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The REAL “Secret” to Consistent Clients (and Income) as a Freelancer

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Ever feel like you're stuck on a rollercoaster of feast or famine with freelance work? You land a big project, then… crickets.
 
We've spoken to over 800 freelancers 1 on 1 this past year, and nearly EVERY one of those freelancers was in the same boat… lack of consistency, and lack of any real plan.
 
In this week's episode of the 6 Figure Creative Podcast, I'm hitting you with some tough love to break that cycle and give you the real “secret” to consistent clients and income. (Hint: It's not a magic trick.)
 
The secret to earning consistent income and landing premium clients isn’t what you think. It won’t be found in sporadic social media posts or half-baked marketing efforts. It’s about changing who you are.
 
This episode is for YOU if:
  • You're tired of the inconsistent income struggle.
  • You're ready to take your freelancing seriously and build a real business.
  • You're open to ditching the “dream client” fantasy and attracting clients who are a perfect fit.

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[00:00:00] Brian: [00:00:00] Brian: You ever have one of those mornings you wake up and you're just like, hey, I really want to piss a lot of people off today. I outlined the episode today and I think it's going to ruffle some feathers most likely.

[00:00:09] Brian: if you feel personally attacked from this episode, I apologize in advance, let's get into this. We're going to talk through the real secret. I use secrets and air quotes here. I probably used it in the podcast title as well. The real secret to consistent clients and income as a freelancer.

[00:00:23] Brian: We're gonna talk about this today. looked at some data and over the last year, we've talked to over 800 freelancers, one to one to talk through learning about their business, seeing where they're at now, where they're trying to go with that gap is the whole kind of thing. And because of that, I feel like I have a pretty good grasp of like the vast majority of people that listen to this podcast.

[00:00:41] Brian: I mean, 800 people is a lot of people. If you imagine 800 people standing in a room and they're lined up to talk to you one on one on one, that's a lot of conversations, it's also a lot of things that you've learned over that time. So this episode is going to kind of serve two parties.

[00:00:54] Brian: One is those people who want the best for their freelance businesses. And they're going to [00:01:00] take this episode and say, gosh, I needed that today. And you're going to be better for it. And then there's going to be the other camp, the victim mentality mindset. You're going to hear this episode. You're going to feel personally attacked.

[00:01:09] Brian: You're going to send me some hate mail which you can email Brian at six figure creative. com or podcast at six figure credit. It all goes the same place. You can email me there, all your hatred. You can spew that to me. Brian, you don't know what you're talking about. I'm a special snowflake. And you'll never tell me how to run my business.

[00:01:24] Brian: In which case, I will say au revoir. Thank you. Goodbye. I don't need you in this, this community. But let's talk to this. So 95 percent of the time, maybe 99 percent of the time, but like probably conservatively 95 percent of the time. Here's a scenario of the type of person that I've talked to in one of these 800 conversations.

[00:01:39] Brian: They're struggling with Feaster Famine.

[00:01:40] Brian: They're taking on gigs that we call kind of bill paying work is terminology we use here at Six Figure Creative. Bill paying work, things you don't really want to do but you got to do because you got to pay the bills. Beals. That's the Southern. Bills. Bills. Sorry. You got to pay the bills.You're underpaid.

[00:01:53] Brian: for the value that you usually provide the skill set that you have

[00:01:56] Brian: Usually because you're offering some sort of what we call commoditized service it's the same thing that [00:02:00] everyone else in your area offers packaged the exact same way priced in a similar manner Because of that your prices are driven down you're relying 100 percent on just word of mouth referrals, repeat clients friends and family, your immediate network for gigs.

[00:02:12] Brian: No stranger has ever hired you most likely.

[00:02:14] Brian: So that's the basis there. And if they've tried anything at all other than word of mouth, it's usually just a dabbling, a little smattering here and there of like, dabbled on social media. They post sporadically, they've dabbled in like cold outreach or cold pitching.

[00:02:28] Brian: They've sporadically sent emails here and there. Or DMs or whatever your method is, they've dabbled in paid ads, half assing like hitting the boosted post button on Instagram, or maybe they've spent a few hundred bucks on Google ads and it didn't work. I got nothing out of it.

