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The most difficult part of freelancing is attracting high-quality clients to you (especially early in your career). Most people resort to two main "desperation tactics" when their schedules thin out... Desperation Tactic 1: They start sending cold emails/DMs to people who don't have any idea who they are. Desperation Tactic 2: They start publishing desperate-looking "hire me" posts on their socials. Things like "50% off THIS MONTH ONLY. HMU". While they're chasing leads down like a starving troglodyte desperately hunting for food, there's a better way to market your business as a creative. So what's the better way? That's what Chris Smith—our guest this week—wrote the book on... While the book is called "The Conversion Code", the tagline says it all: "Stop chasing leads and start attracting clients". No one wants to be "hunted", but most people want to be attracted to something/someone. In this episode, Chris breaks down how to use social media to start attracting more clients instead of resorting to desperation tactics. In this episode you’ll discover: Overcoming the lead generation bottleneck The number one key to getting booked Content marketing as a freelancer Basing your business model on Disney Getting booked by posting on TikTok The ROI of social media content creation Documenting vs. creating content Looking to others for inspiration For full show notes, visit https://6figurecreative.com/218
I recently came across one of the coolest freelance businesses I've ever seen, and I wanted to bring this to the 6 Figure Creative audience. I'm not going to spoil anything, but this freelancer is earning over $1 Million per year without a staff, without contractors, and he's able to accomplish this just by taking inspiration from a totally different industry than his own. If you're feeling stagnant, stuck, uninspired, or you're simply not earning what you think you should be in your own business, this episode is absolutely for you. In this episode you’ll discover: Why you shouldn't rely on a single point of failure Taking influence from other businesses outside of your industry Creating income stability with a better business model How to stay away from becoming an "inbred business" How successful entrepreneurs deal with roadblocks Sharing knowledge with your "competition" For full show notes, visit https://6figurecreative.com/217
No matter how much you love doing what you do, there are always going to be things that you hate doing but still need to be done. This is the life of a business owner, and one of the root causes of burnout. What if I told you there was a way to spend less time doing the stuff you hate so you can spend more time doing what you love? There is, and it's something called the "Easy Ates" framework. This episode will break down how to use this framework in your own business so you can avoid burnout, work less, and spend much more time enjoying your creative business. In this episode you’ll discover: Finding time to work on your business instead of in your business How successful business owners use the same 24 hours you have The best app to track your time KPIs Eliminating the stressors in your business Brian's 4-step framework for saving time Systemizing your processes for more efficient business practices Protecting yourself from outside factors Procrastinating with perfectionism Why not all hours are created equal The "Easy Ates" Framework Eliminate Can you remove this from your business entirely? Automate Can you set up a system to do this for you? Delegate Can someone else do this for you? Mitigate How can we make this task less painful if we can't eliminate, automate, or delegate it? For full show notes, visit https://6figurecreative.com/216
By FAR the easiest way to monetize your creative skills is by offering freelance services. The only issue with that approach is that it puts a cap on how much you could ever hope to earn per hour. $50 per hour? Sure. $500 per hour? Maybe... $5,000 per hour!? Possibly $500,000 per hour? As a freelancer? There's no way that I know of... The other issue with the freelance business model is that if you're not working, then you're not earning a dime (unless you know some secret hack to get paid time off as a freelancer, in which case hmu). While freelancing can be a great way to get started as a designer, there's a far better business model that our podcast guest this week has used to earn up to $500k per hour–allowing her to travel the world full-time as a digital nomad. The business model is partnering with big brands via licensing, and Cat Coquillette has mastered the process of being a prolific creator while also getting her designs placed in some of the biggest stores in the world, including Target, Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom, Bed Bath & Beyond, and more. Listen now to hear how she built her design business from the ground up while skipping out on the freelance part entirely. In this episode you’ll discover: How to skip the freelance game and jump into scaleable income A tax loophole to write off most of your travel expenses 80/20 for creatives - playing the numbers game Using Print on Demand services to sell your designs Being open to all opportunities Handling criticism well Contract negotiation - give and take The importance of an active mailing list Focusing on the important parts of your business For full show notes, visit https://6figurecreative.com/215
