If you’ve gone through Zac’s free, but hugely valuable, blogging course (if you haven’t, sign-up from the sidebar) I’m sure you understand the huge earning potential that full-time blogging offers.
But reaching that stage requires time, effort and a lot of sweat. Almost every successful blogger has years of hard work behind him.
One smart way to keep the cash flowing while you build a full-time blogging career is to start offering services as a freelancer.
Depending on your skillset, you can offer services like article writing, web design, logo design etc. You can even get clients for services that you can’t personally offer, but can outsource them to other freelancers.
However, since there are hundreds of thousands of freelancers competing for clients on different platforms, the only way to acquire really high paying clients is to build a strong brand image that elevates you above ordinary freelancers.
Not sure how to do it? Here are a few tips you can start using straight away.
1. Don’t Call Yourself a Freelancer
Because doing so will immediately reduce your perceived value. The prospect will think of you as one of the thousands of freelancers that offer cheap services on freelancing portals.
As Seth Godin often says, calling yourself a freelancer will make you appear as just another cog in the system that has nothing unique to offer.
So start differentiating by not labeling yourself as a freelancer.
There are plenty of other catchy titles you can use.
For example, instead of calling yourself a freelance graphic designer, use the title “Creative Artist” or “Creative Media Consultant”.
If you’re a freelance copywriter, call yourself a “Creative Storyteller” or a “Corporate Wordsmith”
This immediately separates you from the crowd and makes potential clients think about you.
2. Adopt a Professional Outlook in All Business Operations
What’s the general perception about freelancers?
- They’re unreliable
- They’re lazy
- They’re not professional
I’m a freelancer myself, so I obviously hate the stereotype.
But it exists.
To counter this, and appear reliable, you need to adopt a professional outlook in all your business operations.
This starts from having a really professional website that has details of your services, your professional background, your portfolio, client testimonials and other details.
For example, Neil Patel, a six-figure content marketing and SEO consultant, started off as a freelance SEO. But look how he brands himself on his website now.
You can set up an attractive and responsive site using a WordPress theme or any other leading website builder.
Similarly, your email communication with the clients, the way you submit projects and how you send invoices, all these things represent your brand and have an impact on the client.
Always use a professional email address hosted on your domain name. Similarly, instead of creating plain invoices in MS Excel, without any branding, use invoicing tools like WorkFlowMax to create stunningly beautiful invoices that make an immediate impression on the client. It gives you several pre-designed templates that you can use to create professional invoices within minutes.
These seemingly small changes can help you establish a strong reputation with your clients and prospects, and help you grow your business in future.
3. Target a Specific Niche And Build Your Image as an Expert
If you’re branding yourself as a freelance writer or designer who can serve any clients from any industry in any part of the world, you’re setting yourself up for failure and mediocrity.
You’ll have a MUCH better chance of landing high-paying clients on a regular basis if you establish yourself as an expert in a very specific niche or a specific region.
This is the same approach that Glen Alsop (ViperChill) used last year to generate more than $1.4 million in 2015. He and his partner, just two people, created niche specific digital marketing agencies and acquired several clients in excess of $50,000.
For example, instead of branding yourself as just a freelance copywriter, you can brand yourself as a specialist real estate copywriter.
Or you can take the alternate route and focus on a specific region. For example, this web design agency even mentions its target region in the URL, Webdeveloper.Sydney
The third approach is to target both, a specific region and niche.
When you brand your services for specific regions or industries, you immediately increase your brand’s perceived value. This gives you a better chance of landing high-paying clients because you’re perceived as a specialist.
4. Create High-Quality Niche Specific Content
There’s no better way to build your authority in a niche than high quality and actionable content marketing.
According to HubSpot, content marketing produces 3 times more leads for every dollar spent, as compared to outbound marketing.
Creating high-quality content not only puts you ahead of other freelancers but also helps you generate traffic and leads for your business.
However, to make your content effective, especially blog content, you need to have the right strategy.
Here are a few things to keep in mind.
- Identify high performing and proven content ideas in your industry, using BuzzSumo or Ahrefs, and model your content accordingly.
- Perform comprehensive keyword research before creating content.
- Create eye-catching and attention grabbing headlines. Websites like Viral Nova and Wellness Nova have become million dollar businesses just because of their content headlines.
- Use high-quality images in your content.
- Use frequent data references and stats in your content.
- Link to other influential bloggers and content marketers.
And most importantly, spend 20% of your time creating content and 80% time promoting it on social media and other channels.
That’s the key.
5. Build Your Credibility With Guest Blogging and Self-Publishing
Guest blogging might not be the ideal way to generate traffic to a new site, but it’s certainly effective when it comes to branding and networking.