[00:02:42] Brian: Not even thinking about the fact that like, yeah, you spent a few hundred bucks, which is not even a small testing budget to try to go land a 5, 000 client, for your very first foray into ads,

[00:02:51] Brian: again, if that sounds like you, you were either going to love this episode or you're going to hate this episode. If you were brand new to this podcast, hi, my name's Brian Hood, freelancer for [00:03:00] 10 plus years. This podcast is where I help freelancers who offer creative services to earn more money from your creative skills without selling your soul.

[00:03:08] Brian: And if you're brand new, this is a great episode to figure out. Do you love me or do you hate me? We'll find out in this episode today.

[00:03:14] Brian: what's funny to me in a dark humor kind of way is that nearly everyone that we talk to has the exact same goals.

[00:03:20] Brian: these are notes from calls. These are notes from real conversations that I've put down you're probably going to nod your head. Like, yeah, I want that too. First thing is. Consistency with clients and income. That's a given, that's an easy, everyone wants consistency with clients and income.

[00:03:32] Brian: That's any entrepreneur on earth. So that's like, okay, got it. High paying clients, or premium clients, those clients who don't beat you down on budget, in other words. You want to cherry pick the gigs that are fun and fulfilling to you. Most want to get to kind of a hundred K a year or 10, 000 a month.

[00:03:45] Brian: That's the financial goal that most have. nice round numbers. So it's just easy to kind of like work towards that. If they're already over a hundred K or 10 K a month, it's usually like a quarter of a million. It's kind of the next big round number that people want to work towards.

[00:03:57] Brian: Cause it just feels nice to say a quarter of a million, better than 200, [00:04:00] 000.

[00:04:00] Brian: And then here's the big kicker. our audience. This is where you differentiate a lot from just the general business population is you are actually not mainly motivated from finances. Not exclusively, at least some people are, but that's the vast minority, the vast majority of freelancers, especially the ones that we talk to are driven by Other things outside of finances.

[00:04:18] Brian: Yes, finances are important. We all know that, but it's other things outside advances that are motivating to you, especially if you have a family, you're prioritizing your family, your kids, your spouse, your experiences together, providing a great life for your children. Creatives overall are really motivated by creatively fulfilling projects, projects that are fun, projects that are challenging projects that stretch you creatively and are just fulfilling to you.

[00:04:41] Brian: And many, many freelancers are just motivated by the flexibility that you can have if you're a freelancer. Not the flexibility that comes with, I don't have a gig today so I can do whatever I want. That's not what we want, but the flexibility to at least have some sway in when you work versus when you don't work, when you take off for vacationversus when you have to work and flexibility around likeyour day to day [00:05:00] schedule or your hour to hour schedule, There's flexibility there. And freelancers love that part,

[00:05:03] Brian: but here's the biggest disconnect again, over 800 one on one conversations.

[00:05:08] Brian: And many are in the same or roughly similar situations where they're struggling with this feast or famine. And a lot of those have been struggling with this for years, years. Think about that. When you've been struggling with this for years, it is costing you so much money and people don't think about the opportunity cost of not solving these issues.

[00:05:24] Brian: It's like.

[00:05:24] Brian: tens, hundreds of thousands of dollars, whether you're talking about a year or a lifetime, one easy exercise to think through this on when you're talking about opportunity costs is look at your best month you've ever done, And maybe it's not your best month because maybe you got a bunch of invoices paid one month and that was just like a crazy month, but your best month that you could actually maintain.

[00:05:40] Brian: Look at what that number is. And is there any reason? Other than just not having enough clients or enough high paying gigs, is there any other reason besides that, that you couldn't do that every single month? So if you're, let's just say your best month ever that you could actually maintain is 10k, but your average month is 5k, that spread, that difference between five and 10k is how much does this costing [00:06:00] you?

[00:06:00] Brian: It's basically 60, 000 a year problem that every year that you don't have the solution to this, you were losing out on 60, 000 that you could have earned with your time, effort, energy, money, desire.but you don't have it.