Answer this question: If you don't work today, will you still make money? What if you take the whole week off? Or the whole month? This is the biggest drawback of being a freelancer. You have to work more if you want to earn more. There are a number of consequences for this, but the biggest issue for creatives like us is that the more we work, the more we face burnout. The more we face burnout, the higher the chance that we'll lose the initial passion that drove us to this business in the first place. That means that the more we earn as freelancers, the more we'll face burnout. I'm sure you see the issue here... while you may love what you do, I'm sure you want to maintain a healthy balance between maintaining creativity and maintaining your bank account. None of us want to feel like we're on a hampster wheel of working just to pay the bills, but this is the sad reality of some of the most successful freelancers I know. They built amazingly successful careers (at least financially), but they unknowingly built a trap for themselves. As their income increased, so did their lifestyle and bills. As their bills increased, so did their dependency on their freelance income. This created a perpetual cycle of saying "yes" to projects they otherwise would have said "no" to if they didn't need the money. So how do we get out of this deadly cycle? Well... One method is to just keep your living expenses (and business expenses) as low as humanly possible. The other method (and one I much prefer) is to break away from directly trading your dollars for hours. This is the choice that Rachel Brenke took in her own businesses, which have allowed her to scale her income to over $9,000,000. While she does offer 1-to-1 services just like any typical freelancer, she's also built something called an "ascension ladder", which has allowed her to keep earning money regardless of whether she works this month or not. If you're still on the hours-for-dollars treadmill, and you want to break away, this week's episode of the 6 Figure Creative Podcast is for you. In this episode you’ll discover: The art (and science) of niching down How to offer services and products in multiple niches Automating and outsourcing the stuff you don't want to do How to build an "ascension ladder" as a freelancer Why relying on a single point of failure can destroy a business The 80/20 of content marketing that actually brings in clients For full show notes, visit https://6figurecreative.com/214
I'm super excited to share this with you today because this is the stuff that really moves the needle in your business. This is how you can charge more without losing clients or getting rejected. This is how you make your clients SO happy that they refer all their friends to you. This is how you become more attractive to your "dream clients". And this framework comes from a business owner earning over $100,000,000 per year... so you know this stuff works. Today's episode breaks down the 4 BEST ways to become more valuable, and if you get this right, you'll completely transform how you show up to clients. 99% of the freelancers I know neglect all 4 of these areas to their own detriment. As a result, they're losing gigs to their competitors, they get constant pushback on pricing, and they're not generating nearly enough referrals to keep their calendars full. In this episode you’ll discover: Focusing on the end goal, not the short term The value exchange The importance of social proof and perceived likelihood of achievement How to close bigger deals How time delay affects pricing and client acquisition The expert wins: why experts get the job 9 times out of 10 Why adding friction is a recipe for losing clients For full show notes, visit https://6figurecreative.com/213
Answer this: What have you done this week to bring in new clients? 99% of freelancers would say "uhhhh....." and proceed to stare at me blankly with a distant look in their eyes. The sad reality is that most creatives sit around and wait for clients to find them. This is perfectly OK if your business is at the point where you're 100% booked up for the next 6 months with nothing but your ideal clients. For the rest of us, we have to put in work to fill our calendars. On this week's episode of the 6 Figure Creative Podcast, I interviewed Ian Paget of Logo Geek. Ian has done a lot over the years to bring in clients as a freelancer. He's executed multiple growth hacks in his business, which lead to over 90,000 followers on social media. He then used that following to launch one of the top design podcasts (despite being a total introvert). Ian is the master of taking "imperfect action", and he's proven over and over again that anyone can face their fears and get out of their comfort zones in order to bring in new clients to their freelance business. In this episode you’ll discover: How Ian pivoted from employee to freelancer Growth hacking social media The importance of engaging your audience Overcoming the fears holding you back Stumbling into success The tech needed to start a podcast Launching a podcast with a massive guest For full show notes, visit https://6figurecreative.com/212
