Veteran freelancer Jeremy Gotwals shares some advice for building your freelance empire.
When I left college and first went full-time as a freelancer at the age of 20, things were different. The year was 2010, and while I had already been freelancing part-time for three years, I had no idea what I was doing when it came to running a business.
The U.S. was in the midst of a recession, and I felt that professional mobility was key if I was to pursue the path of being a full-time performance artist. I saw the path of freelancing as the solution. But each month, I struggled to pay the rent and put food on the table.
I learned how to freelance the hard way. For years, I lived as a starving artist, getting stiffed, spending hours into projects and still barely scraping by. Often, it felt like I was sinking.
Things started to change for me when I began thinking like an entrepreneur and launched my book publishing startup, Holon.co, in 2012. I felt like I was building something bigger than myself, and I was able to leverage the marketing, branding and design skills I’d picked up in high school.
Still, it took me years to build the right processes. Managing clients, keeping track of time, and sending invoices was frustrating and time-consuming. Even by 2012, I had years of bad workflow ahead of me, tossed between 1,000 different apps.
I longed for a simple, well-designed tool that would seamlessly handle my workflow, all in one place. Something that would keep up with my pace, and give reminders at the right time. A tool that would help keep my vessel afloat and on-course. I was waiting for something like AND CO.
Captain of My Own Destiny
Finding AND CO changed the way I work. By harnessing the power of AND CO, my freelancing frigate has operated much more and more like a starship: sleek, high-speed, built for whatever comes my way.
While there are a ton of reasons I think AND CO has been transformative, there are four that have been particularly pivotal for me and my business.
I’m extremely skeptical of any tool that purports to provide an “all-in-one” solution to anything. Things are never that simple, are they? With AND CO, I found that they were, discovering a genuinely superior solution to all of my operational needs.
All of the things I loathed — filing expenses, managing my projects, juggling client details, tracking hours, and sending invoices — are combined into one awesome interface. Even more incredibly, you get your own, real-life human, a Chief Operator who’s there to help you get started and run your day-to-day. They’re right there on the platform, ready to hop aboard.
If your processes suck, you can’t scale. Even if you’re the best photographer on the planet, you won’t be able to grow your empire without properly organized workflows.
Many of the most talented people I’ve met have no idea how to run a business. AND CO changes everything for those creatives, and many other independent workers. Everything is built to scale, meaning that having more clients is a high-five, not a headache.
A multitude of resources
I didn’t have a repository of information or playbooks when I first started. I learned from scratch and pulled my hair out along the way.
Thankfully, AND CO offers a wealth of free resources that answer the hard questions, helping you get on your feet, or level up. In either case, you’ll learn how to save more time, get better and make more money. They even have a weekly Gig List email that shares open freelancing gigs! (P.S. – It’s funny as hell.)
Great for veterans and beginners
AND CO is easy to start using with a generous free-tier for folks just kicking off an indie career.
It’s also more than robust enough for people who have been freelancing for a long time, and know how they like to operate. I’ve been doing this for ten years, and AND CO has tremendously improved what I was already doing.
Even if you’ve been doing this for 30 years, I guarantee you won’t find a superior tool for running your freelance frigate. It’s time to transform your leaky ship into a starship. It’s time to try AND CO.
If you’d like an in-depth breakdown of all of AND CO’s powerful features, you can read my introductory article here.