Freelancers podcast from Seth Godin’s Akimbo – the Conclusion (last 5 minutes):
You need to deliver the product of difficult work. Solve a problem in a new way. If you had a great boss, your boss would understand and encourage you to keep doing it.
Be smart about how good you are, who you do it for and how much you charge. This is an opportunity to dig deeper and do the work. This is what you signed up for – not to work a lousy job for a lousy boss.
…and now, for the continuation of my notes on Seth Godin’s Akimbo podcast on Freelancing:
The world will ask you to do work for free and promise that if this is good, then maybe they will buy it.
Seth’s recommendation – “That thing you do…that you sell…you should sell it. You should find something else to do for free. Something you do to have people see you and understand you.” For example, Seth gets paid to fly to places and speak. But his blog is free. His speeches are expensive.
Differentiate what is free.
People will walk away. People will leave. But you’re work is so good, people will miss it. There will ALWAYS be people who will give away what you’re selling for free. Always. Your job, then: Build practices and skills that no one can give away for free because you are a category of one. Be comfortable advocating for yourself.
You’re the sales rep.
How does a freelancer get more? How to turn this into a career?
The alternative SEEMS to be that you have to work harder and longer hours.
Or, you need to hire people in order to get bigger.
The THIRD path (and Seth’s recommendation): Get better clients. Clients who trust you and want better…why pay better. What will happen? Word will spread and you’ll get better. Good clients lead to better clients who lead to the best clients.
I’ve been following Seth Godin’s work for many years. He just gets better and better. This podcast episode got me jazzed. If you’re considering freelancing or being an entrepreneur (or if you believe they are synonyms(!)) this podcast is for you:
Here are notes from the podcast:
First of all, entrepreneurs are people who start companies, make money while they sleep and employ people. Freelancers actually create the work and usually work alone (might shop out aspects of their work, but mostly do it themselves). When he said this, I realized I am definitely not an entrepreneur! But being a freelancer resonated with me when it comes to my personality and goals.
Choose an industry that is glad to see you arrive.
Possess hard-earned skills. You can charge a lot, but deliver more than what people pay for.
Focus on the smallest viable audience – not a large one [This is the opposite of what so many failed businesses do!]. As a freelancer, you can only handle so much. This small group of people (your customers) will talk about you and wait in line for you.
Commit to the discipline of prospecting – you need to do your work and spend time getting work (building your business). Dedicate some time every day to honing your skills, finding new tools, spreading the word, earning the privilege of working for others (NOT networking parties).
Godin uses an example: He knows a photographer who shoots in a specific location at specific times and only those for clients. She
What gets you picked is you being in the Category of One. No one can substitute you. Get beyond being One of Many. Do quirky, unique, exceptional work – work that sounds like you, looks like you….the work that most people do not like. (Are you trying too hard to be liked by everyone?)
As my illustrators get to work, I want to apprise you of two valuable resources for self-publishing and entrepreneurship – especially if you’re a teacher – but for everyone.
Tip #1:Fiverr.com– Here, you can find every possible digital need: marketing, video animation, programming, singer-songwriters and translation work. Each gig starts at $5. You can also sell your services here.
Here is what you see when you browse for “Cartoon & Caricatures”:
You can communicate with artists before making a decision. All you need to do is agree upon a deadline and price and then wait. I used an artist who lives in Germany. I just needed cover art for a short story and she did a fantastic job…for $5! Providers are given reviews to hold them accountable for delivery time and customer satisfaction.
Tip #2: Especially for teachers – is TeachersPayTeachers.com Here, you can find high-quality lesson plans and activities for your grade level and subject matter. Almost all material has been created by teachers. Again, providers are reviewed by customers and everyone strives to attain a 4.0. There are teachers on this site who are so good, that their pay from TpT equals or exceeds their teacher salary!
Here is the Halloween page:
Selling your work is free and easy. They have ample tutorials and advice to help you be successful. If you sell a lot, it’s recommended that you go to “premium” status, which costs you about $60/year, but you’ll get a higher percent of your sales.
Here’s the breakdown for getting paid via PayPal and Dwolla:
Here’s to creating, learning, teaching and prospering!