As a freelancer should you invest 1st your money to have good tools and then reach out to your clients OR start small with what’s available online and with some clients and only then invest your money to have access to better tools?
You need to be doing three things with the initial money you make .. You should be looking into updating your "toolbox" with sensible purchases… KNOW that buying that particular tool will make your product better, or better yet, give you a edge on your competitors… do not buy something because it feels logical for the business you do... Your purchase has to have an immediate impact on your next order... Secondly, but some aside... make sure that you have a little fall back money... there will be tough times.. there will be less tough, if you prepare.... and third... REWARD yourself....or others .. make having your back.. let it be noticeable that you are making money... it doesn't have to be a Rolex.... … have a story about how you spent your first hard earned cash.
Why does this have to be an OR situation? If you have a need for better tools to be more confident in your delivery of services then making that a priority is always encouraged. However, there is no point in having a tool if you dont have a job to use it on and start earning back your investment. Unless you are talking about the choice between investing money in tools or investing money in marketing, I dont know why these two things would be exclusive. That line of thinking aside, and in a more general sense, a bit of this will depend on the type of freelancing you are doing and whether a certain level of tool quality is required to even attempt the job/tasks in question. All things being equal though, I think you start with priming up some customer sales to validate you can get business coming in (almost always harder than anticipated in service based companies) and then making new investments into tools from there. You may also discover there are higher priority tools or investments you need to be made based on what your first clients tell you.
What you need to spend to kick-start - spend.
What you can wait and not mission critical - wait
What you can wait but is mission critical - don't wait
Need to understand the concept of trade-off - if you are very confident that people like what you are doing and you know the customers will increase in a rate that can cover your overheads, you may consider taking the risk to invest. When investment may be huge, ROI may not be appropriate, other calculation methods may be required.
So the question is not "should invest" or "should not invest", the question should be what is the method available to help you to evaluate your investment in your business.
Depends on what you mean by tools.
Tip: We live in the Internet Age now.
My first Freelance project was in 1979 + I've been Freelancing ever since.
Best to only buy tools out of profits.
You can always find some client somewhere who will pay for your education + tools.
If you get stumped about how to do this, book calls with other Clarity Freelancers + ask how they arrange their tool investments.
Start small with what's available online.
Even with the most careful planning, your business model is guaranteed to morph substantially as you discover exactly where that perfect intersection between what you love to do, people you love to work with, and what you'll be well-compensated for exists.
Opt for "good enough" tools that don't require a big up-front cash layout so that you can be agile if you decide to pursue a different type of client or pivot the business' focus.
We've started a few businesses — and I've learned from some of the best like Ramit Sethi and Noah Kagan — and here's what I've observed...
Whenever we start or grow a business, we focus on first validating the idea and then expanding it.
Thinking about scaling before actually scaling is wasted time. As one CEO told me, "if only we were so lucky." We deal with scaling issues WHEN they happen.
One small example I can give is I once started a food prep company. The first thing I did was get the food from a nearby grocery store, and my margins were low.
However, as time went on and I got more interest, I would figure out in real-time how to find the deals, what to buy in bulk, and how to increase the margins.
At the beginning I ONLY focused on creating decent food and at least breaking even. Then, once people like the food, I was able to expand and invest more money.
Start finding 3 clients. Reach out to friends of friends, your network, meetups, and more. First validate that people want your help before investing more to grow. Only grow when you run into issues of not being able to keep up with demand.
Feel free to book a call if you have any questions. I've grown a few freelancing businesses from scratch myself (including a six-figure business), and I can help you answer a lot of questions in an hour call.
From somebody who lost 100k by spending before having clients, my advice to you is: invest the least possible moneywise, try to sell, finetune your offering, try to sell, reloop ;)
A successful strategy I found is to start with prices that are slightly below the market average, do an excellent job, gather reviews and only then increase your prices. Deliver results that are higher than the price you are asking, gather reviews, increase your prices, reloop.
You don't need an expensive platform to sell your courses, however you do need an online platform, otherwise you are missing out. I built my own online courses and I explain in detail how this can be done without a huge investment:
I use WooCommerce and PayPal, neither of these requires any investment. The plugin that I used for building my course costs $218 and it includes lots of additional features, such as lead generation, landing pages, etc.
Offering a small section of your course for free helps you get leads.