We are not entrepreneurs - Content Producer Nick Saalfeld
“We don’t become freelancers to sell,” Nick says, “we become freelancers to do.”
Nick tried the entrepreneurial route of scaling and managing people, but he soon realised it wasn’t for him. And yet, despite his reluctance to build an agency, Nick’s still going after those big money clients where budget is no issue.
Find out how he positions himself in order to win that kind of work, what his take is on Brexit in relation to freelancers, and hear some helpful tips on things like planning, pricing, and finding clients.
TRANSCRIPT OF THE BEING FREELANCE PODCAST WITH CONTENT PRODUCER NICK SAALFELD AND STEVE FOLLAND
Steve Folland: As ever, we get started hearing how you got started being freelance.
Nick Saalfeld: Oh gosh, it's going back so far. Look, for any young people, it's 18 years ago now right, I'm a bit old and gray hairy, but like a lot of people, well, do you know what? I've never had a plan, and that's probably a good thing. No it's no, it's a terrible thing. Always have a plan. I'm one of those people who never had a plan and I've only been employed for two years of my life, and those two years ended with being made redundant and I got a small settlement. I thought, I can live for about four or five months like this, and I thought what do you want to do? I thought you know what? You haven't got a plan because you're an idiot, and I'm not a planner. I thought well, you know what? I could go freelance. I could just chill out a bit and do fun things. That was 18 years ago and I've never had a job since.
Steve Folland: What was your job when you were employed?
Nick Saalfeld: Well I was a content producer, so that's fair enough. At least I was in the same game. It wasn't as though I was a car mechanic and thought I could turn my hand to writing could I? I've always been in the production game. Bizarrely, my first career, long before the internet came along, was in radio, so even that was producing content of a sort, and then the internet came along and I ran internet companies and all that sort of thing.
Nick Saalfeld: That whole thing of content production has always been in my soul and in my heart, so I'm definitely doing something that's right for me, but yeah, what's astonishing is I did it completely without any sort of plan and have somehow managed to muddle through incompetently ever since.
Steve Folland: When you say content producer, what sort of stuff do you produce?
Nick Saalfeld: It's interesting, that's changed. By training I'm a writer, by training I'm a broadcaster and writer and all that sort of thing, but the world has changed around us. I think that's a really interesting thing to think about across a career, is whatever you do doesn't stay the same.
Nick Saalfeld: I speak to journalists today who basically have a couple of strings to their bow. Maybe they write the odd article, maybe they do some copywriting. Across the 20 years that I've been producing stuff, 18 or so freelance, now I write video scripts as well, I do marketing materials, I do bits with PRs, I do stuff within agencies, I do content strategy, occasionally I do social media, haven't got a clue about social media because I'm old. I'm old. I don't know what it's about for god's sakes. Never had a job off Twitter in my life.
Nick Saalfeld: You have to embrace change as it comes along and look at all these new bits of media, and even in video, I'm lucky to have, over the years, I've picked up people that I like working with, so if people come to me for a script I can go, "Well you know what? I know somebody who can shoot this or you as well." But now there are platforms where you can create really quick and dirty videos of a particular form, and as a writer I go, "I know how to write for that sort of medium or that sort of platform as well."
Nick Saalfeld: Just as if you're a designer, design has changed from pen and paper or whatever, to digital tools, and then within those digital tools, you understand what people want to do online and how to communicate online. Suddenly your logo has to be something that works across different media and different presentation techniques, so it's changing all the time.
Nick Saalfeld: I've spent a lot of time saying, "You know what? I will write anything for anyone," and I probably will. I specialise in certain sectors now, I specialise in business to business, I specialise in technology, finance, healthcare, professional services, stuff like that. I've certainly found my niche, but you do have to constantly evolve it, otherwise you get left behind.
Steve Folland: How did you find your first freelance clients?
Nick Saalfeld: I approached this conversation today by thinking to myself gosh, you've got to give the listeners something that they can take home, and this is the one question where I thought I have nothing to offer you.
Nick Saalfeld: Here's the deal, the things I remember, when I first started out, number one, my first check came in five months after I went freelance. That still feels to me today about the right sort of time-frame to be looking at. If you're lucky, if you come out of a company, out of corporate life, and that company becomes your first freelance client, flipping fantastic, well done. That's a lovely way to do it and maybe it's two or three months. But if you're starting from scratch, and I really did, expect it to take five to six months.
