In between projects, I’m slowly working my way through Justin Welsh’s Content System — testing out different strategies and ideas to quickly create content on Twitter and LinkedIn, and for this newsletter.
As a result, one of my posts went viral a few weeks back. If you missed it, it was this one 👇👇👇
I have to admit, watching this post pass 3,500 likes and keep charging for days was pretty darned exciting! 👀
If you ever wondered what it’s like to have 15 minutes of LinkedIn fame, here’s what happened next:
As in, zero of anything.
No client enquiries.
No money raining down from the freelancing heavens.
All I got was some random followers—and a cool screenshot to maybe show my grandchildren one day.
I don’t think I’ve ever HARUMPHED so much in my life.
While I don’t count this viral post as any sort of win, it was a valuable exercise in testing what I’m learning to see what works.
Trying out different ideas and fresh approaches in your business is an essential part of finding success as a freelancer.
In my recent Q&A article about email copywriting, Kat Garcia revealed she had to reposition her business 7 times until she got some serious traction.
And she’s not alone.
Behind every senior freelancer is a huge steaming pile of ghosted proposals, unread content, client rejections, productized services that never quite took off….
I could go on.
But if you don’t keep pushing your boundaries and trying out new stuff, you’ll never know what does work for you.
Always be testing. Your business won’t implode, and your social followers won’t leave you. I promise.
Here’s a few things that didn’t work for me…
Day rates – I was seduced into trying these for the money, I admit. I sold a few days here and there, and the money was great at $2,500 for 7 hours of work.
But despite having a clear landing page for this service, 99% of enquiries had deeply unrealistic expectations of what a copywriter can get done in a day.
And all the back and forward emails trying to explain how I’m not a wizard got pretty annoying.
For example — no I can’t rewrite your entire website, strategize and write an onboarding sequence, whip up a landing page, and create supporting ad copy. In 7 hours.
Secondly, it turns out that I find it almost impossible to sit in a chair and focus for that long. It ended up feeling like well-paid masochism.
Sales pages – I sold a couple of these for software products at $8,000 each. Sales pages aren’t so much of a thing in SaaS, so I was pretty stoked when these landed in my lap.
But again, I didn’t really enjoy the process, and they were a little too direct-response-y for my liking.
Email strategy & sequences – I’ve done a few SaaS email cadences, but truthfully…I didn’t love them.
The highest one I charged $14,500 for, and that included setting the emails up in the client’s email software.
Which was, quite frankly, terrifying.
I’m one of those people that has the magical ability to hit a button and accidentally delete things. A lot of things.
One time when I worked at a motorcycle clothing shop, I somehow managed to delete every item in stock that was tagged as “black”. This was about 95% of the entire store. It was a lonnnng day on the phone to IT support.
Whitepapers – Bleeehhhhh. I only needed to write one of these to realize it was a big NOPE. That was one of the most boring weeks in my entire business!
Over years of testing out different projects and packages, I’ve embraced the fact that I simply don’t enjoy doing certain types of writing.
But all the testing of different things has helped me pinpoint exactly what works for me AND what I enjoy doing – so I’ve doubled down on those projects instead of trying to get better at things I don’t enjoy.
This has given me a lot more confidence in what I do well, more enjoyment in my days, and more cash to spend on artisanal cheeses.
I’m taking a break next Monday. I’ll be in Leipzig for the 30th anniversary of Wave Gotik Treffen, taking in all the incredible costumes, catching some bands, and joyfully embracing the fact that I have zero dance moves.
Stay tuned for Issue #19 on 5 June!
This will be my newsletter’s 6-month anniversary, and I’ll be sharing:
- How I grew from 0 subscribers to almost 2,000 subscribers in 6 months
- How I got 500 new subscribers in 2 days
- How I made a surprising amount of money from the one newsletter I hated sending
- How I plan to grow my list to 10,000+ subscribers
Plus: I’ll be doing an awesome giveaway that you won’t want to miss!
Memes Of The Week
Grab my free guides
- 31 ways to get more freelance clients – check out these ideas to get more work coming in – fast!
- Bulletproof content creation checklist – so you can always deliver rockstar content drafts to clients
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