Cover image of Double Your Freelancing Podcast
(72)
Business
Technology

Double Your Freelancing Podcast

Updated 5 days ago

Business
Technology
Read more

Better Clients. More Money. A Happier Life.

Read more

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
Read more
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

Updated 5 days ago

Read more

Better Clients. More Money. A Happier Life.

Rank #1: Episode 33: Kai Davis on How to Build an Audience as a Freelancer, and Why You Should Start Today

Podcast cover
Read more

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
59 mins
Play

Rank #2: Episode 62: Meryl Johnston on Growing a Six-Figure Productized Service

Podcast cover
Read more

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
44 mins
Play

Rank #3: Episode 64: Kelsey Kreiling on Client Happiness

Podcast cover
Read more

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
44 mins
Play

Rank #4: Episode 34: Nick Disabato on Using Productized Consulting to Scale Your Agency

Podcast cover
Read more

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
40 mins
Play

Rank #5: S03 Episode 1: Roadmapping Strategies with Gabi Logan

Podcast cover
Read more

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
33 mins
Play

Rank #6: Episode 26: John Sonmez on Marketing Yourself as a Developer

Podcast cover
Read more

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
49 mins
Play

Rank #7: Episode 37: DYF Conf Roundtable

Podcast cover
Read more

The Double Your Freelancing Conference that took place last month In Norfolk brought a lot of great people together to share information and ideas.  In this episode, 5 of the speakers from the conference join me to discuss what value they got from the conference and their overall impressions.

The Panel:

Mojca Mars - owner of Super Spicy Media, social media consultant

Brian Casel - owner of Audience Ops, content marketing service

Julie Elster -  owner of Just Tell Julie, virtual accounts receivable service

Kurt Elster - ecommerce consultant who helps shopify stores double their revenue

Kai Davis - outreach consultant who helpsconsultants and product creators increase their traffic and grow their audience

We discuss some of the highlights of the Double Your Freelancing Conference, including:

  • The sense of community we all felt that began with Slack conversations before the conference and continued through the event
  • The fact that the speakers felt like attendees too
  • Looking at attending conferences as an investment in your business
  • Learning that so many people were forward-thinking with their businesses
  • Brennan’s desire to have an actionable conference
  • The speakers that inspired us to take action, apply their direction in some way to our own businesses and strive for productivity and focus
  • a core theme of: be intentional in your business

With the success of the first Double your Freelancing Conference, I’m planning a European version, possibly in June 2016!  

Resources and Links:

Slack

Super Spicy Media

Audience Ops

Just Tell Julie

Kurt Elster

Kai Davis

You can sign up now for the 2016 class of Double your Freelancing Clients.  Fill out the opt-in form and I’ll contact you with details in November.  

If you liked today’s podcast, please leave a review for the show in iTunes.  I’m trying to get listed in new and noteworthy on iTunes and would appreciate your help!  

Sep 30 2015
31 mins
Play

Rank #8: Episode 57: Ryan Waggoner on Feast and Famine

Podcast cover
Read more

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
41 mins
Play

Rank #9: Episode 59: Michael Port on Offline Marketing Strategies

Podcast cover
Read more

Today I’m talking with Michael Port, author of Book Yourself Solid and four other bestselling books. I came across Book Yourself Solid at a bookstore when I first started freelancing, and loved the online marketing techniques he describes. He has been running Book Yourself Solid programs around the world and training freelancers for the past 14 years.

Michael describes six core self-promotion strategies that freelancers use, and more importantly goes into the backend of how to close sales and actually book business. He is a networking and direct outreach expert that has a daily routine to open doors and bring in clients. Even as an introvert, he has used public speaking, teaching and networking to create an international brand.

Today’s topics include:

Freelancers need to design a marketing and self-promotion system for their business.
Building credibility, pricing yourself right and being able to have simple sales conversations are more important than self-promotion strategies alone.
Marketing doesn’t get you clients, it gets you awareness; what you do once you have that awareness is what gets you the business.
There are 6 core self-promotion strategies: networking, direct outreach, referral, writing, public speaking, and web strategies; some of these are mandatory and some are not.
Networking is developing deeper relationships with people you already know.
Technology tactics might change, but the core strategies remain as the big picture.
Don’t focus your energies on every platform out there and spread yourself too thin - it is overwhelming and distracting.
Make sales offers that are proportionate to the amount of trust you’ve earned.
Decide which self-promotion strategy will work for your ideal client.
To get booked solid you only need a network of 90 people.
You can add value to your network by regularly introducing people to contacts and information relevant to them.
Helping others by reaching out to them is a more comfortable form of self-promotion than just trying to help yourself.
Networking as an introvert can be made easier by connecting others and delivering on your promises.

Resources and links:

Michael Port Website

Book Yourself Solid

Book Yourself Solid on Amazon

Twitter @michaelport

Facebook @michaelport

Contactually + Book Yourself Solid

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.

Sep 07 2016
47 mins
Play

Rank #10: Episode 60: Todd Tresidder on Financial Independence

Podcast cover
Read more

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

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
Here is what one loyal listener had to say about the Double Your Freelancing podcast:

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!

Sep 12 2016
47 mins
Play

Rank #11: S01 Episode 1: Lead Generation via Podcasts: Brennan talks with Matt Inglot

Podcast cover
Read more

Will guest appearances on podcasts benefit your consulting business? Is it worth it to start your own podcast even if your audience is limited? Matt Inglot thinks it is! In this episode of DYF Podcast, Brennan talks to 2016 DYFConf speaker, Matt Inglot, about using podcasting to get consulting clients and expand your audience. When Matt started his podcast, Freelance Transformation, he didn’t expect it to have any effect on his web-development agency. More than 145 episodes later, he has found that the impacts have been manifold. Not only has his podcast become one of the most prominent in the freelancing community, but it also helped him develop his contacts and directly led to a $60,000 gig. Other benefits have been less obvious but just as empowering, and Matt has learned all of the right and wrong ways to podcast along the way.

