Project management has been through a huge revival in the 20th century. Each and every business book mentioned it as one of the holy grails of entrepreneurship.
Yes, project management is super important in freelancing too. But because of very limited time resources, rather than be an expert in project management, a freelancer needs to be a skilled process manager.
What is process management and what are processes?
Unlike project management, that deals with unique, long-lasting periods of work, process management takes care of repetitive tasks that need to be done efficiently.
So why should you care about processes in your freelancing?
Sounds like a good deal?
On top of that, processes can be applied to almost anything repetitive. It doesn't need to be a daily task, it can also be a task that is done on weekly basis or every month. Or it can be something you just don't want to do and delegate it to others while maintaining your high quality of work.
Processes have tons of benefits. But you might be asking yourself, what activities to turn into processes first?
That's where this article comes in.
A freelancer does tons of things that deserve to be turned into processes. But if you want to be good at the game, you need to start small. In other words, stick to these requirements and pick the first tasks according to them:
It's simple as that. If you stick to these, you might get to these tasks:
Now, when you pick something easy and simple. Just start building the process step-by-step.
All you do is document every important step in the activity so that you don't need to focus on it fully when you're doing it according to the process. In other words, you're creating a manual for the task.
There you go, a simple process for planning your week. It has seven steps and you won't ever miss anything when you're planning your week again. And that's what processes are about - less focus and more work done. And the best part is that you don't need any expensive tool to document your processes. A Google Drive Doc is just fine.
As you get more experienced, you can create processes from larger activities. You can create a process for the whole acquisition process. Such processes have more steps and can even include e-mail templates. Here's a process for acquiring clients that one of our clients has created for himself.
Good day, [FIRST NAME],
My name is [FIRST NAME] and I wanted to contact you about an offer I've seen [NAME OF THE FACEBOOK GROUP].
I've been a copywriter for almost 4 years now and thanks to working with startups, SMEs, and e-commerce projects I have all around experience that I can use to help your business scale up.
I'm sure that you want to partner with a professional that's why I'm adding my portfolio HERE. You can check it and see if my experience fits your needs.
If you like what I do and you want to explore possibilities of working together, just let me know.
Good day, [FIRST NAME],
A few days ago, I reached out to you about an offer that I found on [NAME OF THE FACEBOOK GROUP].
I wanted to ask if my previous e-mail arrived to you and if you would find some time to talk about it.
Let me know and we can schedule a meeting.
This is a more complex process required for a more complicated task. But it's a great example that almost anything can be processed, optimized, automized or delegated.
Having processes and HAVING PROCESSES is a huuuuge difference.
Once you create a process, test it out in the field as soon as possible. Only that way you find out if it's good.
The first thing is to test it out on yourself. What comes next is another level.
Once you revise the process a couple of times, you need to delegate it to someone to truly understand if the process makes sense.
If someone other than you can't execute a task based on the process you created, the process is no good.
So the next thing is to delegate it, get feedback and then adjust the process.
Process management is a cycle, a neverending story of revising and adjusting. Don't be fooled. The first draft of a process is never the final one. Just like the way you work changes, your processes need to change to and be up-to-date.
Here's a manual on how to keep your processes updated:
How do you know when a process is really good? Although there's no universal metric for this, we think that once a process is self-explanatory it's simply perfect.
When you send your process to a colleague and he does the work without even asking you about the details, you can be sure that you're on a good way to a healthy process management system.