Katrina Cobb: Streamlining Freelancing
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Katrina Cobb is a business consultant who specializes in working with freelancers and helping them grow their business.
Katrina helps independent professionals turn their experience and passion into a full-time freelance business.
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Welcome to The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show. I'm Josh Elledge, founder and CEO of UpMyInfluence.com. We turn entrepreneurs into media celebrities, grow their authority, and help them build partnerships with top influencers. We believe that every person has a unique message that can positively impact the world. stick around to the end of the show, where I'll reveal how you can be our next guest on one of the fastest growing daily inspiration podcasts on the planet in 15 to 20 minutes. Let's go. So Katrina Cobb, thank you so much for joining us. You are a business consultant, you work with a lot of freelancers, and what I love about what you do is for those, you know, freelancers that are maybe they're busy, they're their businesses a little inconsistent, and they'd really like to be kind of growing their work have a steady stream of business coming in. They don't need to worry about that. That would then in turn, give them the freedom to maybe live a lifestyle like you live, you get to be a digital nomad. Is
that right? That is absolutely correct.
Yep. Okay, paint a picture for us, what do you do?
So I love to connect with service providers who have been in hustle mode for a while, but maybe at the ceiling or, again, not seeing the potential that they know is there with their business. And we can take a quick look at what's working what's not, and really come at it from a systems and a strategy approach to fix the things that are some quick fixes sometimes whether that's where to go find clients, how to price and package your services, how to do the backend of operations, so you're not wasting a bunch of time. And usually, we scale up to whatever their revenue or financial freedom goal is, or what that looks like to be able to have the lifestyle that entrepreneurship, ideally would provide.
So let's just start with this for someone who's a maybe considers themselves a little bit of a Struggling freelancing like oh my gosh, like, I like I'm not earning enough money. Let's start by giving them some comfort. Trust me, I'll speak from my perspective, there is an on limited number of clients and business and, and and money available for you out there. So you may not be at that level of belief right now. Katrina, I'm pretty sure you share that that same level of confidence in the market right now. So let's just start with that foundation. You can do this. And so what would be some of the first steps now that they know? Okay, it's possible. I can do this. Maybe they've been toying around and up or, like, it's just what is the freelance? What's the typical freelancer experience? I've hired a lot of people to work. I've never offered services through up work. What's kind of the typical experience for a lot of freelancers using platforms like up work?
Yeah. So the challenge with platforms is there. setup to benefit the the person looking for freelancers, not the freelancers themselves. So it's it ends up being a bidding war where whoever will do something for the cheapest is going to win the job. And that's not necessarily a winning business model, the race to the bottom is not a fun place to be. That's a quick path to burnout. So freelancers that I meet up typically either struggled to get enough, they're bidding on everything, but they're not winning projects there because there is a ton of competition and everybody is just under bidding. Or they haven't really figured out how to stand out from the crowd or world look awful off worked to truly grow a businesses sports or lifestyle.
Yeah, yeah. So what are some of the first systems that you like to investigate? And I know this can be different for different freelancers. But what are some common things that you see pretty often that Oh, no, no, no, no, no, here we need to get Yeah, we need to get we need to get this in place. This place this place.
Yeah. The first place to start is is generally look at what you do. And how do we do that better. are described the value of what you're doing differently. So if you're a copywriter, if you're a designer, it's not just that you design or copy, it's you're creating a major piece of value for a customer, which is going to lead to bottom line, increased revenue, those sorts of things, I find a lot of freelancers are trying to do everything. But when you actually can create a custom package, it's also a bigger problem. That's a very different solution. And that's easier to speak to directly and then avoid sites like Upwork, and fiber and some of those and create a business around a better model. So starting there, and then shifting into who you want to talk to in our channels likely in a better place to find businesses that are looking to solve bigger problems that wants somebody professional that don't want to deal with hassle and bidding wars and all that. Yeah. So it's kind of 121212 punch on that note.
Yeah. So now eventually, you can kind of live a laptop life or a kind of a digital nomad life. Like how does someone like how do you do that as a freelancer what mean it's again, maybe someone's just of you know, living in small town living in the city and they're like, Oh my gosh, I see other people doing that, but like, how would I handle you know, and then they start listing off all of their concerns like, what do you know in terms of trends? Let's say that money's taken care of like you've got and I'm going to go back and we're going to talk about like how to drum up lots of business but I want to talk you know kind of about this this next phase of like, how do you go from being in one place to being a bit more nomadic How does that work?
I it looks different for everybody. So me personally, yes, I'm nomadic around South America. But for some people location independence just means eliminating a commute working from their summer cabin not having to spend hours in traffic, being able to have a little bit that time back for for family loved ones hobbies habits, so it's not it's not all jets. Yeah, but I will say the keys to making it work are really good systems when it comes to communication. So whether that's project management tools, Your communication with clients back and forth having all of that in place that works digitally. I mean, you need to have that regardless as a remote worker as a freelancer in general. So getting that ironed out that you can do that from anywhere. And other little tools like calendar plugins and things like that, if you are going to travel are are really helpful, but it's gonna come back to systems. I know it's not it's not as sexy as you might hear when it comes to business. But that's the that's the underpinning of foundational work.
