Freelancing: What I've learned in 4 1/2 years.

You get better clients as soon as you act like the freelancer who deserves better clients.

January 13, 2022

This was originally posted on Twitter as a thread.

You get better clients as soon as you act like the freelancer who deserves better clients.

Follow a process.

As a freelancer, your time is your most valuable asset.

Build a process to

  • Work faster
  • Deliver better quality work
  • Feel confident
  • Position yourself as an expert

Create templates for everything.

  • proposals
  • invoices
  • contracts

Keep basic scripts for:

  • Onboarding clients
  • Following up for testimonials
  • Firing clients

Automate everything you can.

Use zapier to connect your tools together and reduce manual work.

A 30 minute call will take 150 minutes of your day.

60 minutes before the call (not wanting to start anything)

30 minutes on the call

60 minutes after the call (following up and regaining focus)

Calls are important, just use them sparingly.

Learn to write.

Communication is everything in freelancing.

Keep calls to a minimum by effectively communicating via text.

An extra 5 minutes crafting an email is better than wasting 150 minutes 'jumping on a call'.

Use loom.

Record short videos to eliminate the need for calls or long emails.

Know the difference between cost and value.

  • Cost is what you pay
  • Value is what you get

Position your work as an investment, not an expense.

Expert, not a technician.

Experts charge what a project is worth

Technicians charge for how long it takes to complete the work

One pricing strategy does not work for all projects,

  • Hourly billing
  • Daily billing
  • Fixed-pricing
  • Value-based pricing

All have their pros and cons.

Understand the project and choose appropriately.

Don't choose hourly billing unless you want to:

  • estimate every single task
  • send loads of invoices
  • not be paid your worth

You have fewer hours than you think

5 - 10 hours per week are likely taken up by non-billable work, factor this into your pricing.

🚩 Avoid these red flags from clients:

  • Trying to negotiate the price down without decreasing scope
  • Not wanting to sign a contract
  • Saying 'It's not much work'
  • Not wanting to pay a downpayment

Raise your rates.

Always use a contract.

Reduced price = reduced scope

Connections + conversations = $$$

Always take a downpayment, at least 40%.

The lowest paying clients are the hardest to please.

If you think you'll regret not charging more it will happen during the project.

Always add an extra 15%

Teach everything you know

  • Educate clients
  • Share what you know with other freelancers
  • Teach the world how to do what you do

There is no speed limit.

Expensive projects don't have to take a long time.

You don't need to spend years learning new skills.

If you're driven you can do amazing things in a short amount of time.

“the standard pace is for chumps” - @sivers

Create a future-facing portfolio.

Your portfolio attracts more of the type of work you put out into the world.

Want to do a certain type of work?

Then make your portfolio appeal to the people you want to work with.

It's your business.

You don't have to work 40 hours per week.

You don't have to be available 9-5.

Set your own terms.

Build your business around your life.

Are you a freelancer or an entrepreneur?

There's a difference.

Freelancers get paid when they work, entrepreneurs get paid to run the company that does the work.

It's okay if it takes time to figure it out.

I started freelancing at 18, I'm 22 now and still figuring it out as I go.

Ohh yeah, one final thing: Raise your rates.