Advanced Freelancing

Learn more about freelancing and owning your business and your time from six-figure freelancer Laura Pennington.
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Advanced Freelancing





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Now displaying: January, 2017
Jan 31, 2017

Laura returns with another solo podcast to share her business secrets with beginning freelancers. She offers advice in several areas of business basics, including marketing, dealing with difficult clients, developing a support system and establishing your schedule.

Learn from the best as Laura shares her own stories about getting started in the freelance writing business. Find out how she deals with negative comments from friends and colleagues who don’t acknowledge freelancing as a ‘real’ career and the strategies she employs to sever ties with difficult clients.

Laura also explains how conversion rate shifts as you become more established and why setting official business hours is necessary to maintain work-life balance. If you’re just getting started in the freelance writing business, this podcast is a must-listen!


Key Takeaways

The breakdown of marketing vs. delivering work to clients

  • When you’re getting started, it is appropriate to dedicate as much as 80% of your time to writing samples, pitches, etc.
  • Eventually, you will hit a sweet spot and commit the majority of your time to ‘billable hours’


The power to say ‘no’

  • Release your attachment to difficult clients
  • Simply explain that your circumstances/business model have changed and you will no longer accept work after a particular date


Laura’s advice about finding a support system

  • Friends and family may not understand what you do
  • Find people who do get it (i.e.: Facebook group, business coach, etc.) to keep you inspired


The benefits of establishing official working hours

  • You are not beholden to traditional business hours, but it is important to set aside dedicated time to work on your freelance business
  • Set aside time to do the things that keep you sane



Overcast App 

Laura’s Full List of Courses 


Connect with Laura Pennington






Jan 24, 2017

Kim Garnett is the founder of Brainy Girl Virtual Assistant. She and her team help online course creators with the technology and marketing of their online courses. They assist with the strategy and implementation of sales funnels, landing pages, webinars, email marketing and social media marketing for clients. Kim has created several successful online courses, and she is passionate about helping other entrepreneurs create passive income streams.

Kim was working a regular job and hating it when the idea for Brainy Girl was born. Wanting to get back to her first love of helping business owners and entrepreneurs, Kim placed an online ad and landed her first client. She worked nights and weekends and got very busy very quickly. Soon Kim was able to leave her j-o-b and freelance as a generalist. In the four years since, she found her niche – helping online course creators –  and her team has grown to seven.

On this episode of the podcast, Kim explains how to utilize email marketing, drive traffic to your website and build a results-oriented lead magnet. She also opens up about the current challenges she faces in growing a virtual team and mistakes she made along the way to building Brainy Girl. 

Key Takeaways

Kim’s secrets to finding freelance work

  • Just because we exist in a digital landscape doesn’t mean you can’t work locally; Kim landed her first clients through an online local classified ad
  • Look through available jobs for work a freelancer could do and approach those clients

Email marketing is an important component of your overall marketing strategy

  • When you have an email subscriber base, you can be in front of those people when you want to be
  • Only 3-5% of followers will see a post on a Facebook page versus a 20, 30 or even 50% open rate for an email

Kim’s advice for luring potential clients to sign up for your email list

  • Stay away from words like “newsletter” and “subscribe”
  • Build a lead magnet (white paper, ebook, video training, PDF, etc.) that offers value to site visitors

Kim’s suggestions for attracting customers to your website

  • Make sure that your lead magnet has a high conversion rate (Based on the # of visitors to the site, what percentage have opted in?)
  • Then employ Google, Facebook and YouTube ads
  • Use social media channels to drive traffic to your lead magnet via integration or a link

Steps to launching your email marketing list

  1. Find the right email marketing service provider (ESP), i.e.: MailChimp or ConvertKit
  2. Create your lead magnet
  3. Get your lead magnet on your website (embedded box, pop-up opt-in, or landing page)

Common stumbling blocks to creating an online course

  • Analysis paralysis (being so overwhelmed by choices that you don’t take any action at all)
  • Most of Kim’s clients get stuck on the technology and marketing piece; they are not familiar with how to link their systems (learning management, email marketing, webinar platform) together

 Kim’s tips for using marketplaces like Udemy and Upwork

  • Don’t put your signature course on a marketplace
  • Consider posting a mini-course on a marketplace to get your name out there and drive traffic to your personal LMS
  • Because you don’t “own” your students in a marketplace, give them a call-to-action that takes them to your lead page 

Kim’s best advice for people who are just getting started

  1. Be prepared for your first client by putting the building blocks in place (contracts, client onboarding processes, etc.)
  2. Take one small action step each day to move you toward becoming a full-time freelancer







Connect with Kim Garnett






Jan 17, 2017


Getting noticed online is a challenge, but Erin Montgomery has the secret sauce. She is the founder of Piper Media, a boutique communications agency that offers social media packages and à la carte services developed through Erin’s ten years of media and public relations experience. She works with both brick and mortar businesses local to her native Toronto and savvy online creatives across the globe.

