The Business of Freelancing
Summary: Each week, Brennan Dunn helps freelancers learn how to understand the business behind their freelance consulting company.
In this episode, I sat down with Matt Inglot of Tilted Pixel. He started the company over 8 years ago, and went from being a solo freelancer to opening up a brick & mortar office in Toronto. After building up a successful team and building out an office, he decided to go 100% remote. We discussed the pros and cons of having an office, along with why he ultimately decided to shutter his location.
This week I'm joined by Dennis Field, who — like me — has struggled with burnout. Who am I kidding though? This affects ALL of us. Late nights, weekends, and being "on call" for your clients can cause you to regret ever starting your own freelancing business. Dennis' website How to Fight Burnout as a Designer
This week I sat down with Jan Jones of Oozou, an agency based out of Bangkok, Thailand, and Jonathan Tarud of Koombea, another agency, this one in Colombia. We discussed what it's like to run an agency when your clients are half a world away from you. Whether you're in San Francisco, Topeka, or Saigon, you're going to love this episode. Double Your Freelancing Rate Oozou Koombea
This is the Freelancing Minute for Friday, February 14th (Valentine's day!) 2014. When you're creating a proposal, it's important to contextualize our offer (what we're building or doing) with the problem and the solution. In this short clip, I seek to define the differences between the problem, the offer, and the solution. Subscribe to the Business of Freelancing Podcast with Brennan Dunn
This week I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Sherry Walling, a clinical psychologist and counselor and the wife of Rob Walling, who we talked with in Episode 12. Sherry gave a fantastic talk at MicroConf last year on ways that entrepreneurs can manage their own anxiety, and I wanted to bring her on to discuss how you can make sure that your life as a freelance consultants doesn't end up hurting your health, your relationships, and your family. You can follow Sherry on Twitter at @zenfounder Subscribe to the Business of Freelancing Podcast with Brennan Dunn
This week my special guest was Rob Walling. He's known for the following... Drip HitTail Startups for the Rest of Us Start Small, Stay Small Software by Rob MicroConf Micropreneur Academy DotNetInvoice Apprentice Lineman Jobs And I thought I did a lot! We chatted about how you can move — either partially or fully — from freelancing to making money from products.
In this episode, I talked with Marcus Blankenship of CREO Agency. If you don't live in a tech hotbed like SF or NYC and you worry that your location will hinder your ability to recruit clients, you won't want to miss this episode. I also mentioned my upcoming Skillshare course on value pricing proposals. Here's the link.
Today I talked with Nick Hance of Reenhanced about ways of setting yourself apart from your competition. If you've ever wondered how you, as say a Ruby developer, are any different than me (a Ruby developer) or thousands of other Ruby developers, you'll want to listen to this discussion. I also opened the show by talking about my upcoming bootcamp with Patrick McKenzie (patio11) on how to create recurring revenue for your consulting business. Here's the link to the bootcamp.
I've recently been to quite a few "product" conferences (LessConf, MicroConf and soon BaconBizConf), and what I keep finding is that a LOT of freelancers are in attendance. It's no secret that most freelancers want to one day build and sell a product or two of their own, but how? How do you figure out what to build and ultimately sell it to the right people? In this episode, I cover four ways that you can quickly start productizing your consulting business and escaping selling your time for money: Retainers Seminars / Webinars Paid Newsletters Coaching
This is the first episode of 2013 for The Business of Freelancing Podcast, and inside I cover everything you need to know about dealing with those pesky clients who want to know "How much is it gonna cost me?" We explore how to qualify new leads, offer an initial consult, and how to make it known that we're consultants — not just guns for hire. Here's the letter that John wrote me that prompted this episode: Biggest fear with new client? Pricing, definitely. What's their budget, when it's near impossible to drag it out of them? Will a standard quote, without knowing their details, turn them away without discussion or negotiation, before budgets or even depth of project is really known. It's amazing how many times an initial contact requires blind quotes before required info can be determined. If I've at all described the situation, besides abandoning such clients, what to do?
In this episode, Eric and I interview Obie Fernandez and discover how writing "The Rails Way" was a catalyst for creating one of the world's most reputable Ruby consulting companies.
