That Book

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Save $20 by pre-ordering today!Coming spring 2021
You'll learn how to:
  • Price your work appropriately
  • Freelance part-time or full-time
  • Start freelancing from scratch the right way
  • Market yourself
  • Get noticed, stand out, and get more work
  • Work with clients
  • Not make common mistakes
  • And tons more!

Make freelance work for you.

Learn how to gain more confidence, attract more clients, make more income, and become more successful as a part-time or full-time freelancer.

Pre-Order Now
Save $20 by pre-ordering today!Coming spring 2021

Hear from these creators + more:

Dann Petty

Web/App Designer

Sam Elkins

Photographer

Helena Price

Photographer

Jared Erondu

Product Designer

Joshua Ariza

Illustrator
Table of Contents
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Introduction

Here’s what you’ll learn in That Freelancer Book™:

Hey y’all! I’m Dann Petty, a freelance web and app designer who learned the hard way how to become a successful freelancer. When I started out, I had no clue what I was doing and made a lot of mistakes.

Since then, however, I’ve learned many incredibly valuable tips that helped me turn my freelancing business into the multi-million dollar enterprise that it is today. I learned how to better price my projects, which led to doubling and even tripling my income. I researched ways of getting more consistent work and marketing myself. Most importantly, I learned how to treat my clients so they continue referring me to others.

One of the biggest keys to freelancing is making sure clients know you exist. I learned a simple method of doing this, and yet it’s something at which I see so many freelancers consistently fail. I have to tell you, from my 20+ years of experience as a full-time freelance web and app designer for companies like National Geographic, Google, Airbnb, Adobe, and many others, the moment you stop sharing your work and stop letting people know you exist is the moment the work stops coming your way.

When I first started freelancing, I wished there was more information available about what to do. Everything I saw seemed to be focused primarily on how to set up your business/taxes and other aspects that only had to do with the financial end of things. But to do most of that, you first need a successful business to set up! To save you time, money, and to keep you from learning the hard way, like I did, I wrote this book that’s loaded with absolutely everything I know about how to become a successful freelancer, whether you do it full-time, part-time, or simply for some pocket money.

Don’t just take my word for it, you’ll hear from other freelancers in a variety of industries.

I guarantee you, in this book are things you’ve never, ever read before. You won’t only hear my story, but we’ll talk to other highly successfully freelancers as well. We’ll hear their stories, find out how they’ve managed to succeed and even read about the times they’ve failed during their journey.

Sam Elkins
Photographer/Filmmaker
Los Angeles, CA
Alice Lee
Illustrator
San Francisco, CA
Joshua Ariza
Commercial Artist
Costa Mesa, CA
Dan Mall
Creative Director/Designer
Philadelphia, PA
Jared Erondu
Product Designer
New York, USA
Helena Price
Photographer
Healdsburg, CA

Here are a few examples of things we’ll cover:

Learn how to freelance part-time or full-time

For those of you who are terrified to strike out on your own and begin the freelance journey, trust me, I understand. The thought of working for yourself, potentially living paycheck to paycheck, having to market yourself and hunt down work, knowing it all comes with the very real risk of not having financial stability—yeah, that can be pretty scary. But let’s be honest with ourselves for a second here – is your current full-time job any more “stable”? These days, you could be let go or fired at any moment. Seriously. We all know that’s true. So all this talk about losing “stability” is often just an excuse people use to convince themselves not to follow, or at least try to follow, their dream of working for themselves. It’s the number one excuse I hear from people that prevents them from freelancing full-time. We’ll go more into detail later.

Learn the #1 thing that will make you successful — relationships.

Yes, you need to be able to do good work. That’s a given. But one thing all these other books and courses and gurus forget to mention happens to be the most important thing to becoming a successful freelancer—the fact that relationships are absolutely essential. And don’t worry, if you have zero connections, you will make them, later in this book I’ll give you examples of how.

Learn how to get noticed, stand out, and get work.

Whether you’re getting your 1st client or your 100th client, I will help you understand how to get more work and how to be noticed even more often. You may have a lack of confidence, imposter syndrome, think your work isn’t good enough, or simply not know how to share, but putting your work out there is vital to being successful.

