Mind Mapping is a powerful technique that can be used by anyone in a multitude of contexts. It’s a strategy that can take you from a place of disorganized frustration and overwhelm to streamlined efficiency and productivity, as I recently shared with you in my post ‘Keys to Creating the Perfect Mind-Map’.
Mind Mapping holds even deeper potential as an organizational method for online freelancers. It’s a tool that can not only revolutionize the way you approach your business and projects, but it can be a way of strategizing with clients to gain clarity and set goals with their needs and businesses.
This post will explore how this powerful method has a two-fold impact for online freelancers. Before doing that, let’s briefly review what Mind Mapping is and how to create one.
Invented by Tony Buzan, author, consultant, and speaker, Mind Mapping is a visual technique that employs a full range of the brain’s potential for organizing ideas in a uniquely powerful way. It can be used in any context to clarify ideas and thoughts, improve learning, and enhance productivity.
A Mind Map begins with a central idea in the middle of a piece of paper that branches out into second and third-tier concepts connected by lines, and even further if necessary. The method of visually connecting ideas using straight and curved lines engages your brain in a way that promotes creativity, memory and retention. Its goals are to improve focus and organization around a topic or idea, to manifest clarity and improve efficiency.
For a more in-depth look at how to create a Mind Map, including visuals, check out my recent post.
Mind Mapping for Your Online Freelancing Business
When considering your online freelancing business, there are two ways to approach your efforts, and both are crucial: Working on your business and working in your business.
The first refers to building your business which could include (but is definitely not limited to) business planning, improving on or increasing your service offerings, and marketing. The latter refers to the actual work you do and the services you provide clients.
Working on your business
Particularly in the beginning phases of building your online freelancing business, there can be a lot of details to pull together. After having figured out if online freelancing is right for you, there are decisions to make such as deciding what you’ll do and who you’ll do it for, how you’ll market yourself and find clients, and what your goals are for your business.
While creating a business plan is an important way to organize these concepts, prior to even getting to the point of being able to put one to paper utilizing Mind Mapping is a strategy that will help organize your hopes, dreams and vision for your business into actionable steps.
It’s a way to take the exciting and often overwhelming whirlwind of ideas that come with establishing and building a business into what things will actually look like once the rubber hits the road.
And while Mind Mapping can be a profound tool while getting started in your business, it’s really a strategy that can, and should, be used to continue to inspire yours and your business’ growth on a consistent basis.
In fact, I utilize this method weekly to brain-dump all the ideas from my week into one place. It’s also a method I use for managing the stress that can come from having all that information running around my brain.
An example of how you might create a Mind Map for your business would be to write a primary goal in the center of a piece of paper such as “X clients by X date”.
From that central concept you could then branch out into secondary ideas that involved different ways of sourcing clients and third-tier ideas about methods for making contact with them.
You could also apply this strategy to things like building your website, expanding your service offerings, and building your social media presence. The possibilities are literally endless.
Working in your business
Mind Mapping is also an incredible tool for approaching the work you do as an online freelancer. Sometimes the services we provide can be somewhat straightforward, but more often than not freelancing involves creativity.
Providing services like web design, creating content, managing social media, or managing projects, for example, involve needing a strategy to deliver services in the most efficient and valuable way.
Starting with a Mind Map is a powerful way to not only organize ideas and create a process for implementation, but it can also help spark creativity when it just isn’t flowing and you really need to get cracking on a client’s project or task.
For example, you might start with a client’s end-goal as a central concept for a Mind Map such as “X social media followers by X date”.
From there you could branch out into second-tier ideas about the type of audience your client is trying to reach and from there third-tier ideas about post content, frequency and other strategies for outreach.
Mind-Mapping With Your Clients
Depending on the services you provide and the market you serve, clients will typically have an idea of what they need from you when engaging your services.
Oftentimes, however, individuals who are outsourcing work to online freelancers are looking to grow and expand their businesses and may not be entirely clear on exactly how they need help or what it may “look like”.
In essence, they may know they need the benefit of your valuable services but are not sure exactly how.
Having a firm grasp on the application of Mind Mapping can take you from being an average freelancer, exchanging services for money, to someone who’s seen as a savvy consultant bringing efficiency and organization to the work you do with clients.
While it’s not applicable in all circumstances, bringing this tool to the table with a new client in the planning stages of your work together can put you over the edge when it comes to the value you’re able to deliver.
Working with your client to pull ideas and vision from their brains and get them on to paper can create amazing working synergy between you and can be an incredible way to encourage someone toward their goals.
Again, not all work with online freelancing clients will “look” this way but Mind Mapping is a powerful tool to have if and when the opportunity presents to take on helping a business owner get a project off the ground or expand their business.
An example of creating a Mind Map with a client during a strategizing meeting would be to start with a central idea around either a project or goal for their business such as “create an online course” or “increase revenue by X%” respectively.
Second and third-tier ideas could involve action steps and delegation of tasks for project completion or goal achievement.
As we’ve established, Mind Mapping is a game-changing technique that you can apply to your business, your online freelancing projects and work, and potentially to your clients’ goals and needs.
It can literally save hours by getting creativity sparked and ideas flowing, as well as dramatically cut down on the stress that can be associated with taking an idea from concept to reality.
Do you have thoughts and ideas about your online freelancing business running around your head waiting to be organized in to action with a Mind Map? Let me know how Mind Mapping will impact what you’re working on in the comments below, I’d love to hear about it!