Learn how to better optimize your work and its processes in order to create a profitable and scalable freelance business.
What You Will Learn
The Organized Freelancer
Being methodical and having efficient processes in place can make your freelance work more profitable and productive. But most freelancers don’t know how to set up those processes.
If you approach this matter with consistency and intention—taking time to concentrate on improving your processes—your freelancing business will grow. Very little should be left to chance.
Everything must be structured, organized and controllable. The onboarding process needs to be the same for every new client. Replying to an email should be a regular and on-time procedure. Even handling accounts requires a certain structure, because this is key to bringing order to a freelancing work and dodging mistakes along the way.
In this article, you’ll learn how to optimize your work and processes to create a scalable and growable freelance business—one that doesn’t fall into the trap of the feast or famine freelance cycle.
The Benefits of Optimized Business Processes
Optimizing processes is crucial for creating a profitable and successful freelance business. Since you exchange your time for money, every omission, delay or error will cost you revenue.
When you have to fix avoidable mistakes, you waste hours that could be spend working on something more profitable. If processes aren’t optimized, you will be more prone to making errors, forgetting details and skipping important steps.
Optimizing processes enables you to simplify operations when trying to handle many tasks simultaneously. When processes define every step,the entire procedure becomes simple—making your freelance project much easier to run.
This eliminates chaos and chance, instead bringing order to your work and eliminating errors and mistakes. You will no longer have to worry about:
Instead, you will seem like a person who is in control all the time and always acts professionally. This will build trust with your clients.
Onboarding New Clients
The onboarding process has two goals”
1. To enable a smooth transition from prospect to paying client
2. To create a less stressful environment for both the client and the freelancer.
You need to create a step-by-step process that you will follow every time you get in touch with a new prospect. For example:
Set expectations early on and over-communicate so prospective clients know their obligations and deliverables. The more communication happens, the better the project execution will be. You can also create standard emails that welcome new clients to the project.
Billing and payment collection may seem like boring time killers for freelancers, yet they are actually the most important tasks to complete correctly. If you improve them and develop processes for managing money, you will save time and collect overdue payments easily.
When invoicing clients, list the time for deposit collection and payment completion. Create the terms associated with payments such as net 15 and use a payroll card to optimize payment collection.
Set milestones for projects that, when completed, enable collection of a percentage of payment. Ultimately build a process for communicating your terms, conditions and billing cycles.
Billing and payment collection may seem like boring time killers for freelancers, yet they are actually the most important tasks to complete correctly.
Marketing and Sales
Managing the marketing funnel is also one of the crucial aspects of your freelance work. You must find new targeted prospects and convert them into leads. If this is done properly, you will become established in the market—allowing you to raise your rates and drive clients to your doorstep.
Many freelancers struggle with fear of approaching new clients. They procrastinate when creating their expert status and avoid networking like they’re still in a high-school. As a result, many growth opportunities are missed. But this doesn’t have to happen to you.
Develop a documented, detailed marketing process that will help you understand what actions should be completed daily, weekly or on a monthly basis. Discover the type of client you wish to work with. Participate in the community by sharing your expert knowledge. Search for places (both offline and online) where the clients hang out.
Accelerate Your Success
Keep track of people, discover their stories, listen closely and connect. People will never appear on your doorstep with immediate demands. Build a rapport and continuously connect with people.
Everyone makes mistakes, it’s unavoidable. But they can be minimized. Create the necessary steps to win your prospects’ hearts and minds and convert them into clients. Get good at this, and you will be able to grow your freelance business to new heights of success.
Emma is a digital marketer and blogger from Sydney, Australia, who writes for many online publications. She also acts as as Executive Editor at Bizzmark blog and is a guest lecturer at Melbourne University.