Quora is amazing.Want to know what it’s like to have crippling social anxiety, have flown a bomber mission, or become extremely rich and then suddenly lose all the money? There’s probably someone who has had that experience and written about it on Quora!The other day I stumbled into the “what’s it like to date a model” thread. I’m happily married, but couldn’t resist reading through the thread.I learned what a supermodel is. I had assumed this was a super good-looking model, but that’s not so. From that Quora thread:—She was also spending all of her spare time trying to “make it” as a supermodel, which for those who aren’t familiar with the industry, doesn’t mean “extra-good-looking model,” it means models who have the brains to figure out that they have to leverage their looks into building themselves into a brand and business before their shelf-life runs out.
—This part reminded me of freelancing. I’ll try not to stretch the analogy too far, but freelancers are a little bit like models who need to become supermodels…Freelancer –> “Superfreelancer”!How long can you be a $100/hour software developer or designer? A $60/hour writer? A $40/hr social media consultant?For some people, that situation works for the long term. If that’s you, great!For others, that situation has a shelf life that’s around 5 or 10 years. 5 or 10 years before you need to find a more reliable way to bring in clients, a way to increase profitability, or both. 5 to 10 years before your skillset becomes highly commoditized and reduces in value.If you like the idea of building a team, that’s one way out of this situation.But if you’d rather take the solo approach, the path to becoming a Superfreelancer usually involves the following elements:
- Figuring out a higher value market position, and developing a marketing approach to help you move to and dominate that new position
- Replacing the hourly billing pricing model (artificial rate ceiling is the biggest of many problems w/hourly billing) with something more profitable (flat project fees, recurring arrangements, retainers, etc.)
- Leveraging products, unique intellectual property, or training to increase and diversify revenue
http://thepositioningmanual.com can help you with #1 on the list above. If you can see the “use by date” on your freelancing efforts coming up, start moving towards Superfreelancer status sooner rather than later. http://thepositioningmanual.comHold that pose! Now give me that Superfreelancer smile! Bigger!! Bigger!!!-P