Freelance Success Shortcut Book
Learn to start and grow a successful freelance business with practical advice that gives you a freelancing blueprint to get dream clients and elevate your life.
The only book you need to go from your first freelance project to growing your freelance business.
The freelancer's bible with step-by-step advice, practical tips, and assignments to build your success as a freelancer.
Twenty years of freelance work as a graphic designer, illustrator, website developer, copywriter, and marketer has taught me every lesson needed to be a 6-7 figure freelancer. I will take you on a freelancing journey that will allow you to both get started freelancing and build a profitable side hustle so you never have to worry about your full-time job again.
I've written this book as a guide with tips and assignments to build your freelance career, from getting your very first project to building a freelance foundation for your financial stability.
By applying personal experiences learned over two decades of freelancing, I walk you through converting potential clients into happy customers, assembling a standout portfolio, and building networks with an honest, practical approach with specific instructions that I have used and have stood the test of time.
Are you ready to become one of the top 1% of creative professionals? I wrote this book so all freelancers, regardless of the service industry, can grow a successful business online.
Most freelancers, myself included, learned the hard way as there hasn't been a practical guide to online growing a freelancing business. You don't need to learn to work a four hour work week with vague information. You need practical advice to succeed in the creative or freelance industries.
This guide is perfect for ALL freelancers:
- Copywriting freelancers
- Graphic Designer freelancers
- Website Development freelancers
- Digital Marketing freelancers
- Virtual Assistant freelancers
- Coaching freelancers
- Professional Development freelancers
- Financial freelancers
I've written this freelancing book with the gig economy in mind to help freelancers achieve their goals of being their own boss and setting their own terms. Talent can be learned throughout your never-ending journey as a freelancer, so don't worry if you're not confident in your skills, these will develop over time.
Freelancing books all have unclear information. It frustrated me! I wrote this freelancing book as a practical guide with a 10-step process you can follow.
This book will give you the freelancing foundation to build a fantastic online career, whether you work in a creative capacity, a technical one, or support businesses worldwide.
You can continually evolve and level up your services company and increase the number of jobs you receive.
Eventually, I expect you to have more work than you can handle and slowly transition into an agency model if you want to. Although, as an independent freelancer, I thoroughly enjoy doing the production work, whether the task is a website, logo, copywriting, or any other creative and technical work my customers want. I still very much enjoy production work twenty years later.
I'm not a bestselling author, but I am among the top 1% of earners in freelancing, with over $400,000 earned on Upwork and often averaging $25,000/month.
Two decades ago, I was finishing up at art school, wondering how I would make a living being an artist in the world. I've always loved art and never thought of doing anything else as my career, so I was fully committed to making myself a success.
Before Facebook, Upwork, and LinkedIn were even ideas, getting freelance jobs was difficult. Every year since, there have been more and more opportunities to build a business as a freelancer.
I started with the job board in my 3rd year Illustration class at Sheridan College, it was a post-it board with random Graphic Design and Illustration jobs that paid little to nothing. But the experience was essential to my growth.
Sheridan College taught me the technical ability and work ethic to be successful, but nothing about running a business, finding customers, negotiating work, or even delivering final work.
I quickly learned that I wasn't a freelance Graphic Designer and Illustrator. I was a salesperson. This was the first lesson and the toughest one because it forced me to learn an entirely new set of skills to make myself a success.
What you will learn from this freelancer's bible:
I wrote this book, unlike most "freelance success" books. I wrote the Freelance Shortcut with helpful, practical lessons focused on concepts that work "Do this, and get this" instead of the all too common success books that say arbitrary catchphrases like "Work hard, hustle hard," but get you nowhere.
My goal is to give you a guide that you can refer to and build all of the pieces you need to be a successful freelancer. Choose your full-time or side hustle path to supplement your income.
Step 1: Path
How to build your daily system
The first step in this freelance career path is all about designing a daily system you can use which helps you develop everything from new jobs to new business, showing off your talent, and developing the marketing materials you need for success as a freelancer.
What you will learn in Step 1:
Why do I need a daily system?
How do I structure my daily system?
What is the best format for my daily system?
Daily system template
Assignment: Create your daily system
Step 2: Profiles
How to build your freelance profiles
The second step is bringing clients to you by writing effective profiles that can be used on all of the various freelance platforms for developing new business. Although my lessons in this guide are focussed on LinkedIn and Upwork, these strategies have worked over the past two decades in the ever-changing freelance marketplace.
