Sales and Marketing For Freelancers & Entrepreneurs - First Steps | Robert G | Skillshare

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Sales and Marketing For Freelancers & Entrepreneurs - First Steps

teacher avatar Robert G, Translator/Freelancer/Traveler

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

11 Lessons (29m)
    • 1. Sales Marketing Intro

    • 2. 4 Types of Freelancers

    • 3. Pre Game 1

    • 4. Pre game 2 Resume

    • 5. Pre game 3 List of Services

    • 6. Pre game 3a Introduction letter

    • 7. Pre game 3b Cover letter

    • 8. Pre game 4 Photo

    • 9. Pre game 5 - Your Website

    • 10. Pre game 6 A Note on Freelancer

    • 11. What to do if you don't have experience

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About This Class

These classes outline the preparation needed to really kick off your sales and marketing as a freelancer. This is for all freelancers and for all types of platforms. This is followed by the Sales and Marketing sections, which delve more deeply into each subject. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Robert G



Robert is a Freelancer/Translator/Traveler/Coffee drinker.

Originally from Switzerland, he serves as Treasurer for the Carolina Association of Translators and Interpreters (CATI), is a member of the board for the Swiss Association of Charlotte, and has written books on Freelance Translation.

He has been a featured speaker at an ATA-sponsored conference, as well as the New Zealand Society of Translators and Interpreters Conference.

He worked in banking, market research, and received a Master’s degree (M.P.A.) from Cornell University in Finance. After this, he worked as a Freelance Translator and gradually set up his own Translation Agency, Lugano Translations.

His courses deal with becoming a successful freelancer, hiring freelancers ... See full profile

