No one should ever feel lost or stagnant in their freelance business. “What my next step?” shouldn’t be an impossible question to answer.
That’s because it’s possible to approach your freelance business in a way that follows a path and is built on a system that guides you to the answers you need, when you need them.
Here at BlackFreelance, that system is built on four pillars:
You cycle through these, adjust, and repeat as your life and your business change and evolve.
A quick breakdown, working clockwise from the top…
Lifestyle Design is at the top, because here at BlackFreelance, we believe your work should power your life and not the other way around. It’s also there in the cycle so that, if your life ever changes and you need to shift, you reset to that phase and start refining.
Strategy and Market is second, because these are the choices that will dictate the shape of your business. Intentionality is critical here.
Client Acquisition gets the third spot because for most freelancers, this is the most challenging step in terms of execution. But once you get it, you’re unstoppable.
Stability and Sustainability rounds things out because this is where the real advantages over employment take shape. It’s where you find peace of mind as you build confidence, demonstrate results, and solidify good habits.
We’re really not taught to envision the lives we want.
We usually get formulas from the people who are older than us or the people around us—but we really have an emerging opportunity these days.
With all the chaos and change…with Affirmative Action being continually attacked, pushback on work from home, and endless inflation…new ways of living will emerge. Now is the time to think deeply about what you want your life to look like.
Be ambitious and don’t hold back.
Whatever you want, there’s a way for freelancing to get you there—and if you ever find yourself in another phase but life isn’t feeling all that great, that’s a good time to reset.
Start from the beginning and rewrite your freelance business.
This is your planning phase.
It’s where you translate your lifestyle into real business plans. This is also the most intense and uncertain phase for most freelancers, because you never know what’s going to work.
And that’s ok. You can always reset and refine. The best way to minimze confusion though, is to use employment as your guide rails and connect with community.
Two BlackFreelance resources are really helpful at this stage.
This phase sounds kind of clinical, but it’s probably the most personal of all four.
When people start talking about how they feel about sales, they almost always veer into identity, comfort, and personal ethics.
And that makes sense. Client acquisition is relationship building and it’s a skill on its own.
That’s why most people will need to sit and marinate on this one, setting aside some time to build up their sales and marketing skills (because it really is something you can learn.)
It’s a time to examine boundaries, how you create and respond to red flags, your comfort level with sales, and how willing you are to remove relationships that aren’t for you.
Your freelance business should feel safer and more stable than any job you’ve had. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it is possible with some effort.
I say this as someone who’s gone from no experience freelancing (and hating sales) to a regular paycheck from my LLC (which is also an S-corp), retirement fund, a business that covers my healthcare, “PTO” (I take time when I need it), semi-annual bonuses…all while working 20 hours a week for a full-time salary that’s on the high end average for my skill set. (You can read the basics of how I did it here.)
But you get to shape your freelance business the way you want. This phase is where you put the “finishing touches” on everything you’re doing.
And if life changes and you need something different…you circle right back around to the top.
Ready to take action…or just start observing so you can get a mental head start? Come check out a free month at the Academy.