for a business coach, marketing strategist, mentor, and motivator, or perhaps someone who's a bit of a blend of all of these different areas. I thought I would introduce myself and tell you a little bit about my background and also talk to you about your own online presence. Some areas that really stood out to me in terms of your strengths and also some areas for improvement that I've identified. Then also maybe talk about how we can take the conversation further either through a Zoom call or the fact that I actually saw that you're based in Hawthorne were only about 20 minutes away here in Richmond. We can just grab a cup of coffee and have a bit more of a casual chat as well. But my background is to give you an idea of why I'm so passionate about your particular area of expertise. I graduated with a major in health studies and a minor in psychology in Canada back in 2012 is when I finished university, which is another lifetime ago. I'm obviously much more focused on the marketing field now, but I have aligned myself a lot with the health and wellness industry because of that background. I'm quite confident in growing brands just like yours and we can talk about that in greater detail another time. But for now, let's focus on your own online presence because I know you're the principal psychologist and owner at Hargan psychology. I know it would be incredibly proud of the brand that you've grown and that know, like and trust factor that's so key for your particular industry is so evident in everything in your online presence, from the color choices to the font choices, to just the wording that you use in some of your posts. I just want you to know that that presence definitely comes across and it's so incredibly powerful and there are just a few things that you've done that I think have really stood out to me. First of all, I can say that you have running Google Ads already, which is amazing. It's very underrated for a lot of service-based businesses, especially local businesses. It's really great to see that you are already running it and you're tracking it correctly on your website, which is great to see, but you are also just running your Google ads to your homepage at the moment. If they are converting exactly as you want them to be, then no worries, no need to tweak anything. But with Google Ads sometimes with my clients, I like to experiment with having dedicated landing pages on their website that really force that call to action that you want people to take and remove some of the distractions. Because you know that people looking for your services on Google already have a really high search intent. They're already looking for you and it's your job just to convince them that you're the right choice for what they're looking for. Sometimes people come to a website and get overwhelmed by all of the different areas of a website that they can browse through. Then they get so overwhelmed that they leave or they don't take the action that you want them to take. Sometimes it can be really cool experiment to remove the menu, remove the social links and create this dedicated one-page website almost that is just catered towards people booking a consultation and just giving them the pieces of information that you think that they're looking for and especially narrowing it down by your different service categories. If people are looking specifically for couples therapy or specifically for family therapy, then making dedicated landing pages for those different services so that you're not trying to advertise everything to everyone because you already know exactly what they're looking for. You're catering to their customer journey that way. Now I did also see that you are running Facebook Ads, which is amazing and again, really underutilized, especially in the service-based industry. It does look like you're likely doing really well with them. You're running quite a few different ads already. But I did notice that you're not actually tracking this on your website, so you don't have the Facebook tracking pixel on your website which means that all the amazing visitors who probably have the highest of intentions to actually book a consultation or inquire further about your services who come through these ads, they maybe are just on the go. Maybe they're dropping their kids off at school or they're just on their way to work and they're getting distracted and by the time that they actually have the time and space and mental capacity to do something about that action that you want them to take, they've now forgotten about your brand. They can't really remember who you are or maybe they just need a gentle reminder. The Facebook pixel allows you to do just that. It allows you to essentially track everyone who comes to your website, not just from these ads, but from other sources as well. They might be coming from Google ads or just through organic search traffic and then target them on Facebook. The other benefit of this is that the conversions of those ads are actually so much cheaper because that know like and trust factor so much higher. These ads that you're currently running are likely targeted at cold audiences that don't really know much about you. You don't really know if they have a need for your services. By running those retargeting ads, you're essentially advertising to people who have already expressed an interest in your services. They already know a little bit about you. Converting them into a patient and into a consultation is going to be so much easier and cheaper in the long run as well. One other thing that I wanted to mention in the Facebook ads world is they are not a direct competitor of yours geographically speaking, but they are in your space. This is Clear health psychology, they're based in WA. One really interesting thing that they're doing that I think you might be able to utilize is using the geographic language in their advertising. They will say things like WA and Perth and looking for a psychologist in Perth metropolitan area. It's very geographical base and these ads have a tendency to convert really well because people know that you are specifically targeting their area. Because you're based in Hawthorne, you could be advertising for Richmond, for Hawthorne, basically anyone within the Melbourne area. You could then also break that down by your different services. You could be specifically advertising for family therapy in Melbourne based area and couples therapy within the Melbourne based area. That can be really powerful because then people feel like you're talking to them specifically. It is a little bit of extra work for sure. It says setting up these types of ads, it's a lot easier to set up really generic ads that just advertise you as a business. But the more you can understand what people are looking for when they're coming across your brand and when they're in that mindset to actually convert, the better your return on your investment will be in terms of advertising. That's just something for you to think about there. One thing I absolutely have loved that I haven't actually seen much of in your space is the use of video. I saw this on your LinkedIn that you use this video where people have a chance to get to know you specifically, and this is so powerful in getting people to see the person that they might be actually talking to and the person who built the brand and why they built the brand connecting with your why, that's so powerful. The fact that you then repurpose this video for your IGTV, I think is so cool. I think that is such a clever idea, and again, it's just catering that video to a bit of a different audience on Instagram. One thing here that I would just recommend to you in the future if you're ever doing this, it's literally maybe three, five-minute job to just crop this video into the right dimensions for a mobile device, so you can use the exact same video and just crop it so that people on mobile devices can view the video in the format that it's intended for IGTV. That's literally the only thing. It's really, really quick, but it can actually increase your retention rates because people are more likely to engage with that video because it's purpose-built for that platform. But otherwise, absolutely amazing just the fact that you are utilizing video on Instagram puts you well above other people in your industry, and I'm so glad to see you using it. I think you have a beautiful presence online in all aspects and areas of your business, and I would love to talk to you more about how I might be able to help with my expertise and with my passion in your industry. If you would like to take this chat further and book a Zoom call or like I said, if you want to just have a coffee somewhere in Hawthorne, I'd be happy to do that. Just use the button somewhere on this page that's going to allow you to jump on a call with me and I would love to hear more about your business and I look forward to speaking with you soon. Thanks so much, Christine. Once the video is done, what you want to do is just adjust some of the elements that are going to help you really convert this into a paying client, which would be just two settings over here on the actual call. This is where you can adjust things like, are they able to leave comments? Are you going to get some e-mail notifications? Are they able to use emojis? Is the thumbnail going to be an animated GIF or is it just going to be a static image? I would save that. Then you want to be able to edit the call to action. My screen is being a bit funny here and I can't actually see it, but there's a button up there that Christine will see you on her screen that can say either book your call or book your call, Christine. But in this case, I would just call it book your call because on mobile devices it cuts off if it's a bit too long. Book your call is all good. I just adjusted it to meet my brand colors. Then the link here, I just use a Calendly link that's linked to my Google Calendar. That's really, really easy for people to get all the details they need. This is an example of how I've done that. This is a 30-minute strategy call, and all it is is just linked to my Zoom account here. As soon as somebody books, they're going to get a Zoom confirmation with all the details they need to jump onto a Zoom call. It's also got some questions in there for me to give me a bit of a frame of reference of what they're looking to get out of that call in terms of what are their biggest struggles. What is their one biggest goal over the next six months with their business, which again is just framing them into the mindset of actually working with me for the next six months, so that's a little bit of a cool, neat little psychology trick. Then this is also just giving me a frame of reference of what parts of their digital marketing are they already active in. Obviously, these are not required. The only thing that's required is their name and e-mail so they can leave the rest blank. But otherwise, that's all there and everything else is pretty standard. Once they book in, this is all Calendly branded, I'm just on the free version here. They can just book into 30-minute chunks in gaps that are free in my schedule. This is my time zone here, so it's going to convert to their time zone, and as soon as they confirm that, it's going to send them an e-mail saying "You're confirmed, here are the details of the Zoom call, jump on at this time", and it can also send them a reminder if you wish. You can send them a 30-minute reminder or a five-minute reminder so that they remember to jump on, and they can also cancel and reschedule, and it is going to automatically pop into their calendar. That is a super-easy way of doing that. Now that is the free version of Calendly, but it is a paid version of Loom to be able to have this call to action. On the free version, you can still do everything we just did. But instead of having the button there, all you would do is you would give them a bit of a follow-up inside of Facebook Messenger or LinkedIn, wherever you are reaching out, and just say if you want to book your call, book in with my Calendly here. That's a bit of a workaround if you're not wanting to pay for the upgraded version of this software. In terms of next steps, you then want to send them this link via Facebook Messenger and also pop into the Facebook group and comment to let them know you privately message them because sometimes these things do get lost if you don't let them know. You will also get an e-mail notification to say they viewed the video, and you can use this as a prompt to check back in with them if they don't proactively reply after watching your videos. So you can sort, "Hey, just wanting to see if you've checked out my video." You know they've checked it out, but it allows you to just start that conversation if they don't reply first. Now let's talk about some things I did in my pitch that you can replicate for yourself. I introduced myself and the reason for my video and a bit about my expertise and a personal connection with my background in psychology. This is great advice for beginners who maybe don't have as much experience with their freelance area of expertise, but can potentially bring in past experiences into the conversation. Notice I never said I was a digital marketing specialist or strategist, I just let the tips that I was saying do the talking, and that again is great for those of you who might not be super confident in giving yourself a title yet because that's not the be-all and end-all of pitching. You can let the value you provide in your personality and your care factor shine instead. I also complimented their business before providing constructive feedback, and I mentioned their competitors and gave her a clear call to action on how to take the next steps with me. Now the main takeaway here is that I made it about them and not about myself. Because let's face it, we all love hearing other people talk about us. So that is a great way to make sure that they actually reply and start that conversation. You can also use this strategy if you're applying for jobs on LinkedIn or responding to job posts on freelancing platforms. Now keeping in mind that Loom, the software that I recorded this video with, now has a limit of five minutes on the free plan. So my pitch was a little bit too long and I would actually shorten that to a really quick five-minute pitch. So that that way you can still take advantage of volumes for a plan or you can upgrade