What you will learn in Step 2:
Why do I need a personal profile?
How do I write my profile?
How do I find keywords?
Assignment: Write your profile
Step 3: Pitch
How to sell your services
The third step helps you build a highly converting pitch that demonstrates you know what you are doing and gives the client the confidence that they can choose you as their freelancer.
What you will learn in Step 3:
Why do I need a pitch?
How do I write my pitch?
What is the best pitch format?
Assignment: Write your pitch
Step 4: Personas
How to find clients ready to hire
In this fourth step, I teach you how to write compelling copy to attract clients, as well as identify who will hire you, and what to say to demonstrate that you understand the client's problem on an emotional level, where the sale is made.
What you will learn in Step 4:
Why do I need personas?
What is a client persona?
How do I write client personas?
Assignment: Write 3 client personas
Step 5: Presentation
How to demonstrate your services
During the fifth step, I walk you through what to send to each of your prospective clients with real-world examples and a template structure so you can build your personal brand's marketing presentation and get your next project.
What you will learn in Step 5:
Why do I need a presentation?
What makes a great presentation?
What do I add to my presentation?
Assignment: Write and Design your presentation
Step 6: Pricing
How to determine your price list
In this sixth step, I show you my pricing structure and how to develop your pricing list even for complex projects. This allows you to quickly qualify for jobs that fit your preferred payment structure and increase your conversion rate significantly.
What you will learn in Step 6:
Why do I need a services price list?
What is the best way to write a services price list?
How do I write my services price list?
Price list template
Assignment: Make your services pricing menu
Step 7: Process
How to keep projects on track
This step shows you the system I use to keep multiple projects, clients happy, and moving forward. Currently, I manage about 180 clients and roughly 50 projects open projects per day while retaining 5-star feedback and a 100% job success score.
What you will learn in Step 7:
Why do I need a process?
What is the best way to write my process?
How do I write my process?
Assignment: Write your process
Step 8: Problems
How to negotiate
In the eighth step, I teach you common negotiation strategies I use to halt objections before they happen and recover projects that happen as every client is different. This step will help you keep your reputation intact even in difficult situations.
What you will learn in Step 8:
Why do I need to focus on problems?
How do I solve problems?
How do I negotiate?
Common freelancing problems and how to solve them
Assignment: Write problems clients are having and how you solve them
Step 9: Promotion
How to get freelance jobs consistently
In the ninth step, I show you how to keep your sales pipeline full of incoming jobs, get invited to new projects often, upsell new tasks, and become a necessity to the companies you want to work for. Many freelancers focus on one project at a time with a lot of downtime in between. This step solves that problem for good.
What you will learn in Step 9:
Why do I need to promote my services?
How do I demonstrate my talent?
How do I find work?
Promotion guide to finding freelance work
Assignment: Design your promotion strategy
Step 10: Portfolio
How to build, maintain, and present your work
In the final step, I teach you to build a portfolio that will capture your prospective client's attention and make their choice of working with you easy. By building a professional freelance portfolio, you dramatically increase your chances of being hired regardless of what freelance industry you are in.
What you will learn in Step 10:
Why do I need a portfolio?
What do I add to my portfolio?
How do I make portfolio pieces?
Assignment: Create your portfolio
Who is this book for?
Freelancers of all shapes and sizes
Although I have focused my career on freelance work as a Graphic Designer, Website Developer, Copywriter, and Illustrator, these lessons will work for all freelancers, regardless of the industry you choose.
The skills this book teaches will take you from getting odd jobs to becoming a full-time freelancer and significantly accelerate your freelancing. I genuinely believe you will skip a decade ahead with what is contained within this book.
Skip common problems, and get right to results in your freelance journey.
There is no fluff in this book which is all too common in business books. I explain in detail the systems I use to generate a significant income on various freelance platforms, how to keep freelancing tasks rolling in, and specific assignments so you can build your marketing materials based on proven templates that work for me.
Stop the search. Start being found.
When clients come to you
Your goal as a freelancer is to get the job you want, and the best way to do that is to stop the search and have clients come directly to you for your personalized talent. When you search, you use a vast amount of time. The goal is to build marketing content that makes the job come to you.
Writing content is just one of the keys to getting a job as a freelancing professional. Copywriting is an excellent skill to have in the online job market. Effective writing will develop the talent necessary to create your own company on the web.
