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How to Set Up Your Freelance System (How to Start Freelancing Part 3)

February 13, 2019

So we’ve talked about how to make your killer freelance packages as well as how and where to find (and score) clients. What you need to do now? Set up your freelance system!

The sad truth is that, as freelancers, getting leads and answering email inquiries can take up a lot of your time – time you should be spending doing the work you love and making some coin.

So instead of being on your email 90% of the time, here’s my tried-and-tested freelancing system that’s helped me score, manage, and maintain clients the past couple of years.

Set up freelance systems the right way so you can get more done by doing less. Say goodbye to spending 90% of your time answering emails from prospects who might not even book your services.
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Read the whole series

Reel clients in through your website

First up, you’ll want clients to find you so that you can wow them and later on get them to book your services. And the best way to do this? Your very own home on the internet – a website!

Your website is an awesome way to let potential clients know who you are, what you specialize in, and samples of your work. This is already going to be the very first place they’ll find your contact details, so be sure your website is wow-worthy.

Wondering what you can put on your website? Yesterday’s post in this series covers some essential things you need to impress your client and prove your legit.

Make it easy to get in touch with you

Once that potential client sees your site, realizes you’re a rockstar freelancer in the biz, they’ll be thinking: “I have to get in touch with this dude/dudette!”

Now don’t go patting yourself on the back for a job well done just yet. You still need to make sure that it’s super easy for that client to get in touch with you.

My recommendation? Sprinkle a “Get in Touch” or “Book My Services” button on your home navigation menu and in different parts of your site.

If you’re adding a blog to your website (and I highly recommend you do to show off your expertise), you might even consider adding that Get in Touch button or link at the end of each post.

After all, you don’t want your potential clients wondering how on earth they’re going to get in touch, right?

Have a professional contact me page

It’s not enough you sprinkle a Get in Touch button everywhere on your site. If you’re going to impress those clients and make sure you’re getting exactly the kinds of clients you want to work with, your Contact Me page has to work as hard as you do.

What that means? Ditch the generic contact page that just asks for their name, email, and message. That stuff’s vague – and really, will end up with you answering emails 90% of the time.

To make a professional and strategic Contact Me page, you’ll want more than just a name and an email. Get to know those prospects’ needs from the get-go by sprinkling in key questions to get to know what services they’re looking for, the timeline they’re looking at, and exactly what they’re struggling with.

Now you might argue that a lengthy questionnaire for a Contact Me page might ward away prospects, but listen here: The prospects who fill out the questionnaire are the prospects who really, truly want to work with you.

Remember: the goal isn’t to be answering emails 90% of the time. Instead, you want to get those inquiries in, then know exactly what you can do for these clients in need.

Here are some questions you can consider adding to that strategic Contact Me page:

  • What kind of business are you in? Can you briefly describe your business?
  • What type of services are you looking for? (I normally make this a checklist or dropdown menu, so prospects see options of the exact freelance services I offer!)
  • What are your pain points in dealing with your business/project?
  • What are you spending the most time doing for your business/project? What do you wish you were doing instead?
  • What are your goals for your business in the next 3 months?

Get on a discovery call

So your email dings, and guess what? You just got a prospect interested to work with you!

You check out their answers on the questionnaire and decide that they’re a perfect fit. That’s amazing!

Now, it’s time to get on a discovery call.

Be sure to email them back asking to book a call with you when you’re both available. There are third-party apps and sites to make the process easier, like Acuity Scheduling or Calendly, so be sure to make the most of those too.

During the discovery call, really go in deep getting to know your client and their business. Find out what they value most in their business or project; you can use these clues to find out exactly how you can help.

The discovery call is really where you’ll be sealing the deal, so one easy trick I use to let my prospect know that I totally get them is by using the very words they use during the call.

So if the client happens to mention they have trouble “thinking of what to post on their blog,” I’ll be mentioning later on, “I can provide you with a step-by-step strategy to help you think of what to post on your blog.”

This definitely beats saying something like, “come up with an editorial calendar” or “content creation calendar.” While in essence this is exactly what I’m offering to do, my client might not be familiar with those terms. So they might not think I get what they want from me.

How you communicate your value to those prospects – telling them you are exactly the person for the job – will be the final tipping point for them to say, “You’re hired!”

Send them a contract or cost estimate

Done with the discovery call and both you and the client are looking forward to hit the ground running?

Before you do that happy dance, you’ll want to lay down the law with a clear contract or cost estimate. This is the document both of you will be signing to show that you agree on the cost of the project and exactly what services you’ll be rendering.

Be sure to include the scope of your service. Any limits on revisions? Are you designating a maximum set of hours per project?

This contract or cost estimate is just going to make sure that you and your client are both on the same page, protecting both you and them from any surprise costs or unrelated work.

Have an onboarding email or welcome packet

Once you and your client have signed your contract, you are good to go!

But why stop there? To really make them feel you’re super thrilled to have them onboard, you can send a welcome packet just to outline exactly where to go from here.

It can be a simple PDF or even an email that thanks them for booking your services and how excited you are to get started.

You can also mention your available times for calls, so your client knows what hours they can expect a reply from you or can make a call.

Your welcome packet can even outline the next steps on your end, so you two know exactly how to proceed from this point onward. This way, you can assure your client about timelines and deliverables – both yours and theirs.

Wrap up with a professional goodbye packet

After you successfully deliver your project, you’re all paid for, there’s just one last thing to do: formally wrap up the project with a swanky goodbye packet.

A goodbye packet thanks your client again for the work you two did. In it, you can mention a quick summary of the things that went down, such as important things you turned over as well as important information they might need about any files you submit.

More importantly, this goodbye packet is also a way you can ask your client for referrals. You want clients to come to you on auto-pilot, and there’s really no better way than getting your own clients to refer other clients to you.

This has worked tremendously for me. My clients not only become repeat clients for future projects, but they also refer me to other businesses – maybe previous companies they worked for or a friend with a business they know – who then ask for my services.

Finally, in your goodbye packet, you might want to drop in and ask for a testimonial. How did your client enjoy working with you? What results did you give them? What was the biggest benefit your service brought them?

Don’t be shy; some clients are thrilled to give a good testimonial, especially after all the seamless work they did with you. 😉

Catch on the rest of the series


Think you’re leaving here without some more awesome freebies to help you get started in your freelancing journey? Think again!

Check out these free Simple Invoice and Contract Templates to help you wow those prospects. They’ll think you’re a pro – even when you’re just starting out!

ABOUT Mica Gonzalez

Mica (hey, that's me!) provides resources for content creators and creative entrepreneurs to design their days with more purpose, impact, and creativity.

Her workshops, courses, and programs are all designed with her commitment to slow growth, anti-hustle culture, and success on our own terms.

When she's not referring to herself in the third person on her blog, she's sharing cool things she's into and up to on Instagram @micaangelicagonz.


connect with mica:


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