As a freelancer, do you struggle with any of these?
#1 PRICING TOO LOW
The biggest mistake that freelancers make is pricing their services too low.
If you find yourself competing for projects based on price, then you are doing yourself a HUGE disservice.
It’s basically like taking money out of your own pocket, you’re tearing it up, and you’re throwing it away.
Not only are you doing yourself a disservice, but you are also doing a disservice to your clients. Here’s why…
- you’re training them to expect great service, great products for low prices
- they are learning to value your service based on price (an expense) instead of the possible benefits (return on investment) they’ll receive
- you are encouraging them to “shop” for the lowest priced provider, instead of building mutually beneficial relationships
- you are making it extremely difficult to raise your prices with them in the future
Do any of those sound familiar?
The great news is that it’s possible for you to never have to compete solely based on price again. Within twelve months you could easily double your billable rate (be making twice as much money for the same type of projects) AND have your clients LOVE you!
You see, pricing too low communicates the wrong message.
It communicates that you’re inexperienced or even worse, that your work is subpar.
Think about this for example, let’s say that I’ve got a sports car that’s for sale.
You don’t know anything about it.
You don’t know the brand.
You don’t know the name.
You don’t know the color.
All you can see in the distance is I’ve got two sports cars.
I tell you I’ve got one for sale that is $150,000, and the other one is only $25,000.
Which of those two in your mind do you think is worth more money?
Which of those two do you think is the better sports car?
The $150,000 one, right?
Only because of the price.
Our society has trained us to believe that the higher the price of an object is or a service is, the better quality, the better results, we’re gonna get from that product or service.
Stop hurting yourself.
Stop hurting your clients.
Start charging what you’re actually worth.
#2 WRONG STRUCTURE
If you have the wrong structure for your freelance business then it doesn’t matter how hard you work, nor which “guru” you follow, nor how much positive thinking you do, you are always going to struggle to break $50,000 in revenue.
This is what I call the Freelancers Trap, and it’s why most amazingly talented freelancers eventually give up on their dreams of growing a freelance business.
So what is the Freelancer’s Trap?
Here’s how it works…
You go out and you sell a client a new website.
You’re all excited and they’re all excited!
You tell them you’re going to build them and deliver them the most amazing website in the world.
So you go to work, you get busy doing the design, the layouts, the wire frames.
Then you get busy doing the coding.
Finally, you launch the website.
They’re thrilled! And you’re thrilled that the project is over!
But then you look around and realize, uh-oh I don’t have any paying clients… I got to go sell another website.
So you go out and hit the streets (or the digital streets) and you finally find and sell another web project.
Then what happens?
You get busy, and your new client is all excited.
For the next several weeks you’re busy building and launching their amazing website.
After you launch, and the dust settles, you suddenly don’t have any other paying projects.
And now you’ve got to do the whole process again!
You see it’s this repetitive cycle that ends up trapping, and ultimately killing, most freelancers; businesses. They get stuck here and they can’t seem to get out.
Fortunately, there’s a better way to structure your freelance business if you want to grow beyond $50k a year.
This “better” structure is what I call the Freedom Formula…
And it works by learning to continuously sell your services – even when you’re already at full-capacity.
If you want to remove all limits on your business’ growth potential – you should view your primary role as the Chief Marketing Officer.
You should constantly, and continually, be selling yourself.
Selling your company.
Sell, sell, sell.
But as soon as you sell, you have to learn to hand off part of the project to be fulfilled by someone else so that you can keep some of your focus on selling.
Now I know what you’re thinking…
“Yeah, but I got into this because I’m a great graphic designer (or whatever your freelance passion and skill is) and I love graphic design. That’s why I started doing this.”
Okay, think about this for a second. You’re a graphic designer and you started building websites because that’s what your clients wanted. What about coding? Do you really like coding? No, not so much right? So what do you do though? You end up doing the coding because it’s a quote unquote, “necessarily evil.” I mean, after all, you can’t have a website without coding. So you do these amazing designs and then you do the coding and then you launch it, you deliver it. Then what? You’re back in that Freelance Trap.
What if instead you just focused on the part that you’re passionate about, the design, and making that part awesome?
What if you just focused on that part, and you handed off the coding to someone else so that you could then focus on selling?
Remember, never stop selling. And as you grow your business, what you’ll discover is that the Freedom Formula is how all the most successful freelancers get to where they are. They realize that in order to get out of the Freelancer’s Trap, they have to continually sell.
It’s simple, the formula is simple, but it’s not alway easy to make the switch. But it can be done. I promise it can be done. That’s exactly what we’ve done at Ugly Mug Marketing. It’s how we’ve gone from $300 projects to $100,000+ projects.
#3 WRONG MINDSET
Often freelancers have the wrong mindset.
The wrong mindset about what?
First of all, you believe that success is about being right, and the more you’re right, the more successful you will be.
Well, this is the wrong mindset.
Success is not about being right.
Success is about getting results.
More specifically, it’s about getting results for your clients.
When you deliver results for your clients, in turn you will get the results you’re after. I’m reminded of the Zig Ziglar saying, “you can have everything in life you want if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want.”
That’s so true as a freelancer, if you shift your focus from trying to reach your goals, to helping your clients reach theirs, your entire world will change.
It’s also important to remember that success isn’t a measurable or quantitative thing.
No, success is emergent.
What does that mean?
That means that success emerges from the actions or the in-actions that you take.
Success is not about reaching a certain revenue figure.
No, success emerges out of the daily actions that you choose to take. Your success emerges from the time, the energy, and the effort that you put in.
To succeed, you must shift your mindset.
You must let go of the fact that success comes from being right. You must let go of the fact that when you reach X or Y you’ll be successful. You’ve got to embrace the fact that success comes from delivering results for your clients.
And that success comes from the emergence of the actions you take each day.
Treat everything as a test.
View each project, each client, that you’re dealing with, as a test.
You’re trying to see what works, what doesn’t work and most importantly, you’re trying to determine what will help them reach their goals.
View your work as a laboratory.
One time you try it this way.
The next time you try it this way.
All with the intention of creating results for your clients.
It’s okay to fail.
It’s okay to try something and for it not to work.
When you view everything as a test, you have to give up on thinking that you have to have all the answers, because you don’t.
When you test things, you’re testing because you don’t know if it’s going to work. You don’t know if it’s going to succeed. You don’t know if it’s going to fail. So give up on having to have all the answers to all the things.
You also have to believe that more challenges equals more opportunities.
It’s the challenges, the obstacles that your clients face, that result in you having the projects that you have.
It’s because of their challenges, the things that are holding them back from reaching their goals, that they’ve contacted you in the first place.
So shift your mindset to view their challenges as opportunities. The more challenges there are, the more opportunities there are going to be for you..
You’ve got to fail fast, learn, make revisions, and try again. The key is you’ve gotta learn from those failures. You’re going to fail. Learn from them. Make revisions, and try again.
𝗣𝗦 – The way you structure your proposals determines how much value is perceived about your services. Would you like to see exactly how we structure our proposals? This is the exact proposal structure that took us from selling $300 to $100,000 projects?
I’m putting on final touches on a step-by-step guide detailing how we structure our proposals. If that’s something you’d be interested in, email me wayne [at] uglymugmarketing.com and I’ll let you know as soon as it’s available.