Episode 9 with Kaleigh Moore
The Processes, Tools, and Network You’ll Need to Reach Six Figures

Kaleigh Moore is a freelance writer for SaaS and eCommerce brands. Her clients include BigCartel, Campaign Monitor, ReCharge Payments, and more. She also contributes to publications like Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneur, and Fast Company AND together with Paul Jarvis she launched Creative Class, an online course that has helped over 2,300 freelancers improve their freelance business.

The Processes, Tools, and Network You’ll Need to Reach Six Figures

Kaleigh Moore is a freelance writer for SaaS and eCommerce brands. Her clients include BigCartel, Campaign Monitor, ReCharge Payments, and more. She also contributes to publications like Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneur, and Fast Company AND together with Paul Jarvis she launched Creative Class, an online course that has helped over 2,300 freelancers improve their freelance business.

In this episode, Kaleigh talks about:

  • The processes she uses to streamline replicable parts of her work:

    How you can be more efficient by taking some time to set these processes up.

  • What you need to outline to clients prior to working with them:

    Have a streamlined process for sharing information on how you work, payment terms, and more.

  • How to spend more of your day on fulfilment:

    And how Kaleigh managed to move from spending 40 percent of her day on processes to just 10 percent.

  • The resources she uses to get information:

    Including courses, Twitter, Facebook groups, and Slack channels.

  • How to choose what to specialize in:

    Picking your niche can help you demand higher prices.

Full transcript

Juan

You're listening to the Six-Figure Freelancer audio course, brought to you by And Co from Fiverr. We interviewed top professionals who share their exact formulas for success in starting, growing, and maintaining a six-figure freelance career. And I'm your host, Juan Felipe Campos. Okay, freelance masterminds, remember: on every episode of the Audio Course, there's a giveaway of digital goods or resources from our partners that other people don't have access to. To get your audio course resources, subscribe to the audio course on iTunes and then visit and.co/resources. Again, that's and.co/resources to access your digital goods.

Juan

Kaleigh Moore is a freelance writer for SaaS and eCommerce brands. Her clients include BigCartel, Campaign Monitor, ReCharge Payments, and more. She also contributes to publications like Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneur, and Fast Company and together with Paul Jarvis, she launched Creative Class, an online course that has helped over 2,300 freelancers improve their freelance business. Let's hear more from her on this episode of the Six Figure Freelancer Audio Course.

Juan

Kaleigh, thank you so much for coming on the show.

Kaleigh

Thanks for having me.

Juan

Kaleigh, you certainly know something about getting to six figures as a freelancer that most of us don't. And you're in a very competitive space as a freelance writer. Can you please walk us a little bit through how you think about making money, increasing your prices and living a life as a freelancer?

Kaleigh

Well, I will say that in the beginning I was not very good at anything. I started out just kind of saying yes to everything and I wasn't really a specialist. I would just do whatever someone wanted to hire me for. And it wasn't until I really became a specialist and decided to focus on writing for software and ecommerce clients that I kind of built up the authority that made me get to the point where I could charge more for my services and that would make me a subject matter expert in that made me kind of a go-to person within that niche. So, it took me about two years to figure that out. And uh, one of the big things that helped me was the Creative Class by Paul Jarvis. It was a course on freelancing that I took back in 2013 or 14 and it really helped me figure out all the processes and everything behind being a good freelancer and all the things that I needed to do to do a good job and to get hired again and again and to get referrals. So, um, in, in doing that and then learning from that class, I was able to get those processes in place and to start progressively raising my rates and really focused on one particular industry. So all of those things coming together got me to the point where I eventually, I think it was year two, I broke the six figure mark.

Juan

That's amazing. Kaleigh, I think the word process keeps getting thrown around as a buzzword in the freelance space. People are like, how you have to have processes, you have to have processes and most of what you're saying is very relatable. People are like, oh, I get that, you know, chasing money for like whoever was willing to hire me. But the part that is probably worth sharing and unpackaging is what those processes may look like, and how you can identify what needs to get automated, delegated or eliminated. Can you walk us a little bit through what a process is, how you think about processes and how you end up actually creating them?

Kaleigh

Yeah. So I love that you asked this question because I so agree. I hear this word thrown around and it's like one of those like relationship is another one of those words that you hear thrown around and you're like, what does that mean? So for me, for me process is all about having, like you said, replicable systems in place. A lot of the time it's simply just templates, like things for onboarding emails. So when I have a new client have a template email that I can just customize quickly and send out to get the ball rolling with new project. Um, as far as invoicing, I have a process for invoicing. So I have a process for getting a deposit at the beginning of a project and the process for billing at the end, once the project is done and a whole exit process where the client gives feedback and I gather a testimonial and I asked for referrals, or if they know anybody else who needs the type of work that I do.