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1. Sales Marketing Intro: meet John John is a freelance writer, and he enjoys writing all day. Everyone who reads John's writing is impressed by it and enjoys it. Unfortunately, the people who read John's writing don't need to hire a writer, and John can't find anyone else who would need to hire a writer. So now John has to spend time trying to find new clients, which means gives less time writing. Do you feel like John Sometimes? Are you a freelancer and entrepreneur? Do you work online? And do you need to start selling and marketing your services? Well, then this course is for you. This course will show you how to first get set up. It'll teach about freelance sales, and it will show you how to carry out those sales but also teach about marketing. And along those lines, it will teach you how to carry out something called active marketing. It will also show you how to carry out passive marketing. Plus, it'll have a bunch of other tips, tricks, tidbits and hacks. In short, this course will help you be effective in sales and marketing, so you can spend less time on that and more time following your passion, just like John 2. 4 Types of Freelancers: So what type of freelancers are there out there? Well, here, just a couple to give us examples. You have, ah, writers, their translators, their designers. But designers can be Web designers, clothes designers or anything in between or many other types of designers. V a disease or virtual assistance. Cesaire basically administrative assistants or secretaries that air for higher and many times on Lee virtual. So only via the Web You have photographers, you have Web developers and programmers and also coders and stuff like that. Bookkeepers, researchers. And this could be, you know, market researchers. Or else it can be lead generation or anything. Along those lines, you have seo specialists. You have teachers who teach languages or all tore types of subjects online. Software testers This includes game testers. You have accountants, HR specialists, people in e commerce from FB, a drop shipping, you know, stuff like that to all types of e commerce. And yes, you even have lawyers. And you have doctors, etcetera, etcetera. As you can see, there could be all types of freelancers in all types of industries, and this course will try to be useful to all these types of freelancers. Obviously, you're going to find a lot more of some than others. There gonna be a lot more Web developers and designers, and there are lawyers and doctors. However, there are certain things that are always in common between all these freelancers. Also, when we're classifying these freelances, we shouldn't forget that there's a distinction between part timers and full timers between business owners and individuals. So people who are only doing it for themselves and people who are trying to run a business based on freelancing. They're also temporary versus long term. Or, you could say, short term versus long term types of freelancers working on a project or a couple projects just for now, or others who are working more in the long term or indefinitely. They're also specialized freelancers that only deal in certain sectors as freelancers and maybe don't deals. Freelancers and others and other types of freelances whom or spread out and you'll be freelancers and freelancing all the time. 3. Pre Game 1: So this section is what I like to call the pregame. And just once again, for your reference, this should take one day maximum. And in fact, it can take half a day if you you already have a resume, which I know many people will have at this point. I know you're ready and just itching to get started. That's the exact motivation you need. So these steps might seem like a waste or things that you can get back to later. Or maybe you've already kind of started. And so you think. Okay, I don't need the pregame section. I just need to know what to do, you know, once I've already set things up, but trust me, you do need these steps and they are important. And also, why bother doing anything if you aren't going to do it? Well, that's why I've listed the time that you'll be spending for these first couple of tasks just so you can get an idea and you can set your own schedule. Like with any long journey. The key to the trip itself starts with the preparation. So first of all, you should prepare a couple of things before getting started, an updated resume, an introduction letter or a list of services, and we'll get into this a good picture of yourself, not glamour professional, but one where you look like a decent human being. Again. We'll get into this and last, but definitely not least a personal website throughout this whole process. Keep in mind that there are two different systems at work here, and we'll get into this once again Maurin detail. But it's a good thing to keep in mind right off the bat. There's a system where you find clients, and this includes a bunch of websites like up work. Freelancer pros dot com 99 designs again, depending on your industry. But there's also the type where the clients find you, and this is more like fibre dot com. But you also see them up work in other companies. As you can imagine, many types of freelance Web sites offer the chance to do both for you to find the clients and for the clients to find you. So having said that, let's tackle these things to prepare one by one 4. Pre game 2 Resume: first of all, is updated resume now. I should say this is usually not the most important point, but it helps to have a resume detail ing any associated material. You might have anything that's associated with your free lengths and skill with your specialty. This can range from even just a personal blawg if its well kept to ah published articles to a portfolio, two examples that you might put a post on a website, anything along those lines and anything in between. If you don't have any published material or any real Web presence, that's fine. Just, ah, detail your usual school and work history. Being able to tie the anonymous online person to a real life person goes a long way for people hiring you. Remember, these people don't know who