if you feel that five minutes is just not enough for what you need to do. Now look, yes, this strategy is more effort for sure. But I promise you the results of taking the time to jump on video like this are incredible, so definitely give it a try. 11. Nail Your Discovery Call: I once had a client for six months before ever jumping on a call or a video call with them and seeing their face or hearing their voice. That is not totally uncommon especially for clients that you work with on freelancing sites, and especially those of you who might be working on project-based work because I've had plenty of project-based clients where they'd never really have the time or wanted to jump on a video call because it was a project that was going to take a couple of weeks. They didn't really care about building that relationship or understanding how I'd fit into their business or their team because it was such a short-term project. But generally speaking, for ongoing work, which was the case of this client, you will probably be asked to jump on them, at least a call, if not a video call with that client, so that you can talk a little bit about what you're all about, how you fit into their business, what are your plans for this project? What value can you bring to their team if they have one? All those are just things that you just can't really get a good feel for just over messages and emails. Those are the times that clients might just say, "Hey, let's jump on a 20-minute video call and get to know each other a little bit better." But in terms of the questions that you ask on this type of call, it really comes down to, A, how much time the client actually has to talk to you, because clients are very busy people, but also what information you actually have going into the call. Because sometimes you'll be applying to a job post or you might be having this discovered call in response to a job post, in which case you might actually have quite a bit of information, whereas if you're doing this because you cold pitch somebody on a social media platform or just over email and you don't really know what requirements they have for your skillset, but they've said, "Hey, let's jump on a call and talk about it." Then obviously those questions are going to be so much more involved because you don't really know what they need from you yet. That's just something to consider. But now let's have a look at a few things to consider when you are planning for your discovery calls. Let's first talk about what happens before the call. Starting with some personal connection research. I really like doing research on my clients before jumping on these types of calls so that I can find some points of commonality, but don't be creepy [LAUGHTER] and tell them how much you've stalked them online. Don't say things like, "I follow your private Instagram account from a secret username and I saw that you recently announced you had a baby. I also just had a baby. That's a coincidence." But you can say things like, "I read on your website that you are from Italy. I used to live in Rome when I taught English there." This might seem like a small thing, but I actually once got a job designing a cookbook for a client that required the cookbook to be designed in InDesign, which I'd never used before, never even open the program. But the reason that I won the client over was because we bonded over our mutual love of cooking and healthy living. I told her all about how I used to work as a chef in France, a skill that actually has nothing to do with this job by the way, and that me and my family have been vegan for many years, which again, has nothing to do with this job, but sometimes personal connection like this does trump experience if people really feel like you're going to take this project on and make it your own. Jot down talking points and some questions to ask. You should also prepare some questions to ask them and/or actually write the answer down as they're talking to you. Ideally, these would be business-related questions not like, "What's your favorite color," because you also want to be respectful of their time. But the reason that I like doing this before the call is because for some of us, it's been a long time since we've been in an interview-type situation. You might have been on parental leave, you might have had a career break, or you might have just been in your last role for such a long time, so it's easy to get fostered on the call. I find that having some of these questions prepared in advance really helps to take the pressure off. It's also a case of some clients just have never hired a freelancer before or they've never hired a person for their team at all before. This is where they can also not really know what to ask you because they've maybe never done this either. That happens quite a lot. You would not believe how many times I've had to take the lead in these conversations. Going into a call like this, expecting to be bombarded with questions from a client and they phrase and not really know what to ask me, and that's where you can step in and guide the conversation a little bit. Something you could say at that point would be something like, "Would it be all right for me to just start by telling you a little bit about myself and why I think I would be a good fit for your business." Chances are they'll be relieved and feel supported instantly by you, which is always a really good place for you to be. In addition to this, here are some examples of questions I like asking. What would be the ideal outcome of my work within your business and how does that fit into your overall goals of the business? Will I be working within a team? Will I be expected to be available during specific times of the day and week? Do you have a budget in mind? Are there specific tools or softwares that I'll be required to work with? Finally, I would also want to make sure to find out their previous experience they've had with freelancers in the past. It's important for you to know if they've had bad experiences with other freelancers in the past, because it will give you a bit of context for why they might be hesitant to things like handing over passwords or giving you access to things because maybe there's something that's happened there in the past that you're not aware of unless you ask about it. It gives you a little bit of context and it gives you something to overcome, but be really mindful of in your working relationship. Likewise, I like knowing what they've loved about previous freelancers so I can do more of that for them in their business. Or if they've not had freelancers in the past, just ask them if they've loved anything that a previous staff member has done and some qualities that they look for in an ideal freelancer or staff member. Let's now jump into what happens during the call. First is to control your environment. Make sure you're in a quiet environment with good Wi-Fi. I like having headphones in that have a microphone so that it's as close to my face as possible if there is any external noise, and it helps me block out external noise as well. You also want to control your body language. Make sure you're always focusing on them. You can either arrange your screens so that it's easier for you to always look like you're looking at the camera and maintaining eye contact, or if you're just going to get distracted by looking at yourself, because we all do, literally just take a sticky note, put it over your face on the desktop so it always looks like you're looking at them, range their screen to be near the camera so it looks like you're maintaining eye contact. Control visual cues. This may seem really silly, but occasionally, if you're writing notes while you're on an interview and your camera's from here up that's the shot, it's going to look like you're scrolling on your phone and you're on Instagram while you're on a call. I pick up on this a lot if I'm ever on Zoom calls, so I know some clients do as well. The way to overcome this is honestly just bring your pen into the frame every once in a while, so they know that's what you're doing, you're writing notes. It seems really silly, but honestly it helps to give them a piece of mind because it makes them really aware of the fact that you're not only actively listening, but you are taking notes and you're not being distracted by other things as you're on the call. Fake it till you make it, but don't lie. If they mention a software or tool that you haven't used before, just be really honest with them and say, "I don't have direct experience with this particular software, but I have experience with software similar to it, X, Y, Z and I'm really confident in upskilling myself on everything that this tool encompasses before I begin the role." Or if you don't have experience using similar tools, just saying, "Look, I'm really resourceful. I'm really confident that I'd be able to pick it up really quickly, I'm happy to learn on my own time before I begin in this role." How much better does that sound than just saying like, "Nope, never heard of it. I don't know what it is, never used it." Then just staring at the client until they give you another question. Just remember, if you're ever stuck between a rock and a hard place in these conversations, as beginners we often are, just leverage your care factor. Go above and beyond to make them really feel like you care, and that will really overcome that inexperience and that fear of that inexperience coming through. Now, let's talk about ending the call. Let them know what they can expect from you and when. My personal preference is 24 hours from the point of having a call like this to actually sending some proposal or quote, but it's not always possible. If you're having call like this on a Friday afternoon, you're probably not going to be working on it that day to send it to them on Saturday, so just do whatever is achievable for you, but managing expectations is huge. My personal pet peeve is when I'm on a call with somebody and I don't expect beginners to know how to end the call like that, which is generally to say, here's what you can expect my next steps to be, I usually ask that question out of the client and say, "What can I expect from here on out?" If they then say, "I can expect something in 48 hours," and then in 10 days I receive an email with a proposal without an explanation as to why it's super light, that's a huge red flag for me. Sometimes it's you get off of these discovery calls and you realize you actually don't want to work with the client. There's something there that's not really aligned and you don't actually want to take the job on, that's actually fine, but you should still get back to people within a timely manner. If you've said to them that within two days they can expect an email from you, whether it's a positive email with a proposal or a negative one to say, "I've decided to go a different way or I don't believe this is the right fit." Either way, just get back to people within a timely manner please and manage people's expectations because it can be such a difficult thing to get over as a client if your first impression of someone is the fact that they are not fulfilling their deadlines before you've even started working with them. That's just something to keep in mind. Do whatever works for you, whether it's a three-day turnaround, one-day turnaround, but just try and stick to it and communicate with people. Bad things happen, emergencies happen, just send an email and say, "I'm really sorry, I won't be able to meet this particular deadline. This bad thing has happened. Is it all right if I get it back to you by next Friday?" Clients will be over the moon because of your amazing communication more than anything. Don't be afraid to just reach out and explain your situation before you've gotten to a point where it's too late to do that. Basically with this call, your one job is just to get as much information as you can out of the client so that you know how to move to the next step, which is going to be to craft a proposal to iron out your working relationship. That's what we're going to cover in the next step, and I'll see you in the next lesson. 12. Proposals and Contracts: [MUSIC] Let's now talk about proposals and contracts. Sometimes clients will get you to sign a contract of their own working terms, sometimes they won't, but either way, you should have your own contract in place for the client to sign with your own terms of service to cover your business or your side of the agreement. Now sometimes you may create a proposal and a contract separately and there are definitely used cases for that. But the reason I want to be showing you Fiverr Workspace is because it allows you to create a proposal and contract in one. It creates invoices, it allows you to do time tracking. It allows you to track your expenses. It's basically just really simple for beginners, and the other reason I really like it is because it's completely free for you to check out and use with one client. Which may not seem like a lot, but at the beginning, it can honestly take a little bit of time for you to build up more and more clients. That first client is the hardest relationship to get. Sometimes you're paying for tools potentially for months before you actually get your second or third client. For that reason, I just wanted to cover how Fiverr Workspace works because it is a really beginner-friendly tool and also because it's free for you to check out, navigate around, get to know how contracts, proposals, and invoices, and all of this works. If in the future you want to navigate to more expensive and more elaborate tools you absolutely can. But I'm a big fan of path of least resistance which is why I like this particular tool. Just be aware of the fact that on the free plan you are limited to one client and you will have some Fiverr branding on the documents that you send over. I haven't done business through Fiverr in a while now so I've just set up some income dummy expenses and dummy clients that we can work with so you can understand how the tool works. In your dashboard, you can come up here to create something or you can create it over here. The first thing you want to use obviously set up a client, so I've just set up myself as Mags Incorporated in Maggieville which is actually a town in Australia, which is amazing. Obviously, all of this is dummy information, but here is where I could potentially add some notes about my client and this is also