Key Takeaways:

  • How to determine if podcasting is right for you
  • How to book your first few guests
  • How to build your listenership
  • How to use podcasts to build your authority
  • What tools and setup do you need to get started

For the past 12 years Matt has run his agency, Tilted Pixel, with great success. He says that as a micro-agency he has been able to create a stable business and the life he was looking for without the 80 hour work-week one might typically expect. His newer venture is Freelance Transformation, his podcast, which launched in April 2015. Matt says Freelance Transformation initially had nothing to do with his consulting business --if it had, he pointed out, he would have built the podcast around the interests of potential clients. Instead, Freelance Transformation sprang out of Matt’s desire to spread the knowledge he’d acquired through his years of experience. He was also keen to get in and start a new online business after consulting on so many through the years. To his surprise, even though they weren’t directly related, Matt’s podcast brought a boost in his agency’s sales --including a $60,000 deal that came as a result of one recording. Freelance Transformation’s success (it hit 100,000 downloads within the first year and has now nearly tripled that) has allowed Matt to grow his existing agency while also seeing where the new venture takes him --and the first place it took him was MicroConf.

Podcasting to Meet People

The first lesson Matt says he learned while building Freelance Transformation is that, “podcasting is a great networking hack.” As he began looking for guests, Matt attended Microconf and found that right from the beginning, being able to say “Hi I’m Matt, I’m the host of Freelance Transformation,” is more of a conversation starter than “Hi, I’m Matt, I do web-design.” That year, Matt took his portable mic around the conference, recording some of his earliest stuff (including an episode with Brennan) and growing his experience --learning among other things, that recording in a noisy Vegas hotel during a conference is not ideal. Matt says that from that conference alone, he was able to develop a reputation among freelancers and find guests for his first 20 or so episodes. If you are considering podcasting, Matt recommends making these in-person connections and using events to start meaningful dialogues with potential guests.

Matt found that having guest spots to offer on his podcast, opens doors to people who might have seemed off limits before. For Matt this included Brennan, Michael Port, Alan Weiss, Charlie Hoehn, and outside the consulting world, luxury concierge, Steve Sims. The podcast allowed him to have in-depth conversations with these giants and to stay in touch with them afterwards. As the rapport built, Matt’s guests started making suggestions and introductions of people who could either help Matt or be helped by him. Matt’s contact list snowballed, he says, and “next thing you know this inaccessible community is now accessible.”

Do You Need An Audience?

With these benefits alone, and even without an established audience, starting a podcast already has some advantages. Matt estimates that Freelance Transformation has added 10,000-15,000 new visitors to his site each month, but he has noticed that his increased business isn’t necessarily from people listening to his podcast. Rather, he believes most of these referrals to his site have come from the other professionals he has meet through hosting the podcast. So do listeners even matter? Of course they do. For Matt, a key motivator was being able to pass on wisdom and help develop the next generation of freelancers. But another clear advantage to having a large audience is that the further your reach, the more pull you’ll have for getting the guests you want on your show.

Having a network, Brennan points out, also makes launching a new product easier. He says launching his newest product, RightMessage , was much simpler with an established audience and an unobtrusive way to get updates to his followers. His audience is often interested in seeing behind the scenes as his products develop so Brennan keeps them informed of every step along the way. Since Brennan is committed to providing useful examples of how to build and launch products, this audience relationship represents another win-win scenario that can come from podcasting.

So how do you build your listenership? If you’re like Matt, and you’re not a born social media self-promoter, he recommends the following 3 step approach when launching a new podcast:

Reach out to everyone you know and ask them to check out your new podcast and leave a review. While you probably won’t get long-term listeners from this exercise, the initial flood of downloads tells iTunes to pay attention.

Chose guests strategically. Matt looked for guests who were consulting-oriented, and who had a great audience that he could borrow. When the guest sends out his/her social media blast you could be getting an extra hundred or thousand new eyes looking your way.

Use events to build relationships with potential guests in your field. Conferences are expensive, including tickets, travel, accommodations and time away from normal operations. Finding new listeners with fliers and quick blurbs costs a lot in effort with minimal results. Instead, your mission should be to invest in face to face personal interactions at common-goal events. This can lead to guests who care about the success of the program --it can be the difference between a guest tweeting that they were on and them actually promoting you. Some of Matt’s Microconf contacts were even willing to give him their email lists!

Positioning

Podcasting is also a great way to position yourself in the freelance world. Brennan uses his guests’ networks to expand his own sphere of influence. He does some digging to learn who in his guest’s network he’d like to work with and seeks introductions via the mutual connection. For example, he might look at Matt’s previous Freelance Transformation guests, see who else has a podcast, select a couple, and if appropriate, he’ll message them saying, “Hey, I talked to our mutual friend, Matt Inglot, earlier this year. He suggested that I might be a good fit for your podcast.”

Frequent wide-spread appearances on podcasts can build your credibility as an expert within your field. Brennan highlights wearables developer and former DYF Academy student, Justin Bergen, as the master here. While developing products, Justin hosted industry leaders on his podcast, giving them a spotlight and simultaneously shoring up a his new relationship with the guest. By asking the guests “do you know of anyone else in the industry who would be a good guest for my podcast?” he also expanded his contacts. Since the wearables niche is fairly small, he was able to make key introductions and establish himself as an expert in the wearables niche.

This brings Matt to the point that Podcasting is also a comparatively simple way to publish within your field. “Rather than researching, writing, editing, rewriting, publishing and distributing a guest post or a whole book,” he says, “you can cut to the chase with twelve bullet points and a good microphone.” Matt points out that even after writing, editing and revising a book or even a much shorter guest post, you still have to find a way to publish/distribute it, but appearing on podcasts, is a lower-key ways of establishing your authority. After guesting on other podcasts enough times, you will start to notice that you have built your own audience.

Telling Your Story

A simple, subtle benefit to being a frequent podcast guest, is discovering the best way to articulate your message. Telling your story becomes easier each time you tell it: you’ll find your glossary becomes refined, your clarity improves, and your confidence builds. Matt mentions Jeremy Weiss from Mixergy who says of his podcast that even if no one were listening, the exercise would still be worth doing, and he would continue to run it. Of course this ties in to what we’ve said before since having your own podcast is a great gateway to appearing on other people’s. If you have your own podcast, other hosts know that you know what you’re doing, have the right equipment, and will deliver the audio they’re looking for.

Your Guests are Your Research and Case Studies

One easily overlooked benefit to hosting a podcast is the research value of discussing best practices with others in your field. Freelance Start, Matt’s course on freelancing was borne out of the 145+ episodes of the podcast. These serve as ”almost scientific data set” that he can referenced and have more information than if he were only citing his own experiences. One example of a discovery Matt made through his conversations, is that when he talked to people who were struggling to find clients, there was a correlation with how much time they spent on marketing. That is, Matt now has the numbers showing that the more effort one spends on marketing, the more clients their business will likely have.