you are, and they're handing you a job that they then need to hand over to a client and to which their professional reputation may be tied. Since you're a freelancer rather than an in house employee, they can always forgive small gaps in your professional experience as long as they feel that they can trust you and trust is a big factor that will come up again as we go through this course now. Also remember, as a general rule that nobody wants to read a resume. Nobody enjoys reading the line by line bullet points of your carefully crafted words, and I don't mean this with any disrespect. But the fact is, no one enjoys this stuff, so just get to the point and sell your skills and experience the ones that pertain to what you do. This means you shouldn't be talking about how awesome a snowboarder you are. If you are applying to be a Web researcher or something along those lines, stick to your pertinent skills. And don't worry so much about trying to sound like a well rounded human being like you would do for a resume for college or for a long term job. And also and this should go without saying, you should make sure that your resumes well written and typo free if you have to have someone look over it either whether it be a freelancer or friend of yours or someone have someone reads through it because any resume that has a typo in it, or grammar mistake or anything along those lines usually gets chucked away right away. 5. Pre game 3 List of Services: Now we get into the introduction letter or the list of services, and this is actually the ah, the most important point. This is separate from your resume and more important than your risen because this is the first thing that a potential client will be looking through. They want to make sure that you can offer the services they require. I mean, for example, there. Boston's told them that their furniture warehouse website needs to be redesigned and they don't know what to look for, how to look for someone. So you need to show them that you're the right person. They might not know the difference between website design coding s CEO front and back and etcetera, etcetera. Likewise, they might also, you know, say, need to find new clients, but they have no idea what lead generation means or even what the best matter of contacting people is. So this is a combination of your services and an intro letter. Now here, think cover letter. If you have a cover letter writing up, sometimes it's called a covering letter. Then this is the letter that you can tweak for purposes of a freelancer. Otherwise you just need to write an introduction letter about yourself. They should just be somewhere between five and 10 sentences where you state why you're good at what you do and what you've done that's very pertinent. Obviously, they can check your resume for more detail, but this is this a short introduction letter that list some of your main services. This is very similar to a cover letter, but of course it will be a bit different because you're dealing with the freelancing world . First of all, there's a bit more leeway, so I would, if I were you placed your strongest points on top just as an example. I was once hiring a translator for a job, and I was going through the resumes of various translators. And one of them had placed clear on the bottom that she had translated a book and, in fact, that her name was on the translated version of the book in her language. But she just mentioned it at the bottom that she had translated a book and and gave a link . I clicked on the link, and it was only after clicking through a couple of times that I saw a version of the book in the language he had translated into with her name on it. And you know, this is a pretty impressive thing. So to me, this is something that should go on top of the resume. If you have something on impressive job you've worked on or you've gone to a well known school or you've worked for a well known organization, anything that you feel is your strongest point that should be on top. That should be very visible. Another point is, you should look at other freelancers profiles. Basically, look at your competitors and see if anything strikes you on what you like and what you don't like. We'll get into all the websites where you can find your freelancers. Profiles up work is an obvious one, but this should give you some good ideas for house to rights. This introduction letter may be different ways you can tweak it. Also, remember to revisit your profile and other people's every now and then as you advance and get a better feel of what you can offer and what your clients need. Then you'll see ways to improve your profile, and you'll have a better feel. And so This isn't ongoing Exercise. It isn't that once you write this introduction letter, you can forget about it. But you will be continuously revising it as you go along. Now, remember, I mentioned cover letter before, but the cover letter is actually what you will be emailing. These are two different things. You will have an introduction letter which introduces you. This will usually be on the website where the people can find you, and then you're gonna have a cover letter. So when a client finds that you will have this introduction letter and a list of your services on your profile But then the client might ask for a cover letter for you to write them for regardless, you might run. Want to write an email to them? This can obviously be similar to your introduction letter. After all, it's the same information, but it should be exactly the same. Keep in mind, you might have to customize this for each client. So keep certain sentences. Evergreen. Another's customizable. I will have a sample cover letter in the attached documents to this course, which you can definitely check out. Once again, I was a translator and so this sample cover letter will be for translators, but it should. Did you give you a good idea? You'll see what I've highlighted in red, and that's what's changeable, while the rest that's in black is something that's usually standard. No matter who. I send the cover letter to once again for this cover letter as well. You'll be refining it over time, and as you require new clients and get a better feel for what they're looking for, it will get better. 