Do These 5 Things To Start
Your Freelance Business

On the laptop I use for all my writing work, I have a label stuck beneath the screen that says, "Money Favors Speed."

You probably know at least one person who is always planning something big that they're going to do. Whether it's a backpacking trip around Europe, cleaning out their basement, or starting their freelance business — but they never really get started.

And as long as they're not getting started, how successful do you think they can be at accomplishing their goal?

Not successful at all? Exactly!

Yet, if they were to take action — every day — on one little part of the goal … Not worrying if they had it 100% right … Focusing instead on making sure they do something to move closer to their goal … Then, in a matter of time — and probably very quickly — their goal would be accomplished.

This is especially so in business. A friend of mine was helping out a business owner with his sales letter. This business owner wanted to write the perfect sales letter that would be as profitable as possible. And he kept coming back to my friend, time and time again, for feedback on the letter — on little tweaks, here and there. This went on for months. Two years, actually. When finally, my friend was so fed up, he stopped helping out this business owner.

Because my friend understood "Money Favors Speed."

He knew that if that business owner had just put one of those sales letters into the mail after a few weeks of work, they could have known how well it worked — and started making money off of it. Then, if they'd quickly rolled those initial returns into tests of variations on the sales letter, they could have seen if other approaches worked better. And, in two years of testing, they could have developed a fantastic sales letter — and been making money all along.

How This Applies To Your Freelance Business

I hear many aspiring freelancers who don't quite get "Money Favors Speed" — heck, when I was an aspiring freelancer, I didn't quite get it either.

What it took me a long time to understand was this … As long as you're sitting around, hoping and wishing to start a freelance business, it'll never happen.

What you have to do instead is take action and move yourself toward the goal of having an operating, sustainable, and eventually growing and fantastically successful freelance business. And do it quick — "Money Favors Speed."

It's not until you take these important actions that you will actually fulfill your dream of running a freelance business. It's not until you take action that you will experience the success you've been hoping for. It's not until you do something that amazing things start to happen.

Here Are 5 Things To Do To Start Your Freelance Business

I'm going to give you five things to do today to start your freelance business.

And, I ask you to do them fast. Start immediately and make sure they all happen in a short period of time. Because "Money Favors Speed" — and if you want to be maximally successful at this freelance thing, you have to be willing to push yourself to work quickly. Even when that means sacrificing some perfectionism. (Which has been SO PAINFUL for me — but ultimately very fruitful!)

Here's your list of the five things to do to start your freelance business:

  1. Set a date — This was a biggie for me. It wasn't until New Year's of this year that I finally decided becoming a full-time freelance copywriter wouldn't happen unless I set a date it needed to happen by. And when I set that date, I set it uncomfortably soon — within two months. But then, something amazing happened — in just six weeks, I quit my job and started working exclusively as a freelance copywriter.
  2. Get your first client — Michael Masterson's Ready, Fire, Aim makes this point well. You're not in business until money changes hands. So, go ahead and sell your services. Get a client. They don't have to be a perfect client. But, make sure they're a paying client. You're doing this as much to get it over with, as for any other reason. Of course, you'll want to make sure you perform, and your client is happy. But, what's really important is that you get a client.
  3. Define your niche — You'd think this would come before getting a client. But remember, that first client was about getting a client — not even about your niche or what you'll do for the rest of your freelance career. But now it's time to figure out where the brunt of your clients will be. And then, look to personal and professional experience to define why you're uniquely qualified to work with clients in that niche.
  4. Establish your business — There are tax reasons and credibility reasons for establishing your business as a legal entity. If you're like me, this is the most painful part of business — dealing with forms and regulations and bureaucracy. But it's smart to do — so work with your CPA, attorney, and whoever else it takes to make your business a business.
  5. Build your website — The first thing many potential clients will do when you approach them is plug your name in to Google, and see what comes up. It better be your website. You have to have a website, and it has to look professional, put together, and complete. You could pay a designer upwards of $2,000 for a basic website (plus $50+ per hour for any changes you want later) or you can learn how to use the relatively simple tools available to set up your own website, and edit it as needed. (You can have your new website up and running for less than $50, once you know how.)

Is this everything it takes to start a freelance business? No. But if you do these five things, you'll be well on your way. Do them fast — "Money Favors Speed" — and you'll have the momentum you need to keep achieving. You'll be able to build your own successful freelance business, faster than you may have thought possible.

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The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: September 13, 2010

1 Response to “Do These 5 Things To Start Your Freelance Business”

  1. I really learned a lot from reading this article. It gave me some steps to follow to help me begin my career as a copywriter. I just finish obtaining a marketing degree and realize that I prefer to work for myself as a freelancer versus a company for 10 years. I want the freedom to have the income to be a blessing to my parents, others in need, as well as have a nice nest for myself. I will most definitely be looking further into this. Thanks for the email.

    Guest (Viola Brown)October 21, 2010 at 7:48 pm


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