Nick Saalfeld: What I did, well I did a few things. Firstly I tapped up actual existing contacts like this, I went, "Hello, I've just gone freelance. Have you got anything you can give me?" Which didn't work particularly well, even though I'm quite good at what I do. But the magic thing is just go out and network every night.
Nick Saalfeld: Firstly, when you start freelancing, you're going to be working from home unless you're quite lucky, which is horrible. I know plenty of people who really like working from home, but I'm sorry, I hated every minute. It took me about a week and a half to go, "I'm sitting in my pants at 3:00 in the afternoon. For god's sakes. What's happened to you?" Went completely stir crazy, couldn't cope at all. By pure chance, we live in a great world now, go on to Meetup, that's where I'd start. Go on to Meetup, you will be amazed at the number of great events going on every day in your area. Even if you live in the Orkneys, there's going to be something happening. I got on to Meetup and a couple of other networking sites in those days, and literally went out every night meeting people. Every night meeting people, and that's where it comes from.
Nick Saalfeld: There is a golden rule to that kind of networking thing, which is pay it forward. Do not expect results straight away. Go out there, meet people, don't look for results, don't look for answers, just help people. Be someone who is communicative, make recommendations, "Oh, you need an accountant. I'll tell you what, you need to speak to Bob. I'll introduce you, I'll pop you an email." Make those connections and eventually you become a person who is part of that larger, broader community, and eventually that will lead to clients.
Nick Saalfeld: It takes a load of time, it takes a load of effort, three to six months or so, but eventually it starts yielding results, and some of those three months will be spent going, "Cor, am I any good at what I do at all?" But you doubt yourself, you're sitting at home going, "Oh my goodness." Go to the networking events, hang out at co-working spaces, any of that sort of stuff, just to keep yourself balanced while you make a start. Then obviously bits and bobs on LinkedIn as well, but that's the biggest strategy.
Nick Saalfeld: I have to say, in the past five years, everything has been by recommendation, and I'm really lucky in that respect, but it's getting a ball rolling. Those recommendations only come because you've already done client work that makes people go, "You need to speak to him." Getting the ball rolling is hard. Don't do freebies, don't sacrifice your values, don't do things that you know you're crap at because it's come through your door, stick to the things you're really good at because that's where your reputation will come from. It's about being strong in those early years.
Steve Folland: You trade as a company name now right?
Nick Saalfeld: Yeah.
Steve Folland: What's your company?
Nick Saalfeld: It's called Wells Park Communications, and there's a great story behind that as well.
Steve Folland: Did you start as Wells Park?
Nick Saalfeld: I did. Basically I thought you know what? I know I want to be a company, it's worth it because that gives me a certain amount of credibility. In fact, I was VAT registered pretty early on. But genuinely, again, it's all about the theatre of it. The truth is there is no Mr. Wells, there is no Mr. Park, it really is a park, and again, I was sitting in my pants, that's the second mention of pants in the first 10 minutes of this podcast, I was sitting in my pants looking out of the window, it's the park opposite where I live, and that was it.
Nick Saalfeld: Again, frankly, I probably should have invested in some sort of branding consultancy, but it's done me fine, and frankly, yeah, people rapidly realise that it is just me and any mates I choose to bring in or great contacts I choose to bring in for a job. But yeah, I went limited company very, very early on because of the theatre of it. It gives you a better class of client at the end of the day.
Nick Saalfeld: There's another discussion about whether you want to go VAT registered. I think there's a right time and a wrong time to do that. For me, it was as soon as possible because it's about the expectations of the clients that you want, and their expectations and the people they want to deal with.
Steve Folland: You felt it allowed you to go for particular types of client and project?
Nick Saalfeld: Yeah, absolutely. My ambition was always to, like any freelance, the ambition has to be to... Well there's a lot of things go on. You want to up your day rate and earn more, and the higher end stuff really only comes with a certain amount of kudos. You want a better quality of client, frankly you want, the biggy is you want to get yourself clients who aren't focused exclusively on money.
Nick Saalfeld: Look, if you're chasing five quid gigs and 100 quid gigs, you're not doing yourself any favours because frankly, it takes longer to service those types of gig than the money itself is worth. You want a decent, acceptable day rate with clients who are not worried about the amount they're paying per hour, per minute, per day, but who are interested in the value that you provide to them. Where if you continue to provide that value, you're not a burden to them, you're worth every penny. That is all about upping your rates and finding the right sort of clients, and to do that, the minute you start doing that, you need to have the credibility and the VAT registration, the formal company and all that sort of stuff.