Similarly, Brennan’s aim in starting his new Right Message podcast was to talk with people who have DIYed or used other non Right Message tools to achieve personalized marketing. Hearing why they got into it and what they did wrong, Brennan expects to gain market research.

Is podcasting right for you?

Before starting out with your new podcast, Matt wants you to ask yourself what you hope to achieve. Having a podcast won’t get you new clients overnight and Matt warns that there are easier ways to create content if that is your only goal. So he urges you to have a strategy and a reason to do it. Things he suggests you think about when considering starting a podcast:

  1. Are there specific people you want to connect with?
  2. Are you focused on relationship building, and if so, with whom?
  3. Are you articulating ideas/thoughts clearly? (If yes, this helps
    you get on other people’s podcasts and to be great at it).

What are some of the cons to consider? It is time consuming. Matt says when he started Freelancer Transformation, each episode took 10 hours to make from researching guests to editing and publishing. Now he has standard processes, he hires a company to produce the show, and he has a nice network through which he can easily find guests. None of that was established in the beginning so starting out, you need to recognize that it will take time. Another con is that it is not the greatest way to generate fast traffic to your site. If you are looking to generate a lot of traffic to your site quickly, you should focus on guesting (writing guest posts and appearing on other peoples’ podcast) to build that audience faster. Having your own podcast connects you with the specific people you want to connect with fast, but doesn’t help you reach the masses as much as one might think.

Quick tips
If you’ve read all of this and are ready to get your podcast underway, Matt has a few suggestions for you to check out. He recommends Pat Flynn’s free podcasting guide, and Jon Lee Dumas’ Podcaster's Paradise. Philip Morgan has a free article on all of the podcasting equipment he uses. Matt says to stay on the beaten path when starting your podcast and not to get too fancy or overthink things. For a microphone he suggests: ATR 2100 or the Yeti --they’re professional sounding, under $100 and you don’t have to dwell on the question longer than necessary. Matt says that if he were starting over, he would choose a simpler format since currently his shows involve pre intro, intro music, an introduction, the interview, outro, and outro music. If he were to redesign the whole thing, he says he would do everything live. He’d bring the guest on, introduce them, play the intro music and get down to it. By doing everything live, he would have saved hours of editing. Though it is tempting to want to innovate, he says to get the basics down and don’t overcomplicate things. Listeners are there for the expert content and don’t care about a spiffy sounding intro by a third party. One area where Matt says he made the right call was by not posting video as part of his podcast. He refrained from this primarily because video complicated things, but it is a waste of resources for ROI. If you are considering hosting video also, bear in mind that Matt says it won’t do great on youtube by itself. Clips, however, can be used on social media and to spark interest in your regular programing.

In the end, hosting a podcast will not bring a flood of sales and traffic to your site. However, it can be a great gateway to the people in your field who seem off limits. It can help you refine your message and reinforce your authority. It can even give you the data you need in order to improve your products and services. Take it from expert, Matt, podcasting is an exercise worth engaging in, as long as you pay attention to the “whys” and set yourself up for success.

For further reading, check out the links below:

Feb 22 2018
42 mins
Play

Rank #12: Episode 29: Marcus Blankenship on Managing Subcontractors

Podcast cover
Read more

This is the Business of Freelancing Podcast, Episode 29. Today we’ll discuss a number of thoughts related to hiring subcontractors. My guest is coach, advisor, project manager and author Marcus Blankenship. If you’ve ever found yourself in the position of needing to hire and manage others, then this podcast will definitely resonate.

I’m very close to launching my new daily question and answer podcast/YouTube show, called Freelance Answers. This will be a great way to share the questions that a lot of you have asked and delve into a variety of topics that come up in my discussions with readers of the blog.

You can find out more about the new show and submit your questions at doubleyourfreelancing.com/answers. Stay tuned to my newsletter to find out when the new show will be released.

At one time I thought that when it came to hiring subcontractors all you really needed to do was hire smart people. It’s actually not that easy. The idea of a self-managing employee is a fallacy and puts very unrealistic expectations on the person you hire.

There are some ways to set up yourself and your subcontractor to succeed:

Be realistic about communication. When hiring you will need to explain in great detail what you need.
It is impossible to over-communicate. We outline some ways that you and your subcontractors can communicate on a very frequent basis. Answer your subcontractor’s questions quickly. Know that you might have to face a client who questions having a subcontractor do their work instead of you. We discuss some ways to handle those situations.
You are the person who assumes all risk and you are responsible for reviewing the work before it gets to the client.
Give feedback. This is an important subject and we discuss how that feedback needs to be delivered. Marcus has outstanding coaching experience and tons of great ideas. You can connect with him on his website at marcusblankenship.com.

If you liked today’s podcast, could I please nudge you into a review leave a review for the show in iTunes? If you have any suggestions or thoughts about the show, please contact me on my website at doubleyourfreelancing.com/contact.

Jun 29 2015
52 mins
Play

Rank #13: S02 Episode 2: Leveling Up Your Automation Skills with Jennifer Nelson

Podcast cover
Read more

Whenever Jennifer Nelson sees a new innovation for online business, she immediately learns it and apply it to her own work. This passion for finding the best way of doing things is how she became a certified Drip automation expert and a successful independent consultant and coach. Listen to this episode of DYF Podcast to see what strategies and innovations you can borrow from Jennifer and how to implement them into your daily practices. She’ll also discuss communication with different types of clients, managing multiple funnels, and how she gets her conference audiences to pay attention even after her presentation is over.

Key Takeaways:
How to talk automation to business owners
How to become an automation expert
How to win customers with a softer sell
How to maximize your funnel with a variety of lead magnets

As a Drip certified automation expert, Jennifer Nelson has fully automated her own business and now works with others to introduce automation to their routines. Her goal is to enable her clients to focus on the creative work and projects at the core of their businesses rather than spending all their time on marketing or upkeep tasks. Jennifer takes a piecemeal approach when she works with freelancers and agencies to find ways they can delegate day to day tasks in their businesses to machines.

Jennifer wasn’t always an independent automation superstar. She says about two years ago, she reached a point of reckoning. She had been working comfortably at an ad/tech start up, but she needed to see what she could do on her own. Jennifer started a consulting business and began the quest for clients. She started a newsletter which she distributed using the email platform, MailChimp. This helped, Jennifer, but she really got into automation after seeing it in action. Jennifer recalls, “I was following this blogger who I just remember I liked. I read one of her blogs and then I downloaded something. It came immediately to my email as a PDF. I was like, ‘Oh my God. That's cool,’ and how'd she do that? Then I learned that she was using ConvertKit. I was like, ‘Okay, let me sign up for ConvertKit.’"

