The struggle for Financial Freedom is very unfair. Just look at the rewards. ~ Manoj Arora, From the Rat Race to Financial Freedom.
Needing money isn’t bad, equally you'll find it pertinent that money always results from the actions you've taken in the past.
Herein lies the dilemma.
What actions would you take to ensure a steady supply of money?
A simple answer is this - other people will give you money when they know you want money from them.
This is how the equation looks like in the eyes of the money-giver.
You’ll quickly notice that there are 2 essential elements in this process of you-need-money-they-give-money.
- People must know you have something to give.
- They must feel that what you give justifies the money you’re asking.
Let me bring in 2 more elements to each of the two points above.
- You must beat your drum before your likely prospects, so that
- They know you’ve something to give which they want.
- You must know what it is that your prospects want, so that
- They feel what you give justifies the money you’re asking.
We live by examples, so here is one that I see everyday when I go for a morning walk.
My friend won’t do that, he believes in teaching ‘concepts’ and has a few college students, but obviously he is losing out on big money by not being able to attract (an almost unending flow of) school students.
For the students, the young teacher gives a better deal, and they obviously believe they're getting their money's worth from him.
So, you can see, there is a lot that goes from being a freelancer to being able to earn a decent income.
For a freelancer how does financial freedom begin?
This depends on who you are.
If you’re a young guy, in the 20s, have just started out, the ideal places to begin will be the freelancing websites like Upwork, Guru, People Per Hour, even Fiverr.
If, however, you’ve gathered 10-15 years’ experience and would much rather prefer an independent setup for your financial freedom, you’ve to begin from ‘knowing’ what you can bring on the table for others to benefit from.
This is crucial. Why?
Look, when you cater to outsourced works on freelancing sites, the demands and expectations are pre-defined for you, so too the money you’ll receive for your labor.
But if you strike out on your own, which can be far more rewarding in the long run, the roles are reversed.
It’s important to understand this role reversal. This requires some deep thinking, and calls for analyzing your abilities objectively.
In the e-book, Monetize the Teacher in You, I’ve dealt on 3 critical mind exercises, which will let you
- assess your skills
- assess your objectives and goals, and
- identify your niche offering.
If you go through them, you’ll begin to see where you stand.
You’ll gain clarity and purpose, and in the end, you’ll be able to pinpoint a valid, viable niche tailored to your expertise and ability.
But, this is just the first step.
Which are the others?
3 more steps to financial freedom
This schematic seeks to describe a freelancer’s 4-step journey to financial freedom at the end of the tunnel.
Let’s look at ‘Validate’.
No one said, if you validate your idea, you won’t fail.
There are, I suppose, 2 main ways to look at this.
- One, pitching to prospects (or someone you know) in the manner Y Combinator does.
- Two, finding and exploring places where people leave behind ‘footprints’ by favoring what they like and asking questions they need answers to.
I think it’s safe to say that in absence of any ‘breakthrough’ idea, the second DIY option would be more suitable for freelancers looking for financial freedom.
This article on 4 models – it’s on finding blog post ideas but nonetheless – could be a good resource to refer to for working on the tricky issue of idea validation.
Let’s move on.
Coming to the third step, if you’re like most people, you will NOT want to fail when you make your first offering to the people.
I want to differ on this.
I wish you fail, at least once. Why?
Well, if you do not fail, there is a danger that
- you believe you may never fail, and
- you also believe you don’t need to make any improvement.
Both are imminent pitfalls, and the sooner it gets in, the better.
5 practical doable action steps for financial freedom
Concepts are good, but in absence of action, concepts are as good as just knowledge.
So, how to put the 4-step freelancing concept to financial freedom into action?
At the very least you must take 5 actions.
Action 1 – Start a website
Don’t constrain yourself into thinking that you’re not ready for a website.
It’s not true.
Just as your house reflects your present living style, your website will reflect your present state of freelancing.
Starting a website will put you to a time-tested exercise. Are you spending time on it, just as you would with your kids?
Then again, you might think your offers are not ready. So, what would be the website for?
No problem, just write what you think you can tell your viewers (without giving away much). When you do this, you may be surprised that you've so much to share with your viewers even if you hide the core 'things' which you'd want to sell for a price.
That brings us to the second action.
Action 2 – Write contents
Ideally, educational contents are better, they help the readers and increase stickiness to your website.
The problem however arises when you find yourself at sea, not knowing what to write.
This happens with everyone, every writer, so take heart from it.
Having said that, there is no doubt you’ll need a steady input of content ideas, and for that you need to use some special techniques.
I personally use some specific tips that has so far (fingers crossed) NOT let me run out of content ideas.
Will they help you? Find out for yourself.
Action 3 – Be visible on social media
In my experience, as a freelancer you need to be active on LinkedIn and Facebook.
If however you're in a field like food, fashion, design, etc. where visual presentation is important, then your social media preference should rather be Instagram, Pinterest, and others.
Here is a caution. It is easy to spread yourself thin on social media, don’t fall in that trap.
If you choose LinkedIn and Facebook, do have well written profiles on both, in fact have a separate page on Facebook for your website.
Then, write the same post on your Facebook page, maybe with some minor changes.
Action 4 – Install Facebook Pixel on your website
What has this got to do with financial freedom?
Well, I can’t stress enough how important this step is.
You must know who your visitors are, what they like or do when they come to your website.
You need to open an ad account connected to your business page though you may not spend a dime to get the Pixel code.
Facebook Pixel is a code snippet just like Google Analytics tracking code. Place this code on all pages in the header.
To tell this a second time, the advantage with Pixel is that Facebook gives you detailed information on the people who visit your website.
Action 5 – Install Google Analytics on your website
Like Facebook Pixel, install Google Analytics code on all pages of your website.
Well, Pixel is useful if you plan to put out ads on Facebook, which, trust me, you might do sooner than you imagine.
GA is useful because it gives you more granular information about how the visitors come to your website and how they behave while being on your website.
GA can easily overwhelm you with its comprehensive approach to deal with visitors’ data, and that is a genuine problem, especially for beginners.
Since you cannot avoid GA, you may want to use a plugin if you’re using a WordPress website (yes, WordPress is massively popular, and thousands have made loads of money using it) if only to make it a little simpler.
So, there you have it.
Think of your freelancing career like buying a new house, and setting it up for a decent living.
With those words, here is wishing you the very best.
And yes, don’t hesitate to contact me for your financial freedom, especially if you wish to set up an e-learning business.