“I love business; More than that I want to help businesses like yours, not only survive, but thrive.”
For the past 6 years Robin Waite has been supporting hundreds of coaches, consultants and freelancers by giving them the confidence they need to supercharge their business and turn that confidence into capital. It’s easy to see from the countless testimonials that Robin is very passionate (and successful!) in delivering his carefully curated programme.
To find out more about Robin, read on:
What is your name and what do you do?
Robin Waite, Founder of Fearless Business which is a coaching programme for freelancers, helping them to package up their services, increase their prices and learn how to articulate their value i.e. make more money.
How long have you been freelancing and why did you decide to become a freelancer?
I’ve been running my own businesses since 2004, initially a marketing agency from 2004-2016 and then I set up the coaching practice in 2016 to help similar businesses grow.
For me freelancing is all about having the freedom to work where I want and when I want to, I am entirely responsible for my own income, I can choose who I want to work with. I also find it incredibly fulfilling to help similar businesses to grow and evolve.
What strategy do you find most effective for attracting new clients?
I have several but my main strategy is based around creating remarkable marketing “assets” which leave a digital footprint and offer enormous value when someone finds them. These assets attract clients when I’m on holiday, out of the office and in the middle of the night. Contrary to marketing and social “activity” which tends to drop off the feeds several minutes after posting.
Some of those marketing assets include The Fearless Business Podcast, books (Take Your Shot and Online Business Startup), interviews I’ve given on other people’s podcasts (the Google Partner podcast still delivers enquiries for me several years after publishing), my YouTube Channel, talks which I deliver and also my thriving Facebook community of 2,100 coaches, consultants and freelancers.
What app or social media platform could you not run your business without, and why?
I use Acuity Scheduling (now owned by Squarespace) to manage my diary and automated bookings from my website. When people book an appointment, it blocks out the time on my computer and phone simultaneously, sends me reminders and even interviews prospective clients before we speak. It’s literally a lifesaver and probably saved me thousands of hours during the last 6 years of running the practice.
Do you research prospects before a call or meeting? If so, what information do you look for?
Yes, when a client books an initial call I will qualify them using a simple form from within Acuity. I like to know a bit of history about their business, what their turnover and profit are, what challenges they are currently facing and why they have chosen now to work with a coach.
What do you do to help maintain positive mental wellbeing?
I love cycling and surfing, so I take at least 2-3 days out of each month to spend on these activities and re-energise. These days are non-negotiable.
During the day-to-day I will “ground myself” if life begins to become stressful – yes even coaches get stressed!! – the process is simple; I take a few deep breaths and remind myself that I am safe, my family are safe, and nothing can hurt me where I stand/sit right in this moment. This has a huge calming effect. And when I am calm, I can think more clearly and am more productive.
Is being a freelancer what you expected? Do you work more hours (or less) than you had first anticipated?
Yes, it’s entirely what I expected, like an accordion there are times when there’s a lot of pressure and it’s busy, and other periods of relaxation and it’s quieter. I try not to force momentum when things are quieter and instead enjoy some extra time off or thinking time.
What are the most common objections you’ve had from potential clients? How did/do you overcome them?
The most obvious objection is pricing, however I remind people why they got in touch with me in the first place. Which is usually a challenge which they are struggling to overcome. During the initial call we often get to the crux of the problem, but then when you shift to implementation that’s also a struggle to see the value in that.
I invite them to consider how/where they spend their money. If they keep the cash, it doesn’t grow, in fact with inflation if they keep cash it’s losing value. They could spend it on a car but now they don’t have any cash, in fact the asset they bought is depreciating every day.
A business is the only mechanism where you can invest £5k today and withdraw £50k of profit within 12 months. And an investment in a coach is exactly that, it’s an investment in themselves and their business with a sole goal of creating a return on that investment.
Have you ever turned a prospect away? If so, why and how did you do it?
Yes, plenty of times, if I feel they’re not invested in themselves or if I feel they’re going to struggle to implement what we discuss and most importantly if I feel it’s simply not a good fit or I can’t help them get their desired results/outcomes then I won’t take a prospect on as a client.
I’d rather be poor, homeless and destitute than take on a client who isn’t a good fit. Not least because if I were to do that and they have a poor experience it’s not good for my reputation.
What do (would) you do when a client ghosts you?!
Follow up with them and ask them if they need help with that. Sometimes people struggle to say no, even politely. Saying no is a skill and often prospects ghost freelancers because they don’t know how to say no!
Are your motivations now the same as they were when you started freelancing?
Even more so, the results my clients experience have now compounded over six years so I really get to see the fruits of their labour.
What is it about being a freelancer that you most enjoy?
The pixie dust moment that happen outside the coaching sessions, I’ve got a client who runs a local web design business who, since working together, have been able to save up a deposit for their first house, pay for their dream wedding, one of them gave up their job in the public sector to help work on the business and they now have an office to separate work from home. Plus the Fearless Crew is growing all the while as we have several Fearless babies now over the years as well.
What do you enjoy the least about being a freelancer?
There’s not a lot that I don’t enjoy about being a freelancer, sometimes client results keep me awake at night, but that’s a problem I relish solving. Sometimes the work outside of coaching can at times get a bit dull and repetitive, however it’s necessary to be able to do the bits I enjoy the most; coaching, speaking and writing.
What one thing do you wish you had known before you became a freelancer?
To position yourself as the most expensive in the market, or at least in the upper half. I spent too many years in my creative agency struggling before I figured this out.
What is your ONE top tip or piece of advice you would offer to other freelancers?
I can guarantee there is one idea, one thing, an app, a project, something that you’ve been thinking about for some time that you’d love to do but for one reason or another haven’t yet had the courage to do. Michael Jordan’s famous quote said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take!” – this is so true for business owners, so rather than living in fear of what might happen, give your product or idea a go. Trust me you won’t regret it, Take Your Shot!
You can connect with Robin on his website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
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