Summer is here and it’s glorious.
Apparently this is supposed to be the hottest summer the UK has EVER had and, for that reason, I’m SO glad I’m a freelancer working to my own schedule. It means I can go and sit in the park and work, or take an afternoon off for a walk or a couple of drinks in a sunny pub garden.
“But I’m not at that stage yet!” I hear you yell at your screen, and that’s totally fine.
You might not be at the point in your freelance career where you can up and leave your desk for an afternoon, or you might still be working a full-time job, spending your afternoons dreamily looking out of the window wishing you were somewhere else.
Either way, it’s time to take action, right?
It’s time to give your business the kick up the butt it needs to get you where you want to be this summer. The days are longer, which means there are more hours to cram in more work, and it’s nice to put a time limit on a challenge.
So this is what I’m dubbing the Summer Success Challenge – will you join me?
The Summer Success Challenge
The summer success challenge is going to run in three phases. I’ll break each phase down in a moment, but as an overview we’re looking at:
- Phase One: Prepare Yourself
- Phase Two: Get it Together
- Phase Three: Put Yourself Out There
Think of these as mini-monthly challenges if you will, where each one feeds into the next one in a nice, streamlined way.
Phase One: Prepare Yourself
The thing with freelancing is there’s SO MUCH information out there.
When I started out three years ago, I had no idea what advice to listen to and what advice was a load of old crap. I didn’t know where the best places were to look for advice, and I had no idea if I was doing the “right” thing.
Days were spent scrolling through the listings on UpWork, and I wasted hours reading other freelancer stories and wishing my life was like theirs.
Newsflash: wishing doesn’t equal working and if you really want to be a success this summer, you’re going to have to put in the hours.
My suggestion here is to be specific.
Pinpoint the one area you want to prepare yourself the most for (I’d suggest something like onboarding clients, finding clients, or picking a niche) and choose a couple of courses and books to bone up on.
The key here is to ADD to your knowledge base rather than freeze up in the face of too many options.
This is exactly why I broke up the modules in Creative Freelancing Freedom into four manageable chunks that focus on different parts of the freelancing process:
- Laying down the foundations of your freelance business
- Creating a set of irresistible services
- Converting potential clients into well-paying gigs
- Mastering your marketing to consistently get new leads
(Until June 12th you can get Services Superhero as part of the incredible Work at Home Bundle, where you get $2,336.10 worth of amazing courses and e-books for just $47 – no, that’s NOT a typo! You save a whopping $2289!)
These are the four key parts of a freelance business and the only things you need to focus on at the start of building your business.
The biggest mistake new freelancers make is trying to do too many things at once.
They run webinars because they think that’s what they should be doing, they send out hundreds of pitches every day because they’re told to, and they’re doing everything else under the sun in the hope that something will stick.
But really? There are FOUR key things you need to focus on, and in the Summer Success Challenge, the first phase is all about boning up on them (you don’t have to actually start doing any practical work until phase two).
Phase Two: Get it Together
Now it’s time to put what you’ve been boning up on in phase one into action.
That means figuring out your service packages, your niche, and your marketing strategy. It means putting up a one-pager for your services and a brief website that outlines who you are and what you do.
This is the month where you get everything ready behind the scenes, and it’s actually a great exercise to do even if you’re a seasoned freelancer.
Sometimes we all need to go back over our strategies for each part of our business, and it’s something I’ll be doing this summer as well (hello brand new set of packages and price points!).
During phase two, you want to solidify exactly what your business is, who it services, and how it services them (a.k.a. you want to get it together).
There are four key steps in this phase:
- Nailing down your target client and why you want to help them in particular (I have a post on that here)
- Figuring out what services you want to offer and packaging them up into irresistible parcels (read more about that here)
- Putting it all together on a website and sending out the right message (read all about how to do that here)
- Figuring out how you’re going to reach those target clients and sell them your services (here are some ways you can do that)
Once you’ve got those areas figured out, you’ve got the backbone of your business in place (which is a whole lot more than a lot of freelancers have – even those that have been doing it for years).
Next, it’s time to start taking action and landing those target clients.
Phase Three: Put Yourself Out There
Remember when you figure out how to reach your target clients and sell them your services? Well, phase three of the Summer Success Challenge is all about putting that plan into action.
The entire month is dedicated to consistently carrying out your marketing strategy (no excuses, freelancer!).
If you’re struggling to come up with ideas, start with these:
- Send 5 cold pitches introducing yourself to companies that fit your target client persona every day
- Reach out and connect with 5 companies that fit your target client person on LinkedIn every day
- Attend 1-2 networking events in your niche each week in your local area
However you’ve decided it best to reach your clients, you want to go full steam ahead with it. Remember, it’s only for a month, so if you feel incredibly busy that’s a good thing. The idea is to get as many clients to bite as possible during this time.
By this point, you’ll have set up your website, you’ll have all your packages in place, and you’ll know exactly who your ideal client is, which means you don’t have to waste time doing things that aren’t getting you work.
After Phase Three
After phase three you should have a number of bites from clients that fit your ideal persona. The next step is setting up contracts with them and up-selling them on your services. If you find you don’t have as many bites as you’d like, you can continue phase three for another couple of weeks or even an extra month until you’re getting enough bites.
There you have it. This summer is all about success in freelancing and I want to help you reach all of your goals.
So tell me, will you be joining in the Summer Success Challenge? What do you hope to achieve by the end of it? Leave a comment below and join in the convo!
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