4 Steps to Transition from Freelancer to Full-time Business Owner
In this podcast episode, Brianna Régine Walston, the founder and CEO of Brianna Régine Visionary Consulting, shares tips on how to transition from being a freelancer to a full-time business owner. Here she emphasizes the importance of niching down your skills and services to reach your target audience and really deliver! Brianna also advises forming an LLC, and branding your business to help you stand out in the market. Are you a freelancer looking to grow your business and take it to the next level? Brianna's got you covered.
This episode (S2 E6) originally aired on February 20, 2023. Don’t forget to Subscribe to The Brand Unveiled Podcast. Enjoy!
If you are looking to scale your skills so you are able to serve more clients, hire help, and therefore provide more opportunities, then you need to keep listening.
Brianna: Introduction (00:17):
Hi, my name is Brianna Régine and I am the host of the Brand Unveiled podcast. I am also the founder and CEO of Brianna Régine visionary Consulting, a strategic communications and marketing agency that has a zone of genius for brand growth strategy. And today I'm going to be giving away tips on how to go from freelancer to full-time business owner cuz that's essentially what I did. So during my senior year of college, I was working at a PR agency as an intern slash account coordinator and I was also freelancing on the side. I was doing freelance work through Upwork where I was doing brand strategy related stuff, digital, social media marketing, public relations as well, project management, administrative assistance, basically all of these skills that I do now within my agency I was doing then, but I didn't know, I didn't know that I was doing that. So here are four tips I wanna give to folks who are also currently freelancing right now, but who are trying to transition into a bigger business model where they're able to take on more clients because they have the additional help where they can get the additional help and therefore provide more opportunities to others.
"You wanna find joy and creativity within your work."
Brianna: Step 1| Niche Down (01:44):
Step one, you wanna write your skills and niche down. Sometimes as a freelancer you're probably dibbling and dabbling in a variety of different things and when you wanna scale your skillset and be able to create a business around it, it can be very hard to come at the market saying, I can do A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P. It's a lot, right? You have a better shot of niching down really finding the skills that you like to do the most. The ones that come the easiest to you, the ones that you find aren't necessarily boring, right? Because you wanna find joy and creativity within your work, but they should be the ones that you enjoy the most, that they allow you to be as creative as possible and you know that there is a demand for it. It also helps too, if you already have done previous work related to these skills because it'll be really helpful to use those case studies on your website or to get new clientele.
Brianna: Step 2 | Form an LLC (02:51):
The second tip is form an LLC. Now again, these tips are all things that I did. So after I realized that I enjoyed strategizing and storytelling and positioning and organizing the backend of how businesses run, I was able to say, okay, my skills that I'm going to provide to the market are gonna be branding, social media, public relations. And then the operations piece came later. But those core three services and those core three marketable desires, I, you know, sat down and I was able to say, okay, I'm gonna start with this and even six years later I've niched down within those particular categories. Then I formed an LLC. Now for me, I went online and I formed it right through the state that I'm in. I didn't hire an additional person to do it, so I believe I paid $120 to get it. I would highly advise that you file directly with your state, with your local government because you're gonna see a lot of different options that are more than $120 because people are basically saying, Hey, pay me to do it for you. And so now you're not only paying to file, you're paying to have the service done for you as well. So just be mindful of that. And every state has a different filing price. So just because mine was $120 in the state of Connecticut doesn't mean that yours is also going to be $120, but you can definitely save money by filing directly through the local government.
Brianna: Consulting Legal Advice (04:35):
Google is your friend, don't be afraid to call them and ask for help as well. So that's what I did. Later, I have seen a variety of different content pieces from legal professionals saying that before you even file, you should seek legal counsel. And I don't necessarily disagree with them and LLC for me is the easiest thing that you can use. I don't know, well I don't know if I should say easiest, but it's the most simplest form of filing where you're able to protect yourself as well as protect your business and conduct business under a federal sort of protection, right? But to seek legal counsel before you do that can be really beneficial because one, you'll have an understanding of why, you know, if you do want to go the LLC route, cool do it. There's also other filing too, S corp. You can file as a Corporation, like there's so many different filings and you just wanna figure out which one makes the most sense for you. LLC is the most popular among small business owners, but it couldn't hurt to seek legal advice.
