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Business
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Double Your Freelancing Podcast

Updated 3 days ago

Business
Technology
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Better Clients. More Money. A Happier Life.

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Better Clients. More Money. A Happier Life.

iTunes Ratings

72 Ratings
Average Ratings
70
2
0
0
0

Tons of helpful info on consulting and business development.

By "The" Mike Barber - Mar 12 2017
Read more
Great podcast! Working through all the episodes.

Talk about value bombs!

By Mike Smith26 - May 23 2016
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Brennan's Podcast is no joke. Full of actionable info.

iTunes Ratings

72 Ratings
Average Ratings
70
2
0
0
0

Tons of helpful info on consulting and business development.

By "The" Mike Barber - Mar 12 2017
Read more
Great podcast! Working through all the episodes.

Talk about value bombs!

By Mike Smith26 - May 23 2016
Read more
Brennan's Podcast is no joke. Full of actionable info.
Cover image of Double Your Freelancing Podcast

Double Your Freelancing Podcast

Latest release on Mar 19, 2019

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 3 days ago

Rank #1: S03 Episode 1: Roadmapping Strategies with Gabi Logan

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My guest today is Gabi Logan, who offers one-on-one coaching and has a recurring revenue knowledge base/database business, retreat center offering events, and weekly webinar. She also does high-end consulting engagement for travel destinations and serves as a certified executive coach.

On today’s episode, we discuss hurdles she has experienced with roadmapping in her consulting business to get more clients and increase revenue.

Today’s topics include:

  • Client Perspective: Addressing problems in time; clarifying what they
    need to work on
  • Branding Project: The big picture, what’s hot now, and where people
    really want to go
  • Consultation/Coaching Structure: Start with phone calls to determine
    client’s needs
  • Send a form/survey in advance; give a list of recommendations based
    on responses
  • What have you tried in the past? What worked and what didn’t?
  • Final Question: Is there anything else you would like to tell me?
  • Know mistakes client’s made in the past to avoid proposing the same
    option
  • Use call as an interview - what’s on your mind? Let client do the
    talking
  • If you’re not coaching or managing your client, engagement does not
    end well
  • Don’t be an order taker - strategic input gets less value and rates
    go down
  • Psychically know what clients want, but client does the work
  • Value your strategic input; roadmapping is a plan for the client
  • Give clients a taste of what it’s like to work with you, and what
    it’s like to work with clients
  • Market being flooded with incompetent remote providers
  • Curate relationships with clients; build trust and authority with
    clients early on
  • Having a plan helps prevent imposter syndrome

Resources and links:

Jul 10 2018

33mins

Play

Rank #2: Episode 26: John Sonmez on Marketing Yourself as a Developer

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Welcome to another episode of the Business of Freelancing Podcast. First I'd like to recognize a few recent 5-star reviews for the show. Much thanks goes to: sporkitover, rickwolf, justin_mw, jeff at ecoommercewarriors, ourumov7, kellyIriye for their reviews in iTunes.

Keep those reviews coming. It's a great way for me to know that the show is resonating with you and bringing you the resources that you're looking for.

The Business of Freelancing Conference tickets will be on sale soon. The show will be September 16-18 in Norfolk, VA. Sign up to get notified when tickets go on sale. I am really excited and honored when I look at the speaker lineup. We have the best from several industries to come share their knowledge with you at the conference.

Today I have John Sonmez on the show with me. John describes himself as a "Life coach for software developers". Starting a few years ago he built more than 7 days of course work on Pluralsight, which allowed him to quit his day job and ramp up his educational portfolio. John also quickly realized there was nobody focusing specifically on lifestyle coaching for software developers, and decided to focus his efforts entirely on that.

John and I talk about the power of creating content that comes directly from the questions that customers ask of you. Talking to a broader audience is so much more powerful than directly speaking to an individual. Marketing is the conversion of those conversations into an evergreen piece that "build the bricks" in your content machine.

To brige the gap between creating content and converting those fans into customers or referrals to other customers John says his go to is his email list. And the best way to build a high quality email list is through email courses. John says that his most valuable business asset is his email list, because of how often you can have a conversation with those members of your audience.

Lastly, to leave you with actionable takeaways from the show John has a challenge. In the comments below for this episode, let us know what action you took to create and update your blog. John will be monitoring the comments here and will pick one of the comments and send you a signed copy of Soft Skills: The Software Developer’s Life Manual.

Also, go to DevCareerBoost.com and use coupon code "DYF" to get $100 off our course on how to market yourself as a developer and move your career to a whole new level.

You can find out more about John over on his blog at SimpleProgrammer.com, or on Twitter @jsonmez. John also runs two podcasts: Entreprogrammers which is a recording of his weekly mastermind group. And Get Up and Code talks more to the personal side of being a programmer and entrepreneur.

May 19 2015

49mins

Play

Rank #3: Episode 3: Understanding Pricing

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Hosted by  Brennan Dunn and  Eric Davis

Show Notes

  • Fall in Virginia
  • Writing fiction
  • Pricing freelancing services
  • Double your freelancing rate
  • Reverse engineering your former salary
  • Value based pricing, value delivered to clients
  • Origins of your price
  • How to decide on a price
  • Cost plus – Cost of materials, cost of equipment, labor cost, and profit.
  • Commodity pricing
  • Lack of major expenses for freelancers when using a cost plus model
  • Cost of living
  • Market rate
  • Battle between supply and demand
  • High demand drive rates up, low demand drive rates down
  • Also a commodity based strategy
  • Economic substitutes
  • Imperfect market
  • Value based pricing (Consulting)
  • Hired as an investment
  • Goal is to make more money in the long run than the cost
  • Emotional need
  • Charge based on results
  • Reflecting on the customer’s business and proposing a solution to help
  • Using your skill (software, copywriting, etc) as a means to the end (business results)

Next Week

Interview with Nathan Barry. If you have any questions for him, post a comment below.

