Always be providing value – with Tom Ewer [Q&A]

Connect emotionally but don't forget to pivot when you're no longer relevant to your audience

Unfortunately we had a big audio fail on this call – but the show must go on, so here are the notes from the Q&A call

Tom Ewer is a professional blogger who’s built a service in and around freelance writing roots. LeavingWorkBehind offers a unique, refreshingly transparent look at that journey and the ups and downs of building an online business and a detailed earnings report, which builds on not only his freelance/service earnings but something I bang the drum about a lot here, a secondary income… taking him to 6 figure revenues and beyond on a yearly basis and upwards of $7,000-8,000 per month in profit.

The entrepreneur spirit

Tom describes his journey in a similar way to most would-be business owners. A yearning “entrepreneur spirit” which eventually uncovers a path to freedom. That key turning point came in 2011 when he left a full-time role to go freelance, picking up his first “paid gig” from a jobs board. Things have snowballed from there and that’s where we pick up the story.

Building an online voice

Tom has been able to build up a great following online and has leveraged that “voice” to build bigger and better clients. Indeed, this results in Tom taking himself out of the writing loop altogether, leveraging a remote team now to build an efficient service model rather than having every link in the service delivery process go through him, working this way is something I advocate a lot on Freelancelift. Here are the key takeaways from Tom’s experience building an online voice:

Don’t chase the breakthrough. Build valuable content and the breakthrough will come to you gradually
Be yourself, lay out your personality. Tom has found that personal, emotional content seems to resonate best with his audience.
Provide value. This is a constant throughout my Q&A calls, provide value to build trust and genuine reciprocity.
Don’t underestimate the value of good design. By having your own “house in order” something I talk about quite a lot here you’ll be able to use it as a believable, valuable central platform for your message and your content.

On pivoting & evolving

We discussed how connecting emotionally with readers in a similar position had helped Tom build the trust of his readership. As Tom’s blog initially mapped his journey quitting his job and moving into the online business world that message had to evolve as Tom went from being just like his readers to being the teacher of his readers.

The key takeaway from that is to connect emotionally but don’t forget to pivot when you’re no longer relevant to your audience.

The mindset for growth

We talked about vision, Tom argues that “vision is important, but motivation is more important”. The mindset for real growth stems from really understanding what motivates you and building a strategy (with those motivation strengths in mind) that’ll help you execute on that vision.

Leveraging systems & processes

Tom has been able to successfully work less and earn more by systemising areas of his business. By leveraging a remote team and building efficient processes and communications channels Tom has been able to move away from day-to-day freelancing, only writing on his terms. This is a great message to end on, working less & focus is one of my five core areas and Tom has demonstrated here that by leveraging processes & systems you can work less, earn more and move away from day-to-day freelancing before maximising a secondary income stream that’ll take you up to the earnings levels Tom new enjoys.

You can catch Tom and break open his monthly earnings reports by heading over to .

Learn anything? Please share

When you’re held ransom by client work and income instability how are you supposed to find time to work on “growth” (whatever that means).

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