When you say you say systems. I mean, what do you what do you mean? Are you talking about specific like platforms? You mentioned, calendaring, that sort of thing. Like what are other elements of the systems?
For creatives? I think a project management system it's a track where they're at and even give feedback to clients. So certain clients may have their own whether it's a tool to share it, a lot of people use simple things like Google Drive to share updates back and forth or just a checklist of email notifications that go by when when certain milestones are hitting a project. So I think you have to create whatever your your services good mean so clients, the last thing you want when you're a remote worker, when you're Freelancer is clients wondering what's the status? Yeah, good place to find yourself in. So building that framework of when you're going to communicate what format you're going to use, what media you're going to use, at which point on which schedule on which calendar, putting reminders in automating as much as you can, is going to be key to success and less less headaches and happier clients.
Yeah. So Katrina, let's talk about how to drum up business. And this is a subject that, you know, over the years I feel like we've really like we're in a really good set right now. Like where we love LinkedIn Sales Navigator, I think if your b2b I don't know if anything that works as well as that in terms of getting in front of your target audience, your your, your your dream client, but it's not enough to just be able to knock on their door and say hi, how you doing? And, you know, I'd love to work for you. I think that in an approach that works really well, I think someone who encapsulates our philosophy pretty well would be Bob Burg, and the go giver, which means that you absolutely lead with, you know, finding ways that you can give value in such a way that your quote unquote prospect or your you know, ideal client would say, but it's a no brainer. Yeah, absolutely. Like, and so for different areas, that's going to mean something different. So for example, like, I'll just throw this out there, and I know you've got a lot of wisdom in this section in this area. But let's say you're a copywriter. And you might want to say, Hey, I took the liberty of going through your front page, and you know, I specialize in copywriting. You know, normally I charge you know, 5040 $80 an hour, but I was happy to put some time together. And I actually did this work for you. And I know that sounds scary to some people, like, wait a minute, I'm going to work with Free, pish posh. But I'm telling you that if you want to initiate a relationship, man, you're going to initiate a relationship if you work, and just test it out, for a client for free, like, I don't even ask permission, I just do it. Or if you have an audience, let's say you're a social media manager, you know, offer to promote them first, or offer them some guidance and some strategy right out of the gate. Like I said, I don't say would you like me to do this? I just go ahead and do it. You know, I had someone that wrote a Wikipedia article about me, and, and asked for nothing. He just said, Listen, I've actually been working on this. You know, I've been following your work. Worked out. You know, I wrote this over the past the course of the past couple months. Well, guess what, like, I'm going to pay him back. Like I'm gonna find a way. Like that's a huge hookup for me. So, you know, he hasn't even asked for that. Like, as a professional No, I'm not gonna just take that and go at thanks, dude. See, you know, like that would be so like recently go professionals are going to pay you back not everybody wants to while you will get a stinker, but most of them are at least going to thank you, you know, maybe, you know grab a call with you kind of learn more about what you do it might not be the right timing for them dire you, but my opinion sorry, Katrina, I don't mean to keep talking about this, but I like digging out geeking out on this subject. You know, most of them. You know, it's I think the goal is like the more people you can get to learn about the problem that you solve the batter, and they may not be ready to hire you right now. But they might know somebody that would be ready to hire you, or they might be ready six months from now. But we're what we're doing i think is just doing a lot of planting seeds. And imagine if you did this and you reached out and you just did You know, every day you reached out to to new potential clients, and just did you know, 30 minutes, 45 minutes of work for each of them. And you did that every single day for let's say 20 days a month. I have to get I'm just a I'm a betting man. If I'm a betting man, I would say in 90 days, you're gonna have a pretty serious book of business.
What do you think? I'm 100% with you on on giving first and if you're going to be an expert in your service, be an expert in your service. One of my mentor says if you want to help somebody help somebody that is a beautiful way to open the door and spoken with so many freelancers that have had success this way so graphic designers who want their ideal client they jumped on the newsletter saw there was an opportunity created newsletter header graphics and that over free half of this might help it looked like it was on brand please use it awesome. copywriters again, taking a look at SEO and do a little audit. Hey, I know I can change these couple things. You show up higher in Google and I you get more more traffic from that. Like, go go have at that or rewrite a rewrite up blog post is going to show up better take their existing content, make it better deliver that to people, there's so many ways to show what you do to give somebody something that won't take you much time because you are the expert. This is like old hat to you if you're really good at your service. And if not, you're going to get really good by the repetition of doing this every day one or two people very quickly. One, you're going to make an impression. And even if they're not ready to hire you that's going to open doors for you. I've had people who've been invited to major like mastermind, Facebook groups, just because they were so helpful to the organizer. And then they go network with some other amazing people who eventually became clients, just by taking the step of giving you just, you're never going to feel bad doing something good for somebody else, and it's never going to have a negative result. Yeah, I totally agree. You know, another thing you know, on that same vein is that if you're looking to connect with influencers or media, which we do a lot of work in that space.
