Bonus: Tips to Be a 5 Stars Freelancer
Alright guys, welcome to the bonus round. So now that we've gone through the seven Secrets, I want to share some final additional tips on how to apply those skills as a freelancer. Especially because I get it. I know how hard it can be to apply those skills in such subjective feels like marketing or writing or two people be it. You and your client can have such different opinions on what quality and what a great final result actually looks like. So the bonus round is really really for those people who are trying to make it big as a freelancer, especially here on fiber and I want to take you behind the scenes of how I got a perfect five star review from each and every one of my 200 high paying clients in just over one year because really there's a lot of things that I realized a lot of mentorship that I got that I want to pay forward here and with that I want to give one final metaphor, you knew this was coming. Freelancing is like flying a plane, you need to do the right things before ...
takeoff, after landing. And of course during the journey before during and after. If I have to say more chronologically and knowing exactly the right things to do and the right lovers to pull means that you can go faster and farther on each trip that you take. So in this section in this lesson, I'm going to divide my type tips into the before during and after of the freelancing process. So let's start off with the before now to go back to the plane analogy, The before phase is all about making sure that your plane is just pointing in the right direction, you're the pilot and the client is the passenger. And let's just say I've seen way too many pilots fly to new york when their clients really wanted them to land in California and they do a good job of flying. Yeah, they did. But did they get the client where they wanted to go, nope. And that's why this preparation stage is the most important part of the freelancing process. You need to know where your client wants to go before you begin the actual work and those that this is also known as the briefing stage, right? Most freelancers ask clients a few bland questions like, what's your project and when you need it. Why? And I've found that it's better to go deeper and have specific questions that can really make sure that you're heading in the right direction that you're on the same page. So here's six questions that I always make sure to ask a client before I start doing work, whether it's on the content creation side or marketing. So here's the first of those six questions. So I asked them, show me three examples of work that you admire. It could be from any industry or any company. And I love this question because it reveals so much about who you're working for and how you should go about creating content or crafting your marketing strategy for them, it reveals the tone of voice and what they're going for. And I've seen so many freelancers asked that question, you know, they say, hey, can you describe your tone of voice? Which to me is it's just a total mistake, right? Why describe the tone of voice when you could just show it right? For example, your clients definition of a business casual tone may be totally different than your interpretation and thus could lead to disastrous results later on. It's just better to show those three examples, and I like saying, you know, tell me beyond your industry because it really gets their mind working, and some of the best work comes from adapting from outside your industry to succeed within it. So that's the first of the six questions. The second one is to ask the client to describe your target audience without using the word millennial or middle age. And most freelancers ask their clients is simply defined their target audience, but words like millennial and middle age, I mean they just become a crutch in our vocabulary and too many clients use it and it's almost like as bad as saying, you know, our target demographic is men and women 80 and up like what does that mean? Nothing, Absolutely nothing. So I want you to encourage, I want you to ask your client, you know who their target demographic is in a way that doesn't involve them saying millennials or middle age and just the visual to have here is it's not enough to walk in your target demographic shoes, You got to really know what size shoe they're wearing, what those shoes smell like, where they like to run in those shoes, all of the above. You need to get that granular and detailed to know who you're catering for and really have the right tone of voice and make sure that you're targeting for them. Because if you try to write for everyone, then you're gonna write for no one. And that's just a recipe for disaster. So the third of the six questions is to ask very specifically, what does success look like, right? And this is another important question that few people ask because they assume they know too much about the client, right? But success may be different for you than it is for them. And ultimately it's not good to think of yourself as just a freelancer, but think of yourself really as an employee and as a member of your client's team write their goals, are your goals. So it's best to understand what that looks like right from the get go. Also getting an answer to this question, what does success look like earlier in the process means that you can reset expectations if those metrics are just way too out of the ballpark. You know, if they say we want 10 million views on this piece of content or else it's a failure, right? You know, I think that that some clients may have those expectations off the bat, it's better to massage them and go through them earlier in the process and get to the end, have you deliver something awesome? And then just think of, you know, that didn't meet their too idealistic bar. So again, bring them down to earth realigning expectations. All of these are very important. And that's what the heart of that