Nick Saalfeld: By the way, on that front, this is really important, a lot of people I spoke to, I was speaking to somebody literally the day before yesterday who said, "You know what? I think Brexit is killing my freelance career." I said, "No, Brexit is spectacular. We're in a very strange time at the moment, but it is really good for freelancers. Right now, as companies are scared of the future and what it may hold, they're stopping working with agencies because the massive overheads they have to pay for with agencies, and they are working with more and more freelancers who have lower overheads, who can provide a service, who will be responsive, so now is a great time to invest in that freelance career and to invest in understanding what your offer is to potential clients. I think now is a great time to increase the quality of client that you look at."
Steve Folland: But do you now come across as an agency?
Nick Saalfeld: Sometimes. Again, you remember I said earlier, it's about the theatre of it. It's a really challenging one, so my website has some great prestige clients on it, it feels a bit like an agency, that's only to open doors. The minute I'm in front of somebody I say, "Look, this is what I do. I am basically..." What I actually say is, "I am nudging the top of what being a freelancer is. I can bring resources to a project, I can bring more people to it, but fundamentally, it is me and I am that business." I don't want to pull the wool over anyone's eyes, but I do want them to realise that I am at the top end of what I do and that they're going to have great results.
Steve Folland: How do you find managing the other people that you might end up working with on a project?
Nick Saalfeld: Such an interesting question. This is just such a cool thing. Truly baring my soul, I spent the first decade or so of my life, of my professional freelance career, thinking that I was an entrepreneur. This kills me. Its something that every freelancer should think about. We are not entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs get all the good press, they're the people who build and scale good companies. To be brutally honest with you, the reason I now know that I'm a freelance and the reason that I've been successful in the past five years and not remotely in the first 10-plus years, I thought I was entrepreneurial and I'm not.
Nick Saalfeld: I am a crap manager. I am a crap scaler. Truly atrocious, absolutely terrible, mainly because, and any true freelancer will recognise this, we do what we do, we do an operational thing, whatever that thing is. I create content, there are chartered surveyors, whatever, but you do that thing and you do it really well, and you do it to the best of your ability. We get customers because we want people to be really, really happy and we want things to be perfect.
Nick Saalfeld: That's actually not what entrepreneurs do. Entrepreneurs want to make money and they want to make more money, and they want to scale stuff up, and the way you are an excellent entrepreneur involves a certain amount of compromise. Really brilliant the businesses aren't perfect, what they are is all right enough to get by and make the optimum amount of money.
Nick Saalfeld: We are totally different. We're not entrepreneurs, we're operationalists. We're brilliant operationalists. We want customers to be really happy and go away having had the absolute ultimate we can bring to the party. Turns out I'm a terrible, terrible entrepreneur. I'm a brilliant freelancer and I should never be scaling a company. It's one reason why I don't want to run an agency. What I want to do is do great jobs.
Nick Saalfeld: That's a very long-winded way of saying actually, I find the management side really, really hard, and it's why I've never converted what I do into an agency. I just bring people in for project oriented stuff, and right down to the fact that actually, half the time I say, "You know what? If this particular project, if I couldn't either do it myself if it came to the crunch, or find other resources to being in, I would rather turn down a project than get other folks in, just in case it all went horrible wrong."
Nick Saalfeld: It's a really different world I live in. I firmly believe we're not entrepreneurs. Freelancers are a class of value creator that don't get the credit they deserve, they don't get the press they deserve, and if I could spend every day of my life shouting about that freelancers are not entrepreneurs, we are this unique class of great contributors to the economy, all doing our professional thing in a really good way, but with a different set of skills, I'd love to spend my life shouting about that.
Steve Folland: As you walk through the park.
Nick Saalfeld: Yeah. Exactly, yeah.
Steve Folland: How about how you manage your workload? Do you have a lot of stuff on at once?
Nick Saalfeld: Yes I do. Let's have a look because I've got an Excel spreadsheet open right next to me because I'm old school like that. Again, I spent probably a decade going, "Yeah, look, I'm a creative. I don't do planning, I'm a creative for god's sakes. We don't plan stuff out. Look, clients come through, you do stuff for them, you send it back to them and everyone's happy." Oh how wrong I was. Again, in the past few years, I cannot tell you how much a bit of planning has changed my business.