6. Pre game 3a Introduction letter: So now we're gonna talk about the introduction letter, the resume, which we just talked about, and the introduction later, these two points or trying to cement your credentials there, trying to show that you're the right person for the job because you're experienced because he could do what the client needs you to do. And they show that you're a good worker. In essence, the next two points that we're going to cover later deal more with trust. And this is all because you know you're working online and so they don't get to meet you face to face usually. And so you have to establish trust in other ways, so we'll get to that. But here we're really trying to cement you as a capable of reliable a professional person. And the resume can only go so far in doing that because first of all, resumes her standardized for everyone. And, second of all, people don't read resumes as much when they're hiring freelancers. Remember, when you get hired here, it's not like a normal job where you go into an office and you're going to be spending all your time with the same people here. They might just be hiring you for one job or even if they are you of over the long term for a steady jobs, it'll all be over email, and you might never even see them face to face. So the resume, you know, they'll go through the resume and look at what you've done what you haven't or more or less the credentials. But it's really the introduction letter that where you get to tell them about yourself. So this is why the introduction letter is so important. When someone hires you, they're gonna be they're not gonna be in your same industry if you're a coder, they're not gonna be coders who are higher you and they won't know anything about your industry. Chances are likewise if your translator, if your photographer, if your designer If you're a researcher, you're being hired by someone outside of your of of your industry. So picture this. Someone who runs a furniture store. Or maybe someone who's helping out to run a furniture store is told by their boss that they need a new website for this Francese or so they need to hire someone to design this website . But they have no idea what the differences between designing and coding, what back in front and or any of this stuff means. So you kind of need to guide them through this when they're looking for someone to hire. You can't just start talking about all your technical jargon, but you kind of need to introduce yourself Now this introduction it's an introduction letter, and it will be very similar to a cover letter or sometimes what's sometimes called a covering letter. And so you want to think along those lines and you also want to list of your services, or at least say what you do just in case you don't want to say I'm great, a coating this in front and back end. But you don't even mention that you say make websites because if you do leave that out, people might not realize that you can make websites right, so you need to list where your services are in your as part of your letter or else just as bullet points somewhere, right under your introduction letter or something along those lines. But you always need to remember who you're targeting and remember that this is quite important. Now, remember If you do have a cover letter, then this inter letter can be a variation of that. It should be a bit more simplified once again, because this isn't for, Ah, steady, full time job. But it's Maura as a freelancer, so you just want to stick to what you know and what you can do. And here I would place your strengths on top your strongest points. First, when people see your introduction letter, chances are they're not going to look at him very much. They're not gonna look at it in much detail unless something catches their eye. So you really want it's the strong points to be on top. If you have worked for someone famous and or if you work on something important, then that that is what should be on top. Or even if you work on a project that people will recognize for one reason or another. Put that on top. If you went to a school that people will recognize, put that on top. If you work for a company that people recognize, put that on top. Whatever it is that you think will catch your eye, you put that on top, obviously you want to catch the right in the right way. If you just say I'm a great snowboarder and I can do a backflip, I mean, that might cast her eye, but it will have nothing to do with their work. Look, if you don't have any other strengthen, yeah, put something that catches a riot. Least chances are it'll make them keep reading your letter and you'll get to stand out of it. But just as an example here, I remember recently I was hiring someone. I needed a translator, and I was going through some introduction letters and some resumes of people. And it was only at the very bottom of the resume that I saw. This person said they have translated a book, and so I just search for the book, and I clicked on this link and search for the book, and it was only after clicking a couple times that I realized that this book not only had the person translated the book, but their name was on the cover of the book of the translated version, and that's pretty impressive. This means you're a published author that you have your name on a book that's out there being sold in bookstores, and to me, this is something you should lead with. If you have a strength, put it on top, and so they catches the person's eye and chances are they'll keep reading your your introduction letter. Also, if you're not sure of how to ah, how to structure it, especially at the beginning, you can look at other people's profiles. Look at other freelances profiles. If you're on up work dot com or whatever other website you might be on, then check other people's profiles and see what strikes you. What works. What do you think is good? And can you do something similar for yourself? Or maybe what doesn't work? What makes them not look good, if you will, or what kind of seems like a weak point in their bio? If you can find something like that, then make sure you don't have it in yours, right? And so in this way you can shop around and you can kind of find something that works for you. But also remember that whatever you come up with now won't be your permanent introduction letter. You will be refining this as you go along and as you gain more experience as you see what clients want as you see which phrases working, which don't. So you will be refining this as time goes. But at the beginning you still want to start off with something strong, and so you should be dedicating the necessary time to make sure that your introduction later is strong. 