question is. The fourth question to ask is in one sentence, how would you describe your product or service to someone who knows absolutely nothing about your industry? And I deliberately wordsmith this question to make sure I'm getting the client out of their comfort zone, right? Think about they're talking to people in their industry all the time. They're throwing their own jargon back and forth internal acronyms, all these things I want them to explain and distill their product and offering in one sentence and put it in layman terms. That's basically what this question is asking and it amazes me how many people can't do that? I've gotten so many clients who say we offer 360 degrees solutions to meet our stakeholder needs. What the heck does that mean? Right. And it's good to ask this question earlier in the process because you need to dig through that regardless of if you're doing marketing or content work because having a great way of positioning, they're offering their product or whatever it may be is key to being able to message and ultimately get an audience or a customer excited to buy or check out what they're they're trying to talk about. So again, that question super key and is super helpful in distilling um some of the more complicated products that are out there. The fifth question to ask before you start work is what's the most magical thing about your product? Makes it different from competitors. Again, the wording here is super important. I mean, I once had a client who said he's an acting coach and I pressed him and I was like, okay, there are millions of acting coaches out there in the world, why are you different from them? And that's when he told me the goal, he said he's helped his students get signed by major studios like netflix, Fox and E and boom, I was like right there, that's something that we could put in the narrative in the creative, in the marketing and content that we were working on because it's something that's unique to him and it's something that is magical about him as a coach that not all other coaches can say. So really helped amplify his messaging. So I encourage you to ask that question as well to your clients as part of the briefing because that could really help. Um and giving you more ammunition as you're putting together your final deliverable and the sixth and final question I'd like to ask clients are show me three examples of works that your company has produced, or that you've produced that your product. Again, it's a nice full circle to that first question about, show me three pieces of work from another company or somebody else that you admire, because this speaks to, you know, what have they done in the past, you know, as as a freelancer, I already see it as my job to go through every single social media, post, every single blog post, everything that that company or that client has put online, it is my job to pick up on it, but I also want to know, what are you most proud of, What do they think defines them online, because as a freelancer, it's your job to build on that, not to interrupt it, and you want to make sure that you're feeding off that momentum and building off of what they like and what their most proud of, not just from outside the industry, but also from what they've done before. So, those are the six questions to make sure to ask as part of your briefing process before you get started. And next, I want to talk about what we'll do during the process, to make it as smooth as possible, given the three tips that will help you save a ton of time during the process of doing the work for your client first and foremost, a lot of freelancers just put their head down and pop back up when they're done with their work. And I want to say going back to the airplane analogy that, you know, it's good to check in on your client during the journey. Just like a flight attendant would with a passenger. For example, if I'm creating a piece of content, I'll always schedule a meeting earlier in the process and share three outlines of how I think it could look before I proceed with that process. Right? I always want to get buy in from the client because I've always found that they're happier at the end when they influenced the beginning of the journey. So I'll say listen for this piece of content you want. You know, let's say maybe at the blog post or a marketing strategy. I'll say option A is the edge of your concept, right? We're gonna, you know, swing some punches at competitors who are above us. Um, and we're really going to take an edgy approach here with our tone. Option B is a very place safe approach, right? And option C is a total wild card. You know, take it or or just leave it or ignore it. It's not, it's not a big deal. It's just something I want to see if it resonates just came up with this idea and by offering that optionality, I'll immediately see what resonates and what goes good with the gut of my client and usually they'll have a pretty definitive answer now imagine if instead of asking your client about these three options, you just decided to go with one, right? A lot of freelancers do they just go with the option to go with an idea or a concept and just show it at the end and waste a ton of time because you develop a concept that maybe they don't like. And also again, if they give you buy in ahead of time, then when you're at the end of the process you'll be like, yeah, that's what we agreed on earlier. And if they change their mind, you know, they're very public record between you two of like yeah, they agreed. They thought it would be a good idea. It's almost again going back to the plane analogy, it's like initially you figure out that of all places in the world, your client wants to fly to California, right? And then as you're on the flight, you know, you're checking in with them and you're like listen in California, I was thinking we either go to san Francisco and go to Los Angeles or san Diego and here's why the different cities