Nick Saalfeld: I generally operate between six and 12 clients a month. I have between six and 12 clients on the go at any one time. Some are them are long-term, some of them are short-term, some of them are agencies, some of them are direct to me. It's a really mixed bag and I have specific targets for what sorts of client I want to have, because if too much of your income is coming from one client, that's a dangerous place to be because eventually they'll go somewhere else or circumstances change, and you lose them and then you've lost too much of your income.
Nick Saalfeld: I have a really simple planner, which what I wrote myself, I can see right in front of me how many clients I've got each month, how many days I'm booked for a month. I have a little flag that comes up if any one client represents too much of my income for that month, because that should be a little bit of a red flag. I know how much I'm earning, I know how much is profit, I know my average day rate, and then progressively I also know how much of my work this month I have done, compared to where you should be. For example, last month, I did about 98% of the work that I should have done. I was a couple of hours short or whatever.
Nick Saalfeld: Now that sounds like a lot of measurement. You know what? It takes 10 minutes. Do it. Do it. If you do not know for the rest of this month, how many days you should be working, what you're getting for that day, who you're working for, what proportion of your income that represents and how far you are on schedule, then you're probably missing out. I would say that basic planning has probably increased my income by about 20 to 25%, and I've been doing it for four or five years. I was the first person to say, "Nah. Planning, we don't need to plan. We're not running a big business, it's only me. I know what I do each month and each week."
Steve Folland: When you say the number of hours you should be, how are you gauging that? What is your benchmark? Is it based on a certain figure that you want to earn a month?
Nick Saalfeld: Sort of. Well put it this way, I'll tell you what, I'm not going to give you the number, but it's a good number, put it this way, I set a target, so for last year, 2018, I set a target in February and I hit that target on the 23rd of December. When you set targets, across a year, you can hit them and make it. That's an extraordinary thing to be able to say because it turns out, and again, I'm only preaching because I've blooming managed to do it against all my own odds, it turns out planning is brilliant.
Nick Saalfeld: Now the point is I'm getting good at working out what a half day or a day's is worth, and what I can achieve in that day or half day, and you know what? Sometimes it's a bit more, sometimes it's a bit less. Sometimes I overestimate it and mess it up a bit, but then that's made up for by the fact that sometimes I underestimate it and I get away with a couple of hours making up time.
Nick Saalfeld: In my little spreadsheet I have, I assume that there are somewhere between 20 and 22 days that I can work. Those are split into half days because I've reached a stage where I'm busy enough that I can offer people half days of full days according to what they want, and I fill them in with little coloured blobs. Those little coloured blobs mean I can see exactly who I'm working for at any one time, and I can tell what's flexible, who can be moved around. Sometimes I'm going to be onsite with them, sometimes I'm in the office and doing whatever. It's a really visual representation by the half day, of what a day looks like, then what a week looks like, then what a month looks like, and eventually you can start working out what a year looks like.
Nick Saalfeld: If that sounds like an insane amount of planning, I promise I don't spend more than 10 minutes a day on it, but it's been so worthwhile. I have definitely increased my income by over 20%, just by having that vision thing going on. It's totally worth it.
Steve Folland: How does it help you increase your income?
Nick Saalfeld: Don't know. It's magic. It's blooming magic Steve. It's magic. There's no logic to it right?
Steve Folland: Well no, there must be logic to it right. For example, are you looking at those little coloured blobs, or rather seeing a lack of coloured blobs and then thinking right, I need to hit up some of my contacts and see if they need anything doing at the moment?
Nick Saalfeld: That's not a bad part of it. It's knowing when you can commit to things. On an average month, I will start with maybe two unbooked days for that month, so I'm pretty heavily booked, but I can go, "Okay, we can squeeze this in or we can move that around," so that optimises really nicely. It means I can tell what my day rate is, and therefor what I should be charging, and what I should be charging to increase my day rate as well. It just helps you make intelligent decisions because it's never just about am I booked up for day or not X day? Like I said, I split my time, for example, between direct to client and agency stuff. Why do I like working with agencies? Because they give me access to clients of a calibre that I would never be able to get by myself.
Nick Saalfeld: A couple of years ago I said, "You know what? I'm going to just slightly up my agency stuff because I want those quality clients." I now have, thanks to a couple of the agencies that I work with, I've been lucky enough to work with $5 billion clients. Now that's stuff that I can bring up in meetings and say, "Yeah, look, I've worked with these guys, these guys, these guys, they're all worth over $1 billion, and you're getting me now." Being able to posture like that and being able to make those sorts of claims are things I wouldn't be able to do, or wouldn't be able to do without just good luck, were it not for the fact that I'm looking at the numbers and going, "It would be strategically intelligent for me to think a particular way about the sorts of clients I pursue."
