His goal was straight forward - make enough money freelancing to cover essential expenses whilst leaving time to work on more long term internet marketing strategies.
I gave him some information based on my own experience and the tips seemed to be of assistance. Hopefully they can help you too:
The Number 1 Rule of Freelancing - SIMPLIFY
When I first started freelancing my approach was to offer every service I knew how to deliver in one advertisement. Do you know what the result was?
I got loads and loads of interest but there was a problem.
Because I had so many options on the table the result was I spent more than half of my time discussing and quoting for people and less than half actually doing paid work.
It didn't take me too long to realize that I had to cut down the options I had available.
It became apparent that offering everything at once is like trying to running a burger store with no menu.
What if you went to McDonalds and there was no menu?
You might ask:
"What lunch options do you have?"
to which they would reply
"What would you like? We can do anything!"
You can imagine that the counter staff would spend most of their time discussing a multitude of salad and bread options along with their corresponding pricing.
As a result the number of burgers actually purchased would be considerably lower than it could be.
So, through considering how McDonalds managed to become one of the biggest businesses on the planet it became obvious to me.
If I wanted to spend less time discussing & quoting and more time getting paid and delivering services I would need a simple McDonalds style menu.
THE SIMPLE CHAIN:
Simple Offer > Simple Decision > Simple Service
The "Simple Chain" is a major key to successful freelancing.
Regardless of what kind of service you are offering as a freelancer you are ultimately selling your time.
So if you want to have the greatest possible financial success you need to make the absolute most of the time you have.
Let me break down the three links in the "Simple Chain"
Here's the deal. People looking to hire freelancers are doing so because they want their business to be efficient.
The last thing they want to do is spend an hour decoding a complicated service offer.
Make your offer as simple as you possibly can. Ideally it should be one item, one price, click here to order, and that's it.
If you are a writer for example you can offer a flat rate per page or per 500 words.
If you do want to offer more than one item then remember the McDonalds style menu and keep it as simple as you possibly can.
Organize two to three package offers at most. Tailor each package to perfectly suit each group most likely to be interested in your services.
For example, when I was doing ghostwriting I knew my clients predominantly wanted to build lists with free report giveaways or to sell their own info products.
So I offered a free report sized book, and an info product sized book. (Later I went to a per page model as it suited me better at the time).
By keeping your offer simple you avoid spending excessive amounts of time responding to questions that begin with "How much if..."
You're also far more likely to receive orders without needing any preliminary contact at all.
If a clients sees exactly what you are offering and verifies that you are a trustworthy provider they can just go ahead and book their spot with you.
You typically don't need to convince people of the benefits of the actual service you're offering.
A prospective client already knows what they want and the virtues of getting it. All they are looking for is the best person to take care of the job and the best value for money.
Note I said value for money, not the cheapest. Yes, some folks are looking for the cheapest but trying to be the lowest cost provider is a very hard way to do business.
I recommend instead aiming to offer the highest quality service available in a pricing bracket you are comfortable with.
Focus on being crystal clear in communicating exactly what you include in your service.
Keep your offer well organized and always, always, always have a bullet point summary of what the client will receive.
You also need to convey your expertise and your trustworthiness. Make examples of your work clear and easy to access. Give your testimonials pride of place in your offer.
If you have a testimonial from someone you know is well respected by others or one that really glows don't be afraid to place it right under your headline before anything else.
People want to know who they can trust so let them know you are reliable.
Cap all of the above off with a noticeable Add To Cart button. When people have decided they want to order don't make them hunt for a tiny blue link.
Make everything as easy as possible for people and there's nothing as easy as a big red button.
Once you have your new client happy and on board with you it's time for the rubber to hit the road.
You now have to get down to it and deliver on the service you have sold.
Once the payment for the service is in the bank your actual rate of pay depends on how efficient you are.
Now I'm by no means suggesting you ever rush anything you do as delivering quality is paramount. Your reputation is everything in the freelancing world.
What I am suggesting however is that you think of services you can offer at high quality without grinding yourself down to poverty pay rates.
You may have a fantastic idea for a service with all the bells and whistles that will sell for a nice rate, but when you get down to producing a complex service you may find it becomes very taxing very quickly.
As a service begins to tax you it will also slow you down, and then as a result your rate of pay reduces.
Try to offer services with one or two components at most, for example short report plus ecover.
It should be a straight forward matter for you to take an order, produce, deliver, wrap up and move on.
If you want to offer more service components, offer them separately through different advertisements.
Separating your offers keeps each of the three "Simple Chain" links in tact.
Why this is so important
Of course the additional major aspect to keeping your services aligned with the "Simple Chain" is that freelancing should always leave time for other endeavors.
Freelancing is an excellent way to liberate you from your day job, it can be extremely educational and very enjoyable.
However it is finite income source. You should always be working on establishing residual and exponential income sources at the same time.
You can only do this if the services you offer bring you enough income and leave you with enough spare time.
Remember the "Simple Chain" when you next offer your freelancing services.
Simple Offer > Simple Decision > Simple Service