How to Launch Your Own Services Business with Kelly Hungerford @KDHungerford #VCBuzz

How to Launch Your Own Services Business with Kelly Hungerford @KDHungerford #VCBuzzThere are many way to earn your living online and one of those methods is definitely selling your services. But how to start?

That’s something we are going to talk about today!

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About Kelly

Kelly Hungerford @KDHungerford is no stranger to #VCBuzz. We already chatted with Kelly back when she was a successful community manager at Paper.li

Kelly has started her digital marketing and community managing services since then, so she definitely knows how to do that.

Check out Kelly’s website Community Works

Questions we discussed

Q1 Why did you decide to go solo? What was your moment when you finally decided you need to make it happen?

Going solo/freelancing wasn’t on my radar until I no longer had a job (that wasn’t my plan!) Solopreneur became my plan A.

But I was really encouraged: Switzerland is behind the curve in digital & 25% of the workforce are freelance! I didn’t know until I researched it. I was amazed. It couldn’t have happened at a better time!

I saw this as a great sign freelance & freelance agency models. Swiss employees & companies are ready to embrace freelancers.

I quickly learned there’s a big difference between leading/ working with small teams, & then being your own 1 person small team.

But I remember thinking this is great but…. where do I start? I’m truly the cobbler’s child. I don’t have a website!

Q2 “What am I worth?” How to decide how much you need to charge for your services? Do you charge per hour or by task? How to make all those decisions?

I’m not always consistent!

First of all, charge what you think you are worth. You probably are. Don’t short sell yourself. I learned the hard way! Now my approach is see where the project fits, or if it is a fit at all. Then categorize it.

I learned quickly I was terrible at qualifying my own leads/projects. Because ‘I can’ isn’t always the best reason ‘to do’. Now I categorize projects first into three areas: On Plan, Off Plan, For Good. It looks like this –> 60/30/10.

On Plan projects are strategic, they help me reach a larger goal of increasing skill sets, positioning new projects, references.

For Good projects follow a passion or help others: I believe in the favor economy. I build For Good projects into my strategy 🙂

For Good projects can be helping an entrepreneur, startup or friends. I spent 10% of my week on For Good.

I’ve cut down substantially on Off Plan projects. If my heart isn’t into my work, my work won’t be stellar. That’s no good.

It’s tough. I don’t have it mastered. I know I need to take them sometimes, but I try not to take many!

I learned: good way to find out market price — ask! Transparency helps us all align & keep prices up where they should be.

We’re going to spend the same amount of time doing the work. I want it to count!

Pricing projects is difficult and I’m convinced there is no One Price Fits All. Make sure you love the project! That counts!

Q3 How to market your services business? As much as I dislike the phrase… How to sell yourself these days?

I am TERRIBLE at selling me, but I love to help. So I get out and network to talk about what I love to do. That comes naturally. I think marketing yourself is one of the toughest jobs. Talking about myself? Ugh. I sell through talking about what I love.

It’s not easy. There is no one price fits all. Most importantly I look at what I can learn. That’s worth $$. For me the best way to ‘sell me’ is to be me. I get out & network as much as possible. I feel I’m ‘my best content’ in person.

My goal is to build my business here locally. Even if they are virtual projects. So I use an online/offline strategy.

I use an online/offline: Local events & WOM to build local funnel. Online curation, community engagement to build EU projects.

I use social media & events to build awareness and drive traffic to my website. Is that a good strategy? It works for me!

Spoiler alert. I don’t create content. I have a one blog post on my blog & I ditched WP for @strikingly!

Great strategy! That’s the best way. They meet you, know you, trust you.

I co-started @wdswitzerland as a nationwide networking platform. It’s a massive lead generator for the 1000+ members! #Golocal! Social: Twitter & LI, w/ strong connections to communities & a love for content curation has been great for generating leads too.

My message: solopreneurs, freelancers, you can launch your services/drive leads/get clients w/o blogging/writing –>network!

Agree! I found it depended on my goals. I’m not a service selling recurring services. I can work w/o content creation.

I’m not saying content creation isn’t important, I think it needs to align w/ goals, type of biz you have, resources, budget.

I feel we are best when we aren’t selling. That’s why I love meetups and events. We come across more human, natural.

Q4 What are the tools that help you market, sell and provide your own services?

As a biz owner, I am really low tech. My most effective marketing tools are Twitter, LinkedIn, local events & WoM.

I grew up in a house of small business owners. All my parents talked about was referral & word of mouth. It stuck with me!

When I couldn’t find the local event I wanted, I helped create it! Otherwise I use Meetup and Eventbrite is brilliant for finding local events. Often, they are free!

Online or offline, community building and engagement along with referrals from clients are my two best marketing tools.

The WoM from a client is so powerful. It’s another reason for me to make sure I am taking project work I love. Referrals = leads.

Shining the spotlight on the people who matter most is such a winning strategy. Love it!

Collaborating with freelancers is a great way to grow referral biz. I bring as many into projects as I can.

Q5 Running your own business is overwhelming! How do you keep yourself organized?

Organization? I still have room for improvement! Can’t live w/o Trello, Evernote, Google docs, google drive, cloud, apps!

Also great. A lot of people from the tech community I know use it and love it!

I surround myself with amazing freelance peeps like @IvaIgnjatovic, @magdaATQ, @madlemmingz. This helps me keep organized!

I find it tough to balance between doing work and managing work. Identify people to work with that carry the skills you lack.

Working with people that carry the skills I don’t have, I learn & distribute tasks that aren’t strengths. Very effective. One thing I’ve learned with productivity and organization is that I do better when I take more breaks. I stop every 45 mins. Dream team of apps! 🙂

Through social media & communities. That’s how I met @IvaIgnjatovic, @magdaATQ, @madlemmingz, @pamdidner!

Great way to mentor and build in a freelance ally for the future!

Another great duo: whatsapp -> dropbox -> social media. I use this all of the time for organizing Tweet events for clients.

Last organisational hack -> Shut down, turn off & go outside. When I work less I am more productive. Built in funtime’s a must!

Our previous make money online chats:

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