where any projects, invoices, or any data about this client is going to be noted. I could then go and create a project under this particular client or I can go straight through to creating a proposal or a proposal contract combination. If I go over to New proposal it always going to be telling me that I need to upgrade if I want to, and this is where I can also create a new project. In this case, I would make it let's say Digital Marketing Services, and I've got the one free client there. I could start a start date in the future or I can have it start today. If it's open-ended for ongoing contracts I would leave it as open-ended. If it's just a project that you're doing as a one-off then obviously you would give it an end date. Then whether you want to create a proposal only, a contract only, or a proposal and contract. I'm going to go for the combo so that we can check out both areas of Fiverr Workspace here. In terms of the services, you've got some options here. You can just list each service one by one and keep adding them in and keep giving them different fees. This does sometimes allow clients to negotiate a little bit which is why I like to package my services all in one go and then potentially list or is going to be delivered under that service in the description, but give it a one overall fee. Because otherwise, I've found that clients will go, "Okay, well, I'm going to have that, but not this one." Then they start negotiating on price a little bit. Whereas if you package it they don't necessarily know exactly what's worth what, and it's better for you, it's better for them, and it just makes the process a lot smoother as well. You can charge in all different currencies. In this case, I'm just going to keep this to AUD as either a flat fee or per hour, per day, per item, per word if you're a copywriter as well. Then I would also include all the services that we'd hopefully agreed upon by this point, by the time that I'm actually sending the proposal. Now in terms of your billing schedule, it really depends on your preference whether or not you take a 50 percent or a different percentage of your deposit right upfront, so you can state here whether it's a specific fee. You might have I want a $200 deposit or 50 percent deposit whether you need that right upfront. Then Fiverr Workspace is going to remind you that you need to create a separate invoice for the client to pay as soon as they've signed the proposal and contract. This is probably going to be more common for those of you who are doing project-based work because then obviously you don't want start the project before you've been paid for at least half of the amount of the total project fee. But for those of you on an ongoing basis, you might actually just issue the very first invoice in total right upfront before beginning. I'm just going to untick that for now and then for me, I would say I would invoice monthly. But of course, you can also invoice on milestones or Custom based on your project setup. In this case, you could say I'm going to start invoices in a couple of days, and then if you say you're never going to end the invoices you will keep getting reminders through Fiverr to send your monthly invoice unless you change that or you end that project. We're going to say we want to create some documents. We're now at the proposal stage here and then we're going to get to the contract. The proposal is your chance to get a little bit fancy so it's automatically pulled in what I've set as my logo which it's just an email signature it's not really a logo, but it just makes it a little bit nicer. This is just pulling in my client details, my fake details. Then you've got a few additional things here and then some signatures, so I would have to sign this before sending it to the client. But you'll also notice that even on the free plan, you have some options to add some sections. If this is your first time maybe talking to this client and you want to make it a little bit more fun. This is your opportunity to do that where you can put in an image of yourself and maybe put in a little bit about your business or about your experience, something that's a little bit more fluffy potentially because it is a proposal. If you want to make it look as nice as you want, you can add in your goals for the project, the areas that you've identified with the client on your discovery call. Where you want to work on with them with your services. You can add in a table, some columns, potentially additional files that you want to attach to your proposal. This is your chance to get a little bit funky with it. If you find that your clients are very straightforward and don't like that kind of fluff then just put in your signature and move on to the contract. This is an e-signature. You can also upload your own signature but just be aware of the fact that e-signatures are just as legally binding as uploading your own signature, so is still a legally binding contract as soon as you've signed it. Now we're in the contract stage and we've just got our service contract here. Now, on the free plan, there are only a few things that you can edit and they will be highlighted. You'll see that there is highlighted so we can edit that even on the free plan which is things like start dates and fees and things like that, and your details, clients' details. But then there are some things that you can only edit on the paid plan in terms of like adding clauses or editing any of these terms and conditions. That is something to keep in mind. But honestly, the issue that you'll probably have with the contract is the fact that it's more comprehensive than you might need because it does cover things like in-person freelancers as well as remote workers. Some of the terms might be about like personal injury liability for in-person contracts and things like that. You're not really going to have issues with not enough being in this, I would say. If you find that it's not enough for what you need specifically for your needs, then just make sure that you are on the upgraded plan and then you can also send this contract to your lawyer to review and potentially amend. Here are some things that you can also edit that we haven't looked at yet which is how much of a notice period do you want to have on both ends? As a default, it's got seven days there, and then it's got 15 days of receipt is when the invoices are due. Late payments are 1.5 percent per month of any overdue or unpaid balance. These are things you can definitely adjust. I like having late fees because I think that's more than reasonable if clients aren't paying your invoices on time. But just be aware of the fact that some clients have a preference for when they actually pay older invoices in one go because they might have a bookkeeper or an accountant that does this for them, so just check with your client when would they like to pay their invoices? Do they do it as they go? Or do they have a particular time of the month? Just try to cater to that as best as possible. I found that their pretty standard contract settings covers pretty much what I would want to cover anyways. I'd be happy to send that to a client. Now, of course, you can edit the actual email subject line and you can edit your description here, so this is just a default. I'm happy for that to be sent. You can also preview the email and see how it's going to come up. The thing that you need to be aware of the fact that it's going to say it's been sent via Fiverr Workspace and it's also going to have some Fiverr branding at the bottom. You can obviously remove that if you upgrade but I haven't found it to be an issue honestly. Clients are pretty used to getting invoices sent from various tools so it's not really an issue. I'm going to send that and then we can have a look at how that looks once it's in my inbox. In this case, it's a little bit confusing because I'm acting as the client and the freelancer in this case. But me as the freelancer would have gotten this email as soon as the contract was sent, just to say that it's been sent. Then at the exact same time, so obviously 10:38 AM, me as the client would have received the proposal and contract. Then as soon as I would go through to review the documents which I've now done just so you guys can see it. I, the freelancer, will get an email to say someone has viewed your proposal and contract. That's mainly so that you can then potentially follow up with the client and say, "Have you had a chance to check out my proposal and contract?" You know that they've had a chance to look at it because obviously, you get an email to let you know that they have, but it just gives you a little bit of a prompt so that if they don't follow up or they don't sign everything that you can then check back in with them. As the client here's what I would see, and this is a proposal and contract in the separate tabs. The proposal would just be more about what am I signing up for? I would then have to sign and approve just using this function over here. I would look at the contract, make sure everything looks good, and then I would go through and approve that. Let's say X, and then this is just me confirming my signature here. As soon as that's done, me the freelancer would get an email to say this has now been approved and I can get to work. The client is also going to receive an email that says projects been approved and it's also going to have an attachment of the entire contract so that they can then download this and keep their version for their records as well. 13. Invoice & Get Paid: In this lesson, we're going to cover invoice management. Just to be clear, yes, if you're working through freelancing platforms, they'll take care of invoices, contracts, time tracking, all that good stuff so you don't have to worry about it as much. But in building your successful freelance business, the ultimate goal is to get paid better and faster and the best way to do that is to create beautiful professional invoices that allow clients to do this for you. That's what we're going to cover and let's just jump straight in. Inside of Fiverr Workspace you can invoice through the client section, you can invoice through the project section because this was a project that was created inside of Fiverr Workspace. You've also got an invoices tab over here, or you can just go and click Create through here. Because we have an existing project that was signed off through Fiverr Workspace, we could just select that, but it is going to have that $3,000 fee, which is what I set up in my contract. If I needed a new project, I could just create one here or just create a quick invoice if maybe I'm invoicing for something that was not within my project budget or through the projected amount that I wanted to invoice for initially. At this stage I am invoicing in US dollars. I could change that, but for now, it doesn't massively matter. I'm just going to say digital marketing services just as a quick invoice and let's say $500, and this could be a flat fee. I could keep adding line items in there, but this is always going to have to be an existing client because you are limited to one client on the free plan, and whether you're setting up an existing project invoice or a quick invoice, this section is going to be exactly the same other than the amounts obviously would've been previously preset for you. At this stage, I've got the date issued and then it's due in two weeks because I have stipulated in my contract with this client that I wanted two week turnaround, it's got their details there, it'll have my details at the bottom and then this is going to be what is going to be invoiced for. This is where I can add in my taxes. If I am GST registered, I can add that in here, keeping in mind that your clients will likely be paying GST themselves, which means they can claim back any GST that they pay you so they will be pretty used to paying this extra fee. Just let them know that you will be charging this on top of your monthly retainer or your project fee because some freelancers do create quotes that are inclusive of GST or they haven't actually earned enough money through their business to have to be registered for GST so they don't need to charge this amount because they don't need to pay it to the government. That's just something to keep in mind. Now you do also have an option for a discount. If for the first month or the first project or first milestone, you want to give your clients a bit of a discount to get them over the line, let's say, this is a really great place to do that. Instead of me going in here and just making that the initial sum, I could actually just include a line for a discount which makes my clients feel a little bit special. I like the discount function better than just putting a lower fee initially. If I had any client expenses for the month, I could include them as a line item. That could include purchases of stock images or stock videos or something that I might have purchased on behalf of the client and they agreed to reimburse me for it. Obviously, whenever possible you want the client to pay for all their assets initially, but sometimes it does happen where you are on different time zones or whatever, and you might need to incur some of those expenses so you could include those as extra line items there and potentially add some notes. I also have in my notes and I am going to show you where to set this up, but you can also edit it on your invoice that they can pay me via Stripe if they don't want to be paying me via the bank option or whatever makes sense for you and I can then schedule the invoice or just send it straight away. I'm just going to go ahead and send that. Once the invoice is sent, I will get an email to say this has been sent off, and the client will then get an email with the actual invoice and then they can pay the invoice online through this option where they'll see all of the details here, they can also see a PDF version of the invoice in case they want to save that for their records, they can just download it through there and then they can pay it straight through here, or they can also pay with PayPal. Once they viewed the invoice like I just did mean the freelancer will get an email to say it's been viewed and then once they pay it, I will get another email to say that it has been paid. Now there are lots of other options for your invoicing needs. You can also invoice through the likes of PayPal, but you don't have that transparency over