Monday, August 09, 2010

The Wealthy Freelancer Book Review

I was sent a copy of the book The Wealthy Freelancer and asked to review it. The premise of the book is a guide to help individuals that wish to become a freelance copywriter, web designer, consultant, etc. where you own a solo business and don't have employees. 

The 3 authors of the book are freelance copywriters and you can see a little of that come through in the advice, but overall the book is generic and the strategies and tips easily apply to just about any type of freelance business you may want to start. 

It is set up in 12 chapters with each chapter being a self contained topic or "secret" as the authors call it and also has a decent misc. question section at the end. The target for the book are people just starting out or planning on starting out in a freelance business, but even more experienced freelancers will learn tips and strategies and should read it.

High Points

The book is excellent in terms of its ability to effectively deal with a variety of subjects and also focus on the one key weakness of freelancers.
  1. Marketing Focused: The number one issue with freelance businesses is getting clients. This typically provides the biggest challenge to new freelancers and is probably the number one reason freelancers either don't start a business or fail after they do. This book does an excellent job at detailing how to get clients, nurture leads, build lists, and provides many tactics for marketing and selling your skills. Because the book is generic in terms of its focus any type of freelancer will benefit from this key focus on developing business.
  2. Lead Nurturing Covered in Detail: If marketing is a key point of success than lead nurturing is definitely a close second. The authors dedicate a whole chapter to this, plus add other helpful advice to other chapters like developing a "buzz piece", which was fantastic! In addition, they discuss several techniques for nurturing someone who is interested but not quite ready to buy. This is a critical skill for freelancers and one that could mean the difference between success and failure. They cover this topic very well.
  3. Inspirational: As you read the book you get the perspective of 3 different authors and get a sense of their journey into the freelance world. They share mistakes they have made as well as things they did right and the lessons learned. For the beginning freelancer you really get a feel that you can do this successfully by reading the book, which is very important to the first time freelancer.
  4. Comprehensive: In addition to being marketing focused the book discusses other key topics that are extremely useful to the beginning and even experienced freelancer including:
  • Pricing your services
  • Boosting productivity
  • Developing alternative streams of income
  • Creating a work/life balance

Improvable Points

Overall the book is extremely well written with a lot of great information, but I found a couple of areas I think could have been stronger.
  1. Freelance Money Management: The book does touch on this topic, but doesn't really delve into it in any kind of depth, but unfortunately this is a key area where many freelancers fail at. A little more depth on the managing up and down cash flows, money management, and taxes would have made the book better and more comprehensive. I realize this can be a huge a complex topic worthy of its own book, but a little more detail would have been really helpful.
  2. Strategic Partnerships: One thing many freelancers will quickly discover is that they can't do everything themselves. They need employees, which wouldn't make them freelancers any longer or they need strategic partners. For example, copywriters can benefit by having partnerships with graphic designers and possibly printers. Web designers can benefit from having partnerships with graphic designers, database developers (assuming they don't do this themselves), copywriters, and others who can expand their capabilities and give clients the same turn key solutions that larger companies can give them, but without the cost and overhead. This would have been a wonderful chapter to include in the book because it is very important to long term prosperity as a freelancer. To be fair the authors do touch on the topic in a couple of pages of chapter 11, but such a great topic really deserves its own chapter.
Overall the book is excellent and a great read for both the first time freelancer as well as offering a lot of great advice to freelancers that have been around a little while. There is definitely a surge in this country of individuals deciding to give up the old 9-5 corporate job and work in a way that becomes part of your life as opposed to something you do for income.

You really see that point come out in the book, which is very inspirational and useful for the first time freelancer. The area of freelancing isn't one where a lot of material has been published and most of the material that has been published is focused a particular industry or profession. This book keeps a broad and open view so it really doesn't matter what area your business will be in, you can apply what you read.

I will sum this up simply by saying...

Buy This Book! You Won't Regret It.