Jennifer Bourn is the founder of Bourn Creative and a big-time WordPress fan. She’s been doing design, web and digital strategy since 1997. Jennifer is also the co-organizer of the Sacramento WordPress Meetup.
We get quick business advice for freelancers from Jennifer in our new series, “First, Best & Wish You Knew.”
How did you find your first client?
My last job was working for a public relations agency as their sole in-house designer. They used freelancers before I was hired, so when I quit to start Bourn Creative, I was able to retain them as a client, basically continuing to do my same job, but as a freelancer at a better hourly rate.
Also, in the time I was in their employ, there was a lot of turn over, with mid-level account executives leaving for other agencies who also hired freelancers. I stayed connected with many of them and once I was on my own, I called everyone I knew and asked for referrals, meetings and work.
How did you find your best client?
Today almost all of our business comes from referrals. Our best clients have all come from direct referrals from others in our industry, current or past clients, and peers.
What do you know now that you wish you knew before you started?
I wish I knew how to communicate my value, and charge accordingly when I first started! We tend to undervalue and undercharge for our own talents and expertise because we see it is easy or no big deal. But what we forget is that others don’t have our talents and knowledge, and so they are willing to pay to benefit from ours.
I also wish I knew more about pricing my services effectively. For years, I only charged for the time I was doing the work. I didn’t account for project management, communication, meetings, email, research, testing or profit. As a result, I worked for way too little for way too long!
— Troy Dean (@troydean) June 2, 2015