when your clients are viewing things, when they're signing off on things, you don't get those email notifications that you get through a software like Fiverr Workspace. Now we go back to the desk and we can now see our invoice in outstanding invoices over here and once that's paid, it's going to go into my actual transactions as income received. Some additional functions I want you to be aware of inside of Fiverr Workspace is in your settings, this is where you can set up any of your business info, your branding, this fake logo I have at the top of my invoices and then also my brand colors here. You can definitely do that even on the free plans. Inside of the invoicing function, this is where you can set your tax rate if you are required to pay taxes. I have my currency set in US dollars because I'm mainly invoice for US dollars, but that can be different for you. Then here's where I've set up that. If you need to pay me via Stripe, here's where you can do that because through Fiverr Workspace, it'll give them the ability to pay with credit card or with PayPal, but not through Stripes so I've got that there as an option for my clients and then this is my default email texts as well. Everything in terms of your payments, and your integrations, notifications, and things like that are all going to be in the settings in business section. You also have the option to do time tracking, which is really quite cool because if you are working with any clients on hourly rates or maybe you have an ongoing monthly retainer, but then they've asked you to do something a little bit outside of your regular scope of work and you just want to do that on an hourly basis, here's where you can set the timer to start when you're working on that particular part of the project. You can obviously pause it for lunch breaks and things like that, but it's going to keep that in here as a record, and you can also have a Chrome extension of this. When you click that, you can start tracking your activity through here, and it's going to automatically report it in here as well. If I say I'm going to be doing, let's say social media or I can make it whatever it may be, you'll notice it's time tracking in both places, and then whenever I stopped that, it's now going to reflect that in both places as well. If I refresh this it's now saying that I've done 10 seconds of work for no client at this point, but this is where I can assign it to a particular project or a particular client or delete it or edit it and I can also adjust the time as well. Then if it becomes part of that project, these could be included as a line item that I charge for hourly. Now lastly, you do also have your shoebox in here for actually tracking expenses as well. I'm just going to upload a dummy expense here so that we can take a look at how this works. I've just got this as a sample expense, it's an image and I can then assign this as an expense. I would then put in how much paid, whether it was an Australian dollars or US dollars. It does depend on how you want to do this based on how many currencies you're working with. For now, let's just not over complicate it with trying to add an additional currencies, so I'm just going to leave it as US dollars and then the purpose was a Final Cut Pro Plugin and this would probably go under software. I could then include taxes, I could also make this a repeating expense for any monthly subscriptions, and then just create that. Now it's gone, but it has listed it as an expense. If I then go over to statements and expense report, I'll be able to see it over here on top of the other expenses that I would have filed at some point. Now in terms of my tax report, I can then export this to my email address and it's going to also have all of my receipts that are going to be filed along with that. At the beginning when maybe you don't have that many expenses, this is a really good way to also keep an eye on what is your income to expense ratio and perhaps cutting down on some of those really big expenses or trying to increase your rates as well. 14. Onboard Your Client: [MUSIC] You can be as fancy or as simple as you want to be with your onboarding process, and it is something that you will develop over time. It doesn't happen overnight. Of course, every client is going to teach you something new about what you maybe should have said at the beginning. But the key is for those of you who are going to be working with clients as ongoing service providers like your social media marketers, your virtual assistants. People who are going to have ongoing retainer-based work with their clients. This is a really key component of making sure that your working relationship is really solid from the beginning. That just comes down to having that time to manage expectations, making sure that they know how you like to work? You know how they like to work? What's expected of you? What team members you might be working with? And anything else you need to know right up front before you actually even begin working with this client. This is a really key component of that. Because otherwise you can get into months of working together and six months later, you're still like a really big disconnect between you and the client, and that just might come down to the fact that you didn't manage each other's expectations at the beginning, and then things start to pile up and you don't address them because it's harder over time rather than to address them at the beginning when it's not really an issue yet. That's not decided. There will be issues. There are fun parts of the onboarding process as well, but there are some key components that I really want you to consider for those of you who are going to be doing retainer-based work with your clients as a part of your onboarding process. Let's take a look at them now. To start off by scheduling a kickoff meeting asap. This meeting is going to be where you get access to everything that you need in order to work in their business, so as a marketer, this is the time where I would actually on a Zoom call get them to share their screen, or I would share my screen with them and make sure I'm getting access to all the tools that I need to get access to. Because especially as a marketer a lot of the time, if I need access to a client's Instagram account, and it's going to alert them to say, I'm potentially logging in from a different side of the world and it's a suspicious alert, they then have some time to approve that alert, and this can get really messy if you're trying to deal with different time zones and different clients. Occasionally, I was also a subcontractor on behalf of an agency who was communicating with the client, so then there's another middleman to consider, and this can get very messy very quickly. Sometimes it can take weeks to get up and running just to get access to the things you need to get access to. Having that kickoff meeting so that you can go tick all the things that we need to get access to in order to do our job effectively having one hour to do that with your client is really crucial to making sure you're not wasting time in the future. Understand how they prefer to work and communicate, and also how you prefer to work and communicate. Is your communication between you and your client best over email or Slack? Or do they prefer to just schedule a weekly Zoom call to talk about what's going on for the upcoming week? Just know how they prefer to communicate? And also how frequently they want to communicate with you? This is so okay because sometimes clients assume that you know what they know or you just can read their mind when it comes to this stuff. They will sometimes forget to tell you that they would prefer a weekly update every Friday afternoon to tell them what you've been working on? And where you're up to? Or the fact that maybe if you're coming up to a product launch and it's something that's really time-sensitive. They want daily updates on how things are tracking, so they will forget to communicate that to you sometimes, especially if they are stressed at a time crunch, so it can be best to lay this out from the beginning, and really understand how they prefer to communicate in terms of the method of communication and also the frequency. Set boundaries and stick to them. This is one of the hardest things for beginners to master, and for professional overachievers like myself. Honestly, it's just hard. All the way through. But the thing is if you can manage to set really healthy boundaries right upfront during your onboarding process, and actually make sure you stick to them, then this is actually going to really help you and your relationship with your client. Because then they're not going to take advantage of you, and you're not going to push your limits within the healthy boundaries that you want for yourself as well. If you say, I'm not working past 5:00 PM on Monday to Friday and I don't work weekends. Do not send an email on a Saturday. Schedule it. That's fine. Write it If you're working during Saturdays. That's totally fine. But just don't let the client know that you're doing this. Because then they'll take that as a bit of a loophole and an opportunity for them to go, okay, if they're sending an email at 6:00 PM, maybe 7:00 PM is also okay. Maybe I can ask them to do something on a Saturday and that might be all right and all of a sudden you start to build this toxic resistance with your client. That really could've been overcome just by setting really healthy boundaries right upfront. This is also why I like having a flexibility buffer where I can say something like, I'm flexible with doing work outside of the agreed upon scope if I have bandwidth, but this will be an extra fee of a set amount per hour which will be a lot higher for work that needs to be done urgently, which for me would be a 48 hour turnaround in an absolute time crunch, maybe a 24 hour turnaround. This is a really easy way for me to have an out if I'm busy or I don't particularly like that client, which does happen, but it also gives me a way to get a little bit more money for rushed jobs if I have time. Educate yourself and your client on cybersecurity as a part of your onboarding process starting with having secure tools for sharing passwords. LastPass is free. It also has a paid plan, but you can do a lot with the free plan. It's easy to use and it will make working with other people super easy because you'll be able to share login details between each other without ever granting full access to password information if you don't want to, and they also have a password generator, which is really great, and pretty near impossible to hack. It is a chrome extension that will keep all of your passwords in one place. You can generate secure passwords at any point, so you can say, I want a 36 character password, which is insane. But you can get some really secure passwords and it'll automatically store them in your vault, and then once you are logged into LastPass, if you're ever on a website where LastPass has access to your password details you'll see the little icon there telling you there's one password in your last possible, and you can just click on it and it'll fill it out for you. Anytime you're filling out a password on any website, it's going to automatically save it to your vault, but I'm just going to create a dummy password here. dummysite.com, and then I'm just going to put it in a random password here, so this is the password. I can include some notes for myself, but I'm just going to save this. Then what I can do is go to the sharing icon. Then I can put in my client's email address or they can put in mine if they're sharing a password with me, and then they can leave this unticked so that I can never actually know what the password is, but they can still share the login with me, so all I have to do is click through the extension of LastPass. It's going to fill out that password for me. Give me access to this tool, but I've never actually going to know what the password is. It's just going to communicate between the two last passes, so this is a really great tool for cybersecurity. Along these same lines, I would really want to encourage you to always have a plan B, so don't store everything on your computer, especially if you're a digital nomad, and maybe you're traveling like I was for a really large part of my freelance career. Laptops get stolen, things break down, people spill stuff, things happen and you cannot afford to lose a month's worth of client work because it was not backed up to the Cloud, so always have a plan B, whether that's an external hard drive, although my preferences is the cloud and having something in like Google Drive or Dropbox because it can't be stolen and it can't be wrecked. It's up to you whatever you decide, but just have a plan B, so that if something does happen and you lose your equipment, you're able to keep on working. Increase your customer lifetime value. Client retention and referrals will be a key part of you working smarter, not harder. It's the little things that can make you really stand out and also make you an obvious choice for any referrals, for when your client's business owner friends also asked for people with your skill set. Sometimes it can be something quite little like just asking your clients physical address as a part of your onboarding process you can send them a physical gift. Doesn't have to be huge. It just can be like that little extra well factor, especially if there are clients that you are planning on keeping for a longer period of time, so obviously you wouldn't do this for one-off projects, but for ongoing retainer clients, this can be a really great way to make them feel really special. It can be something like because you lack under $50, but can lead to a lot of ongoing referral business because inevitably they might put it on social media, tag you in it and tell their friends about this amazing freelancer that did this amazing thing. In other way, you can do this as around Christmas time. You can send them client appreciation gifts, or on the anniversary of their business being founded. Get really creative with it. It's not right for everyone, it's not right for every freelance business, but it can be a really cool way to get more referrals and repeat business for your clients as well, so check out your course guide for some ideas on this. Document and processes. Depending on your working relationship with your client, and also the work that