Skill? Talent? Ability? Intelligence? Experience?
Actually, the answer has NOTHING to do with any of these things.
Instead, the most successful freelancers have THREE things in common:
First, they continuously attract new clients at the price they want to charge by proactively marketing themselves.
Second, they have an ongoing stream of clients who want to work with them, so they can afford to pick and choose their clients (which means they work with clients based on want, not need).
And third, they consistently raise their rates, without hesitation or push-back from clients.
Unfortunately, most freelancers never accomplish these three goals because they ONLY rely on a single way to attract new clients:
Word-of-mouth is great, but you CAN'T build a legitimate freelance business from it because word-of-mouth isn't something you can CONTROL.
When I say a "legitimate business," I mean a business that creates security when the economy goes bad, or when unexpected things happen, or when you want to take time off just because.
When I say a "legitimate business," I mean a business that allows you to make more money without investing more time.
However, you can't scale your business if you don't have CONTROL of the way you attract clients. When you ONLY rely on word-of-mouth to attract clients, you relinquish all control.
Any freelancer who's been in the game for awhile will tell you:
That's why so many freelancers are forced to get a "real" job the word-of-mouth pipeline runs dry and they need to make money. They get backed into a corner, without any way out.
But there's a way to avoid any of this from ever happening:
When you create a continuous and consistent stream of clients, demand for your services goes up, and supply of your time goes down, which means you can pick and choose the clients you actually WANT to work with.
When you can pick and choose the clients you actually want to work with, you enjoy more of the work you do on a day-to-day basis.
When you enjoy more of the work you do on a day-to-day basis, you get significantly better at it, which means you can attract better clients with bigger budgets.
When you attract better clients with bigger budgets, you can work less without making less. (OR, you can work more and make more.)
Taking control of marketing yourself by targeting your ideal clients and using proven sales techniques to close deals with high-paying clients who value your craft and your time.
Most freelancers think a website, a few social media accounts and a blog are good enough to "market" themselves.
If it was that easy, you would already be well on your way to Epic Freelancing — financial success, creative freedom and lifestyle design. You would already have more than enough clients who want to work with you and pay the rates you want to consistently charge. You would be in a position to work less without making less
But there's a reason you're not quite there yet — and that's perfectly okay.
It's a step-by-step blueprint that guides you through the systems, strategies and tactics I use to:
✔ Take total control of my time, workload and income
✔ Choose where, how, when and with whom I work
✔ Live the day-to-day lifestyle I desire
Of course, you could try to "figure it out" on your own and "see what happens."
But the truth is, if you've ever built something from the ground up — especially a system — you know that it takes SKILLS to get the results you want.
You have to become SKILLED at effectively marketing yourself.
You have to become SKILLED at using psychology to effectively target your ideal clients.
You have to become SKILLED at creating scalable systems that allow you to get paid what you want to consistently charge — and continuously raise your rates with confidence.
You have to become SKILLED at using proven sales techniques to close deals with high-paying clients who value your craft and your time.
1. "The Long & Winding Road" — continue doing what you've been doing, or try to figure it out on your own, and slowly piece things together through a lot of trial and error
2. "The Fast-Track" — adopt a proven system that will put you on the fast-track to attract more high-paying clients who you actually want to work with, continuously raise your rates, and take control over your workload and income
- OR -
3. Don't do anything. (Why are you here?)
For the first three years of my freelance business, I took the long and winding road — only to realize whatever I was doing WASN'T working. I tried a bunch of random tactics. Some worked better than others. I was inconsistent. I had less and less motivation because I didn't see any meaningful results.
I didn't really know what compels a client to hire me versus a similar service provider.
"Oh well, that's just how it goes sometimes," I thought.
I didn't have any real systems and strategies in place to continuously and consistently attract more clients, increase my rates when I wanted, and work with clients I actually enjoy, so naturally I felt lucky just to land a new client — even if it meant less money, more headaches and boring work.
"Better not charge too much, don't want to scare them away," I told myself.
Even though I KNEW my talent, skills and expertise were worth more, and even though I couldn't afford to live life on MY terms by charging such low rates.
I also knew there were other freelancers out there who had clients knocking down their doors to pay them DOUBLE or TRIPLE what I was charging.
"How does he charge $4,490 a month for a single client?! I can barely get my clients to cough up $1,000."
two payments of $2,245 from one client
It was a huge "AHA" moment, and it forced me to spend months perfecting methods until I was FINALLY making the money that matched my expectations, working with high-paying clients I actually enjoyed, and best of all — living life on MY terms.
Do you know how good that feels — to do what you want, when you want, how you want and where you want?
Today, the system is so effective ...
... a full-time freelancer who specializes in digital marketing.
I took my first freelance footsteps in 2012, right after quitting my job as an assistant producer at NBC in San Diego (despite a lot of advice against this decision from my mom). I was sick of the corporate world, to say the least.
Unsure of what the next chapter in my life would entail, I began helping local businesses in my hometown of Los Angeles with digital marketing.
Since then, I've built a freelance business that allows me to charge $150 an hour, working with brands across four different continents — including W Hotels, WeWork, the U.S. Embassy, Fendi, SodaStream, Milan Design Week, and China's International Institute of Education.
I’ve given a few interviews about my freelance journey, including: USA TODAY, Being Freelance, Entrepreneur On Fire, Entrepreneur Before 25 and The Deeply Graphic DesignCast.
But, truth be told, my freelance life wasn't always this good. At first, I struggled to find good clients who were willing to pay me what I know I'm worth. I was either over-worked and under-paid, or I didn't have enough work to make a full-time income and enjoy my lifestyle of choice.
Once I cracked the code to becoming an epic freelancer, I knew it was time to pay it forward, which is why I created Epic Freelancing. My number-one goal is to help you build a freelance life you love by:
- Making a lot more money without doing a lot more work (also known as scaling)
- Attracting clients and projects you actually enjoy working with (and have the liberty to say "no" to clients you don't)
- Developing the freelance lifestyle and work-life balance you desire
"Josh is one of the few individuals I have come across that continuously puts others before himself." — Shana Steigerwalt, agency owner from Philadelphia
"Josh taught me more in a couple of hours than my college professors have in the past year and a half." — João Miguel Abrantes, digital marketer from Portugal
✘ You're not willing to consistently invest time and effort in building a successful freelance business.
✘ You're easily discouraged or unmotivated.
✘ You're looking for a "quick-fix" solution or "overnight" success.
✔ You want to take more control of your time, workload and income.
✔ You want to work with clients you enjoy, while getting compensated fairly for your work.
✔ You want to build a freelance life that you design, which means doing what you want, when you want and how you want — on your time.
"Josh has helped me feel so supported and confident when navigating freelancing for the first time. I am so grateful to Josh for being so available to me and so willing to help me whenever I needed him." — Cori Maass, social media marketer from Los Angeles
It’s simple: Apply the material. Take advantage of the personal, unlimited e-coaching. Put in the time and effort over a handful of months. Dig in and use all the tools at your disposal. Show me that you really tried to make it happen!
If you haven’t found any success with the MasterCourse within 6 months of enrollment, I’ll make sure you get every single cent back.
"I finally have the ability to follow my own passions, generate the income I want, and work with clients I genuinely like." — Lena Elkins, digital marketer from San Francisco
"Josh completely shifted my freelance business. I went from having barely any work at all to a full client load." — Khara Wolf, graphic designer from Colorado