I just read the book, The Wealthy Freelancer, 12 Secrets to a Great Income and an Enviable Lifestyle, authored by Steve Slaunwhite, Pete Savage, and Ed Gandia.
In sum, it’s a good all-around book that covers many topics from productivity, to getting clients, to creating lifestyle for freelancers of all sorts.
And for me, you know how I love specializing. In the book there are some great bits of advice on that subject as well.
I love diagrams – especially in a sea of text.
Two diagrams I especially found invaluable were the marketing funnel and the Wealthy Triangle TM. Both super handy visuals for explaining some key concepts web design freelancers, any independent professional for that matter, should know.
The marketing funnel diagram
The marketing funnel shows the stages at which individuals go from not knowing you at all to a paying client. One key understanding of this funnel (one that has caused me great grief until I eventually figured it out) is the distinction between a prospect and a lead.
From my point of view, here’s what’s important to know when you’re out marketing …
A “prospect” is someone who YOU know of and who YOU would like to talk to about becoming a client.
A “lead” is one step up from a prospect. It’s a prospect who knows who you are. I’ll add in, though not specifically mentioned that a lead also was a prospect curious enough to exchange contact information for possible future work. (The key is you can follow up with them).
And the big AHA that many new web designers discover is …
Just because you talk to a lot of prospects OR even leads (hey, let’s exchange cards!), doesn’t mean they have projects to give you right now.
Have you ever done some sort of mass outreach to a group that seemed like it would be a great way to get work? Like sending out a mass of emails to business contacts figuring someone’s got to have a need now?
Or perhaps when you joined a discussion group, with over a thousand members, simply announcing your services, you’d probably get at least one person who needs web design help?
I remember one time sending personal emails to 100 prospects who seemed like good clients for me. I sent about five per day, directly to their personal email address. These prospects were all members of my target market – professional coaches (life coaches, career coaches, business coaches, etc).
I got zero response. Not even a “no thank you”. Just no email replies at all!
That’s why it’s vital you develop follow-up systems.
And in the book, they talk about following up with leads to eventually turn them into paying clients as well as following up with existing clients to garner more work.
The other model I liked was the income vs. time model, they call the Wealthy Triangle TM.
The key take-away from this model, for me, was to see where you need to be to win both lots of income and have lots of free time.
Steve goes into some simple ideas for earning money with less time commitment. Many you may know of lie info products and affiliate income.
Dislike: The stuff on success
For me, I’ve read loads of books on productivity, goal-setting, and the likes, many which were outstanding. And while there’s good info about this kind of stuff in this book, my feelings are that it’s not enough.
The book touches on good success habits which can help someone new learn about them. But to implement good habits, set really motivating goals, and master yourself, you’ll need a lot more support.
And granted, this is a book, 200ish pages, and information can only do so much.
The Wealthy Freelancer is a solid book.
The biggest things for me in reading this book were two-fold:
(1) Creating your ideal prospect list. An actual name of prospects who you’d love to talk to about working as their web designer. This is critical as when you create your list, you’ll feel very empowered in knowing where work will come from.
(2) Following up. To keep clients and work coming in constantly, you’ll need systems in place to fertilize and farm the business landscape.
You can get it at Amazon.com.
If you’ve read this book, I’d love to hear your comments.