Today’s student success spotlight is with Pia Larson. We’re sharing a different story each week of how a past student has been able to significantly grow their freelance business by applying the concepts they learned from Double Your Freelancing (check out last week’s with Deveren Fogle).
If you feel your story would be a good fit, share why. We’re looking for features for May, so apply today!
Pia Larson is the woman behind Fingerprint Marketing, a full service, award-winning web design and digital marketing agency. She started the company in 2007 and has been successfully growing it for the last eights years.
— FingerprintMarketing (@fingerprint) May 5, 2015
What got you into freelancing? Was it what you expected?
I started this business out of necessity. My corporate job got downsized in 2007 and I needed to support my family and two kids. I also needed a flexible schedule.
I was dissatisfied with the corporate world anyway so it was the final push I needed. They wanted me to “color inside the lines,” “don’t rock the boat” and “pay my dues.” None of that is in my DNA. In school, I was always looking to the future, finishing before anyone else, skipping grades and impatient to get things under my belt.
I didn’t know what to expect. I thought I’d take on freelancing part-time until I got another “real” job (in corporate). I didn’t realize that I had found my calling until I started calling the shots, building my client portfolio, making a difference and managing my schedule.
“I didn’t expect that I would feel like I had finally arrived home, and in my place in the world.”
What’s been most challenging thus far?
Setting up systems and scaling. Also focusing.
Did you ever want to quit or give up?
Yes, last quarter when I lost a really good designer from my team who I relied on and my business slowed because I couldn’t pitch new business.
I have systems in place now that spread out those projects so I’m not relying on just one team member. We now have four designers that we delegate work to.
What were you struggling the most with when you ran into Brennan’s courses?
I wasn’t selling as many web projects as I wanted. Nor was I getting paid for all of the valuable time and effort that was going into designing and building a custom website.
What are some big successes you’ve had recently?
Recently, I have ditched my Imposter Syndrome (rampant in the female persuasion) and gotten more personal with my clients. I speak from the heart, I don’t hide my flaws. I take ownership of my mistakes and get to know my clients better. This has allowed me to ask for higher paying contracts, renew retainer clients and actually close business on the phone before they hang up.
I have switched to thinking about clients as one-time clients and my services as commodities. Brennan has helped me make this giant leap in thinking. It was like a lightbulb moment. Seems so simple, but it became crystal clear the way he positioned it.
“Now I look for partners instead of clients and I only focus on outcomes/goals/benefits.”
What are you most excited about for your business in 2015?
I hired a project manager Jan 1st and haven’t looked back. Now I can focus on client connections and business development, which I love. I’m still the main Art Director so I can keep my creative side nurtured, but I’m not bogged down with the day-to-day operations.
“Now I can travel more to build more business nationally or internationally. Travel is my drug!”
Pia Larson is the Founder and Chief Imagination Officer of Fingerprint Marketing, a digital branding, design and marketing agency. Pia brings her clients’ ideas to life, helping them grow their business through custom design. Pia and her team at Fingerprint Marketing have created award-winning websites and branding collateral for small businesses from coast to coast.
She believes every entrepreneur can leave their unique fingerprint on the world and find success through custom and well thought out design. Feel free to pop by Fingerprint Marketing to learn more about Pia and her business!