You're finally out on your own as a freelancer... no more bosses, offices, fluorescent lights, and no more commute. 🥳 That also means you're now responsible for your own survival. No more regular paychecks, retirement accounts, paid time off, or coworkers who can cover for you. Do you have all of the skills that it takes to make survive as a freelancer? If not, this is going to be a rough ride on the entrepreneurial roller coaster... On this episode of 6 Figure Creative, I sat down to talk to Sarah Townsend, the author of "Survival Skills for Freelancers". She broke down the skills she had to develop to survive (and thrive) for the past 2 years as a freelancer. In this episode you’ll discover: The importance of saying no How to politely turn down a lead Why working with the wrong people hurts you more than you think Coping with self-doubt - you're not alone How social media can be positive or negative for freelancers Picking the right social media platforms for you Managing your social media presence effectively Why you shouldn't expect your followers to know who you are How to focus on work as a freelancer Separating personal and work time For full show notes, visit https://6figurecreative.com/211
If you struggle with low self-worth, perfectionism, procrastination, or self-doubt, then you might be making the mistake of letting fear into the driver's seat of your business. Fear is a plague in our creative community. So many of us let fear... drive our rates down to pitiful levels (and keep us from ever raising them) drive us working extra hours for free (so we don't "ruffle feathers" by asking to be compensated) drive us to keep tweaking things for hours until they're "perfect" (even though there's no such thing as perfection) trap us in a state of perpetual procrastination for all of those big things we know will push our business forward It probably sounds obvious that fear is a terrible thing for you and your business, yet so many of us keep allowing fear to drive us every single day. That's why I wanted to bring on someone who's literally written the book on this. The author of "Feck Perfuction" is a world-renowned artist named James Victore. You may have seen his work in The Louvre or the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and I think it goes without saying that you don't make it to that level as a creative without annihilating fear. James has managed to break free of fear and build an incredible name for himself, and this episode dives into his process for what he does when the "fear demon" tries to sit on his shoulders and tell him how to live his life. In this episode you’ll discover: The importance of overcoming your fears Perfection and procrastination: your silent enemies How to get over our physical and mental ailments How childhood trauma, no matter how mild, affects your life/business Learning how to love yourself Finding clients who fit what you want to create Why failing more is good Taking risks to make your work stand out For full show notes, visit https://6figurecreative.com/210
Are you one of those bland, boring, vanilla freelancers who are trying to appeal to everyone? Are you terrified of the thought of offending someone or pushing away "potential" clients? The problem with being a "Vanilla Freelancer" that is you're invisible to the vast majority of people because you have nothing interesting to say, and you likely stand for nothing. You're not alone. There's a massive chunk of the creative world that's fallen into the trap of trying to appeal to everyone, and instead, you appeal to absolutely no one. Why would I choose to work with you when there's someone who specializes in exactly what I'm looking for? Why would I pick your plain vanilla business over another one that perfectly aligns with my values? The irony is that you're costing yourself clients who would be perfect for you simply because you're too afraid to stand out. The result is you get the bottom-of-the-barrel clients who were rejected by all the specialists who decided to choose a niche and own it. Many industries have figured this out, but somehow we creatives seem to latch onto the bland, boring, and vanilla. That's why I wanted to bring on Micah Woods to talk about his non-traditional niche. Micah is a branding and web designer who's forged his own path with a unique niche I haven't seen from any other freelancer, and it's done wonders for his business. Not only has it attracted his ideal clients to him, but it's also allowed him to reliably repel the worst types of clients for his business. The result is that he's able to enjoy a quiet, peaceful, blue ocean in the branding and design world while others are fighting for scraps in the red ocean of bland vanilla creatives. You do not want to miss this week's episode, so set time aside to listen ASAP. In this episode you’ll discover: The impact of knowing you're about to lose your job Why you shouldn't care if you're "bothering" people It's all a matter of timing: cold outreach Choosing your niche before you start your business Launching a business and getting traction right away How you can get clients with a small social media presence Thriving in a blue ocean The value of paying others to handle tasks for you For full show notes, visit https://6figurecreative.com/209
