How Freelancers Build A Steady Stream of Paying Clients | Jason Montoya | Skillshare

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How Freelancers Build A Steady Stream of Paying Clients

teacher avatar Jason Montoya, Stories & Systems To Live Better & Work

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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

10 Lessons (42m)
    • 1. What To Expect From This Course

      2:08
    • 2. My Story of Becoming a Freelancer

      5:17
    • 3. The 8 Achievements of Successful Freelancers

      6:48
    • 4. Building a Steady Stream of Paying Clients

      2:24
    • 5. Finding & Attracting New Projects

      9:37
    • 6. Sales as a Predictable Process

      4:34
    • 7. Building a Team of Advocates

      3:11
    • 8. Referrals Seeking You Out

      3:18
    • 9. Giving Away Your Time

      2:49
    • 10. Wrapping Up

      1:43
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About This Class

Welcome to this course on How freelancers can sustain a steady stream of paying clients where you will learn how to find, sell, and grow your freelancing business into a sustainable vocational path.

We'll also explore how this area of focus is part of a larger strategy to flourish as a freelancer.

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Hello. I'm Jason Scott Montoya and as a freelancer and lifelong entrepreneur, I'll be leading you through this course.

In 2014, I decided to shift from building a business to operating instead as an independent freelancer.

Taking the lessons I learned from the prior seven-year business journey, I develop and codified a blueprint for flourishing as a freelancer, which I wrote in my first book, Path of the Freelancer, spurred on by the numerous freelancers I was personally mentoring.

By taking this course, you can quickly sift through the noise of what you need to do (and what you need not worry about) when it comes to getting clients in a consistent way.

Instead of wondering, I'll clearly give you a step-by-step process for building and growing a foundation that will sustain your freelancing pathway indefinitely. It's the same system I've used since 2014 to succeed as a freelancer.

When you are done with this course, you will be able to consistently find and attract prospects to work with you.

Specifically, we will quickly run through the eight achievements of a successful freelancer and then narrow in on the third achievement, which is sustaining a steady stream of paying clients.

We'll explore sales styles and picking the one that works best for you, how to develop a predictable sales process, how you can build a team of advocates to help you sell your services, and what you can do to arrive at a place where people and companies seek you out.

If you are a freelancer and struggled to generate leads, move leads through the pipeline, and ultimately need helping generating more income for your freelancing business, this course is for you.

Stop struggling with revenue and sales creation and start doing the activity that will let you live the life you dreamed of when you entered into freelancing.

Feel free to look through the course outline and description, and I look forward to hearing your feedback about the lessons learned.

Meet Your Teacher

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Jason Montoya

Stories & Systems To Live Better & Work

Teacher

Now a full-time freelancer, I originally moved to Atlanta in 2005 with my wife, Cait. I attempted to make an animated feature film, launched a political news website, graduated in 2008 from the Art Institute of Atlanta, owned a marketing agency for seven years, and authored a book on flourishing in freelancing called Path of the Freelancer.

I'm also one of the three originators of IDEMA, a framework for capturing and sustaining ideas, and the author of a parable titled The Island Story.

In my journey, I've  personally experienced and seen others experience the life of surviving in isolation. In my times of need, others helped and inspired me when I needed it. As a result, my personal aim is to inspire others to a place of thriving and togetherness.

