If you’ve been freelancing for more than one year, there’s an important decision in front of you…
“What do I want to be known for?”
That’s the question Rachael Kraft had when she came into the 9th session of Real Free Life (“RFL” – my private coaching program for freelancers) a year and a half ago.
Up to that point, Rachael had done all the things you’re supposed to do to “make it” as a freelancer…
– Taken a few writing courses to get her confidence up
– Put together a portfolio to showcase her work
– Made some good connections through groups and events
– And was earning a solid enough reputation with her clients first few clients to get some referrals and keep herself booked pretty steadily
But one thing was holding her back.
In her RFL “why I’m here” post, Rachael wrote:
Life took a few twists and turns and I found myself freelancing as a graphic designer in 2012 and eventually as a writer. I would say I got serious about copywriting in 2018.
When people talk about “trying to be everything to all people” they should put my photo up as a guilty example. I do everything from research, to SEO, website management, editorial writing, sales copy, and graphic design for my clients.
Rachael was suffering from a common freelancer illness known as: “Generalitis”
Generalitis typically strikes freelancers in the first year of their career. The symptoms can be extreme and include:
– Uncontrollable urge to say “yes” to every client that comes along
– Fatigue from working long hours on projects that don’t excite you
– Undercharging for your services
– Obsessively cramming more work into an already full schedule
– Irrational fear of never having another client
– Feelings of isolation
– Dry mouth
It ain’t pretty.
But there is help.
The first step is acknowledging the problem.
In that same post, here’s what Rachael said she wanted from RFL:
I’m really hoping RFL can help me find some focus and learn how to establish myself as an expert — all so I can better serve higher level clients. Plus, I’m hoping to learn about that whole “work/life” balance. I find myself just plain exhausted and stressed out quite often.
Over the 8 weeks of live coaching in RFL, Rachael was super focused. She knew this was a turning point in her career.
If she simply watched the 4 training sessions (live or on replay), filled out the worksheets, and trusted her coaches to guide her…
… she would know exactly which type of service to offer, how to charge top dollar for it, and quickly grow a reputation as the go-to expert in her specialty.
The work in RFL is not hard. It’s actually a lot of fun. We designed it that way to remind us that we always do our best work when we’re having fun.
During the course Rachael experimented with a few ideas for specializing… her first instincts were to offer “big picture” services and have an important sounding specialty like: Marketing Systems Designer (said with a deep movie trailer voice).
But, that didn’t feel very fun to her.
The other students offered suggestions on how she could position it, but she ultimately trusted her inner voice, saying:
I like the idea of looking at the big picture, but I don’t want to get myself locked into a similar situation where I am now. With my main client, I am paid on an HOURLY basis to do all of the writing, managing, posting, design tasks I described. Yes, it’s good money and yes it’s a reliable retainer, but it does feel limiting. My time is taken up and it makes it hard to grow into bigger clients or more sophisticated offerings.
I’d like to think of a way that I can provide a neat little service package for new clients. Pay me $XX and I’ll provide you with XYZ. Then, for some of the clients, I may wish to take on a retainer agreement. But for others, I can get in/get out and move on.
Once she was clear on what she did NOT want to do, Rachael quickly realized the most fun work for her was creating Lead Magnets.
It allowed her to do all the things she loved: Creating juicy hook ideas, writing “value-driven” copy, and making things look great with her design skills.
This was a perfect choice for Rachael because it took advantage of all the training she’d already invested in…
… and (eureka!) it allowed her to work with lots of clients on small commitment projects then vet the ones who wanted to do bigger projects with her BEFORE committing.
(Like a casual coffee before an official first date!)
She could feel the worse symptoms of Generalitis fading the minute she decided on her new specialty.
That was only HALF WAY through RFL!
By the end of the program, 4 weeks later, Rachael had her “Ultimate Authority Package” complete and ready to launch, establishing her as a Lead Magnet specialist.
So, how’s that working for her?
Pretty well, I’d say.
Rachael and her husband (whom she supports in his quest to become an Olympic Champion in fencing) just bought their first house together… thanks in large part, Rachael says, to the boost in income from her freelancing income since specializing via RFL.
Here’s a note she sent me in January:
From struggling and overwhelmed with Generalitis, to calling the shots in her business and buying a new house using the system she learned in just 8 weeks through RFL.
Needless to say, stories like these mean the world to me. RFL started as an experiment in 2015 that has now graduated over 100 students to better lives through specializing their businesses with their Bat Signal Talents.
There are a lot of coaching programs out there, and most are happy to make audacious promises about how you can “hack” your way to big paydays with “little or no experience”.
That is not what I teach.
I teach freelancers who do good work how to focus on their favorite work and turn it into an amazing business they love to work in every day.
Over 10 sessions of RFL, there have been many stories like Rachaels… where freelancers went from overwhelmed and confused, to clear, happy, and thriving.
It’s a real privilege for me to be able to guide freelancers to that new reality.
If you’re feeling the symptoms of Generalitis, and know you deserve to be respected and paid like a specialist starting 8 weeks from now, then I hope we can work together in the program.
Spots are extremely limited due to the hands-on coaching you’ll get inside the program, so if you’re in, or at least interested, don’t wait to sign up to the waitlist.
I’ll look for you inside RFL.
P.S. Whenever you’re ready, here are a few other ways we can help…
- Join Copy Chief. It’s your one-stop-shop for improving your copy chops, growing your freelance business, and keeping your finger “on the pulse” of what’s working now – all with working pro’s at your back to help you do it. Learn more and join here.
- Take your freelance business to the next “phase”
Get personal coaching from Kevin and his team to help you get better clients faster, attract higher quality clients to you everyday, and crisis-proof your business. Go here to learn about The Freelancer’s Journey and check out the programs.
- Get the truth about marketing on the Copy Chief Radio podcast. Find out what the top producers and change-makers in the world of marketing, copywriting, and business are doing to stay on top – listen here.