On this podcast, Erin addresses the value of social media in marketing your business, maintaining self-discipline when you’re self-employed, and establishing clear boundaries with clients.


Key Takeaways

Erin’s smart strategy for landing new clients

  • Utilize targeted email cold calling to approach potential clients
  • Be specific in explaining where the client is now, and where they could be in six months – with your help


The secret weapon for staying disciplined when you work for yourself

  • Establish dedicated, routine work time
  • Go to a coffee shop or library to eliminate distractions

Set boundaries to establish work-life balance

  • Erin’s contracts outline her availability
  • She doesn’t work after 10pm or on Sundays (unless there is a serious issue)

Erin’s advice regarding how to package your work

  • Whether you do hourly or packages, script a detailed contract with explicit expectations
  • Piper Media creates custom monthly packages with a four-month minimum contract

Leverage Facebook to reach potential clients

  • Erin launched an Etsy shop for one-off social media services (i.e.: blog posts, newsletters), and she uses Facebook ads to advertise to small business owners, corporations and entrepreneurs
  • Facebook groups provide a forum where you can meet and chat with potential clients instantly

 Erin’s keys to getting the most value out of your social media content

  • Be consistent – post on a regular basis
  • Include a call-to-action in your posts – tell the reader what to do next (i.e.: answer a question, read your blog post, sign up for your newsletter)

 Make use of a scheduling tool to plan your posts

  • Erin recommends Hootsuite or the free scheduling feature on Facebook

 You don’t need a fancy degree to land a job in social media marketing, but you do need to understand the channels and be willing to do the work 



Hootsuite Academy


Connect with Erin Montgomery






Jan 10, 2017

Mella Barnes is a session singer, songwriter and producer living in Nashville, Tennessee. An animal lover, she has three dogs, a rabbit and any number of foster animals in various shapes and sizes. Mella is the author of Way Less Cowbell, a book on communicating with session musicians. She specializes in helping others complete their musical projects, working with corporate clients, songwriters and individuals with no musical background who want to compose songs for their loved ones as gifts.

On this episode, Mella offers advice for creatives seeking to use their talents in entrepreneurial ventures, discussing marketing strategy, organization and work-life balance.


Key Takeaways

Mella’s advice for people who are considering starting an online business

  • Don’t quit your day job, but lay the groundwork in your spare time


While many advise that you stick to one marketing platform, Mella argues that a diversified approach makes you “as findable as you can be”


Mella’s tips for staying organized and meeting deadlines

  • Record due dates in your planner
  • Stay in constant contact with your clients to discuss your progress


As you strive to achieve work-life balance, practice daily self-care

  • Mella hikes alone every day
  • If you don’t put yourself first, you won’t have any energy reserve to devote to your family or business


Mella’s guidance for creatives who believe they can’t get paid to do what they love

  • Make a mental shift by asking, “How can I be of service?”


Mella’s advice for dealing with difficult clients:

  • Create an avatar of your ideal client to determine who will be a good fit
  • Pay attention to how they treat you in your initial correspondence


Music playlists can help you focus and get motivated to work


Start where you are and celebrate progress, even if it’s only 15 minutes



Mella’s Book Way Less Cowbell: How to Communicate Your Musical Ideas 

Focus at Will Playlists 


Connect with Mella Barnes






Jan 3, 2017

 Laura is back with a solo podcast to discuss the benefits of taking on freelance projects that are outside your comfort zone. Although her core business is SEO blog writing supplemented by a handful of project management and coaching jobs, Laura recently had the opportunity to assist a client in the development of an advertising budget.  Inspired by this experience in print and digital marketing, she outlines the beauty of accepting opportunities that are not on-brand, the advantages of developing new skills and the ways freelancers can leverage newly discovered abilities to expand and transform their businesses.

Although you might hesitate to accept a project that seems unglamorous or outside your niche, listen and learn how to change your mindset, expand your skill set and uncover your hidden talents!


Key Takeaways

Every project you take on as a freelancer will not be on-brand

  • This is especially true for beginners who may not know what they’re good at
  • Rather than feeling ‘meh’ about a project that is not ideal, see it as an opportunity


Reasons a freelancer might take on projects outside their comfort zone

  • Financial considerations
  • Change of pace
  • They have the bandwidth and interest


Laura’s guidance about focusing on a niche

  • You should concentrate your freelance business on a handful of select offerings
  • But don’t close yourself off to other opportunities that come along


The benefits of taking on (and even pitching) opportunities that aren’t a perfect fit

  • Develop new skills
  • Incorporate new services into your business
  • Realize increased marketability


Laura’s advice about choosing projects that aren’t spot on

  • Don’t accept a project just because you need the money
  • Do assess each opportunity to see if it might be a good fit for your skill set


Complementary offerings allow you to pitch additional services to existing clients

  • Developing an expertise in press release composition allows Laura to offer an additional service to clients she already has a relationship with as an SEO blog writer



Laura’s Full List of Courses 


Connect with Laura Pennington