This is a big question: When (if ever) is it a good time to sell all your time to a single client?
First off, if you’re being offered this — well done!
It means you’re kicking ass in a special way for a client, and they want all the ‘you’ they can get.
That’s never a bad thing.
UNLESS it’s because you are giving them more than they’re paying for and they feel like they’re getting a steal. Allowing scope creep with a client is NOT a good reason to go full time with a client.
I promise it’ll only get worse once they feel like they “own you”.
So, if that’s happening, you should actually be running the other way, or having a “boundaries” discussion with them right away.
But, that’s never the reason I see the freelancers I work with getting offered full-time gigs.
It’s always the “ass kicking” reason and that’s a really good position to be in.
Still, it is a riddle to be solved.
Going full time with a client challenges the idea
of what it means to be a freelancer.
It threatens our fantasy of being that mysterious, gun slinging, riding into town and saving the day brand of badass.
It compromises our chances to rack up more client wins, which builds our reputations, and spawns referrals.
It risks us getting bored with the work, and (mother of all nightmares) starting to feel like an em-ploy-ee…
Instead of a mysterious, ass kicking, day saving, unicorn expert who slips out of town during the parade they’re throwing in our honor. (“You know where to find me, kid.”)
But, is any of that real?
Some parts, sure.
Freedom and mobility are essential to our growth, no doubt.
The only things MORE important than those things
are knowledge and experience.
You can float around scooping up all the gigs you want, but if none of them are with clients that INCLUDE you in the planning, execution, and outcomes of the work you’re doing with them, it’s going to be very challenging to increase your value and earn better pay.
You’ll eventually become Sisyphus pushing the same boulder up different hills with diminishing results.
Yeah, it is.
I’ve seen that relentless cycle burn out many talented freelancers.
Some to ashes.
Now, am I saying your GOAL should be to go full time with one client.
But, I am suggesting that having ideal clients making you full time offers should be a goal.
Because when you’re delivering for good clients – at that level – it puts you in the ultimate driver’s seat of your career.
This year, I’ve seen more freelancers in my high level coaching groups accept full time gigs than ever before.
In the past they’ve always said “no” to the offers rather easily, but this year was different for a few reasons…
- Only the strongest companies survived the pandemic rollercoaster and if you can embed with one who is emerging with a strong position in the new landscape, the opportunity is greater than any time in recent history.
- The marketing rules are changing fast, and will continue to change amidst more tech giant Battle Royales and increasing government oversight. So, solving a company’s problems from the outside is increasingly difficult. Much more upside to being inside so you can be part of the total solution, not just walking up and offering Band Aids.
- Becoming known as a specialist is more crucial now than ever. AI will continue eliminating the non-essential marketing gigs (content creation, basic ad writing, top of funnel assets), while true specialists who use their knowledge, experience, and creativity to SOLVE problems for companies in a measurable way will write their own tickets anywhere they choose.
And there’s no better way to get that kind of experience than by going all in for a period of time with a great company.
One who respects your skills and talents and would love to work with you filling the gaps in your knowledge, knowing the partnership will become infinitely more valuable as you grow together.
That’s why more top level freelancers are accepting full time gigs with great companies…
The in-the-trenches experience they’re gaining will make them ten times the badass, day saving, problem solving, freelancer they were when they got offered the gig in the first place.
In the right situation, going full time with a great client is like a tour of duty that takes you from being a common soldier to an elite specialist.
ONLY the right situation, though.
So, choose wisely.
We’ll be diving deeper into all this during the upcoming Freelancing Transformation Bootcamp in Nov.
Tickets are crazy affordable. So, check it out now!
I’ll see you inside.
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