When you’re a fresh freelancer with your own business, you’ve got a whole lot to learn, from how to attract new clients to how to create proposals and get paid.
Luckily, there are bustling freelancer communities where you can exchange knowledge with other entrepreneurs, and you can Google or tweet your way to most of the answers you need these days. But the guidance you stumble on via social media may not be tailored to your industry or craft. You might need more than just an online sounding board. After all, every freelancer is unique.
So when you’re facing down a new challenge in your business and coming up short on meeting your business goals, where do you turn?
Consulting a business coach is a great option for newbies and seasoned freelancers alike. Hiring someone to assess your needs, review your business plan and provide personalized advice can open up new possibilities you’d never have considered.
Whether you’re expanding your business, figuring out your niche, or trying to streamline your freelance business, a coach can help you get there.
When should you hire a business coach?
All of us can benefit from mentorship, no matter where we’re at in our careers. Whether you’re totally new to your freelance career and just figuring out your pricing, or you have years of experience and could bill hours in your sleep, chances are, some professional perspective and coaching sessions could help you grow.
But if you find yourself in any of these situations, it might be high time to call in the professionals.
You want to go full-time with freelancing
One telltale sign it’s time to hire a freelance business coach is if you’re serious about your craft and want to build it into a full-time freelance career.
Perhaps you’ve laid the foundation for your business and are ready to take it to the next level.
Freelance writer Claire chose to hire a freelance business coach when she first started out. “I chose to find a business coach at the start of building my business because I had a huge list of things I should be doing and no idea how to prioritize them. I was good at the writing, but didn’t know how to ‘business’.”
You’re trying to expand your skill set
Freelancers have a whole host of skills they need to develop. What better way to learn them from someone in your field?
Jessica Malnik, for example, hired a freelance coach because “I wanted to level up and get specific advice from someone who has successfully built the type of business I am building.”
You need inspiration
Feeling burnt out or like you’re hitting a wall and need some inspiration? Sometimes we fall into a repetitive business flow and fail to hit the goals you’ve set.
“I hired one because I was complllllllletelllllllly burnt out, and I was hating my business and wanting to quit the whole thing. I knew I needed help, and coaching was really helpful for me.”
Emma Siemasko, freelance writer
Fellow writer Jen Phillips April also hired a freelance business coach for the same reason: “To help me establish actual processes in my business. Plus, elevate my mindset. It worked!”
You need accountability
Another sign it’s time to hire a freelance mentor is when you’re ready to make some shifts and have someone hold you accountable to them.
“I needed help with selling,” says Priscilla Tan, freelance writer. “I realized that I was thinking like a writer and not a business owner. Plus, I needed someone to hold me accountable.”
6 writing coaches who can help you make moves
When seeking out a coach, it’s important to vet their experience, their business strategy, and their personality to make sure it’s a good match. Just like any other business relationship, expertise and chemistry are a must. Here are some amazing content marketing coaches to consider as you start your search.
- Elise Dopson: Elise’s 90-day coaching program, Freelance Business Bootcamp, is the perfect jumpstart to your freelance writing career. Get bi-weekly coaching sessions, resources, and feedback credits to gain more confidence and create a business you’re proud of.
- Michele Sagan: Michele helps aspiring writers develop the practical skills it takes to get published, from forming healthy writing habits and overcoming writer’s block to pitching articles and developing their narrative voice.
- Terry Schilling: Terry’s copy coaching services can help you refine your copywriting skills and become more efficient, so you can earn more while doing less. (Isn’t that every small business owner’s dream?)
- Melanie Lockert: Melanie is a freelance writing coach and a personal finance expert, who can support you in building your business and managing your income and expenses. (Getting your accounts and expenses in order will be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.)
- Jenn Gritters: Jenn’s dynamic, personalized coaching helps freelancers create more fulfilling, balanced lives. You can choose from ongoing coaching or one-off strategy sessions.
- Emma Siemasko: Emma offers one-on-one Coaching Intensives to help equip you with an action plan for finding ideal clients, mastering sales calls, providing a portfolio, asking for testimonials, and more.
When you’re ready to make the move, follow these simple steps to make sure you’re finding the freelance business coach that’s right for you:
- Ask for references. Make sure the coach you are choosing to work with can bring up 2-3 other freelancers they’ve helped coach and guide. Also scan their LinkedIn profile for any endorsements from previous clients.
- Gauge their interest level in you. A coach should want to help you as much as you want to get help! You should both be excited about the opportunity.
- Check to make sure your schedules align. You don’t want to add an additional stressor of not being able to nail down a schedule with your new coach.
- Make sure they’ll touch base with you before you sign on the dotted line and pay. An early consultation will help make sure this is the right fit for you and them!
Ready to invest in a freelance business coach?
Remember: We all need a little help sometimes.
Seeking support isn’t a sign you’re doing anything wrong. It takes a lot of courage and humility to reach out to someone who has a bit more experience. You open yourself (and your business) up to positive transformation that can make all the difference in the long run.
Just as start-ups and other small businesses seek out business consulting to help them grow, you can utilize this same approach to grow your business.
Whether you’re focused on getting clients, increasing your hourly rate, honing in on your marketing strategy, figuring out who your ideal clients are, or what type of client work is the best fit for you, there’s a coach above that can help you. It might be the best investment you ever make.
So if you’re sitting here twiddling your thumbs thinking about setting up a coaching consultation, our vote: Go for it. We’ve never regretted it.