What does Th... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. What To Expect From This Course: Welcome to this course on how freelancers can sustain a steady stream of paying clients, where you will learn how to find cell and grow your freelancing business into a sustainable vocational path will also explore how this area focus is part of a larger strategy for you to flourish as a freelancer. I'm Jason Scott Montoya. And as a freelancer and a lifelong entrepreneur, I'll be leading you through this course. In 2014, I decided to shift from building a business to operating instead as an independent freelancer. Taking the lessons I learned from the prior seven years, I developed and codified a blueprint for flourishing as a freelancer, which I wrote in my first book, path of the freelancer, spurred on by the numerous freelancers I was personally mentoring by taking this course, you can quickly sift through the noise of what you need to do and what you can safely ignore when it comes to getting clients in a consistent way. Instead of wandering, I'll clearly give you a step-by-step process for building and growing a foundation that will sustain your freelancing pathway indefinitely. It's the same system I've used since 2014 to succeed as a freelancer. When you are done with this course, you'll be able to consistently find in attract prospects to work with you. Specifically, we will quickly run through the eight achievements of a successful freelancer and then narrow in on the third achievement, which is about sustaining a steady stream of paying clients. We'll explore sales styles and picking the ones that work best for you. How to develop a predictable sales process. How you can build a team of advocates to help you sell your services, and what you can do to arrive at a place where people and companies seek you out. If you are a freelancer in struggled to generate leads, move leads through your pipeline, and ultimately, you need help generating more income for your freelancing business. This course is for you, stop struggling with revenue and sales creation and start doing the activity that will let you live the life you dreamed of when you entered into freelancing. Feel free to look through the course outline and description, and I look forward to hearing from your feedback about the lessons learned. 2. My Story of Becoming a Freelancer: But I'd like to do now is briefly tell you a little bit about my story, how I became a freelancer. If this is not something you're interested in, feel free to skip this episode and go to the next, the next one. But for those of you that want to understand how I become a freelancer and why I have any sense of authority to speak into freelancing, wanted to share a little bit about my story. So I moved to Atlanta in 2005. And within a few years I had started a marketing agency which I ran from about 2007 to 2014. So wonderful experience. A learned a lot, lots of heartache celebrations. But I learned a lot of great business lessons, had a lot of great people teaching me and just learning the difficulties of running a business, having a team, and making all of those pieces come together. And so when I shouldn't have my business in 2014, I wasn't sure what I was gonna do next, but I had a bunch of my clients and people in my network that reached out and said, Hey, before you go do the next thing that you're gonna do. Could I hire you? Could I contract you as a person to help me solve this particular business problem? Now, in most of the cases they were marketing problems or related to that communications, messaging, branding. And so I was very open to those opportunities because I didn't have anything else plan when I shut down the company. Well, I went from owning a business to becoming a freelancer. And what I really realized quickly was I was making an income, but it was chaotic and I had to take that chaos and channel that into a more manageable way to operate. And I realize I had an insight that was, you know what, even though I'm only a freelancer, I'm still a business and I need to operate as a business of one. And even though I don't have an interest in building another agency or building another company with a team. At this point, I decided that I would still have systems and processes and structures that would make freelancing manageable and actually enjoyable and fulfilling for me. And so I leaned into this freelance scene that sort of came my way as a result of shutting down the company. And about eight months later, I had really kind of realized this was going to continue to work for me, but I needed to get a handle on it. So it came up with these systems and structures and amount run through what those are at a high level. And then we'll dive into the third one, which is building a steady stream of paying clients. I really flushed out this details. And so in 2014, work through that and 2015, really figured out how do I master being a freelancer. And as I got that mastery, I had other freelancers that were coming to me saying, hey Jason, how are you doing this? How are you overcoming this challenge or I'm facing this problem, what should I do? And I became a mentor of other freelancers. And they said you ought to write a book and that's eventually what field routing path that freelancer. But the book itself was in my head. It was the systems I've used to be successful and what I was sharing with these other freelancers as they were asking questions after 2015, I ended up spending a few more years to