Kaleigh

So just having basically steps to follow for each part of working with a client. Um, it's really just helps you be a good business person and it helps you not forget anything because if you're busy and you're working with a lot of clients, you have a lot of plates that you're spinning all at once. It's easy to let those, those important process things... Like I said, like getting feedback and I'm having a deposit process in place. It's easy to let those fall through the cracks. So for me it was really just a matter of like literally writing it down on a piece of paper and being like, here's what an ideal project looks like for me.

Juan

Okay. So essentially the less that we leave up to chance then the more consistent that the customer experience is going to be. And also that the end product is going to be. So we can spend more of our time and our genius zone and doing what we do best and not on what's the email, how should to respond to this email. It's just always the same emails back and forth. That makes a lot of sense. And it sounds like it's not specific to one tool at all. I haven't heard you mention a specific. It's not like the secret sauce is in using, I don't know, like whatever x, Y, Z tool. It's actually just more of a commitment to this practice. So let's uh, unpackaged like one of those processes. If you were to talk about like your invoicing or your email onboarding, do you typically have those on just a Google Doc and then you copy paste them or what does it actually look like? The nitty gritty if you us through one of them?

Kaleigh

Yeah. So I'm not a big tool person and I'm also very cheap so I don't have a lot of software that I use, beyond like the free version of wave is what I use for my invoicing.

Juan

Or AND CO?

Kaleigh

Yes. AND CO as well. And also I use Google Docs like you said. So it's really just a matter of I don't want to write an email from scratch every single time, so having, having a template that I could just copy paste and drop in the important details for every single time. That's a huge time saver and otherwise I keep it pretty low tech so it's really just, like I said in the beginning I wrote everything down on a piece of paper for what an ideal project looked like and then I figured out what pieces I had and what pieces I still needed to put together. Whether that was like a feedback document that outlines how a client should give good versus bad feedback so they know what I need to make a project flow more quickly and make the whole editing process go faster. Or things like at the beginning of the email, part of my or at the beginning of a new client relationship, my email says, here's how I write, here's my office hours. Basically like, here's how I work, here's how I expect to get paid. So it's really just a matter of like kicking things off with the appropriate expectations and eliminating any gray areas that can lead to kind of sticky situations down the road where you're like, oh, I need you to not do net 30 and pay that invoice today, or I need you to send me back a document in this format. Outlining those things up front is a huge time saver.

Juan

Really. That sounds really time consuming. But the more conversations I have, it doesn't really have to end up taking that much time. If you were to break it down, maybe on, I don't know if this were like a time, your time where a pie chart, like how much time do you say... What percentage of your time would you say it goes towards working on the business and not in the business? Not fulfilling, but actually working on processes?

Kaleigh

Yeah. I would say when I was in the middle of creating the processes for the first time it was probably like 40 percent of the time processes, 60 percent of the time doing work. But now that the processes are made, I would say it's only 10 to 15 percent of my workload is like taking care of stuff in the business because all of that nice ready-to-go stuff is done, it's usable. I don't have to really change it. Like if I need to make a tweak, it's not a complete rewrite, you know, it's not starting from scratch. So it's been a huge time saver in that it allows me to get more work done. I'm not, I'm not doing that stuff on a regular basis. So yeah, it takes a lot of the legwork out of those really time consuming tasks.

Juan

So it was kind of for just a period of time or a season that you stopped fulfilling, focused on your business, fixed everything that was broken, then went back out and now you could do it at scale because you could spend less time on working on the business.

Kaleigh

Exactly.

Juan

Makes a lot of sense. And you mentioned Kaleigh, Paul Jarvis is a resource and the course that he has that seems to be very helpful. Do you have any books or like influencers or tutorials that you can recommend so that we can deep dive into this kind of content?

Kaleigh

Yeah, so another great resource that has a lot of free stuff is Copy Hackers. That's kind of my go-to, for writing specific advice. As far as business side of the equation, I always turn to Twitter when I have a question. So I use Twitter a lot for troubleshooting. I also have a couple of really active Facebook and Slack channels that I'm part of. So those are great for working through issues or if I have a question, there's a nice group of people there that I can turn to that have a lot of experience that I can pull from. And then there are always other places that kind of surprised me from time to time I might find a really good eBook or a good blog post or something like that with a lot of good information that teaches things that I didn't know about before that I just kind of come along usually through Twitter. So yeah, I would say Twitter is the big one for me.

Juan

Funny, you're the first person I've heard referred to Twitter as a good platform to find content like this. If you could maybe shout out a few people that we should be following or resources specifically like Slack as a platform, Facebook as a platform, but maybe like what group specifically in there? What books specifically?