Stand out in the crowd
The hard truth is there are thousands of other freelancers to compete with
The great news? Most of them have only a few pieces of the puzzle and are easy to leapfrog over to gain your prospective client's attention and get the freelancing jobs you want.
On Upwork, there are often 50-100 proposals in each freelance posting, and your proposal has to cut through the junk that so many other freelancers send, with their fingers crossed, desperately hoping to hear from companies.
This book eliminates and helps reduce the anxiety of not achieving the freelance work you want and will fill your pipeline with new jobs daily. I have used this exact system to great success over the past twenty years and have refined it into a hyper-focused system for success in my freelancing career, and will work for yours.
How do you use the book?
Your best chance at a successful freelancing career
Most business books focus on obvious solutions "work hard" doesn't help. You already know that "hustle hard every day" doesn't give you the system for freelance success.
With this book, if you want freelance success on a large scale, you need to follow the assignments and build professional personal brand marketing communications.
The one core belief to hold on to is this: "This will never be complete." What do I mean by that? Simple means that all the pieces you will build for yourself during these assignments will constantly evolve and refine.
My website is now twenty years old, and I work on it weekly. There will never be a time you will have any of these pieces perfected. Your goal is consistently refining and elevating them to refine your marketing voice and add your freelance personality.
What do businesses want?
Companies want low risk and high reward. It's as simple as that, and by being a flexible freelancer, you can demonstrate the benefits of working with you as a creative person.
Your customer will want you to be able to grow with them, not just do one task, make a little money, and disappear. You will become a successful freelancing professional when you consider lifetime value.
For example, I created a $250 Logo for a brand called Wallet Ninja. Had I stopped there, I would not have earned over $150,000 from this client by consistently adding value to their company. Freelancing is the easiest way to eliminate the need for a "consistent" salary. I expect that you will earn a million dollars within your first ten years of adhering to the lessons and assignments.
Are there any guarantees with income?
No, of course not. That would be irresponsible. But one thing I have seen from coaching successful freelancers one-on-one is that incredible work ethic and continually increasing education and skills lead to success.
It's much easier than you think.
By giving freelance clients consistent quality and constantly recommending the following steps to your existing clients, you can create a business you can depend on for your whole life and never be stuck with one employer who can dictate your future.
It's your future, here is the freelancing blueprint.
Take control of your freelancing career
In this book, I teach you not only how to make a great salary as a freelancing professional online, but I also help you refine your search for clients who want to work with you, build your service list, and build an independent lifestyle you want by displaying your skills.
You will learn to use social media to your advantage and find the elusive contract you want to earn the pay you know you deserve. You will create all of the marketing materials and communications required to support you and your family with consistent employment.
A solid independent, web-based business will not only let you simply survive but also help you thrive even when the markets are down. My freelance business has thrived throughout my career, even during wars, recessions, and pandemics. I was always safe when companies were routinely firing full-time employees with a robust freelance foundation. This is the security I want for you and your family to build the life you want, independent of a full-time salary.
With this freelance book, the sky is the limit.
Earn the pay that you deserve
Let's face it. We work for money. You don't have to be passionate about every freelance job you receive. Money is used to develop the lifestyle you want. Whether that money is for a shiny new car or to send your kids to school, you can build a fantastic career in freelancing with this book.
Freelancing has never been more accessible, and every year it becomes easier to secure the job you want, whether in copywriting, design, development, virtual assistance, or accounting.
Every freelancer has an equal opportunity to achieve excellent results. Few freelancers see the whole picture and can't leverage specific items such as searches and websites to find the clients they need for success.
You have the talent already. There is a client out there that needs your help, and demonstrating this talent online and showing the service you can provide is key to finding work immediately.
The world is filled with opportunity, and you can easily support businesses both locally and globally by showing the service range you already have and the benefits you provide.
You can go from part-time tasks to full-time work by using the process outlined in this book for businesses worldwide.
Ready to create your freelancing future? Here's how to become a full-time freelancer.
Freedom is often associated with being self-employed, and the title of founder and entrepreneur is fantastic. It's a fun, secure way to financial freedom, and all you need is a computer, software, and elbow grease to stay consistent.
Hundreds of workers worldwide have asked me to walk them through the journey of becoming professional gig-economy freelancers.
There are numerous categories of freelancing professionals, and you can become highly successful in anyone you choose with this book.