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This is how I grew my business over 500%

Question:

“What are you doing TODAY to market your freelance business?”

If you can’t answer…

Or, the answer is a little vague…

Or, something you’re still figuring out…

Whatever income woes you might be experiencing, I can point you to the culprit. The reality is: no marketing = no business. This is the simplest, yet most effective, “freelance marketing” advice I can give you:

Do it daily.

Let me give you an example…

People often get horrified when they find out that I mail my mailing list on a daily basis. Sure, I miss some days here and there, but it’s not intentional. And on the whole… I probably send 330-340 emails in a 365-day year.

It’s a LOT…

To most people.

And, they always ask:

“Don’t people get annoyed?”

“Aren’t you gonna burn out your list?”

“You must get a lot of unsubscribes?”

And, my answer is always the same: I don’t know, probably. But, since I started mailing daily, my business has grown over 500%. And, it’s directly attributable to switching to sending daily emails.

So, theoretically, you might be right…

But, practically, no way in hell I’d ever go back.

But, here’s the real kicker…

For the first few years I did this, I was awful at it. I go back and look at some of those emails and cringe. They’re awful. Even today, I’m not some genius copywriter or marketer. I’m always learning and trying to get better.

But, through all that… the business just keeps growing.

Not because I’m a genius…

Not because I have it all figured out…

Not because I’m this super charismatic marketer…

Nope.

It’s because I show up… every day.

That’s it.

Now, yes. Over the years, I’ve developed a system for doing this to maximize my reach and influence as much as possible. To reach the widest possible audience and, more importantly, to actually sell my s!@#.

So, I get the most out of everything I do.

And, that’s one of the things I teach you in my Beginner’s Guide to Freelance course… how to build out a reliable online system for getting new clients, delivering like a pro and getting repeat business and referrals.

It’s the hard-learned lessons from 15 years as a freelancer.

Anyway, if you wanna learn those lessons, you can get access to the course for nothing over on Skillshare. All the details on how to do that are here: https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/skillshare

Later,

John​​​​​​

March 20, 2019

The Al Bundy Method for selling your freelance services more easily

I used to sell shoes.

Was damn good at it, too. In fact, I made it through the company’s 18-month manager training program in just over 9 months. In my first store, as a manager, I was the #3 selling manager in one of the smallest stores in the chain.

And, I broke several store sales records along the way.

Anyway, we had this thing we did.

Out of Al Bundy’s bag of “tricks” if you will.

Let me give you an example.

“This is an XYZ Brand shoe. You’ll notice the high quality leather upper. The better the leather, the more it breathes and flexes over time. So, your feet don’t get hot and sweaty and the shoe will mold to fit your foot as you wear it.”

Here’s another.

“This shoe has a polyurethane outsole. The nice thing about polyurethane compared to a standard rubber outsole is it’s much lighter weight and more flexible while still being nearly as durable. So, your shoes won’t feel like they weight 1000 pounds, you’ll be lighter on your feet and less fatigued… without giving up durability.”

This is what we called the “FAB” technique.

Feature. Advantage. Benefit.

Leather upper. Polyurethane outsole.

That’s the feature.

And, it’s important because it’s something real and tangible you can point to about your product. Starting with it makes whatever you say more believable because your customer can see it right in front of them.

Lighter. More flexible. Breathes better.

These are all advantages.

Characteristics OF the feature that make it better.

This is the key link between the feature and the benefit.

It makes your benefit “make sense”.

And, not just sound like sales-speak.

Finally, the benefit. Less fatigue, more comfortable shoe, durability, feet that aren’t hot and sweaty… these are what the features and advantages MEAN to the customer and, ultimately, the only thing they really care about.

BUT…

You can’t just speak in benefits, otherwise it seems empty. By following this chain from real, tangible feature to ultimate benefit, you create a “logical path” that makes your sales presentation believable and real.

I sold hundreds of thousands of dollars of shoes this way.

So, think about how you can do this with your freelance services.

That said, this is one smaller part of the bigger technique which is to “productize” your services. And, you want to do that for a lot of the same reasons. It makes your services more real and believable to potential clients.

It makes your services fit more naturally with what your clients actually want.

Making them easier to sell.

Plus, it decouples your services from time.

So, you can charge more while working less.

Anyway, this is one of the things I cover (Lesson 5) in the first installment of my Freelancing 101 series called “What Services to Offer”. I teach you how to productize your services, pricing, picking the right niche, what services to offer and more.

As always, you can get access to it for nothing over on SkillShare.

As a teacher there, I can offer you an *exclusive* 2-month free trial of the site. So, just start the trial, take the course (plus any of the 21,000 other courses on the site) and just cancel before the 2 months is up.

And, you never pay a penny.

If you’re interested, the link with all the details is here: https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/niche

Later,

John

March 11, 2019

How Targeting Can Trump Credibility As a Freelancer

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Click to Subscribe to the Podcast via iTunes

Awhile back, I posted a video talking about how you can make more money in web design by laser-targeting the services you offer. Since then, I’ve received a little push-back from a few coders and I wanted to address their concerns.

Their two main arguments are:

  • Being too specific will cause you to lose jobs when you’re first starting out.
  • You have to build up credibility/rapport before you can start targeting more specifically

In the podcast, I cover both of these… but let me briefly summarize the points I made:

You CANNOT Get Too Specific. Period.

It’s as close to impossible as you can get… for you, as a freelancer, to get less business by targeting your services more specifically. Here’s why:

  • You only need a few regular clients (4-5) to sustain your business
  • It’s almost impossible to find a market on the web that doesn’t have 4-5 customers in it

Even if the number of clients you need is higher… say 10… it’s not 1 million or 10,000 or even 100. You couldn’t sustain that many clients anyway. In fact, once you start to get above 5 or so clients, it becomes un-manageable for you, as an individual, to handle all those clients at once.

So, you don’t need a ton of clients to sustain your business.

Even more, with the global nature of the web, it’s almost impossible to find a market with less than 10 or so customers in it. You probably could find one somewhere… but to do so, you’d have to get SO specific it would be obnoxious.

In practical terms, no matter how specific you get… you’ll always have enough customers to sustain you.

Specificity Will Trump Credibility in Many Instances

I go back to my contact lens example from the original post. I knew nothing about the brand of contact lens solution I bought. Even more, I HAD heard of the some of the other brands that were marketing themselves as “Multi-Purpose Solution”.

But, that didn’t matter.

I needed something very specific and I chose the product that marketed itself the best in that regard.

As a freelancer, you certainly want to build up your credibility. However, if you’re the only (or one of the only) people who can deliver a certain outcome for a client… guess what… they don’t really have a choice. They HAVE to choose you.

In fact, when you’re first starting out as a freelancer… one of the easiest ways to get clients right away is to offer a service that very few others can. Then, use that to build credibility and expand into other areas as you see fit.

What About You?

Tell me why I’m wrong. Or, why I’m right. What has your experience shown you? Let me know in the comments below.

September 3, 2013