Doing your hobby as a business can take the fun out of it and turn it into boring or tedious work. Businesses and individuals need photographers for many reasons. Businesses need pictures of their products for brochures. Or you can stick with non-business photography and take portraits or photograph weddings. Develop your business plan. This is a good time to determine your pricing structure. Your pricing needs to take into account the cost of equipment, supplies, and travel, as well as your time.
Decide your business structure. The easiest and lowest cost option is sole proprietor ; however, creating a limited liability company LLC will offer greater protection of your personal assets should you run into legal problems. Create a business name. What you name your business will become the brand image, so choose a name that fits the type of photography you want to do. You also need to check with the U.
Officially establish your business. Once you have a business name and set up your business structure, you need obtain business license or permits as required by your city or county. Once you have your business license, you can open a business bank account. Gather needed equipment and supplies. You may also need lights and screens to control lighting. Create marketing materials. Along with business cards and brochures, build a website.
Get permission from your subjects before posting their photos online. Also, set up social media accounts on networks your target market can be found. The key to success in a photography business is marketing. How can you brand yourself for big results? Starting with the basics and working on up, this guide contains the tools it takes to make it. Anyone looking to parlay their skill set into a business that makes money will find gold in this guide. Anyone looking to take their talents and work one-on-one with people who need services, consulting, or coaching will get actionable advice on moving forward.
Can you produce content or complete projects? Do you have a marketable skill like writing or graphic design? Instead of doing 40 hours per week for one company and one salary, go full mercenary with your skill to work with a range of clients and rake in the cash. Do you have experience in a certain sector or industry? Recognize the full value of that skill set and charge for access to your advice. Research your clients, run workshops, identify their problems, and offer killer solutions that will keep them coming back for more — and recommending you to their network.
Are you interested in mentoring people and fostering personal growth? Can you teach a valuable skill or connect one-on-one in unique ways that make magic happen? Become a coach to give people the individualized help they need to level up their business or life, all while leveling up your bank account — and earning the freedom to control your own schedule. Work for yourself, make your own hours and build your dream lifestyle around something you already love to do!
Learn how to find a winning niche that takes advantage of your existing skills and craft an offer that will make your services in-demand and highly sought after. Discover how to brand and market your business and get your first clients. Get proven fill-in-the-blank phone and email templates, proposals and contracts. Learn how to pull the tap on more clients whenever you want to with this step-by-step client-getting system. Also learn how to manage clients and operations easily and scale your business to agency level if you want to.
Here's some recent results from our "Consulting Empire" students:. Gavin Symes - The Foundry Group. Danielle Roberts - Tail of Two Creatives. Enrollment to the Consulting Empire course is only open a couple of times a year. Chapter 1. As a consultant, freelancer, or coach you can focus on some skill you have that drives your passion. Working for yourself offers a new level of independence and self-reliance. Consultants and freelancers also have the potential to make more money than a typical employee, and those dollar signs alone draw a lot of people toward these ventures.
But starting a business like this has its challenges. The journey to become a consultant or freelancer who can make a living from this work demands dedication, discipline, and patience. Sure, you control your time. But that means you have to manage your time. No one is looking over your shoulder to keep you on track. Sure, you can make more money. But you have to find that money. No one is sending you a stable paycheck every two weeks. The type of person who can succeed here is ready to take risks and willing to make mistakes.
You have to be OK—not excited, but OK—with hitting roadblocks and finding your own way around them. Are you ready to take it? Still not sure whether starting a consulting business is what you want to do? Or are you interested in pursuing something like this but confused about the details?
This chapter outline brief answers to your most pressing questions. In later chapters, we dive into more detail. Some examples:. Maybe you have experience in an area that, while not quite as artsy, could help businesses build revenue or individuals achieve their goals. People have made money coaching others in all sorts of areas:. Skill, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Can you provide value? No, but you do need enough skill to deliver results for people. One of the biggest barriers people face when starting a consulting business is a lack of confidence. But if you can do the work and believe in yourself, you have what it takes.