Nick Saalfeld: Now the reason I can do that is because I've taken really careful steps, step by step by step by step. I promise I started like most people, going, "Flipping heck, won't somebody just give me some money? Give me a job, give me some money, I will take anything," and that is where you start. That's totally where you start. But that will always continue to be the case unless you migrate your approach into something else. Planning is a really good way of starting that migration.
Nick Saalfeld: I still maintain that I'm the thickest person on the planet. I'm not a smart person, but where luck has come along, and it is always luck, I've managed to capitalise on that. It's having the insight and the knowledge to be able to capitalize on lucky things when they happen. For example, I did some work through a friend of a friend, which is lovely, for a venture capital firm. That was four years ago. In the four years since, they have given me access to at least 10 of the companies that that venture capital firm has invested in. I'm working for loads of their clients, all those clients, because they're a venture capital firm, all of them have just received investment, so they've got money and they want to expand fast, and they're happy to spend to maintain quality. Well what a great piece of business that's been, and that all came from a little connection through a friend via Facebook.
Nick Saalfeld: It's having the insight and the understanding to move, and consciously to go, "I need to move from the tiny jobs, which everyone is out there trying to get." We've all seen Fiverr and what have you. If you want to play in that game, cool. You're not going to make a penny right? But you have to consciously work on moving up the value chain. It takes time, it's not easy, I've made plenty of missteps along the way, but going into it blind, that's not a good way to do it.
Steve Folland: Okay, yeah. It's like planning. You call it planning, but it feels also more like analysing and tracking.
Nick Saalfeld: Yeah.
Steve Folland: You mentioned having 22 days a month for example, does that mean then that you don't work at the weekend, or how's your work-life balance?
Nick Saalfeld: My work-life balance is atrocious.
Steve Folland: But you just told me you've got your 22 days.
Nick Saalfeld: Yeah. You know what? Listen, I'm also, like any freelance, I'm someone who bloody hates saying no. I want everybody to be happy, and there are times I over-commit, there are times that stuff just happens. Listen, my work-life balance is flipping atrocious. I work fat too hard. Don't get me wrong, I like to be dialled up to 11, but I have to say there are times when I've done the weekend thing as well. No question.
Nick Saalfeld: I do work hard, play hard, but you know how everyone has been told, "Oh yeah, the great thing about being freelance is you're your own boss. You want to go on holiday for a week whenever you fancy, you can do that," for god's sales. I go away for weekends when I can because it's like oh, a whole weekend to myself. Fantastic. No, the idea that you're your own boss, not you're not, you're a slave to yourself, that's all it is. I have no advice to offer on work-life balance at all because I don't have any. Listen, I'm glad this is a podcast. You have no idea how wrinkly I am.
Steve Folland: Okay.
Nick Saalfeld: Yeah. A fine time for red wine, that's what I say.
Steve Folland: I'm intrigued actually. I want to pick up something you said quite early on, because you said that you were employed for two years then made redundant, then went freelance, but you also mentioned the fact that before that, that you were working in radio and that you thought you were an entrepreneur running web companies or IT companies, I forget now.
Nick Saalfeld: Yeah, yeah.
Steve Folland: Was there a period where you started companies and did something before that was there?
Nick Saalfeld: No. It's after. When I was made redundant, yeah the broadcasting was great, that was great fun, it was a great early career. Had the time of my life. But yeah, the company I was made redundant from was a major internet company in the early 2000s, I was quite senior there, that was fabulous, but no, it's the 10 years after, from 2001 to 2011, '12, when I was really entrepreneurial. I started more than one successful internet business, but I also lost a lot of money because as I said, I'm not an entrepreneur, I'm not a manager, I'm not a builder.
Steve Folland: Got you. Actually, the content creation, your content producer as you would call yourself that, you haven't been doing that for the past 18 years?
Nick Saalfeld: I have because all those businesses involved content as well, but the point is that's why I did them because that's what attracted me to them. It's like oh, I can build a business there. But no, I can't build a business doing those things or a scaled up big business, because I'm not an entrepreneur, I'm not a manager, I'm not a scaler, I'm not a grower. What I am is a doer. I'm really good at doing.