7. Pre game 3b Cover letter: now remember, I mentioned cover letter before, but the cover letter is actually what you will be emailing. These are two different things. You will have an introduction letter which introduces you. This will usually be on the website where the people can find you and then you're gonna have a cover letter. So when a client finds that you will have this introduction letter and a list of your services on your profile But then the client might ask for a cover letter for you to write them or regardless, you might want to write an email to them. This can obviously be similar to your introduction letter. After all, it's the same information, but it should be exactly the same. Keep in mind, you might have to customize this for each client. So keep certain sentences. Evergreen Another's customizable. I will have a sample cover letter in the attached documents to this course, which you can definitely check out. Once again, I was a translator. And so this sample cover letter will be for translators. But it should. Did you give you a good idea? You'll see what I've highlighted in red, and that's what's changeable. While the rest that's in black is something that's usually standard no matter who. I send the cover letter to once again for this cover letter as well. You'll be refining it over time, and as you require new clients and get a better feel for what they're looking for, it will get better. 8. Pre game 4 Photo: So as for a profile, picture a picture of yourself. This is actually more important than you would think right at the beginning. As I mentioned before, you're selling trust just as much, if not more than your skills. Even if the potential client is outwardly searching for a good translator, their first impression will be quick and decisive, and your picture will have a lot to do with this. So don't bother taking a glamour shot or a professional photo. Also, avoid anything resembling, say, a mug shot. You want to make it slightly candid and don't worry about the quality. It won't be any bigger than, like 300 by 300 pixels on any of the provider websites. Anyway. What I'm driving at, basically, is that this should not be a reason to delay. If you're at a coffee shop right now, turn on your webcam and take a picture of yourself working at your computer with a cup of coffee in front of you. This is the image clients like to have of their freelancers anyway. Alternatively, if you sit through your old pictures and try to find one where you look like someone you might want to have a beer. Coffee with those ones come work as well. In other words, anywhere in between, stiff as a board or drunk as a skunk. You don't want to be one extreme or the other, but anywhere in between will make a great profile photo. So don't worry about it too much. And don't make this a reason to delay getting started. Another thing I've been told is that smiling, or at least looking directly at the camera conveys Mawr Trust. Now I have to user pictures I tend to use, and one of them looks at the camera and one of them looks away. This is an example of them. I can't say I've noticed too much difference. Then again, as you can see, the one looking at the camera isn't as serious. So what I tend to do is I use the one on the right more frequently, since it shows me and more of a working environment, and I only use the one on the left when I feel a bit sure of myself. I guess you can kind of see why. But neither them took much effort and they were both readily available. When I need a profile. Photo 9. Pre game 5 - Your Website: A personal website is something that is often overlooked, but it's really essential because not only does it establish trust in that, it shows a potential client that they can find you online, but it also shows that you're committed to what you do. And if you haven't personal website that details what you do when talks about how you are committed, graphic designer, translator, et cetera, then they feel that much more reassured. Now, obviously, if you want to make a website, you could go to Go Daddy or and set up your own domain. But that can end up costing quite a bit and taking up quite a bit of resources. And quite frankly, I don't think it's worth it. These days the best place to have your personal website no matter what your industry is or what you specialize in. Linkedin. Linkedin is, most of you will know it is a generic workplace social media network. But unless you have your own personal page that you can link people to. And here you can show that you are professional, that you are dedicated to the work you do. You can have your photo and you can have all the information in one place. It also has the added benefit that it has its own built-in SEO. If you create your own website like John Smith's dot com, then you have to worry about SEO and trying to get people to go to your website, which can be a real pain. And let's face it, you're never going to be as good as the top websites out there, like LinkedIn. If you're looking to get hired, chances are people will Google you, Google your name or maybe your name plus what you do. And LinkedIn is a lot more likely to pop up. So it's really good to have a LinkedIn name also because they'll recognize it as a legitimate website. Now remember when you set up your LinkedIn profile, you're not trying to prove that you're the best all-round, well-rounded person there is. But there are a couple of things you should keep in mind specifically, you should keep in mind that you want to show you can be trusted and people will want to see that you can be trusted. And so that's why you show your photo, but also you tried to show an example of work you've done. And again, this depends on your industry, but keep in mind you want to convey the idea that you can be trusted. And secondly, that you can handle the job. Obviously that you have the expertise, that you have the knowledge required in order to complete their job in a satisfactory manner. 