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How Freelancers Can Use “The Rule Of 7” To Ethically Get More Clients | With Mike Janda

Ever felt like you wanted to reach out to someone, but didn't want to bother them?
 
Maybe it was an old acquaintance, a past client, or even a prospective client you've had your eyes on for a while…
 
Creatives typically have this voice inside our heads that say “don't do that… you'll just be bothering them”.
 
Here's something that may surprise you: That voice is usually a lying, thieving, horrible bastard who's simply holding you back from getting what you want…
 
What's even worse is that this voice is holding your prospective clients back from the rich experience of connecting with you and all of the value you could potentially bring to their lives.
 
If you want proof, just look at your own life. How many other people are constantly reaching out to you, bothering you with offers you don't want?
  • How many other freelancers are “bothering” you about hiring them?
  • How many old acquaintances are reaching out to you about meeting up for dinner or drinks to catch up?
  • Hell, how many potential love interests are sliding into your DMs?
If you're like 99% of the rest of us, those things are rarely (if ever) happening.
 
There's a better way to handle this stuff.
 
It's something called The Rule of 7, and it's one of the keys to the incredible success of this week's guest.
 
This week I got to speak to a “7-figure creative” who turned his 6-figure freelance business into a 7-figure agency (which he eventually sold).
 
He's used the Rule of 7 ethically to get more clients, stay top of mind, build trust, win more projects, and ultimately, earn millions and millions of dollars through his creative business as a designer.
 
This is what separates struggling creatives from multi-million dollar powerhouse guests like Mike Janda.
 
In this episode you’ll discover:
  • How to prepare yourself for an economic downturn
  • Positioning yourself as a freelancer to replace your day job
  • Solving problems as a method of sales
  • The rule of 7
  • The importance of meeting people in person
  • Competition at the top levels of freelancing
  • Understanding the market you're in to provide a valuable offer
  • Balancing between big city freelancers and “cheap” options in other countries

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Podcast

Stuck With Low $$$ Projects? Here’s How To Level Up To $50,000 Projects | With Ryan Koral

The dark side of freelancing (that no one wants to discuss) is the wasteland of low-dollar “Fiverr Freelancers” charging bottom-dollar rates for “butt-in-seat” projects.
 
Whether you're on Fiverr or not, you may still be trapped in this low-dollar wasteland that is essentially just another soulless day job you've created for yourself.
 
These projects tend to be unfulfilling and draining, and you end up in a horrible financial place.
 
This is what so many newbies and struggling creatives do, and many never make it out of this trap.
 
I know this might sound painfully obvious, but you can't build a sustainable freelance business out of low-dollar, unfulfilling work where you're competing with hundreds (or thousands) of copycat competitors willing to work longer hours for less money than you.
 
This is why I wanted to bring on Ryan Koral from Tell Studios to talk about how he successfully transitioned from $500 projects to regular $50,000 projects, eventually scaling his freelance business to over $1,000,000 per year.
 
Ryan shared a ton of incredible info, including one of my new favorite strategies for closing high-dollar projects, so do not skip this week's interview.
 
In this episode you’ll discover:
  • Why Ryan pivoted from a full-time job earning $23,000/year to a becoming a full time freelancer
  • How “yes mode” affects the start of your business
  • Why you don't hire significant others for your business
  • Dealing with employees who don't have the right expectation
  • The benefits of delegating tasks to others
  • Why your employees aren't the idiots you think they are
  • Your value vs. how your clients value your work
  • How to sell a low $$$ workshop that leads to a $50k project (with a 100% success rate).

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Podcast

How To Be “The Full Package” 6 Figure Creative | With Toby Lloyd

If you ever want to break 6 figures as a freelancer (or whatever your goal is), let me ask you something important…
 
Are you running your business (and life) like a 6 figure creative?
 
Most people think they can keep acting like a 4 or 5-figure freelancer and that eventually (with enough hard work and perseverance), you'll somehow break that elusive 6-figure goal.
 
The reality is that you have to BE a 6 figure creative before you can earn 6 figures.
 
Confused? Here's what I mean…
 
Every 6 Figure Creative I know has these characteristics:
  • They're intentional in their personal life and business.
  • They have specific goals AND take consistent actions working towards those goals
  • They let opportunity and possibility drive their decisions instead of fear and self-doubt.
  • They're not afraid to show the world exactly who they are and are not.
The thing that most people don't understand is that these other 6 Figure Creatives already had these qualities and characteristics before they ever cracked 6 figures.
 