You know, serving your way to the top is a great way to get there. And so by doing something I mean, that's our whole philosophy. You know, that's how I got into media over 2000 times is I just kept on finding ways I can make a journalist job much easier. And so I knew what their needs were, I fulfilled their needs. I didn't ask for anything in return. As a result, professionals are almost always going to return the favor in some way. And that's how with our other companies savings Angel, you know, we were able to generate more than $6 million in revenue with less than $500 spent because I got to just serve and and give my way to the top with that company. And, man, all right, Katrina, I, we're of like minds. I really, really love this. So kind of explain a little bit about what like how do people engage with you? How do people start like, how can you help them specifically, do you have a program Do you just do individual consulting, say there's a freelancer like man, I love what these guys are talking about. I want Katrina to help me, what do they do?
For me? Well, they can connect with me on my website at Katrina, cough, calm, and most of what I do is private consulting. So I can either do a deep dive three hour intensive session, or we can take a look at all manner of things in your business and come out with a very detailed strategy on things to implement moving forward. Or we could look at bigger projects and really work on systems approaches are taking things week by week over the course of a private consulting program for six months or so. So it really depends on where you're at. But either way, I'm happy to jump on the phone. There's a quick link to book with me my website and we can talk about where you're at where you want to go where you're stuck. And see if I got some thoughts, ideas, quick tips to help even if we're not a great fit again, I'm happy to jump on that call and offer you a few pointers. Now. Take it take it from there. So
let me give you just a let me get it. I don't mean to keep I don't mean to go back on this. But let's say someone is like a relationship coach, what would be an example of some ways that they could generate more business
Bunch of coaches. So that might be one instance where LinkedIn is maybe not the best. Yeah, right,
exactly. Because they're more likely to go.
So that would be more of like a social media, more of like certain targeted Facebook groups or getting into content or taking a page out of your book and figuring out who's talking about relationships, being a guest contributing and jumping into guest blogs and guest podcast posts to get in front of the right people. But I think it's still gonna come back to what are you promising? And how is that package? And then really, who? Who has these challenges? How do we speak really specifically to the things that you can solve for people? And how do you give them a glimpse of what you can do with your conversation? So I'll say a social strategy with some content and some targeted groups.
And guess even at the very beginning is just part the even at the very beginning, just participating in Facebook groups. Optimize your personal Facebook profile that explains this is what I do professionally, you know, provided ways for people to engage with you from your personal Facebook profile. Because if you're engaging in groups, and you're just answering questions that you happen to be an expert in, don't necessarily join like the relationship groups, but join all the other ancillary groups and be like the relationship guru in that particular group and just help people. If people are going to hover over that go back. Oh, who is this their hover over? They take a look at it. They follow you and people are smart, they can follow the trail. And they can they know if they need you. They know how to get ahold of you.
Yeah, there's tons of openings. The comment you think about women's women's entrepreneurs group, women's travelers groups, like issues are very sticky. And both of those scenarios, joining groups that had the life circumstances that cause problems would be a great opportunity for that person. So it's that kind of strategy where you're gonna find people.
Well, Katrina Cobb, you're pretty smart lady. I like the work that you do. And I love that we share philosophy on this as well. So again, very successful business consultant, and You're in South America right now.
I'm in Ecuador today.
Oh my gosh. Wow. exciting, exciting. So you can be found on the web at Katrina Cobb.com and that's Katrina, K A T R I N A, Cobb, C O B B .com. Katrina, thank you so much for joining us. It's a pleasure just thanks for listening to the thoughtful entrepreneur show. If you are a thoughtful business owner or professional who would like to be on this daily program, please visit up my influence.com slash guest that we've got something out of this interview, would you share this episode on social media? Just do a quick screenshot with your phone and text it to a friend or posted on the socials. A few do that tag us with the hashtag up my influence. Each month we scour Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. We pick one winner from each platform and you Get crowned king or queen of that social media now what do you win? We're going to promote you and your business to over 120,000 social media fans totally free. Now, can you also hook us up now in your podcast player right now, please give us a thumbs up or a rating and review. We promise to read it all and take action. We believe that every person has a message that can positively impact the world. Your feedback helps us fulfill that mission. And while you're at it, hit that subscribe button. You know why tomorrow? That's right, seven days a week, you are going to be inspired and motivated to succeed 15 minutes a day. My name is Josh Elledge. Let's connect on the socials. You'll find all the stuff we're doing at up my influence.com Thanks for listening and thank you for being a part of the thoughtful entrepreneur movement.