10. Pre game 6 A Note on Freelancer: a quick note on the term freelancer. Despite it being, I mean the title of this course, I actually tend to recommend against using this against using the word freelancer or freelance anywhere in your resume or in your introduction letter cover letter, etcetera, etcetera to a client. A freelancer sounds like someone working from home who might not be around in a few months because they might get another job where they might start doing something else. So I'd recommend using something like, say, if you're a translator than translation, professional or professional translator. If your Web developer than Web development, professional or professional Web developer. If you're a photographer, photographer, photography, professional or professional for talk for etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. You see where I'm going with this. So just use your title and were referred to yourself as what you do rather than a freelancer. This gives you, um, or professional air, and potential clients tend to find it more trustworthy. Now some of you might be worried that recruiters of specifically targeting freelancers and so they might be intimidated by another term like, say, Web developer or consultant or photographer, etcetera. However, if they're finding you on the specialized websites that will get to them. They already know more or less what you are. They already have categorized you in the freelance category, and at this point they're trying to find someone they can trust in someone who's who's dependable and who was a professional. The one thing I would mention is that most recruiters are quite iffy about dealing with agencies, since they see an extra middleman costs. There they see overhead costs there, etcetera, etcetera. So don't refer to yourself as an agency. Most of them wouldn't consciously register difference between professional and freelancer. But with agency suddenly more complications. And in fact, I've seen quite a few times where people specifically say they do not want to do with agencies when they're looking for potential freelancers. So don't call yourself that and you'll save yourself some hassle 11. What to do if you don't have experience: Now a question that I've gotten a number of times is, what should you do if you don't have experience? As in what should you put on your resume, what can you tell the client? How can you try to get hired if you don't have experience when you're doing your sales and your marketing. And this is an important issue. In essence, it's the chicken and the egg issue, right? Because people don't want to hire anyone who doesn't have any experience. But how can you get an experience if nobody hires you, et cetera, et cetera. So there are a number of ways of dealing with this. And so I'll go through some of the main ones here. The first one is, quite frankly to volunteer or to work for free, depending on what your industry is or where you work or what you do. There probably various places that you can volunteer for translators. Obviously, there's translators Without Borders for Wikipedia, et cetera, et cetera. But no matter what your industry or what you do, there are various places that you can work for free. If you can't find any, by the way, you can always search for them. Or you can also just offer to work for free. Find someone who could do with a logo, who could do with a graphic design. And you tell them, hey, if you don't mind, I'll do a logo for you or I'll design this for you for free. Obviously, maybe it shouldn't be too big of a job. But if it can be a decent, small job that you can do for free, then why not? At least it's something you can add to your portfolio. And more importantly, it gives you a review or rating. And you can use these ratings or reviews, referrals, et cetera, to then get more customers and clients in the future. Because this shows that you have a track record and this shows that you have experience. And in fact, at the very beginning, these reviews and ratings are going to be more important than whatever money you earn from your first few jobs. So be sure to accumulate them. Now even if you have these from past clients, maybe right now you are thinking of clients he worked with months ago or even a year ago and you didn't get any reviews and ratings from them. It doesn't matter. It doesn't hurt to contact them and say, hey, by the way, I'm setting up this new website or I'm trying to build up my business, so I'd really appreciate it if you could leave me a quick review or rating or something along those lines. Now, some websites offer a place to do this, like if you use Upwork or if you're translated Yu's or any one of those websites. So you can decide to have all your ratings and review in one place. I recommend not spreading them out if you're not sure where to put them for now, you can ask for written reviews and then later you can decide, or you can just try to put them on LinkedIn. And on LinkedIn you can recommend people, and that is a good place to start because everyone uses LinkedIn and everyone knows it. Another thing to remember is, like I mentioned, you should add all the work you do to your portfolio, but this includes even things you weren't paid for as long as you've done it, it's fair game. So if you design something and you didn't get paid for it, or even if it was just something you are doing as an experiment, you can still included there because it's something you worked on yourself. And no matter what you do, if you're a writer, if you're a designer or whatever it might be, you can add things to your portfolio whether you were paid or not. The important thing obviously is that you worked on them yourself. And NEC you've worked on, make sure to add that to your portfolio.