MAKE A LIVING

FREELANCING

Make a living freelancing — with less stress.

Doing great work isn't enough. You need to be confident talking about your work and attracting new clients, all while staying on top of the boring business stuff.

I can show you how.

Start learning

Sell more client work

Feel comfortable with the boring business stuff too.

Sell more client work

Feel comfortable with the boring business stuff too.

 

It's easier than ever to make money freelancing.

...but that doesn't make it easy to make a living freelancing.

It's not enough to simply do great work.

The best freelancers understand how to attract new clients, communicate well, market themselves, sell projects, and run their freelance business like a business.

Don't forget the really tedious stuff like finances, accounting, and taxes that you have to do.

- - -

As it gets easier to start freelancing, more and more competition is entering the picture every day. We have more and more choices for who to work with.

To make a living freelancing:

• You need to build a name around your freelancing and build client demand.

• You need to get comfortable talking about yourself.

• You need to learn how to go out and sell your services instead of sitting back and hoping for clients to come to you.

• And you need to act like a business owner in order to be successful.

- - -

But I know that you can do it.

I'm Jay Clouse, and I've worked with over 100 creatives and freelancers through my business, Unreal Collective. My clients have had multi-million dollar exits, six-figure crowdfunding campaigns, left their jobs to go full-time freelance, and bootstrapped technology companies.

I've taken everything I've seen work and poured it into these three courses:

  1. Selling for Freelancers - Proven tactics for selling more work
  2. Marketing for Freelancers - Strategies to create client demand for you

  3. Business for Freelancers - Systems and processes to protect your time and effectively manage your money

Every lesson has a video, exercises, and resources for you — which are yours forever.

If you're serious about freelancing, these courses will help you build a better business.

If you put the time in, these courses will pay for themselves. They're based on the same strategies that I saw work for my clients in Unreal Collective.

My advice? Take the leap, believe in yourself, and invest in full access to all three courses.

Start making a living freelancing.

 
 
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My story may sound like yours...

My story may sound like yours...

 

I never really intended to freelance.

When I quit my job in early 2017, I just knew I wanted to be my own boss. I hated the feeling of being required to be at a certain place at a certain time to do work that I was assigned.

One afternoon it became clear that the time had come: it was time for me to quit that job.

My life to that point had been all about building software products. I helped build and sell a digital ticket marketplace in 2015, and the role I left was a product management role.

So how was I going to make money?

I started talking to people. I wrote a blog post about quitting my job. I had some ideas, but they were far from fleshed out.

In the process, some of my friends started asking if I could help them with their own projects. I helped to launch a podcast, I came up with some names for a friend’s company, I built a couple of Wordpress sites, and I built email sequences.

I was making money! It was my introduction to freelancing.

It’s an amazing feeling to have people paying you real money for your skills.

Being paid to write? Amazing.

Work from anywhere? Don’t mind if I do!

But I learned quickly that this wasn’t as easy as I thought it was.

There are a lot of questions that come up quickly when you’re freelancing.

  • How much should I charge?
  • How much do I need to earn to actually pay the bills?
  • How much do I pay in taxes?
  • What about health insurance?

Soon, the clients who were basically coming to ME for help seemed to evaporate. I ran out of warm leads and was left wondering, “OK so how do I actually FIND clients?”

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My pros and cons list before quitting my job

It got harder before it got easier

It got harder before it got easier

I learned very quickly that it wasn’t hard to make money freelancing, but to make a living freelancing was a totally different story.

But it looks so easy right?

Just put up a website and work from anywhere on your laptop! Paradise, here I come.

Well, most of those digital nomads aren’t showing you the real struggles of being a freelancer — let alone a location independent freelancer.

There are three key challenges that you will come up against. I experienced them myself, and I hear them from other freelancers constantly.

1. Finding new clients

In the beginning, you may have a few clients come directly to you. Friends, family, and family friends often become your first clients.

This is low-hanging fruit, and it quickly dries up. You need a strategy for sustainably finding new clients to keep the lights on.

2. Managing your time

Not only do you need to constantly be creating new clients for yourself, but you need to communicate with existing clients while also doing great work for them.

Not to mention handling your budget, cash flow, accounting, savings, and more. You’ll want to find time to eat and sleep too.

3. Staying on top of the boring business stuff

Speaking of budget, cash flow, accounting, and so on, you’ll need to be on top of all the administrative and operational parts of your business to make sure you stay in business.

This is often a totally new skill to artists of creatives, and isn’t difficult to learn — you just have to be willing to put the work in.

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Lots of facepalming.

The turning point

The turning point

 

At the end of the day, I built a lucrative freelance business working with over 100 clients by mastering three core skills:

  1. Marketing myself
  2. Selling my work
  3. Running a business

Let’s talk about each of these…

1. Marketing yourself

If you are unable (or unwilling) to talk about yourself and the work that you do, you’ve already lost. And unfortunately, a lot of freelancers (or would-be freelancers) are afraid of talking about what they do.