People sometimes think consulting vs. You can start small, working with just a few clients, then scale up from there. Not right away. You need a plan. Risk-taking is all fine and good, but those risks need to be calculated risks. The best way to approach this whole thing is like… Tarzan. He swings through the jungle from vine to vine, a risky venture for sure, but he never lets go of one vine until the next one is firmly in his grasp, ready to keep him from falling—SPLAT! If you can provide value, you can become a consultant or freelancer. Even tiny Tarzan can swing from vine to vine!
What you need to do is figure out how much money you need to make to survive as a consultant, freelancer, or coach, then make your moves based on this number. With the right strategy, you can turn any marketable skill into a full-fledged business with a full-time income. Consulting, freelancing, coaching. We go into more detail on this in Chapter 2. The exact content of each kind of job does differ. Freelancers provide specialized services on an hourly or per-project basis. Consultants advise businesses or organizations in some specific area, helping them solve a particular problem they have.
Coaches are closer to consultants, but a little less defined in terms of exact services. Helping companies get the word out is big, too: marketing, public relations, sales, social media, advertising, etc. Finance and accounting is a valuable field, too. Computers and information technology IT are other hotspots. Lesser-known fields, too, have room for consultants. This one is tough. Most U. But the answer is really, whatever people will pay. The best way to tackle this when first starting out is to figure out how much you can charge that first client, then continue leveling up.
More on pricing in Chapter Four! Chapter 2. The top question new entrepreneurs need to answer when looking to become a consultant, freelancer, or coach is simple: What can you do that other people will pay money for? It has to be viable as a way to make money, which means it needs to be in demand by businesses or individuals.
This section will go over how you can come up with a viable service to sell. Freelancing is typically about providing specific, tangible services or end products, usually on an hourly or per-project basis. It can encompass disciplines like writing, editing, designing, marketing, web development, etc. A distinguishing feature of freelancing is that you generally control when and how you do the work.
What the client wants is a solid deliverable at the end. Consulting is focused on providing advice to businesses, in the form of research findings, workshops, trainings, and discussions with organizational leadership. Compared to freelancing, consulting involves teaching others what to do, rather than doing it for them. Coaching is sort of like consulting for individuals. You will find a lot of coaching in the fitness and health industry, for example.
The differences between these are important in figuring out what you want to do. Tons of shy people and introverts are creative consultants. Part of choosing your business model is looking at what skills you already possess. Take an honest evaluation of your skills and choose which ones would be best to offer as a service. You should also think about what you naturally gravitate toward or are passionate about. When figuring out which of your skills would make a good basis for a freelancing or consulting business, you want to find the intersection of what you like to do and what others might pay for.
Here are some simple questions you can ask to get a better idea of what might be up your alley:. Online search terms and subjects can give you a big hint, or at least confirm what you already know about your interests deep down. You can also be a bit more systematic. Look at your bookshelf. What have you read, what has been sitting there? What do you find yourself doing in your free time, regardless of whether you're getting paid?
Graphic design? Snapping photos? Workout advice? Sometimes this can give you a clue as to what strangers might be willing to pay for. Ask a few friends or a significant other what drives you, what things you love to do. So hone in on work-related things. Do you ever get excited about work projects? What do they see and hear you talk about?
When do you seem happy? You can do something else and if something else is your passion, you should! That can take longer, and might require starting out at a lower rate of pay. The bottom line? Companies need to make money and if you can help them do that, you too can cash in. After you figure out what service you want to offer, the next step in starting a consulting business is to identify the unique value you bring to the table.
What special benefits are you offering? You just need a little something that makes you unique. That something, to add a dash of jargon, is called a unique value proposition, or UVP. A good UVP is specific and tangible. A good UVP also has to provide value. Being unique is not enough. A freelance writer could submit every. That would be unique!
