Back when I had my first agency I picked up a bunch of really good designers & developers who decided that the freelance life wasn’t for them.
They were great employees because they understood and valued the people that weren’t involved in delivering billable work.
As employees we only see one part of the jigsaw.
But even as a freelancer you need to promote yourself, close sales, manage your money and liaise with essential suppliers like your book-keeper and the broadband company.
Just to bring in business you need to manage all the steps of the funnel:
If you’re an employee down at the deliver end, you need to learn the skills at the top.
If you’re starting out from marketing though, you can completely side-step the delivery with digital products, affiliate sales, or by just referring sales to someone else.
It’s the models where this delivery doesn’t bring you to your knees as it grows that I’m most interested in.
I started out learning these skills through affiliate marketing, and not just by spamming links all over the place.
I’d pick offers where I could operate as if it was my own business, but I could leave the delivery to someone else. I still do that and I have a bunch of SaaS products I promote where I do a better job of providing good content and helping the sale than the company themselves do, then I just point the lead at a sign up form and let them do the rest.
Then my next step is creating more advanced training that I can sell.
Finally I can get small supporting software tools of my own built that fill gaps in the main product.
These 3 models: affiliate sales, course sales and micro-saas allow me to earn without overwhelming myself, and they’re useful skills that I can use in 1:1 projects if I ever want to drum up some fast cash.