It takes confidence. You may need to build up that confidence in order to market yourself, and that’s OK.

You’ll also need to really understand who you want to work with and what type of service(s) you want to provide. Being able to succinctly talk about yourself and your work in terms that resonate with your target clients takes a lot of thought and discovery.

At the end of the day, you need to position yourself as the best choice for the potential client.

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Working with some of my Unreal Collective clients

2. Selling your work

Marketing yourself is the first step. But once you’ve gotten yourself in front of a potential client, you need to consistently be able to close the sale.

I get it, and I’ve been there. It’s scary to put yourself out there and ask someone to choose you. By giving them the ability to say “yes” you also give them the ability to say ”no.”

Rejection sucks, and no one enjoys it.

But rejection is a natural part of being a freelancer, and it gets much easier to deal with. At this point, it barely even fazes me.

If you’re not being rejected, you aren’t being proactive enough in selling your services. You need a system and a process for generating new clients so you can control your own destiny.

3. Running a business

At the end of the day, freelancers are business owners. You need to run your freelance business like a business. That means creating a budget, being on top of your cash flow, managing your time, and communicating with your clients.

It sounds scary and intimidating, but it’s not impossible. You just need to set up systems up front that work for you. If you do it right, most of these systems require little attention once they're set up, and allow you to focus on doing the work.

If these sound like skills you need help learning, I can help.

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You want people to THROW cash at you.

Introducing Freelancing School

Introducing Freelancing School

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I'm Jay Clouse, and I've worked with over 100 creatives and freelancers through my business, Unreal Collective. My clients have had multi-million dollar exits, six-figure crowdfunding campaigns, left their jobs to go full-time freelance, and bootstrapped technology companies.

My first year freelancing, I barely scraped together $30k, living broke in the process.

The next year, I more than doubled that number.

And in 2019, I've more than tripled that figure, far surpassing my previous salary.

I've taken everything I've seen work and poured it into these three courses:

  1. Selling for Freelancers - Proven tactics for selling more work

  2. Marketing for Freelancers - Strategies to create client demand for you

  3. Business for Freelancers - Systems and processes to protect your time and effectively manage your money

Every lesson includes:

  • A video lesson
  • Specific action items
  • Other resources or templates

...which are all yours forever.

If you're serious about freelancing, these courses will help you build a better business.

If you put the time in, these courses will pay for themselves. They're based on the same strategies that I've seen work for my clients in Unreal Collective.

My advice? Take the leap, believe in yourself, and invest in full access to all three courses.

Start making a living freelancing.

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My Freelancing courses for Linkedin Learning have been viewed more than 20,000 times.

I binged through the Marketing for Freelancers course. I was skeptical at first because I've been in Marketing for the past 10 years, but a lot of those lessons scratched my itch that I never deal with at work. Overall A+ — I definitely got my $200 out of it!

Andy Phillips, User Experience Designer

Marketing for Freelancers

Marketing for Freelancers

At the end of this course, you will be able to confidently talk about your work, position yourself as the best choice for your target clients, price your work effectively, and get clients coming to YOU.

Course syllabus:
  1. Building confidence
  2. How to be the "best" choice
  3. Talking about yourself
  4. Why you should specialize
  5. Three questions to drive your marketing
  6. Psychographics vs. Demographics
  7. Developing your unique, personal brand (includes worksheet)
  8. How should you price your services?
  9. Moving from hourly to retainers (includes script)
  10. How to raise your rates (includes template)
  11. How to use testimonials and case studies
  12. Websites: Why you need one, and how to build it
  13. Should you be creating content?
  14. Creating a content marketing strategy
  15. Which social media platforms are right for you?
  16. Using LinkedIn
  17. Which email service is right for you?
  18. Becoming an expert or thought leader

Selling for Freelancers

Selling for Freelancers

At the end of this course, you will have a strategy and process to make selling projects feel easy.

Course syllabus:
  1. Changing your mindset from selling to offering
  2. What is a sales funnel?
  3. Managing your sales funnel with a CRM (includes template)
  4. The EYES and EARS method of selling
  5. Creating advocates
  6. Getting more referrals
  7. How to find good clients
  8. Saying "no" to a potential client
  9. Why selling offline is more important than selling online
  10. The fastest way to earn more revenue
  11. Targeting, messaging, and frequency
  12. Scarcity and urgency
  13. Upsells, downsells, and introductory offers
  14. Daily activities for finding more clients (includes checklist)
  15. Forming partnerships
  16. How to productize your services

Business for Freelancers

Business for Freelancers

At the end of this course, you will have systems in place to effectively manage your money and time, which will free you up to focus on your work.

