Becoming an independent freelancer can be a pretty bold step to take, but transitioning from freelancer to business owner is a much bigger one. It creates a shift in your responsibilities, your needs and how you operate. The challenges change and become bigger, but they are so worth taking on because a being a freelance copywriter compared to being the managing director of an agency has huge rewards.
The most complex part of the process is knowing how. That is why I have come up with a list of steps you can proactively take to make the shift from self-employed freelancer to a business owner, AKA the boss.
Stop Marketing Yourself
If you want prospective clients and customers to think they are dealing with a legitimate and thriving business, then you need to market yourself as exactly that. Stop using the word ‘I’ and start using the word ‘We’.
Don’t stop there either.
Establish the core value of your company
Sell your business on your website
Have a company email address
Change your email signature to MD
Tweak your invoices so the numbering starts at 1100 and not 1.
Little things make a big impact.
Get Your Money Right
If you want to take your career to the next level then you are going to need to have the cash to do that. It is always worth luring in the bigger fish first, but at some point, you will need to consider small business loans to grow to where you want to be. When you’re freelance, you can weather dry months. When you have overheads, like salaries, you need to have a cash flow that will sustain this. In order to make money, you have to spend money; it is the golden rule of business.
Up The Advertising Ante
Thomas Jefferson said it best, "The man who stops advertising to save money is like the man who stops the clock to save time." To grow a business, you have got to invest in advertising and keep the pressure on. Don’t just think it is enough to do a radio advert or stick to Facebook; success and growth come from the best cohesive strategies. Diversify your ad strategy.
Refine What You Do
It is imperative for you to have a quality assurance strategy in place if you are to be a successful agency. Quality assurances means your customers and clients are getting a consistently good product.
It is also the best way to build a brand. Think about McDonald’s. You know what you are getting from a Big Mac no matter what branch you go to. That is consistency synonymous with their brand. It will take some time to get the processes perfect, but keep working on them until they are finely tuned and everything replicates time after time. This includes training new staff, coming up with fresh content, engaging with clients, briefing employees, dealing with issues, editing scripting problems, beta testing... everything and anything you can think of.