Andrea Wildt and Samantha Anderl, ex-marketing professionals and freelancers, are now the co-founders of Harlow– an all-inclusive tool to assist solopreneurs in streamlining their business. Harlow offers organized solutions for aiding freelancers, such as automated invoicing, proposal templates, and many other features from a centralized hub. We sincerely value the freelance population and creating the resources needed for them to have successful businesses.
As the economic outlook continues to be murky, many professionals are exploring solopreneurship. Andrea Wildt and Samantha Anderl started Harlow to support them on their mission. This conversation details lessons that anyone can take with them to fast-track their journey.
Summary: In this conversation, Andrea Wildt and Samantha Anderl discuss lessons that anyone can take with them to become an effective solopreneur.
- How to market yourself as a freelancer
- Sell outcomes, not outputs
- Pricing strategy
- Be reflective and intentional
- Do marketers need to market themselves?
- Personal branding is not necessary, but useful
- Get the right balance of decisions
- Think before you answer
- Check out Harlow
- Follow Samantha Anderl on LinkedIn or Twitter
- Follow Andrea Wildt on LinkedIn or Twitter
- Connect with Omniscient Digital on LinkedIn or Twitter
Listen to the podcast:
How to market yourself as a freelancer
Be intentional about the story you tell and the prospects you attract.
“It comes down to not only how you wanna label yourself, but also how you wanna position your services. Whether you wanna position yourself as a freelancer who comes in and helps with tactical items, or you wanna come in and do bigger strategic projects. And both are awesome and great and definitely needed. It’s not that one’s better than the other, it’s it comes down to what type of work you want to be doing. And once you’ve nailed that down, then you can start to position yourself to the types of companies that are gonna have that type of demand.”
Sell outcomes, not outputs
Businesses care about impact. As a business yourself, market yourself in that same way.
“Andrea and I have been talking about this concept of positioning yourself as selling an outcome rather than a service or a tactic. A lot of people kinda get stuck in “I write blog posts and I sell blog posts for a thousand dollars”. But you’re not selling a blog post, you’re gonna help them grow organic traffic. That’s ultimately gonna lead to increased revenue. Especially with people early in their freelance career, how can you package up the value and articulate why somebody should hire you and what you’re going to help them with? Whether you call yourself a freelancer, consultant, solopreneur, or an entrepreneur, it matters how you’re selling the value of what you’re offering.”
Try out different pricing models often to learn what resonates best with your audience.
“I wanna start off by saying your pricing and pricing strategy is going to change and going to evolve when you first start out your first client. It’s gonna be hard to have this strategic value-based pricing when you’ve never done it before and you’re not sure what resonate, don’t be afraid to iterate and to change the way that you price things.”
Be reflective and intentional
Run retrospectives to unpack how to limit mistakes in the future.
“What could we do better in terms of communication? We went through every aspect of the project and said, “what’s good, what’s bad?” Doing that enabled us to understand why some projects didn’t work. It’s not always clear. It’s not always easy to pinpoint. We made ourselves a list and we said, “that project didn’t work because we didn’t mesh as humans” or “the two of us should not be offering that service.” Maybe we’re not the best people to do it. Maybe somebody else would be a better fit.”
Do marketers need to market themselves?
There are different ways to get business, and it doesn’t always require an active social media presence or a strong LinkedIn profile.
“I’m curious if y’all have anything you believe that most people might disagree with you on. One of the things that always drove me crazy is “if you’re gonna be a marketer and sell marketing freelancing, then you have to be great at marketing yourself.” That drove me crazy. I’m terrible at marketing myself, but I was great at getting business.There are different ways to do these things. It doesn’t always have to be with a beautiful website and a strong social presence. It can be with coffee dates, a solid in-person referral, network events. That one of “you have to have a active social presence and be strong on LinkedIn if you’re gonna market it yourself.””
Personal branding is not necessary, but useful
It is not necessary to have a personal brand to be a good marketer or to excel in any other field.
“You don’t have to have a personal brand to be a good marketer. And you don’t have to have a personal brand to be good at whatever you do. Whether you’re a designer or a writer or a marketer or an HR consultant, it’s a channel in which you can generate new business and gain opportunities. That’s great. You can also do that a lot of different ways.”
Get the right balance of decisions
Trying to decide if a certain decision is one that can be changed later or not.
“When making decisions, is it a one-way door or a two-day, two-way door? As we’re building Harlow and there’s much to do. We’re trying to do 20 things at once. we don’t always agree. Is this a one-way door or a two-way door? Can we make this decision? And change course afterwards, or is it something that it’s gonna take a lot of time, money, energy to change course afterwards. That has helped us with our decision making and keeping our momentum going and also the balance between the two of us.”
Think before you answer
There’s power in admitting you don’t know right now.
“Coming up with an answer when you haven’t been thoughtful in your approach or you haven’t taken a step back to think holistically about the situation, what’s the right path can be negative and can also make you come off as hypocritical and all these other things. And moving forward with you don’t always have to have an answer, and if you don’t have the answer, it’s perfectly okay to say. I don’t know the answer to that right now, but let me take a step back and do some thinking and get back to you or, whatever it might be.”