Freelance 101 is our flagship start-up system for Freelancers, VAs and Online Professionals. This program features a 10-step roadmap to launching your business the RIGHT way including assessing your entrepreneurial readiness, defining your “Big Why,” discovering your niche, creating your personal brand, building your online presence, virtual business structure and office, determining your service rates and packages, building your success network, finding your ideal client, and designing your personal productivity system. These 10 modules will guide you step-by-step to launching and growing the freelance business you’ve always wanted. Note: This program will replace our VA 101 program.

Course curriculum

  • 1
    Freelance Foundations
    • Introduction to Freelance 101
    • Your Ten-Step Road Map
  • 2
    STEP ONE: Develop an Entrepreneur's Mindset
    • Download Step One Handout
    • Lesson 1: Introduction
    • Lesson 2: Entrepreneurial Readiness Assessment
    • Lesson 3: Top Ten Freelance Skills
    • Lesson 4: Employee vs Entrepreneurial Mindset
    • Lesson 5: Strategies for Creating an Entrepreneurial Mindset
    • Entrepreneurial Readiness Assessment
    • Entrepreneurial Mindset Manifesto
  • 3
    STEP TWO: Define Your Big Why
    • Download Step Two Handout
    • Lesson 1: Your Big Why
    • Lesson 2: Create Your Purpose Statement
    • Lesson 3: Goal Setting & Action Planning
    • Action Planning Template
    • Business Planning Resources
  • 4
    STEP THREE: Select a Profitable Niche
    • Download Step Three Handout
    • Lesson 1: Introduction to Niche Selection
    • Lesson 2: Assess Interests
    • Lesson 3: Identify Top Skills
    • Lesson 4: Select Potential Niche
    • Lesson 5: Test the Niche
    • Lesson 6: Identify Core and Complimentary Niches
    • Lesson 7: Master Your Niche
    • Lesson 8: Market Your Niche
    • 150 Top Freelance Niches Guide
    • Select Your Niche Guide
  • 5
    STEP FOUR: Build Your Personal Brand
    • Download Step Four Handout
    • Lesson 1: Introduction to Personal Branding
    • Lesson 2: Define Your Personal Brand
    • Lesson 3: Choose Your Brand Name
    • Lesson 4: Write Your Business Tagline
    • Personal Branding Assessment Guide
    • Domain Selection Guide
    • Values List
  • 6
    STEP FIVE: Build a Compelling Online Presence
    • Download Step Five Handout
    • Lesson 1: Online Presence Foundations
    • Lesson 2: Conduct a Website Assessment
    • Lesson 3: Research Market
    • Lesson 4: Outline Website Plan
    • Lesson 5: Select Website Technology
    • Lesson 6: Build Website Design and Content
    • Website Assessment Checklist
    • Website Best Practices Guide
    • Twitter Set Up Checklist
    • Facebook Set Up Checklist
    • Linkedin Set Up Checklist
  • 7
    STEP SIX: Build Your Business Structure and Office
    • Download Step Six Handout
    • Lesson 1: Set-up Your Business Structure
    • Lesson 2: Design Your Virtual Office
    • Lesson 3: Build Client Intake System
    • Lesson 4: Select Client Management Technology
    • Business Systems Checklist
    • Freelance Success Tool Guide
    • Sample Client Proposal
    • Sample Client Policy #1
    • Sample Client Policy #2
    • Client Information Form
    • Sample Freelance Agreement
  • 8
    STEP SEVEN: Price and Package Your Services
    • Download Step Seven Handout
    • Lesson 1: Select Type of Service Package
    • Lesson 2: Build Your Packages
    • Lesson 3: Set Your Rates
    • Lesson 4: Position Your Services
    • Example Freelance Websites
  • 9
    STEP EIGHT: Build Your Success Network
    • Download Step Eight Handout
    • Lesson 1: Why You Need a Success Network
    • Lesson 2: Four Circles of Support
    • Lesson 3: Overcoming Virtual Loneliness
    • Networking Resource Guide
  • 10
    STEP NINE: Find Your Ideal Client
    • Download Step Nine Handout
    • Lesson 1: Intro to Finding Clients
    • Lesson 2: Referral Marketing
    • Lesson 3: Networking
    • Lesson 4: Content Marketing
    • Lesson 5: Digital Cold Calling Part 1
    • Lesson 6: Digital Cold Calling Part 2
    • Referral Outreach Plan Template
    • Networking Tools and Resources
  • 11
    STEP TEN: Build Your Personal Productivity System
    • Download Step Ten Handout
    • Lesson 1: Introduction to Personal Productivity
    • Lesson 2: Identify Productivity Pitfalls
    • Lesson 3: Create a Productive Environment
    • Lesson 4: Select Your Productivity Method
    • Lesson 5: Identify Relevant Productivity Tools
    • Lesson 6: Ten Productivity Principles to Live By
    • Lesson 7: Evaluate Your Progress
    • Productivity Tool Guide
    • Ten Productivity Practices Checklist
    • Productivity Pitfalls Checklist
  • 12
    Course Wrap-up
    • Final Wrap-Up and Next Steps

