Chelsea Baldwin is the founder of Business Bitch, LLC and a multi-business entrepreneur. To date, she's helped hundreds of newbie & growing entrepreneurs get their businesses established and making real money. She believes "impatience is a virtue" in business and chasing your goals, and is also the host of The Business Bitch Podcast.
Ever wondered how to transition from freelancer to agency owner? How do you take that step from being a one-man band to an agency with a whole team involved? Episode 77 of the Fearless Business podcast focuses on just that, with expert guest Chelsea Baldwin. Here are the main points we learnt from the episode.
Chelsea describes how she went from freelance writer to business owner. By developing her freelance work into a business, she got taken more seriously, started getting more clients, which then led to more money and being fully booked. To expand her business, she realised she could have people contracted underneath her, which allowed to keep the same business model and take some money off the top.
The process involves working hard as a freelancer to get fully booked and have a business set up so that you can then hire people.
When you bring someone new into your business, whether that is hiring someone full time or contracting work out to other freelancers, it is a nervewracking thing. You worry if it is the right thing for your business.
Naturally, there is a learning curve involved and it takes time to all find your footing, especially if clients are used to a particular service and style from you. Chelsea recommends having digital training set up to guide new team members through your work process.
It is unlikely for employees or freelancers in your team to be able to perfectly replicate your work, especially in an area such as copywriting.
At first, Chelsea edited her team’s work before sending it to clients, before developing a feedback system. With writing, like any other sector, feedback helps you to get better. She introduced project management software into her business to guide the team through the steps needed for each client project.
When you run a business, saving time and energy is key. If you find yourself repeating the same information over and over again, you can record a video with all the details and send that out.
Perfecting these internal systems does take time in itself and some investment along the way, but once you have that solid foundation, you can replicate it for so many avenues.
Something that Chelsea did was repurpose the training done among her team and turned them into digital products for people wanting to create copy at Chelsea’s level but who couldn’t afford a copywriter. After having more people take her courses, she was then able to subcontract work to more people after hearing how much her training had improved their copywriting skills.
Chelsea recommends focusing on sales and profitability. A lot of the time, you feel like business is about putting content out there, such as on social media, blog posts, and podcasts. You need to have cash flow to support all of these areas though. You want to have a business which runs well without all the platforms that exist nowadays. Focus on getting the customers and making the sales. If you have a LinkedIn page and some good content on there, that is all you need to set yourself up, and you can also do the networking and the sales through LinkedIn too.
This question is individual. For Chelsea, it was realising that you are your only source of money. If you take a break, so does your income. Once you have built up your business though, then there are automated systems you can put in place to make passive income such as digital products and courses.
Are you able to relate to Chelsea’s journey? Do you think you could be ready to take that step into becoming an agency? Listen to the full podcast to hear more about Chelsea’s personal career story and business journey.
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