#79: Six-Figure Freelancing: Consistently Sending LOIs and Using Upwork, with Laura Pennington Briggs
Today’s guest is Laura Pennington Briggs. Laura is a teacher turned entrepreneur, two-time TEDx speaker and freelance writer. She’s the author of the award-winning “How to Start Your Own Freelance Writing Business” and the Amazon bestseller “Six-Figure Freelancer” and the founder of Operation Freelance. Laura started as a freelance writer and virtual assistant in 2012. Now, she continues to write but also does book marketing and book launch strategy for authors. She started out as a part-time freelancer. But after 18 months of freelancing—only six months of that as a full-time freelancer—she hit the six-figure mark. To get to that financial goal, Laura tracked her income and financial projections on a legal pad. Freelancers are often told not to go on Upwork, but Laura used Upwork to build and scale her business. In fact, she earned over $450,000 through the site over the years. But she points out that it’s important to have a strategy when you are using Upwork. When she was a new freelancer, she aimed to get Upwork jobs primarily for the feedback, not necessarily the fee, so that she could build good ratings on the site, opening the door to better and more work. She called these her “fast, cheap and simple” jobs to deliver the service easily and quickly to get a fast five-star review. She now has more than 200 positive ratings on Upwork, which lands her good work. You also have to know what the red flags are, such as clients with ridiculous expectations and a very long description for a simple, short project. Also, when clients tell you they’ve worked with lots of other freelancers before and it’s never worked out, that’s a red flag! You can also read other freelancers’ reviews of clients. Trust those reviews. The two ways that have worked best for Laura to find new clients have been Upwork and emailing cold letters of introduction (LOIs). Laura says if you send 50 LOIs and only one person responds, there’s something wrong with your LOI or your strategy. It’s important to take the time to research the client and explain why you like that company. Make the beginning of an LOI personal and hook the person. Don’t use a standard template for the entire LOI, which is a common mistake. Great tip: Laura emails an LOI, and then about 30 minutes later she connects with that person on LinkedIn saying, “Spoiler alert: I just pitched you via email.” Remember: Your perspective clients don’t really care about you, only that you’re qualified. So keep that part of your LOI to about two sentences and focus instead on how you can help them. Sending LOIs is also a numbers game—you need to send a lot to get responses. You cannot just send a 1–2 LOIs a week and expect to get a bunch of new clients. Laura recommends sending five pitches a week for three months, tracking them and seeing how people respond. Make it a weekly habit. Laura is a morning person. She works in batches based on the type of work, not the client. For example, she spends time on pitches for different clients during the same time slot, not focusing on all tasks for one client before moving on to another clients’ tasks. When it comes to pricing, Laura recommends newer freelancers take on smaller projects and try out their rate, rather than committing to a rate and a long-term contract. You should try out your pricing and make sure you feel comfortable with it. Experienced freelancers should examine their pricing every six months. Clients are paying not for your time, but your years of experience and expertise. Laura does not commit to pricing over the initial phone call. She tells potential clients she will get back to them by email. She may be nervous to quote over the phone, but she may also actually need the time to consider all aspects of the project and what it may truly cost and entail. Remember that you can negotiate everything, not just price. You can negotiate length, deadline, scope of work and the amount of communication (no phone calls, no strategy sessions unless they pay more). You can also give a discount if they sign a long-term contract. Laura advises that you have to get comfortable with calling the shots. You might feel like you’re pitching yourself as a freelancer to a client, but you have to believe that you’re a CEO too and you get to decide what your company policies and deal breakers are. Laura tried to be an agency owner for a year, outsourcing her writing to subcontractors. And she hated it. You do not have to outsource your client work if you don’t want to. Instead, if you want to scale, you can outsource certain pieces of the process, like marketing, administrative work, invoicing or LinkedIn outreach. Biz Bite: Hire a virtual assistant Resources: Laura’s website: Better Biz Academy Laura’s book “The Six-Figure Freelancer” Laura’s podcast: Advanced Freelancing
Freelance Writing Basics With Laura Pennington Briggs
Rhodes To Wealth
Freelance writing is one of the fastest growing fields in the gig-based economy, rapidly diversifying into highly-specialized niches that aspiring writers can seize and make money from. It also confers an undeniable advantage to writers who like to be in control of their own time. However, it’s not for everyone, and you have to be willing to put in quite a bit of effort for you to succeed in this business. How would you know if you’re qualified as a freelance writer? What are the things you need to know before starting your own business? Laura Pennington Briggs joins Joshua Rhodes to talk about this. A former teacher, Laura started freelancing as a side hustle but quickly surpassed day job earnings and hit six figures in just eighteen months. She has been working for herself full-time since 2013. This conversation covers all the basics of starting your own freelance writing business, from marketing and up-skilling to taxes and invoicing. Listen to this podcast and start embarking on a learning adventure and see if this low-risk, high-reward gig is for you.
