As freelancers and solopreneurs very few things are certain; we work in an agile environment and can never be 100% sure what’s around the corner. But I do have one certainty to put to you. That you can point to at least three or four things right now that’d make some impact in the momentum you have in your business. You’ve picked up notes, ideas and insights from all angles yet, you haven’t implemented.
Then let me pose this: Would you be surprised if this list was unfinished, unchanged or un-started in three months time? Probably not. This is a problem. Just because we work solo day-to-day I firmly believe we all still need a little accountability. This post will convince you why, how momentum is created and what you should be focusing on in 2015.
Accountability, direction & tunnel vision
I have long held the belief that there is a sweet spot for building the momentum required to make real change in your business. I’ve seen it in play more times than I can count and it’s the same reason you’ll hear about ‘the overnight success that was a lifetime in the making’.
We meander through for extended periods, sometimes momentum occurs quickly when the circles align organically to provide this ‘overnight success’ which ignores a huge plateau period before it. Organic momentum like this is quite rare and for the most part we trudge along, accepting the plateau as the norm. The good news is that this momentum can be engineered.
There is a profound difference between wanting and doing when comes to building momentum and moving beyond your current situation. You might want to put in the work that’ll make the difference, you probably know all there is to know about doing it.
But what you don’t have is accountability, direction and the tunnel vision required to take the steps that matter, to earn more next month than you did this month, to find better clients, to feel a sense of pride in your work or whatever your unique goals are. This is at the heart of everything I’m doing at Freelancelift and in particular my work within Freelancelift Pro, which I’d love to see you benefit from.
But first, let’s talk about how I specifically engineered this for myself in the run-up to the release of ‘Stop Thinking Like a Freelancer’.
Even pros need accountability support
In October 2014, friend of Freelancelift Dan Norris released his epic book ‘7 Day Startup’. The thing went nuts, and in the months that have followed it has continued to sell 50-100 copies per day. I was inspired by this performance and reached out to Dan to understand how it all came together with such momentum and purpose.
I had been planning ‘Stop Thinking Like a Freelancer’ for about a year (although it had many other guises as time went on). This was one of these ‘to dos’ that kept moving further and further away from being complete the longer a procrastinated. I had about half the book written, various pieces of the jigsaw scattered all over the floor without the focus required to take a seat and stitch them all together.
During this email exchange, Dan recommended Tom Morkes – publishing consultant among other ventures – who had helped him pull the book together so quickly. I reached out to Tom and we hit it off, I knew I could leverage Tom’s insight and direction in an area I was unfamiliar with (publishing) and he could help me fill in my gaps in the circles laid out above.
You can see on the chart below the impact that this mix of accountability, direction & tunnel vision had on the momentum of the book. I did 60% of the work in 10% of the time, thanks to this commitment to getting it done. (X marks the spot where I had committed to accountability and direction).
Where your focus should be in 2015
Whether you choose to join Freelancelift Pro (and work with me and a group of your peers to achieve these goals, together) or not, here are the three areas you should be paying attention going in to 2015.
1. Pinning down who you will specialize on, and working that into a better performing website
This is just one of those areas that never gets done. So in my opinion, you should put the focus in this area first as it’ll underpin everything you do going forward. With a more accurate view of your dream client:
- Putting together website copy and design becomes easier
- You can build attention in the right places rather than trying to be ‘known’ everywhere
- You’ll win more of the leads you do get as you have a clear idea as to their pains, desires and fears and can work that into your pre-sales discussions
2. Driving attention to you and your work
There are millions of freelancers out there, all shouting louder than you are now. When attention brings you credibility, credibility brings you better clients and better clients deliver you more money in the bank on a monthly basis, attention matters.
What we’re really talking about it is building a reputation, interest in what you’re doing and traffic to your website. This is an area you should take seriously and one that a-l-w-a-y-s ends up at the bottom of your to do list. So make 2015 the year you change that.
More specifically it’s about understanding:
- You’re not exempt from marketing
- How clients go out to market and how you can intercept
- Why credibility and a reputation can be so powerful when finding clients
- What your options are for getting more traffic
3. Understanding pricing, reworking your proposal process
There is way too much conflicting advice and confusion in the area of pricing. You might understand ‘value pricing’ but when it comes to the crunch you delete the additional zero you just added to the bottom line of your proposal and send it anyway.
You have a great opportunity to overcome your pricing unease and confidently quote a rate which is beyond what you’d otherwise have been comfortable with. When you understand pricing and leverage it for your own benefit you can:
- Understand how to justify your higher rate
- Ensure you’re the only freelancer for the job
- Offer options and recurring services to boost total cost
Getting it done
So to wrap this up, my job here is to at least help you raise the question to yourself, who are you accountable to?
If it’s to yourself then guess what, you have the biggest pushover for a boss. Over the next few months I will be continuing to publish free content on Freelancelift with videos, podcasts, short books, webinars and posts but I can only go so deep with free content. Freelancelift Pro exists to provide you with that ‘kick’ when you most need it. The accountability, direction and tunnel vision to make it happen and I wholeheartedly believe it can be the real changing point for you.
It will require you to have some skin in the game financially but consider this, I hired Tom to help me for 3-4 weeks and I believed in it enough to invest over $2,000 in his support.
The book to date has generated $3,742 in revenue. (Edit: Now over $7,000 so my small investment in support and accountability is becoming almost insignificant now. This is why I would love for you to join Freelancelift Pro as I think you can achieve a significant return on your $1 intial investment)
I am willing to place a large wager that had I not enlisted Tom’s help I would still be ‘thinking of releasing a book some time’ investing zero for zero return, with zero momentum.
Here’s what Freelancelift Pro can do for you
From someone who has experienced the highs, lows and everywhere in between (yup, that’s me) backed by accountability from your peers, who will be working on the same big goal, at the same time and who are committed to giving you the tough love that I believe is so desperately needed when you work alone.
With video lessons clearly laying out, in a language you can understand and implement how to achieve this big goal, every month. This is backed by a short workbook for every goal, each month and interviews with other top bracket freelancers you can learn from.
> Tunnel vision
By blocking out a short period of time to attend an online workshop once a month you have the support and focus that’ll be needed to make these goals a reality.
Each month there will be one big goal we will all be working towards.
Here’s some stand-out content to catch up on once you’re a Pro member:
This is a project I’m really excited about. Like the book it just ‘feels right’, is something I am truly proud of and represents a real step forward in the amount of attention and focus I can plough into Freelancelift so hopefully it’ll be a great fit for you. If not, you can still find value by registering for a free account
If you haven’t checked it out already, you can find more information about Freelancelift Pro (as well as the free account) by heading to the ‘Join’ page. It takes about 30 seconds to join, and you can start for free.
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