You are the same. Until you have the qualities and characteristics of a 6 figure creative, you will not crack that number (or whatever number you're trying to reach).
 
Our guest in this week's interview is the perfect example of someone who has all of these qualities. Toby Lloyd has been a freelancer for the past 15 years, and he's put a lot of care and intention into being the type of person he needed to be in order to be successful.
 
Toby's results speak for themselves. If you want to learn what “the full package” looks like as a true 6 Figure Creative, this interview is for you.
 
In this episode you’ll discover:
  • How Toby Lloyd transitioned from a full-time job in the film industry to a 6-figure home studio owner
  • Using competitions to create awareness for your business
  • Qualifying leads to make sure you're the best fit for the project
  • Why you need to get leads first and then focus on growth
  • The mindset of a good producer
  • How to nurture long-term relationships with your clients
  • Using flat-rate pricing to keep artists at ease in the studio
  • The difference between a Kiwi accent and an Aussie accent

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Podcast

How To Generate 1000 Inquiries Per Year As A Logo Designer | With James Martin

Ever felt like your industry is just too saturated to stand out? Like you're just a tiny drop in a massive ocean? You're not alone.
 
Nearly every freelancer has a moment (or ten) where they doubt themselves and their ability to stand out in a crowded “red ocean”.
 
That's why I was so excited to talk to James Martin from Made By James.
 
James is a designer who's had immense success in the crowded niche of logo design.
 
He's found a way to not just stand out, but thrive in an incredibly competitive niche. James is averaging around 1,000 inquiries from potential clients every single year, and this has allowed him to cherry-pick the best gigs and reject the “bill paying work” that many freelancers are forced to say yes to.
 
Whether you're a designer or not, this episode will contain a lot of fantastic advice from someone who's built an incredible, long-lasting career as a freelancer.
 
In this episode you’ll discover:
  • How James Martin has thrived for nearly 2 decades as a creative
  • Why niching down too early is worse than not niching at all
  • How to stand out in a saturated market
  • Passion vs. systems and habit
  • Why it's dangerous to rely on social media
  • Giving your clients the most value they can afford
  • Why it's time to raise your prices right now
  • Relationships in business
  • The difference between survival and thriving

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Our Favorite 3 Methods For Creating Awareness | The Client Acquisition Series

“I need more clients”.
 
That's the #1 problem our community has in every single poll we run.
 
The issue with getting clients is that no matter how good you are at what you do, you will never be able to get enough clients if no one knows you exist.
 
That's why we wanted to dedicate an entire episode to discussing our favorite 3 methods for building awareness and growing your business.
 
Creatives have to learn this stuff if they ever want to get out of the “feast or famine” lifestyle.

In this episode you’ll discover:

  • How to make an offer so good people feel stupid saying no
  • How to harness three of the six different lead sources
  • The thousand true fans model
  • How you can advertise for free
  • Why an email list is crucial to more and more freelancers
  • The importance of cleaning your mailing list

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Podcast

How To Attract Your Dream Clients | The Client Acquisition Series

Here are the two rules for attracting your dream clients.
Rule #1: Be attractive.
Rule #2: Don't be unattractive.
 
That's literally it.
 
The hard part comes when you actually look at what is “attractive” to your dream clients.
 
I'd bet you have a long list of alllll the things you want to see in their dream clients/projects, but very few people take the time to look at themselves and ask the most important question…
 

“Am I the type of person that would attract this sort of dream client/project?”

 
In many cases, that answer is, unfortunately, no. You're not anywhere close to being attractive to your dream clients.
 
In other cases, you might be attractive to them, but you're doing little to nothing when it comes to communicating all the attractive things you have to offer them.
 
In this continuation of our Client Acquisition Series, we dive into what it takes to attract your dream clients.
 
In this episode you’ll discover:
  • Why Guitar Center is the worst place to buy gear (unless they sponsor us)
  • How Mark closed a half-million-dollar deal
  • Why different clients need different approaches
  • Setting expectations in advance
  • High ticket vs. low ticket sales
  • How to become attractive to your dream clients
  • How to stay top of mind without being cringy
  • Why red ocean businesses struggle

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How Creatives Can Shamelessly (And Tastefully) Self-promote | With Peggy Dean

As a creative, what have you done recently to promote your work?
 