Besides not being particularly unique, always selling yourself as the cheapest option will leave you with the kinds of clients looking for a deal not fun and not much money to show for it super not fun. You can take a look at your competitors. What are other consultants or freelancers in your industry offering? Note the commonalities in their services and pricing, because that will help you identify the differences between them.
Specialization is one kind of UVP. Freelance web designers? There are tons of them. Freelance web designers with expertise in ecommerce websites? One part of your UVP, which can be important especially in some kinds of coaching and creative freelancing, is your own personality. By embracing a specific perspective and personality, you can set yourself apart. Abby Grace Photography is a solid example. For an industry like wedding photography, personality is a huge differentiator, so this part of her UVP is important.
Some of these UVPs can feel big.
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In fact, sometimes the best ways to stand out are small and specific. What small details can you tweak to set yourself apart? What little distinct approach can you take that will create a different experience as potential clients are shopping for who to work with? The possibilities are endless. Consultants outside of creative industries can find a UVP, too, of course. A good example here is Christina Scalera. That phrase alone gets lots of people dozing off all apologies to the attorneys reading this , but she sets herself apart by making things easy and casual. She has a simple and short video explaining, in terms everyday people can understand, what a trademark is and why viewers might need one.
Then she offers sign-ups for a minute, no-cost, no-commitment chat. Her casual, direct approach differs from so many trademark lawyers who lead with their expertise and resumes instead of focusing on accessibility. The biggest thing you can do to achieve success? Start now. Instead of getting frozen considering options and decisions forever, pinpoint the minimum infrastructure you need to build. Then build it and launch. Your offer is whatever services you provide: writing, business strategy advice, health coaching, whatever.
A minimum viable offer is an offer that gives clients the smallest number of benefits needed to make a sale. Creating an MVO lets you get feedback on your core service before filling in every detail of your business. Focusing on your MVO gets you out there taking action and getting clients right away, rather than overthinking until your idea is perfect spoiler alert: it never will be. There are two answers to this:.
How to Become a Freelance Photographer
This is a common discussion among consultants and freelancers. Should you drill down and offer services in a specialized area? Or should you present yourself as more of a generalist in your chosen field? A generalist freelance marketer, for instance, might have a larger pool of potential clients. Becoming too specialized too early could cut this freelancer off from a lot of work. Also companies will often prefer to go with a marketer they feel understands their specific industry.
Generally speaking, more specialized work is more valuable, for simple market reasons. How to find the right balance? Here are three examples of how to go from a generalist to a specialist:. Business and corporate financial consultants can offer all these specialties:.
Chapter 3. The next step is to get your business up and running to a point where you can take in clients. Remember your minimum viable offer. A solid MVO is all you need before you create the basic building blocks of your business. Your business needs a website. And to create a website, you need a business name. The first question is whether to use a business name like Serbaneka Creative or a personal name like Ryan Stephens Marketing. You can also think about your unique value proposition. If it revolves in some way around your personality, for example, a personal name is probably better.
One fun exercise is the radio test. If someone were to hear your business name on the radio, would they know how to spell it? Many countries have online trademark databases. Whether you go with a brand name or your own name, you next need a domain name. To see if the domain name you want is available, try these tactics:. For more on choosing a domain name, read our free article on how to pick the best domain name for your startup. Your number one focus should be on just getting out there and bringing in clients.
To start with a bang in the service-based business world, you need:. Should you have an online presence beyond these two things? Probably, though specifics will differ depending on your services, industry, and strategy. But a website and a LinkedIn presence are the essentials, no matter what. And you can make it pretty far with just those two. Your first goal should just be getting some sort of presence online that answers the crucial questions: Who are you? What do you do? How can people hire you? Your bare bones website should also have a photo of you.
Inexpensive options for logo design include:. This gives you social proof, showing visitors that others have benefitted from what you have to offer. The key, again, is to just get a website up. Graphic designer Landon Cooper is a successful freelancer who proves the point. His website is simple, with just three pages: examples of his work, an About page, and a Contact page. Now, these tips will get your consulting or freelancing website off to a good start. But how do you actually make the site?