[00:06:10] Brian: or it's not in your bank account yet because you never earned it. And for people that have gone three, five, seven years like this, where they have never actually solved the issue, there's hundreds of thousands of dollars in missed earning opportunity they could have had if they would have actually taken time to solve this.

[00:06:24] Brian: And for most, there is nothing holding them back from that earning potential other than solving these issues, these underlying root cause issues that are holding them back. And I know I said that money is not the main motivator for all freelancers, but just like any tool in your tool belt as a freelancer, the tool can be used for things that you need as a human being,

[00:06:42] Brian: Money brings stability, it brings opportunity for you and your family, for your business, it brings cushion, it reduces stress and anxiety because don't have to take those bill paying work, the things that beat you down, those clients that you don't want to take on, those nightmare clients.

[00:06:54] Brian: The lack of money increase anxiety, it can increase stress, it's bad for [00:07:00] creativity, it's bad for relationships if you're married.

[00:07:02] Brian: I read one, article, this is on Ramsey's website, so take it with a grain of salt, but I feel like, as much money as that guy spends and has, he can probably get a decent study together, that financial problems are cited as the second leading cause of divorce right behind infidelity.

[00:07:16] Brian: That's pretty high on the list. And so when you have a lack of finances that can put stress and I, have seen from people in my circle are people that we work with there's no separation between you as an individual and your personal life stresses and issues.

[00:07:29] Brian: And your business, right? So when you have these personal issues, it's going to creep over into your business and it's going to hurt your creativity. It's going to hurt your ability to get things done, et cetera, et cetera. So that can really quickly snowball in a negative way when you don't have money.

[00:07:42] Brian: That's why we talk about this on the podcast so much, because this is a tool that is necessary.

[00:07:46] Brian: so this is a tool that's necessary. You know, You have these issues, right? So now you're like feeling extra motivated today. Oh, I'm going to go fix this stuff today. Let's look at this. There's a quote that I like. I don't know who says this. It's likely a derivative of some other quote somewhere else.

[00:07:57] Brian: It says, show me your calendar and I'll show [00:08:00] you your priorities. Show me your calendar. I'll show you your priorities.

[00:08:02] Brian: Much of what I've said so far in this episode has probably resonated with you. To like a high degree, or maybe even a mid degree, but high enough for you to still be listening for whatever reason. If this is not resonating with you, There's plenty of other great podcasts out there.

[00:08:14] Brian: But if this is resonating with you, you're probably feeling pretty motivated. But if you were to open your calendar right now and show me all the things that are on there. On your calendar now or will be on your calendar. It's likely zero, zero things on your calendar right now to actually implement in your business, to make change, to get you to where you want to go.

[00:08:30] Brian: Right.

[00:08:31] Brian: So super common to have zero things on your counter, zero projects, zero tasks, zero hours set aside. the only exception might be if you're dabbling certain things, you're one of the dabblers are like, Oh, I post on social sometimes. Oh, I have an email list. I grew to 80 people, like little things that are like a great start, but not really going to get you where you want to go.

[00:08:49] Brian: Right. Right.

[00:08:49] Brian: I have yet to actually meet someone who has taken the time to put together a full strategy. And like, actually written it out, I've yet to come across a single person who's [00:09:00] actually done that. not even just planning out a strategy, but then actually go off and execute it. God, never have I seen that, but I definitely haven't even seen someone to create a strategy to then follow.

[00:09:08] Brian: It's always just a spaghetti approach. You're throwing spaghetti at the wall, throwing spaghetti at the wall, throwing spaghetti at the wall. And seeing what sticks or worse, people who just don't even throw spaghetti at the wall and just hope that something sticks, even though they've thrown nothing, right?

[00:09:21] Brian: Like that's ridiculous.

[00:09:22] Brian: Can you imagine if a real business ran itself that way? Can you imagine if Apple was just like, ah, we were going to launch the new iPhone, but like Tim Cook just kind of got bored with it and he wanted to do something more fun, more fulfilling. So we're trying something new. I don't know what it's going to be yet.