By then, Jennifer was also following Brennan who sent an automated message that ended with “By the way, I used Drip to send out this email." Jennifer was intrigued. When she attended the Leadpages conference 2 yrs ago, they offered the first ever Drip Certification Course. Energized by the conference and having already spent a lot of money to attend, she decided to shell out another $1000 to get certified. She feels more knowledge is never a bad thing. The course was hard at first because it was so new. She had her doubts but once it came time to test, she discovered she had learned the methods. Excited about automating her own business, Jennifer realized other people would need that service too so she niched herself as an automation specialist.

For her personal business, Jennifer has created three main funnels. She has a site that encourages people to book a call with her, she has a 5 day email course, and Drip promotes her as a certified consultant which also drives leads. When clients come to Jennifer via Drip, she talks about the software, but when speaking with other clients, she generally asks them more open-ended questions like “How do you need to make your life easier?” and then offers ideas. Jennifer’s approach with these clients is to stay focused on the problem and the solution, keeping the talk about marketing in general rather than specific tools. Jennifer’s background in advertising sales helps her talk the marketing game while demonstrating to her clients that she knows what she’s doing.

Brennan agrees that aligning the language you use to the type of business you’re working with is key. He says that for more traditional businesses, the framework will sound more like “Look, we're going to basically package the stuff that your sales team is already doing into something that doesn't require your sales team to constantly show up and do it (though of course, they’ll still be there to close the deal etc).” While you don’t want to talk down to your clients, you also want them to be able to connect with what you’re proposing.

Jennifer created her five-day course, Email Automation 101, about a year ago and it has since become her most popular email series. The course came about because Jennifer had noticed she was mostly meeting clients in person and introducing them to the idea of automation for the first time. As a result, she was spending a lot of time on potential clients, explaining the principles to them before signing a contract or getting any assurance that she would be hired. Rather than continuing to try explaining automation to everyone she met, Jennifer handed new contacts her business card and asked them to check out her course through LeadDigits. Of course the downsides to this tactic are that people tend not to revisit the stack of business cards they’ve acquired after an event is over, and some are put off by LeadDigits thanks to fear of spam texts.

Jenny has more success when giving presentations and workshops. She’ll invite the audience to text the LeadDigits number to get her slide deck and she informs them that they’ll also be enrolling in her 5 day email course. Jenny attributes her success here to the fact that she is striking while the iron is hot: she has just met the people reading these emails and because they’re daily rather than weekly or monthly, she believes the enthusiasm is maintained through to the end. She now spends far less time explaining what automation is, and her Email Automation 101 course emails have a 75% open rate and 11% click through rate. Jennifer also borrowed a tip she learned from Brennan in that she labels her emails according to their order (“email 1 out of 5” etc.). Her next objective with the Email Automation 101 course is to target this funnel towards one specific product but she is still testing which product that will be.

One thing Brennan recommends for boosting opt-ins is to maximize event contacts by saying “Hey, I have this 5 day email course, mind if I add you to it?” Though long-term this may not represent a ton of conversions, it is a good way to get close to a hundred percent opt-ins for a conference. Although this doesn’t scale as well as a landing page, it is one of a handful of opportunities Brennan notices for growing numbers in the wake of conferences. Another is creating a funnel based on automating messages to the people you’ve met. This would start with a message that reads something like: “"Hey, [Jenny], it's been really cool talking. I actually have something that I think you might interested in. It's a free course I've built on [XYZ]. Would it be cool if I send it to you when I go back to my office?" This tactic, which usually results in a strong uptick in opt-ins, may also present high-quality leads since they have also already had a quick conversation with you and feel a connection to you as an individual.

As Jenny looks to the future in considering what course to feature at the end of her sales funnel, she knows that it is important to revisit a product months and even years after it was made. Jennifer says this is “so you don’t forget what you’ve done.” In reviewing her course, she noticed that in the end, the course dumped customers onto her services page. She believes is far too quick for a sales pitch so she’s refining her process now. The new version will include more specific questions for her customers. She’ll then give the prompt, “Do you find that booking meetings is annoying? I have a solution for that,” which will then link to a softer sales page. Coming from sales, it is hard for Jenny to scale back the hard sell. She says now she is first seeking a tripwire sale: inexpensive, low commitment, great service and value. Of course, this little sale, is intended to lead to a much bigger sale.

As Brennan points out, selling consulting which requires a large commitment from customers in both time and money, is a tall order for the end of this sales funnel. He recalls a youtube consultant he once used who sold introductory sessions in which he’d walk customers through spreadsheets he uses and would input their information. At the end of the session, the data could show if spending money on youtube ads was worth it. For Brennan, the $200 cost of the service was well worth it compared to the thousands he’d be spending in video production, and at the end of the session, the consultant sold a monthly retainer for helping businesses optimize their youtube ads. The high-value, personalized service of the initial call, made the retainer something Brennan could consider where a downloadable pdf or a course would not invite that commitment. Brennan suggests some type of paid roadmapping session for Jenny’s tripwire product.

Jenny says she’s considering offering an audit to show customers their potential with email automation. She would offer an hour of her time to ask them what their funnel looks like now, spell out their current funnel and work with them to figure out the values of the different parts of the funnel. She’d ask: “What's the value of a visitor? What's the value if they're on the client’s list? What changes would amplify each different point of the funnel?” This establishes the relationship between Jenny and the customer, making them feel comfortable with her, and showing that she understands her business and can help them. She’s also considering roadmapping or a low-cost worksheet to help them see ROI potential.

Jenny also uses a Drift widget to ask customers who visit her site to tell her about their pain points. She says she gets some very in-depth responses since naturally, customers and visitors are already thinking about their businesses. She says this has lead to sales but the other purpose of the tool is to get the potential lead into Jenny’s Drip via a Zapier zap. From there, an automated message is sent saying “Hey, it looks like you were trying to book an appointment,” and it includes 4 days of follow up emails containing information similar to the automation question they asked. Since the customer is not yet on her list at that point, Jenny’s automated emails invite them to join one of three courses she offers. She’s interested in re-targeting down the line to those who don’t. With Drip, she can push them into a custom audience and promote the email course to on Facebook to that audience. Once they opt-in to that email course, Drip can push them out of that custom audience. Jennifer says that because she’s looking for big ticket sales, every added sale could be worth the effort and automated follow up.

