I still enjoy writing, but I really get a lot out of coaching.
Why? Because it makes a difference in people’s lives. And I get to watch that happening. That’s pretty amazing. I love it.
The truth is, it’s really hard to launch or grow a freelance business all on your own, without a mentor or a coach. To start with, there is just a lot of stuff about the business you don’t know when you are struggling through the early stages of your freelance career.
I can easily help with that part. That’s the mentoring element. I have been a freelancer for a very long time, so I can show you the ropes.
But the most amazing part of being a coach is finding diamonds in the rough. This is where the real coaching part comes in. Time and time again I have had clients who simply didn’t know or accept how successful they could be.
It’s true. I have worked with dozens of freelancers who, on day one, didn’t think they had much to offer. But after talking with them for a while, I could see that they did. I could see their talent and potential even when they couldn’t.
This is where the magic happens. And this is the part I love the most. It’s when I spot that talent and then show my clients how to see it for themselves, and then turn it into a successful business.
And that ultimately, is what my coaching service is all about…helping you build a more profitable and enjoyable freelance business.
How do I structure my coaching engagements?
There is no fixed structure. While I know some coaches offer a fairly rigid, step-by-step process, I don’t believe in that approach. In my experience, every coaching client is best served by following a coaching path that is customized and flexible. Not everyone needs the same kind of help.
That said, it is fair to say that there are least four areas on which I touch with pretty much all of my clients.
These are represented by the four rocks in the image above.
Vision – This is about being clear about your objectives…where you want to get to with your freelance business. It’s tough to get somewhere if you don’t know where you are going!
Plan – Once you have a vision for your future, you need to plan your way forward. Knowing what you are trying to achieve is all well and good, but that won’t help you unless you have a clear set of directions and way-points between where you are now and where you want to get to.
Create – When you know where you want to get to, and have a map of how you’ll get there, you need to take action. You have to get into motion and make things happen. This entails creating a powerful website and other marketing materials. Or updating what you have right now.
Marketing – Finally, with everything else in place, you need to market and promote your services on a regular basis, and in a way that attracts the best possible clients. The key here is to get the best clients, not just any old clients.
As I said, this is a rough framework. It’s a broad, overarching structure. Within this there is plenty of room for flexibility. For example, with one recent client, although we touched on all of these four points, her key breakthrough came about as a result of the work we did on improving her level of productivity.
“Not only was Nick very helpful to my copywriting business, but he's also enjoyable to work with -- funny, smart, insightful. He knows when to talk and when to listen. He helped me narrow my focus and develop a niche from a long list of career and job experiences. I would highly recommend Nick to anyone in search of coaching help.”
“Over thirty years of self-employment I have worked with quite a few consultants and Nick is by far the best. It is very rare to find a coach that is both very motivational as well as highly competent and Nick is one of those rare individuals. If you are just starting your freelance career or even an experienced writer going through some tough times you would be well served hiring Nick as your coach. I firmly believe that his knowledge of the industry coupled with his empathy and compassion has all but guaranteed my success. Thank you Nick.”
Who do I work with?
Some of my clients are just starting out. Others have been in business for five or ten years and want help with moving their business forward.
I even have one client who isn't really a writer at all. He just wants my input as a "virtual business partner" as he builds his online business.
And all of them are committed to making some positive changes in their work lives.
One group I don’t work with are people who find themselves in desperate circumstances and believe that coaching might help them quickly make a lot of money and get out of the hole. It’s not that I wouldn’t like to help people who find themselves in tough circumstances. It’s just that coaching doesn’t work that way. It’s not a quick fix with a fast payoff. Besides, if things are that bad, you have more important uses for your remaining resources.
"Nick's coaching has been incredibly valuable to me for several reasons. He has challenged me into clarifying my niche and how I articulate it – this is HUGE! He also has boosted my confidence and given me a very positive foundation – now I know I don’t have such an uphill battle for repositioning myself and earning more for what I do! I enjoy his sense of humor and down-to-earth demeanor. It’s been a perfect coaching match for me."
How much does it cost?
This is the tough part. One-on-one coaching is expensive. It’s bound to be, because any good coach knows his or her own time is valuable. And when coaching one-on-one, a coach turns away from his desk and devotes himself and his attention to just one person – you.
From your side, it helps to look at the cost of coaching as a business investment.
