This episode specifically is for those of you who are thinking about scaling your freelance business to six figures. I recognize that that’s not necessarily everyone. Everyone has different goals for their freelance business. For you, it might make sense just to do this on a part time basis. Or maybe you have a day job you love that you don’t want to leave. That’s perfectly fine, but I wanted to introduce you to the concept that six figure freelancers, multi-six figure freelancers, and business owners that think a little bit differently. Many of them recognize that what got them to the six figure level or close to it will not be the same thing that takes them to the next level. So they made that navigational change pretty early on in their business to be successful with where they’re at.
I’ve identified 10 habits of six figure freelancers that will go through in this specific podcast episode.
Increasingly six figure freelancing is becoming more common. In fact, it’s estimated that 1 out of 5 freelancers is already there according to the State of Independence in America study in 2018. But I think that number should grow even more. Many people are leaving full time jobs to pursue freelancing and have a whole new perspective on work.
The number one thing that six figure freelancers recognize is that mindset work is a must.
They don’t just try to implement strategy after strategy and hope that it works. They’re engaged in mindset habits that keep them positive like reading books or listening to uplifting podcasts, journaling, yoga, massage, exercise, and more. Six figure freelancers know that getting their mindset straight is almost more important than the work and some days even more important.
Need a recommendation for a great mindset book to start with? Check out the Big Leap by Gay Hendricks.
The second habit of six figure freelancers is that they don’t get attached to the outcome of any one thing.
They know that no one client job proposal, pitch, or phone call defines them. Instead they approach their opportunity calls with clients with confidence rather than desperation. And trust me, that can make a world of difference when you’re on the phone with a potential client.
The third thing that sets six figure freelancers apart is they don’t underprice or oversell themselves with clients.
They don’t promise the sun, the moon, and the stars. Instead they know their value and they ask for it. Even though they know that it means many of their potential clients will turn them down. You will always be too expensive for some people. Just be prepared for that six figure. Freelancers know their value and recognize that they shouldn’t position themselves as a person who can do it all. This often means that you end up in an employee type scenario where you are indeed doing it all for a particular client.
Unless you love juggling multiple things at the same time and being responsible for many different aspects of a client’s marketing strategy, as a freelancer, niching down or focusing on the things that you do best is a great way to stay.
The fourth thing that sets six figure freelancers apart is they recognize the detrimental impact of drama, especially drama that unfolds online.
They don’t engage in drama with friends, family, or anyone else online. We’ve all probably been in some of those Facebook groups or online spaces where drama rules the day. I’ve seen it far too often. It’s part of the reason that I have the stringent rules in my own Facebook group because I don’t want it to become just one more place on the internet where people are arguing with one another and shaming people. Or trying to jump and pile on and be trolls, right?
So six figure freelancers are way too busy being booked and doing those positive mindset practices to help scale their business to be worried about dealing with naysayers. So if you are the type that gets totally locked into that comment someone made five days ago, that makes you feel really poorly about yourself, that’s a mindset habit that you can start to work on and recognize that anyone who kind of goes that direction with the constant negativity is only pulling you away from business opportunities.
The fifth thing that six figure freelancers do differently is double down on their absolute best selling services and the projects they love to do the most they find where they make their money. And where their happiest doing it and instead focus on doing a few things at a time.
Rather than saying, I offer it all now. You can still be a multi-passionate entrepreneur and freelancer and have several different things going on at once. But you don’t want to say, here are the 50 services that I can provide you with. Most six figure freelancers have no more than four or five things that they provide to a client at any one time. Often they become an expert in their niche or a kind of project in which they do really, really well. They further become an expert in that niche or industry, which makes it easier to convert and sell and collect testimonials that convert other clients like that.
Now this next one is extremely important. Number six: six figure freelancers market all the time.
It’s a very common mistake I see freelancers make. They assume that they can just stop when they’re fully booked. Six figure freelancers do not stop or give up when they are booked. In fact, they use that to their advantage. They establish waiting lists. They apply urgency and scarcity to converting new clients, but they don’t make any excuses about finding their marketing avenues with the highest conversions. You aren’t really going to see six figure freelancers that have 16 different ways in which they market and they are waking up every day trying to do all the things. Instead they’ve said, you know what, my two highest converting channels are X and Y. That’s where I’m really going to put most of my effort.
Number seven: six figure freelancers know their value and they position themselves with it.
