The Wealthy Freelancer–a Book Review

Written in 2010 by three copywriters, Steve Slaunwhite, Pete Savage, and Ed Gandia, The Wealthy Freelancer is a book that is designed for somewhat experienced freelancers looking to take their business to the next level. But, don’t despair beginners. Not only does this book contain some tips that will save you some time and frustration, it also contains tips that can be read as aspirational–goals to keep in mind for the medium and long term.

The book is organized around 12 “secrets” (each a chapter), a few written by each author. The secrets begin with the mental element–defining your ideal day, your ideal projects, and your ideal clients. Think big, and think long term. These images will serve as your benchmark, as you decide which projects to take and how to focus your business. The book then moves on to other secrets, such a getting clients more easily, pricing more effectively, how to focus your business, and how to create passive streams of income.

Regarding clients, the book will change how you think of the marketing process, creating several stages of client recruitment, making it easier for the right clients to find you, and stressing that long-term contact with potential clients can work to your benefit. The book also provides a great sample client recruitment letter.

Steven Slaunwhite wrote the pricing chapter, so like his other book Start and Run a Copywriting Business (reviewed here), he advises pricing per project, not per hour of work. He also provides advice regarding what questions to ask a potential client, not only to price accurately, but also to help you produce the best product you can. He also provides advice on how to negotiate, if a client balks at a high price quote.

Regarding focusing your business, the authors feel it is better to be a subject matter expert. Moreover, you’ll be happier working in a market that excites you. Therefore, they suggest tips on market research and tailoring your business to achieve those goals. I think that so long as the market exists, this is a great way to stand out from the crowd of general freelancers.

Lastly, their advice on productivity and time management was very useful, for copywriting and work in general–for beginners and experienced freelancers. I also found their advice on passive streams of income to be very useful for the experienced freelancer. It’s a great way to smooth out the peaks and valleys of your income stream. But it requires you to have a certain level of experience and pieces available to turn into products for sale.

As I wrote earlier, this book is more for the experienced freelancer. But there are some great tips and aspirational goals for the beginner. Some of their advice lacks concrete, step-by-step advice, but each chapter presents interesting ideas that should get you to reconsider the way you’ve been working–and question if it’s working as well as it should. I’d say read this book. But if you are unsure about this book, take a look at the “Wealthy Takeaways” that conclude each chapter. They will give you a good sense of the advice offered. I think you’ll like what you’ll see, and that will be enough to convince you to read the entire book.