If you're like most, you might have posted on social media a few times (if even that)… but that's about it.
 
Unfortunately, self-promotion doesn't come naturally for most creatives, and it's to our own detriment.
 
We might be the best in the world at what we do, but if no one knows we exist, we'll never make a living from our creative talents.
 
That's why I invited Peggy Dean onto the podcast to discuss a subject she's become the master of; Self-promotion as a creative.
 
Peggy has managed to amass an Instagram following of 184,000 people and an email list of over 75,000 people, and she's showing no signs of slowing down.
 
If you're good at what you do, but you struggle to let the world know about everything you have to offer, this interview is a must-listen.
 
In this episode you’ll discover:
  • Why failure isn't necessarily a bad thing
  • Prioritizing your time and energy to become more creative
  • How Peggy finished high school a year and a half early
  • Using project management tools to stay focused
  • Tackling your ideal client's biggest struggles
  • Batching work to keep content flowing smoothly
  • How emotion controls a buyer's actions
  • Why email subscribers are worth 10x your social media following
  • The 90/10 mindset to solve your problems

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Podcast

The 7 Key Topics To Cover With Every Client BEFORE The Sale | The Client Acquisition Series

Have you ever had one of those awkward situations with a crush where you were TOTALLY into them, but you weren’t sure if they were into you?
 
Yeah… That sucks. Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do to help you there since we give business advice instead of dating advice.
 
What we CAN help you with is the client equivalent of that situation. Here’s what I mean…
 
You’re talking to a dream client. You’re way into working with them, but you’re just not sure if they’re into you.
 
There are actually 7 key points to cover with every potential client, and if each point is a “positive”, then they’re giving you their permission to pitch/sell them (i.e. take the relationship to the next level).
 
This framework was shared with us by someone earning multiple millions per year, and it works perfectly in the freelance world.
 
In this episode you’ll discover:
  • How to help your clients better by determining their needs
  • When closing a deal comes down to good timing
  • What to do if a client isn't sure they want to hire you
  • Why being open and honest with clients is the only way to run a healthy business
  • How to discuss your workflow and delivery with clients before closing a deal
  • Why it's vital that clients trust you implicitly

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Podcast

How To Get A Complete Stranger To Hire You | Client Acquisition For Freelancers

Client acquisition is a nerdy marketing term that basically boils down to one thing: getting clients.
 
While the idea is simple, our freelance community seems to be deathly allergic to client acquisition.
 
I get it… None of us got into this game because we wanted to become marketers. We do this because we love spending all day every day doing what we love by being creative.
 
Unfortunately, that's not how it works. Unless you simply want this to be your hobby, client acquisition is a skill and a process you have to learn, develop, and grow.
 
The alternative is to keep doing what you're likely doing now… sit around and hope a client finds you.
 
If your current “strategy” is “hope marketing”, this episode gives you the big picture view of how you can get complete strangers to hire you instead of waiting around for a miracle.
 
In this episode you’ll discover:
  • Why people will never hire you if they don't know you
  • How to build trust with potential customers
  • When it's time to be yourself
  • How dating and business are closely related
  • Why Mark is was more of a ladies' man than Brian
  • How adding value in the long term sets you up for success
  • Why our “comfort zone” is holding us back
  • Why we need to be ourselves and not be afraid of alienating some people
  • How appealing to everyone is a bad thing for our businesses

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Podcast

Dealing With Burnout, Mental Exhaustion, And Low Creative Juices

If you're doing anything worth a damn, you will eventually hit a point of burnout. There's literally no way to avoid this happening from time to time.
 
The question is “how do you handle it”?
 
Some of us just put our heads down and keep working, trying to pretend we're fine.
 
Others completely withdraw to “recover”, but they lose all momentum.
 
This episode explores the wide range of “gray” areas…
 
This is the area beyond simple black and white thinking.
 
It's this non-binary thinking that can help us navigate the most difficult roadblocks in our creative lives.
 
If you're going through burnout, or you feel like you just don't have anything left to give creatively, this episode is for you.
 
In this episode you’ll discover:
  • How to handle burnout
  • Why you might be facing burnout
  • Wearing all the hats as a business owner
  • The damage of over-saturating yourself in one aspect of life
  • Pacing yourself for success
  • How your well being is a sum of your life, not just one part
  • Why the four bottlenecks discussed in episode 188 are important to understand
  • Avoiding water in your gas tank