[00:09:40] Brian: We kind of have a few things that we're working on. But we don't know when they're going to be out. when they're done, they're done. Investors would just dump the stock. that stock would go to as close to zero as possible. And that's because businesses don't run themselves that way. But as freelancers, we don't think of ourselves as businesses.

[00:09:55] Brian: We're just little creatives tinkering with things. That's all we want to do. But like, you can't do that if you want to actually make [00:10:00] this work,

[00:10:00] Brian: And this is where we get into the real secret, what's the real secret to consistent clients and consistent income? That's what you're on this podcast for. What is the real secret?

[00:10:08] Brian: Here's the secret. Consistent clients and consistent incomes come from being a consistent person. More specifically, being a consistent person who consistently does client acquisition activities. Ooh, you feel personally attacked yet? everyone wants all these things, but Are you consistently generating leads?

[00:10:26] Brian: Are you consistently nurturing leads, consistently having sales conversations with a consistent sales process? you consistently following up with your leads until they either say yes or they say no or you die or they die? There's only four reasons you stop following up,

[00:10:39] Brian: especially if you're broke. You have a consistent onboarding process, a consistent referral generation process. Are you consistently delivering work on time? There was a time when I was in, Lacey Springs, Alabama, the meth capital of Alabama. the thing that I always heard was is the highestper capita methlabs in Alabama.

[00:10:54] Brian: I don't know. I lived there for two years, 2010, 2011. And about that time I was like, [00:11:00] early twenties obviously like thinking about women. I'm single at that time. I am in the middle of nowhere, 45 minutes from any of my friends, hopelessly single. And I had an Evernote file that I had created.

[00:11:10] Brian: I still have this in my Evernote. That says my perfect wife, Here's the long list of like what I went out of a wife, like my perfect wife list. Right. And then at some point I just kind of had an epiphany, I said, this is the perfect wife for me. Am I the type of guy? Who is going to be attractive to this woman?

[00:11:27] Brian: And the answer was absolutely not. There were so many things that I needed to change about myself, mentally, physically, emotionally, financially, in order to be able to attract that perfect fit wife. Not that the perfect fit wife even exists, but you get the gist. I was not in a state to even attract that.

[00:11:44] Brian: So why would I expect that?

[00:11:45] Brian: And I take that back by the way, the perfect wife doesn't exist and I'm married to her, Megan Hood.

[00:11:50] Brian: But Every freelancer wants that perfect fit client. They have the laundry list of it. This is the perfect fit client, all these things. And then you never stop to think, am I the freelancer who [00:12:00] this person is going to be attracted to? Because if you did that, you would realize how woefully short you fall on that list.

[00:12:05] Brian: Compared to other people that are out there who are taking this seriously,

[00:12:09] Brian: every free answer wants consistent clients, consistent income, high paying gigs, but frankly you don't deserve it.

[00:12:14] Brian: Why should someone pay you their hard earned dollars when the only thing you really care about if it's up to you is sitting in a room and working on fun projects that you're passionate about

[00:12:25] Brian: until you flip the script and focus on your client and how you can best serve them and how you can best give them what they want

[00:12:31] Brian: Then you're not going to appeal to your perfect fit client.

[00:12:34] Brian: But if you're not willing to put in the work, I can promise you, there is someone else out there who is more than willing to put in that work. They're more than willing to be a consistent freelancer and consistently do all the things that you have to do. The boring work, as Alex Hermosi says. They're willing to do the boring work in order to succeed.

[00:12:51] Brian: And those are the ones who are going to command the higher rates. They're going to be the ones who do get full roster. Or the ones who are booked solid. The ones who are getting premium rates. [00:13:00] The ones who are sought after. They're going to get all that, and you're not. Because you didn't want to put in the work.

[00:13:04] Brian: But if your approach is, Oh God, how long is this going to take me to implement? Or how long is this going to take me to build? Or how long is this going to take me to do? You've already lost. That's not the right approach to have to this. Business is an infinite game. There is no end.

[00:13:15] Brian: There's no finish line. There's always something to be improved. There's always something to be worked on. There's always something to build, to rebuild, to change, to adapt, to alter. There's always something you can improve on your skill set, on your business, on skills that you don't already have that you need to acquire.