Course syllabus:
  1. How to leave your job to go freelance
  2. Incorporating: the basics
  3. How to create a budget (includes template)
  4. Managing your cash flow
  5. Preparing for taxes
  6. Setting useful goals
  7. Managing your time
  8. Scheduling and calendar management
  9. Communicating with clients
  10. How to write a strong proposal (includes template)
  11. Contracts: Why you need them, what to include
  12. Invoicing and getting paid (includes template)
  13. Handling scope creep (includes script)
  14. Finding mentors and community

Buy all three for $495

Get all three courses and save 15%
Enroll now

IMMEDIATE DASHBOARD access

As soon as you make your purchase, you will get forever access to your course dashboard.

Money Back Guarantee

I want this investment to be 100% risk-free. If you watch the video lessons, complete the action items, and still don't find the course valuable, I'll happily refund your full payment within 10 days of purchase.

DIRECT COMMUNICATION

Have a question? Freelancing School students can email me any time. 

Hey! My name is Jay Clouse.

I'm the founder of Unreal Collective and freelancing instructor for Linkedin Learning / Lynda.com.

I've been both a founder and a freelancer. Previously, I was the Chief Operating Officer of Tixers, which was acquired in 2015. Then I spent time as a product manager at a venture-backed startup, and left that to freelance.

Through Unreal, I've seen what works for freelancers. And after seeing those strategies work over and over again, I've put them into these courses.

You can learn more about me or sign up for my weekly writing here.

FEATURED IN

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What students are saying...

What students are saying...

These courses are for you if you...


✅ Are freelancing full or part time

including design, branding, copywriting, development, accounting, marketing, social media, and more

✅ Work with clients in a service-based business
including agencies, consultancies, coaching, financial services, real estate agents, and more

✅ Want a step-by-step list of activities to create a process around business development

✅ Want templates for a CRM, budgeting, cash flow, project proposals, email responses, and more.

✅ Struggle to talk about yourself and the work that you do

✅ Are great at your work, but struggle on the "business" pieces

✅ Are intimidated by taxes, budgets, and your finances

These courses are NOT for you if you...


❌ Don't run a client-based business

❌ Don't believe your work is worth paying for

❌ You need external motivation to freelance

❌ Don't have the time to commit to the videos

❌ Don't plan to work with clients

❌ Aren't willing to talk about yourself and your work

❌ Aren't willing to change your processes

❌ Won't do the associated exercises

What my clients say...

What clients say about working with me...

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I worked with more clients and was able to charge more than I was comfortable with before.
Jenni Kowal, Graphic Designer
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I doubled my client base and I also launched a website...what used to be a hobby became a legitimate side gig.
Matt Ray, Photographer
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I doubled my full time salary this year, first year being a freelancer.
Anna Hetzel, Copywriter and Brand Strategist

Sample Lesson from Selling for Freelancers

Sample Lesson from
Selling for Freelancers

Take Action

  1. Establish Your Elevator Speech 
    • I help [X] do [Y]

  2. Make a list of your existing and potential advocates. Add them to your CRM. 
    ​​​​​​​
  3. Begin reaching out to your advocates to reconnect (phone calls, meetups IRL) 
    ​​​​​​​
  4. Use your Elevator Speech in those conversations to describe what you’re up to

I've never been happier than I am working for myself. I'm here to help you do the same.

I've never been happier than I am working for myself. I'm here to help you do the same.

Have questions?

Have questions?

What's included?

You get lifetime access to the course(s) which include video lessons, specific action steps with each lesson, and templates like my CRM, budget spreadsheet, proposal template, email templates, and more.

Will this work for other client-based businesses?

While the courses are geared towards freelancers, the tools and systems will work for any client-based businesses, including agencies, coaching practices, real estate, and more.

What if I’m only taking on clients part time?

Even if you just want to freelance part time, these courses will help you earn more in the time you do commit to taking on clients.

What if I can’t dedicate the time right now?

Purchasing the courses gives you lifetime access. So if you need a few weeks to get started, no problem.

And if you don't feel like you have time to commit to the courses, that is likely an indication that you could benefit from better time management tips inside!

How will this help me feel more confident talking about myself?

We all get scared when someone asks, "What do you do?" but being able to talk about yourself is an essential skill for a freelancer.

The Marketing course will give you a guide for how to talk about yourself in a way that serves you over the long term.

Is this worth the price?

The bundle is priced at $495 and I am confident that working through these courses will lead to both time saved as well as new clients gained.

If you're saving time and finding new clients, it doesn't take long to pay back $495.

Will this actually work for me?

If you put the time in, this will work for you. I've seen the results in my students as well as in my Unreal Collective clients.

I have more questions!

Use the chat widget on the bottom right! I'm online and ready to chat with you.

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Ready to enroll?

Take the leap and start making a living freelancing.
Enroll now

IMMEDIATE DASHBOARD access

As soon as you make your purchase, you will get forever access to your course dashboard.

Money Back Guarantee

I want this investment to be 100% risk-free. If you watch the video lessons, complete the action items, and still don't find the course valuable, I'll happily refund your full payment within 10 days of purchase.

DIRECT COMMUNICATION

Have a question? Freelancing School students can email me any time.