Resources

Brennan  -  Samson Meteor MicShush Mac app, and  The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing: A Guide to Growing More Profitably.
Eric  -  Million Dollar Consulting.

Action steps

Ask your next potential client questions that get at the business value of the project:

  • Why are you looking for this project?
  • What kind of financial outcomes are hoping a successful completion of this project will bring you?
  • What would you consider a failed project?

Try to get to the root of why the client is coming to you and see what you can do so you can deliver a substantial amount of business value to them.

Transcript

We’re hoping to get a transcript later.

Oct 10 2012

38mins

Play

Rank #4: Episode 33: Kai Davis on How to Build an Audience as a Freelancer, and Why You Should Start Today

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Our guest will be one of the speakers at our Norfolk, VA for the Business of Freelancing Conference this September. Kai Davis is an expert in building up an audience from scratch; building up your authority and targeting the clients you want to work with. If you’re looking to build an audience on your own you will love this episode.

In this episode, Kai explains the answer to the most important question any businessman asks himself. Who is my audience? And how are they related to an average freelancer like me? Does a personal touch or your own brand visibility play a major role in getting the right audience? Kai and I discuss building trust and value for the products and services you will be offering without sounding like a salesman. He mentions a lot of helpful tips on how to convert current contacts into income-generating leads naturally by delivering not just the job but also how to deliver great value as well for the customer’s business and in the end getting new referrals that would lead to other referrals.

We also talk about the degree of expertise needed vs. being exposed for being lacking in some areas. Understanding who you are and the solution you can offer to your client’s need, is an important point that needed looking into.

Kai also touches on the value of self-marketing and how you can convert it into a revenue generating activity. He explains the intricacies of the Tripwire concept, SEO and digital marketing, were interesting talking points that will educate your audience into signing up for your services.

If you would like to learn more about Kai and his expertise around audience building, head over to DoubleYourAudience.com or reach out to Kai on Twitter @KaiSDavis. As a special gift for Business of Freelancing listeners, Kai has put together a special checklist and video Q&A all around audience building and the steps you can take to get started today, head over to doubleyouraudience.com/dyf.

If you like today’s podcast, I would really appreciate you taking just a minute to leave a review for the show in iTunes. The show continues to climb in the iTunes rankings, in big part to all of you who have taken the time to leave a review and rating. Thank you so much.

Aug 03 2015

59mins

Play

Rank #5: S02 Episode 5: Automating for Sustainable Revenue with Jason Resnick

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Jason Resnick is a consultant who also educates other consultants on systemization and building sustainability via his program, Feast at Rezzz.com. His mission is to help other freelancers and agencies create recurring revenue using automation. Jason has developed his skills working in both the independent and corporate worlds, and has learned the ins and outs of what customers want and why they buy. More recently, Jason has leveraged personalization for his clients and himself which is essential for creating trust and building longer term relationships with clients. He sat down with Brennan to discuss what tricks he’s learned about building sustainability into his funnel.

  • What questions you’ll need to answer in order to personalize
  • How to demonstrate potential upside value
  • How to communicate with customers about their needs
  • How to increase lead quality and quantity

Jason Resnick has automated his business to be fully sustainable, bringing in recurring revenue for more than 8 years. His business grew out of his programing knowledge and experience working at large scale corporate organizations, but Jason has learned that some commonalities exist among clients no matter what the scale of the business they hire. His study of how consumers think, why they buy, and how companies fulfill or exceed their expectations has enabled Jason to become an expert marketer and to teach his automation strategies to other freelancers and agencies. He shared some of his expertise with us.

Developing the Skills

Jason started learning web development in the mid-late ‘90s when he was in college. He says at the time web development skills were looked at by employers like having a backyard pool: unnecessary but nice to have. He honed his craft while working at design agencies and Fortune 100 companies. Meanwhile, he leveraged his web design skills as a side hustle. Between side jobs and his full time work, Jason expanded his development knowledge, while he started to learn how to grow and run a business. In the DotCom boom and bust, Jason learned the importance of deliverables the hard way. He was laid off, but knowing he had the development skills and numerous freelancing gigs under his belt, Jason struck out on his own. Within a year, things failed to go as planned and Jason wound up back as an employee at an agency. This time, recognizing where he had fallen short, Jason paid extra attention in his new position to the business management side of things.

Eventually, when the time was right, Jason eagerly pursued freelancing full time again. A key factor in Jason’s interest in freelancing was that he wanted to be in charge of his own time. That’s why for Jason, automation was an essential part of his path to independence. As a one-man operation, he needed time-saving systems in place and he knew his clients would too. So Jason started out building websites with WooCommerce integrations. Today his offerings have expanded and now include him setting up entire automated marketing campaigns for businesses of all types that make online transactions.

Convincing Clients You’re Worth It

Brennan recalls being intimidated when he first started conducting paid consultations with clients. He says it became easier as he saw the positive results but asked Jason if he experienced any self doubt in his sales meetings while expanding his skills. Jason says the hardest part of these meetings for him was simply convincing clients that the automation would be beneficial. Clients didn’t believe the time investment upfront would produce any valuable changes in the long run. To address this common fear, Jason came up with a solution that provides a visible argument that it will. He builds custom KPI dashboards for customers that feature spreadsheets and graphs and show his clients’ transaction sequences. This is where paying attention to the client’s perspective comes in handy. Understanding the buyer’s journey and its nuances is the key to knowing how to measure a campaign’s success and to improving it. Diving deep into the customer’s experience not only allows Jason to better predict and evaluate the value his service will have on the agency he’s working with, he’s also better able to sell long-term services by speaking to their interests and needs. One drawback that Jason acknowledges is that having a shorter term project (as is frequently the case for independent consultants) does make it harder to gauge results, but this makes it all the more important to empathize with the customer whenever possible.

