Running Your Freelancing Business

Surprise! There’s much more to being a successful freelancer than being great at your craft.

In this section, we’ll equip you with the knowhow and tools you need to run a profitable and sustainable business. We’ll help you choose the right software, services, and tools for the job, and we’ll also show you how you can link these services together to automate parts of your business.

Additionally, we’ll help you make sure that you’re never strapped for cash by providing a few tips on keeping on top of your cash flow and business expenses.

Our views on running a business:

  • You should have a “data-driven” business. Find out how.
  • You should automate as much of your business as possible so you can focus on serving and billing your clients. Find out how.
  • You should create recurring revenue streams. Find out how.

Whether through 4+ years of in-depth articles, premium courses, the conferences and events I host, or my podcast, my #1 goal is to help you become a more successful freelancer.

Brennan Dunn

Latest Articles On This Topic

The Ultimate Guide To Retainer Agreements

A big problem with freelancing is that most work is transactional. What I mean by this is that you get a new client, sell them on working with you, do the work, deliver it, and get paid. It’s nice to get referrals and repeat consulting projects from happy clients, but there’s no guarantee if that will happen. In the quest for recurring, consistent, and “safe” revenue, most freelancers eventually turn to retainer agreements.

My goal with this guide is to not only convince you why the traditional idea of retainers is flawed but to provide you with a formula you can use to sell your current, future, and past clients on hiring you on an ongoing basis.

What is a retainer?

The definition of a retainer is, not surprisingly, an agreement where one party (the client) retains the accessibility and use of another party (you, the freelancer) on an ongoing basis. Lawyers often work off retainers — you never know when you’re going to need your attorney, so by paying them monthly they have an ongoing commitment to working with you.

When freelancers setup retainer agreements with their clients, the usual structure has them selling future availability at a discount for a fixed monthly fee.

The Ultimate System For Automatically Qualifying, Scheduling, and Preparing New Project Leads

Long before I got into consulting I used to sell leads to mortgage brokers.

(If you want to talk about shady, look into generating and selling leads for mortgage brokers. Sheeesh.)

We sold leads for about $100 a pop, which was about 20x more than most other lead providers were charging.

Companies like LendingTree would generate a single lead and sell it a bunch of companies. We generated exclusive leads and sent it to one company. We had more demand than we could possibly handle.


Mortgage brokers realized that the first person to get a lead on the phone was statistically going to come out on top and win the client.

If it meant paying a premium on an untouched lead that was significantly more likely to close, it was a no-brainer.

So when I started to grow my agency and we started generating leads of our own, I made sure that we followed up on new leads as soon as possible. It didn’t matter if it was midnight — if my phone dinged and it was a new lead, I’d respond right away and try to setup a meeting.

Our leads raved about our responsiveness. You wouldn’t believe how many times I was told, “I haven’t heard back from half of your competitors!” It worked, and it was one of the things that I credit to winning so many blind inbound leads that reached out to us (after Googling us or being told by a peer to check us out.)

But we don’t want to be glued to our inboxes.

We don’t want to be stuck responding to emails in the wee hours of the night.

Panning for Smaller Offerings

How to Develop What You’re Already Good At Into New Lines of Business

(This article has been contributed by Nick Disabato of, author of The A/B Testing Manual and co-host of Make Money Online, a podcast about running an independent consulting business. Want to read more from Nick? He writes a letter to his friends every week about running an independent business, A/B testing, and a lot more. You can sign up here).

You’re a typical freelancer: you do one-off projects for clients large and small. You find yourself doing similar work for each client: somebody asks you for a logo, and before you know it you’re making logos for dozens of great people. How do you take what your current business and make it consistent, repeatable, and durable?

Use Data To Overcome Doubt In Your Business

We’re all subject to doubt. Whether it’s asking Lindsey W. to the senior prom or preparing for our first marathon, self-doubt is a staple of the human experience.

But when we face doubt within the context of our business, the implications become a bit more… severe. I can avoid going to prom and I might miss out on a memory, but defaulting on my mortgage because I lost all my clients is an entirely different beast.

When fear runs our business, our primary concern is to avoid calamity.

How To Hire An Accountant

This is a guest post by Allan Branch of

My story is common among freelancers. I’m a designer by trade. I went freelance in 2005 and started building static websites for customers. The easy part was the actual service I provided. The hard part was the admin side of things: billing, taxes, and contracts. I literally knew nothing about these, so I pushed those tasks to the side and ignored them.

Around tax season, I realized I needed to get an accountant to wave their magic wand over my bank statements. I hoped that somehow I wouldn’t owe any money. I looked up a local accountant, called him and the next day had a meeting.

All Articles & Guides On This Topic

Join 50k+ freelancers who get early access to new articles, guides, updates, and more.