may appeal to you and you know, you talk with them about it and ultimately they're like, you know, let's go to san Francisco. So ultimately you position your plane, you land and go and move towards san Francisco. But if you don't ask maybe we'll go to L. A. Right? It's California but it's not the California that they wanted to see. Right? So think about that same thing as you're going through the process, schedule a time to check in, let them influence the end. Creative secondly I always give updates as I'm working on the project. My second tip is always to send messages of encouragement as you're working on the deliverable for your client right? It could be as simple as a text that says just finish the latest draft. Can't wait to show it to you during our meeting on monday right that way they don't need to worry. In fact now having hired many freelancers myself on the other end, I can tell you that it's the most comfortable text and most comforting text to get of all time. You know, you feel like everything is under control and the work is getting done even with you not having to breathe down their back and you know many freelancers do great work but they miss out on this communication, right? And you as a pilot you can't hide in your cockpit right? Doesn't mean you have to stop and step outside every few seconds but even a message on the intercom it helps write your passengers will feel at ease saying goes with your client and that brings me to my third and final point about this during phase, right? If you're gonna experience turbulence please tell your passengers tell your clients that's going to be bumpy because it's better to know than to be surprised. For example, if you're running behind on a deadline and you better have a good reason, then it's better to tell your clients you can plan ahead and let them inform their wider team. If they have one again, communication is key, even if what you're communicating isn't always the best news to deliver. And again, there should be a rationale behind that. So communicate if you're gonna have turbulence so they feel more at ease. Alright, so this is the final leg of the journey, you finish the work, you're ready to show it to your client and you can do two things. One, you can either hit send and sit back and hope they like it and see the magnificence of your work or you could do the following, which is what I recommend. So I recommend ending your projects on a high note by following these four tips. First and foremost, if you're delivering your project in the form of a presentation or document, make sure the first schedule a time to show it to them and walk through. Don't just deliver a doc handed off and you know peace out. You want to make sure that you're having a dialogue as you're presenting because questions are gonna come up, they're gonna ask why you made certain decisions as best to explain them right then and there as opposed to having those questions just stay in the client's mind without an answer. Right? So first and foremost, schedule a time to present. Very simple but very often overlooked. Second thing is okay if you're gonna have a presentation or a document that shows your work very simply put your client's logo on there, put their signature or some kind of mark that says, you know, this is a company document, even if it's from a freelancer. And again, it goes back to that first thought of your part of the team. I mean, here's an example presentation that I put together for a best selling author named Neil Strauss. He was just coming out with a new book at the time called The Truth and I put together this um deck for his content strategy and we put together a video trailer for him and we put that out and you can see right there, you know, it's his faces, his photo, it's his signature right below. It feels like an official document from Neil Strauss. It just feels much more official and much more like a team. Like we're working together to create this awesome end result. And it's just another nice subconscious thing to be able to put into the mix. The second thing is, is when you present to your client before you even show anything, Say something like this. Um I'm really excited to share this final result. I just want to say I'm happy to keep editing until you're fully satisfied. Right? Say that I promise you it will make a world of difference and put them at ease. Because even if this is what you thought would be the final deliverable, your client may still have tweets and their satisfaction is of utmost important. So make sure that you're really giving that assurance that this isn't particularly the situation. I want to see this through the end and I want to make sure that you're fully happy with it. Right next. I always believe that this is an unpopular opinion. But I think it's what led me to get such high ratings is just go above and beyond by doing the phone provide a bonus right? Your client is going to ask you to do something. There's gonna be ways to go above and beyond to delight them. I mean, just look at this course. Same principle, Seven secrets One bonus lesson. Was it something that I marketed or put into the intro video? No, but did I think it would be helpful for freelancers like you and people who are trying to get more business to benefit from some of this knowledge and wisdom in terms of putting those lessons in practice. Yes. So I put the bonus in. And did it take more time. Sure. But it's something that I always believe go above and beyond for your clients, no matter who they are with that. You now know what I wish. I knew when I first started as a freelancer, and you now know what I wish I knew on so many fronts, after going through all these seven lessons. Uh, and so hopefully this gives you a way to apply those lessons in the before, during and after of the freelancing process to really wow your clients. And with that, I want to say, congrats on finishing this video, we have one final one. I'll see you there.