fine tuning that and then publishing the book in 2017. And since then I've learned other things that have helped me to take some of those ideas, go deeper. Some of them become more relevant, some become less depending on the stage of freelancing that we're in. But the overall structure allows us to really take advantage of the opportunity of being a freelancer, which is a big opportunity now more than ever, as more workforces are virtual and working across states and even countries. And so that's a little bit about my journey to becoming freelancing. And now it's really a beautiful thing that I cherish. That is something that if they get a lot of value from, I earn an income, i'm, I'm surviving, but I'm also able to thrive and be able to get more out of it, do meaningful work, help others, and then work on projects outside of my freelancing itself, such as this course. One other thing I'll make a note of is that I used to have a marketing company and we had a lot of employee 1 and there was over a dozen of us. And what I realized as a freelancer as I could, I could earn just as much income. In fact, I've earned more income as a freelancer than I ever did as a marketing business owner. And I realize I have a lot less responsibility, a lot less people that I'm responsible for. What I mean by that. And and why that matters is it allows me the flexibility I need to actually pursue some of the other projects and vocational dreams and goals that I have. So I'm able to do great work, make an impact, and also generate the income I need to fulfill my obligations. And, and so one thing I'll make a note of is that everyone who is a freelancer doesn't necessarily mean you need to start a business. You can stay a freelancer. Often freelancing is a transition towards a business or towards a job. But for a lot of us, it is the job and is the destination. It is the state of work that we want to be in and stay in. And so for those of you that feel that or since that, I encourage you to pay with that, to embrace that idea because you will have a lot of people that says, well, how come you don't build a business? How come you don't hire people will do this or that. But being a freelancer can be an ends for those of us that want that. And if you want to build a business, and that's your goal, and freelancing is a stepping stone towards that. That's also a wonderful path. 3. The 8 Achievements of Successful Freelancers: So my goal for this talk is I want you to walk away with actionable insights for you to grow your freelancing business. And I want it to be as tactical as possible that you can take this or tidbits as you're going through it, apply it right now, today, this week, this month, and make an impact in your freelancing business in a way that it makes it more sustainable and allows you to get more out of it. And for you to be able to give more from it to get us started before we dive into how to build a steady stream of pain clients, I want to quickly survey the eight achievements of successful freelancers you understand the larger picture particular achievement falls into, but also gives you a hint of what those are so that you can also be exploring those as well. So we'll, we'll dive into building a steady stream of paying clients. But first let's survey the aid achievements. So number one is we are fully committed to freelance. We're fully committed, which means we're not straddling offense between a job and freelancing. It doesn't mean that we've got 10 different directions that we're going. We're running a business where freelancing, where working, freelancing. The problem with having a divided focus is it, it deters us from actually becoming successful in the way that we want. And so for us to truly be successful as a freelancer, we have to be all in. This has to be the path that we're taking. And even if it is transitory towards something else, and at least is us being all in until it makes until that transition comes about. So that's number one. Number two is that our offering? Our offering is the solution we offer to a particular problem or a particular set of problems or a realm of problems. And its package, that offering is package in a compelling way. How we say it, we speak of it, how we communicate, how we, how we talk about it. In other words, people come across this problem in their own journey and we have a solution for them to help them and us communicating that connects those dots and they see us, the person as the freelancer that can help them solve that problem. Number 3 is what we'll talk about in more depth, which is building a steady stream of paying clients. That's where we have a predictable lead flow. We have predictable sales process unfolding. We're actually getting clients. We're keeping those clients were getting new clients. And that machine, that mental machine metaphor is a way for us to just understand that string to mix the metaphors between the stream and the machine. But essentially what we want is we want to have enough leads and enough business coming in up that sustains us in a way that we're not going from starving to prospering and going back and forth, which will be a part of it. But if we really get the sales business development piece down, it'll help mitigate some of the ups and downs that we're likely to face. Number four is that our active clients are maximized. So what that means is we're going to work with clients, but as a freelancer, the nice thing is we don't have to have a whole lot of clients to be able