How to be a Successful Freelancer

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Alas you’ve escaped the corporate rat race and carved out a niche for yourself as a freelancer. You set your own hours, choose your own clients, and spend your days working on projects you actually care about.

Just the thought of it is so invigorating, it makes you want to pop bottles. (But champagne, of course, is a luxury and not in the budget… at least not until you land your next big client!)

Even with such a dreamy work life, the responsibility of managing ev-ery-thing can sometimes feel like a nightmare. After all, you’re on the hook for everything from marketing to accounting, and of course actually delivering your product or service on time, all while exceeding your clients expectations.

It can be overwhelming and frustrating. We get it.

Just 3 years ago our co-founders were spending their days squatting in a coffee shop trying to figure out the best way to bootstrap RocketReach. Now the company’s almost 3 years in and 1.5 Million users strong. ?

The journey to this point wasn’t easy, but it taught us a couple things that we hope will make a world of difference for you as you work to grow your business.

Of course we could talk about our favorite growth hacking tips or how we landed partnerships that helped us go viral (if only for a day). But the truth is, the real victory was (and still is) in how you manage your day-to-day.

Reverse engineer that sucker

“Good luck is the result of good planning.” Anonymous

When starting a business it’s easy to get caught up working in your business instead of on it.

You can get bogged down in the details of your day-to-day tasks and waste your finite time on things that seem important, but aren’t actually moving you closer to your top 2–3 high level goals. (If you haven’t nailed down your annual, quarterly, and monthly goals yet, start there.)

After all, there’s a science to success. For example, let’s say that you’re a web designer and your annual revenue goal for the year is $60,000. That means…

  • You have to earn $15,000 a quarter
  • You have to earn $5000 a month

For simplicity’s sake, let’s assume your average website package is $2500. Now you know that to hit your monthly goal of $5k:

  • You have to sell 2 website packages a month

Let’s also assume that most of your new business comes from cold-emailing. Again, to keep it simple, let’s assume you have the magic touch and have a 25% close rate on all of the emails you send.

Now you know that to hit your revenue goal of $5000 a month

  • You have to sell 2 website packages a month
  • You have to send 8 cold emails a month
  • You have to send 2 cold emails a week

Now that we know the science behind what’s required for you to successfully hit that $5000/month mark, you can structure your days by prioritizing the series of tasks required for you to get that sale.

For example, let’s say you’re super savvy and you use to do lead generation- because RocketReach makes it insanely easy to quickly find a company you want to work with, figure out who the right contact is, find that contact’s email, and send them an email (did you catch that shameless plug?).

You can prioritize that activity for the first 30 minutes of your day.

In this situation 30 minutes a day is all that’s needed to hit your revenue goals. That leaves the rest of the day to prioritize the other high level goals and tasks.

We know it’s not always this cut and dry, but it’s a framework that will give you structure and help maximize your productivity.

Make the vision plain

“Many of us know what to do, but we don’t do what we know.”

Now that we know what to do we need a little extra push to help us get it done, because let’s face it, knowing what to do doesn’t always translate to action.

The culprit for this is between your ears. Our brains are wired to respond to stimuli and we’re bombarded by distractions all day.

All day you’re receiving email, getting facebook notifications, checking alerts from your favorite Medium authors, and before you know it you’ve spent half an hour scrolling through funny cat memes online, but not getting a single goal completed. (Here’s one for good measure…

These distractions are a threat to your productivity, and ultimately a threat to your revenue. So we recommend setting aside dedicated project time during which you block your social mediamute your email notifications, and focus on your high priority tasks.

One of the easiest ways to stay on target is to keep your goals in front of you persistently. We love Taskade for this reason.

Taskade allows you to create project roadmaps, keep track of client meeting notes, and seamlessly manage the day-to-day of running your business.

The best part is that it hangs out in your Chrome browser, so everytime you open a new Chrome Tab, the first thing you see is a reminder of what you’re supposed to be working on. This is a lifesaver because let’s face it, “out of sight, out of mind.”

Oh and did we mention it’s free? Yeah, we thought you’d like that.

It’s super easy to use, and they even give you templates to help you get started.

So if you’re serious about maximizing your productivity and knocking your goals out the park, we’d recommend checking them out.

Remember, out of the millions of things you can spend your time on, finding what drives the best results and mastering those things, is the key to getting further, faster.


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What does it take to become the next Freelance Success Story? If you want to freelance, these 2 tips will help you create a foundation for success. Learn how to avoid 2 mistakes that can cause you to lose out on money and waste time. #freelance #freelancesuccess #sidehustle #sidehustleideas


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