you're doing for your clients. You may want to create some pre-recorded videos of things that you are continuously explaining again and again to every client or create templates around this. For me, for example, as a marketer, I was always explaining to my clients how to give me access to Facebook ads and Facebook business manager. How to set up LastPass? How to give me access to passwords? All these sorts of things that were a key thing with every single client that I had pretty much. Then it becomes easier to just write down what are the questions that every single client has? And can I create some pre-recorded or templatized processes around this? That I can then make as a part of my onboarding to send to clients to make it really seamless for them to just take action on that in their own time as well because then you're able to send them these videos and they can do it whenever they've got the time rather than having to set up a meeting with you or communicate via email about these things. At this stage, I just want you to have a think about what aspects of your client onboarding you can streamline by creating any video walkthroughs or templates? So these could be things like email templates with all the information you would want one of your new clients to have to really streamline this onboarding process, or like I said for me before, as a marketer, this was things like walkthroughs have had grant me access to various scheduling tools and social media platforms. Really just have a brainstorm of what are the things I would need for my client at the very beginning, and how can I templatized this or streamline this for myself to make it the same for every single client that I bring into my business? If you're not sure about this yet, don't worry about it. You are going to start to notice those trends as you work with more clients as to where you can create these types of processes. But really at this point, your key thing is just to highlight your amazing care factor as a part of your onboarding process, and manage those expectations, so that you can make things really easy for yourself going forward. Which will really help you to charge higher rates and more premium rights with your clients because you're going to make the experience of hiring you so much more seamless as a part of this, so more on that in the next lesson. 15. Setting & Raise Your Rates: [MUSIC] When it comes to setting your rates, you're probably going to find a lot of conflicting information out there, and I want to be clear in saying there is no right or wrong way to set your rates as long as it's something that works really well for you and your unique circumstances. But if you're just depending on a specific income figure every single month or every single year in order to sustain your lifestyle or to meet your financial goals for your family, then it might just come down to working backwards from that. Now, let's break it down. The two main types of rate structures for ongoing work, so not project-based work, is either to charge hourly or have an ongoing retainer. Typically, you've probably worked jobs in the past where you've either had an hourly rate or an annual salary. Either way, basically, the time that you actually spend doing work almost doesn't matter as long as you're physically present in the workplace. Freelancing really doesn't or shouldn't work this way because it's so much more based on outcomes, and results, and the value that you provide to a business rather than this time you're spending on working on it. Long term, having an hourly rate is not actually beneficial to you and it's not beneficial to the client either, so it's best to move away from this, in my personal opinion, but there are still definitely times where having an hourly rate is just necessary or it's the way you want to go as a beginner, and especially if you're working on freelancing platforms, so we're going to talk about how to set your hourly rate first. In order to calculate your hourly rate, you could start by thinking about what it is that you want to make per year. Let's say you want to make $100,000 a year, and you're willing to work a full time schedule at 40 hours per week, which is roughly 2,000 hours based on a 50 week work year, so you're rate would be $50 an hour. As a beginner in any field, this might be a tough sell, but it's good to know where you want to be in the future. A good place to start is actually to just go on places like Upwork or other freelancing platforms, and actually see what people in your industry are charging for similar services to you. Other way to charge is to have monthly retainer rates based on the value and the services that you provide to a business on an ongoing basis. This means that your clients don't have to worry about how long things take you because you're not charging an hourly rate, you're charging them for the value you provide. They will also pay the same price every single month unless they ask for something outside of the agreed upon services, you are going to get quicker at what you do, so you will naturally be getting paid the same amount for spending less and less time on the work you do, which also incentivizes you to learn how to become a more efficient and better freelancer, and you can project your income every single month. When I first started, I had some clients who really wanted to go on hourly rates because I was working with them at freelancing platforms. My workaround to this was to basically tell my client I will charge them the same amount every single month for the services that we agreed upon based on the estimate that it's going to take me 15 hours per week to complete these tasks at $20 an hour. Now, this was a big win for me because I got a little quicker at these tasks over time, which means I was taking way less time to do them, but I was still charging the same, so effectively, I was able to raise my hourly rates this way. That is the power of having retainers even when you're working on hourly rates. Now, let's talk about whether you should work for free in order to get testimonials. This is a question I get a lot from my students. In my personal opinion, no, it's not a necessary part of your freelancing journey. I do understand that some people just don't feel confident charging super high rates right upfront, and that's totally fine, but I do believe in charging right upfront, and I don't believe that working for free is necessary. I understand some people may want to build their portfolio with some samples to show future paying clients, but you actually can build your portfolio with fake clients that you've made up and just created some stuff for them, and you show them to future clients, or you can do it for existing brands out there and treat it as if this was my client, what would I create for them? You don't necessarily need to be working for free for somebody in order to do this, and I do believe that clients who accept free work are not generally the ones that will pay for your work once that free contract is finished. Now, I want to encourage you to head over to shouldIworkforfree.com to determine whether it's a good idea to offer your services. You will notice there are some yeses at the end of these charts where it may be a good idea to work for free, but generally speaking, the answer is no. If you're ever feeling unsure about whether free work is the right move for you, this is a pretty funny and also very useful resource to go to. This is not always the case, but generally speaking, the more that a client is willing to pay, the less difficult they are from a micromanagement perspective, and from needing to justify where every single $ is going because their budgets are bigger, and so their flexibility and their understanding of things taking time is a lot bigger whereas clients who have no budget will protect every single $, and will micromanage every single [LAUGHTER] thing you do. That's just my experience. It's not always the case. I've had some clients who don't pay as much but are absolutely lovely to work with, but you will notice that the more that clients are willing to pay, the more freedom you will generally have. There are other complications that come with charging higher rates, of course, because people's expectations will be higher, but in terms of the amount of time that you're spending justifying where that money is going, you are going to have a much easier time with higher paying clients. There are exceptions to this, but these few memes, I think, sum it up quite nicely. Cheaper clients will generally also be the ones who take up more of your time, more of your energy, and more of your resources, and you get paid less. That is why you're actually better off having two high paying clients than five lower paying ones. It's important to know your worth straight off the bat, but I know it can be intimidating to do this as a beginner, so to find your sweet spot, first check what others in your industry are charging that are in the same experience level as you, and then set rates that you're comfortable when charging. If you're still feeling a little bit of personal friction in charging what you want to charge to clients, a really good thing that I like to do is to discount your first month on working with a client because it gives you an in for you to feel a little bit more comfortable throwing a $ figure out there if you're not super comfortable with this yet, and it makes the client feel really special, like they're getting a really good deal by getting a first month discount. Obviously, don't discount too much, but this can be a really great way to just land your first few clients, and then decide whether it's a strategy that you want to do moving forward. Then, of course, raise your rates as soon as you've gained enough skills and you're comfortable when doing so. I've included some great resources for you on how to handle the charging what you're worth conversations with your clients in your course guide, so make sure to check that up there. With existing clients, it can be a good habit to get into, to just let your existing clients know, whether it's at the start of the year or at the start of the financial year, that's the two most logical points in the year where it's really easy to say, I'm raising my rates as of this time, but if you're stuck in the middle of those two halves, it's fine to just do it from next month onwards as well, as long as you're giving them enough of a heads up, so at least 2-3 weeks beforehand. Good clients will generally be really happy for you because they'll understand that your skills have improved, the value you provide has improved too, your rates should also improve. They may not, however, be necessarily able to afford your new rates, so you, especially, with really good clients that you have a good relationship with, you want to give them enough time to find a replacement at the rates they're comfortable with paying as well if they're not able to pay you're new rates, but a lot of them will be, and it's a great way to keep your relationship with really good ongoing clients at a higher rate. Bad clients, however, probably won't understand, and they'll take this as an opportunity to bow out. That is not a bad thing, it's a really good way to get out of toxic client relationships in a way where everyone's happy, no one's upset, and you don't have to have some pretty difficult conversations. Now, in the next lesson, we're just going to jump into how to keep more of the hard-earned money that you've made through some really solid decisions up to this point, so I will see you there. 16. Finance Fundamentals: While some pressure in the form of deadlines, for example, can be actually good for your creativity. A lot of pressure and stress, and especially financial pressure and stress, is an absolutely creativity killer. It's really difficult to feel confident and amped about building your freelance business when you've got huge bills piling up and no money in your bank account. What ends up happening in that instance is that you often end up taking work that you know isn't right for you because you need the money. It's important, if at all possible, that you ease into this myself and a lot of other really great freelancers. I know we're still working part-time or full-time when they were first starting their freelance journey and even into it like years into it in some cases. It is something that takes a lot longer because it does mean you're potentially working really long hours because you might have to work on some freelance skills or projects in the evenings and on the weekends. But it means that you're taking the financial pressure off yourself. Also, it doesn't feel like this new career path is your be-all and end-all and the world will end if it doesn't work out. It can be a really good way to actually test out if you enjoy doing what you think you're going to enjoy doing before you quit your job and your financial security. Now in addition to easing yourself into a new career. Let's talk about some more tips for managing your finances. Starting with knowing your numbers and tracking everything. You should know how much money are you earning and how much money are you spending on average every month. What are you spending your money on? Are happy with the way that you're actually spending your money? This is of course important, not just for you managing your finances, but also for tax purposes. Even if you're not making huge amounts of money at the beginning, it's really important for you to track any business expenses because in future tax years you can actually use past losses to offset the amount of tax your business has to pay in the future. I know that's getting a little bit more complicated. If you haven't done your own taxes in the past, your accountant can advise you on this, but it does mean that it's best for you to start tracking everything right from the very beginning. Whether you're going to be using something like QuickBooks, where it's all trapped for you. Honestly, I do think it's a really worthwhile business expense because of the peace of mind, making your life easier, and making your accountant's life easier for potential auditing purposes. It's not a huge cost. I do think that if you can have your proposals, invoices, and expenses all tracked in one software, it's a really worthwhile investment. But at the beginning, if you're just thinking, my income is not super consistent, I just want to track