October 14, 2019

How do I move up as a “freelancer”?

Sent by Jonathan Stark on October 14th, 2019

One of my favorite passages from our interview with Seth Godin was this:

You cannot move up as a freelancer by working more hours. The only way to move up is to get better clients. What does it mean to have better clients? Clients who trust you more. Clients who challenge you. Clients who give you more leverage. Clients who pay you better. Better clients will get you better clients because your book will look better. Your work will look better and so the quest, if you are on the authority track, can be defined as “What work do I need to do today to get better clients a month from now?”

(NOTE: Seth defines “freelancer” very broadly as “someone who works directly with clients”. This is in contrast to an “entrepreneur” who delegates everything. In fact, Seth considers himself a freelancer because he’s the one who shows up to do the work, he doesn’t delegate. So if you’re a consultant, coach, advisor, trainer, lawyer, accountant, photographer, copywriter, or anyone else who doesn’t delegate everything to subordinates, then his advice in this passage probably applies to you.)

There are a several implications here that I want to call out:

The first point is the most important. You need to have a crystal clear idea of what your ideal client looks like. You can’t start this process of leveling up without defining - to yourself and the world - what your ideal clients look like.


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