Mason Hipp and James Chartrand of Freelancefolder.com have written this 200-page guide to turning freelancing from a j*o*b to a business. After devouring the E-book and implementing some of the strategies, I am no longer worried about acquiring more clients than I can handle (a happy problem I have been anticipating and dreading). I also now have a more professional but affordable means of invoicing my clients and bookkeeping. Plus, I can see clearly how I could easily exceed my target monthly income – without working seven days a week.
What’s the difference? Well, a freelancing job is when you do everything yourself. You’re essentially trading hours for dollars. You’re probably overwhelmed with everything you need to get done, are always scrambling to find new clients, and can’t take a day off.
A freelance business, on the other hand, is when you do only those things that you are great at and enjoy doing, are marketing your service pretty much automatically, and are earning passive income. That means that, yes, you’re making money even while you’re on vacation.
So what accounts for the difference? Hipp and Chartrand recommend that every freelancer should have 3 main elements in order to achieve a successful freelancing business. These elements are:
- systems, software and automation
- a freelance team
- revenue-generating assets
Systems, Software and Automation
This element includes business tools and organization aids that will increase the efficiency of any freelancer. The E-book gives tons of recommended tools, such as software, for automating your accounting, project management and contacts management. You’ll still have to do some of your own research to pick the right ones for you, but at least, you’ve got a list to work with.
The authors make a convincing argument for automating these tasks with software in order to free up the freelancer from tasks that we may not enjoy or be good at. Besides, we only have so many hours in the day in which to work.
Building a Freelance Team
This section is about outsourcing – and more. The authors also talk about cross-sourcing and partnership. Again, Hipp and Chartrand effectively make the case for creating what they call a “distributed” team. Quite simply, it’s about multiplying the amount of work that can get accomplished and therefore increasing the amount of profits you can make.
A step-by-step process is given for building up this team. You’ll get ideas of what tasks to outsource, which ones to cross-source, and which ones to find partners for. You’ll also learn about how to fire people, should the need arise.
By far my favorite part of the book, revenue-generating assets refer to products that freelancers can and should create and market in order to create passive income. For me, this is what truly sets a freelance entrepreneur apart from an “ordinary” work at home freelancer. The authors give ample examples of assets that freelancers can create, whether they be writers, designers or anything else in between.
All in all, the E-book enabled me to take a wholistic view of my freelancing business and gave practical advice for how to treat it as a business instead of a job. Now everything I do is falling into place. My blogs are not distinct from my freelance copywriting. Neither is that special report that I’ve been wanting to write. Now I have a clear blueprint with which to build and grow my freelancing business. And I no longer think, “I better not market my services too much, because I might not be able to handle it!”
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