Evaluating Long-Term Business Needs

Jason believes the business should drive the technology instead of the other way around. As a result, he doesn’t mind telling businesses if his skills are not going to be helpful to them. Although a customer’s buying decision is usually made before they ever contact the business, focusing on the lifecycle of a customer helps Jason know what he needs to do next. He says his first task is to find out what areas of the cycle he can stream-line to accelerate the customer’s time to purchase. One way to demonstrate your ability to address the customer’s need is with personalization.

Jason started pursuing personalization when he was preparing to go on a three week honeymoon. He started wondering what his clients’ businesses would look like after he was gone for nearly a month. How would that time away continue to impact the businesses months down the line? This longer-term thinking prompted him to start asking his clients what they needed from him which incited further questions like “what am I doing for them that could be recurring in their business?” Additionally, Jason recognized that different businesses had different peak seasons and events that require prepwork or extra attention leading up to them (e.g. non profits often needed more help in the spring to prep for summer events, and product sites need more help in the fall leading up to Black Friday). In anticipation of these various events, Jason began regularly meeting with organizations to find what they needed and also what they liked about working with him/where he could improve. He learned lot during these chats that he says would not have been brought to his attention had he not stepped into his client’s shoes.

Jason was also trying to build a bigger client base on his own (naturally it had been easier to find clients as an employee). Jason started to look at his own leads and considering who they were and what they wanted. He distilled what he learned from the client calls to a set of 5 or so things and set up emails with trigger links that corresponded to them. He then sent those emails to his list. He garnered some valuable information from the experience including solid examples of what services respondents were looking for and also features he could package as products that he hadn’t considered before. For example, Jason says he over-communicates via email when possible but learned through this experience that calls are sometimes better for others. The results prompted him to change his marketing as well as his service offering and the new version included a phone call option. At the time, most of Jason’s work was agency overflow work and ecommerce companies rather than working with coaches or individuals. The data Jason gathered gave him the knowledge to open up this whole new audience and help other freelancers discover their client’s pain points and how to address them.

Building Recurring Revenue with Business

The more Jason showed leads what they wanted, the more he noticed changes in who was coming to him. He received project briefs from many new people and the quality of his leads increased as well as the numbers. Jason chalks this up to giving leads more of what they wanted through automation. When Jason asked these new customers the first question: “why did you sign up with me?” responses included “You’re responding to me weekly,” or “I want you to create a custom dashboard for me.” While this question remained relatively intact in every version, Jason says the form a given client actually sees changes based on the client’s intent -- that is, someone wanting help with digital marketing will see something different from someone who wanted a custom page. Today, Jason’s form is designed to get to those answers worked out pretty quickly.

Brennan likes that the trigger links allow users to self subset. When tracking their funnel, most people stop at calculating whether each lead is resulting in a conversion. For Jason, segmentation helped him provide better service by narrowing the gaps in what customers want. Brennan asks if his numbers are sorted further and how clients are responding. Jason says they’re happy and his sphere of influence has shifted to include a few coaches and other professions. Email marketing has become a huge part of Jason’s life since that is where his best customer is found. These listeners are intelligent and focused. They like that Jason will listen to and care about their own bottom line rather than his own (as an agency would most likely do). Personalization has allowed Jason to expand his offerings and change his business, again putting the customer’s need in front of what technology can do.

Where to next?

What comes next? Jason wants to take the skills he has learned helping other people and their businesses and apply them to his business. His next goal is to create more of a back and forth dialogue with his audience, allowing them to ask him questions and allowing him to service their exact needs. Jason says he’s a better salesperson now thanks to automation enabling him to give customers what they want, and telling him when they’re ready to buy it. With his current focus on lifecycle-based marketing, Jason is keen to try more and more personalization to create a more human sales process -- a goal that ironically, will likely involve even more automation.

Jason is a WordPress developer by trade, and has focused solely on WordPress for several years now. He “grew up” learning Java, went down the Ruby on Rails path, all the while doing custom PHP development. Jason and lives in Oceanside, New York with his wife Joanna and their son, TJ. He enjoys nothing more than spending a ridiculous amount of time with them, family and friends.

May 15 2018

36mins

Play

Rank #6: Episode 25: Jonathan Stark on Risk Mitigation through Fixed Bid Pricing

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Welcome to another episode of the Business of Freelancing Podcast. This week I am joined by my good friend Jonathan Stark. Jonathan is a mobile strategy consultant, having worked with flagship brands such as CVS, Staples, Time, and Nokia. Today Jonathan also focuses on helping other freelancers get the most out of their businesses by promoting the same value based approach to their agencies that I support.

Today Jonathan and I get a chance to dig in to some of the details around how to approach problems of creating a culture of value based pricing within your agency and how to win with a fixed price model versus your competitors who will often be delivering lower priced bids than you. This is achieved through the risk mitigation of your proposal in the client's eyes.

Finally, Jonathan and I talk through how to manage scope creep, change orders by customers, and seemingly micromanagement of customers in the details of your work.

Jonathan was kind enough to offer an exclusive discount on his coaching services, just for DYF listeners. To get over $500 off his one-on-one coaching programs go to expensiveproblem.com/dyf

You can learn more about Jonathan on his agency site at JonathanStark.com, check out his podcast with co-host Kelli Shaver, or contact him directly on Twitter @JonathanStark.

Also, I am very excited to announce that the Double Your Freelancing Conference has been formally announced. Subscribers of my newsletter got first word of it in this week's edition. We are tentatively scheduled for the event to be in my home town of Norfolk, VA on September 17-18. Guest speakers will include Kai Davis, Brian Casel, Allan Branch, Ed Gandia, Jonathan Stark, Kurt Elster, Mojca Mars, Nathan Barry, Philip Morgan, Sarah Bray, and Steli Efti. To find out more about the conference head over to doubleyourfreelancing.com/conf/

If you enjoyed the show today, and these types of interviews, please head over to iTunes and leave a review for the show. It helps the show get more visibility in the Freelancing space and allows me to bring great guests on the show to help build up your freelancing business.

