Money Matters is a short interview series featured in our weekly newsletter, The Loaf
Liz Froment is a freelance writer that specializes in personal finance, retirement, and insurance. View her work at lizfroment.com.
Take consistent action. Build a system that makes it easy for you to accomplish 1-3 things a day to build your business. A huge part of that should be marketing. When you start, no one knows you, so after you get your site set up you have to build a ton of marketing into your systems.
It's uncomfortable for new freelancers to promote themselves, and I definitely struggled with it. But where things took off for me was working with my business coach and setting up a system of doing daily marketing activities.
Marketing is a lagging indicator. The work you put in today may pay off 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years down the road. What you do right now will compound and pay off and if you ignore the marketing part it's going to take that much longer to build success.
It's kind of like the power of compound interest, the earlier and sooner you take advantage of it, the better otherwise you may have to play a lot of catch-up.
Hiring a business coach, Taylor Pearson. It was expensive, but I had been stagnating in my business for a few years, making around $55k-60k, which is still really solid but I knew I was missing opportunities to generate more.
Taylor is really good is building systems and that's something that doesn't come naturally to me. I've always been a work harder not smarter type. So I wanted a coach who excelled where I struggled. I spent 6 months working with him and it was like a light switch went on. I was able to learn a lot of productivity/systems building stuff that let me work less and my income made a huge jump, now I've earned 6 figures for each of the past 3 years and am on track for that in 2022 too.
His course the Effective Entrepreneur is a more affordable option. In general, I'm a big proponent of buying personal/business development courses if they are right for you. If you follow through you'll almost always make your money back.
Moving from a 9-5 paycheck to doing it on your own is a complete shock to the system. I way underestimated my taxes and didn't really set anything aside. Every freelancer can tell you about the look on their faces for that first tax bill. I use Catch.co for automating the taxes part now (thanks to Treyton for recommending it!).
I think a big thing is having some runway and money in the bank before you make the leap. I spent nearly a year in my 9-5 with an end date in my head and used that stable income to save and build a client base after work and on the weekends.
I think becoming a freelancer can bring a lot of stress, especially at the start, so building some savings can help alleviate some of that stress.
Books. I love to read and even when my budget was super tight as a new freelancer I never said no to buying a book because it's one of the best investments out there. I was struggling when I spent $10 on Ramit Sethi's I Will Teach You to Be Rich and it legit changed my entire approach to finances. That's ROI.
Right now, I pay $25 a month on Patreon to a guy who went to Oxford and gives lectures on classic books during planned read-a-longs, it's so nerdy but I love it. If I had to cut expenses that would be pretty far down the list.