Sales is undergoing a seismic shift at the moment as artificial intelligence, deep learning and all manner of disruptive technologies infiltrate virtually every part of the sales cycle. Gradually, these and other market forces are seeking to automate various parts of selling that were previously reserved for humans. Prospecting, sales assistants, outreach and even cold calling are all going the way of the dinosaur – if that dinosaur were a robot (Grimlock?).
Combine this with the huge global trend towards bite sized units of work contained within sharing economy platforms such as Uber, Airbnb, TaskRabbit and yes, even Sellcrowd, and the path ahead looks rocky for sections of the salesperson population.
So what is the savvy salesperson to do?
One answer you might not have considered is freelancing.
Why Should Salespeople Become Freelancers?
Freelancing has an enigmatic quality about it that makes it both a dirty word and almost romantic at the same time. Both sides of its connotations are owing to the word free.
On the romantic side of the word, the lifestyle freedom you gain from working on a freelance basis is the carrot that lures people in. Working from home or perhaps working from a cafe looks like a lot of fun when your nine to five friends are stuck in the office. With the trend towards online work and taking inspiration from the likes of Tim Ferriss’ 4 Hour Work Week, many freelancers realise they are free to travel more (see #digitalnomad on Instagram for inspiration).
The negative perception towards freelancing comes from the carefree attitude some freelancers develop towards their work and their clients. If you encounter this type of freelancer – run! Freelancers themselves are not the only perpetrators of this crime. Many clients often take a carefree attitude towards payment of freelancers and contractors, paying late or not at all. It’s a big part of the frustration of working as a freelancer.
For many years, the freelance world was reserved for the creative set. Designers, copywriters and web developers could sell themselves on the strength of their portfolio and clients came to them via word of mouth. Sales, however, is not exactly the type of job where you develop a portfolio (yet), and word of mouth can be fleeting when you’re ‘only as good as your last sale’. Relationships also take time to build – and relationships are everything in sales – so sales is thus a long game. Freelancing tends to be shorter projects.
On the face of it, sales doesn’t look suited to freelancing. So why would a salesperson become a freelancer?
The same reason anyone else chooses to become a freelancer. The need or desire to work from home. The desire to be your own boss. The desire for greater freedom in how and when you choose to work. The desire for greater variety. The desire to travel more often is also a valid reason for freelancing, given the global nature of telecommunications and sales enablement technologies.
Sellcrowd is on a mission to make freelancing viable and lucrative for salespeople by providing a hiring platform (Sellcrowd.com) and a mobile app that empowers salespeople to work remotely. Salespeople can earn up to $70 per hour in their spare time using just their voice and the Sellcrowd app.
Need extra income after hours? We can cater to that. In between jobs and want to find a product or company that actually inspires you? Sellcrowd can help you trial with new companies without entangling yourself in a full time role, or earn extra income while you’re searching for your dream job.
We also understand that freelancing is a transitional thing for many people. Full time employment, for now, is more probable and preferable for most. So in addition to being a hub for sales freelancers, Sellcrowd operates like a try before you buy platform for employers. Once employers find a salesperson they discover is a ‘keeper’, we charge a small recruitment fee that is half the normal cost of recruitment. So full time, part time and hourly sales roles can all be found on Sellcrowd.
As more and more job functions within sales are taken away by automation, AI and machine learning, our focus is on helping salespeople find flexible, exciting sales roles with the ability to earn money any hour of the day, anywhere in the world with the Sellcrowd app. Many a sales manager often recommends to treat your geographical or vertical market assigned to you as ‘a business within a business’, so it’s time to take that advice to the next level.
If you’re thinking a new career as a sales freelancer might be for you, read on.
Tips & Strategies for Sales Freelancing
Before we tell you how you can earn $10,000 per month as a sales freelancer, it’s worth giving you a few tips so you can succeed in freelance sales no matter what. Freelancing can be a minefield if you don’t adopt a strategic approach.
You need to build a go-to-market plan same way you would if you were starting a new business. Planning and strategy at the start will serve as a direction and goal posts for the future. Here are our tips for freelancing in sales successfully. These are our general tips, and a good primer before you get to our specific strategies we layout for you that will get you on your way to earning $10,000 per month as a sales freelancer.
1. Get Hired
Um, duh. To make it as a sales freelancer, you’re going to need clients, which means you’re going to need exposure in all the right places online. Social media is your obvious first port of call for exposure, but for getting hired, you need to register on work platforms where buyers gather. Sellcrowd is a sales-specific platform platform for finding full time, part time and freelance sales roles. Other more established freelancer platforms that are more generic in nature include Freelancer.com and Task Rabbit. have a large ready made pool of potential employers and great embedded systems for feedback.
Don’t be afraid to also apply to ‘regular’ jobs on job boards such as Indeed, or Seek here in Australia. Highlight you’re only available part time and you might find the client to actually prefer that. Think of it as lead generation.