something. Then something is better than nothing. I promise you if you just want to track it in a spreadsheet for now, that's totally fine. I definitely did for a very long time. You can just have a spreadsheet like this one where you've got income expenses, and potentially GST as well, depending on your business revenue. You would just put in the date you earned money or the date it hits your bank account depending on how you want to be doing your bookkeeping. Then where did you get paid from your foreign currency amount if you're getting paid in other currencies, your local currency amount, which for me is an Australian $, and really just something that's going to give you the totals of how much you've earned for that financial year. Your expenses will look very similar where you just have a running total and I like having a frequency in there in terms of is it a monthly expense and annual expense or one-off so that you can keep track of your regular expenses and also have an idea of what your average business expenses are every single month. You know if they're all necessary expenses because as freelancers we end up with a lot of software subscriptions somehow it just happens over the years. It's good to know where that money is coming out and also having categories for this specifically. My categories would be web tools, admin gear, stationary marketing, self-education, transactional, and miscellaneous. I'm going to be honest, there's a lot of stuff that could fall under miscellaneous. It really depends on your particular business setup, your industry, and what is tax-deductible for you. I also would then have highlighted what is a physical receipt versus a digital copy. That's just because if you're not using something like QuickBooks, that would prompt you to add that in there. You need to make sure you're taking photos of your physical receipts and storing them somewhere safe for auditing purposes. Personally, I would also have a list of annual tools and when these are going to be hitting my bank account because these tend to be a lot more pricey so that it doesn't scare me or that I also have the amounts in my bank account for it to be taken out or potentially cancel it before the subscription comes out. Then you might have some final expenses like internet usage, mobile usage, travel expenses, things like that, that can get added to your totals at the end of the financial year. I also like having a separate category for donations. It really can be this simple at the beginning. Whatever you're most comfortable with, as long as you're tracking things and you know what's coming in and what's going out. As an exercise, I really want to encourage you to set up a system for tracking your income and expenses and storing of physical and digital receipts. Now moving on to the next point, I want you to think about what is a nice to have versus a need to have. It's really easy to get swept up in the advice of career freelancers who have also mastered the art of being affiliates for the things that they're promoting. What I mean by that is sometimes you'll be looking up like a YouTube video for the best work from home setup. Somebody will promote this amazing top-of-the-line chair and desk and these lights and this microphone. If you want to do podcasts and videos and this camera and you'll have to have this and you'll have to have that. All of a sudden you're in a huge amount of debt before you even had your first paying client. But your home office setup looks really great. The key that I think in terms of making sure you're managing your finances is to re-invest money as you go on into better and better equipment and better and better setup. Because that is the way to slowly build up better and better things that are more efficient for you. It's a way to not get yourself into debt when you haven't actually got the income coming through your freelance career yet. For me in particular, I made my first $20,000 from my core sales before I invested in any equipment outside of what I had originally, which was one webcam and a $30 microphone from Amazon. My videos were terrible, but that is all I really needed to just get going and figure out if teaching was something I wanted to do. If it was something that people enjoyed, did people find my voice annoying? Did people find my face annoying? There was just a lot of unanswered questions and I didn't want to put all the money into all the fancy equipment before I even had the answers to those questions. Working freelance is a little bit like that. You just need to make a little bit of money, invest it into better equipment, better software, better tools, things that are going to make you more efficient and more successful over time. But don't invest honestly, in my opinion, don't invest a $ until you absolutely need to, for what you actually need outside of just the basics of what you need to do your freelance work. Then buy second-hand whenever possible. You'll be amazed at what you can buy second-hand through the likes of Gum-tree, Facebook marketplace, Kijiji Craigslist, all those sites have everything you pretty much need to have as a freelancer at one-third of the price, if not less. Always look at second-hand before you decide to buy new. It is a little bit trickier with any tech stuff, but generally speaking, if you make sure you test it out, or you might even be buying brand new tech just second-hand where someone has to sell it at a lower price even though they maybe haven't even opened it out of its original packaging because they were given it as a gift. Always look at second-hand stuff, especially for things like home office furniture and things that you really don't need to buy brand new. Having separate bank accounts really helps you to manage your finances because you can essentially keep everything in your business account and give yourself almost like a personal allowance in your personal account. But then anything you need to spend on the business that would be a write-off for your business can be spent from that one account. It makes it really easy to do your bookkeeping and track all of your finances. Of course, consult your own accountant in your own country to get advice on this. But it's been an absolute lifesaver for me. Have a fun fund. This might seem silly, but it's actually a really big part of your success as a freelancer to keep constantly rewarding yourself for how far you've come, not just looking at how far you still have to go. There's always going to be something to celebrate, especially when you're a beginner, the first paying client, you get your first paycheck from your own business. Your first five-star review, if you're on freelancing platforms. Give yourself some milestones and attach rewards to these milestones and just make sure you're treating yourself to something fun every month. It doesn't have to be big. It can be going out to a fancy restaurant or going go-carting or whatever works for you. But just to make sure that you're spending some time actually motivating yourself and recognizing how awesome you are doing along your freelancing journey. Because that's what's going to keep you motivated and it's going to keep you to continue striving for more as well. Make sure to check your course guide for more tips and tools that will help you manage your finances like a boss. Because honestly, sadly, financial literacy is just not something we're taught in schools. I hope that changes in the future, but it's such a critical skill to have. It's going to become a really key aspect of your success. Then in the next lesson, we're going to jump into talking a little bit more about some ways to diversify your income as a freelancer, so I will see you there. 17. Diversify Your Income: [MUSIC] I'm a big believer in client work not being your only source of income for long, and that's just because similarly to a regular workplace, you want to actually go on holiday with your family or take sick days or attend to family emergencies and the million other things that happen in life that are unexpected and not feel like you're not going to have money coming in when that happens. This will come down to how well you budget as well. Putting a little bit of money aside every month for emergencies is key, but let's face it, we're not great at that as freelancers. Having a little bit of passive income that's coming in every month so that you know you have a little bit of a buffer if you need to take some time off or anything happens can be a really great way to ease your mind and also not interrupt your creative flow because like we talked about, financial pressure is not great. It's not something to focus on straightaway, it's just something I wanted to talk to you about so that in the future if you're really comfortable with where you're at with your current work and you start to think about some other ways to bring in other sources of income, you know where to look. There are definitely some things that you can do right from the very beginning to bring some extra money in. For example, when I was building learning pages for my clients, I loved working with Leadpages and Unbounce, both of whom have a pretty generous recurring affiliate programs. Unbounce will basically give any of the people that are going through my link 20 percent off their first three months, and I get 20 percent of every single payment these people make from now until eternity as long as they're using Unbounce. Likewise with Leadpages, they have a 50 percent recurring revenue structure. If the tools that you are looking to recommend, if you're not sure if they have an affiliate program, literally just jump into Google and look up the software and the word affiliate or partner program, and it will pop up if they have one. Or it'll usually pop up with an explanation as to why they don't. Now, in addition to signing up my clients through Leadpages, because I really do love this tool and I wanted to be working with it. But obviously using my client's login details, their subscription, their payment method, then signing them up through my link, which gave them a little bit of a discount and a bit of a free trial for them to test out the tool and for us to not have to pay for it straightaway. Obviously it gave me a bit of a bonus of getting paid through the tool, but it doesn't actually cost my client any extra. But in addition to doing this with my clients, I also actually created tutorials only pages on YouTube and other ways where I could then demo the software and use an affiliate link in the description to give people a free trial as well. If they then went past that free trial, I got paid for as long as they kept using the tool. This is really handy, you can see this particular video was created in 2018. I haven't really created much around Leadpages since, but just this one video from 2018, still four years after the fact very recently somebody clicked on that link and signed up to lead pages and I got paid pretty much 50 percent off that fee. Keeping in mind that when they say 50 percent referral, it is up to so it does depend on which plan these people jump on. It's not exactly 50 percent for every single plan. But almost 50 percent so I got paid $142 for a video I made four years ago. This is the power of doing something like this, if and you can jump onto recurring revenue structures like with Leadpages, that's definitely better. But then there are also lots of one-off payments that you can leverage as well. For example, I'm just in my dashboard here for my Canva Affiliate Program for the month of March. I managed to create about $900 worth of sales for them during that month, and I get paid out $250 out of that. This is a really good example because I actually have quite a few Canva tutorials on my YouTube channel, and then I provide people with a link for it in the description of the videos, which allows me to get paid through Canva Affiliate Program if anybody signs up to the Pro plan. It also allows me to get paid through the YouTube Partner Program because I'm monetized on the YouTube platform. Any ads that are shown during these videos, I get paid from their advertising platform, and then my videos will also point to my Canva course and so I get paid by people enrolling in as students. This is the power of thinking about the web of all these different ways in which you can potentially get paid. If you leverage these different systems that you don't necessarily have to trade hours for dollars because these videos are going to continue much like my Leadpages one, they're going to continue to work for me for months and years to come. Not to mention, this is a really great way to get some inbound leads coming in because you're potentially already providing a solution to their problem, and you're doing it through a tutorial of a tool that you have an affiliate program link for so that if your clients find you this way and then they use your affiliate link to set up their software then you get paid twice. It's a big win-win-win. Of course, only ever do this for tools and software that you're comfortable with and that you trust and that you would be happy for your clients to use because your reputation as a freelancer is on the line as well. But it can be a really great way to get some money coming in without actively having to work for every single month. The benefit is if it's a recurring commission structure which some affiliate programs, especially software tools have, it means that you still continue to get paid from that client, potentially months or even years after you finish working with them, as long as they're still using this software. Now other ways that you can do this is by having a side hustle, doing something like creating and selling digital products. For example, you can sell templates through the likes of Creative Market or also Etsy. These guys have templates for just about everything. You can have calendars and social media posts, videos, there's thousands and thousands of results for people selling templates, but there is a lot of mixed bag in terms of value on these templates. If you can create some really great templates that people can get really stuck into and that really help to add value to people's lives. If you're a graphic designer or maybe a photographer or a web developer, there's always something that you can create and distribute on these types of platforms. Etsy is the same thing if you look at planners, there's lots of PDFs or digital prints that