May 04 2015

48mins

Play

Rank #7: Episode 34: Nick Disabato on Using Productized Consulting to Scale Your Agency

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Welcome to the Business of Freelancing Podcast.  Today I am talking to Nick Disabato, a good friend who is the founder of Draft Revise. As well as the author of Cadence & Slang, a guide to interaction design. Draft Revise is a service that helps companies optimize their content. Nick and I are going to discuss the company he’s built, how he’s done it, and what advice he has for those wanting to get into productizing.

Nick is the go-to-guy for productize consulting. Productizing Consulting is a service based on personal experience and expertise. Companies hire productize consultants to troubleshoot their business. Once a month or every quarter Nick’s company will test your business website to see if your site is functioning at full optimization.

Along with an explanation of his company’s service Nick explains why he makes the choices he does in his business. Including:

  • Why he is selective about his customer base.
  • How “boring work” can still be a good thing when it is steady.
  • Don’t base price on a set fee. Look at the customer needs.

Nick’s service is not for beginners. He thinks the best way to move into full-time freelance is to start small. Research your client base and educate yourself on your niche in the market. You are providing a service, understand why you are providing that service.

To learn more about Nick Disabato visit nickd.org for a more personal introduction and visit draft.nu for a business one. Also check out Nick’s book Cadence & Slang.

Thanks for listening today and i you have a few minutes click over to iTunes and please leave us a review of the show. We have more great content coming in the months to come!

Aug 27 2015

40mins

Play

Rank #8: Episode 62: Meryl Johnston on Growing a Six-Figure Productized Service

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My guest today is Meryl Johnston, founder of the international accounting agency Bean Ninjas. She has a background in accounting and began her first business as a consultant. She has grown her current business from the ground up and is now generating over $100,000 in recurring revenue through monthly productized bookkeeping services. We discuss her career, how she transitioned to a productized service business and lessons learned along the way.

Today’s topics include:

Transition from consulting to productized services
Launching in seven days and growing the business through referrals
Developing product offerings and pricing strategy
Lessons learned since launch: hiring, customer niches
Aligning marketing to customer niche
Sales processes for productized services versus consulting
Value of informational sales calls

Resources and links:

Bean Ninjas

Dan Norris - 7 Day Startup

Trello Project Management

You Need a Budget

Double Your Freelancing Meetup Groups

Double Your Freelancing Academy

FreshBooks

Like the Podcast? Help us!
If you enjoy the Double Your Freelancing podcast, support us to keep it going!

Subscribe on iTunes
Leave us a 5-star review on iTunes
Share the podcast with your friends

Hopefully the fact that your show of support will keep the podcast going is reward enough for you. But we want to sweeten the deal for you even further:

After you’ve published your review, send an email to kai@doubleyourfreelancing.com. You’ll get an exclusive video from Double Your Freelancing Conference — James Clear's talk on Developing Better Work Habits — absolutely free. Click here to make it happen!

Oct 17 2016

44mins

Play

Rank #9: Episode 64: Kelsey Kreiling on Client Happiness

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My guest today is Kelsey Kreiling, co-founder of Presence Agency and creator of Week of the Website, a productized website design business. Kelsey is a designer and website builder who has grown multiple businesses from the ground up. Her newest business, Week of the Website, builds amazing websites for their customers in only five days. On today’s episode we discuss her experience transitioning from client work to a productized service business model.

Today’s topics include:

Getting started in productized services,
Focusing clients for success with clear communication,
Using set processes to streamline service products,
Building referral channels and recurring revenue,
Opportunities for productized services in your own business

Resources and links:

Double Your Freelancing Academy

Week of the Website

Week of the Website - Website planning tool

Presence Agency

Kelsey Kreiling - Website

Kelsey Kreiling - LinkedIn

Kelsey Kreiling - Twitter

FreshBooks

Like the Podcast? Help us!
If you enjoy the Double Your Freelancing podcast, support us to keep it going!

Subscribe on iTunes
Leave us a 5-star review on iTunes
Share the podcast with your friends

Dec 12 2016

44mins

Play

Rank #10: Episode 63: Joanna Wiebe on The Rule of One

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Today I’m talking with Joanna Wiebe, the founder of CopyHackers.com. CopyHackers is an online resource for everything you need to know about copywriting, including many informative case studies. Her new project, Airstory, is a fantastic content production tool for high-performance writing teams. Joanna taught me how to write effective sales copy and on today’s episode we discuss her Rule of One: how you can make sure that when you do write, your writing is focused on talking to one customer archetype.

Today’s topics include:

The Rule of One: 4-part definition and implementation,
Niched marketing and personalized customer experience,
Creating a reader archetype,
Stages of customer awareness: problem, solution and product,
Big ideas and your promise to the customer,
Analyzing your offer to find missing details,
Questioning common “best practices”

Resources and links:

Double Your Freelancing Academy

Drip Email Marketing Automation - Double Your Freelancing Course

CopyHackers.com

Airstory

Joanna Wiebe - Google+

Joanna Wiebe - Twitter

Joanna Wiebe - LinkedIn

FreshBooks

Like the Podcast? Help us!
If you enjoy the Double Your Freelancing podcast, support us to keep it going!

Subscribe on iTunes
Leave us a 5-star review on iTunes
Share the podcast with your friends

Nov 28 2016

55mins

Play

Rank #11: Episode 31: Mojca Mars on Getting Clients through Social Media

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Welcome to Episode 31 of The Business of Freelancing Podcast. Today I’m very excited to bring on my good friend Mojca Mars. Mojca will be a speaker at the Double Your Freelancing Conference in September, and I will be working with her personally in the near future as well.