to sustain ourselves. So the question is, is how do we have a type of offering and how do we engage with our clients in a way that we can work with them and an ongoing capacity where we do one project that leads to another project. How did we get more out of that relationship where we're able to deliver more value and then they're able to pay us for that value because it's so valuable to them. And so the easiest way to sell, the easiest target to sell to is those that are already our clients. And so how do we get more out of that relationship? So that's the fourth achievement. Number five. The fifth achievement is that were unaffected by the roller coaster. That's the financial ups and downs and the emotional ups and down. We need to have a system in place to help us navigate those ups and downs, or it will tear us apart, will be go from depression to anxiety and back and forth. We'll have a full BankAccount to an empty one that is no way to live. It's unmanageable for us humans. And so we need a way to manage that chaos into a sustainable and healthy order. Number 6 is wise and precise financial management. We can't just make money and spend it. We actually have to have eyes in systems around that so that we can do that well. And that the way that we do that actually helps in empowers and equips us versus creating a strain on us. During the first year of my freelancing, I was making a good amount of money, but I wasn't managing that money in a good enough way. I was making money, for example, in one month, but in another month that was making less, but I wasn't changing my spending to reflect that. So I had to have a wise, imprecise financial management system to help me navigate those things. The seventh achievement is that we've unified our personal and work lives. And so work should be a vehicle for our personal goals and ambitions. Drive, it shouldn't be taking us away from what matters, so we shouldn't be working if our spouse and our kids are important to us and we want to spend time to them that we don't want our freelancing to take away from that it should be a vehicle to have a spend more time with them and to earn an income to do things with them. And so thinking of it as a vehicle helps us to understand that. We also have our personal health that we need to take into consideration and prioritized. And so there's a lot of factors. But ultimately our work and our personal life, we want that unified, but doesn't always mean that it looks nice and clean. It can be messy at times, but at least they're working together in harmony in a way that's beneficial to both sides of our life. And the final achievement, the eighth achievement, as where we've shared what we've mastered as a freelancer, we take other freelancers under wing. We meant toward them, we guide them, we share with them, we teach them the lessons we've learned. We share the tools that we've, we've used. We may be write blogs about those things. We maybe put together a book or some courses. But we essentially take the hard journey we've been on and we capture that and then we share it with others so that they can have a little bit easier time going through the journey. It's gonna be hard, but perhaps we can make it a little bit less stressful, a little less anxious, and have tools and resources to help them overcome challenges that may have been very difficult for us or maybe lack the tools and resources at that time that now exist to help them. And so ultimately it's about paying it forward to the next generation of freelancers that are out there. 4. Building a Steady Stream of Paying Clients: For the most part on this course, we're going to focus on the third achievement of the eight, which is about building a steady stream of pain clients for your freelancing business. Now each of the achievements has four checkpoints. And so I want to just quickly review what those four checkpoints are for this. And then we'll dive into each of the four checkpoints for this particular achievement in more depth. So real quickly, the first is that we're finding new projects. And in that, in that checkpoint, we explore where the easiest places are to find people that would need our services, how to find them, and had to prioritize those, especially as we start to network and we get more contexts and we have to start asking who, where should we prioritize our time? Also talk about the sales style that you or I might have and hopefully my understanding which of the two styles you might best fit in. It would give you more of a way to approach sales, especially if that's something that chore more reserved or resistant to doing. The second checkpoint is about how we can we make sales are predictable process instead of this sort of random thing where I just do a bunch of activity, how do I actually capture that activity, that chaos into something a little bit more manageable, where I can actually anticipate what do I need, how much activity I need to generate the amount of paid work I need to sustain myself. So that's the second checkpoint. But they're checkpoint is about how we've built a team of advocates as a freelancer, we don't have a sales staff, we don't have a business development team. So we need other people to be advocating on our behalf. And so how did we do that? What are the different types of advocates and how do we equip those people and stay in relationship with them so that they can support us in the best way possible. And finally, the fourth checkpoint for building a steady stream of paying clients is getting to the point where referrals seek us out for us, helping them solve the problems they faced, and that we offer a solution to overcoming those. And so that's a wonderful place to get to. It's not something that happens overnight, but with focus and good work, quality, execution, good communication, we can actually build a business that ultimately is most successful because of that fourth checkpoint. 