Again, I understand; it can be scary. What will people think of me? What will they think of my work? But the hard truth is that they won’t think anything if you don’t share and in the majority of cases, people and potential clients will appreciate your work. We all start somewhere. If someone doesn’t appreciate your work—that’s ok too. Don’t be shy about asking them why or how you can improve, but keep in mind, theirs is just one opinion. Treat every opportunity as a lesson to help you grow and improve. If you don’t put yourself out there, no one will ever know you exist.

Trust me, I’m one of the shyest people in the world. I do not like confrontation and of course it bothers me when people don’t like my work. But the more I shared, the better and more confident I became. I got better at talking about my work, and at understanding what people react to and what they don’t react to. I got better at promoting myself and accepting feedback/criticism, etc. These are all crucial parts of growing as a freelancer. But if you’re not sharing your work, you will always struggle to get more.

Learn exactly how I price my projects.

In 2019, my last freelance project of the year was a $100,000 website redesign. In 2020, I completed a $200,000 project in just three months. But just the other day, I did a website for $5,000.

Now you’re thinking, Wait a minute, Dann, you went from $100,000 to $5,000? Yup. Every project, every client, every timeline, every budget, every opportunity is different. If you don’t have that mindset, you are leaving a lot of money on the table. Remember, I’m a web and app designer—those projects come in all different shapes and sizes.

I’m sure many of you have read the (bad) advice telling you to never be flexible or never budge on your pricing. Sound familiar? That’s probably the (worst) advice you’ll hear as you start your freelancing journey. In theory, I get where that advice comes from. You certainly don’t want to undervalue the industry or your/our worth. So it does come from a good place. But without the proper context of each individual opportunity, this kind of advice can be quite harmful to the growth of a freelancing business. We’ll dig into why later in this book.

You can read, watch, or listen to the book.

20+ Chapters of text, audio, and video—all online.

Some of us like to read, some of us like to listen to audio books, and some prefer to sit back and watch a video. Well, you can do it all with That Book. That Freelancer Book is intended to be both book and course combined. In That Freelancer Book, you’ll not only get to read the book, but you’ll also be able to listen to the audio by hitting play on the audio player or you can simply watch me read it to you myself chapter by chapter.

Now let’s try just the audio version: (You can also try listening to this entire introduction by clicking the play button on the bar on top of the page.)

Sample audio clip from Sam Elkins interview
Every chapter will have it’s on audio option. The audio bar is attached to the top in each section.

Pre-order That Freelancer Book™

Also, by pre-ordering today, you’ll receive 2 free months of my private mentorship Slack group (we do a live chat every Friday).

Pre-order today and get an exclusive early look at the chapters as they become available, even before the book is released.

Book Only
$
79
$99
  • 20+ Chapters in PDF format
  • Online text, audio, video version
  • Downloadable PDF
  • Access to exclusive interviews with other freelancers
  • Today, 2 months free to Dann’s private mentorship on Slack
  • Free updates
The Complete Package
$
129
$149
  • 20+ Online Chapters
  • Online text, audio, video version
  • Downloadable PDF
  • Access to exclusive interviews with other freelancers
  • Today, 2 months free to Dann’s private mentorship on Slack
  • Free updates

This isn’t your typical freelance book. It’s real and raw.

Like I said, I’ve been doing this a long time. In 2004, I did my first official freelance design job for $500—I designed a website for one of my design school teachers. A few million dollars later, and with clients today like Google, Airbnb, Patagonia, Billabong, and Red Bull, I can say my freelance business has been a success. Was it easy? Heck no.

One clear thing I’ve noticed repeatedly—there is a wealth of bad advice out there about how to freelance. It’s pretty ridiculous. The truth is that many of my mistakes were made by following advice from books and articles written by people who weren’t even freelancers or who merely dabbled in it without committing or fully investing in it.

It’s important for you to understand the various ways you can go about freelancing. There’s no one right way. There are many wrong ones, but no one right one. In this book, we’ll discuss many of these ways so you can choose the best fit for yourself. We’ll cover things like different ways to price, different ways to get started, to invoice, etc. As we do, I’ll tell you about some things to watch out for.