Have you obsessively perfected every single step of what your clients experience before, during, and after working with you? Most of the struggling freelancers I know have failed to do this, and it's costing them client, after client, after client, that they could have otherwise gained. The reason should be obvious: clients might forget the details of what it was like to work with you, but they will never forget how you made them feel. If you create a frustrating experience for them, you'll forever be remembered as "that one person who was incredibly frustrating to work with". If you create a confusing experience, they'll remember how they always felt lost during their experience with you. All of the most successful business owners I know have put tons of time, effort, and energy into perfecting their client experience for every single project. A well-executed client experience means happier clients, more referrals, more repeat projects, and an overall better reputation for your business. This is what my guest Nicholas Di Lorenzo has obsessed over in his business. He's built a fantastic client experience that has kept him booked solid in one of the most notoriously difficult business models in the audio industry. In this episode you’ll discover: The advantages of starting as someone's assistant How to grow your own business after working for someone else Finding the techniques that stick Making your clients' life as easy as possible Keeping your workspace clean to help focus Freeing up time to explore new areas of your business How bad (or no) systems can cost opportunities For full show notes, visit https://6figurecreative.com/208
Ever felt like you wanted to reach out to someone, but didn't want to bother them? Maybe it was an old acquaintance, a past client, or even a prospective client you've had your eyes on for a while... Creatives typically have this voice inside our heads that say "don't do that... you'll just be bothering them". Here's something that may surprise you: That voice is usually a lying, thieving, horrible bastard who's simply holding you back from getting what you want... What's even worse is that this voice is holding your prospective clients back from the rich experience of connecting with you and all of the value you could potentially bring to their lives. If you want proof, just look at your own life. How many other people are constantly reaching out to you, bothering you with offers you don't want? How many other freelancers are "bothering" you about hiring them? How many old acquaintances are reaching out to you about meeting up for dinner or drinks to catch up? Hell, how many potential love interests are sliding into your DMs? If you're like 99% of the rest of us, those things are rarely (if ever) happening. There's a better way to handle this stuff. It's something called The Rule of 7, and it's one of the keys to the incredible success of this week's guest. This week I got to speak to a "7-figure creative" who turned his 6-figure freelance business into a 7-figure agency (which he eventually sold). He's used the Rule of 7 ethically to get more clients, stay top of mind, build trust, win more projects, and ultimately, earn millions and millions of dollars through his creative business as a designer. This is what separates struggling creatives from multi-million dollar powerhouse guests like Mike Janda. In this episode you’ll discover: How to prepare yourself for an economic downturn Positioning yourself as a freelancer to replace your day job Solving problems as a method of sales The rule of 7 The importance of meeting people in person Competition at the top levels of freelancing Understanding the market you're in to provide a valuable offer Balancing between big city freelancers and "cheap" options in other countries For full show notes, visit https://6figurecreative.com/207
The dark side of freelancing (that no one wants to discuss) is the wasteland of low-dollar "Fiverr Freelancers" charging bottom-dollar rates for "butt-in-seat" projects. Whether you're on Fiverr or not, you may still be trapped in this low-dollar wasteland that is essentially just another soulless day job you've created for yourself. These projects tend to be unfulfilling and draining, and you end up in a horrible financial place. This is what so many newbies and struggling creatives do, and many never make it out of this trap. I know this might sound painfully obvious, but you can't build a sustainable freelance business out of low-dollar, unfulfilling work where you're competing with hundreds (or thousands) of copycat competitors willing to work longer hours for less money than you. This is why I wanted to bring on Ryan Koral from Tell Studios to talk about how he successfully transitioned from $500 projects to regular $50,000 projects, eventually scaling his freelance business to over $1,000,000 per year. Ryan shared a ton of incredible info, including one of my new favorite strategies for closing high-dollar projects, so do not skip this week's interview. In this episode you’ll discover: Why Ryan pivoted from a full-time job earning $23,000/year to a becoming a full time freelancer How "yes mode" affects the start of your business Why you don't hire significant others for your business Dealing with employees who don't have the right expectation The benefits of delegating tasks to others Why your employees aren't the idiots you think they are Your value vs. how your clients value your work How to sell a low $$$ workshop that leads to a $50k project (with a 100% success rate).  For full show notes, visit https://6figurecreative.com/206