"To get more business, you have to be able to say, this is who I am, this is my value and this is why you should work with me."
Brianna: Step 3| Brand Your Business (05:46):
Tip number three, you wanna brand your business. So this totally works. If you also are coming from the freelancer world to an extent, to get more business, you have to be able to say, this is who I am, this is my value and this is why you should work with me. So to a certain extent, as a freelancer, you probably have already done an element of branding, but when you're transitioning into scaling into a business, the branding needs to be even tighter because you are presenting the idea that no, this is more than just a single person doing it. Even if it is to start right, it's more so just a perception that you wanna scale. So if you see yourself in your business being, you know, in a particular on a particular trajectory, right?
Brianna: Perception (06:36):
Or wanting to be perceived in a particular way, then you have to walk the walk and talk the talk. So yes, you wanna focus on your colors, your font, but you also want to talk about your mission and your values. Think about the companies that you see that you like, that you buy from. When you go and visit their website or even see their marketing materials, you get the vibe that, oh no, this is a business, this is a multi-person situation, it's running seamlessly and I'm buying into the business, into the brand. And that's sort of the mindset that you want to take on when you are transitioning from freelancer to business owner.
Brianna: Step 4 | Market, Market, Market! (07:17):
And then the fourth tip that was really helpful for me when I went from freelancer to business owner is market, market, market, market, market, market, market, market, market. That's all I did. You can hold yourself back by feeling like, oh my gosh, I don't know what to say. When it comes to my services, and this is what I would advise if you took the time to really brand yourself, and I'm not saying overthink, I'm saying you did your market research, you looked at other brands that are similar to yours, you then said, okay, here's my mission, here's my values in light of my skills being under a business model umbrella, and more importantly, this is the language I'm using to convey my value. Once you did that, then you wanna take a step back and think about who am I serving? Are you still going to be serving the same people that you did as a freelancer or are you gonna take it up a notch? Right? For me, it was pretty much the same when I did the transition.
Brianna: Who Are You Serving? (08:21):
Now it's a little bit different since I've been in business for six years, but for me it was entrepreneurs solely, it was people who I knew I could speak to directly. So I always like to engage with the person behind the brand. It was people who were serving underrepresented communities. It was people who were building something outside of themselves. And so it was people in lifestyle, entertainment, beauty, because those were the three things or the three industries that I wanted to focus on when I first started. And so, so therefore my marketing was for entertainment, lifestyle, and beauty entrepreneurs. And I use social media because content is king. And I just started posting on Instagram. I started posting on Instagram consistently. I went live on Instagram often. I had a newsletter at 1.2, I was using Facebook and Twitter a little bit as well. But the point is I didn't hold back. Like I just knew I had to get my name out there. Granted now the algorithm be algorithm and it's different nowadays, but arguably more complex than it was six years ago. But the point still remains the same. No one can buy from you if they don't know who you are. And before you go and hire a PR expert to raise your level of awareness, you need to be doing that on your own. And the benefit of starting a business now in 2023 is that social media can be your best friend. Market, market, market like you never market it before. Once you know who it is that you're going after, market to them, talk their language. Show how you're able to take a client from point A to point B. Go on other pages with similar audiences and authentically engage, right? Use TikTok. You're not necessarily gonna get it right out the gate.
"Once you know who it is that you're going after, market to them, talk their language. Show how you're able to take a client from point A to point B."
Brianna: Closing Thoughts (10:11):
Maybe, maybe you will, but it doesn't matter. Don't hold back, don't hold yourself back by not trying. Marketing really helped in addition to me marketing in person and sort of starting and stimulating the word of mouth that also greatly was beneficial to my business early on and still is to this day. So those are the four tips from going from freelancer to business owner. If you liked this podcast, please like, share, comment, subscribe, leave a review where you listen to your favorite podcast. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to leave them in the comments. I'm happy to answer them. If you want more videos like this or you want me to talk about a similar topic, let me know in the comments. I'm happy to provide as much value as I possibly can. Thank you so much for listening and I'll see you next time. Bye.