[00:13:32] Brian: on character traits about yourself that are destroying you financially, destroying your business that need to be changed so that you can succeed.

[00:13:39] Brian: But if this is what you want out of your life, you want the consistency, you want the high paying is this is what it takes. I don't know a single person who has gotten to where you want to be without doing these things. there's not a cheat code. There is not a real secret. There is not a quick and dirty way.

[00:13:54] Brian: There is not a get rich quick scheme out there that works for this. Unfortunately,

[00:13:58] Brian: if you want this, you have [00:14:00] to put a strategy together and then execute it over months or even years, not days or weeks, months or even years. And then you never really stop. This is not something you're just like, Oh, I'm done. I've arrived. I can now just coast. That doesn't exist. If you want to just coast, go get a shitty job somewhere where they don't really monitor you, and you can just quiet quit your way through your life.

[00:14:19] Brian: My wife told me a quote earlier. It said, I'm going to butcher this because I don't remember quotes well, unless I write them down. I didn't write this down, but the quote was something like, I don't want to do my best. I just want to do 60 percent and have time for my shows. And while that's funny, I also immediately said to her, not my person,

[00:14:35] Brian: If you're like, I just want to do 60 percent and have time for my shows, you're not built to be a freelancer. Go find dead end job somewhere. Unfortunately, like that's your option. Maybe there's a cool career path for 60%, but like, of it. If you're

[00:14:46] Brian: not willing to do the marathon. the Ultra Marathon, the Hyper Marathon, the Infinithon. If you're not willing to do the Infinithon, you shouldn't be doing this, There are things you can do out there that are easier, that are probably, honestly, more financially rewarding in some [00:15:00] cases, although I know a lot of people have a great skill set, can make more money doing something somewhere else.

[00:15:04] Brian: You're just gonna hate it, all things have downsides. A day job has many downsides. You have one source of income that could cut off at any point. You have to do what they say to do when they say to do it. It is not going to be very creatively fulfilling in many cases. Sometimes there's an exception to that.

[00:15:19] Brian: You are using your skill set to build someone else's business, That's the part that sucks. The good side is stable income, health insurance, paid vacation, paid time off holidays, weekends, These are all the things that are great things about a job, if that's what resonates with you. But if you want to go the entrepreneur route and you want to be a freelancer, which is a solopreneur, then you have to be.

[00:15:38] Brian: Here for the downside to that you can do whatever you want there's really no upside up until you hit the time cap Even then you can systemize you can automate things you can delegate things in order to increase that income But you get all the rewards of working hard. It's amazing what you don't get paid time off You don't get health insurance unless you pay for it yourself.

[00:15:56] Brian: You have to do the hard work And no one's going to make you do it. that's probably the worst part for most [00:16:00] people. No one's going to make you do it.

[00:16:01] Brian: But if you've gotten this far in the episode and you're demotivated, then I don't know what to tell you. You can keep doing the same thing you've been doing for like the last three years. Your next three years will likely be the same or similar, maybe a little better, maybe a little worse,

[00:16:13] Brian: It won't be a lot better. I can promise you that. If the last three years were mediocre, the next three years will likely be mediocre or worse. If you just continue to do the same things,

[00:16:21] Brian: if this sort of content inspires you and you're the type of person who rises to a challenge, you're the type of person that I want to talk to. You're the type of person I want to work with. You're the type of person that will respond well to this sort of help.

[00:16:32] Brian: If you want help through this infinite race, this infinity thon, infinite thon, I'm going to,TM thatif you want help through this race, you want somebody on your team, then me and my team can help. we've helped our clients generate over 15 million throughout our careers and we will literally create a full strategy, document and full pitch video for you to review. For you to accept or approve like that's the first thing we do with anyone we work with is you create a full client acquisition Roadmap a strategy document to just show you here's all the things that we will do with you from start to [00:17:00] finish You either prove it we help you or you reject it and you're out nothing,

[00:17:03] Brian: And then we can help you implement that plan one on one with month to month coaching No contracts, pause or cancel anytime, just pay for what you need, basically. The point of this is to have an actual strategy you're following, instead of dabbling. And then having someone there to bounce ideas off of, to look over things, to get help from, to push you through sometimes even managing you a little bit, pushing you like a manager might, whereas as a solopreneur you don't really have that.