6. Sales as a Predictable Process: The second checkpoint for this third achievement, building a steady stream of paying clients is transforming our sales into a predictable process. So let me give you a little quick story about how this works out. I had a friend who was a freelancer, is a freelance photographer. And he was really struggling. He was doing you do really well and then you'd have droughts. And he would be essentially in survival mode for awhile and then you'd get a bunch of work. It was just this roller coaster as freelancing can often be. And we had talked about, I said, well, you know how me understand what's the amount of income that you want to earn annually? And that's one of the things we dive into more in one of the other achievements. So I definitely encourage you to check that out if that's something of interest. But by getting clarity on the amount of income he wanted to generate and don't recall exactly what that amount was, but let's say it was 75 thousand dollars. Okay. So if he were to charge $7,500 for each photo project, that means he needs ten of those projects, and he needs ten of those projects, then he needs to generate a certain number of leaves to get those 10 projects. Maybe it's 50 leads to get ten projects. So 50 to ten to the 75 thousand. Well, how many leads, how many contacts, how many strangers does he need to talk to you about? How many people does he need to network with to get those 50 leads? So as you can start to see, what I'm doing is I'm creating a funnel. The amount of activity at the high level and much the amount of networking and strangers referred, reaching out to people having conversations, meetings. How many meetings do I need to get one lead? Do any ten meetings get one leaf? And if I need five leads to get one client, then I've gotta do 50 meetings. Now obviously that's a lot of meetings. So we want to figure out how to make sure we're meeting with the right people and get more refined in that process. But that helps you to go well, if I want to get a certain number of leaves, to get a certain number of clients to earn a certain amount of income that I need to do that. Now perhaps his rate is actually lower than seven hundred and seventy-five hundred. Perhaps he charges $1000 for a photo project. Well now he's gonna get a lot more clients to be able to earn that same amount. And so you can calculate that difference. And so when it comes to sales, if we can actually understand what we're trying to accomplish, our revenue target, and then how much activity we need to generate to get to that target. Then our focus is simply to generate that activity. I need to do 12 meetings a week. I need to call 30 people a month. I need to post on social media and post a blog, send out an e-mail, figure out what those activities are. Just do them regularly and the results will come like farming, you need to plant the seeds or a garden. You plant the seeds, you water it, you nourish the soil, you get it the Senate needs, and eventually those seeds grow. And that's how activity works. As long as you're doing the right activity, you're doing it consistently overtime, then you can develop that. Now unfortunately, it isn't like gardening, it isn't an overnight thing, it takes time. And so it may take 23 weeks or a month or perhaps three months to really get the pipeline going, to get the activity going to the, to enough of a point that you're generating the type of leads you need and the type of activity you need. There's different ways that you can approach that. We're at the end of the day, what I found when it comes to actually getting business developing that business pipeline, it comes down to the relationships and talking with people and meeting with people and following up with people. There other things that can do like blogging, porcine, unsocial, doing SEO and paid ads and other things like that. And if that's an area of specialty, you can certainly explore those. But when it comes down to it, the way to really move the needle is to do the activity, which is often the activity we don't want to do. I found that I am actually really great at sales, but for a season, I didn't wanna do it and I didn't, and I suffered accordingly. But once I decided this is part of being a freelancer, it as much as I don't like it, I can at least do it in a way that is in a line with my values, my personality, and I can approach it that way and that can be consistent and my activity to generate the results that I'm looking for. And ultimately, if we do that, if we can build that activity that correlates to the, to the sales that we're looking for. Then we can build a sales process that's predictable. 