Jennifer has developed multiple entry points to her funnel. She has also perfected the art of strategically discuss marketing with clients based on who they are and their experience while also demonstrating her authority in that field. When she sees something working well for someone else, Jennifer sets her mind to learning how to make it work for her and her clients. She is constantly looking towards the next innovation or time saving tool and will gladly help you find yours!

For DYF podcast listeners, Jenny has a special code to receive her 5 Day Email course, Automation 101. To receive those emails, text DYFJenny to 44-222 where you’ll be prompted to enter your email address. From there, everything will be email-based. You can see her liquid tags for personalization in action and imagine what in your business you can personalize without having to re-invent or re-write each message.

Jennifer Miranda Nelson is a professional business marketing consultant and entrepreneur. She is the founder of Automate This!, a marketing consulting firm and JennyMiranda.com. She is driven to help others succeed in their lives and their
businesses. When not consulting, teaching, or creating course material, you can usually find Jennifer taking a hike through the mountains of Los Angeles. She loves outdoor
activities, and gets on her road bike whenever she can find the opportunity to.

Apr 24 2018
31 mins
Play

Rank #14: Episode 65: The FUTURE!

Podcast cover
Read more

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
19 mins
Play

Rank #15: S01 Episode 5: How to Master SEO With Simple Changes with Matt Olpinski

Podcast cover
Read more

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
35 mins
Play

Rank #16: Episode 27: Jeff Steinmann on How to Quit Working

Podcast cover
Read more

Welcome to the latest episode of the Business of Freelancing Podcast. My guest is Jeff Steinmann, author of the book How to Quit Working which can be found, along with other services he offers, on his website howtoquitworking.com .

First, a reminder to sign up for ticket information for my event, The Business of Freelancing Conference . The show will be September 16-18 in Norfolk, VA. Sign up now to be notified when tickets go on sale. I’m very excited about the speakers that are lined up for this event!

Jeff Steinmann planned to quit his banking job in 2001, but rather than walk away, he went back to his desk. The idea of working for himself resurfaced and in 2012, he began working on his own as a marketing consultant. In two years, he turned his book and podcast into a 6-figure coaching business.

In our interview Jeff talks about the mental steps he took to enable him to start his own business. He believes the key skill you need to go into a freelance opportunity is to be able to take what you do and translate that into something that is meaningful to a client. Jeff says small business owners value somebody who can talk in terms they understand and can ask the right questions to understand the details of what they need.

We discuss the best path for going forward into full time freelance work. Jeff believes it’s important to decide where you will specialize and set yourself apart. Determine what attribute makes you unique to your potential client. It can be difficult to get clients when you are first starting. I believe that a potential client can be your former boss because not only do you know the business but your boss may be looking at easing transition costs. Jeff thinks it’s a good idea to start conversations with people in your personal network and then move toward networking events in your neighborhood.

Jeff’s final tip deals with understanding how to close the gap between how little your potential employer cares about what you do and how much they care about getting their problem solved.

You can reach out to Jeff on howtoquitworking.com or on Twitter @JeffSteinmann.

If you like today’s podcast, I would really appreciate you taking just a minute to leave a review for the show in iTunes.

Jun 15 2015
40 mins
Play

Rank #17: Episode 35: Paul Kortman on Location Independence as a Business Owner with a Family

Podcast cover
Read more

More and more freelancers have taken to becoming nomads who live and work a location- independent lifestyle.  My guest, Paul Kortman, is a nomad who travels with his wife and four children and runs a digital marketing consulting business from various locations. On this episode Paul offers some thoughts on this lifestyle and how to make your business work in a non-traditional setting.  Paul believes that if you want to pursue the life of a nomad there are a number of things you can do to help make the process easier and far more enjoyable.   

We talk about some of the issues that people can face when they don’t have the same location to live in and work from everyday.  Paul discusses some of the concerns people may encounter and the benefits that can result from living a location-independent lifestyle:

  • problems with internet and cell service stability to do your work
  • batching work and coordinating things that need to be done before tackling projects
  • traveling with children and the benefits and skillsets they can develop from a nomadic lifestyle
  • how split shifts and working with a team in various locations actually helps productivity

Paul’s sales funnel is referral marketing.  He returns to his home base once a quarter to network and continue to build referrals.  He says while the lifestyle isn’t for everybody, it’s very possible to get the best of both worlds.  Paul has started a website called Nomad Together which provides a community and resources for others looking to find a location-independent lifestyle.  There you will find a guide which covers eight basic categories that will help you make the leap to becoming a nomad.  The site also has a supportive community to share any troubles and issues that may arise.          

Please check out my Business of Freelancing new course offering for a new one hour webinar training video, How to Qualify, Sell and Close a New Client.  You’ll find examples of actual client communication and proposal excerpts.   

Before you go... Want to hang out with me and 100+ other freelancers in person?

On September 16th, the inaugural Double Your Freelancing Conference kicks off in Norfolk, Virginia. I've arranged to fly in 14 experts, and they'll be covering how to sell, market, price, and grow your business. You won't want to miss this. Get your ticket here.

If you like today’s podcast, I would really appreciate you taking just a minute to leave a review for the show in iTunes.       

Sep 07 2015
49 mins
Play

Rank #18: S01 Episode 3: How to Optimize for Opt-Ins and Conversions with Josh Doody

Podcast cover
Read more

As a salary negotiation expert, Josh Doody faces a unique challenge -- how to convert a lead within the first hours of them visiting his site. Josh’s clients often find him within an hour or two of their salary discussions and are looking for help fast, cheap and with big results. His challenge has been to draw in clients sooner, address their needs right away, and to make sure they know he’s there for them long-term. He talks with Brennan about the tricks he’s learned for getting leads into his funnel, the best ways to experiment with your site, and what changes he’s had to make over the years.

Takeaways:

  • How to conduct useful SEO research and apply it to your content
  • How to use content upgrades to optimize for opt-ins
  • How to adjust your message for different clients
  • Learning about clients by reading between the lines
  • How to edit and refine your funnel

Josh Doody, founder of FearlessSalaryNegotiation.com, teaches salaried employees how to make more money. His funnel starts with search engine optimization and excellent content marketing, then uses a variety of other tools, including research, reputation, and automation, to turn leads into conversions. Since many people find his site as they’re about to enter salary discussions with an employer, Josh works to get leads in earlier, show his value quickly, and convince potential clients to slow down their approach. Josh adjusts his message and sales approach depending on how quickly leads need his help. He has also found that drawing traffic to his site is a key variable that he’s able to control. So how does he do it?