Setting up as a freelancer costs almost nothing. You already have a computer and an Internet connection. Any other kind of business – like opening a coffee shop, for example – would cost you tens of thousands of dollars, before you even opened the doors and sold your first cup of coffee.
As a freelancer you don’t have to invest a ton of money in premises, equipment and staff. But it does make sense to invest in your freelance business skills, so you can build yourself a more profitable and enjoyable future.
Here are the two different coaching options I offer:
Three Month Business Builder. For anyone who is really serious about building a highly profitable and enjoyable freelance business, I recommend a three-month engagement and charge $3,950 for the three months, payable in advance.
You get: One hour of personal coaching by phone each week (12 calls in total) and unlimited email.
One Month Hurdle Jumper. For when you need short-term help to get over a particular hurdle or obstacle in your business. This one month engagement costs just $1,500, also payable in advance.
You get: One hour of personal coaching by phone each week (4 calls in total) and unlimited email.
And one "discovery" option:
30 Minutes. If you just want to just put your toe in the water first, and chat with me about how coaching might help you grow your freelance business, you can engage me for a one-time, 30-minute phone consultation for just $29.95.
If you want to know more, you can reach me using the form below.
"Having Nick as my coach was one of the best investments I’ve made for my freelance copywriting business. He helped me determine the exact niche for my services and the pathway to achieve my goals. His insight, knowledge and expertise definitely speeded up my learning curve, and now I have more clarity and direction than I’ve had before."
Janice Sakata-Schultze, Schultze Copywriting
"I worked with Nick Usborne for one month as I was trying to launch my freelance copywriting business. I had a unique situation, in that I had over 25 years of experience in the banking business, and then 3 years as a fiction writer. Combining these two odd work experiences into a functional and profitable niche in the copywriting world was a challenge. I knew I had good writing skills and years of financial services experience, but was clueless how to go about using them together. Nick helped me recognize and define a way to do that, that made perfect sense, and do it in a way that was achievable.
Nick was great at listening to my thoughts, thinking through the situation, asking relevant questions, formulating a specific niche, and most importantly, then creating a strategic plan for assimilating my skills into a meaningful freelance copywriting business plan. Nick has a wealth of experiences that allow him to evaluate exactly what will work for a freelancer, establish a game plan, and suggest detailed alternatives.
Nick’s style is no-nonsense and straightforward, and I liked that very much. He did not pat me on the back and offer “rah-rah” or “go get ‘em” type of advice. He provided me with actionable suggestions that will go a long way in my quest for success in the freelance copywriting world. It was money and time well spent and I will be going back to Nick again soon for further coaching. Highly recommended!"
Jeff Bacot, author and copywriter
"Nick did an absolutely wonderful job at guiding me through the process of navigating the seemingly endless choices when entering the copywriting world. He was very patient and kept me on track throughout. Now, I have a plan and am working hard to making that come true. Nick was/is instrumental to making that come true!"
“Hiring Nick Usborne as a professional coach was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my business life. His deep knowledge of the freelance copywriting industry and breadth of experience gave me invaluable insight you won’t find anywhere else — you learn things from him that would otherwise take a lifetime to figure out. And he instills in you the confidence you need to break in and just do it. He’s a stress buster. If you are serious about launching your own freelance business, and you want guidance in building a stable and meaningful business, he’s the man with a plan."
“I was lucky enough to receive coaching under Nick for my Social Media consulting business. He was always willing to give of his time – no question too minor. He was very encouraging and eager to share his experience and knowledge. You can’t do better than Nick if you want help in growing your freelance business.”
Lydia Mills Ocala, FL
"I want to say that after yesterday's call, I was just really, really happy with this coaching process I'm going thru with you. I hope you get as much satisfaction out of it as I'm getting. You are really, really good at this. I know we exchanged money for services but I honestly feel I've gotten far more than I ever expected. Far more. So thanks for being so good at this stuff..."
Richard Pelletier, LucidContent.com
"Working with Nick has been wonderful. His knowledge, expertise, and compassion for the insecure writer is invaluable. He not only helped to boost my confidence but we created a marketing plan that is already growing my fledgling business; within two weeks of our last call, I landed a client at double my usual fee. I would definitely recommend Nick's coaching program to anyone who is looking to start a freelance business or grow their existing business. Thank you Nick!"