Let’s talk about your business goals 

A goal is not a wish. It’s a great start, but we need more.

A goal is an intention backed by a plan

It’s I want to vs I’m going to + this is how.

This article is about the nuts and bolts of putting that how together. Let’s get right into it.

Step 1: Translate your goal

Say you want to work 40 weeks a year and pay yourself $70,000. 

Great, that’s a realistic personal goal. Let’s translate it to a business goal.

Your annual overhead is $15k and you want to make $20k profit (profits protect you from economic shocks). With your salary ($70k), your business needs to make $105k over 40 weeks. That $10,500 every four weeks. 

Now you’ve defined your business goal.

Next, the hard bit.

Step 2: Pick a horse

You can make $10,500 a month with just one $10,500 project. Or four $2,625 projects. Or the entire year with four $26,250 projects. 

And this is where a lot of freelancers get stuck. You might know what you want ($70k salary) but you don’t know what gets you there. Smaller productized services? Large, complex projects? A mix? 

You decide, not them

If you don’t decide – or don’t think about it in these terms – clients turn up and they tell you what your mix is – by default. They want X, you say yes. That only allows for a few other projects, and you don’t know what mix you’ll end up with. 

You risk being the small-project freelancer one month and the complex-project freelancer the next, with no idea what to do with inquiries you don’t have time for. You’d have cause to wake up wondering what business you’re actually running. 

You don’t want your clients dictating your service model

It’s an invisible form of being an order-taker, we don’t want you stuck there. If you’re constantly jumping from small to medium to large projects (unless that’s your plan), you won’t have the time or motivation to focus on standardizing your processes and creating efficiencies. 

And, as mundane as that sounds, streamlining is a direct path to more profits. 

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen to what your clients want – that’s your job. It’s just easier if you already know what “spots” you’re trying to fill on your calendar. 

What if you’re new and you don’t know what mix you want?

That’s a valid point. You should find out. But give yourself a time limit and do this…

Work out how much it’s costing you not to have decided. I’ve seen freelancers double their income within 18 months by picking which horse to sit on. And I’ve seen freelancers stuck for years because they never committed. 

Step 3: The right race

Sticking with horses…

You need to be in the right race. Let’s say you have a project/offer you sell for $2k. You need a lot of those. Your marketing needs to target clients who buy that work on the regular.

If you’re selling $25k projects, those clients don’t need to buy as often but do need deep pockets and a strong belief your skills will make them good money. 

These are two different types of clients and you’ll need different messaging to connect with them.

Do you see how if you were taking all comers, your marketing would lack focus?

Step 4: Acquire the skills

It’s easy(ish) to make a plan. Harder to execute successfully. Often, it’s because you need to develop new skills and set up new systems to make it happen. Here’s a small example…

You’ve decided to sell one $10,500 project every four weeks. Here’s what you need to be able to do…

  • Set up a marketing system that delivers one client a month
  • Deliver everything to the delight of the client
  • Deliver your services on time and within budget

No matter what business stage you’re at

If you are starting out, you might not have all those skills down. But you know what’s needed. 

We’re not getting into marketing here, but if we look at the second two, you might be better off starting out with one $10,500 project every six weeks. Use the extra time to learn how to wow your clients. Then work on creating efficiencies that make it a four-week project. 

Your learning curve might take three or four projects, but pretty soon you’ll have a process in place that can deliver great work at a profit and on time. 

Step 5: Become amazing

Once you have your system dialed in, spend the next two years becoming amazing. Be an expert in attracting the perfect client for your service. Figure out new ways to add value for your clients. Make your processes more efficient. Become the best possible choice in your niche.

As you develop high-level skills around your service, your reputation will grow and you’ll see demand increase. That’s when you can up your rates and give yourself a raise. 

Step 6: Play the long game

Doing everything above may take you 6-12 months. You might be quicker depending on how long you’ve been in the game. It might take you another 12 months to perfect. But once you’ve figured it out, you can repeat the process again for whatever service you want. 


Remember I asked about goals a few minutes ago? Why not attach a plan to them? You’ve got this.

And so you know I can walk the walk…

Are you ready for clients who bring you interesting projects and higher fees? A bank balance that means you don’t have to worry about what happens in the next 12 months?  

Then know this…

Getting there isn’t luck. It’s the result of deliberate steps that follow well-proven paths to success.  

I know those steps and I know those paths, and I’m going to show you both, starting today.

As long as your business is client-based, your success – and the size of your bank account – is tied directly to the quality of clients you attract.

Hi, I’m Amy Posner…

  • I’ve coached hundreds of creative freelancers to success
  • I’ve built six businesses, all highly profitable
  • I’ve owned and run a micro and a full creative agency
  • As a freelancer, I’ve had multiple $200k+ years
  • My businesses have sailed through the worst economic shocks the last 30 years could throw at them

And now I’m going to share everything I know with you about building a resilient and rewarding business that delivers on the full promise of your talent.

LEarn more about working together  →

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