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Hey! Who are you and what company did you start?
My name is Joseph Solomon and I am the founder and CEO of We do it remotely.
WDIR is currently a side project that started as a content agency writing high-converting content for businesses in the e-commerce space. We’ve taken our knowledge of bringing in high-paying customers and turned it into a premium course. This course was a 4-week training program that guided freelancers through the stages of building a portfolio, making compelling pitches, and setting up work contracts with clients. It generated $500-2500 per month.
One of our main focuses now is reaching a wider audience through our newsletter. In this newsletter, we share actionable tips and insights with freelancers around the world looking to grow their freelance business remotely. Most of the freelancers we serve are writers and marketers, but we try to help freelancers in other industries succeed by applying key concepts to customer search. Most of our course students came from referrals and our friends worked full time but wanted to build side jobs.
The newsletter was launched last month but is growing fast. We recently launched a paid section where we dive deep into proposals, share exclusive freelance reports, and more actionable strategies to help freelancers win.
What is your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
I first heard the term location independent in 2015. At the time, I had a crappy job in an industry I didn’t like and was looking for my next step. I started a blog on the side that gained traction and helped me land my first content management job. Through my accumulated experience, I started to offer freelance writing services and quickly built a list of quality clients. I took my freelance business on the road and never stopped traveling.
It’s important to be brave. This means starting even if you are afraid or think you are not ready yet. You never know what you can build. You learn so much by doing and making mistakes along the way. These “mistakes” ultimately made you successful.
I have learned a lot over the years and have had a lot of problems. I’ve dealt with losing 6-figure contracts, firing crappy customers, withholding payments and much more. Freelancing is liberating, but it’s not just beaches and adventure. It requires a high degree of discipline, proactivity and energy.
Over the past four years, I’ve ticked destinations off my bucket list, had incredible experiences and met unforgettable people along the way. I live a livelier, fuller life through my freelance and remote work. I’ve been able to pour more into my relationships, build healthier habits, and generally grow as a person. This passion to live life to the fullest led to the creation of WDIR.
Second, much of the information about freelancing is either too vague, or just from outdated sources and the like. My team and I put together the Freelance Wins newsletter because there is a lack of powerful, actionable freelance advice from freelancers for freelancers.
Take us through the process of turning your agency experience into a newsletter.
The first thing we did was offer copywriting and content marketing services to e-commerce companies.
This happened quite organically through customer connections and referrals. For our four-week course, leads came in from our friends and our network. We’ve put up a little message on Instagram with a call to action for our audience to DM us. The first post got about 100 likes, several comments, but more importantly got 10 DMs. We closed 3 out of 10 students in our first time.
Our first student for the course was a friend who worked full-time as a marketing analyst and also wanted to take up freelancing.
The newsletter, our newest product, is a simple Map, Twitter, and Revue stack. We set up a landing page with Carrd and linked the email form to the Revue newsletter tool. We use Twitter to build our audience and connect organically with other freelancers. The free newsletter is growing and we are building an engaged following. Our focus over the next six months is to hit $1,000 MRR for our paid newsletter.
Describe the process of starting up the business.
Everything we have done has been self-financed. We strongly believe in bootstrapping and doing more with less. This does not mean that we are cut off from venture capital or other forms of financing, as these can accelerate growth. For the time being, WDIR’s self-financing is going well.
A big lesson I’ve learned is to start and then adapt.
A big lesson I’ve learned is to start and then adapt. This is an excellent exercise for taking action and getting things in front of potential customers as quickly as possible. Another lesson is to lead with value. We are committed to creating one of the best resources for freelancers out there. This means we consistently publish good content and make sure we give our audience a useful takeaway. We do everything we can to empower freelancers.
What has worked since launch to attract and retain customers?
Our Freelance Wins newsletter grew primarily out of Twitter. We participate in weekly chats, do discussions, retweet and like tweets.
We explore partnerships with innovative companies in Remote Work/ Digital Nomad/ Future of Workspace. Of course, we are always open to collaborations with other freelancers or freelance platforms. There are so many opportunities for collaboration in Freelancing!
How are things going today and what does the future look like?
Our paid newsletter is the first of several subscription ideas we have in mind. We’re building a library of courses and products designed to empower freelancers. More of that will come in the coming years.
Did you learn anything from starting the business that is particularly useful or beneficial?
Being disciplined is key to launching any kind of business, especially a newsletter. You have to consistently perform great and set yourself hard deadlines to get things done. One of the best ways to build good habits is to design eco-friendly. This is about making sure that your environment makes it as easy as possible for you to be focused.
Another valuable lesson is creating systems for the different parts of the business. With a newsletter it is important to have a system for compiling articles/information that you can use in upcoming issues.
Finally, it is important to be courageous. This means starting even if you are afraid or think you are not ready yet. You never know what you can build. You learn so much by doing and making mistakes along the way. These “mistakes” ultimately made you successful. Side project or otherwise, building something and meeting a need
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
Atomic Habits by James Clear
The 4 hour work week by Tim Ferris
- I love how it simplifies the idea of remote entrepreneurship and location independence. It makes it very tangible and breaks down strategies for courageous entrepreneurs to follow.
Marquette Burton’s Black Box
- Marquette Devon Burton is a refreshing figure because of his background. He went from living in abject poverty and being raised by an addicted mother to a successful tech entrepreneur by studying at UC Berkeley and Johns Hopkins. The story in the book is great and many gems have fallen.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
- do it bang
- You are capable of more than you think
- Learn to rest, but don’t give up when the going gets tough
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, leave a comment below!
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