Mojca had a quick start to her current consulting agency, Super Spicy Media, by getting those initial first customers via Twitter. Now she says that the majority of her customers actually still come from Twitter and the engagement she’s built there over time. Adding value is core to her approach to social media.

Don’t spam people, don’t use automated tools to send massive amounts of posts, and don’t try to use hashtags to reach new people. Add value, answer people’s questions, and engage in a meaningful dialogue and you’ll also see the return on investment that Mojca has seen too.

Almost all of us have personal Twitter and Facebook accounts. Should we have business accounts too? Mojca says it depends on the business, but for most freelancers their businesses are so closely mirrored to their personal profiles it just doesn’t make sense. It usually just will create more work, and not have a lot of upside.

As powerful as social media tools like Twitter and Facebook are, Mojca still says that building an email list is the first thing that most business owners should do. The conversation usually goes over to social, but starting it on email is a great way to begin a conversation.

For those of you just getting started, Mojca says to start with a finite amount of time on each platform, and have a plan in mind before you get started. As you begin to get engaged with your target audience, look to test your approach early and often. If what you’re doing is working then you can do more of it, if it’s not then try something new and iterate the process.

You can reach out to Mojca (not surprisingly) via Twitter @MojcaMars.

Jul 13 2015

33mins

Play

Rank #12: Episode 57: Ryan Waggoner on Feast and Famine

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I’m super excited to share today’s interview with Ryan Waggoner with you. Ryan has an amazing consulting business and is pushing more than a million a year in profit. Ryan is killing it with mobile consulting, where a lot of people in that space struggle to make $100,000 plus. Ryan is an all around sharp guy, but I’m specifically bringing him on because he is really good at cash flow management. He has a great perspective on splitting up personal and business finance, and I want to capture that story.

Ryan has been freelancing for 10 years. He started with website development and now he helps startups build mobile apps and know what not to build. Because there is a 6 to 8 week lead time in Ryan’s business, he always focuses on doing business development to avoid those feast or famine times when there is no work or too much work. He has a background process where there is always some form of business development going on.

Today’s topics include:

The emotions and behaviors of business and personal finance are intertwined
Budgeting to pay yourself a stable amount every month no matter what you bring in
Having a monthly buffer, depending on how long the lead time for projects are and where your monthly budget falls
Getting recurring revenue can also help buffer the situation and put you into a good psychological place
Getting very disciplined about budgeting, getting out of debt, and saving an emergency fund, can make life less stressful and make business decisions easier
Even if your monthly recurring doesn’t cover all of your expenses, it helps relieve the stress and make covering the expenses easier
Ryan and his wife both freelance
Once they started making money and getting a bit ahead, they started putting money in IRAs on a monthly basis
Treating your savings like a bill and having a tax strategy and a solo 401K is a good idea
Successful freelancers should take advantage of some of the amazing tax advantages we have
Automatic payments and savings as much as possible
Big fan of “I Will Teach You To Be Rich”
Have a backbone of recurring income and be smart and don’t burn through all of your money on a good month, save if you can
When your income isn’t enough, do whatever you can to cut expenses and save a buffer,
Having 3 to 6 months in the bank help you make an investment in yourself and fire bad clients
It’s hugely freeing to take big chances on yourself
Being desperate for money can lead to bad decisions
Billions on Showtime - money that allows you to tell people I don’t need your business
Often, what holds entrepreneurs back from making big business decisions and taking big leaps is not having enough money to feel secure
The truth is my Ryans income became higher because he got his personal finances together - the psychological space to treat his business like a business
Dumb business decisions tie back to fear related to money
Ryan has a hustling mentality and he is good at sales, people good at sales can get in trouble by spending too much, because they assume they can make more
This strategy works until it doesn’t

Resources and links:

Ryan’s Website

Twitter @RyanWaggoner

I Will Teach You To Be Rich

Let’s Make Apps.io

Firstmillionisthehardest.com

Like the Podcast? Help us!
If you enjoy the Business of Freelancing podcast, support us to keep it going!
Subscribe on iTunes
Leave us a 5-star review on iTunes
Share the podcast with your friends
Hopefully the fact that your show of support will keep the podcast going is reward enough for you. But we want to sweeten the deal for you even further:
After you’ve published your review, send an email to kai@doubleyourfreelancing.com. You’ll get an exclusive video from Double Your Freelancing Conference — James Clear's talk on Developing Better Work Habits — absolutely free. Click here to make it happen!

Jun 20 2016

41mins

Play

Rank #13: Episode 4: Selling Through Teaching With Nathan Barry

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Hosted by  Brennan Dunn and  Eric Davis with guest  Nathan Barry.

Show Notes

00:19 – Nathan Barry ( twitterblog)

01:14 – Show topic goals

  • Building a passive income stream outside a freelancing business
  • Balancing client work while developing products
  • How product offerings affected his freelancing business
  • Building products while freelancing

01:53 – Nathan’s professional career background
03:35 – Products to supplement a freelancing income
05:06 -  OneVoice
06:59 – Building products while freelancing
08:12 – Having multiple revenue streams
09:44 -  Commit
10:33 – Marketing

  • The product business feeds the freelancing business
  • Having your own projects generates business

12:36 – Books as the new business cards
14:37 – Getting paid to get leads
15:02 – Gaining trust and reputation
17:30 – Becoming the authority and educating and influencing clients

  • Offering freebies
  • Inexpensive products
  • Blog posts and mailing lists

22:48 – Teaching what you know and giving away information generates income
26:49 – Repeating your message

Resources

Nathan  -  Smashing Magazine’s The Mobile Book
Brennan  -  WiseCash
Eric  - The Entrepreneur’s Notebook: Part 1Part 2Part 3

Action Steps

Start teaching. Setup a blog, pick 1-3 topics you know and want to be known for, and write them. Don’t over-think it, just start teaching.

Transcript

We’re hoping to get a transcript later.