Four main choices are worth considering:. This website platform has beautifully designed templates, plus an easy drag-and-drop interface. Like Wix, Weebly has a decent drag-and-drop site editor. You can also export your pages to another web host if you ever want to leave Weebly. It is a bit harder to use than Weebly and Wix, but not by much.
Its design options are definitely better than the two platforms listed above. First, understand the distinction between WordPress. The real deal for building websites is WordPress. On WordPress. Take a little time to pick an option that suits you. You can also look into industry-specific platforms.
As an example, freelance portrait photographers can use Showit , which integrates with WordPress and comes with ready-made and easy-to-use designs specifically for photography businesses. A quick Google search will reveal if there are any similar options in your field. Of course, you can get way more advanced with this, by coding your own site from scratch or using a platform like Drupal. Just like your website, your LinkedIn profile absolutely needs a photo of you. A simple headshot will do. What about other social media platforms?
When it comes to Facebook, Twitter, etc. If these platforms are important in your industry, go for it. But make sure you have a goal guiding your social media use. When we say that a simple website is enough to start off with, we mean it. You could even just go with a basic landing page. An effective landing page is clear and brief, and has one purpose—getting visitors to take that next step.
Offering too many options could overwhelm a potential client. Your landing page can open with a short, engaging headline that directly addresses your target audience. If you want to work with CFOs, say so. If you want to work with small business owners, say so. If you want to work with busy people who still value health, say so. Under the headline you can give a bit more detail to show that you can deliver on your promise. A good example of a successful landing page comes from Greg Reitman. Since video is his focus, Greg starts his landing page not with a headline but with a dazzling video.
He then uses clearly delineated blocks for different parts of the page: products, statistics, clients, pricing, and his call to action. The page would probably work even better if it included a headshot of the man himself. Before you design a landing page, you should outline it. Many of these software programs include templates that include a lot of built-in elements that can provide inspiration.
Here are some more tips on creating high-converting landing pages:. At this stage, confidence in the skills you offer will go a long way. To back that confidence up, and have something concrete to show potential clients, some kind of sample of your work or past experience is necessary. For example, a beginning freelance writer should post regular content to their own blog, or write guest posts for other blogs in order to get some clips.
An aspiring coach could offer discounted services to their personal network to get their feet wet and secure some positive testimonials. One personal finance consultant created an offer on Fiverr to give small, low-cost services at a low fee. Write some stellar blog posts on your own website or Medium. Or reach out to a friend who is starting their own business and offer free copywriting services. Create a dazzling website for a hypothetical company, or get even more creative and do something a little silly , as long as it highlights your skills.
Offer brief legal consulting on a platform like Fiverr. Reach out to local businesses that may need photography and offer to do free product shoots. Ask friends, or check Facebook groups for models or other professionals in need of photos, and offer a free shoot so you both can further your careers. Check out small nonprofits or charitable organizations in your area, find some whose mission you support, and contact them with an offer to create a free video short for them.
You should also mine your past for other relevant material you might include on your website to demonstrate your chops. Have you received any awards or recognition for your work? Do you have a hard number on how many customers you worked with at your day job? Another hurdle we hear a lot from people just starting consulting businesses is fear.
Putting yourself out there when you have only a couple clients, or maybe even no clients, can feel really scary. Because it is scary.
Per Harvard Business Review:. The key to overcoming impostor syndrome, besides all the encouragement you can possibly get from friends and family, is action—just getting out there and doing the damn thing. To help toward that end, you can try to shift the way you think. One way to do that is to start with the way you talk. This is part of selling yourself, and make no mistake: if you are a consultant, freelancer, or coach, you are in the business of selling yourself. Put that way, selling yourself seems easy. Hard work will soon put the awkward starting stage behind you. Hard work will propel you toward more clients, better money, and a business that lets you work on your passions.