Instructor

  • Craig  Cannings

    Craig Cannings

    Chief Learning Officer, Freelance University

    In 2008, my wife Kelly and I co-founded Freelance University with the purpose of becoming the #1 go-to training center for Freelancers and VAs from around the globe! As of this year, we have successfully trained over 14,000 Virtual Assistants and Freelancers in more than 70 countries. Kelly and I have had the great privilege of building our Online University while raising our 5 daughters who are the greatest blessings of our lives. I look forward to meeting you and seeing you either in this program or at our University very soon. I leave you with my favorite quote from marketing guru, Seth Godin: "The only worse thing than starting something and failing... is not starting something."

Course Reviews

  • Invaluable Foundation for Growing My Business

    Heidi Dunn

    Freelance 101 was very informative even though I have been freelancing for a few years! The information was thorough, well laid out and well presented. Thi...

    Read More

    Freelance 101 was very informative even though I have been freelancing for a few years! The information was thorough, well laid out and well presented. This course along with the workbooks, checklists and sample forms at the end of each lesson are invaluable tools for my business! Can't wait to get started on a certificate course and take my business to the next level! Thank you FreeU!

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  • Incredibly Valuable!!

    Michael Jones

    This course was so comprehensive, practical and valuable! Thank you!!

    This course was so comprehensive, practical and valuable! Thank you!!

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  • Inspiring

    Nafisa Hassan

  • Freelance 101

    Bruce Allen Thobois

    Well prepared, informative and with the handouts and printable material for reference very useful

    Well prepared, informative and with the handouts and printable material for reference very useful

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  • I like the title. It helps to identify the course as an ...

    Don Garratt

    The modules are well laid out, concise and easy to follow. They also follow a clear and logical progression which makes the content easy to grasp. Well done!

    The modules are well laid out, concise and easy to follow. They also follow a clear and logical progression which makes the content easy to grasp. Well done!

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  • Freelance 101

    Craig Baker

    Great course, I learned a lot and I'm sure I'll refer back to it frequently!

    Great course, I learned a lot and I'm sure I'll refer back to it frequently!

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  • Top Notch

    Sharon Gilbert

    When this new course first came out, i thought it was just an update of VAC 101. Boy was I wrong! It complements VAC 101 for sure; but, it is packed full of ...

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    When this new course first came out, i thought it was just an update of VAC 101. Boy was I wrong! It complements VAC 101 for sure; but, it is packed full of so much more teaching and guidance! If your looking for True Absolute Inspiration and Teaching, you Have To take this course, no matter if your just starting or have been a Freelancer for Ions😊 if you don't gleem something throughout the course maybe you need to revamp your Mindset! So glad i came across Freelance U and all the valuable courses it continues to offer!!

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  • Review of Freelance 101

    Scott Perry

    Freelancing is a whole new way of keeping oneself employable in the ever-changing workplace which requires workers to be more open and flexible. As for mysel...