people can print at home that don't actually cost you anything in terms of your time and labor or shipping because it's just a digital product that can automatically get sent to somebody as soon as they pay. Or you can teach online courses or YouTube videos in your area of expertise through platforms like this one. There really are a million ways that you can do this and bring more passive income into your business. It could be a course all on its own, and maybe one day it will be because I'm really passionate about this. But I have linked you guys to some of Pat Flynn stuff because he's the master of Smart Passive Income. It's what his business is all about. It's something he's been focused on for a really long time. He's got a lot of really great free resources and his podcasts and his YouTube channel that cover everything to do with this topic. If it's something you're really interested in, again, maybe not a huge focus for you right at the beginning of your freelance career. But once you're a little bit more settled and it's something you want to start exploring and putting a little bit of time and energy into, I really recommend that you check out some of his stuff and everything is in your course guide of course. But I am a really big believer in having some passive income coming into your business from whichever way is most comfortable for you so that you can take some of the pressure off and have a little bit of financial freedom in your life as a freelancer. At this point, I really want to encourage you to just write down a few ways in which you might be able to bring in a bit of extra passive income into your business in the future. Again, the goal here is to not overwhelm yourself, but it's really good to start thinking about this stuff early on so that you can start taking some of that financial pressure off yourself as soon as you're able to do so. 18. Overcome Obstacles: There's a lot of doubt that can creep in when you're starting on a new career path, especially for those of us who are not native speakers of the language we want to freelance in whether that's English or a different language. For those of us who maybe don't have the greatest support network from our friends and family about this new weird thing that we're doing, that's totally different from what they do for a living. In this lesson, we're going to focus on a few of the obstacles that you might come across in your freelance journey and hopefully giving you some actionable steps to overcome these. Let's start off with overcoming the fear of rejection. I've often had students tell me that getting your first client is the scariest part and holy crap, yes, it is. It's so scary. I think I lost 10 kilos trying to get my first client and going through a lot of calls before getting someone to say yes to me. That is the fun part. If you can make it a little bit fun, that is a really big part of it because you are going to get rejected hard. That's just an inevitability. It's not like maybe I'll get some no's, you will get some no's. It's just not possible for every single person to say yes to you. You don't want everyone to say yes to you because every single no, gets you close to the right opportunity. Think about it from the perspective of dating. Imagine if the first-person you asked out on a date said no, and then you were like, yeah, I'm done with this whole dating thing, it's not for me, I'm just going to be single forever. If you're happy with that, awesome. But if you want to potentially date again, you're just going to have to get used to the fact that not every single date will work out and that's okay. Not every single client relationship will work out either. Just getting really comfortable with the fact that all that it is is just another relationship in your life that may or may not work out and that person may want to pursue that relationship with you, or they may not, is going to be half the battle and honestly the no's get easier over time if that helps. Let's talk about how to overcome lack of support. The world continues to function because most people out there are happy to work for somebody else and don't want to be working for themselves. We're the outliers, we're the weird ones wanting to freelance. There's no question as to why we don't have the support in our three-dimensional space from our close friends and family that we wish we had when we started out on our freelance journey. But the thing is you don't need everyone to support you. You don't even need everyone to understand what you're doing or why you're doing it. You need one person. You just need one person in your physical space or on the other side of the world who is an online friend you met through some weird networking opportunity, who is maybe going through the exact same thing you're going. They may be just starting out their freelance career and you bond over that and that person is going to be in your corner through all the ups and downs. That one person is going to make all the difference in the world. Now we're onto overcoming inexperience. I have taught tens of thousands of students over the years, and I would say that if there's one thing that separated people who were successful from the people who are unsuccessful is the ability to troubleshoot on their own. That might seem like a little thing, but it actually is a huge thing when you're a freelancer, especially if you've got clients on the other side of the world. If they have a problem in their business that you're working in and you're not able to solve that on your own and you have to wait for them to wake up in 12 hours, that's a problem. If you can become a master Googler and understand how to troubleshoot issues on your own before you then need to go in and ask questions of your client, you're then saving them heats of time, even though they may not necessarily know about it every single time but they will start to notice that working with you is really seamless and that is going to become a huge asset. A great hack for you in Google specifically is if you're new to working with a specific tool like buffer, which is a scheduling tool that I didn't really know much about when I first started working online, is that you can search the specific website directory just by putting in the URL of that particular tool and then your question. For example, I put in buffer.com and scheduling Instagram posts. If this is something I didn't really know much about, it will then only pop up with search results of that particular tool. You'll notice nothing in these search results is from anything other than buffer.com or support.buffer.com. You can put in the full website address, but then it will potentially not show you anything that's like a sub-domain within their domain. Just putting in their URL, that is the main URL and then your question will come up with usually all of the answers that you're looking for from that particular tool. Let's talk about overcoming lack of interest. No job, freelance or otherwise is ever completely perfect. Cadbury hires people to taste their chocolate and I bet even those guys have some crappy days. There's always going to be some part of the job that you don't like doing or that takes you long or it's just repetitive or for whatever reason, it just doesn't mesh well with you. When that happens, I think a really slight change in language can make all the difference in terms of your attitude. Instead of saying, I have to get up at 3:00 AM to have this client call because I'm living on the other side of the world for my client and that's the only time they can do it, if you say, hey, I get to get up at 3:00 AM to have this client call because my client from the other side of the world is paying my bills and I'm able to work globally because I'm not attached to a location, how amazing is that? I can work and travel and talk to my clients from all these different time zones. Saying I get to instead of I have to when you get to that inevitable tricky bit in your job and the bit that you don't want to do is such a big difference in terms of the attitude shift that it creates. Probably the least fun topic of them all, let's talk about overcoming difficult client relationships. There will always be clients out there who underpay, who undervalue, who push your boundaries or terrible communicators and they're just people you need to like though. Overtime you will really start to see these red flags from very early on, as early on as just reading a job description and you'll start to notice some patterns. But at the beginning it's really hard to spot these flags similarly to getting a job in any company, everyone's trying to sell themselves at the beginning, so it's really hard to notice the things between the lines that people aren't maybe telling you. Once you get into a situation where you're maybe in a toxic relationship with a client, you want to let go, let go before it starts destroying you and your confidence. Now I don't know if it's because I'm Canadian or just because I am the way I am, but I am really bad at confrontation. I have had to develop a unique set of skills to get me out of these situations without causing further issues. My favorite non-confrontational exit line out of these types of toxic relationships, especially on freelancing platforms where potentially if you leave a bad relationship on a bad note, a client can give you a bad review, even though you had excellent work for six months with them and maybe the last couple of weeks were a bit tricky and that's just the thing that they remember and maybe a bad review, that's the worst thing that can happen. To leave a relationship on a high note, my favorite non-confrontational way to handle that is literally just saying to the client, I have decided to take on another client that is able to offer me more work at a higher rate and I'm going to be leaving you within the next 7-10 days. Now, you're not required to give notice as a freelancer, but it's a good habit to get into and again, especially on freelancing platforms, you don't want to leave your client's high and dry and it gives you a little bit of time to do lack of really detailed handover, so the next person who's coming into their business knows exactly what you've done up to that point and what's required of them. You can even help them improve their systems if you found that their onboarding process was a bit messy. You can say, hey, why don't we work on making this a really smooth transition for the next person? You can even offer to upskill that person if they managed to hire them within that timeframe. It's a really good way to have a really positive experience when leaving a really bad client. But it's a great way for them to not be able to argue because you're essentially saying, I've already taken on other work. If that's actually true, that's great. Hopefully, by that point you will have actually taken on other work, in which case you're not actually lying, that's great. But if you do have to lie and you just need to get out, it seems to work really well. That's my magic bullet. Hopefully it works that way for you as well, but find your own systems. But if Netflix rom coms have taught us anything, it's that, sometimes you need to get rid of one bad relationship to make room for the great one that's going to come into your life when you make space for it. 19. Class Project: For your class project, I would love for you to head over to the projects and resources tab and submit a profile of your choice for feedback. This can be your LinkedIn profile, your Upwork profile, a website, a social media profile, or whatever else you want to be using as a way to get feedback that you are going to be using to approach clients about your freelance work. Here are the things I'm looking for no matter which platform you choose to submit for your class project. There should be a visible photo of you and a little bit about who you are and the value you provide and why you're so passionate about what you do. Ideally, you'd also have a clear statement about who you do it for or who your ideal client is. Finally, you definitely want to have a clear call to action for a potential client to take the next steps with you. I'll be putting on my client hat and giving you some constructive feedback on ways to improve. I want to encourage you to jump into other students' projects and give them some love and learn from each other for inspiration as well. Remember earlier we talked about how working alone doesn't have to be lonely, but how sometimes it can be hard to find the support. Go in and show each other a little bit of encouragement and love on your projects. Well, I wanted to give you the option of submitting a profile you already have. Whether that's LinkedIn or a social media profile, I do want to encourage you to put together a beautiful one-page portfolio site that we're going to be doing in this particular lesson because this is what's going to give you that extra wow factor no matter where you're talking to potential clients because you're then able to send them somewhere that is dedicated to this area of your life. It's dedicated to your freelance career and it's optimized specifically for your ideal client and the actions you want them to take from that side. Let's jump into Strikingly which is my preferred tool for doing this and have a look at how to set that up now. Strikingly is free for you to sign up with just an email address and password and you'll be able to start creating beautiful website straightaway. The reason I like it is because it's incredibly beginner-friendly and it has a lot of capabilities even on their free plan. Once you log in, you're going to see something like this. Obviously, I've created some sites with Strikingly for demo purposes. They're in there, but then you basically go through to create a new site. You then select a template that you like and you can start customizing straightaway. You can see some categories up here or you can start with a blank page which can be a bit tricky. I do recommend starting with something that you like the look of. I know the one that I want is this one, but you can always view the examples of it if you're not quite sure if it's the right site for your needs. But I'm just going to go ahead and start editing. Anything that's in here is changeable in terms of images, colors, fonts, and obviously all of the different texts. You can delete entire sections as well if they're not super relevant to you. If