Getting Clicks

Josh identifies himself first and foremost as a writer. Not only has he written several books about salary negotiation, but he says the long form, free, educational content on his site is his biggest draw for new visitors. Josh writes what he think will be valuable to his audience and then checks which of these topics are getting traffic and being shared. He’ll then double down on those pages by enhancing them or writing more along those lines. From this very basic, manual search engine optimization, Josh has been able to create organic traffic resulting in 55,000 unique visits per month. “Google is really good at finding what people are searching for,” Josh says, so he focuses less on getting the exact wording right, and more on targeting his audience’s specific informational needs.

Josh also likes to increase clicks by building his authority. By answering questions on forums like Quora, Josh is not only able to point to his site and increase his click rate, but also, to learn what information his audience is seeking and what responses resonate with them. Appearing on podcasts is another tactic he’s used to boost his numbers. Brennan points out that podcast guesting will generate some traffic in the first week or so of the episode going out (especially with the help of social media bumps). However, there is a long term benefit in the permanent backlink from that podcast’s host site. Josh agrees, between appearing as a podcast guest and writing articles for other recognizable sites, Google will see the backlinks and realize that your site is “worth paying attention to.”

An advantage to having a large audience (like Josh’s 1500+ unique clicks per day) is being able to run occasional experiments. Though he sometimes runs two day a/v tests for special offers, Josh generally prefers to run 90 day experiments to learn what visitors will do for downloadable bonuses, which ones get the most traffic etc. Josh remembers starting these exercises too early in his site’s life and finding it only wasted time; with too small an audience, the changes are too insignificant to achieve measurable results. He says early on, a consultant’s focus should be pretty much entirely on getting more traffic, seeing what brought in that traffic and using that information to get more traffic. He adds, that barring some kind of algorithm change or massive platform change, Google Analytics information is also pretty helpful.

Generating Opt-Ins

Josh found his first opportunity to optimize his funnel when he noticed he’d been getting mediocre email opt ins from organic traffic --only about 1%. He evaluated his site and isolated the problem: he was giving too much away and his lead magnets were too generic. So Josh looked at which pages were bringing in the most traffic and thought about how to optimize them. With 20,000 visitors per month on some of these pages, even going from 1% to 2% opt ins would be a meaningful jump so he started there. He considered content upgrades he might be able to offer on those pages. On one article, he pulled the email templates that had been embedded in the text and created a linked PDF that customers could only access by opting in. Josh says this flipped the switch on this page and and his opt ins there are now around 4-5%. Since the 8000+ word article is still providing useful information on a topic his readers care about, Josh is still getting the traffic he wanted and building trust with his audience. Josh points out that this idea can be taken further in that the templates can become a product in and of themselves (e.g. he could provide 2 for free, and then charge a flat rate of $19 for the rest). Josh says that knowing which articles will do well before offering the content upgrade is key. He limits his focus to 4 or 5 pages that get a lot of traffic and thinks about what the lead magnet should be for each one, then builds it accordingly. He creates category specific baseline calls to action to help with each lead magnet.

Creating Conversions

Josh’s funnel is based on his statement “I can help you raise your salary,” and the first step is figuring out exactly how he can do that best. Josh starts by asking opt-ins, “When are you negotiating your salary?” This helps him profile his visitors, divide them into categories based on urgency, and respond to them appropriately. In his first response to them, Josh tries to describe the situation he thinks the client is in and what he can do to address their need. It is not uncommon for people to find Josh’s site moments or just a couple of hours before sending their salary negotiation email or before entering talks --they’ll download his email templates in a last ditch effort to prepare. For these opt-ins, Josh urges them to take their salary negotiation process a little bit slower and to hear what possibilities his services can facilitate. The email these clients will see says “don’t send that counter offer yet!” Since these clients are on an abbreviated timeline, Josh knows they are more suited to the product side of his business than coaching. However, if a lead is seeking a raise at an existing job, Josh knows his customer’s timeline will be a bit more laid back. In this case, he can pitch the coaching aspect of his work and phrase his welcome/thank you message differently. In both cases, he says, his goal is to have his first email be the “fulfillment email,” which says, “Here’s the material you requested, but also, here’s who I am and what I can do for you.”

Multiple Markets

Even though Josh has mastered giving customers what they want when they need it, he is always refining his tactics to better reach potential clients who are on the shorter timeline. Josh mentions Joshua Earl who presents two kinds of markets: “the stocked pond” and “the passing parade.” The stocked pond client checks you out, wants to know what you have to offer, is someone you build a relationship with over time, and eventually they’ll buy. For the passing parade customer, there’s a smaller window of time during which your product is relevant to them.

For people starting out, this is exactly why knowing where your clients are coming from and who they are is a big deal. Just as you speak differently with clients who you know have an immediate need vs people who don’t currently have a project for you, so too, you should speak differently depending on a visitor’s urgency. Just knowing how a client enters your funnel can tell you a lot about which market they belong to. For example, Brennan mentions that “Starting A Freelance Business” is a frequently clicked DYF article. Just knowing that is what the customer is interested in, gives Brennan an idea of the customer’s experience level, specific need, and urgency. He also gets clues of their timeline, financial flexibility, and goals. He can tell for example, the reader probably has a day job right now. Josh says the earlier you know that information, the better you’ll be able to service your client’s need.

For Josh’s stocked pond customers he steers them towards the coaching side of his funnel. Josh says this isn’t a hard sell, it’s just a matter of letting people know it exists and telling them more about it when they’re ready to hear it. In the past year, Josh has narrowed his focus further to address salary negotiation for software developers who want more job offers and a higher rate. He helps leads see themselves as clients by using pre-scripts, emails, and casual mentions, to say “my coaching clients get results using this technique.” Sometimes his customers come back a year after they first find him and say “hey, I regret not working with you before but I’m switching jobs again and I’d like to work with you now.” These leads require a softer sell because a software developer who has a job offer from Facebook knows Josh’s fee will seem trivial against their potential salary. Josh says keeping himself front and center is essential so he sends weekly emails to his audience. Once or twice a month he’ll focus on topics relevant to coaching and will include a link to the coaching page asking if readers are “expecting a job offer within the next four weeks?” Just by making people aware that he offers coaching, means they sometimes book within an hour of getting a job offer. Clients select themselves and all Josh has to do is follow up.

