I was joined for this Q&A call by Corbett Barr. Founder of the awesome Think Traffic blog and the equally excellent Fizzle. Having built several blogs to success and coached many others along the way Corbett is a voice you should pay attention to.
Naturally the conversation revolved around traffic and content; these are foundational pillars you should build to invest in the longevity of your business, even if your primary product is your time in a freelance or consultative capacity. Here are some key takeaways from the call which you can listen to in full from the bottom of this page.
Take yourself on as a client
Something that really resonated with me as I’m sure it would for many of you. The process of developing content, whilst initially pays very few dividends is a long-term investment in your business growth. Corbett advocates developing a “Me Project”, where you are in effect one of your more demanding clients.
By working this way you can allow, then justify time spent on developing content and building the most important brand you’ll ever work for… yourself.
Having an online voice gives you a competitive advantage
When going to market for a freelancer, businesses at the smarter end of the spectrum (the ones you really want to do business with) will do their own research as to expertise level, your credibility and your past work. This is particularly true in the design & development fields with Dribbble and StackOverflow often replacing a more traditional resumé. That is to say if you have a particularly strong online voice and are regarded as an expert in your field you’ll have yourself a competitive advantage (with all the fee benefits that brings, nudge nudge) over your peers.
Try standing on the shoulders of giants
Corbett recommends you try to leverage the audience of bigger bloggers or content producers in your space. This is something I wrote about in my post last week, covering my path to doubling my freelance rate. Maximising these relationships can put you on the right path to widening your audience, developing a stronger reputation and ultimately earning more from your endeavours.
Build a secondary income by addressing client pain points
We discussed where a freelancer should turn when fees are steady, customers pay the bills and life is okay. What is the secret sauce that brings earnings to the next level, to gamechange-ville. Whilst it is possible to monetise the traffic you’ll receive to a blog presence (by way of affiliate income or with ads) Corbett recommends trying the product route.
By building products around the problems you solve for your clients on a daily basis you can package up a solution which serves a wider market, at a significantly reduced rate.
As a brief example, if you are web developer who fixes WordPress bugs for a living, why not develop a comprehensive DIY guide to launching, using and upgrading WP and launch that for sale as a subsidiary product? Going back to the “Me Project” you should be able to look past the short-term effort for the long term benefit.
Books are not dead
Another point we covered was the choices you have available when developing online products for sale. Of course Fizzle is built on video fundamentals but with Kindle Direct Publishing making it ever easier to publish ebooks and with the obvious iBooks revolution the written word is showing no signs of disappearing.
As covered in the intro, it was great to have Corbett on and I’m sure you’ll find the insights useful. If you want to try Fizzle for just $1 you can do so with this offer link (non-affiliate): Fizzle $1 trial offer or for some of Corbett’s older work you can find his Start a Blog that Matters product!
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