Recently I had a conversation with Boston-based design firm owner, Jonathan Cleveland, about his evolution from freelancer to design firm owner. He said for a while, he called himself both freelancer and design firm owner while he was working a part-time job to pay the bills.
20 years ago, while he was “freelancing,” Jonathan knew that he wanted to be a firm owner and provide more comprehensive service for his clients. He realized that by asserting himself in a different way, even with existing clients who had hired him as a freelancer, he was able to shift their perception of what he was capable of doing. They started to give him different jobs, and paying him more.
A few tips include:
· Ask your client questions, show them that you’re capable of seeing the bigger picture.
· Start by owning the “business owner” perception of yourself and being confident when sharing it with others.
· It’s okay to be selective at first. You can freelance sometimes, and be a business owner sometimes, depending on the situation. Which clients have the potential to turn into a business relationship? Focus on being a business owner around them.
Are you in the middle of the transition? Have you made the transition? What has helped you?