2. Blow Up your Linked In Profile
If you’re still thinking of your Linked In profile as your CV, it’s time for a bit of re-education. Your Linked In profile is less about your employment history and more a highly targeted advertisement towards potential clients and employers. Stop thinking ‘this is where I have worked’ and start communicating ‘this is how I help companies do X’.
With 450 million+ members, Linked In is the biggest professional social network out there. It’s both a terrific prospecting tool and an irreplaceable market research tool.
From a freelancer perspective, the two most important things are your headline and the keywords inside your profile. Your headline needs to capture the attention of target employers when they are browsing profiles. Something like ‘Sales Freelancer helping SAAS companies kick some serious butt. 2,000+ connections’ is the type of headline that might peak the interest of SAAS companies looking for a flexible sales hire. There are ways you can automate your views of specific profiles also, and everyone is always curious to see who looked at them, so there is exposure to be had.
3. Get Active on Social Media
Editing your Linked In profile is only part of the puzzle when it comes to the world’s largest professional social media network. Once your profile is solid, you need to become an active member on the network, and this means posting updates, commenting on other people’s updates, recommending people, soliciting recommendations yourself and more.
If Gartner had a hype cycle just for sales, then social selling would be approaching its zenith, or perhaps even just a little far past it. Social selling is just another name for being active on social media, if you ask us. Another way to think of it is digital networking. You should focus on relationship building through words of encouragement, commenting, sharing posts and more.
Build a presence and build your personal brand. Become Insta-famous even. This will help clients find you.
4. Use Technology
Many salespeople have horror stories of clunky CRMs they’ve been burdened with that has slowed them down or frustrated them in their sales career. Practically anyone that used Salesforce in their early days will attest to that. Technology, thankfully, has moved on. There are a plethora of interesting sales tools out there for everything from prospecting to re-engaging with stagnated leads. Many of these tools have free trials so as a modern salesperson, there’s no excuse not to try these tools out. Particularly if you’re in control of your own sales stack, which you indeed are if you’re going to become a sales freelancer (or a Digital Sales Nomad).
Hubspot is great if you want a well-known sales CRM that is free until you start to add in other bits and pieces that will creep up your monthly costs. If you want a Mobile First CRM that tracks your income, you can try the Sellcrowd App. It will calculate and display money earned after every call you make. Some salespeople on the platform are already earning $100 per hour of talk time.
You’re going to need some of your prospecting done via email and sequences if you’re going to generate inbound. Tools like Hunter.io are going to help you find the email of just about anyone so you can fill up that prospect list.
Dux Soup is another tool we would recommend that will help automate some of the outreach you can do via Linked In. Test some of the messaging manually, then power up with Dux Soup.
Honestly, there is so much sales tech out there, we can’t even begin to talk about it all (or maybe we might, but that will be another story) many with free tiers or trials so it’s important to experiment.
5. Create Content
As a salesperson you likely flex your oral communication skills often but to survive in today’s sales climate, you need to put your written sales skills to work. Writing on websites such as Medium or Linked In Pulse will get your name out there and a premium placed on your ability to communicate. Clients and employers love it if a salesperson can write as well as they speak. Write about observations you’ve made about selling, or do a bit of promotion. Whatever, just write.
If long form content is not your thing, master the art of contributing value with just 160 characters on Twitter.
Finding the time for producing content is never easy, but at Sellcrowd we’ve found a few hacks that have helped us fit content production into the routine of our days by leveraging our daily commute. I’ve managed to punch out (tap out, I should say) several articles on my morning and evening commute on my phone. Stop scrolling through Facebook or Instagram on your commute! That’s what everyone else is doing. If you’re a true sales hustler and you want to maximise your free time, habit stack your daily commuting with writing. You’ll be surprised at the results.
Okay, so you’ve likely heard of the ABC of selling – Always Be Closing. If that statement is true (which it is) then the ABP of selling is also true, if not more so.
Always Be Prospecting.
The modern salesperson should be prospecting every day. You need to fill your pipeline via cold emailing, cold calling, social media and more. At the end of a sale, you should be ABP’ing in the form of asking for referrals.
If you can make a success of your freelance career, it’s highly likely you’ll have found yourself some long term clients. If that happens, prospecting can easily fall by the wayside. So remember the old adage, you’re only as good as your last sale and Always Be Prospecting.
7. Grow Your Sales Team
Let’s say you’ve found a winning client with a great product, and you’re kicking some major goals. Wouldn’t it be great if you could build a sales team for that client and really kick some goals? Sellcrowd offers this possibility for our clients and our salespeople.
Our online management portal gives you all the tools to recruit, hire, train and manage a virtual sales team. You could take that single person output you generate by yourself and multiply it with more people to 10X your client’s sales. It’s global expansion made easy.
STAY TUNED … Part 2 of our guide for How to Earn $10,000 Per Month as a Sales Freelancer is coming soon.
About the Author: Lloyd Perry has more than 15 years experience in sales having sold everything from enterprise software to condoms. He is the founder of Sellcrowd.com, a ,mobile app and marketplace that makes it easy for salespeople to find flexible and remote working sales roles.