Nick Saalfeld: Since I moved exclusively to thinking with a freelance mindset rather than a entrepreneurial mindset, suddenly I'm losing money or being scared or losing sleep or trying to manage people and finding that hard, I'm focusing absolutely on what I actually do do, which is creating great stuff. If you're a designer you create stuff, if you're a musician you cerate good stuff, that's what motivates us.
Nick Saalfeld: I just find it extraordinary, having done entrepreneurial things and messed them up, it's been a revelation to me that we are called entrepreneurs when we're not. We're something completely different, we're a different breed, and don't get me wrong, I am just as proud of what a freelancer is, and there are more of us than ever as the labour market becomes more liquid, as more people sell their services as individuals to more other people, I think we will suddenly start seeing freelancing becoming both recognised as something unique and different as what it is, and I think it will also start to get the respect that it deserves.
Nick Saalfeld: We're not a bunch of people who you drag in, we're rapidly becoming a massive chunk of the workforce. Blue collar, while collar, managerial, all sorts, and I think so many of us are going to be selling our skills on a piecemeal, half day, day rate, whatever basis, to a large number of clients, customers of all sizes. It's a really interesting time, and yeah, I think we're starting to come out of the shadows.
Steve Folland: Okay, now actually, before I ask you my usual last question, there was something I meant to ask, and that was the fact that you said how much you hated working from home. What did you do about that?
Nick Saalfeld: Oh yes. This is really interesting. The reason I think it's interesting is because I know that this is not everyone all right. There are loads of people who like working from home, and if that's you, fabulous. You know what? If you've got kids and all that sort of thing, I totally understand why you'd want to work from home. It's just not me, I hated every second of it, I went stir crazy in a matter of seven days, I was like oh my god, so I got myself an office, and even to this day, I don't pay much for my office. It's a lovely creative space, I like hanging around with other people. You'd never have guessed from this conversation, I really like hanging out with other people, but also I like with my clients.
Nick Saalfeld: I was having a conversation in a chatroom quite recently with a bunch of other journalists, and they were saying, "Should I charge more for being onsite with my clients?" I'm like, "Are you freaking mental? Being onsite with your clients is the easiest way to get more business, to understand their problems, to ingratiate and ingrain yourselves in their culture, to understand their needs now, rather than when they articulate them later on. It is the best sales tool you can ever have is to be doing work with your clients. No, of course you shouldn't blooming charge more for getting out of bed and getting on a train and getting in with your clients. It's the best sales tool you're ever going to have."
Nick Saalfeld: I love being with my clients. I don't like working from home because I do go stir crazy, and that's me, but it's also the opportunity to close the front door and have a work life, and then have a home life again in the evenings, but it's also there is no better way of improving your business than actually getting to hang out with your clients. That's a wonderful thing to be able to do.
Steve Folland: Nice, yeah. Now if you could tell you younger self one thing about being freelance, what would that be?
Nick Saalfeld: I wasn't looking forward to this one. There are 20 answers to this I suppose. I thought right, here's the one that I think is most useful, and it is most freelancers don't consider themselves to be salespeople. I don't consider myself to be a salesperson, and again, why? Because we don't become freelancers to sell, we become freelancers to do. To do the thing that we're great at doing.
Nick Saalfeld: That's all groovy. On the basis that I'm not a great salesperson, and on the basis that the advice I want to give my younger self would be around selling, it is this, and I have done this and I'm not ashamed to admit that I've done this, and it took me time, and I know I'm preaching to the choir, that there will be people listening to this that go, "Oh yeah, that's me as well." Take your day rate, whatever it is, stand in front of a mirror and practice saying, "I am X pounds a day." Not, "I am X pounds a day, but you can have me for half that if you let me do X, Y, Z, or if a duh, be duh, be duh, be duh, be duh."
Nick Saalfeld: Because I spent so much of my time doing that. It's like, "Well, this is my rate," and before anyone's complained, you're already dropping your prices. It's something we all do because we want our clients to be happy. We want to look after them.
Nick Saalfeld: Literally, and I have done this, stand in front of the mirror and say, "It's X pounds a day," and then have that silence. It's a painful silence because you want to fill it with, "I can offer you a better deal." Never, ever do that because you're worth it for crying out loud. Practising actually articulating what you cost, and then ideally, for a follow-up, a couple of reasons why you're worth it, that's really useful. It's something that everyone finds really, really hard.
Steve Folland: Nice. Nick, thank you so much and all the best being freelance.
Nick Saalfeld: Thank you. Absolutely a giggle, and a joy to meet you, fabulously virtually. Brilliant. Cheers.