Now that 2007 is here, there is no better time to own your success. What do I mean? Take your freelance career by the balls and squeeze success out of them.
Following are four steps to take to make 2007 the year you made freelancing your career once and for all. It ain’t going to be easy, but it is a plan everyone can put into action.
1. Set Weekly Financial Goals: Why weekly? According to the November 2003 article in Money magazine, The 4 Steps To Setting Goals & 6 Keys To Achieving Them:
One big reason people fail to reach their goals is that those goals were amorphous to begin with. A goal like "buying your first house soon" is too wishy-washy. Deciding that you'd like to buy a three-bedroom Cape on a half-acre within 30 minutes of your workplace before the next school year is much better.For freelance writers, this means setting immediate, reachable goals. Small successes spur you on to pursue bigger ones. I like daily goals even better because they force me to be super-organized.
If, for example, I want to make $200/day and I find that I’m $25 short, I’ll churn out a few articles for AssociatedContent.com, a content rich site that pays for articles.
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Before you set freelance financial goals, you will want to get a handle on your personal finances – especially if you decide to quit your job.
2. Get a Website: This is not an option, it’s a must. You can do it yourself, or pay someone, but don’t even consider starting without one. Why? Consider this:
After launching a Web site, 41% of small businesses report an increase in their sales volume, and more than half (55%) with a Web site say their sites have generated a profit or paid for themselves. SmallBusinessComputing.com, "Internet Future Bright for Small Businesses." January 14, 2003.I’ve been a freelancer since 1993 and a lot of my business comes from referrals, but I recently completed a job for a client who found me via a web search. He was opening a title insurance company and needed me to complete copy for his website.
At the completion of the project, he advised me that he will be offering marketing services to his industry to increase his referral rate (insurance agents, mortgage brokers, real estate agents, etc.). As he was pleased with my services, he wants me to be his “go-to referral source.”This could be worth untold thousands to me over the next few years.
Still wondering if you need a website? Besides increasing your bottom line, it is hard enough to freelance without giving clients a reason not to hire you, eg, hiring a freelancer who does have a nice, professional site.
3. Decide to Work Hard: If you are going to really make it as a freelancer, you are going to work harder than you are right now. Why? Because, you are either going to be doing two things at once, or working double time to make a go of it.
Doing Two Things at Once: If you decide to keep your job until your freelance career gets off the ground, you are going to have to come home and work at night, or get up earlier in the morning to work on your freelance business. Accept this simple fact, make a schedule and get on with it!
Work Double Time: This is the opposite side of the coin. If you decide to quit your job, you are going to have to work 14, 16, or 18 hour days to replace your income – unless you have some savings. Again, accept this fact. Once you make the decision that this will be your reality for a while, it will become the norm.
4. Find the Work: Now that you’ve decided to work hard, know what your financial goals are and have done the one marketing thing you need to do to find work -- it’s time to find the work!
There are so many ways to go about this, it’s impossible to detail here.
What I can tell you is what I’d do if I were just starting to freelance:
a) Find a guaranteed stream of income: Eg, a pay-per-article site like AssociatedContent.com. Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with this site. I’ve just been a pleased contributor since April 2006.
As I said earlier, you need little successes to inspire you to move on. Some days, this might be all the income you’ll ever make. BUT, starting your day knowing you’ve made some money can be just the push you need to make your daily/weekly goal.
b) Make a certain number of contacts: Eg, real estate agents and mortgage brokers are my niche. So, I make it my business to contact a certain number a day/week.
Success is a numbers game and if you continually make contact to a targeted niche offering them benefits (not features), you will eventually get work – that’s a 100% guarantee.
c) Create passive streams of income: Eg, write an e-book, sell an e-course, open a virtual store (eg, CafePress.com). Here the goal is to have money coming in that you don’t have to devote a lot of time to. Eg, once you write an e-book, it’s done. You can make money off of it for years to come.
NOTE: The passive streams of income ideas mentioned here will, in my experience, only add a few hundred bucks a month to your bottom line. BUT, this can literally be the difference in continuing to freelance, or having to go back to a 9-5.
If you're serious about achieving freelance succcess in 2007 and want to know more about the ideas/suggestions expressed here, sign up for the freelance writing e-course: Launch a Profitable Freelance Writing Career in 30 Days or Less -- Guaranteed! today. Free website included in purchase price.
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