When you’re featured on the best blogs in your industry, your credibility immediately skyrockets. You can use this as a differentiation point while negotiating with prospects.
Similarly, if you’ve authored a book on any subject related to your core services, it immediately makes you look like an authority figure in your industry.
And self-publishing isn’t a big problem these days thanks to Amazon. You just need to write a decent enough book and publish it on Amazon so that you can call yourself a published author.
Your prospects would rarely buy your book to see what’s inside, but it’ll make a strong impression on them.
Freelancing is multi-billion dollar industry and there’s a lot of money to be made in it. But to really stand out from the crowd, and acquire high paying clients, you need to work on building your brand image and differentiating yourself from the thousands of other freelancers who’re offering similar services for pennies.
3 Tips for Bonding with Blogging Influencers
Forget traditional influencer marketing. We want to go deeper.
Bloggers teach influencer marketing from a less genuine space sometimes. Imagine learning how to try to get someone to do something for you. Manipulation marketing. Fear-based marketing. Problems arise; spam folders become your landing spot. I observe a decent percentage of influencer marketing emails in my spam folder because fear-pitches get labeled as spam and become spam, 100% of the time.
What is the solution? Learn how to bond with blogging influencers.
I remember people who befriend me. I admire people who endorse me or promote me. I appreciate people who buy my course or eBooks. I love people who generously help me for months. Guess what? Bonding with established bloggers influences the influencers. I do stuff for dear blogging friends I do not do for anybody else. If a friend sends me a guest post and their writing is tight, I place it. Even if said post spans 1000 words or more – my minimum count is 600 – I place it without hesitating. Friends found my heart. Friends influenced me through kindness and generosity. I am largely putty in their blogging hands.
Instead of trying to manipulate a successful stranger, bond with a friend. Change your approach to influencer marketing. Make friends. Help without asking. In time, blogging bonds form organically. If you practice writing, the world becomes your oyster because influencers take you to new levels of success, without you even asking.
Follow these tips to bond with influencers.
1: Buy a Resource
The best way to bond with an influencer is to get inside their heads.
Influential bloggers had to influence influential bloggers on the way up to become influential. Invest in a resource like my influential blogger eBook to learn how influencers do it. Speak their language. Connect. Take their viewpoint. Learn how to be influential yourself.
When you discover how to be influential through my resource you in essence, learn how to influence, influencers, by bonding with these pros.
2: Spend a Few Months Giving Not Asking
Bloggers I remember, then befriend, spend at least a few months giving and not asking. Someone buys my course, publishes 10 comments on my blog, and retweets my posts 10 or 20 times during a 3 month period. These people pop up on my radar screen because they gave and asked for nothing. Bonds form. Friendships develop.
Retweet fellow bloggers. Help them. Feature fellow bloggers. Open your blog to guest posting. Guest post on other blogs. Comment genuinely on blogs. Buy products.
Ask for nothing, for at least 3-4 months. Allow friendships to form organically. Blogging friends help each other because blogging friends trust each other. Influential bloggers fall into this helping lot too, as you generously serve them, ask for nothing and polish your writing skills. I gained more endorsements from pros by being generous than through any other method. Help influential bloggers. Ask for nothing. Influential bloggers help you without you asking for a darn thing.
3: Never Rush the Process
Some blogger friend requested me on Facebook a few moments ago. I scanned my messages to see his business pitch in the “other” folder. He simply rushed the process of pitching an established blogger. I appreciate the friend request but pitching your business before generously helping me ensures I ignore all future messages. He rushed the process so I let him go.
Perhaps he smartens up and begins helping me generously without asking for anything. After a few months of helping me and asking for nothing, we bond. We become friends. From there, the opportunities are limitless. Even if I do not use his service, if he has skills and a reputable business model I can share his services with my readers.
Good things take some time. Never rush the bonding process.
Allow bonds to form organically to do influencer marketing right.
How Do Blogging and Fitness Relate?
I spend 3 hours daily honing my mental and physical fitness.
In truth, you can and will succeed online following simple fundamentals from a generous, detached energy. No need to be fit to go full time blogging. But if you feel bad because your body feels bad and your mind fears losing it all, have you succeeded? I do not believe so.
I wrote an eBook sharing my daily regimen to explain what many of you readers want to know: how do I do it all? I am no blogging god. I am just human. But I write and connect quite a bit. People wish to know how I wrote 100 plus eBooks in addition to all the other stuff I do while circling the globe. Well, blogging and fitness are 2 peas in a pod for me. Both play a big role if you desiring leveling up and feeling good predominantly as you enjoy the ride.
