I’m broke AF. I need cash and I dunno what the heck I’m doing. I used to think that I could make any money I wanted by freelancing. I got lucky making some money building my first site but, the thing is… I’m all talk, and seriously haven’t earned any money from it since then. So I need to start all over again and thought why not document my journey. Starting from ground zero here’s a lil guide on how the heck do we’re going to make a real freelance business and get the f*ck outta debt!
How To Freelance
Where the Heck Do I Even Start? What do I do? Am I Even Worth It?
- How the heck do I know if people will buy from me?
- Am I any good to even freelance?
- What do I even say to people?
- Is it even fair for me to charge people? How much am I even worth?
- I don’t want to sell to my friends. So how am I even going to find clients?
Don’t worry fam, it’s normal. Well at least I’ve read that it’s normal, and if you feel that way at least there’s two of us. If you don’t well then you’re set! Just keep on hustling and you don’t need to listen to me complain lol. But those that do feel that way, we’re gonna take this journey together cause I know it’s possible, and I know that we can kill it. So let’s go through how we’re gonna figure that out!
Figure out What People Want
An Extremely Underrated Skill that You'll Need When You Freelance
So what I’ve taken away from selling stuff (albeit not always successfully because my mood/motivation is so volatile. But in theory, this should work.) is that when you can “brain hack” your way into your potential clients/customers mind and figure out what they want its almost always like a guaranteed sale. It’s something most freelancers lack and I’ll do my best to break down the thought process behind it. Your goal is to get them to say things like:
- Holy crap! You read my mind!
- “Best Friend’s Name!” This is so us!
- OMG! I need this! How did you know?
From the outside, you’ll look psychic or super smart. And it’s such an awesome feeling, it’s pretty satisfying knowing your customers are grateful for that extra time you thought about your customers and put them first!
Before you launch any new idea, you have to know what your prospective clients want — and even more importantly, you have to know what makes your service/product/idea DIFFERENT.
Finding Your Unique Selling Proposition
Knowing you can sell is one thing. Finding a unique angle is another skill entirely!
So I guess I’ve always been pretty good at selling stuff. I’ve been a hustler since I learned the value of money, but after I “grew up” I got frustrated with the world and right now I’m not really doing anything because I want my money making to have a greater purpose. And that’s what got me stuck for a few years. But now that I’m really feeling the hurt of debt it’s waking up those dormant selling genes and I thought I’d share with you what they’re saying.
Selling is a skill you can master by practising and doing, while I’m a little rusty at the moment, I can still help you with the second part; finding a unique angle. Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP or UVP) describes what separates your business from your competitors. It should explain how your solution solves your customers’ problem, the specific benefits, and why your target customers should choose you over the competition.
Freelancing with a USP puts you at the top
Finding a USP WILL takes some time and legwork. A real USP is more than a clever tagline. For it to be meaningful, you have to know your customer and your business. Plus, you have to understand how your product or service fits into our consumer-driven world.
So while your UVP is probably always in the back of your mind, don’t write it based on what you think is true about your solution and your customers. Do some research and testing so that you are sure.
And for that matter, keep testing. Once you’ve come up with your USP and put it all over your marketing materials and website’s landing pages, it might be tempting to set it and forget it. Keep testing it over time—the more your business grows, the more you’ll know about your customer’s pain points and how your solution helps them.
4 questions to help you create your value proposition
1. Who is your target market?
2. Why you over a competitor?
3. What pain point do you solve?
4. What’s your mission?
Once you’ve done your digging, write down a few different possible value propositions that fit your business. Again, this isn’t going to be something you whip up in 20 minutes. Write a few down, stew on them for a bit, and refine them. Ask yourself if someone could read your UVP and think it’s talking about another company. If the answer is yes, you have a selling or value proposition, but it’s not unique yet.
Rework it until you have one succinct sentence that makes you stand out from your competitors. What do you want your customers to remember about you when they hear your brand or product name?
When you attempt to be known for everything, you don’t become known for anything..
Sometimes, all you need to do is give your product/service a strong, definitive position, even if your product itself is very similar to what’s already out there.
Research More into Your USP
Forums are actually one of the best ways to see and hear your target markets thoughts
Most often your clients are all over different forums asking each other for help, ideas and inspiration. So by diving in head first in the forums, you can take literally pages and pages and pages of notes. Specifically, were were looking for:
- Common struggles/pain points that seemed to come up often
- The way people describe what they were going through in first person
- The advice they gave to each other
- What they were already trying that was working
- What they’d tried that hadn’t worked
- Their specific emotional keywords
Don’t just assume you know your target demographic’s thoughts and feelings. Even if you are IN the target demographic. Especially if you are in the target demographic. Do some digging, validate your idea and figure it out.