JMS422: The Nightmare-Inducing Freelancing Lesson From CoronavirusA lot of people think things are just going to go back to normal once this pandemic is over. But, as Maria Bartiromo points out, that's simply not the case. If anything, the Coronavirus pandemic is accelerating what was already happening with the digital economy. There ARE things you can do to not only survive the pandemic, but to come out the other stronger and poised to grow even bigger. That's what we discuss in this episode.
#freelance #freelancing #coronavirus
JMS421: Surviving CoronavirusTwo years ago, I started making my life and my business “apocalypse-proof”. Back then, I got laughed at. I had family members who called me crazy to my face. Today, they’re not laughing.
This episode I share the things I did to pandemic-proof my business and survive the Coronavirus.
The Den of Thieves Conspiring Against Your Freelance Success“Change your math, change your business, change your life.” Those are the very first words in Dan Kennedy’s book, Almost Alchemy.
So, too, as a freelancer.
Your math often determines your outcomes. But, as Dan points out, there's a "gaggle" of folks out there try to obscure and confuse the truth in order to sell you their wares.
This episode, we talk about those folks and the math that really matters.
How to Seduce Potential Clients Into Hiring YouShortly after I divorced from my first wife, I found myself going down the rabbit hole of the online PUA/dating/seduction world. And, to be honest, it helped me in a lot of ways. A lot of weird stuff. A lot of stuff that I tried and it failed miserable. And, a few things that worked. I remarried, have 3 kids with my second wife and we're going on 14 years, now.
In any case, when I started freelancing, I noticed the parallels between dating and selling. And, there's one "technique" I learned from the online dating world that I've used to devastating effect when negotiating with potential clients. That's what I cover in this episode.
The Next Time a Freelance Client Complains About Your RateMost people tend to equate skill with value with price. More skill, more value, more price. But, that's not always the case. And, it it has important implications for choosing what freelance services you should offer. Here's a better way to look at it.
Freelancing Non-Secrets From Grumpy Ol' St. John“Universal truths”.
That’s the inescapable reality of all this. Some people seem to think they can compartmentalize their success. Be a great developer, but a sh!@#y human being. Be a successful freelancer with a terrible work ethic. Etc..
Life doesn’t work that way.
How to Quit Your Day Job and Become a Full Time FreelancerI got this question from Ryan:
"Thanks a lot for your resources online. I just want to hear your insight about job transition from a regular job to freelancing. Which is better? To quit a job and work full time as a web design freelancer/entrepreneur? Or start taking free project first while working on a regular job, and only quit when I already have paid projects? Or at least if you still remember when you started, how long it took before you get paid projects after offering free projects to clients? I’m actually in the stage of job transition and I’m 100% ready for web design. However, I’m hesitant to quit my job because maybe it will take many months or a year before getting paid projects. I know my question is a case to case basis but by hearing your experience and advice will enlighten me a lot! Thank you so much!"
It's four things.
When I started freelancing, I tried to make the transition to full-time a few times. And, I had a couple false starts. Which are demoralizing. I definitely had my moments of "Should I just give up on this freelance thing?" But, finally, I was able to make the switch and never look back.
And, it's been almost 10 years now that I've been full-time from home.
What I learned from that are four things you can do to not only make the transition easier and less anxious, but also much more likely you'll make it successfully the FIRST time. I cover those four things in this episode.
Let's Talk Freelance class: https://letstalkfreelance.com
The Three 10s. Why clients don't hire youThis was back when I sold cars. Unbeknownst to me, I'd got hired at a dealership that had a horrible reputation. So bad they'd fired their entire management team and changed their name to try and "reboot" their image.
But, the lot was still in the same spot.
And, the same people owned it.
And, I was so young and naive, I didn't get it. I used to get so frustrated. I'd have people I knew loved the car they were looking at. They wanted it bad. I knew they liked and trusted me, because they'd tell me as much.
But, they just wouldn't buy.
And, I couldn't figure it out.
Of course, it's obvious to me, now. Recently, I've been reading Jordan Belfort's book, "The Way of the Wolf" (https://amzn.to/2LGlEsn). He's the guy Leonardo DiCaprio played in the movie, "Wolf of Wall Street". And, he lays out his "straight line" selling system in the book.
The very first thing he talks about is, "The Three 10s".
Your product, service or idea
Those are the "three". The "10s" are how certain a potential customer is about each of those three things. So, on a scale of 1-10, how much do they want your product or service, trust you and trust your company.
If you're missing even one of those, they're not buying.
Which, of course, was the answer to my mystery. The people I saw were a 10 on the car and a 10 on me, but were likely a 0 on the company. And, since I didn't know it and never addressed it, they stayed that way.
Thus, no sale.
A couple lessons here for you with your freelancing.
First, remember that when you're selling your services, you need to make sure and address all three: your service, YOU and your company. What's great about your service, why should they trust YOU, why should they trust your company.
Now, as freelancers, often you and your company are one and the same. But, still it's worth mentioning things like, "I've been in business for X years" or "I have a staff of X people" or "my designer is an award-winning XYZ".
Anything to move a potential client closer to that 10.
Second thing is just that. "Selling" your services isn't some mysterious thing. It's about moving your prospect from wherever they are on that scale to as close to 10 as you can before you ask for the sale.
The closer they are to 10 on all three, the more likely they are to buy.
Let me give you an example.