having a portfolio like this is maybe not quite right for you, you can delete some things from here or you can manually delete things over here, but it can take a little while. If I go over to just deleting this entire section, it's going to highlight that particular section and ask me if I want to go ahead and delete that. Likewise, you can add things in, of course. Over here are just the different sections of your site at the moment. You can go in and add a new section. That's where you can select some pre-made templates for different things. If you wanted to have something that people can purchase from your site, you can do that here, but it's actually a little bit limited on the free plans in terms of people being able to actually pay for things on the site because that's not really what it's designed for. But you can do a lot with the free plan. Anything that doesn't have that Pro icon is free for you to use and then customized to your needs. Things like adding in some social media icons for people to get in touch with you could be a really good option for the bottom of your website here. In terms of frequently asked questions, that's something I would probably remove. I don't necessarily need that there but I would probably want something to do with my services and potentially my pricing and packaging. This can potentially act as a pricing option. This is their process, but I could make this whatever I want. This could be pricing and then I could include some different packages for my client. You can notice that as soon as I changed the title there, it's changed over here, and it's also changed in my menu as well. But mainly some things you want to include is a little bit about yourself, a little bit about your services, and giving people next steps to get in touch with you, of course. In terms of services, I like using a specific section where it says Features List. I think that these actually lend themselves pretty well to services as well, whether you have them as columns or as rows. I really like this one because you can add in an image, whether it's one of their images that you select from their particular library which is just pulling in from Unsplash. If you're talking about design or writing, you can get some really good images just to use for that and then you could actually talk about the service over here. I can say something like social media copywriting, and then talk about it a little bit here that my next service could come under here. I can continue to add items. Then with any of these sections of the website, you can choose from various layouts. Do keep in mind this is designed to be super beginner-friendly so there's not a whole lot of customizability with it. You can really only swap between the different layouts, but you can't drag things around as much as you would be able to if this was your own website. But for what it is and for what you need it to do, that should be fine anyways. Any of these sections, like I said, you can change the text, the images. You'll also notice it has some capability for video from Vimeo or YouTube so that can be really good if you want to have a video introduction on this page, you could add that in there. You can also change the layouts and then get a little bit more nitty-gritty in terms of sizing and the different options over here. You can, of course, change the color of every section as well. You can make that a little bit custom or you can make it an image which works really well if you've only got texts on top of that image or you can also use video. Video can be a little bit distracting as a background element, but the place that I actually like using video is in the actual submission form option. This is a point during which you probably can add in some videos as long as their irrelevancy, you might need to go into something like business, and that will be too distracting at the very bottom of the website. It will play on mobile as well as on desktop, which is really cool. Now, at any point, if you don't like the template you've chosen, you can go over to styles, and you can actually change templates, and it's going to take all the information you've put into your website and just change the look of it based on you changing templates. This is where you can also pick your color scheme. Obviously, these guys have a very particular color scheme. But let's say I wanted to make that my brand colors, so using my darkest turquoise there or even some of my brighter colors, I could add that in there. Then I can change any fonts for my headings or for my body texts there. I can change what appears in my header and my navigation and how it actually behaves when I'm scrolling, whether it's sticky or if it stays at the top there. There are lots of different things that you can look to you on the site design side of things, and of course, in the settings options, this is where you can choose your actual domain. You could actually make this like your first and last name, which I've already done with one of my other slides. I'm not going to include that, but you would put in something that makes sense to you. Of course, it's going to have their branding in the URL. That's not usually that much of a big deal, just like we talked about with sending invoices through [inaudible] or workspace, having a strikingly branded site it's not that much of an issue. If you do and register your own domain, then of course you have to upgrade to their paid option. But really this is not as much of a deal as you think it is, because people are pretty used to checking out portfolios on Dribble or even on social media sites or on Upwork or on LinkedIn. It's not that uncommon for it to be branded with some other brands' names, so don't worry about it too, too much on that front. In terms of email notifications, you want to put in your email address and all of your details so that you know exactly where you're going to get everything sent to when you're getting any submissions through this website, and then you also go through to edit and make sure that your email address is in here so that when people do submit your form through the website that you receive that through there. If you want to show off your writing style, you can have the option to write some blogs, very simple blogs on this site, but it is a little bit tedious and messy, and obviously, people only discover those blog posts if they're on the site. It's not as search engine friendly as it might be on other locations. My preferred way of doing this is actually to add a new link and then put the word blog in there and then have your blog content on a site like medium, where people can actually discover it through medium, and then you can link out to it from your strikingly side. I haven't obviously blogged on medium in a very long time because I now have my own website to do this through. But it was a really great way to showcase my writing style at the very beginning when I didn't have my website, and I just wanted to send my clients on portfolios of how I can write. This can be a really great way to just take this URL, bring it into your strikingly sought, and then anytime anybody's going to be going on your site, they're going to be able to actually go to your blog, strike through here. I'm going to just now jump through to my fully customized version of this exact template over here, where I've just added in my own image. I've changed the font slightly and made the buttons slightly smaller, and change the sections. Notice some of these sections don't actually have titles. You can absolutely do this. Not all of them have to be in your menu. If you have a section like this one, for example, which is an About Me section but it doesn't really make sense to have that in my menu bar. This doesn't have a place in my menu, whereas this is the actual About Me section that's in my menu. You can always adjust these here so that they don't appear in the menu bar. The way that I've customized it, yeah, I have just put in my own image, a little bit of my own texts, a little bit about me, a little bit about who I am, and then my services using the exact same section template that I showed you where I put in my own image that I just made inside of Canva, but you could very easily just use their pre-made images in here. A little bit about what that means for the client. Same with email marketing, blog management, content marketing, and sales funnels. Obviously, this is a demo site. I haven't gone into like a huge amount of detail about all the things that I would do for a client because I'm also using very beginner-friendly text in this. This is actually I set up when I was first freelancing. It's got very beginner-friendly language, and I haven't edited it much since those very early days because I do think it's a little bit more accessible for people just starting out. Now, in terms of the pricing packages of basically just added in images of myself and then putting just guides as to what these packages might entail. Now, I think it is completely optional for you to have prices on this type of site. Whether or not you want to have those prices or not is totally up to you. But I do think it's a little bit of a [inaudible] for clients to almost rule themselves out if they look at your prices and go, oh, that's way too much. I don't want to be paying that. Same with hourly packages. I think it's all right to put those on your site, but give them a minimum. If you do have pay by the hour, just make sure that you say, please block at a minimum of 30 or 40 hours a month for this type of package or contract. Again, in terms of the packaging collisions here, for very much demo purposes, these are not ones that I would be sending to your clients in a proposal, but it's just to give you an idea of what you might be able to include. If you do want to include pricing on your page, then I will also link to my Instagram account because to me that does act as a little bit of a portfolio for my social media clients. It makes it easy where I don't have to attach every single image specifically to the side. I can just have it constantly updating with my Instagram content, bearing in mind, it doesn't take into account reals. It has thrown out my Instagram look and feel a little bit because it doesn't have my reals on there. Well, that's actually not that big of a deal. I still think it works for my particular industry. Then I've got ways for them to connect with me more, and then finally I have a way for them to contact me at the very bottom. If I then go to preview this, I'll be able to see what it looks like on desktop with the parallax effect because I've got some slot animations as part of the template. I can see that a little bit better. I can see what it would look like on a tablet, and then I can see what it would look like on mobile. That's especially key for any sections like what I've done here, where I've got an image in the background, so you can make sure that it's not overlapping, and that actually looks fine. This bit might be a little bit distracting, but from my experience, this is not 100 percent representative of what it actually looks like on your phone. Once it goes live, just make sure to check it on your phone if there's any issues like this, and you might need to go back in and edit that. But it's always good to check what everything looks like on various devices before you go live. Then once you're ready, go ahead and press publish on your site so that it's live, and you can then submit the URL of your one-page portfolio website or another profile of your choosing as a part of your class project. Of course, you can feel free to also ask any questions about your particular profile or psi as a part of the project as well. I can't wait to see what you guys create. 20. What's Next?: [MUSIC] Legends, and that brings us to the end of this particular class. Congratulations on getting here, but your freelance study is really just beginning. I have included lots and lots of helpful resources in your class guide, including other amazing instructors. Check out on Skillshare and great classes that will help to support you in your freelance journey. Some I'm amazing books, some podcasts and something relatable, hilarious meme accounts that you can follow on Instagram for those days when you just need a little pick me up. I'm the king of the world. [NOISE] But please remember the danger of motion versus action we talked about earlier because you could spend months and years learning everything there is to know about freelancing and your chosen area of expertise. It's not going to get you nearly as far as actually doing the thing. Because the most important lessons in this can't be learned from books and even courses and podcasts. It's all learned from actually doing the thing and lots and lots of trial and error. Go out there, make lots and lots of mistakes, learn from them and get back up again and do it all over again. I also want you to frequently check in with yourself to make sure you're still enjoying what you're doing because freelancing isn't for everyone and it doesn't have to be permanent by the way. I began freelancing and then went to full-time employment, went freelance again, then I was an employee again, and then I went freelance again, and that's totally fine. It doesn't actually need to make sense to anyone other than you, and you do not have to shout it from the rooftops every time you're making a big life change either. Don't feel like you have to do something that's right for other people out there. As long as it's making sense to you and as long as you are still enjoying what you're doing and how you're doing it, that's all that matters. Beautiful people, thank you so much for being here. I always feel incredibly lucky to get to be some small part of your journey to success. You're my online courses, so thank you for choosing this one in particular. If you'd like to let me know your thoughts in a review, that would be amazing. If you've got any more questions, make sure to pop into the discussion section of the class and I'll be able to help you out there. I hope you consider following me here on Skillshare so you can be the first to know when I release new classes or have some new additional resources to share with you guys. You can also find some other ways to connect with me online on my teacher profile. Thank you again for being here. Have an incredible rest of your week and I hope to see you again in another class and very soon.