Blogging and Fitness
Let’s say you wake up on a Monday morning as a full time employee who blogs part time. Feeling terrible and dreading work, why write and publish a post? Too busy. Do it later. Put off the post until tonight. But you feel too tired that night. Repeat this cycle for 3 months. 90 days passed. Still no blog post. Why? You filled your mind with fear and pain. Manifesting as blogging loss, backburnering the post for 3 months indicates fear in mind. Why fear? 100% of the time, fear dominates minds of people who spend zero time on mental fitness, never meditating or doing deep yin yoga or observing their thoughts and feelings. Most of the time, these same folks dominated by their own fears never commit seriously to being physically fit through exercising.
Feel good by caring for your mind and body. Vibe higher than fears crippling most bloggers. Imagine the above scenario with one difference: you devote 1-2 hours daily exercising and raising your energy via mindset training. Devote 30 minutes to power walking and 30 minutes to deep yin yoga. On waking that Monday morning, either a blog post idea finds you and you write the post, or after a few uncomfortable moments and feelings, the idea flows to you and you write the post.
I cannot explain this process logically because it flows 100% emotionally, feelings-wise. Visualize yourself in moments you feel really good. All seems possible. Ideas flow to you. Opportunities flow to you. Why? Feeling good magnetizes you to freeing, success-promoting ideas. Being fit mentally and physically is the easiest way to feel good most of the time. Plus in those moments you feel bad mentally and physically, you face, feel and release the bad feelings, quickly, because you feel mentally and physically fit, predominantly.
Being fit naturally alerts you to the success-promoting idea of gratitude. Gratitude builds blogging success because seeing every penny of income, every blog comment and all interest in your blogging courses feels awesome to you. Feeling awesome inspires you to blog for years generously. Blogging generously for years makes you successful.
Corey at the Good Oil Marketing retweeted my blogging course recently. I feel grateful he spread the word for me considering he is a successful, high level marketer. I feel these feelings and build on my success because I feel grateful. I feel grateful because I trained my mind and body to feel good, through being fit daily, in order to tune into appreciation easily.
Be a successful blogger by being mentally and physically fit.
Why Doing this Works Better than Asking for Business Referrals
After I released my flagship eBook – How to Retire to a Life of Island Hopping through Smart Blogging – I noticed something neat. My sales increased 12 fold the day I published a guest post for a highly successful blogger.
Seeing this spike clued me in to the quickest, easiest way to increase business: help people for free. Being generous improves skills, increases exposure and expands your business. Greater traffic and profits follow generous bloggers because helping people for free helps you be skilled and see, two qualities in every prospering blogger who reaps sweet blogging profits.
A large set of bloggers goes in another direction. Some ask for business referrals from trusted blogging buddies to drum up business. Feel free to take this route but know referral fishing is an ineffective way to drive profits because of two clear reasons:
- referral-seeking seems to be time-wasting
- referral-seeking rarely inspires trusted bloggers to take clear, business-building action, for you
I know 20 plus web developers. A few trusted blogging web developer buddies have reached out to me, seeking referrals. Two issues arise:
- the referral seeker has no idea if I know bloggers needing web development; non-targeted campaign
- I already know 20 plus developers, trusted buddies all, so I could never choose one to refer to someone if 20 seem qualified
Top Bloggers Become Ruthlessly Effective with their Time
Versus seeking referral business by asking blogging buddies if they know someone requiring your service, spend 20 minutes to write and publish a quality guest post for a blogger in your business niche. Instead of pitching 1 human, show off your web development skills for free, via a guest post, for 1,000 people. Do you see what I mean? Leverage. Do not ask for business. Serve for business. Although time needs pass and generosity needs inclusion in blogging business-building, helping for free is the quickest, simplest way to increase blogging business because you reach large, targeted audiences of clients with your attention and energy versus asking 1 person for business in non-targeted, ineffective fashion.
12 Times Daily Sales
I recall the day vividly, 5 years ago. I created and launched Blogging From Paradise. Before writing 100 plus eBooks, I wrote one. I did drive some sales through my blog but guest posting woke me up; why not leverage my presence and grow business by helping people for free, via different platforms? Eye-opener for me. Instead of asking, I gave. How easy? Giving freely is the easiest way to get freely. I observed a 12 times daily sales eBook increase for good reason that day: helping people generously through sites other than your blog is a simple way to grow your blogging business.
The simplest, direct, effective way to grow your business is to help people for free. Asking for referrals leads to a client or customer here and there, but full time bloggers are not in the “here and there” business as far as growing your venture. Pro bloggers drive steady profits through their blog by being generous on their blog and on other platforms.
Be helpful for free. Publish posts. Submit guest posts. Run a podcast. Broadcast live on Facebook. Help people for free to help people for pay. Versus untargeted referral-seeking, this is the effective way to grow your blogging business from a generous, genuine energy.
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