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    Freelancing is a whole new way of keeping oneself employable in the ever-changing workplace which requires workers to be more open and flexible. As for myself, I do admit to having limitations in learning technical skills that were not around when I was attending school. I am hoping to change and improve my mindset after so many years of working for employers. There is a lot of information here and the program is quite broad. As for myself, I must say it will be a while before I can really find a niche to my liking but I do find writing blogs of interest. On my Facebook account, I have in recent years written accounts of my travels all over the world to share with others. Branding is an interesting if somewhat daunting thing, It's a matter of choosing a suitable brand for the start-up of being a freelancer. I am wondering if it would be appropriate to purchase Office 365 for the purpose of using it for communicating with clients? does Freelancing 101 offer a Microsoft 365 course? The course was interesting as well as somewhat daunting. I will go over my notes and condense what I feel is right for me in order to form a program that is right for me.

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  • This was a great class. It helped me to understand 'the l...

    Mark Collins

  • Perfect title.

    Mary Bellofatto

    Covers every step in clear, concise format

    Covers every step in clear, concise format

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  • Fabulous foundation skills for anyone. Some would be cons...

    Julie-Ann Allen

  • This is Just What I Needed

    Becky Gregory

    I've been a VA for almost 15 years and a lot of what was covered in this course I already have in place. However, what was offered here has given me a new pe...

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    I've been a VA for almost 15 years and a lot of what was covered in this course I already have in place. However, what was offered here has given me a new perspective, a new outlook, new ideas and information and a new vision of my business and of myself as an entrepreneur. I'm very glad I took this step and I'm very excited to to take the next ones.

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  • Informative and Necessary Course

    Thelma Bartholomew

    I would give this course more than 5 stars. I am coming from a Brick and Mortar works situation and was lost as to how to proceed in the Digital World. Thi...

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    I would give this course more than 5 stars. I am coming from a Brick and Mortar works situation and was lost as to how to proceed in the Digital World. This course was amazing, informative and structured to help give new freelancers a great start. Just wish I could have started sooner. Everything in this course is detailed to help you find that first client and know exactly what the Digital World is all about and how to effectively use those tools to help you achieve your goals.

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  • A great introduction to Freelance University.

    Rodney Brazier

    I'm a note-taker, so it took me a while to complete this course, due to all the great information within this course.

    I'm a note-taker, so it took me a while to complete this course, due to all the great information within this course.

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  • Freelance 101

    Debberra Ramsey

    I have learnt a lot from this course. A great introduction to the virtual world, and some great tools mentioned that I've never heard of before. I still ha...

    Read More

    I have learnt a lot from this course. A great introduction to the virtual world, and some great tools mentioned that I've never heard of before. I still have quite a lot of implementing to do, but I'm well on my way. Thanks Craig

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  • Comprehensive Information

    Ann C

    This is a great course. Very indepth information that is well organized and easy to understand. The resources listed are extremely helpoful also.

    This is a great course. Very indepth information that is well organized and easy to understand. The resources listed are extremely helpoful also.

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  • Beginner to Ready!

    Samantha Howard

    I thought I had a pretty solid game plan for starting my freelance business. I have never been so wrong in my life! This course was INVALUABLE. Craig walks...

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    I thought I had a pretty solid game plan for starting my freelance business. I have never been so wrong in my life! This course was INVALUABLE. Craig walks you through the basics of starting your business, from necessary steps for success that you may not have considered yourself to the tools you need to get off the ground running. I really loved how everything was itemized - 4 steps for this, 7 steps for that, 5 points to consider, 3 types, etc. It made for SUPER EASY note taking and made reviewing my notes less painful. I'd definitely recommend this course for anyone considering a freelance business, or even wanting to tune up their own business models. This course is seriously worth more than it's weight in gold. Note: I bought access to the U before taking this course, so this was really a tone setter for me as far as what I was getting into. After completion, I am very optimistic, the wheels in my head are going, and I am excited to continue.

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  • Simpe, thorough, engaging content

    Samantha Vandenberg

    Hi guys,I found this course really worthwhile. Whilst I have already completed VA training in Australia, the level of detail provided by you in Freelance 101...

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    Hi guys,I found this course really worthwhile. Whilst I have already completed VA training in Australia, the level of detail provided by you in Freelance 101 was amazing. I thought I knew my niche, and have already built my website around this however you have given me so many more things to think about. I believe I will change direction very soon and follow what I have a passion for and use my existing skills to compliment this. Thanks again for giving me 'something more' than I expected and I'm really looking forward to working really closely with this community moving forward.

