You’ve thought about starting a freelance business before…
But you don’t know where to begin…
Do you start with finding clients and then figure it out as you go along? Or should you spend more time learning your skillset to really make sure you know what you’re doing?
And what should you charge each client? You don’t want to rip people off… but you also want to make good money…
Don’t worry — I consistently make between $1,500 and $2,500 per month with my freelance writing business…
And the best part is…
I only work on it about 15 hours…
With just two clients.
That’s not to brag, it’s just to give you confidence in the business-building strategy I’m going to show you below.
I know — it sounds too good to be true. But I’m being honest. After all, I have a full-time remote gig as one of my streams of income so I don’t have all the time in the world to be running my freelance business on the side.
In this article, I’m going to teach you my anyone-can-do-it, 3-step process for creating a freelance business that consistently makes you $2,000 per month.
Step #1: Become an Expert Worth $50-$100/hour
Ya know how romantics claim that “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”? Well, the same thing is true of expertise.
The more of an expert you think you are, the more of an expert everyone else thinks you are.
I’m not saying you should try to rip people off by providing sub-par, untested services, but I am saying that when it comes to building a successful freelance business, confidence goes a long ways.
After all, clients don’t know what they’re doing (that’s why they’re hiring you) and they’re simply looking for someone who has the confidence to do the job.
For that reason, you’ll often get questions from clients like, “Do you think this is something you can really do well at?” or “Is this something you’ve done before?”
Clients want reassurance that you can do better than anyone else at the job.
So the very first step to becoming an expert is… lose the insecurity and hold your head high.
Okay — now you need to actually figure out what the hell you’re doing.
To become an expert at anything in about two months, here’s what you do:
- Go on Amazon and find three bestselling books that teach the skillset you want to become an expert in.
- Over the next few months, read each, taking notes as you go along and participating in any exercises the book recommends.
- At the same time that you’re reading these books, find a top podcast about your topic on iTunes.
- Every day for two months, listen to past or recent episodes of that podcast during your commutes, workouts, or even while cleaning the house.
- In two months, you’re going to know more about your skillset than 95% of business people.
Of course, we all know that practice is better than knowledge.
So, after tackling the above steps, consider following these steps to actually practice your skillset and build a portfolio.
- Make a list of 5–10 people on Facebook (or your preferred social media platform) who’s business could make use of your new skillset (ideally, they’ll be the owner of the business or at least have significant decision-making power).
- Message each person explaining that you’re new to [skillset] but you are really looking for opportunities to practice what you’ve learned. Then, tell them that their business seems like the perfect fit and that you’d love to work for free for 3 months (with the same expectations as a part-time employee) to just get some experience.
- Rinse and repeat until at least one person accepts your conditions (make sure they know it’s as a freelancer only).
Some people will offer to pay you an intern’s wages — that’s fine, go ahead and accept the extra income.
Once you’re working for someone (whether for free or for a little bit of money), do your best work, learn as much as you can, and get a testimonial from them at the end of it.
Also save in a drive any of the work/results you did that you’d like to show future clients.
This will prepare you for step 2: finding clients who will pay you well.
Step #2: Find High-paying, Easy-to-work-with Clients
One of my favorite parts about freelancing is this: you get to choose who you want to work with.
Not paying high enough? Adios.
Not very nice? See ya l8er, m8.
The work is boring? Chow chow.
In fact, that pretty much sums up what I look for in a client — primarily, they’re easy to work with and they pay good money.
If they don’t, I’ll find a new client… and so will you.
Remember, the more that you believe you deserve good pay, the better clients will pay you.
This is different than the 9–5 world. As a freelancer, I often prefer to charge per project rather than per hour. The reason being that I like to charge clients based on the value I’m providing them rather than the amount of time I’m working.
That’s a massive mindset shift, but it’s a necessary one for the freelance world. I often work for 20 minutes and make $100, but that’s because I’m an expert at what I do and finding someone else to do it isn’t so easy (there’s that confidence 😉 ).
You need to think the same way.
Once you’ve got that mindset nailed, here’s how to go about finding your first high-paying, easy-to-work-with client in just a few weeks:
- Go to Facebook (or your preferred social media platform) and find 20 people that you admire for something, anything. Ideally, these people will be well-connected in the digital sphere and feel slightly out of reach for you.
- Message them and ask them if they’d be willing to hop on a video call with you to chat about what they do — simply explain that you’re new to the freelance world and are looking for any advice you can get.
- While on the call, ask questions and play the part of the student. Show appreciation for the things they share with you and show a genuine interest in their own life. Eventually, they’ll ask you what you do — say something to the effect of, “Well, I’m actually working on building my own freelance business right now as a [skillset]. I just finished working for free for [old client] and I got them some great results and learned a ton, but now I’m looking for new clients that might be a good fit for me.”
- 90% of the time after I say that, the person responds with either “Hmm — I think I might know someone who could use your services. Let me get you in touch with them” or “Hmm — let me reach out to some contacts and see if I can do anything to help you out.”
- Rinse and repeat steps 3–5 for everyone you messaged and I guarantee you’ll have your first client within a couple weeks.
Now that you’re an expert and you have a few high-paying clients who’re easy to work with under your belt, it’s time to consider lowering the amount of time that work takes you.
Step #3: Delegate the Easy Stuff for Half the Pay
This step is a bit down the road — maybe after you’ve been a freelancer for 6 months or so…
But it’s absolutely amazing…
Because it allows you to get paid more money for less work.
Let me give you an example…
Last month, I made $700 in four hours of work. I know, that probably seems impossible. So, here’s how I did it:
- I found someone who wanted to become a freelance writer like myself, but with less experience under their belt. Still a good writer, but unsure of how to find clients or how to get the ball rolling.
- I made an agreement with them that I would hand them work, pay them half of what I make, and mentor them along the way.
- $2,500 later, I’m working less, they’re learning a valuable skillset, and the client is getting the same quality of service.
I will admit, though, that this strategy only works with some clients. With clients who have an extremely high quality expectation, I will do the work myself. But this is a great way to make some extra cash in little time with clients who aren’t as demanding.
With the above strategy, you can build a thriving, $2,000+ per month freelance business…
This is the exact strategy I used to get where I am today and it’ll work for you, too. The trick is to take action — relentless, get-er-done action.
That’s where most people fall off.
Either they don’t take action or they quit too early.
So, make a commitment to yourself, to your friends, and to your family. Tell the whole world what you’re doing (statistically, you’ll be more likely to follow through with it that way), accept that this is going to be a process, a journey with ups and downs, and then buy a book and start building your business.
Hit me with follow up questions in the comments.