Oct 18 2012

34mins

Play

Rank #14: Episode 5: Content Marketing For Freelancers

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Hosted by  Brennan Dunn and  Eric Davis.

Show Notes

  • 00:10  - Content Marketing
  • Making information available for personal gain/recognition
  • Duct Tape Marketing: John Jantsch
  • Getting to know you
  • 03:51  - Getting content in front of people
  • Blogging
  • Screencasting
  • Publishing eBooks/PDFs
  • Podcasting
  • 05:24  - Promoting and building an audience
  • Write with the intention of appealing to a specific audience
  • Collect email addresses
  • Infographics
  • 07:38  - Appealing to potential clients and peer developers
  • Be business-focused
  • Hold impromptu marketing events
  • Referrals
  • 10:27  - Working locally and organically
  • Building bits of content that reinforces what you’re good at
  • Revealing specifically where you are located and how to contact you
  • 13:14  - Advantages of working locally
  • Time zone
  • In-person meetings
  • Puts people at ease
  • 14:26  - How to market and network
  • Chamber of Commerce events
  • Community College talks
  • Libraries
  • 16:32  - Recycling and tweaking content
  • 16:49  - Online marketing
  • Guest blogging
  • Podcast interviews
  • Establish yourself in different communities (i.e. Facebook)
  • 20:16  - Figure out your niche

Resources

Eric  -  Levenger Circa and  Staples Arc notebooks.  15 Minutes to a More Creative You: Steve Leveen

Brennan  -  5 Pricing Tips to Earn More on Client Projects: Ruben Gamez

Action Steps

Instead of writing a blog post for your own blog, find a different blog or a podcast that accepts guests and get yourself booked.

Next Week

Sales Pipelines

Transcript

We’re hoping to get a transcript later.

Oct 29 2012

30mins

Play

Rank #15: Episode 60: Todd Tresidder on Financial Independence

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My guest today is Todd Tresidder, a former hedge fund manager and founder of FinancialMentor.com. He is a personal finance and investing expert coach who teaches how to grow wealth and reach financial independence. He emphasizes the importance of personal development and fulfillment in attaining the goal of financial freedom.

A self-made millionaire himself, Todd’s FinancialMentor.com programs provide a step-by-step blueprint for building wealth. Visit Todd at FinancialMentor.com for free resources, courses, financial coaching and advice.

Today’s topics include:

  • Conceptualizing the importance of retirement and making it a priority
  • The journey to financial freedom as a freelancer
  • Controlling expenses is important, but increasing your income is less limited
  • Adding value to yourself by being a revenue increaser, not an expense to your client
  • The goal is not just to be rich but to experience fulfillment and happiness
  • The Rule of 300/400: For every $1000/month you spend it takes $300,000-$400,000 dollars in assets to support that
  • The three classes of assets: business entrepreneurship, real estate, and stocks/bond/mutual funds
  • Building passive assets as revenue streams
  • Growing equity slowly instead of “getting rich quick”
  • Formula for wealth: Make more than you spend, and invest the difference wisely
  • People will pay for one thing, which is a solution to their problem.
  • Formula for business: traffic x conversions = profit

Resources and links:

FinancialMentor.com

How to Design Your Life to Create Financial Independence

52 Weeks to Financial Freedom

Twitter @financialmentor

Double Your Freelancing Rate

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If you enjoy the Double Your Freelancing podcast, support us to keep it going!

Subscribe on iTunes
Leave us a 5-star review on iTunes
Share the podcast with your friends
Here is what one loyal listener had to say about the Double Your Freelancing podcast:

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Sep 12 2016

47mins

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Rank #16: S01 Episode 5: How to Master SEO With Simple Changes with Matt Olpinski

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Matt Olpinski is a full-time independent design consultant based in Rochester, NY. He has been designing user interfaces and websites for almost a decade, many of them leading to rapid user growth, large increases in sales, and millions in startup funding. Matt has designed native apps, responsive web apps, e-commerce websites, and marketing websites for clients in many industries including: fitness, shopping, video, food & beverage, industrial, law, education, automotive, music, social, SaaS, enterprise, non-profits, and more.

Matt Olpinski is a UI and UX designer who had over 200 viable project leads in 2017. Through casual, but precise SEO, he’s become an expert in giving clients what they want. Matt’s site ranks extremely well on Google searches in his niche and with minor site tweaks, he’s ensured these leads go from “shopping around” to conversion. He shared some of his techniques with Brennan in this week’s DYF podcast on Lead Generation through SEO.

Takeaways:

  • How to create a useful message
  • What simple changes can you make for better SEO
  • How to use case studies to build trust
  • How to boost traffic with social media
  • How to close the deal over the competition

Independent UI designer, Matt Olpinski never intended to freelance full time. After college he was looking for a comfortable job to make a comfortable life, and he was just freelancing on the side. Despite this side-hustle approach, Matt’s designer instincts always had him aiming for a “pixel perfect” portfolio and site. Through his refining, he stumbled on some strategies that made too big an impact to ignore, and he shared some of these tactics with Brennan on this episode of the DYF podcast.

The first big change that drove Matt’s shift towards great SEO was seeing an early edition of Double Your Freelancing’s The Blueprint. The course changed Matt’s outlook as he realized there was more potential to grow his freelancing business if he began to focus on his clients rather than himself. Just by changing his focus and positioning, Matt increased his leads, rate, and ranking, but at first he didn’t really understanding why. After some investigation, Matt realized that simply providing what clients were looking for (and presenting it that way) made him a better search result for Google to come up with, thereby increasing his SEO. From there, the growth compounded. So what actual changes lead to this turn around?

The Little Things

Matt’s original site was similar to many freelance web designer’s sites in that it said, “I'm a UX Designer. I built websites. Here's my work. Here’s how you contact me.” When he shifted focus, Matt’s site’s design, copy, and language changed. It now sounded more like “Hi, I’m Matt, I build websites that help businesses grow.” He started thinking like a client and his testimonials began highlighting metrics clients might find valuable and associate with project success. He found that clients don’t necessarily care about fancy transitions, they care about what Matt is going to do for their website. Matt also found that when they get to his site, leads have obstacles to overcome before hiring him, so he recognized that his site was an opportunity to address and allay those obstacles.