7. Building a Team of Advocates: The third checkpoint for building a steady stream of paying clients is that we built a team of advocates. One of the benefits and downsides of being a freelancer is you don't have to have a staff, but you also don't have a sales team that's out there selling for you. So we've gotta do the work ourselves, but we don't have to do it alone. We can work with others that can advocate for us on our behalf. And there's really three types of advocates that I'd recommend that we build as part of our effort. The first is what I call rainmakers. Those are folks that we know that have some kind of trust in us to be able to send people are way it may not have worked with this. You may not be our client, but there's someone that is talking with those that we can help. And when they come across those folks were the person that comes to mind to help solve those problems. The second is building, really focusing on the work we do get that paid work, doing it really well and serving those customers really well and turning them into raving fans. So we get customer referrals. So customer referrals or the second one. And then the third is friends and family, people who care about us, who would refer someone our way just because they value as they, they love us. They have some relational connection with us, and they just want to help us in whatever way they can. So we've got the rainmakers, the happy customers, and the friends. And what we wanna do is we want to be intentional about reaching out to those people, maintaining those relationships without an agenda, but just for the sake of that relationship, but also be intentional about that so that we understand that we're not in this alone. We have a digital or a virtual sales team, other people that are advocating for us and that we can advocate for them in return as well. The rainmakers, you know, I've, I've had several examples of that where I, I've done a lot of work on HubSpot projects. And when I first started doing HubSpot work, some of the staff at HubSpot, people who worked for the company. They ended up hearing about some of the stuff I was doing with the clients that I was working with. And they had other clients that were small businesses and they needed similar things. And so the staff started referring people my way and I didn't even know about it. And I would ask the Leanne, you know, how did you hear about me? And they would say so and so from HubSpot. And I didn't even know that person, but for whatever reason, I was doing good work and that led to people talking about that, talking about me and my work and that led to me getting needs and referrals. And so there's a wonderful source. I've just had cut somebody customers over the years who have done, I've done great work for and they've been hugely grateful for that work and they referred vendors or their friends to me to help knock out those projects. So one leads to the next, to the next. And that those are great because while friends and family are a great source to get referrals from there willing to help us. We really want to extend that network beyond them so that we can be sustainable without them. And be able to get up on our own fee and be able to get some traction. And that's really the goal to build that team. 8. Referrals Seeking You Out: The fourth checkpoint for building a steady stream of paying clients is where referrals and leads seek us out. Now, this is this sweet spot and this is where we really want to land as a freelancer because it means the business development we have to do is minimal. It allows us to continue working with the clients we have. And then we get a few clients here and there to fill in the gaps. And the business development as just minimal. It's a wonderful place to be and allows us to sustain that freelancing, integrate way and focus on our work. But it's not an easy thing to do and it really comes down to a couple different things. We want to focus on doing quality work for the customers we have. So making sure we deliver, we do what we say we're going to do. We want to set the expectation for the client, make sure that we deliver on that expectation and work with them to be as successful as you possibly can. And the happier they are, the more they're going to tell people about it. Now I remember I've had, like I mentioned, the HubSpot bath members referring people my way. I've had people I had no idea who they were and someone referred them to me and I didn't even know who they were. They found me through the grapevine and they reached out to me for a particular thing that I was doing. It could also be an active marketing effort. If you're blogging and you're building pages, and those pages are getting indexed on Google and people search you out. They find you, or perhaps they get your emails or your social media posts and they see that what you're talking about, you're able to really understand this problem and solve that problem. There's a point when they're going to contact you. And I've had people that have that have followed me for a year or even longer where eventually they're they're ready to start working with me. So that consistency over time is super important. But the more that we do great work, the more that we're active online, through our website, through social media, the more that we network and build people up, help them share resources with them. Not just receiving the help from others, but also giving it. We start to have a ripple effect where people that need what we offer start to come to us because they know of us, are they no. They contact someone that needs us. And it can come out of the just the craziest places. I mean, just in the last few days I had someone reach out to me about a website project. And it was a referral from one of a customer that I had worked with and I built a website for him. And so when his friend named to the site, he referred