Do you believe that linguistics lead movements? At Communo, we sure do! That’s why we’re not a fan of the word freelancer. In fact, we believe you can take your business to the next level by becoming a solopreneur. A solopreneur is someone who wants to scale their business and is willing to hire others to help them land bigger clients and better projects. Recently, our CEO Ryan Gill joined Robert McGuire at Nation 1099 for an episode of The Next Level Freelancing Show where they discuss this concept in detail. Titled, Why Freelancers Need An Entrepreneurial Mindset, this episode is a deep dive into how you can embrace the sharing economy and a community of like-minded professionals to grow your business and find personal and professional satisfaction.
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Here are a few highlights from the show:
Ryan and Robert both agree creative approaches are the difference between thriving and surviving as a solopreneur. At Communo, the whole philosophy upon joining the community is collaboration and sharing of work. For instance, a videographer wouldn’t look at another videographer in the community as a competitor, but rather as a partner. Together, the two of them go after bigger projects. It’s definitely a new way of thinking for some, and requires an open mind and a generous spirit.
Typically, freelancers don’t hire others; but solopreneurs do.
Solopreneurs in the creative and digital services industry can use Communo to leverage the strength of others. Hiring others should be their “modus operandi,” according to Ryan. One report from Nation 1099 showed that one-third of freelancers surveyed hired other people and it’s typically about 3.6 sub-contractors. Ryan encourages solopreneurs to do this more frequently and make it part of their business model. This will allow them to stay small (they don’t want to be a big company) but work on more lucrative projects.
Defining who you are and what you do
There are many terms circulating today for independent workers. Are you a freelancer, solopreneurs, independent contractor, consultant or small business owner? Maybe you see yourself as all of those things? The language we use to define ourselves moving forward will become very important. As the gig economy grows and the trend towards self-employment shows no signs of letting up, it will be very important to define your business model. The most important thing, according to both Ryan and Robert, is to properly position yourself.
Properly position yourself
“Going from job to job is not sustainable, you will burn out,” says Ryan. Most solopreneurs don’t want gigs, they want to earn a steady and sustainable income, work with great clients and do work they love. Ryan is a big proponent of becoming a specialist and not being a generalist.
“If you truly want to be known in your business as a solopreneur, you need to become a specialist and use tools, like Communo or other platforms, to hire others and round out the edges of what you do. For example, if you’re a web dev and the client wants copywriting done, you can say ‘No, I don’t do that, but I have 700 people in my community and I’ll find one who does.’ ”
When you specialize, be prepared that about 60% of your clients may de-select – but don’t worry! That means you were positioned too broadly in the first place and those likely weren’t your ideal clients.
“Find those 5 to 10 clients that really need you, they’ll never leave you and they will tell all their friends about you.”
Thanks Robert and Nation 1099 for having Ryan on the show. There are more “hacks’ found in Ryan’s book Community, Inc. available on Amazon.
PS…listen to this episode and use our coupon code for a special introductory offer to Communo only for listeners of The Next Level Freelancing Show. Have questions? Email us at [email protected]