Freelancing as a five-step process

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Being an independent contractor lets you make a living making the difference you want to make in the world. Nobody gets to tell you otherwise. You can decide what you do, how you do it and who you do it for.

You are still subject to the realities of the market. You can decide to make paper aeroplanes for a living but if no one pays you then you don’t have a service. Provided that there is a market for what you want to do, freelancing means being free to make your own choices about how you do it and who you do it for. Nobody can stop you.

If there is a change you want to help people make, you can think about helping them make that change as a five-step process:

  1. Creating an offer. This covers what you will do for them, how you do it and who you do it for. It should also cover what you won’t do and who you won’t do it for.
  2. Building a network. This means putting a list of potential clients together, reaching out to them, learning what to say, investing time into helping them and being useful to the people in your life, and making sure to follow up with people.
  3. Learning how to sell. When someone says they are interested in working with you, you need a process to turn them into paying clients. This means thinking about how to structure your initial conversation. Making sure you are a good fit for each other. Having clear steps to get people to sign up for your service. It also means figuring out all your agreements, invoicing and paperwork.
  4. Delivering excellent work. This is the bit where you actually do the work. It also covers onboarding clients, setting clear milestones and sticking to them, managing expectations, and developing a professional relationship with your clients.
  5. Getting Feedback. Asking for feedback, collecting testimonials and asking for referrals. Most importantly, this process is circular, it’s about refining your offer, tweaking your sales process and improving your service based on the feedback you receive. The idea is to constantly improve over time, rather than making the same mistakes over and over.

 
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