Thought Fortunes Podcast ep 024: Becoming a Successful Freelancer with Laura Pennington Briggs
Wealthy Author Podcast
BARS from this episode: TAKES A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF TIME TO MARKET A BOOK. NOT SO MUCH TIME TO WRITE IT. Why it better to start your business as a side hustle How to decide when to leave your job What numbers to track while testing out your side hustle What happened when her publisher turned down her first book proposal How Laura edited her book using insights from advanced readers How to determine what to give away as downloadable resource Why an event attendee told Laura that she doesn't know who she is but sees her book everywhere The importance of creating a marketing plan ahead of book creation DON'T TAKE OTHER PEOPLES FEEDBACK AS A NEGATIVE VIEW EACH BOOK AS A LEARNING EXPERIENCE Why you should include your launch team early in the writing process How to build a marketing idea database How to recruit people for your launch team and transition them into advanced readers The two keys to becoming a successful freelancer How to schedule daily marketing THE BOOK IS THE ENTRY POINT FOR MY CORE OFFERING The one thing that separates paid freelancers from the underpaid WRITERS AND CREATIVES DO NOT HAVE TO BE STARVING ARTISTS Books mentioned: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert https://amzn.to/2TdKylA John Grisham books https://amzn.to/2uzRQrC Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte https://amzn.to/2HWTSoM The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle https://amzn.to/2w1aJnI Fav quote: “Aim at a high mark and you'll hit it. No, not the first time, nor the second time. Maybe not the third. But keep on aiming and keep on shooting for only practice will make you perfect.” - Annie Oakley Links mentioned: betterbizacademy.com/sidehustle www.betterbizacademy.com www.freelancewriting101.com www.linkedin.com/in/laurapenningtonwrites Do you have questions or comments? Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org If you want to turn your ideas into a branded book that books more speaking engagements and generates more leads and have a Signature Suite of products that generate more streams of income go to thoughtfortunepress.com and click on the Start Here button. That's thoughtfortunepress.com If you like the show, do us a favor. Share, like, and join. Take a screenshot and share the episode with the hashtag #thoughfortunespodcast. Show us how much you like us by giving us five stars and a review on iTunes. And, get into the conversation in the Facebook group: Write Your First Book. Until next time!
Laura Briggs is a former inner-city teacher turned entrepreneur, freelance writer, and author. She's also a military wife, domestic violence advocate, and Ph.D. candidate in public administration and policy writing my dissertation. Her first book is in the top ten in the Business Category for the "Author Academy Awards." She's also delivered two TEDx talks on the freelance economy.https://betterbizacademy.com/
EP 22. School Teacher To Full Time Freelancer & Published Author - Laura Pennington Briggs
The HUSTLR Podcast
I had the pleasure of hosting Laura on the show for this episode. She's a real hustler. When she decided that teaching wasn't what she wanted to do - she just took the leap into freelance writing. A few years down the line, she now manages a team of multiple writers and virtual assistants. She talks about the perks and habits that she's developed from working remotely and has relocated multiple times across the United States (her husband is an officer in the U.S. Army). She is currently dedicated to helping freelance writers succeed in their careers with her coaching courses at BetterBizAcademy.com and her newly launched book published alongside Entrepreneur Media. For more hustler stories, check out the other episodes on the HUSTLR podcast.Support the show (https://www.hustlr.com/podcast)
Ep. 246 - Starting a Six-Figure Freelance Writing Business with Laura Pennington Briggs
Pep Talks for Side Hustlers
Build a website in just 5 days (even if you're not techie) at www.free5daywebsitechallenge.com Already have a website? Take the Free "Jumpstart Your Website Traffic" marketing mini-course at www.jumpstartyourwebsitetraffic.com Leave a Review! My guest today is Laura Pennington Briggs of the Better Biz Academy, a former teacher turned freelance writer, entrepreneur, coach, and public speaker. She is a two-time TEDx speaker and the author of “How to Start Your Own Freelance Writing Business”, published by Entrepreneur Press. Today we’re talking about: How Laura started a side hustle as a freelance writer. Exactly how she shifted her business model from one time projects to repeat retainer clients. How she grew her side hustle while working full time. How she built a 6-figure business - without having a website! Why Laura pivoted to coaching freelancers, and exactly how she did it. How Laura went from knowing absolutely nothing about writing a book to getting published with Entrepreneur