Hosted by Brennan Dunn and Eric Davis. Show Notes 00:50 - Sales Pipeline Moving people through a series of steps to get them to be a paying customer Acquisition to qualification to scoping to clients 04:11 - Content marketing to project delivery 08:02 - Tracking leads Highrise Fat Free CRM PipelineDeals Pipedrive Whiteboard Spreadsheet 12:29 - Networking Referrals Are they a good fit? Do timelines overlap? 14:36 - Qualification Why should this project exist? Do you have budget? When do you want to start? Are there deadlines? Are they the owner of the project? Is this a new type of project for your company? How did you hear about me? Are they talking to any other firms? 22:27 - Referring to elsewhere End on a good note and don’t burn bridges Provide value Keep in touch and follow up when they are a good fit 26:02 - Scoping Meeting/New Client Consultation System 28:48 - Communication FollowUp.cc Patience 30:56 - Follow up after project completion Resources Brennan - Obie’s Document Templates, IndieConf 2012 Eric - Freelancing Weekly, PipelineDeals Action Step Reflect on your own business and put together a checklist of things that you ask a new client to qualify them and to bump up your professional factor by having a systematic icebreaker. Next Week Obie Fernandez Transcript We're hoping to get a transcript later.
Hosted by Brennan Dunn and Eric Davis. Show Notes 00:10 - Content Marketing Making information available for personal gain/recognition Duct Tape Marketing: John Jantsch Getting to know you 03:51 - Getting content in front of people Blogging Screencasting Publishing eBooks/PDFs Podcasting 05:24 - Promoting and building an audience Write with the intention of appealing to a specific audience Collect email addresses Infographics 07:38 - Appealing to potential clients and peer developers Be business-focused Hold impromptu marketing events Referrals 10:27 - Working locally and organically Building bits of content that reinforces what you’re good at Revealing specifically where you are located and how to contact you 13:14 - Advantages of working locally Time zone In-person meetings Puts people at ease 14:26 - How to market and network Chamber of Commerce events Community College talks Libraries 16:32 - Recycling and tweaking content 16:49 - Online marketing Guest blogging Podcast interviews Establish yourself in different communities (i.e. Facebook) 20:16 - Figure out your niche Resources Eric - Levenger Circa and Staples Arc notebooks. 15 Minutes to a More Creative You: Steve Leveen Brennan - 5 Pricing Tips to Earn More on Client Projects: Ruben Gamez Action Steps Instead of writing a blog post for your own blog, find a different blog or a podcast that accepts guests and get yourself booked. Next Week Sales Pipelines Transcript We're hoping to get a transcript later.
Hosted by Brennan Dunn and Eric Davis with guest Nathan Barry. Show Notes 00:19 - Nathan Barry (twitter blog) Freelance Designer OneVoice App Commit App The App Design Handbook 01:14 - Show topic goals Building a passive income stream outside a freelancing business Balancing client work while developing products How product offerings affected his freelancing business Building products while freelancing 01:53 - Nathan’s professional career background 03:35 - Products to supplement a freelancing income 05:06 - OneVoice 06:59 - Building products while freelancing 08:12 - Having multiple revenue streams 09:44 - Commit 10:33 - Marketing The product business feeds the freelancing business Having your own projects generates business 12:36 - Books as the new business cards 14:37 - Getting paid to get leads 15:02 - Gaining trust and reputation 17:30 - Becoming the authority and educating and influencing clients Offering freebies Inexpensive products Blog posts and mailing lists 22:48 - Teaching what you know and giving away information generates income 26:49 - Repeating your message Resources Nathan - Smashing Magazine’s The Mobile Book Brennan - WiseCash Eric - The Entrepreneur’s Notebook:Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Action Steps Start teaching. Setup a blog, pick 1-3 topics you know and want to be known for, and write them. Don't over-think it, just start teaching. Transcript We're hoping to get a transcript later.
Hosted by Brennan Dunn and Eric Davis Show Notes Fall in Virginia Writing fiction Pricing freelancing services Double your freelancing rate Reverse engineering your former salary Value based pricing, value delivered to clients Origins of your price How to decide on a price Cost plus - Cost of materials, cost of equipment, labor cost, and profit. Commodity pricing Lack of major expenses for freelancers when using a cost plus model Cost of living Market rate Battle between supply and demand High demand drive rates up, low demand drive rates down Also a commodity based strategy Economic substitutes Imperfect market Value based pricing (Consulting) Hired as an investment Goal is to make more money in the long run than the cost Emotional need Charge based on results Reflecting on the customer's business and proposing a solution to help Using your skill (software, copywriting, etc) as a means to the end (business results) Next Week Interview with Nathan Barry. If you have any questions for him, post a comment below. Resources Brennan - Samson Meteor Mic, Shush Mac app, and The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing: A Guide to Growing More Profitably. Eric - Million Dollar Consulting. Action steps Ask your next potential client questions that get at the business value of the project: Why are you looking for this project? What kind of financial outcomes are hoping a successful completion of this project will bring you? What would you consider a failed project? Try to get to the root of why the client is coming to you and see what you can do so you can deliver a substantial amount of business value to them. Transcript We're hoping to get a transcript later.