Matt’s approach was a little more laid back than it could have been since he had a fulltime job and still viewed freelancing as his side project. However, small tactical changes made a big difference in traffic. He ensured his page titles were consistent, wrote unique page descriptions for each of his big pages (home page, service page, project page). He found that by making descriptions unique helped instead of having either nothing or a generic description that shows up on every page. He rewrote/shortened his page slug URLs and took out breaks and stop words. Matt approached the changes not as an expert, but just looking at the logic of creating desirable content. Although SEO has a slimy reputation, Matt points out that there are a lot of very simple changes others can do to increase the viability of their site. Plus, giving clients what they want (and making it easy to find) is a win-win strategy.

What Clients Search For

As Matt began consciously optimizing, he asked himself, “What are my clients searching for?” There are numerous tools and lists to help users find the best search terms, and as a designer, Matt turned to Dribble and Behance. As he reverse engineered popular searches, Matt realized that he learns three things about his clients through their search terms:

  1. What task his customers wanted to complete: (search terms might be
    UX Design, UI Design, or Web Development).
  2. His clients’ geographic location (if they're in New York, they might
    type in UI Designer in New York).
  3. What kind of person they wanted to hire (freelance, consultant,
    agency etc).

Now Matt discovers what the customer wants in their own words, and because of this, he’s better able to provide and present it. For example, he could answer the above queries by titling his page: “Matt Olpinski, Freelance UI Designer, New York.” To prove his theory, Matt asked clients what they searched to find him. In addition to validating this theory, this data has informed further SEO.

Brennan points out that tools like Google Search Console can also trace what terms people actually used to get to your site and where they landed etc. Information on adjacent searches can allow sites to pull in traffic that might have skipped them otherwise. For example, he says Matt could add content to draw in people looking for a UX Development Agency in NY. This content could actually be an argument convincing them of why they should use a freelancer instead. Of course with his current success, Matt isn’t looking to make any harder sells, but Brennan points out that there is always opportunity for further optimization.

What Clients Find

Content has made a big difference in Matt’s ability to project authority and and he has found case studies to be his preferred format. Initially, Matt’s site featured images with captions to let the work speak for itself. He has since flipped this model to show each project’s process and how his decisions impacted each business. Although he only presents 6-8 projects on his site, Matt writes extensively about each one. He writes not just what he did but also why he did it, and the thought process behind each action. This humanizes the work and Matt has taken this further by integrating the related testimonials directly onto the project page. Instead of just presenting a menu of services, Matt’s site explains what UI and UX design are and how they might be used in a project; “Instead of just listing what I can do, I tell people why that's important for them,” says Matt.

Other ways that Matt shares his process and builds authority include his blog, his newsletter, and guest posts on freelancing websites. Not only does this content help SEO by keeping his site relevant, Matt says that when a client sees he’s written over 60 articles on a topic, they know that he is a good choice to hire.

Brennan agrees that seeing inside a potential collaborator’s head is key to building trust. It can help clients feel justified in making a purchase. He suggests that if you’re struggling to find blog topics, write about a few ideas that came out of your latest sales meeting (without giving away too much specific project information). The details of brainstorming are helpful. As an example, Brennan mentions a client meeting with a realtor that he wrote about. The realtor wanted to follow up with clients after they’d bought a house from him so that they use him again when they sell it five years down the line and he could gain referrals. Brennan built software to remind the realtor a month after the purchaser is settled in, to check in and ask “How are the neighbors, what do you love about the house?” etc. While the specifics seem mundane to the developer who lived through it, their audience might actually find them useful/inspiring, and potential clients are energized by the success story. This is exactly what Brennan looks for when he hires people too. He says, backing convincing sales copy with “the Mind of Matt Olpinski” insights is a much stronger draw than the copy alone.

To make things easier on his leads, Matt places most of these thought process insights into his case studies. That way a client doesn't have to look through a bunch of articles to piece together how he thinks. They see his work on the landing page and can click into the project to read about how it came to light. Matt tries to include the “before” version of the project before his changes so that he can show where it came from and where he took it. “Seeing that transition is really valuable,” he says.

Blog posts drive traffic in conjunction with social media updates also. Matt finds that most of this traffic is from other freelancers, but he has had some project inquiries from these articles. For the most part, Matt’s audience is split in two. He has the clients on the consulting side of his business and the “level up you career by joining my newsletter,” peer side of his business. Although the sides are separate (color cues and other dividers make this clear to site visitors), Matt believes the freelancer side of his site probably helps reinforce the idea that a potential client should contact him. It builds his authority/credibility while not directly serving the needs of his consulting clients. It tells these clients about his professionalism.

Outshining the Competition

No matter how high the rankings, potential clients are probably shopping around for service providers and won’t stop at just one site. So how does Matt draw clients back to his? He feels the primary draw is his “what do clients want?” approach. Matt hopes his clients get to his site and say “Oh, that’s exactly what I wanted to hear!” instead of just seeing a portfolio and contact information. From simple changes in the copy, to thinking about what buttons clients want to have available, and eventually what details they need to see about his process, Matt works to give clients what they’re looking for and so far it sets him miles apart.

Brennan acknowledges a necessary balance between speaking the language of business and speaking the language of design. Using the right search terms in the right places, proving his design skill and talking to the prospective clients about THEIR business allows Matt to stand out. Matt also argues depth of content is a huge benefit. Even if some of his content is not directly what a client is looking for, all of his content matters and drives visitors to the site which boosts his ranking --the freelancing side gets him the clicks so the consultant side can find him easily. Having an older domain helps too, but Matt says not to worry, it isn’t the end of the world if you don’t.

