There’s a craze happening at the moment where people think it’s easy to quit their job and start making a six figure income in a matter of weeks.
This probably isn’t helped by the slew of courses, e-books, and blogs out there that tout “making millions quickly” as something that’s as simple as putting the kettle on and making a cuppa.
It certainly seems like anything is possible, thanks to the interconnected nature of the interwebs and its ability to let us travel to Rome, Singapore, and Buenos Aires in an afternoon without leaving the comfort of our sofas, and the rise of internet celebs who are famous because, well, they’re on the internet.
But I know you’re here for the truth. Because, even though the internet can make it seem like the world is your oyster when it comes to running a business and making millions, it can also be the thing the makes you want to bash your head against a wall and scream at a full moon.
Trust me, I’ve been there.
One day, I’ll be getting a flood of emails from new clients and shares all over the shop, and the next I feel like I’m in a glass cage trying to catch the attention of a pink unicorn.
You know how it is.
And, while I’m definitely not in the camp that says you can build a freelance business in a matter of minutes and start earning six figures ASAP, there are some things you can do to build a freelance business in a month.
That doesn’t mean you’ll be winning awards anytime soon, or that you can walk into your boss’ office tomorrow and show them what for. It simply means that it’s plenty of time to start building the foundations of a freelance business that will be lucrative and long-term.
Because, let’s face it, in the internet age, everything is now, now, now.
We want fast kicks right this moment instead of waiting for something better down the line. And, though there’s certainly no harm in knowing what you want damn well want right now, often these things bring us momentary pleasure – and they aren’t sustainable.
So, can you build a freelance business in just a month?
In short – yes. Here’s how:
1. Know Your End Goal
We’re not just talking about your goal for the end of the month, we’re talking about your big-time goal. The goal that’s the underpinning of everything you do in your business.
For example, your end goal might be to make $5,000 a month by being a graphic designer so you have more money (and time) to go on holiday with your kids. Or it might be to get a featured piece in Forbes. Or it might be to quit your job and start selling your handmade jewellery full-time.
Whatever your end goal is, you need to vocalise it and write it down somewhere, otherwise it stays in limbo land (a.k.a. your head).
When we say something out loud or make a note of it (like, actually put it down somewhere), it makes us more accountable to our actions. It makes it more “real”, though it might not make it seem achievable.
That’s what the next step’s for.
2. Get Some Smaller Goals
So now you’ve got your one goal to rule them all (a.k.a. where you want your life to end up), it’s time to start making it less scary.
To do that, you want to break it down into smaller, more manageable steps.
Let’s take the graphic designer who wants to earn $5,000 a month to go on more holidays. The next step would be to break that down into money goals and then actionable goals that will help REACH those money goals.
So, to make $5,000 a month, first figure out how many clients you need. Say you charge $2,000 for a website and have a package of printed goods for $500 (don’t shoot me for these prices, I’m not a designer!). That means to make a goal of $5,000 you need to sell 2 websites and 2 printed packages each month.
Now it doesn’t seem so bad, right?
The hard part comes next – figuring out what steps you need to take to get to this goal.
“To sell 2 websites and 2 printed packages each month I need to find at least 2 clients (a website and printed package for each). How do I find these clients?”
- Idea 1: You’ll need to have a place where you can show off your work.
No one’s going to hire you if they don’t know how good you are at what you do.
This means you need to create a portfolio of work, and a simple website where clients can find out who you are, what you do, and how you can help them.
Smaller goal: Create a website and portfolio.
- Idea 2: Go out and get ’em
When you’re first starting out and waiting to build a freelance business, you might not have many clients coming through your virtual doors (a.k.a. stopping by your website).
Which means you have to go out and get them (remember, now you have your website to show them when you find them!).
Step 1 – Figure out what kind of clients you a) want to work with and b) will help you reach that financial goal.
For example, one-man bands might not be able to pay $2,000 for a website, but a corporate company or a rising start-up might be able to.
This means you have a group of people to gun for when you’re going out to get ‘em (basically, it makes marketing your business a whole lot easier). Later on you can hone down your niche to another group WITHIN one of these circles (like start-up travel companies or start-up app brands), but for the first month, narrowing it down to something like start-ups is enough.
Step 2 – Now you’ve figured out who you want to reach, it’s time to go out and find them.
Start by researching where they hang out – is it on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook? Are there any specific Twitter chats and hashtags that cater to your ideal audience, or are there any Facebook groups that might have a few of your ideal clients in there?
Start making connections. Just say “hi”, be helpful, and share what they’re sharing so you get yourself on their radar. Make a list of brands and companies that you’d love to work for and are interacting with.
Step 3 – It’s time to supplement this list!
Head to good old Google and search for your ideal client (e.g. “start-up travel brands”). Browse around a few of their websites and consider how you could help make them better – maybe the navigation’s a bit confusing, or maybe their sign-up form isn’t visible, or maybe they don’t have any printed materials.
This is the time to swoop in and be their knight in shining armour.
Craft a personalised email to each brand you have in your list (there should be a fair few by now!) that states what you can help them with (get specific and refer to points they could improve on their website), who you are, and a link to your portfolio. Simple as that.
Step 4 – Repeat steps 1-3 until you have at least 2 clients picking up your services.
Smaller goal: The abstract goal here is making connections with potential clients and starting conversations with them. The more concrete goal would be something like, “email 3 new leads every day”.
So, from the bigger goal of “make $5,000 a month so I can go on holiday more with my kids”, we now have more manageable goals that will get you there:
- Create a portfolio and website
- Reach out to 3 leads every day
Already your first month is looking pretty promising, right? And not as scary as simply wanting $5,000 to land in your lap at the end of it.
But to build a freelance business in just a month, you need to be acting intentionally and consistently. It’s all well and good saying you’re going to email 3 new leads a day, but to get to where you want to be in 3 months, a year, 10 years, you need to be putting in the work every single day.
And in the first month, every single day counts A LOT.
3. Do Something Every Day to Move Forward
Your first month in business is vital a) for your confidence (if you’re not seeing any returns you might want to give up pronto), and b) to determine which direction your business will go in the future.
In that first month you have to be doing something every single day to move your business forward and to build it upwards. These things can be really small things, like, “reply to a potential client’s email”, or, “update my Twitter profile.”
It might not seem like a big deal in the moment, but every little thing adds up to paint a bigger picture – especially if you’re doing things consistently every day.
It’s like when people try to lose weight and, even though they’re working out every day and eating healthier, they don’t see the difference in how they look.
That’s because they look at themselves every day and their perception of themselves changes every time they look in the mirror to accommodate those changes.
However, if they have a friend who saw them at the start of the month and then didn’t see them again to the end, they would notice a MASSIVE difference.
So, even though it doesn’t feel (or look like) the little details are contributing to the bigger picture AT ALL, from the outside they are helping you build your freelance business into a stronghold – one that’s going to be sustainable and long-term, which is SO much better than a flash in the pan, right?!
Do you want to build your freelance business in just one month? There’s still time to join Launch Your Life as a Freelance Writer for a discounted price, so grab your space now!
What do you think? Is it possible to build a freelance business in a month? What steps would you take?
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