If I were to try and sell you on my Beginner's Guide to Freelance course, I mention that it's currently got 1,904 students with a 98% positive review rate. And, it's going to teach all the critical fundamentals you need to be successful as a freelancer.
I might say that it's taught by me and I've been a freelancer for over 15 years. I've worked on projects for clients like Inc. Magazine, Lewis Howes, Tim Ferriss, Michael Hyatt and others. So, I know how to land the "big fish" and can teach you how to, as well.
I would also mention that the course is hosted on Skillshare, one of the largest online education platforms on the planet. It has over 29,000 courses on the platform and you get access to ALL of them as a member.
And then, I'd finish up by saying that you can learn how to get free access to not only my course, but all 29,000 others by going to https://johnmorrisonline.com/freelance.
How to Craft a Winning Freelance ProposalCreating proposals is the key selling activity for freelancers. It's like writing a sales letter for a copywriter. Or, building a pitch deck for a sales person. It's what makes or breaks you when getting hired.
And, a lot of people will give you paint-by-numbers, step-by-step "systems" for writing proposals. And, that's great. But, I want to give you the "art" of creating winning proposals.
Things I started learned way back in my days doing face-to-face sales and adapted to how I get freelance clients. So, if you want to master this fundamental skill -- one that can allow to write your own check, essentially -- give this episode a listen.
Full episode is available here: https://letstalkfreelance.com
The easiest way to get freelance clients to hire youBack in my early days on Upwork.
I went through what most noobs on that platform go through. Bidding on tons of jobs, never getting hired, watching people get hired for 5 bucks an hour, all that. I was in desperation mode.
So, one day, I came across this job and was just like, "Eff it!"
Annoyed, I just told him what to do. I was feeling a bit nihilistic and was thinking, "If I can't have this job, nobody can!" I know, dramatic. So, anyway, I just laid it out for him. Exactly what to do in my "proposal".
Assuming he'd just end the project and go on his way.
But, a curious thing happened.
Even though, I had no job history on the site. No portfolio items. No ratings or testimonials from other clients. He hired me. I learned an important lesson that day. Some clients can know exactly WHAT to do... they still don't wanna do it.
They'll still hire someone.
And, pay them well.
And, these clients are often a lot easier to work with.
Because, they might know WHAT to do, but they don't know HOW. And, my basic approach to getting clients has been that ever since. Give away the what freely and openly to as many people as possible.
Sell the how.
It's the easiest way to get clients.
Because, it demonstrates to them that you know what you're doing directly. The thing to remember is ratings, reviews, a portfolio... these are all just indicators. They signal competence. But, what I did demonstrated it directly.
And, that's a much more powerful form of persuasion.
Like sampling a hunk of sausage at the grocery store before buying it.
One bite and you know whether you like it or not.
So, think about that in your freelancing and your interaction with clients. How you market yourself. Social media. Blogging. YouTube. All that. Be generous with giving away the what. Yeah, might cost you a few clients here and there.
But, you'll get far more than you lose.
Especially, if you're new.
Of course, some people read that and go, "Yeah, yeah". It's not the most secksy, make-my-palms-sweaty revelation out there. But, it works and can be applied in so many different ways. Which is how fundamentals tend to work.
The question, as always, is: are you doing it?
That's what matters.
In any case, it's these kinds of fundamentals that I teach in my Beginner's Guide to Freelance course. Not the "uber-secksy", shiny-object-of-the-day stuff that always sounds amazing, but never works like it's pitched.
Tried and true fundamentals.
If you can see the value in learning those from someone who's been at this "freelancing thing" for almost 15 years, then this class will be exactly what you're looking for. You can learn how to get free access to it here: https://johnmorrisonline.com/freelance.
3 Ways to Guarantee Your Freelance Niche Is ProfitableOnce complaint I often get about freelancing is: "John, I'm doing everything you've said to do... productizing my services, creating content, being active on social media... but, I'm still just not getting clients OR not getting as many as I thought I would.
And, my immediate thought is always: "Wrong niche."
Specifically, picking a niche that simply is not profitable. It's not full of people who actually spend money on services. So, I created this video to show you 3 different ways to verify your freelance niche is indeed profitable.
This article goes into even more detail about find your freelance niche: https://johnmorrisonline.com/how-to-pick-a-profitable-freelance-niche/
This video is pulled from Episode 6 of my Let's Talk Freelance course. If you'd like to get more direct access to me, you can learn how to get free access to that course here: https://letstalkfreelance.com
2 Big Tips to Get Repeat ClientsAny service industry… which is what you are as a freelancer… the way you have success long-term is through repeat business and referrals. The way you get repeat business and referrals is by providing top-notch customer service to your clients.
It’s not enough to be good at what you do. These things matter, as well:
How well you communicate with your clients
If you deliver the service on time
How pleasant you are to talk to and work with
If you do the things you say you’re going to
How well you listen to your clients
All the “intangibles” that are obvious when applying for a regular, 9-to-5 job… they all still matter. It all feeds into the “client experience” and their perception of you. Nail it and they won’t be able to help, but tell their friends and colleagues about you.
And, they’ll definitely come back to you again and again.
There’s two things that are “x-factors” when it comes to client experience. These two things alone can make clients say “wow”.
Learn what they are in the video
Let's Talk Freelance:
5 Steps to Become a Freelance Web Developer:
7 Steps to Make Money on Upwork:
John MorrisMG Montague2018-07-25T22:08:33-04:00