In the end, providing what clients want, also answers what Google wants. To boost his SEO, Matt considered what page titles he had, what URLs he was submitting to google, and what each were saying once a human being finally saw them. With blog posts and articles, Matt provided more fodder for Google to reward while allowing potential clients to get into his head and feel confident about hiring him. Matt says anyone can make these changes too. He says to, “pay attention to the small stuff. Pay attention to goofy things like alt descriptions on your images, and the length of your URLs and the kind of order of pages on your site, [and also] the page titles.” He says to stay consistent on social media and just call yourself one thing. Overall, simple tactics and a clean up to refocus your site on customer needs can make a big difference in results and Matt is living proof.

Mar 20 2018

35mins

Play

Rank #17: Episode 65: The FUTURE!

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Where has Brennan been all this time (it's been 6 months!)? And what's next for the Double Your Freelancing podcast?

Jul 13 2017

19mins

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Rank #18: Episode 55: Introducing the Double Your Freelancing Academy

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It's time to officially announce the opening of the Double Your Freelancing Academy. Get details and an insider’s scoop on the Double Your Freelancing Academy in today's episode.

May 23 2016

24mins

Play

Rank #19: S02 Episode 6: Drip Automation Software with Dustin Robertson

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My guest today is Dustin Robertson, chief marketing officer (CMO) of Drip. Dustin has been with Drip for just over a year and came from a business to consumer background. He started Backcountry.com, where he was educated on digital marketing while growing that business. After learning eCommerce and digital marketing, he wanted to venture into online travel and develop data marketing tools. Fortunately, he met people from Drip and discovered the company had a platform that could handle database marketing at scale for eCommerce marketers.

On today’s episode, we discuss marketing automation now and in the future. Automation done right is transformative - both for businesses and their customers.

Today’s topics include:

  • Describing the possibilities of automation
  • Being interested in marketing automation - email is center of the
    universe
  • Educating clients on cart abandonment and another issues or services
  • Moving toward various ways to communicate for engagement and
    purchases
  • Shifting to an eCommerce business model for selling
  • Evolving ecosystem into a command center for all online marketing
    activities
  • Naming and defining Drip’s electronic customer relationship
    management (eCRM)
  • Specializing in marketing automation will get you tons of success
  • Overturning objections for time investment involved with setting up
    automation

Resources and links:

May 29 2018

31mins

Play

Rank #20: Episode 58: Jonathan Raymond on Leadership

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Today my guest is Jonathan Raymond the former CEO of E-Myth, he became the CEO in 2011 when the owner wanted to modernize the brand. He decided to break out on his own in 2015. The idea behind the E-Myth is that running a business is different than being great at whatever the business does. An example would be a great dancer who opens a dance studio and discovers there is more to running a dance studio than being a fantastic dancer. Jonathan now focuses on what it takes to create a great business and the culture, scale and team involved with doing so.

He now focuses on refound.com and the core principles required to be a great leader and business owner. Jonathan has a new approach to leading and managing teams. He is also the author of the upcoming book, “Good Authority”. When it comes to managing teams, we not only need a new set of skills, we have to reimagine who we are and Jonathan and his business help leaders to be the best they can be. Enjoy!

Today’s topics include:

As an entrepreneur there is still culture and team building and interpersonal dynamics that need to be dealt with
It also comes down to referrals, so good relationships are important
People make referrals in relationships
Going into a relationship with a freelancer, you want to be able to refer them to others because of the great job they did
We want freelancers who do their job and don’t need to be micromanaged, we also want to refer responsible people because it is a reflection on us
People overestimate the big stuff, but the small stuff is important, like email response time
Be the type of person people want to do business with, no BS around communication
If you mess something up take responsibility and not only apologize, but say what happened and take ownership
We have a pretty good sense of which clients are happy, reach out and restore amicability
People don’t like confrontation and bury stuff, but then it stacks up
Understand who your ideal customer is, challenge assumptions that the client has, the client is in their own bubble, coach and mentor them
Fill the gap with challenge and communication
Scarcity can prevent you from pushing the envelope, yet it is counter intuitive to not take the risky road
Some clients aren't’ the clients you want to work with anyway
Actually, have requirements and screen clients so that you are not stuck with an unresponsive hard to communicate with client
The fear that it turns off clients is unfounded, people want to buy a process, so having a set plan to deliver will set you apart from the competition
Set expectations from onboarding to deliverables
Build accountability into the process
Your time is valuable
It comes down to the way you see yourself and your value, at some point being superman is not sustainable, hold space and create context for change
Be Yoda not superman, self value and self worth
Fixer, fighter or friend - 3 styles of taking on superman role
Good Authority is Jonathan’s new book coming out
Mentoring your own clients - Small business owners don’t have anyone to question them
People at the top are in a bubble and they don’t see what they don’t see
You can add value by mentoring and asking questions and building a personal relationship
What is the purpose? What is the result? Find the why, you will have a happier client and deliver a better product and maybe make a friend on a way.
To get the right website figure out why they are doing what they are doing.
“Mentoring means questioning the assumptions they don’t realize that they are making” Jonathan Raymond
Imposter Syndrome - Roadblock of it not being my job and self doubt coming up.
Take a small risk and you will be amazed how people will open up

Resources and links:

Refound

Like the Podcast? Help us!
If you enjoy the Business of Freelancing podcast, support us to keep it going!
Subscribe on iTunes
Leave us a 5-star review on iTunes
Share the podcast with your friends
Hopefully the fact that your show of support will keep the podcast going is reward enough for you. But we want to sweeten the deal for you even further:
After you’ve published your review, send an email to kai@doubleyourfreelancing.com. You’ll get an exclusive video from Double Your Freelancing Conference — James Clear's talk on Developing Better Work Habits — absolutely free. Click here to make it happen!

Jun 27 2016

35mins

Play