The Business of Freelancing, Episode 20: Scott Yewell On His First $100k+ Project

by Brennan Dunn on Nov 19, 2014, — Get free updates of new podcast episodes here

This week I sat down with Scott Yewell to talk about how he recently closed his first six-figure project. Scott’s a partner at Blackfin Media, who for the last 14 years has been building small ($1-10k) website projects.

A few months ago, Scott joined my Consultancy Masterclass and made a lot of changes. He walked away with the class with a few pages of notes and a directive: change how and what you’re selling.

Well, it worked.

He just closed a 6-8 month project at $7,500 a week ($180-$240k) — which is a significantly more than the < $10k projects they used to field. In this interview, Scott lays out everything he did differently to make this change.

Here’s the interview!

I’m Starting A New Agency, And I Want You To Be A Part Of It

by Brennan Dunn on Nov 13, 2014, — Get free updates of new posts here

I’m kicking off a new experiment this week.

I’m starting a new agency. And I plan on live blogging all the struggles and successes I face along the way — and making it all available right here on

As many of you probably know, about 6 years ago I started my first agency. I was in no way equipped to run or scale an agency at the time, as I had no experience in business or management. But it somehow… worked. We grew to 11 full-time employees and we grew into a 4500ish square foot office in downtown Norfolk, Virginia. Within just two years, our revenues were just over $2+ million a year and our client base was international.

It was a wild ride, but fate led me to exit the agency and start a software company (Planscope), which later spawned off my teaching business (this website, my courses, etc.)

What To Do When You Can’t Guarantee An ROI

by Brennan Dunn on Oct 9, 2014, — Get free updates of new posts here

As I’ve been working my way around the Internet this summer teaching the fundamentals of the DYFR framework, I almost always end up getting asked the same question from people after I describe my method of writing proposals:

What if I can’t guarantee my client a specific return-on-investment (ROI)?

A quick refresher if you’re new: One of the concepts of the framework is to anchor your costs against what I call the Financial Upside of a project, or the long-term value of the project for the client’s business. This makes it so you don’t end up pricing yourself in a vacuum, but instead have something (ideally less than what you’re asking!) to contrast your price to.

Why You Need To Write Assumption-less Proposals

by Brennan Dunn on Sep 25, 2014, — Get free updates of new posts here

Earlier this week, I dug up the first real proposal I’d ever written for a client. It was from mid-2006, and the project was a marketplace for doctors to virtually consult with their patients (back then, this client and I were apparently blissfully unaware of the many legalities around doing this).

So as an eager young freelancer, I felt it my duty to put together a proposal. The cursory reading I had done at the time on freelancing informed me that two things were necessary: a contract, and a proposal.

The issue was, I didn’t really know what my proposal should look like, or let alone what it should actually contain.

The 3 Times Your Clients Are Most Excited About You And Their Project

by Brennan Dunn on Sep 19, 2014, — Get free updates of new posts here

The iPhone 6 came out, and today millions of Apple aficionados will be swapping out the last best-phone-ever with the newest best-phone-ever. For many, this is the most exciting day they’ll ever have with the iPhone 6, shadowed only by “Keynote day”, when Tim Cook announced the phone and it’s features.

Likewise, your clients have times that they’re more excited about working with you and the project.

People are most excited about something when they express interest in that. When you have a prospective client email or call you, they’re at an emotional peak. When they agree to work with you, they’re at another emotional peak. And when you deliver them their project, they’re (usually!) at another emotional peak.

Today I want to talk about these three peaks, and how you can capitalize on them.

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