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The Freelancer's Road Map is the first book I have read cover to cover without falling asleep... just realised! Thank you for that, well worth the money and is now a 'bible' I am bouncing back to for ideas when work is quiet, thanks for that too.
Jenny Howes, Jenny Howes Design
You might call yourself a freelancer, or a contractor, or say you do staff augmentation. You might call yourself a developer, or a designer, or a copywriter. You might spend time looking for work on job boards, or Craigslist, or Upwork.
You probably honed your skills initially as a full-time employee and then eventually started freelancing because you got fired or downsized or let go or laid off or just got fed up and quit.
If this sounds familiar, then The Freelancer’s Roadmap is for you. This 100 page book is jam packed with proven tips, tricks, tools, and systems you need to transform yourself from commoditized freelancer to in-demand consultant.
Here’s an excerpt from the introduction to help you decide whether TFR is right for you:
The first year of freelancing can be scary and hard, but it’s usually not the hardest year. I believe that this is because freshly minted freelancers have a built-in marketing story related to the details of their departure from full-time employment. Stories like:
“Alice finally quit her job because of that horrible boss. She’s going freelance!”
“Bob’s employer was acquired and the new owners let everybody go right before Christmas! Can you believe that?! He says he’s never putting himself in that situation again. He decided to go freelance!”
“Charlotte got fed up being a cube-dweller and is now traveling around the world freelancing from wherever there’s an internet connection. Isn’t that cool?!”
These are the kinds of stories that people share with friends, family, and colleagues. Taking the plunge with self-employment is a major life change. It’s remarkable. The story spreads exponentially through your network.
Due to the inherent nature of network effects, a surprisingly large number of people end up hearing your story. And these folks want to help. They want to reward your bravery. There’s a sort of fragility to your situation that brings out a nurturing quality in people. They hire you themselves or they introduce you to people who hire you.
This is why it’s not uncommon for clients to “magically” appear during your first year. Well, it’s not magic, of course... it’s your network helping you get started. Heck, one or two clients might even decide to follow you from your full-time gig. Or your former employer might hire you on a contract basis.
Whatever the case, the magic wears out. This usually takes anywhere from 12 to 24 months. Your “take this job and shove it” story has become old news. Now you’re just another freelancer scrapping for work. There’s no story there. There’s nothing to talk about. So no one talks about you. You have exhausted your network.
This is when things get Real Hard™.
You have to scramble for work. You accept clients who you know are a bad fit because you’re behind on your bills. You lower your rates in hopes of landing any opportunity that comes your way.
This creates a vicious cycle.
You are making less per hour so you have to work more hours just to keep up. You are stressed, drained, and demoralized from working with clients who you despise. And you don’t have the time or energy to do what you need to do to attract better, higher-paying clients. The kind of clients you dream about. The ones for whom you could do high-value work that you’d be proud of.
Welcome to Freelance Hell™.
Your old job starts looking pretty good in retrospect. You start wondering if you could beg your old boss to take you back. Anything would be better than this, right?
This goal of this book is to help you escape Freelance Hell.
Hi! I’m Jonathan Stark and I was software consultant for the better part of fifteen years. I’ve given sold out talks on three continents, I am the author of five books, and I have helped brands like Staples, Time, T-Mobile, and others with their software strategy, tactics, and training. (You can check out my press page for more info.)
In my first year as a solo consultant, I doubled my income by ditching hourly billing for value pricing. I have over a decade of real-world experience successfully applying value-based theories to my own consulting work and that of 100+ developers I have counseled. These days I routinely command an effective hourly rate of $2000+ per hour.
The unconscious acceptance of hourly billing as the best and only option for selling services literally keeps me up at night. In fact, I consider it my mission in life to rid the earth of hourly billing.
Toward that end, I have published this book to teach how to transition from low paying commodity freelance work to high profit consulting engagements.
You’re running out of web page! Don’t spend another day believing that the solution to your income woes is working more hours or raising your hourly rates or hiring junior employees.
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I've generally been skeptical of fixed vs. hourly pricing debates. It seemed like both options required a conversation with the client if and when things started to go over budget. It just seemed like a semantic difference.
It didn't click until I read The Freelancer’s Roadmap. Jonathan described value pricing as an option during the proposal process, where you charge a premium for taking on the risk of a bad estimate.
This can also start to solve an additional problem in my business which is we are just starting and currently eating a lot of over-estimate time ourselves.
Definitely adding a value-based fixed price to my next large proposal!
Trevor Carr, Default Value
Do you still have questions about The Freelancer’s Roadmap? Please send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to answer.