Chapter 4. Money is tough to talk about. Especially when your rate feels like it reflects your own personal value, people can get a little awkward about it. But we have to tackle the subject. Money is one of the top reasons people try to become a consultant, freelancer, or coach, and while other reasons like personal freedom are awesome, none of them matter unless you make enough money to support yourself. Ultimately, pricing for a service-based business like this is about one thing: value. To figure out how to price your services, you first need to pinpoint how much money you need to make.
To find your hourly rate, start with a yearly income goal and work backwards. Consider your expenses. How much do you need to survive? How much do you want for your lifestyle? Be realistic, in fact, overestimate—going too low will just leave you stressed about money, and potentially headed toward financial disaster. Try to factor in a financial cushion in case of unexpected expenses like medical bills or legal fees. The next step is to divide that salary goal by the amount of time you plan to work. If that happens, fine.
On the flipside, while working a low number of hours to leave more time for other things might be your goal, it may not be realistic right away. Ready to calculate? Then figure out how many weeks of vacation and sick time you want to give yourself. You want to set aside four weeks for vacation and one week for sick time. That ends up looking like this:. Start by taking the 52 weeks in a year and subtracting vacation and sick time, leaving 47 work weeks. Then you multiply that number by the number of billable hours each week, 25, giving you 1, working hours a year.
Estimate the hours you think you need overestimate! Check out the going rates for your industry also. Research your industry and talk with fellow consultants and freelancers. Many also publish their rates on their websites. Input your details in the calculator below to automatically find out your desired hourly rate. Hold up. All this talk of hourly work vs. How are you going to bill your clients? A huge part of consulting or freelancing is choosing how to charge for your time.
You sign a contract with the client to be paid in advance, usually on a monthly basis. This is common with consulting. You work with the client to outline the parameters of a given project, then agree on a flat fee for that project. The client agrees to pay you per hour you work on agreed upon services. Each of these options comes with its own pros and cons, and this can be a controversial topic among freelancers. Your industry, clients, experience, and personal preference will all swirl together to help you determine the best pricing scheme for yourself. A retainer is a very attractive option, and one that more freelancers are pushing for these days.
Agreements vary, but the way it usually works is, if you spend more hours than the retainer is for, you bill the client at the end of the month for the additional time, based on your hourly rate. Retainers are most viable for people with a lot of experience consulting. But not everyone will be able to pull this off, especially when you are first starting a consulting business.
For example, if you were a freelance writer tasked with creating an ebook, you could estimate how many hours it would take to complete it, then come up with a per-project fee based minimally on your billable hourly rate from the last section. Flat fees can also be great for you.
It gives a real incentive to complete quality work quickly, because efficiency on your end means making more money in less time. Flat fees can work for discrete projects. Other jobs, though, may be less clear cut and require ongoing work. This is where an hourly rate comes in. This can be pretty straightforward, as it is with coaching. If a session is a half hour, you might charge half your hourly rate or a tad higher. An hourly rate also might make the most sense with some kinds of clients. If a certain client is especially finicky and always asks for additional work, for instance, you might prefer to charge them hourly.
Doing so, and applying a rush rate for short notice work, can give you a layer of protection in case hours start to balloon. Hourly billing gets a bad rap in some circles, but lots of professionals do it. The real trick is making sure that your work has enough perceived value that clients are OK with paying the hourly rate you want to charge. TIP: Freelance writers often charge by the word. This may be more desirable than charging by the hour, since paying for a quantity of product may sit better with a client than turning on a ticking meter, even if the final amount is the same.
Certainly, be realistic. If you have little experience, some humility will serve you well as you build up skills and a track record. But ultimately, you want to be making lots of money—and for many freelancers and consultants, a lack of confidence is a huge hindrance. Ultimately, good clients will pay you what you are worth. If a potential client lowballs you, that isn't a client you want to work with.
