Episode 141: 2 Big Marketing Mistakes Freelancers Make – Expecting Free Clients & Not Knowing Your Numbers

By Zach Swinehart

In this episode, I discuss two major marketing mistakes freelancers often make — expecting clients to be free and not knowing your numbers.

You’ll learn how these misconceptions can drastically impact your business and the actionable steps you can take to avoid them.

This episode will help if you’re struggling to get consistent clients or want to improve your business efficiency and profitability.

I also talk about:

  • The true cost of acquiring clients and why expecting them to be free can hurt your business
  • The importance of tracking and understanding your numbers to gain control over your client acquisition process
  • How opportunity cost plays a crucial role in your lead generation efforts
  • Practical strategies to shift your mindset and approach with client acquisition
  • Actionable tips to optimize your marketing efforts and ensure you’re not undervaluing your time and resources

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AI-Generated Summary:

  • 0:00 – 2:00 — Zach introduces the episode, discussing the importance of knowing your numbers and client acquisition.
  • 2:00 – 4:00 — Zach explains why expecting clients to be free is a mistake and how it affects freelancers’ business opportunities.
  • 4:00 – 6:00 — The three components of a freelance business: leads, sales, and product, and the importance of lead generation.
  • 6:00 – 8:00 — Zach emphasizes that lead generation is never free and discusses the concept of opportunity cost in lead generation.
  • 8:00 – 10:00 — The importance of viewing lead generation as an investment and how tracking metrics can reveal the true cost and benefit of lead generation efforts.
  • 10:00 – 12:00 — Zach discusses the misconception of acquiring clients at breakeven and the importance of comparing different client acquisition strategies.
  • 12:00 – 14:00 — The importance of determining whether time or money is a freelancer’s biggest constraint and how to effectively delegate tasks.
  • 14:00 – 16:00 — Zach emphasizes knowing your numbers to better understand and control the client acquisition process.
  • 16:00 – 18:00 — Explanation of the sales funnel stages for freelancers and the significance of tracking conversion rates and time spent in each stage.
  • 18:00 – 20:00 — Introduction to the concept of opportunity cost in client acquisition, using Upwork as an example to illustrate the financial consequences of not investing in tools like Upwork Connects.
  • 20:00 – 22:00 — Zach explains tracking the time spent on different stages of client acquisition to calculate opportunity costs.
  • 22:00 – 24:00 — Breakdown of opportunity costs for each client acquisition step and the importance of recognizing client acquisition costs.
  • 24:00 – 26:00 — Discussion on the potential savings from delegating tasks and using Upwork Connects to improve reply rates.
  • 26:00 – 28:00 — Hypothetical savings calculation by using Upwork Connects and the significance of tracking metrics before making decisions.
  • 28:00 – 30:49 — Emphasis on tracking lead generation, sales, and fulfillment time to understand true project costs and improve business profitability.