We’re continuing to share 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 Andy Fuller).
If you feel your story would be a good fit, share why.
“We’re on track to make 23-26% more revenue this year, because we’re retaining more clients from proposals than ever before.”
QuHarrison Terry is the founder of VNM USA, an advertising agency that’s been in business under the same ownership since 2013. (He started his company as a freshman in college!)
They are headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin and while they’re not an enormous company, they’re “large enough to count on when you need them and small enough that you’ll get personalized attention from a creative team of skilled and experienced developers.”
What got you into freelancing? Was it what you expected?
Essentially, I’m currently a full-time student at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, so I needed to make money to survive, and I always wanted to be creating something new, rather than working on the same thing for eternity. I also wanted to work with people whom I respected and thought had similar grind ethics when it came to creating.
Overall, the world of freelancing is what I expected when it comes down to the hustle you need to survive in this world successfully. The one thing that always surprises me is the freedom freelancing allows you to have; if you want to work at 2am or 2pm it’s totally up to you! As long as you have the work done before the client needs it you’re fine.
What’s been most challenging thus far?
My entrepreneurial career began at age 15, and this later evolved and sort of merged under the brand “VNM USA” when I turned 18. The decision was intentional – I was able to start saying, “we’ll work on the project” instead of “I’ll work on the project” as a way to speed up the trust and respect process with clients.
It’s a frustrating experience when you are a young creative in this age; people’s perception of what you are capable of is quite constricted. They don’t look at what you have done and accomplished, they look at where they believe you should be, given your age. So the shift from “QuHarrison” to “VNM USA” was my creative reaction to that struggle.
The good news is VNM USA has since grown to be a home for over 20 collaborators across the globe. Now when I say “we,” I mean it.
Did you ever want to quit or give up? Please expand.
Whenever, someone asks me my thoughts on entrepreneurship, I always respond saying that “entrepreneurship isn’t for the weak hearted.” Simply, if you are weak hearted, you will want to quit or give up for a new reason literally everyday. Things happen in life and that affects business; whether it’s with yourself or a collaborator, it’s the nature of this game.
Personally, VNM USA is something I love so much that when things get challenging it forces me to creatively figure out a solution, so we don’t have to quit or give up.
What were you struggling the most with when you ran into the Double Your Freelancing courses?
We reached out to Brennan, since we wanted to increase our revenue (as all businesses do). Brennan helped us to be more effective with refining certain onboarding systems, so we could accept more quality leads and ultimately make more money.
We were also able to understand more about the process of working with bigger clients that are perceived to be unobtainable.
What are some big successes you’ve had recently?
We’re on track to make 23-26% more revenue this year, because we’re retaining more clients from proposals than ever before.
We’ve recently been working a lot on strategic partnerships at VNM USA. Using some of the tactics from Double Your Freelancing Clients, we’ve been able to partner with some pretty amazing people.
For example, we’ve recently announced 23Vivi.com, a creative online gallery that specializes in creating more exposure and sales for young talented artists. We we able to partner with the amazing Peter Vu, known for his high profile marketing campaigns with companies such as Target, BMW, Apple and Disney to launch 23Vivi.com.
What are some specific strategies, tactics or pieces of advice that helped you grow?
The roadmapping sessions have been essential to us retaining clients. That along with the socratic questioning to qualify potential clients has allowed for us to really work with more of the right people.
What are you most excited about for your business in 2015?
2015, has been a wonderful year for VNM USA.
TODAY, we are launching Constructed By, which is an online magazine where we spotlight members of The Creative Class. We ask them questions about the tools they use, their creative process and other insightful advice. This project has been a year in the making, so I’m super ecstatic for its launch.
23Vivi.com is launching on October 23rd, 2015 (go check ’em out!). All pieces offered for sale are extremely rare limited editions and once sold out they will never be created again.
QuHarrison Terry, is the founder of VNM USA, an advertising agency focused on connecting brands with the millennial generation.
He is also a Computer Science student, at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.