Freelancers can do many different things. You can be a freelance artist, a freelance consultant, a freelance writer, designer, producer, filmmaker, wedding planner, photographer- the possibilities are endless.
If you are a woman entrepreneur looking for graphic designer that are vibrant, energetic, and you, are you more likely to hire a graphic designer who describes themselves as working with women entrepreneurs who are vibrant, energetic, and young, or are you likely to hire a graphic designer who works with startup CEOs or corporate finance? Of course, you would pick the graphic designer who works with women entrepreneurs.
As a freelancer, you need to be ultra-specific in your business plan about your selling point. Get down to the nitty gritty. Don't just define the demographics of your dream clients - define the psychographics too. Psychographics are their beliefs, values, and lifestyles that define who they are.
As a freelancer, you are worried. Where are my projects coming from? But if you say yes to everything, then you are not going to make enough money from some of those projects. Once you are finished with your freelance business plan, reopen it at least once every few months to see how well you are staying on track with your plans, or if you need to make some revisions.
Marketing can seem like a scary buzzword for most new freelancers, but it's a necessary piece of the puzzle to thrive in your freelancing business. Instead of thinking of this exercise as creating a marketing plan, which can be daunting, just consider exactly how you will find your clients.
For every client that exists, it feels like there are dozens of freelancers vying for attention. You have to have something that sets you apart. This is what your "unique selling proposition."
The good news is that you have already done some work with finding your unique selling proposition when you have your dream clients. There's no better unique selling proposition than catering specifically to the type of person or business your dream client is or has. This will set you apart as an expect on the specific subject matter your client needs. Can you further set yourself apart with a rock-solid guarantee or an angle that makes you different?
You are starting a freelancing business to earn money. And while uber-detailed financial forecasting can be left for the startups that need venture capital, it is still a good idea to plan for how you will earn your money in your business. Consider what you will sell to your dream clients. Sure, you are freelancing, so it might not seem as if you will sell anything, but you are- you are selling services.
Consider what you will price your services at. How much will you charge for different levels of service? Then, consider how many clients you will have to work with month over month to earn a full-time living and cover your business expenses, including taxes. You may be surprised at how much clarity this exercise can help you achieve.
So consider what your costs will be to run your business. Will you invest in more expensive tools as you earn more money with your business? What will that look like? Your business isn't set in stone. It will move, change, and evolve, but it is still crucial that you create a plan.
This is an important thing to have in your business plan because you will need to be ultra-clear on it so you can communicate it to the right people frequently.
Related: How to Start Your Freelance Journey