Freelancer Track

How Do I Manage Online Appointments With My Clients?

How Do I Manage Online Appointments With My Clients – Side Hustle Business School

Kudos to you for thinking about having an efficient system for scheduling online appointments!

If you’ve done the back and forth email thing, trying to get a date on the calendar, then this is going to make your life much easier!

How should I manage setting up online appointments?

There are a few things to think about here: what do you need your appointment system to do for you and for your clients, and what kind of backup plan type features will you need if things don’t go according to plan?

For example, do you want for you and your clients to get a text message and and email to let you know of appointments that are starting soon, helping you decrease your cancellation rate?

Do you know if you want your clients to schedule recurring appointments, or are you mainly setting up one-time consultations?

Do you want potential clients or already-paid-clients to make appointments when they feel like it, without checking in with you first?

What else?

You’ll also want to create your own policies for cancelling or changing appointments—policies that apply to both your client and yourself. This plays in to your customer service strategy, so make sure whatever you decide complements your brand.

Create a full-service plan for your online appointments

Thinking about the areas of your business that can thrive because of an effective online appointment system can help you decide what you need this system to do for you.

Side Hustle Business School’s Freelancer Track has a few lessons designed to help you create a manageable appointment system that your and your clients are happy with.

Once you’re signed up, you’ll have unlimited access to each of the guided learning tracks.

Posted by Naya the Creative in Freelancer Track, Lessons, 0 comments

Should I Charge for Consultations?

Should I charge for consultations graphic

Free consultations. The obligatory free sample of freelancers and consultants.

Wait, if you’re a consultant, how do you give out free consultations?

Yeah, I see why this is a little confusing.

Let’s talk about what a free consultation is.

Free Consultations 101

A free consultation is a chance for a potential client to see if this service provider (freelancer, consultant, etc.) can solve their problem. But it works both ways. You get to see what this potential client’s real needs are and see if they’re ready to pay the price you’re planning to ask.

It’s a fairly low maintenance way to screen a potential client and see if they’re a fit for you.

If you use the free consultation correctly.

Free consultations gone wrong

There are plenty of mistakes that new side hustlers make during free consultations. Some of these mistakes are so critical that you could lose potential clients—not because you can’t solve their problems, but because you let the potential client run the show during the free consultation.

During a free consultation, the potential client and yourself usually have two different goals. Your goal is to get them to pay you. Their goal usually is to get a “quick” answer to a question, which usually isn’t quick, and pay you as little (read: free 99) as possible.

In fairness, not all potential clients are trying to not pay you. But when you’re getting started, and haven’t really come up with a system for weeding through the cheapskates, you’re more likely to end up dealing with the folks that more seasoned professionals know to stay away from: the ones that take over your sessions and leave you feeling excited about moving forward, but never actually commit to working with you.

Should I charge for consultations - Side Hustle Business School

Your free consultation strategy

Side Hustle Business School’s Freelancer Track has a lesson on consultations that will help you create a strategy for your free consultations so that you stay in the driver’s seat and land more clients.

You can check that lesson out here.

Remember: no matter which of Side Hustle Business School’s guided learning tracks you sign up for, you’ll have access to the other tracks as well. So you won’t miss out on this lesson if you’re interested in the Content Creator Track or the Product Seller Track.

Posted by Naya the Creative in Freelancer Track, Lessons, 0 comments

How Do I Write a Proposal?

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I love proposals—and I’m not talking about the ones that go viral. Although prom-posals are really cute…

I’m talking about project proposals for a potential client.

There was a time that I wouldn’t write a proposal because I didn’t understand why they were so important. Now that I’m hip to what a proposal can do for my business, I’m all for them.

Why should I write a proposal?

A proposal is not only a great tool for turning a potential client into a paying client, it’s also an excellent marketing tool.

To create a stellar proposal, you need to be really clear on what services you can offer and you need to have a good idea of what your potential client needs.

Read that one more time.

You don’t just need to hear what they say they want, it’s important to understand what they need. And then you need to give them both.

When you’re clear on those things, you can put together a proposal that seals the deal for you.

How do I write a proposal - Side Hustle Business School

Do I have to write a proposal?