Press (and her advice for you if you want to do something totally new that you’ve never done before). Laura’s advice for someone who is struggling to get traction in their side hustle The one belief Laura had to change about herself to get where she is today. My favorite quotes from Laura: “Whatever your dream is, start putting yourself in the world of those people.” “As business owners, we hold the power to change anything.” “It’s equally valuable to know, “I don’t want to do this kind of project” as it is to say “this is my dream project”. Resources Mentioned in this episode: Better Biz Academy Advanced Freelancing Podcast Start Your Own Freelance Writing Business - The Complete Guide to Starting and Scaling from Scratch* Book TedX Talk - The Future is Freelancing Mastering Your Freelance Life with Laura - Facebook Group More About Laura: Laura is a freelance writer and entrepreneur who threw out her entire business model at the end of 2015 because she was was sick of working on unfulfilling contracts and outsourcing my work to subcontractors - a process that seemed to add far more work and frustration. Instead of continuing down Burnout Boulevard, she fired half her clients and kicked off the new year with some commitments: one of which was to only work with clients and subcontractors who allowed her to grow my business the way she wanted to. You can learn about Laura here. Connect with Laura: Twitter - @sixfigurewriter Facebook - The Freelance Coach Pinterest - Six Figure Writing Secrets Instagram @authorlaurabriggs
Using a Freelance Writer for Your Law Firm Blog with Laura Pennington Briggs - 028
Profit with Law: Profitable Law Firm Growth
Legal SEO is big business in the legal industry and many firm owners feel taken. So many vendors out there tout their ability to boost your firm in the Google search engine rankings yet most don’t deliver. Often you’re left to believe that you need to write your own engaging blog posts to move the needle which is a huge commitment and might not be what you’re good at. In this bonus episode interview, Laura Pennington Briggs shares how a freelance writer can take over that function for your firm. This was a great, insightful and actionable interview so make sure to take a listen. Shownotes can be found at https://www.profitwithlaw.com/028
Burning Your Business Model to the Ground with Laura Pennington Briggs
Classy on the Outside
Sometimes we solopreneurs and freelancers have to burn it all down to start fresh. Today's guest shares her story and illustrates the amazing results that can materialize once you have the courage to burn down a business model that no longer serves you. Read more over on the podcast Show Notes.
155 - "Start Your Own Freelance Writing Business" with Laura Pennington Briggs (@sixfigurewriter)
Going North Podcast
Don’t worry about what other people think when you are trying to achieve something. They might not even be thinking about you anyway. Today's featured author is former schoolteacher, freelance writing magician, and 3X TEDx speaker, Laura Pennington-Briggs. Laura "Fierce" and I talk about getting started as a freelance writer, different types of writing and tons more!!! Key Takeaways: We live in an amazing time where you have access to the tools that can help you learn any skill you want at a faster rate. Give yourself at least 5-10 hours a week for at least 1-2 months to learn copywriting. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is one of the easiest things that you can teach yourself to do. 90 % of Laura’s writing is for SEO. It’s in high demand. Search engines (especially Google) reward high-quality content, not keyword spam. Laura's Site: http://www.betterbizacademy.com/ Laura's 1st TEDx Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGY8vO3KRTk Laura's Book: https://www.amazon.com/Start-Your-Freelance-Writing-Business/dp/1599186454/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1560777608&sr=8-1 The opening track is titled "Pilot Wings Remix" by Rukunetsu (aka Project R). Click on the following link to listen and cop the full tune. https://soundcloud.com/rukunetsu/pilotwings-4-results Related Episodes: 4 - "My Cape Is At the Cleaners" with Wendy Elover (@wendyeloveracademymortgage): http://goingnorth.libsyn.com/going-north-podcast-episode-4-my-cape-is-at-the-cleaners-with-wendy-elover-wendyeloveracademymortgage 7 - "Teacher to Pro Speaker" with Robert Kennedy III (@robertkennedy3): http://goingnorth.libsyn.com/going-north-podcast-episode-7-teacher-to-pro-speaker-with-robert-kennedy-iii-robertkennedy3 83 - From Teacher to 6-Figure Freelance Writer (@nathansegal): http://goingnorth.libsyn.com/83-from-teacher-to-6-figure-freelance-writer-nathansegal 98 - "It Takes 10 Years to Be an Overnight Success" with Pamela Hilliard Owens (@YB2C_System): http://goingnorth.libsyn.com/98-it-takes-10-years-to-be-an-overnight-success-with-pamela-hilliard-owens-yb2c_system 110 - "Self-Intelligence" with Jane Ransom (@TheJaneRansom): http://goingnorth.libsyn.com/110-self-intelligence-with-jane-ransom-thejaneransom