• Success 121: Growing your freelance business

    john_nilandWhatever profession you are in, today’s buyers are more savvy than they were even five years ago. This creates a triple challenge:
    1: To be more compelling, particularly in crowded markets;
    2: To have a lot more energy, to stay ahead of ever-more-demanding clients;
    3: Getting others telling your story, so that you can focus on key clients vs. constant marketing.
    My name
    is John Niland. I coach professionals who want to grow their freelance business: to adapt and prosper using the power of insight with clients. As a result, they command higher fees, they focus their energy and develop a top reputation for an insightful approach to client issues.
    I also act as a Non-Executive Director for a select number of successful independents, who are achieving dramatic growth from year to year.

News / Insights

January 2016: Continuing the Europe-wide EFIP roadshow, which started in Berlin last November, where “Talking about Money” is the key topic. Most successful freelancers have found that one of the most powerful shifts they made in their business was how they spoke about their fees.  A few simple skills can add thousands to annual revenue, for a minimum of extra effort.

At the same time, we all work in an economy where purchasers have become equally adept at reducing rates… often by pitting freelancers against each other. So what do you need to learn to obtain more value from the hours that you work?
In these EFIP sessions, I will give examples of the common pitfalls to avoid. Using real-life case studies, I will show how freelancers can often double their rates by learning some basic conversation skills about money.
Email Pam (info@vco-global.com) for details of the EFIP Roadshow in your nearest city. Don’t forget to mention where you live!

April 2015: I’m back from the USA: great conference in Las Vegas and an opportunity to meet independent professioanls both in Las Vegas and in San Francisco. What did I learn?

1. In all the frenzy of “story-telling”, I wonder how many professionals think about how others can tell their story for them?  This dimension seems to be consistently missed.

2. Client-staisfaction is important, but if it’s our No 1 goal, then we are condemned to a modern form of slavery, called the Inbox. ubuntu ftp server . If we are to enjoy any degree of freedom and inspiration in professional life, our primary purpose must go deeper than client-satisfaction.  As a wise client once told me, “clients can keep you poor”.

3. Strategy is indeed important. But everyday behaviour “eats strategy for breakfast”!  In other words it’s behaviour that drives business growth.  Behaviour takes energy, but the right behaviours can be energising, too.

More about this on the Resources page.

Or email john@vco-global.com for details.

Feb 12th 2015: IPSE Webinar: Energising your business development

Most experienced freelancers would agree that, when it comes to winning work, day-to-day behaviour is more fruitful than strategy. A couple of hours each week of “keep-in-touch” can easily trump all the hours – and the dosh – spent doodling strategies on a whiteboard or polishing text on a website.

But therein lies the problem. It takes more energy to do the things that work and bring in business. And freelance professionals are already very busy people.

In this webinar, I outline why business development for freelancers depends crucially on energy, not strategy. For the past 15 years, I have been coaching freelancers on business-development and the ones that succeed are those with the energy to do so rather than the intellect to do so.


  • Why business-development is often energy-draining (apart from the workload)
  • The five best sources of clients
  • Sharpening your story
  • How to do bizdev and delivery at the same time
  • Six ways to raise your energy-levels
  • Dealing with setbacks and disappointments
  • Growing your confidence via the actions of good freelance practice

To join, see this link:


The following 15 questions have been used by many successful professionals to assess their business. How does your business score? See this page.

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