Are you a stay-at-home mom yearning to start your own business and achieve financial freedom?
You’re not alone. Many women dream of breaking free from the 9-to-5 grind and building a thriving business from the comfort of their homes while spending more quality time with their families.
But how do you begin? How can you transform your dreams into a reality?
In this raw guide, I’ll be sharing my step-by-step, actionable journey from leaving my 9-to-5 job to earning $6,000 per month in just 30 days by starting my own business as a stay-at-home mom.
I’ll provide you with actionable steps and resources to help you turn your passions into a profitable business.
If you’re ready to take the leap and start your own business, this step-by-step guide is for you. Let’s get started!
1. Figure out your services offered and what you will need to bridge the gap
For me, I knew I wanted to offer graphic design and website design and development to start. I knew I only wanted to work on Wordpress. So I would need to market myself as a Wordpress website and digital designer.
If you realize you need more education to provide clients with a perfect product or service, take a course! When I was first starting I used Udemy to take several courses on Wordpress development, design trends, and advertising so that I made sure I was going into my work with the most relevant knowledge of the industry. It will empower you, trust me!
2. Create an incredible portfolio
When you’re first starting out you want a super full portfolio to show. Offer to do free services for anyone that will say yes – the key is we’re going for numbers here. Ask for only testimonials in return. This will be key.
Since I was starting with graphic design and website design, I would go and approach any friends, family or small business and offer to do a free website or free logo redesign for them.
It took me about 3 months of free work, and a lot of people thought I was crazy to not be charging, but it was the fastest and easiest way for me to build an impressive portfolio quickly.
Had I not done free work, it could have taken me a year to build up to it!
I recommend starting with 5-10 strong case studies on your portfolio.
3. Leverage Creative Brokers to catapult your business
This is a tip that a lot of people don’t know about, and is honestly the backbone and secret to my fast success. I started making well over $100k my first year because of this tactic.
Creative Brokers are businesses out there that have a rolodex of independent contractors in the creative industry (website design, graphic design, etc) that they connect with large clients.
They are basically matchmakers for independent contractors who they believe would be good fits for their clientele and they suggest your business to their clients who then meet with you and decide if you would be a good fit.
But they basically get your foot in the door with large companies like fortune 500s that would have been nearly impossible to connect with just starting out.
The only con to working with them is that they take about 50% of your contract value with the client. So for example, let’s say they connect you with a huge client like Toyota at a $80/hr rate. You would actually only be making $40/hr, because you have to pay them for that relationship (in perpetuity).
So, there’s definitely give and take for working with brokers, but in my experience this provided me the ability to add huge clients to my portfolio that then helped give me confidence and trust to go out and market myself independently (and really make the big money).
Here are some of the most popular creative talent brokers today (most of which I worked with):
- Creative Circle: A recruiting agency that connects businesses with creative talent in fields such as design, advertising, and marketing.
- The Creative Group: A division of Robert Half, The Creative Group specializes in connecting companies with creative, marketing, and digital talent on a project or full-time basis.
- Aquent: A talent agency that connects companies with marketing, creative, and digital professionals on a contract or permanent basis.
- 24 Seven: A global talent agency that connects businesses with creative, marketing, and digital talent in industries such as fashion, beauty, and retail.
- Vitamin T: A staffing agency that connects businesses with digital, creative, and marketing talent on a contract or full-time basis.
- Artisan Talent: A staffing agency that connects businesses with creative, digital, and marketing talent on a contract or full-time basis.
- Hired: A job search platform that connects businesses with creative, marketing, and digital talent on a contract or full-time basis.
- Onward Search: A staffing agency that specializes in connecting companies with creative, marketing, and digital talent on a contract or permanent basis.
- Paladin: A staffing agency that connects businesses with creative, marketing, and digital talent on a contract or permanent basis.
- Cella: A talent agency that connects businesses with creative, marketing, and digital talent on a contract or full-time basis.
4. Use your experience with Creative Brokers for niche discovery and social proof
When you work with brokers you get to work in a variety of different industries, so use that to your advantage and determine which you enjoy the most.
I recommend narrowing down to 2 or 3 and testing them to see which have the most disposable income to spend on your services “out in the wild” (when you go get clients on your own).
You can also utilize the big clients that you score through talent brokers and leverage those name-drops in your marketing outreach to score more big-name clients (more on that later!).
5. Create several tailored landing pages to test different niches
On the same domain, create different pages for different niches (make sure to remove the top menu and unlink the logo so your target cannot navigate to another test page!).
Start with a clear headline like “I help homebuilders find more high-quality leads through strategic web design”
My basic headline formula that worked really well was “I help [niche] find [answer to their pain] through [my main offering]
Include your relevant portfolio work on the site with the testimonials you got from your free work (in the homebuilder niche case, I would include any work in the homebuilding, real estate or contractor market, but the testimonials I would just use anyone that gave me a glowing review).
6. Outbound market to your chosen niche like a crazy person
One you have your niche landing pages ready, get ready to outbound like crazy!!
I chose outbound email marketing as my number one tool, and had great success. I would start there every time.
I used this sheet to work my way backwards to determine how many outbound emails I needed to send.
(I took a course by Sam Ovens called Consulting.com which helped me think through the idea of reverse engineering success, so a lot of what is on my sheet comes from his philosophies and exercises we did as his students.)
I found my ideal targets on linkedin through linkedin filters, scraped their names and emails using Seamless.ai, then input the list in to Reply.io (eventually I will create a full article or tutorial on this process).
I automated my email outreach and follow ups with Reply.io. It would be impossible to send 500 emails and 4 follow ups each with hand crafted emails, so I had to create semi – customized bulk emails with Reply.io to go for scale.
Here are the exact email sequences I used to convert emails to sales calls; feel free to take these ideas and apply to your own outbound!
7. Have your sales calls & convert
I chose to conduct my sales calls over the phone because I like to read a script to make sure I don’t get too nervous and forget key aspects.
This script converted more than 10% and ended up allowing me to sign 3 new clients in one month at $2000/mo retainer (for a total of $6k per month – only to build up from that).
With this framework, I was able to sign about 2-3 new clients per month for the next few months until I ran into the issue of scale and needing to hire on a team of skilled contractors to help fulfill all the monthly ongoing work I had.
This framework helped get me off my feet starting from ground zero, and I’m confident it can work for you too!!
Please let me know if you have any questions or want me to cover more topics in-depth – my goal with this blog is to be an ultimate resource to you on your journey, so your feedback is invaluable to me!