Kaleigh

Yeah. People on Twitter who are really good, who tweet really good, helpful content that usually had those gems that I discover people like Jay, his last name. I think it's a Kenzo. I think. Um, who else? Ann Handley from Marketing Profs. She has some great material. Amy Hoy. She has a lot of great things that she shares. She's a good person to follow as far as facebook groups. One that's kind of specific to me as a writer that I'm part of and it's very active as The Copywriter Club. They are super active there on answering questions and troubleshooting. So if you're a writer, that's a great place to be and it's free and open I believe. Um, and then there's an, there's another, there's also private channels that I'm part of too that aren't open to new users or anything like that, but having a presence in those different niche communities is really great for not only networking but like I said, working through problems and just kind of like having a sounding board when I'm working through tough issues.

Juan

So it sounds like you're getting a lot of your help from peers. It's not necessarily like someone with a business model that's special, that's like a guru that's like selling information. Like that stuff obviously exists, but it sounds like what's been most valuable for you is just jumping on one of these Slack channels or Facebook groups or communities and saying, Hey, I'm really dealing with this issue. How have you guys dealt with it before? And then people are happy to respond to that. Right. We actually have very helpful group like this. I'll be linking to all of these groups in the show notes of this episode, but also if you would like to look up Freelance Masterminds on Facebook, you can find the group created by AND CO from Fiverr that also addresses a lot of these things. Kaleigh, something else that you touched on that I kind of want to go back to is it sounded like a really key element wasn't just having the processes wasn't just focusing on scalability, but having the focus to become a household name in your industry for the services that you offer and the go-to person. If you had any advice for someone getting started on how to just pick one thing that you can be really great at, what would you look for and what advice would you have for them?

Kaleigh

So number one, it has to be something you enjoy doing and enjoy being in day to day. Because if you are not really truly interested in the material, you're going to burn out really quickly and you're just going to kind of fizzle within a couple of months. It also needs to be a sustainable area. So it can't be something super trendy unless you're great at adapting and evolving your skills and your interests. It needs to be an industry that's willing to pay for your freelance services and has the money to spend. So while I love nonprofits and I do do things to help them, I found that they don't always have a lot of money to spend, so it makes it hard to be a sustainable freelance niche to specialize in. And I think, I think it's also a matter of, you know, are you willing to put yourself out there within that world if you are super intimidated by the people who are already working in this industry and you don't feel confident enough to start introducing yourself and saying, 'Hey, I'm trying to learn more about this thing.' That's probably not a good fit either. So I think you really have to be honest with yourself about what you like and what your goals are and what's realistic for the longterm. It can't just be something that sounds good this week. You have to really put some thought into it.

Juan

Makes a lot of sense. Okay, and actually another great resource on this, if someone is really starting from scratch and you're looking for a good niche to dive in on, you can visit the website and.co/anywhere-workers, and we created a study along with remote year where we interviewed thousands of freelancers just like you and we found the highest paying disciplines that you can jump into. What things do you need to be offering, just looking across at thousands of freelancers and their data and their income data that they submitted. So if you're, you know, you want to live life on your own terms, you know you want to be a digital nomad or any kind of freelance worker, this is the best place for you to pick an industry and pick a niche that you can be passionate about.

Juan

Okay, freelance masterminds. Do not forget to pick up your digital resources from this episode. It's very simple. You just subscribe to the show on iTunes and then once you've done that, visit and.co/resources. Subscribe on iTunes and then visit a n, d dot c dot o slash resources to get your digital goods. See on the next one.

Juan

Kaleigh, as you continue to grow and take your business forward, where's the best place for people to stay in touch with you and learn more about what you're doing?

Kaleigh

As I mentioned before, I'm on Twitter a lot. It's basically my water cooler that I shout into the void at and I also teach The Creative Class with Paul Jarvis. So if you go to creativeclass.co, you'll learn more about that there. But yeah, I, if anybody has questions about freelancing or writing, I'm always on Twitter. I'm super active there. I will have my name in my handle in the show notes, I'm sure. It's @kaleighf, but my first name is hard to spell. So yeah, I'm always happy to help answer questions and do what I can because I want more people to be able to freelance because it's amazing.

Juan

Kaleigh, thank you so much for coming on the show and sharing all of this with us.

Kaleigh

Thank you.

Juan Felipe Campos
About your host

Juan Felipe Campos

Juan Felipe Campos serves as VP of Technology at Manos Accelerator in partnership with Google Launchpad. As a freelancer, Juan has worked on growth and customer acquisition for VC-funded startups including Ease, Admix, Timeular, and AND CO from Fiverr. He hosts the Six Figure Freelancer audio course/YouTube channel, leads the Freelance Masterminds Facebook Group, and is passionate about helping remote workers make more money and live life on their own terms. His companies have been featured in major publications including Entrepreneur, Huffington Post, Inc. Magazine, and Forbes.

next episode:
Retaining Clients and Building Profitable Work Relationships