Brennan and Josh agree that this is one of many examples showing that higher price point doesn’t necessarily mean a harder sell. Josh’s customers could buy one of his books for much cheaper and gain all of the knowledge they need, but when he mentions this, clients usually say, “I just want to be told what to do.” Josh’s clients tend to be looking for things that are inclusive, already done for them, and that provide quick answers.

Refining the Funnel

Fearless Salary Negotiation is doing fine with an evergreen funnel and a lot of happy customers, but Josh is always looking to the future. This year he plans to re-target his funnel to reach higher-value leads with segmentation. He sees other opportunities also. Josh’s automation allows him to follow up with customers who have clicked through but not purchased and he knows there’s potential for him to sell more books and courses with just a few adjustments. He also offers career coaching if clients are having difficulty getting job offers in the first place. While this service isn’t promoted as heavily, Josh looks forward to developing it more in the future.

Currently, Josh’s funnel starts with excellent, optimized content that ensures customers have already benefited from him before they even see the sales page. The page is available after an email opt in, and it invites leads to apply to schedule a free 15 min call. Josh’s optimized funnel means sales are easy to make and he has control. Although he can’t demand 10 new clients and have them appear, Josh CAN send out a flash discount to his email list and “make money happen,” to quote Amy Hoy. Josh’s hustle is about convincing people to enter his list rather than convincing people to hire him. He focuses on guest posting, guesting on podcasts etc. and building his audience while his funnel takes care of the rest. Doubling visitors may not automatically double revenue, but it is an essential component. Josh says the question is what to do with the traffic, and how to optimize for client needs. He says it is easy to become obsessed with the stats as you look at value per customer, value per subscriber, and value per coaching client vs. product client. He recommends taking a variety of approaches like looking for interesting ways to get a $5 per visitor value, finding higher-value leads with segmentation, and evaluating the effectiveness of each stage of the funnel. Not wanting to become obsessed is one reason Josh doesn’t look at the numbers until an experiment has run for 30-90 days. He revises by looking at each section of the funnel and working on it for a while. He works his way down, optimizing to the fullest, and then starts at the top to edit again. He sees what modifications work and gets to learn about his audience’s motivations.

Josh knows to let the numbers speak. Where there is successful content, there is opportunity for lead generation. From there, it is his job to determine how to strategically offer the content upgrades that become his opt-ins. How Josh communicates with opt-ins is dependent on their specific needs and can be the difference between a conversion and a missed sale. Josh’s constant research allows for excellent optimization and his meticulous process editing has made him a true authority on funnel management. Josh has become a master of his niche, and by following his example, you can master yours.

Mar 06 2018
45 mins
Play

Rank #19: Episode 56: Diana Huff on Variable Cash Flow

Podcast cover
Read more

Hello everyone, today I am talking with Diana Huff, the President of Huff Industrial Marketing a business that helps industrial manufacturers grow and succeed. Diana just released her new book Cash Flow for Freelancers. Today we will be talking about how to manage cash flow when you have a variable income.

Diana started her business in 1998 when it was known as DH Communications. She is now a marketing consultant, but when she began she was focused on freelance copywriting in the B2B market. At the time, she had a 12 month old son that she wanted to stay home with. Over the years, her business has evolved, but last year there was a huge transformation. She changed her entire focus and now runs Huff Industrial Marketing. Diana wrote Cash Flow for Freelancers because she is very familiar with struggling with the cash flow issues that freelancers have, and she wanted to do something to help others.

Today’s topics include:

When faced with financial issues, Diana turned to all of the popular financial books. None of them applied to her freelance situation, they were all geared for people with steady jobs and incomes.
Figure out your own personal break even. That is personal and business expenses combined.
If you don’t know how much you need to bring in, you don’t know what to do
With freelancer variable income, freelancers may need to modify a budget
You need to know three numbers for business
Break even - how much you need to bring in
Sales goal - a little bit more than break even
Cash income goal - cash can come in from different places (more than break even)
Budget cash cushion into your break even amount - this is for when you have low months
Paying yourself a set amount, a salary that is part of the break even
You can also take a distribution at the end of the year or quarterly
Have a business account
Treat your business like a business
Project based cash flow analysis - steady out cash flow
Payment terms, 50% up front and 50% on delivery
Become efficient to get done faster - document processes
The second invoice is net 10, not net 30, 60 or 120
When people don’t pay, you have to get on the phone and call them
Pre-paid work is great if the client will go for it
Written and signed hard copy contracts with terms stipulated

Resources and links:

Cash Flow for Freelancers

Double Your Freelancing Academy

Freelance Business Bundle

Huff Industrial Marketing

You Need a Budget

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!

May 30 2016
31 mins
Play

Rank #20: S02 Episode 1: Automating Your Sales Funnel with Franz Sauerstein

Podcast cover
Read more

What parts of your funnel should be automated? How can you create urgency without building extensive “limited time offer” workflows into your automation? Is it possible to give even better service with less person to person contact? In this first episode of DYF Podcast Season 2 on Automation, Franz Sauerstein addresses all of the various steps in his sales funnel and how he helps others automate thiers. He shares tricks of the trade like getting clients to self-qualify before he even becomes involved. He and Brennan also discuss the next step in optimizing automation: Personalization. Go in depth with Franz as he walks us through his process from beginning to end.

Key Takeaways:
How to create urgency with self-assessments
How to follow up with cooled leads
How to provide a better user experience through automation
The best way to segment leads following sales calls

Franz Sauerstein is a two-time DYFConf EU participant and was a Student Success Coach for the now retired, Double Your Freelancing Academy. His consultancy, Xciting Webdesign, specializes in optimizing European e-commerce stores through automation. By employing tools like Drip (marketing) and Pipedrive (customer relationship manager), Franz’s company primarily takes businesses generating 5 figure revenues and turns them into businesses consistently generating 6 figure revenues. In his own practice, Franz uses automation to find, qualify, transact, and follow up with clients. So how do Franz’s daily workflows break down? Let’s walk through his practices.

In the past, Franz has had a very involved process for drawing in leads. Although the steps of this process have not changed too much, the execution of each component has. Franz’s funnel starts with well-centered blog posts which he pays to have appear on social media venues like Facebook. These posts feature opt-ins with content upgrades including pdfs and ebooks that Franz says teach readers “how they can make their stores more successful and live the lives they want.” Content upgrades Franz has used include things like a guide covering “23 Ways To Increase Conversion Rates.” Because the topics speak to his target clients’ needs and provide relevant, accurate information, Franz is able to draw his leads’ attention and foster their trust in his expertise.