This book is not a “you should do this” but is more of a “hey, consider this” and “here’s what worked for me and others” type of book, so you can make your own decisions. Be wary of anyone who tells you that you should do something unless they are saying you should do your own research and experimentation. It’s never that black and white, which is why I felt an obligation to write the proper, real, and raw book about freelancing, to share not only my own experiences but those of my friends as well. This way you’ll hear it from every angle—not merely what worked for a single person. What worked for me might not work for anyone else, and that’s ok. Once you’ve read this book, you’ll be able to do whatever you want to do, in whatever way you want to do it, as long as it works… for you.

Freelancing can be such a joy and be incredibly satisfying, but it can also be a painful ride at times. For me, though, it’s one of the smartest decisions I’ve ever made about my career. When I look back at the last 20 years, I’m deeply thankful for everything I’ve experienced and for all the people I’ve met throughout this adventure. There have been ups and downs, naturally, and months with no work, but that’s part of what is so addictive about it—the ultimate joy of succeeding as a solo creative professional. Get out there and give it the proper go. I’m here to help you do that. See you inside!

Testimonials from the community about Dann’s previous books and classes:

“Dann quickly helped me step up and build momentum for my freelance business. After only two months I was able to achieve all the goals we’ve set. His experience and understanding of the freelancing goes a long way and I highly recommend checking this book out.”
— dribbble.com/markoilico

“Dann has the depth of experience, the variety of skill, and the guiding hand of a friend to help you level up and find that designer in you that needs to be heard and seen. He is the tide that’s looking to lift all boats.”
— artariq.com

“You will not find a better opportunity within design to learn in a way that only Dann teaches, which is outstanding. I was able to hone in on my skills and close the gap further in understanding and unleashing storytelling and creativity. I will continue to sign onto classes whenever I can, this truly has been a game changer. Dann is an incredible mentor and teacher. That Portfolio Book shook my mindset and creativity up to levels I have never seen before. This is the kind of book you can just keep on going back to. It’s a portfolio manifesto if you will. It’s full of amazing insight, really gets in your head and catapults you out the other side and ready to take on the design world in a better and more fulfilling way.”
studiowanless.com

“Dann has always provided clear, relatable and effective freelancing advice. He cuts through the fluff and gives real world help that I guarantee will make you a better freelancer.”
— markbucknell.com

“The most valuable lesson I’ve learned from this book is that you are not only showing what you can do but what you WANT to do in the future. My portfolio now has a focus on fitness so I can land a job doing what I love.”
sammiedee.com

“Dann creates a learning environment that’s as welcoming as it is challenging, and pushes you to be the best.”
— amylima.design

“There are many things you could ask for in a teacher. Someone who walks you through the process, shows you how things work, helps you to understand rules so you can apply and break them, one who cares about the craft and wants others to succeed…Dann is easily that type of teacher.”
— iamkevinfischer.com

“There are many things you could ask for in a teacher. Someone who walks you through the process, shows you how things work, helps you to understand rules so you can apply and break them, one who cares about the craft and wants others to succeed…Dann is easily that type of teacher.”
— iamkevinfischer.com

“Dann unlocked the designer in me and continues to push me in the best way. His depth of knowledge in design and freelance, combined with his insightful and constructive feedback have enabled me to build up the skillset and mentality needed to take my design career to the next level.”
— saranosocks.com

Things You Must Know First

The Qualities of Great Freelancers

How to be Prepared

Your Portfolio is Everything

Finding Your First Client

The Truth About Pricing

How to Double Your Income

How to Work with Clients

How to Upsale the Client

Relationships are Everything

Make it Without a “Following”

Common Mistakes and Traps

Taxes, Agreements, & Legal Stuff

Uh Oh, No Work. Now What?

The Secret to Success

Imposter Syndrome

Interviews

Freelancing Stories

Resources & Links

Community Q&A

How to Choose Your Offerings

Real Name or Studio Name?

How to Stand Out & Get Noticed

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Table of Contents