They don’t accept calls with tire kickers. When I get on a phone call with someone who is not serious about hiring or has an extremely low budget and just wants to argue with me specifically about pricing, I get off that phone call as soon as possible. I was recently on a phone call with someone who wanted to hire me to go straight to their book. He threw out at the beginning of the conversation that his budget was $8,500 for a six month project. That it required multiple interviews with him and you know, basically formatting the book to be self-published. And it included the creation of a marketing plan. I honestly thought it was a joke when he said it. It really came across like he had no clue what goes into producing a book.
So about six minutes into the call after he was starting to go off into a tangent. I just very clearly said I’m not the right person for this job. It sounds like you have some phone calls set up with someone else who might be a better fit. I wish you luck. So getting off the phone with tire kickers, trying to weed and screen those people out before you even talk to them is key.
I had a sample project recently where the client took six weeks to pay for one blog. They also never responded to any of my comments in the Google document when they made edits that made no sense or asked for information that had nothing to do with the blog post itself. So when the client said that they didn’t think they’d be moving forward with me, huge relief, right? You also have the power to decide after bad sample projects when to say no. That particular client just beat me to the punch that time.
Six figure freelancers seek ideal clients only and often have a client or monthly minimum. They won’t take on a project where the scope of work is expected to be one thing per month or where there’s a flat fee that the client is paying, but that also includes hours and hours of phone calls and back and forth.
Now, the eighth thing that six figure freelancers know and the way that they approach their business is that they can’t do it all alone.
And if you haven’t listened to the previous episode about hiring a virtual assistant, this would be a great opportunity to go back to that and learn more about when it’s the right time to start outsourcing to a virtual assistant on your team. Six figure freelancers recognize that they need support from a variety of different professionals, including an accountant, perhaps a team of freelance subcontractors, a virtual assistant, or even a coach. And they’ll see these professionals as investments rather than as an expense and realize that they cannot do everything within a given day or do everything well. So they’ll outsource what doesn’t fit in their zone of genius and keep the rest.
The ninth thing that six-figure freelancers do differently from a lot of other business owners who are operating at more of the beginner level is they know that they are the driver of their business and they accept responsibility for what they do.
They’re not forever blaming their lack of success or the problems in their company on someone else. They’re recognizing the role that they played in that process so they don’t blame marketing tools, virtual assistants, or anyone else for their lack of success. Instead, successful freelancers always look to see where they can improve and then create a solid team surrounding them to help them get better and accomplish even more.
Now, the 10th and final thing that six figure freelancers do is surround themselves with winners and become lifelong learners.
Other freelancers and mastermind groups are a great place to start so that you can have a support system to be at your side as you navigate and grow your freelance business. Finding other people who get what you do, who encounter the same types of challenges and obstacles, and can be a sounding board when you have questions and concerns can be instrumental for helping you scale. These lifelong learners are your six figure freelancers who also read and learn from experts.
They listen to podcasts in their industry, right? That’s probably you if you’re listening to this podcast. They seek out expertise from other people. They see people about two to three steps ahead of them and learn from those people as much as they can. You have to recognize that you cannot do everything by yourself. You shouldn’t want to do that either. So having a team of people around you who might have more knowledge in a specific area or who can help you navigate some of the trickier aspects of working as a freelancer, especially as your business grows, can give you a lot of peace of mind and help to normalize the situation.
Oftentimes, our friends and family members don’t really understand what we’re doing as freelancers. They don’t recognize how our lives are different. Or that we’re not just sitting at home all day watching Netflix. They don’t know what it really takes to run a freelance business. So build that community around you. Even if you’re a remote worker at home.
Now, six figure freelancers have an eye towards the future. Freelancing might not be their end goal and that’s okay. They have an underlying desire to scale their company and to build their business around their life and not the other way around. Six-figure freelancers don’t have that perspective of “Let’s just keep adding and adding and adding income and revenue to my business, especially if it’s also adding complexity and I’m getting increasingly less happy with the process of running a business.” They’re constantly testing things and thinking about how to do things differently, how to make their business work more effectively for them.
Now, if you’ve been listening and are thinking, “I don’t know if growing a six-figure freelance business is right for me.” That’s okay! You can still keep many of these tips in mind and effectively scale your freelance business as much as possible in the timeframe that you have and with the individual goals that you have. The more that you start thinking about where you’re going to be with the next step in your freelance business, the easier it will be to build your confidence and get to that point.
Thanks as always for tuning in to another episode of the advanced freelancing podcast. Remember, you can get lots of free resources on my website, including past episodes of this podcast, hundreds of YouTube videos, and great blogs to help point you in the right direction.