Previously, when a lead would opt in, Franz would nurture them and after a few weeks or a few months they would fill out a qualifying form and jump on a call. In addition to automating several steps along the way, Franz has flipped the script on the qualification process. Franz now offers a self assessment to the client that will show them how much revenue they’re losing by not acting fast to employ his services. Although there are great tried and true methods for creating urgency on the sales side of the equation (offer a limited sale, create limited availability, offer a bundle discount etc), Franz wanted to create a sense of urgency on the customer’s side. He created an online form with Brevity, Zapier and Drip software. When a customer downloads the PDF, Drip logs the event and triggers a follow up for the following day. Although the assessment is standard, the response is tailored to what the reader’s shop needs. The wording in the follow up message changes based on what else the customer has read and what info they’re pursuing, making this one area Franz has optimized for personalization.

The next step in this funnel is that Franz sends a suggestion of a 30 minute free consultation for qualified leads. If the lead accepts, then the workflow is complete and the info is then shuffled over to his CRM. If they don’t take the phone call then he will continue sending automated messages to the lead for 9 weeks with content along the lines of what they’ve shown interest in. These messages build trust with information-rich content and build urgency by asking if the customer has taken action yet. Franz says leads usually respond by the fourth or fifth email but if there is no response after 9 weeks, he will close the file. He says about 50% of the leads who are left by the time he sends the last email do actually respond at that point.

Brennan asks Franz how selling has changed for him now that he’s introduced so much automation into his business. Franz says that for starters, sales calls were awful before he automated. Without the trust and the qualification that he has since built into his automation, Franz found it hard to sell clients on strategy. He was also getting the wrong kinds of leads. Like most of us selling services, he doesn’t want clients who want to DIY. Instead, Franz needs clients who want to focus on other aspects of their businesses while he implements the strategy they’ve agreed to. The self-qualifying questionnaire helps ensure Franz is getting the leads he wants and clients know want to expect from his services before getting on the first sales call.

One of the best changes Franz made was replacing the phone number on his website with an email form. It may seem counterintuitive, but with the emails, Franz was able to offer better, more personalized customer service. How can service be more personalized when it doesn’t even involve direct interaction with a person? First, Franz’s email form asks for a quick description of the client’s project. He has then set up an auto-reply for these incoming messages which reads, “That sounds interesting, I have a few more qualifying questions…” The tone of the auto-reply, coupled with the fact that it is sent within 5 minutes of the initial message means Franz is now able to engage with customers even if they are in another time zone, or just checking out his site at 3 am, or even if Franz is away from the computer. Early engagement increases conversions so this can be a big help later down the road. Clients also have time to get the wording on their requests precise instead of struggling to articulate on a call, and Franz has a reference he can look to if there’s ever a risk of misunderstanding. Lastly, anyone who doesn’t want to fill in the second form, probably isn’t that committed to using Franz’s service. This tactic quickly weeds out those dead end leads, saving time. Less wasted time means more time to spend on paying customer’s projects which naturally improves the client experience.

Once all of the sorting and qualifying has happened and the lead requests a call with Franz, a Drip follow up is sent with instructions for working out the logistics. Brennan advises tracking call statuses and clients via a CRM like Close.io. Unlike Pipedrive which has a mostly linear funnel, Close allows Brennan to have a “Booked Calls” section in which he can rate the call and Drip will respond accordingly. After a call, Brennan will go into Close and select “good fit,” “bad fit,” or “no show.” That status prompts Drip to move the leads to next step which might be a roadmapping session promo for good fit, the newsletter for bad fit, or calendly for re-booking if the person is a no show.

Some parts of the sales funnel should not be automated --often, namely, the sale. While some products like online courses can run on sales automation, most consulting and service products like Roadmapping sessions, development, and even full audits must be done manually There are some things that can make these processes easier though like ready-made templates. Brennan mentions an SEO audit he recently hired an expert to conduct on DoubleYourFreelancing.com. The auditors clearly had a template they use for every gig that includes best practices and suggestions for each area they grade. The gig-specific information is then added so that the nuances of each recommendation are most apparent without having to re-write the guiding principles for every deliverable. Nusii proposal software has a reporting system with a similar guiding process that allows users to load in a report which they will use to build a template. That document will include standard next steps and best practices but allows room for users to fill in the blanks with project-specific suggestions. All of that can then be used as a template for a roadmapping deliverable.

Franz uses Pipedrive and Drip to remind him to follow up with people after roadmapping to send them an invoice or reach out. The first two projects (roadmapping and whatever comes out of that) are usually low margin or low revenue so Franz knows the value of automating these processes. Return customers are more profitable so getting hands-on at this later stage is more financially worth his time.

Brennan asks Franz what is left that he’d like to do in his business that he hasn’t yet. Franz is certain that more can be done with the amount of data he has on his leads and visitors. In the future he plans to optimize conversion rates and plug the few leaky spots in his funnel. Franz is looking towards more personalization alla Right Message and is planning to test Right Message with a client first (since their need is more urgent than his own). Franz notes that personalization is built on account-based marketing strategies that have existed for decades and are now being merged with and facilitated by technology. He intends to start adding information about leads he meets in person to the data set he’s gathered about leads who have found him online. Franz believes that short of Amazon, personalization is still a pretty under-used practice in Europe and he’d love to break this new ground in his market.

Franz’s funnel follows a classic and effective trajectory. It starts with paid ads featuring content upgrades and opt-ins. Next, leads complete a self qualifying form. Leads who are on Franz’s page can email him and receive a near-instant response asking for more info. Leads then book a sales call or receive follow up emails until they do at which point roadmapping can begin and follow up is again handled by automation. Although Franz needs to be present for certain parts of his sales process, automation has allowed him to take more time focusing on existing, paid clients rather than chasing down new leads. He is able to connect with leads quicker, build trust more organically, qualify clients more accurately, and deliver a stronger product, all thanks to the introduction of automation into his business. As his business grows, Franz will seek to build on the traditional idea of account-based marketing through automated personalization. For now, he is enjoying the streamlined experience of having an optimized sales funnel and sharing his knowledge with others.

Franz Sauerstein is the founder of Germany-based Xciting Webdesign which specializes in turning businesses that generate 5 figure revenues into businesses that generate 6 figure revenues through automation and webdesign. He is a two-time DYFConf EU participant and Student Success Coach for the, now retired, Double Your Freelancing Academy.

Apr 20 2018
31 mins
Play

Similar Podcasts