Finding the Time to Build Your Freelance Business

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Back when ol’ JMO was just a freelancing tadpole…

I was working a 9-5 at a local pizza joint. I’d spend my days slinging pizza and my nights working on client projects and trying to build my freelance business. I had more than my share of “all-nighters” in those days.

So, I can 100% relate to this question I got from Jan:

“My problem is that I do not have much time to build my own website and so portfolio or blog as doing lots of clients work while having 9-5 job but I know it is dead important. I think that there a lot of developers stuck like me – doing work for others but lack of time for personal promotion. That would be actually a good topic for a blog post if you will, how to escape clients work and start your own promotion and build an online presence.”

There’s a lot of things I could tell you…

But, I think most of them would just be avoiding the real issue.

Because, the reality is… you probably have the time to do what needs done. Or, at least, you could find it if you really had to. Time management (or productivity) isn’t really about time, at all.

It’s about attention.

And, intensity.

It’s about where you choose to focus your attention and how intensely you pursue the activity in that moment. If you’re being honest, you probably can find plenty of moments where your attention or intensity is lacking.

And, that’s really the crux of this…

And, the thing I try to attack.

Most freelancers don’t do the promotion or content marketing they should, because they just don’t believe it’s that important. Thus, it’s okay to push it to the back-burner and never get to it.

And, what I’m here to tell you is it’s the opposite.

That, in fact, it IS the solution to your time problem.

Because, it is what will allow to eventually leave that 9-5 job and free up a bunch more time for you to focus on your business. It’s what will allow you to charge more for your services and therefore not need to take on as many clients.

That the thing that’s eating up your time…

And, keep you from promoting your freelance business…

Is you not promoting your freelance business.

It’s a catch-22.

But, the way out is simpler than you think. One of the things I teach new (and experienced) freelancers is how to create a “system” for consistently bringing in new, targeted clients.

What it really is… is a funnel.

And, once you build it, it’s 95% set and forget. In fact, my daily routine to promote my 6-figure business takes me less than an hour a day. And, that’s it. All my marketing and promotion for the day is done.

And, you can move onto other things.

And, the system builds you a backlog of clients.

And, all you really have to do is say yes or no to new clients.

So yes…

It takes some work upfront. There might be a long night or two in there. But, once it’s up and running, you can keep it running for less than an hour a day and it will methodically build your business and bring you clients.

In any case, this is what I teach in my Beginner’s Guide to Freelance course on Skillshare. Go here to learn how to enroll in the course for free:



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John Morris


I’m a 15-year veteran of freelance web development. I’ve worked with bestselling authors and average Joe’s next door. These days, I focus on helping other freelancers build their freelance business and their lifestyles.

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