If you ever want to break 6 figures as a freelancer (or whatever your goal is), let me ask you something important... Are you running your business (and life) like a 6 figure creative? Most people think they can keep acting like a 4 or 5-figure freelancer and that eventually (with enough hard work and perseverance), you'll somehow break that elusive 6-figure goal. The reality is that you have to BE a 6 figure creative before you can earn 6 figures. Confused? Here's what I mean... Every 6 Figure Creative I know has these characteristics: They're intentional in their personal life and business. They have specific goals AND take consistent actions working towards those goals They let opportunity and possibility drive their decisions instead of fear and self-doubt. They're not afraid to show the world exactly who they are and are not. The thing that most people don't understand is that these other 6 Figure Creatives already had these qualities and characteristics before they ever cracked 6 figures. You are the same. Until you have the qualities and characteristics of a 6 figure creative, you will not crack that number (or whatever number you're trying to reach). Our guest in this week's interview is the perfect example of someone who has all of these qualities. Toby Lloyd has been a freelancer for the past 15 years, and he's put a lot of care and intention into being the type of person he needed to be in order to be successful. Toby's results speak for themselves. If you want to learn what "the full package" looks like as a true 6 Figure Creative, this interview is for you. In this episode you’ll discover: How Toby Lloyd transitioned from a full-time job in the film industry to a 6-figure home studio owner Using competitions to create awareness for your business Qualifying leads to make sure you're the best fit for the project Why you need to get leads first and then focus on growth The mindset of a good producer How to nurture long-term relationships with your clients Using flat-rate pricing to keep artists at ease in the studio The difference between a Kiwi accent and an Aussie accent For full show notes, visit https://6figurecreative.com/205
Ever felt like your industry is just too saturated to stand out? Like you're just a tiny drop in a massive ocean? You're not alone. Nearly every freelancer has a moment (or ten) where they doubt themselves and their ability to stand out in a crowded "red ocean". That's why I was so excited to talk to James Martin from Made By James. James is a designer who's had immense success in the crowded niche of logo design. He's found a way to not just stand out, but thrive in an incredibly competitive niche. James is averaging around 1,000 inquiries from potential clients every single year, and this has allowed him to cherry-pick the best gigs and reject the "bill paying work" that many freelancers are forced to say yes to. Whether you're a designer or not, this episode will contain a lot of fantastic advice from someone who's built an incredible, long-lasting career as a freelancer. In this episode you’ll discover: How James Martin has thrived for nearly 2 decades as a creative Why niching down too early is worse than not niching at all How to stand out in a saturated market Passion vs. systems and habit Why it's dangerous to rely on social media Giving your clients the most value they can afford Why it's time to raise your prices right now Relationships in business The difference between survival and thriving For full show notes, visit https://6figurecreative.com/204
"I need more clients". That's the #1 problem our community has in every single poll we run. The issue with getting clients is that no matter how good you are at what you do, you will never be able to get enough clients if no one knows you exist. That's why we wanted to dedicate an entire episode to discussing our favorite 3 methods for building awareness and growing your business. Creatives have to learn this stuff if they ever want to get out of the "feast or famine" lifestyle. In this episode you’ll discover: How to make an offer so good people feel stupid saying no How to harness three of the six different lead sources The thousand true fans model How you can advertise for free Why an email list is crucial to more and more freelancers The importance of cleaning your mailing list For full show notes, visit https://6figurecreative.com/203