Counterintuitively, higher rates can make you more attractive to good clients. Do you have a confident mindset? Even if you don't feel confident, fake it. The key is to keep experimenting with different approaches, the way a startup might pivot, and to keep working toward your big break. Chapter 5. And for those who have been consulting or freelancing successfully, not getting enough clients or not getting the right clients are huge challenges of their own. There are real strategies you can employ to get clients who pay well. The toughest step, in some ways, is getting your first client.
On the other hand, think about it this way: at this stage, you just need ONE client. When trying to snag your first client, the key is to show your expertise and the work you have done. Do be polite, be kind, be enthusiastic. Maybe you need your first client, and a friend or family member could use your services.
Maybe you reach out to someone with a substantial social media following, offering to provide free services in exchange for an online shout out. If you do opt to do free work, be cautious and intentional. Never desperate. Only work for a free or discounted rate if it's truly, demonstrably worth your time—if you have a clear plan for how this free work gets you to paid work, ASAP.
As long as you avoid consigning yourself to bottom-tier pay forever, working for free can help fill out your resume and give you the credibility to pursue future projects. How do you actually find clients? What are concrete strategies for locating them and closing the deal? Start with what you know. An easy example is writers. If they used to be employed by a media outlet that also contracts with freelancers, then boom, that very publication is a ready-made client. But if someone they know recommends you, things change. It even works for an 8-year-old with a lawn mower.
RJ Duarte, a young kid in Colorado, started off mowing lawns for neighbors. The business spread largely through word of mouth at first. An eager 8-year-old with a lawn mower started what would become a full-fledged landscaping agency.
Never undersell word of mouth. Ask them to refer you to people who might have interest. This tactic is so basic that you might be tempted to overlook it. But it works. These are the people with real life connections to you. They want you to succeed! How to go about this? Be upfront. Mention this during conversations in person. Shoot a short email out to friends explaining your new endeavor, including contact info, and asking them to forward to anyone who might have interest. The most powerful referrals come when someone you know connects you to a third person. On social media?
Even your personal accounts should highlight your business. No one scrolling through their feed knows if you feel nervous or unsure or not yet established. Social media is a highlight reel, so show them business highlights and even your acquaintances will start to think of you as a consultant, freelancer, or coach. There are online job boards or platforms that cater exclusively to freelancers and consultants.
Other boards might focus on 9-to-5 work but still include freelance and consulting positions in the mix. Sometimes those low-paying clients can even grow into high-paying ones. The internet is filled with job boards for every service and sector you can imagine. Here is a small list of examples:.
How To Be a Freelance Photographer • Travel The World • What No One Tells You
Get Photography Jobs , JournalismJobs. As you can see, job boards are most prominent, and likely most useful, in the freelance space. Cold calls can work. Ask Brenton Hayden. He launched a real estate company that's now called Renters Warehouse. Back then, it was just one guy: him. And his first foray into marketing? Cold calls. Three got turned down, but the fourth call got him somewhere—a year later, he'd made almost a million dollars.
Brenton Mock started his journey into real estate with some cold calls. At age 27, he was able to retire. See the next section in this chapter for specifics on writing the email or making the call. Later, they can return the favor. Johanna Rothman, a management consultant, points out that a great strategy is referring types of work you no longer do, to other consultants.
On her blog she writes :. When I started my business, I taught test and development techniques to technical staff. I now focus my business on project management and people management, so I refer the testing and development work to other consultants. Many freelance portrait photographers, for example, use referrals from other photographers to grow their business.
You can use your online presence to create a funnel that brings clients to you. You start with a lead magnet, some piece of content—a cheat sheet, ebook, special video, webinar, whatever—that you give website visitors for free in order to get potential clients on your email list. In chapter six, we take a deep dive into different kinds of lead magnets and how to use them to bring clients in.