[00:17:27] Brian: Having people that are experienced who have done this with tons and tons of people. That's what you gain here So if you're motivated by this type of content Then you're the type of person I want to talk to or at least consider talking to so if that's you just go to six figure creative comm slash coaching the link will be in the description YouTube or at our show notes page at Six figure creative comm slash three one five,There's a small application to fill out you can book a call And see this is a good fit

[00:17:49] Brian: also on that page should have a video with just more information about it So you don't have to listen to a long rant for me on this on the end of this episode that's basically it many freelancers. They want the perfect wife, but they're not the perfect husband, [00:18:00] right? They want the perfect client, but they're not the perfect freelancer and there's no such thing as a perfect client There's no such thing as a perfect freelancer But, there are many things you are missing, basic things clients would expect you to have that you don't have.

[00:18:12] Brian: There are many things that you don't have to even be discovered by your perfect fit client. There are many things that if a perfect fit client found you, they're just going to be like no. And by continuing to ignore these things, you are only hurting yourself. Only hurting yourself and your family if you have one.

[00:18:25] Brian: Random side note. And kind of transitioning into what we're going to be doing this summer. if I scheduled this correctly, this should be July 2nd today, day this episode airs. My mom retired over the weekend after, you know, decades at her, job. so we're taking her to Europe for a month or at least a couple weeks. We bought one way tickets.

[00:18:43] Brian: she has been around on earth for a while. It's the nicest way of saying it. And she's never left the country before. So we're treating her to Europe. So while I'm gone, I'm probably, Just thinking through what I want to do to kind of like parlay from this episode is next steps for those of you who aren't ready for us to help [00:19:00] you, or don't want us to help you, or maybe you're motivated, but you're not in a position to be health, whatever or maybe you were demotivated, but you still need help.

[00:19:06] Brian: I'm likely going to put, straight after this, we're going to go back through the client acquisition series, some of those episodes, and some of the episodes that I think are going to be helpful around lead nurture, sales, fulfillment, that kind of stuff. We're going to put some of those episodes and we're going to probably release them.

[00:19:19] Brian: I haven't had to run this to my team yet. Probably release them on the twice a week schedule while I'm traveling.

[00:19:23] Brian: But for many people, if you've already been through that backlog, there's a quote that I love. People need to be reminded more than you need to be taught. Alex Ramos, you quote, which I probably quote too much on this podcast. But it's true. There's so many things that you have heard before, but if you are in this new state of like, Brian has changed my mind.

[00:19:37] Brian: I need to take this seriously. I am no longer just a creative. I admit that I am a solopreneur. I am a solo business owner. And because of that, I have to treat myself like a business and I need to fix these issues that are in my business and not ignore them anymore. And I just put my head in the sand and hope that they go away because they'll never go away.

[00:19:52] Brian: There's some content that was, even if you've gone through before, it's going to be helpful through this new lens. So we're going to post that as some of the kind of the content as I travel.

[00:19:59] Brian: I'll still [00:20:00] likely record while I'm on the road, but not for the First week or so, but that was all I have for you. I hope this was motivating for the right people. I hope it wasn't demotivating for too many people, but also if this kind of content demotivates you, then this may not be the right industry or the right position for you.

[00:20:15] Brian: There's likely something better out there for you that you're better fit for that you'd be more valuable in because as freelancers, you have to take this side seriously. You cannot just be the creative, but you have to think about the money side. That's all I have for you today. Thanks so much for listening to this very different type of episode.

[00:20:27] Brian: I've never done an episode like this that I can feel. But let me know your thoughts. Again, email me your positive rants, your negative rants, podcast at sixfigurecreative. com. And if you want our help, if you want some direction, some strategies, some one on one help, go to sixfigurecreative. com slash coaching.

[00:20:42] Brian: Watch the short video there, apply if you think it's a good fit and look forward to serving you.

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