Here are the two rules for attracting your dream clients. Rule #1: Be attractive. Rule #2: Don't be unattractive. That's literally it. The hard part comes when you actually look at what is "attractive" to your dream clients. I'd bet you have a long list of alllll the things you want to see in their dream clients/projects, but very few people take the time to look at themselves and ask the most important question... "Am I the type of person that would attract this sort of dream client/project?" In many cases, that answer is, unfortunately, no. You're not anywhere close to being attractive to your dream clients. In other cases, you might be attractive to them, but you're doing little to nothing when it comes to communicating all the attractive things you have to offer them. In this continuation of our Client Acquisition Series, we dive into what it takes to attract your dream clients. In this episode you’ll discover: Why Guitar Center is the worst place to buy gear (unless they sponsor us) How Mark closed a half-million-dollar deal Why different clients need different approaches Setting expectations in advance High ticket vs. low ticket sales How to become attractive to your dream clients How to stay top of mind without being cringy Why red ocean businesses struggle For full show notes, visit https://6figurecreative.com/202
Have you ever had one of those awkward situations with a crush where you were TOTALLY into them, but you weren’t sure if they were into you? Yeah... That sucks. Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do to help you there since we give business advice instead of dating advice. What we CAN help you with is the client equivalent of that situation. Here’s what I mean... You’re talking to a dream client. You’re way into working with them, but you’re just not sure if they’re into you. There are actually 7 key points to cover with every potential client, and if each point is a “positive”, then they’re giving you their permission to pitch/sell them (i.e. take the relationship to the next level). This framework was shared with us by someone earning multiple millions per year, and it works perfectly in the freelance world. In this episode you’ll discover: How to help your clients better by determining their needs When closing a deal comes down to good timing What to do if a client isn't sure they want to hire you Why being open and honest with clients is the only way to run a healthy business How to discuss your workflow and delivery with clients before closing a deal Why it's vital that clients trust you implicitly For full show notes, visit https://6figurecreative.com/200
Client acquisition is a nerdy marketing term that basically boils down to one thing: getting clients. While the idea is simple, our freelance community seems to be deathly allergic to client acquisition. I get it... None of us got into this game because we wanted to become marketers. We do this because we love spending all day every day doing what we love by being creative. Unfortunately, that's not how it works. Unless you simply want this to be your hobby, client acquisition is a skill and a process you have to learn, develop, and grow. The alternative is to keep doing what you're likely doing now... sit around and hope a client finds you. If your current "strategy" is "hope marketing", this episode gives you the big picture view of how you can get complete strangers to hire you instead of waiting around for a miracle. In this episode you’ll discover: Why people will never hire you if they don't know you How to build trust with potential customers When it's time to be yourself How dating and business are closely related Why Mark is was more of a ladies' man than Brian How adding value in the long term sets you up for success Why our "comfort zone" is holding us back Why we need to be ourselves and not be afraid of alienating some people How appealing to everyone is a bad thing for our businesses For full show notes, visit https://6figurecreative.com/199
If you're doing anything worth a damn, you will eventually hit a point of burnout. There's literally no way to avoid this happening from time to time. The question is "how do you handle it"? Some of us just put our heads down and keep working, trying to pretend we're fine. Others completely withdraw to "recover", but they lose all momentum. This episode explores the wide range of "gray" areas... This is the area beyond simple black and white thinking. It's this non-binary thinking that can help us navigate the most difficult roadblocks in our creative lives. If you're going through burnout, or you feel like you just don't have anything left to give creatively, this episode is for you. In this episode you’ll discover: How to handle burnout Why you might be facing burnout Wearing all the hats as a business owner The damage of over-saturating yourself in one aspect of life Pacing yourself for success How your well being is a sum of your life, not just one part Why the four bottlenecks discussed in episode 188 are important to understand Avoiding water in your gas tank For full show notes, visit https://6figurecreative.com/198
Comments (9)

A C I Muzik

very good information

Aug 13th
Reply (2)

Chelsea Collins

awesome podcast! I'm listening in hopes of helping my fiancee with his home studio!

Jul 6th
Reply

Francesco Martelli

Landed from Episode 1 to 20 in 1 month! Learning so much with your podcast. Listening daily💪

Jun 2nd
Reply

Francesco Martelli

Very valuable🌎

May 8th
Reply

Tommy Gunz

Some of this is good, but some is a little far fetched.

Jan 30th
Reply

Rob R

awesome podcast! please, please, please keep going. My new addiction I didn't know I needed.

Nov 21st
Reply (1)
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