How to Reach Your Freelancing Goals in 2011: A 4-Step Plan of Action for Success

It’s that time of year where many are turning their attention to goals they want to accomplish next year. If you freelance, following is a concrete plan to ensure your success.

Before I outline the specific steps, I want to get personal for a minute to illustrate how and why setting goals is so important to your success.

How I Achieved the Goal of Transitioning from Writing for Clients to Writing for Myself

About three years ago, I realized that I wanted to stop writing for clients (I make my living primarily as a freelance writer) and earn the bulk of my income by creating my own products and services (e-books and e-classes on freelance writing/internet marketing/small business ownership).

Last year, I set a goal to step into a purely managerial role at my SEO writing company, New Media Words. I’m about nine-tenth of the way there.

Publishing 50 Ebooks on Amazon in One Year: Crazy?

Nowadays, I spend the bulk of my time creating my own products. This sets me up nicely to accomplish one of this year’s goals, which is to publish 50 ebooks on Amazon, and to have 100 e-products for sale on my site.

While some may think of this as a crazy, unrealistic goal, it’s not for me – because I’ve planned for it. You see, when you have a life plan of where you want to be in a year, three years, five years, etc., you can make short and long-term plans of how you’re going to get there.

And, this is exactly what I’ve done.

Achieving Your Freelance Goals in 2011: Your Dreams are Only 4 Steps Away

Now that you see how creating goals can help you achieve your dreams, following are four concrete steps to take to reach your freelancing goals in 2011.

I. Make Long-Term and Short-Term Goals: Ask yourself where you want to be in one, three and five years.

By crystallizing exactly what it is you want, you make it easier to see exactly what it is you need to do. Break your goals down into one year, three year and five year milestones.

II. Assess Your Current Situation: Where are you now? What is going to have to be changed in order to start reaching your one-year goal?

What are you doing right now that is keeping you from meeting your goals? Are you not putting in enough hours, spend too much time surfing during the day, not marketing enough, not targeting the right demographic, working with an outdated website, not charging enough, taking on too many low-paying gigs.

Assess what you’re currently doing with an assassin’s eye. It’s the only way to change it.

III. Write a Plan of Action: Now that you know what you need to do (ie, what needs to be changed to start reaching your goals), figure out a plan of action to get there.

For example, do you need to raise your freelance rates, update your website to attract better paying clients, get more training to offer new and better services, go through your client list and drop low-paying clients so you can free up more time to market for higher paying clients, etc.?

Whatever it is, write it down and figure out a date to have it done (a goal must always have a begin/end date – otherwise you run the risk of not achieving it).

Put your goal list and your plan of action where you can see them every day. This keeps your dream alive – and reinforces what you need to be doing day in and day out to get where you want to be.

IV. Implement

Another goal on my list for next year is to use time blocking all the time. When I use it, I wonder why I ever get away from it because it’s so darn effective!

So write down everything you want to accomplish the next day before you log off every day. Block out hour by hour what you want to accomplish. This way, you can see your progress day in and day out . . . and block your way to freelancing success in 2011.

Good luck, and may 2011 be your best year yet as a freelancer!

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