I would say both. In my main freelance business, I considered myself a freelancer as I was working across various amounts of industries and clients, but now as a business coach and launching that business, I would consider myself more of a founder at the moment!
Yeah! Music has always been a huge passion of mine and I knew that I wanted to work in the music space since high school. It wasn't until college that I got real experience in it and found myself working with digital agencies on music campaigns, etc. I really loved what I did for a few years, but found myself wanting something new. That was around the time that I decided to launch my freelance business and go all in that. I have been freelancing now for over 5 years and it wasn't until this past summer that I discovered my new interest which was business coaching. Freelancing will always be a part of me, and I think that I will always be working on some freelance projects, but I am finding myself feeling more fulfilled in helping other freelancers on their journey, especially if I can help them avoid some mistakes that I did when I was starting out. Also, since the pandemic forced a lot of people to consider freelancing, I thought that this would be a good way for me to give back to the freelance community. Freelancing can be an incredible journey, but also an isolated one, and I wanted to fill that void.
At this point, I would say pretty much everything is referrals. It takes a long time to build up your referral network to the point that you don't necessarily need to chase cold leads anymore, but it is so worth it to spend the time to build that. Referrals don't just need to come from clients either, most of mine come from other designers and friends that I have made along the way. I never saw other designers in my field as competition and knew that if I wanted to grow, it would be wise to reach out to them and introduce myself. We all have busy seasons and I figured that if anyone was getting leads but couldn't take it on due to their workload, that I would ask for the referral and give back a referral fee. It is a great way to make new connections and grow your business at the same time, everybody wins.
Yes, I train my clients on Squarespace and online advertising! I stumbled on it after spending a few years doing the work and realizing that some of my clients actually could benefit from learning how to do it themselves. Sometimes clients don't have the full budget for a new website build or an advertising campaign, but they want to be trained on best practices on how to achieve it on their own. Clients feel empowered by learning these.
Helping other freelancers and people starting their own business. When I first started out, I relied heavily on Google and combing through articles to find the answers. While that worked, I didn't really have a support system to help me out when I got stuck. Being able to be a part of a community like Freelance Founders and coaching other freelancers is super rewarding knowing that I have the ability to help people out and provide guidance.
Share your story, be you. Too often brands and freelancers are trying to copy and paste what is already out there. While it might look trendy, you aren't building trust. Being able to share and tell your story and give your clients and customers a glimpse on who you are and what you are about will go along way!
I am a morning person, so I tend to start my days on the early side. I really enjoy my morning time because it is peaceful and I am able to get the hard and more focused work done then. I really don't have set hours or do the exact same thing everyday, but I know that my most productive time is in the morning, so I try and do all of my focus work then and leave my afternoons open to calls or just ending my day early.
Start small and see how you like it. I feel like we are all told to follow our passion, but that can be very bad advice. Sometimes we feel like we really enjoy something until we do it all day long and everyday. Also, we feel like because we are passionate about something that we have to monetize it, which is not true. If you are passionate about one area and want to explore it more, then start small. Take on one client or one project, etc. and see how you like it. Then slowly scale to more and if it is the right fit then it will naturally evolve to something more. This way you don't have to fully commit to something and end up burning yourself.
Growing more of my business coaching practice, getting married this Summer(!), and learning what is "enough" for me. I am no longer interested in the hustle grind mentality, and something with my new business, I am building it slow and with intention.
If anyone reading this is interested in exploring coaching or how coaching might help them, I am offering free 30-minute consultations, all you have to do is head to www.onehandwonderman.com and book some time that works for you!