Today I want to talk to you about the biggest obstacle to freelance success. So a few of the pitfalls that happen on the journey to freelance success are things like information overload.
Information overload is when you have too much information about a specific thing, say, working from home, and because of that you feel exhausted, you feel scattered, and you feel like you don’t have the energy or the time to put into this.
You can get shiny-object syndrome, which is also a kind of information overload where you see so many work-from-home opportunities that you don’t know which one to choose and you feel the opportunity cost that comes with choosing one over the other. You want to do them all.
So what that causes is, again, progress paralysis. It causes overwhelm, it causes confusion. You can’t make a decision, so you can’t move forward.
Another big obstacle are doubts. The doubt that we allow ourselves to have about the journey. Can I do this? Is this niche a good one? Although that’s a good doubt to research into. But am I good enough to have a work-from-home business? Is this a scam or isn’t it? How will I get clients? Why would a client ever hire me? I’m not good enough to do this.
Those kinds of doubts are doubts that stop your progress right in its tracks. So those are big doubts that you want to tackle from the get-go.
So what do all of these things have in common? What do all of these obstacles have in common? They have you in common. You are the biggest obstacle to freelance success when you allow yourself to get information overload, to get shiny-object syndrome, to entertain doubts.
When you allow those things, you become the biggest obstacle to your own success in working from home.
Now, in the past few posts, I have outlined the biggest steps, the main sequential steps of building a successful freelance business.
So if this is your first time reading, go check them out because I outline each one of the steps in the right order, because that, too, is a major, major pitfall that freelancers fall into: they go about things in the wrong order.
And then they find that they’re not making progress or they’re not seeing the results they want to see.
So the first big decision that you need to make is do you want to be an online entrepreneur or an online freelancer? Because those are the two big paths you can take in the work-from-home industry.
Once you’ve decided that, and if you’ve decided to be an online freelancer (that’s what I specialize in/teach), your next big question is, “Am I going to monetize an existing skillset or am I going to build a new skillset and try something new and exciting?”
That’s your next big question. Some people want to monetize something that they already know how to do. For instance, if you keep the books in your company, maybe you want to be a bookkeeper, a virtual one, so you can work from home. That’s totally okay.
So you need to make that decision, “Will I monetize an existing skillset or try something new that excites me?”
So make that decision, that’s decision number two.
Once you have done that, you are ready for phase one of the freelance journey, choosing your freelance niche.
Choosing the path that’s right for you based on your passion and profit opportunity. So things like being a virtual assistant, a proofreader, bookkeeper, those are paths. It’s time for you to choose one. That’s phase one.
Phase two is all about building the skills needed to succeed in that niche. If you’ve chosen something that’s new and exciting, it’s now time to build the skillset needed for the niche that you chose.
If you chose to monetize an existing skillset, it is now time for you to see if your skillset can translate into the virtual space without any kind of gaps.
For instance, if you’re used to doing the books on paper, now that you’re doing it virtually, you need to figure out how that’s going to work. So that’s something that you need to figure out while you’re in phase two.
In phase three we move on to onboarding. How are you going to treat a client once they say yes to you? What is that process? What are the guidelines you’re going to send them? What information do you need from them? How are you going to set up an invoice for them?
All of that business of treating and taking care of your client, once they become a client, needs to be done before you get the client. So that’s phase three: onboarding.
Once that’s done, then and only then do you move on to stage four, which is marketing.
That’s when you go about actually finding your ideal client and turning them from a prospective client to a paying client. So it’s a two-part process: finding them and then turning them into a paying client. That is what marketing is all about.
That’s when you get your website ready, your rate sheet, your materials, things like that, and you start employing your marketing strategies.
Then after that you go into stage five, the first-client stage, which is once you have your first client, everything that you’ve been preparing for, theoretically, now gets turned into something practical.
And you need to see if there were gaps in your theory, if there were gaps in your preparation, if things could be optimized, if things could be a little bit better, more efficient, things like that.
You are preparing for your client. You are also imagining your client times 10. So if you used a sticky note slapped onto your computer monitor to remind you of a deadline, I want you to multiply that by 10. Can you have 10 sticky notes on your computer? Is that an optimal way to keep yourself organized? Probably not. So, that’s what you are working on in that stage.
And then finally, stage six: scaling. It’s all about making more money without putting in more hours. It’s all about optimizing and streamlining your business so you’re making the most per hour possible. It’s a very exciting stage to be in. It’s the final stage of the freelance journey.
Now, the biggest obstacle to freelance success is you, believe it or not, it’s a harsh truth, but it’s true nonetheless.
If you go about these steps in the wrong order, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. You are falling into a big pit and you’re not going to see the results that you want to see.
If you’re letting yourself get information overload or get overwhelmed by tech when you’re building your website, any little thing like that, or you’re in marketing and you’re suddenly facing all of these fears:
“I don’t wanna talk to a client, I don’t wanna sound salesy or sleazy, I don’t wanna sell myself, I don’t wanna sell my services, I don’t know how to talk to people, I’m bad at marketing, I’m bad at selling,” those kinds of doubts also shoot you in the foot because then what?
That affects the way that you go about marketing.
So if you are ready, if you are ready to start working from home and you want to do so successfully and quickly, then don’t fall into these pits that I’ve outlined, and stay tuned because I’m going to be announcing something very special, absolutely free, and something that I’ve built just for you, an aspiring freelancer on the journey.
So stay tuned for that.