Friday Fusion: October 2nd, 2020

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In business is it what you know or who you know that matters most?

In the Information Age, what you know determines who you know.

I think it also depends on your personality.

Introverts are more likely to focus on what they know.

Extroverts are more likely to focus on who they know.

The best strategy is the one that you will make a habit out of.

Someone who focuses on what they know is a maker. A maker needs to make things, and share what they are working on — over and over and over until they can make a business out of what they make.

Someone who focuses on who they know is a networker. A networker needs to network with people and connect these people together — over and over and over until they can make a business out of who they know.

How do freelance consultants with a mix of long and short-term projects structure their resume?

If you’re a freelance consultant, your resume isn’t important.

You’re looking for clients, not employers. Big difference.

A resume positions you as an employee instead of as a trusted advisor.

What your potential clients want to see before they trust you enough to hire you is if you’ve solved problems similar to theirs — and if you can help get them to their desired future.

Case studies and thought-leadership are the perfect way to show them that you’re the one who can help them achieved that desired future. For a freelance consultant, these two pieces of marketing collateral are far more effective than a resume.

Case studies tell stories of how you’ve helped businesses like theirs. They demonstrate to your client that you can help them with their situation by showing them that you’ve done it before.

Thought-leadership (articles, essays, white papers, research, courses, etc) demonstrate your expertise. They provide insightful information that adds value to your client’s lives.

When using your past projects to create case studies or thought-leadership, the length of the project isn’t that important.

Instead, think about:

  • The client’s problem
  • What you did to solve the problem
  • The result

Whether the project was 1 week or 1 year, you can follow that simple formula to write an effective case study.

Then, in your thought-leadership, reference these case studies. They provide evidence to back up your ideas.

Forget about structuring your resume.

Focus on higher-value marketing materials: case-studies and thought-leadership.

Not only will they help you win more clients — they’ll position you as a higher-value consultant.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of value-based pricing?

Advantages of value-based pricing:

  • You can make exponentially more money without working more hours
  • It forces you and your client to think about — and agree upon — the results they want out of the engagement
  • Successfully completing value-based priced projects will make you better in every aspect of business and entrepreneurship

Disadvantages of value-based pricing:

  • It’s harder to uncover the value your client wants (requires better sales skills)
  • It’s harder to do the math (requires better cost accounting skills)
  • It’s harder to manage the projects (requires a better focus on generating results, not deliverables)

Value-based pricing is easy in theory but can be very difficult in practice.

Like everything else in life, it takes practice. You have to do it over and over and over again until you’re comfortable with it.

But once you do, it will be a gamechanger for you (and your client’s) business.

I’ve been freelancing for the last 5 years and am only recently realizing that I hate doing client work. How can I transition from freelance to finding a job or maybe starting a company of my own?

I’ve totally been there.

I was freelancing for two years, and although I loved the independence and being my own boss, I was burnt out on client work and feeling lonely.

So, I joined a start-up.

Being a freelancer positions you extremely well for many positions — especially start-ups.

Your skills, if you market them the right way, will make you very attractive to potential employers.

Making the transition from freelancing to full-time employment is about showing employers that you can help them in the same ways you helped your clients.

  • Are you applying for a web design position? Tell your potential employer about the project you did where you made an award-winning website for your client.
  • Are you applying for a copywriting position? Tell your potential employer about the project you did where you helped your client generate 3X as many sales.
  • Are you applying for a digital marketing position? Tell your potential employer about the project you did where you ranked your client’s website on the first page of Google.

You’ll look better than the other candidates because working with multiple clients on multiple projects is more impressive than someone who served a single employer. Running a freelance business is equivalent to 3–5 years of traditional employment experience. Use it.

If you want a start a company of your own — but you don’t want to do client work— consider productizing your skills.

Productizing is about packaging what you know into a fixed-price, fixed-scope product. Products are great because you can limit the amount of time you spend working with the client, as they are mostly “DIY” (the customer is expected to take and use the product on their own). If they want your help, they’ll have to pay you much, much more.

  • Are you a web designer? Take one of your award-winning designs and turn it into a template, and sell that.
  • Are you a copywriter? Look at your past projects and turn it into a step-by-step process, and sell that.
  • Are you a digital marketer? Teach what you know in a course, and sell that.

As a freelancer, you have many options for where to take your career next.

If you hate client work, employment ensures that you will work more on your craft than with clients.

If you want to start a company, package what you know into products, and sell those products.