No matter which assortment of the above strategies you pursue, remember: The way to land clients is to show them how you can solve a problem they have, or don't yet know they have, so that they can do their job better and make more money. First, cold emails. Then, cold calls. Keep it short. Keep it to the point. Your potential clients feel the same way. The company behind Boomerang , a Gmail extension that helps you schedule emails, found that the best bet for email length is words.
Also be sure to express thanks for their time! CEOs and other business executives, especially, are busy people. Check out our awesome in-depth guide:. The most important thing to remember about cold calls also happens to be the single most important thing about consulting and freelancing in general: While you should take control of the call, you must make it about them.
Never focus on you.
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Droning on about yourself and how great you are is a piss poor cold call strategy. Nobody wants to hear that. If not, learn more, and slowly but surely demonstrate how you can help. This attitude can even reduce stress you might have about cold calling. Whatever will be will be. A simple-but-effective way to start a cold call is to just thank them for their time and outline your goals for the call.
I really appreciate it. How does that sound? Then move immediately to center their business challenge in the conversation—remembering to make it about what you can do for them. Is that right? You need to understand it. What will you need to do to make them a satisfied client? Starting to establish parameters for success early on is a great way to ensure a great working relationship. For example, will they measure success by how many people download their free ebook? Will they measure success by how many customers they can funnel from email signups to a course purchase?
What would that look like for you?
This is another question that, while putting your prospect in the center, gives you important intel about what they really want. Holy way to be blunt, Batman! Should you really ask something like this? It shows confidence, too. Potential clients will love this, making you more likely to close the deal.
But the benefits extend beyond a signed contract. By establishing an open door policy of honest communication from day one, you maximize your chances of making your client happy. If you hop on your first call with a prospect and panic, just remember this guiding principle: Make it all about them. Instead, really listen to hear what the prospect is struggling with so that you can demonstrate your expertise and forge that connection.
Even when equipped with this knowledge, hopping on a call with a stranger can make lots of people nervous. You can help alleviate any anxiety by roleplaying the call with a friend or, failing that, recording yourself. A little practice can go a long way. You should have already all but sold them on that in earlier conversations.
Proposals should just seal the deal. A web developer might need web copy in order to design a website. Save everyone confusion and time by spelling out exactly what you need from your client. How much will the client owe you? When do they need to pay you? Give a start and end date for the project, plus any deadlines along the way. Keep it simple and accessible.
You can find great presentation templates online for example, here and here. But there are some basic principles you can consider that help create a contract to protect both parties. Rule 1? Always have a contract. You should pretty much never do work, especially substantial projects, without something in writing. One potential exception, maybe, is a repeat client that you really, really trust. Your contract should put the proposal into legally sound language.
It might include the following:. Whatever the specifics, your goal is to set clear expectations for both sides. A securely encrypted platform for online signatures that meet legal muster. This one is neat. AND CO, an invoicing and payments company, teamed up with the Freelancers Union to create this easy, standardized contract system. It's free! In most industries, there will be freelancers or consultants who sell their contract templates for others to use, so you can also try searching for templates specific to your sector and service.
You can still close the deal. Try following up two or three days after you sent the proposal. Email is less intrusive, so that should be your go-to. Your prospect may want to schedule a call to follow up and discuss more details. Money might be tight, and they probably just met you. When possible, avoid lowering your prices.
One strategy is to negotiate not on price, but on scope. If your price is making a prospect balk, you can cut back on the extent of services and thus lower the price. Another powerful tool when negotiating pricing is the rush fee. Think of a rush fee as a tool. It should serve two distinct purposes:. When negotiating, pay attention to red flags. Climbing out of that hole means creating more demand for your services. And the ladder? Chapter 6. Lots of it. It will come from people who use your services, love working with you, and want to tell others all about it. This is a totally organic kind of marketing.
One person tells another about your work. A lot of the work here is just providing damn good service. Networking is key, so get out there and meet people at events in real life. Go to meetups, conferences, and other events in your industry. One strategy for networking is to forge relationships with people who exist in the same industry as you but work with a different client base.
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