A few years ago, back when I was planning my exit from my day job to run my own business, my coach at the time inspired me to read a book called Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port. I did exactly as she said, even going the extra mile and doing all the exercises in the accompanying workbook, and within a few months I was able to quit my job and freelance full-time.
Fast forward a few years and I’m in a position where I have to start a waiting list for freelance writing clients. It seems I have officially booked myself solid. If you’re a freelancer aiming to have their editorial calendar filled, here are some tips so you can book yourself solid.
Create your sales funnel.
One of the most helpful things about Michael Port’s book is that it teaches you a simple way to create a sales funnel. “Sales funnel” is a term that gets thrown around quite a bit and people tend to feel intimidated by it. In Book Yourself Solid, Michael Port breaks it down in a way that’s easy to understand and walks the reader through creating their own funnel.
The reason this is important is because you need to become aware of the different points of contact with potential clients. How do they find you? What’s the next step? What’s the follow-up process? This is all paramount if you want to run a successful business online.
I could write an entire book about sales funnels, but in this case, I simply suggest picking up Michael Port’s book.
Build your own brand.
One of the reasons I have more people approaching me for freelance work is because I’ve put in the work to build my own brand. I create my own content, launched a book, speak at events, get media placements for myself, network, and actively work to build my social media following.
At this stage in the online business game, you need to do all of these things in order to really present yourself as a subject matter expert and book yourself solid.
Because of this, people find more easily. They also take me more seriously. Granted, it takes some time to build your own brand, but if you want to eventually book yourself solid you’ll need to do it consistently over time.
Start asking for referrals.
The same coach who recommended Book Yourself Solid to me was a stellar example of how to use referrals in business to increase revenue. In fact, she ended up booking herself solid that year purely from referrals.
Just in the last week I’ve gotten two potential writing leads because they were sent over by previous clients. Here is how you can ensure to get more business from referrals:
- Ask for referrals.
- Do great work for your clients. They’ll naturally start to send people over.
- Provide some sort of incentive for clients who send referrals your way. For example, my coach would offer a credit on future coaching services for every person I sent her way who came on as a client.
You don’t have to give in to the feast or famine cycle so many freelancers have grown accustomed to. In fact, with some hard work and some patience you can book yourself solid too.