Nope. Not at all. I’ve done several projects in my life without ever putting together any kind of proposal or pitch. However, it can really help your long-term sales strategy (meaning: money you make because of this relationship, but at a later time), which is important—even for a side hustler.

Side Hustle Business School’s Freelancer Track will take you through the steps you need to develop your service list, reach potential clients, and set your prices, so that when you get to the lesson on writing a proposal, you’ll know exactly what to say.

There’s even an example proposal you can download and use as inspiration!

Remember: once you’re signed up, you’ll have access to all three of Side Hustle Business School’s guided learning tracks.

Posted by Naya the Creative in Freelancer Track, Lessons, 0 comments

What if a Client Doesn’t Agree With My Hourly Rate?

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First of all, did we miss the part where I talked about hourly rates? If so, go catch that post here.

So, it’s happened. You found someone who wants your services. You chatted a little. Seemed to hit it off. You start talking numbers.

And then they look at you like you have two heads.

What did I do wrong?

Before you start scrambling to figure out a lower number to quote, relax. There are a number of reasons why this person might be, uh…hesitant to agree with your price.

  • They could have a small budget
  • They may think that what they want is “simple” and shouldn’t cost “so much”
  • They don’t think that what they’re asking for is very valuable and realize it’s a “nice to have” and not a “must have”
  • They think someone else can do it for cheaper
  • They think they can do it themselves

It’s (probably) not your fault!

None of those reasons have anything to do with you! Unless they’ve seen your work and it’s just not as good as what they’ve seen people who charge less can do (and don’t take that at face value if they say that to you), then don’t take that resistance to heart.

If you really want to work with a client who has a small budget, you may be able to work out a way to give them a scaled back/lighter version of your services.

Otherwise, you may need to pass on that opportunity.

On the other hand, potential clients who think they’re only asking for a little, or aren’t convinced that the work is a must have right now, could still be practical clients. It’s on you to make it easier for them to buy from you by communicating value and making your prices more palatable—which you can do without lowering your prices.

What if someone doesn't agree with my hourly rate - Side Hustle Business School

I’ve got a cousin/neighbor/friend…

Oh, and if you hear a potential client give you the age-old “I have a cousin that can do that for free/super cheap”—let them call said cousin. It’ll probably be nowhere near as good as what you would do for them, but that’s not your problem. Your concern is getting clients who value what you have to offer and are ready to get to work!

There are several lessons on how to set your hourly rates, set your product prices, and communicate with a potential client or customer when they disagree with your prices on all three of Side Hustle Business School’s three guided learning tracks (the Freelancer Track, the Content Creator Track, and the Product Seller Track).

You can get started with these lessons here.

Posted by Naya the Creative in Freelancer Track, Lessons, 0 comments

How Do I Set My Hourly Rate?

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One of the most important questions a new freelancer asks is “how do I set my hourly rate?”. One problem…

This isn’t even the right question.

But, let’s start by talking about why we think this is the right question.

What are we really trying to answer?

1. We’re wondering how much we should charge people for the work we do
2. We need to tell potential clients how much it’s going to cost them

“How do I set my hourly rate?” isn’t necessarily the best question to help figure those things out, but it’s a fair start.

So, how do I figure out how much to charge?

There’s a simple way to figure out what your hourly rate should be. You can take the annual salary you want to make, and divide it by 52 (weeks in a year) and then by 40 (the hours in a work week) and there ya go.

But, I can just about guarantee you, that won’t pay you the amount you need to charge.

And your potential clients—if they’re not successful freelancers themselves—probably won’t understand how this hourly rate is going to translate into the amount of the dollars they have to spend on your services.

Why won’t that hourly rate formula pay me what I need to charge?

There are several other factors that go into your prices that, frankly, if you haven’t worked with many clients, you won’t realize until too late. Meaning you’ll probably lose money on your labor because you committed to a price too low for the work you need to do.

How do I set my hourly rate - Side Hustle Business School

There’s a lesson for that

“How Do I Set My Hourly Rate” points out some of the items you should factor into your prices and some strategic ways to make sure you’re covering all of your expenses (including your time) without having to get stuck in the hourly rate trap.

You can watch this lesson in Side Hustle Business School instantly.

But if you’re not ready to commit yet, check out the free test drive here.

Posted by Naya the Creative in Freelancer Track, Lessons, 0 comments