him, but that was a few years ago when I didn't that website. And so here all of a sudden now, you know, a few years later, I guess he happened to remember me and so he recommended that his friend worked with me. And the guy who who I worked with who recommended this guy. I had actually worked with him probably 10 years ago. In the meantime, we hadn't really stayed in touch after I'd done that project. But he had remember mean, we had a good working relationship. And so it was something that was memorable enough for him to reach out to me when he needed another project done. So there's a lot of opportunities to just continue to cultivate that. But keep that in mind. That's the trophy is that we've developed enough of a network that and referrals are seeking us out. And that allows us to focus on are we're doing great work and keep that cycle going. 9. Giving Away Your Time: Now there's one more topic I'd like to discuss before it closed down here. And that's the idea of giving away our time. Now, as you're selling yourself, you're gonna be tempted or you're going to be invited to do free work for companies or people. I would highly encourage that you decline all of these and not do what's called Spectrum free work. Now there may be certain situations where that makes sense or that you want to try it anyways. But from what I've experienced by giving away your work for free, you're devaluing the work that you offer. But there is a way to do something with that time in a way that's beneficial to both you and those that you're helping. So what I would instead recommend instead of doing spec work, but I would recommend is that you actually do work for a non-profit. Find a non-profit that you already care about, or perhaps when that's around a cause of it you care about. That means something that you offer and donate some of your time and have a limit. Say I'm gonna donate five and my hours or 10 and my hours or five hours a month, whatever that is, be willing to give to the community. And the reason I would recommend doing that versus doing spec work is because by helping a non-profit, you are helping them. Your work will be used. A lot of times spec work is created but it's not used. It's just thrown away or abandoned or neglected. And so with a non-profit, you can actually give your work towards something that would actually get the benefit from it. So that's part of the reason. The second is it does allow you to network and build relationships and that can lead to another to different projects. So I remember one, it was a men's organization that was helping men to be better leaders in their community. And I helped put together an event for them. I donated my time and I put together this event on technology and how to be a good father and navigate the technological challenges. And so I put this panel of three people and I moderated the panel and we invited all of these people in this group to attend, and it ended up being a terrific event. Well, at the event, I ended up meeting someone who became a pain client and it was a great project and that led to other things. And so I didn't do it for that reason. If you do the right things like that, if you are engaged, if you are intentional and if you can create value and do it in a way that gets the attention of other people that, that you are connecting with. It gives you an opportunity to build your business indirectly. And so my encouragement to you to use if you have the time and you want to grow your business, one way to do that is to donate your time. But again, I'd encourage you to limit that amount of time because you don't want to take the time that should be putting in business development and donating. So like I said, I would limit it to a certain number of hours and cut it off that point and go from there. 10. Wrapping Up: To recap for the achievement of building a steady stream of paying clients. There are four achievements. The first is we're finding new projects. The second is that we've made sales into a predictable process. The third is that we've built a team of advocates. And the fourth is referrals and leads are seeking us out. And then I threw in a couple other tips and advice. If you tap into these four checkpoints, if you do an assessment, think about each of the four and go, How am I doing? Am I doing it a little bit or not at all? Not even considered it. Have a completely neglected it. And I have I done it before and now I've stopped doing it. And perhaps that's why my business has dropped. But really grade yourself on those four achievements. Figure out what grade you would give yourself a, B, C, D, or E, or an F. Be honest, it's between you and yourself on how well you're doing, but, but it allows you to go look at this. I am not doing well on this one. I can do better. Here's what I'm gonna do and sit down and write a little checklist. What am I gonna do for, for each of the four checkpoints? The next thing I'm gonna do is this. The next thing I'm gonna do is this and come up with your next action for each of the four check points for just pick one of the four, pick one, and then next week pick another, and then the week after pick another, or even do it by month, pick one checkpoint for the next four months. And each of the months focused on one of those four checkpoints. And what can you do to hit that checkpoint and sustain that checkpoint? And ultimately, when you're heading all four checkpoints within this achievement, you'll be able to build a steady stream of paying clients.