You wake up feeling refreshed and take a sip of warm coffee – You get your kids ready and out of the door to kindergarten. Today is a Thursday, and your weekend starts tomorrow. So, after a few hours of work, you can enjoy the rest of your day doing whatever you please.
This is Ed Gandia’s life, earning $500,000 as a freelance copywriter working only 30 hours per week, Monday till Thursday. It wasn’t always this way – 14 years ago, Ed founded a copywriting business after leaving his job as a sales executive in a high-paced sales job. Ed built the copywriting business from 0 to $750,000 per year; he hired multiple subcontractors to handle the workload, but this success was a double-edged sword as it ran out. Burnout hit Ed hard and fast, which caused him to reassess his approach to work. Work wasn’t allowing Ed to do the things he loved and enjoyed, and the work-life balance he sought was just not there.
Turning to freelance, Ed started building his empire based purely on content surrounding the things he knew the most – instead of selling his time article by article and “grinding it out”. As a result, he’s managed to build his earnings up to $500,000 per year.
Start building lasting earners.
One of the biggest misconceptions about starting a freelance career is the daunting thought that you need to find clients – really, most freelancers should build a portfolio of many little earners based on the things they’re good at. If you’re a developer, think about making a small SaaS tool or plugin you can sell, copywriter? Maybe try to write a short book or blog? – I know this is easier said than done, but it CAN BE DONE!
Ed took this approach; instead of working for clients hourly or per-job, he built an audience around his work. He would study successful freelancers, break down their processes and distribute that knowledge into actionable training and coaching. Taking lessons learnt there, Ed co-wrote a book, The wealthy Freelancer, with Steve Shaunwhite and Pete Savage. This has manifested into a podcast, too, High-Income Business writing with a specialised focus on what he knows best.
Charge for “discovery.”
This topic came up in the Doughnut Discord channel this week. Our members sometimes spend hours or weeks working on a potential client, only to get a no. This time is usually unpaid; how do we mitigate this time and resource loss?
Ed has defined a process when he works with new clients – a brilliant process; instead of charging for the work, Ed has created a production process that involves charging clients a fee to narrow down their needs and create a plan. He’ll then upsell his services to complete said plan. “There’s great value in helping clients take all of their ideas down a narrow path and plan; clients can either deploy the plan themselves and find somebody to execute it—or hire you. At least you’ve gotten paid for the value you’ve provided.”
🍩 Just the sprinkles
So initially, we found this story online where Ed sells courses. The education space is a great place to earn a consistent income. However, it’s pretty hard to get to where you gain enough traction to reach anywhere near a point where you can sell. This is where the power of consistency and grit come to play. Demonstrated in Ed’s career so far, with $500,000 per year being a massive target for most, it puts into perspective how possible it is to build a consistent income from an audience if you stick to a niche and post regularly. Keep up the work, keep it consistent and remain noble in your intentions.