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  • This Course is Food for Thought

    Tammie Daniel

    I appreciate all the time and effort that has been put into the Freelance 101 course. It is continually giving me so much food for thought as I proceed throu...

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    I appreciate all the time and effort that has been put into the Freelance 101 course. It is continually giving me so much food for thought as I proceed through each module. Thank you for helping me re-evaluate some things and discover other ones.

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  • Freelance 101

    Paulette Laura

    WOW!!!! A lot of information packed in what on the surface seems to be a small package. I really like mindset is included in this. I have taken courses from ...

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    WOW!!!! A lot of information packed in what on the surface seems to be a small package. I really like mindset is included in this. I have taken courses from other instructors in the same area, but none compares to the level and depth of information. Bravo FreeU!!!

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  • Good overview

    Stephanie Bateman

    This was a great course. Although not new to some of the information, the course was thorough.

    This was a great course. Although not new to some of the information, the course was thorough.

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  • Helpful Information

    Sherry RANDALL

    The Self-Discovery Assessment was very useful and helped me break down the components that are holding me back. I have identified 3 areas: 1. Confidence, m...

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    The Self-Discovery Assessment was very useful and helped me break down the components that are holding me back. I have identified 3 areas: 1. Confidence, mainly with IT technical issues and how to solve them, but also the running of my website. 2. Time Management - I have the time, but I often do not use it efficiently. I acknowledge I need to plan my days and start time blocking each week and daily for it to become routine. 3. Motivation - I retired from a fulltime position late 2018 mostly due to 'mechanical' health issues. I started freelancing as a proofreader early in 2019 with 2 clients. At the time, I chose not to increase the number of clients as I travelled overseas for 4-5 months later in the year. Now I am ready to start working on these areas, as evidenced by my presence here.

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  • Excellent course if you want to start a freelance busines...

    Sylvie Leroux-Lanthier

  • Fantastic Foundation for a Fabulous Freelance Future

    Chuck Kanupp

    Freelance 101 is certainly a comprehensive course for understanding what it takes to start, operate, and grow a freelance business. It along with the video l...

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    Freelance 101 is certainly a comprehensive course for understanding what it takes to start, operate, and grow a freelance business. It along with the video lessons, there are over 35 tools, assessments, reports, and checklists that are actionable to successfully build, operate, or reenergize any freelance business. If you are starting out, this course walks you through a process that helps to ensure you are getting everything done that will be integral to your business starting off correctly and that, you as a new freelancer, have the understanding and mindset for starting strong. If you are currently a freelancer, this course can help you to identify and overcome many obstacles that may be hindering you personally or your business growth. If you feel stuck, Freelance 101 can help. Also for the seasoned freelancer, too often we can get to a point in our business where we can't see the forest for the trees and the landscape we are operating in has completely shifted. Freelance 101 can give you a refreshed perspective of what freelancing looks like outside of our own office. There are always new tools and perspectives in today's business environment, this course helps to recognize what's fresh and new. Thank you, Craig Cannings and FreeU, for developing this course it has absolutely been a huge benefit to the future of my family and what we will be free do to and accomplish!

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  • Very useful

    Elisabetta Longarini

    I found this course very useful. It gives a lot of ideas how to start and improve freelancer activity.

    I found this course very useful. It gives a lot of ideas how to start and improve freelancer activity.

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  • Thorough and Helpful

    Deborah Besley

    This is a very easy-to-follow and thorough overview of what it takes to be a successful freelancer. They've thought of everything and it's jam-packed full of...

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    This is a very easy-to-follow and thorough overview of what it takes to be a successful freelancer. They've thought of everything and it's jam-packed full of downloadable resources and worksheets. I found it helpful and enjoyable to watch. Thank you!

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  • Entreprenure Mindset

    Peter Mills

    Good start to the course and excellent resources for assessing strengths and weaknesses in this important area

    Good start to the course and excellent resources for assessing strengths and weaknesses in this important area

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  • I am so happy I found this course. It solidifies so much ...

    Annette Larwood

    Video is good, not much fluffy dialog.

    Video is good, not much fluffy dialog.

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  • The title is well-suited to the content.

    Tina Stringfellow

    This is a well-rounded and excellent foundational course that presents the student with tremendous content and tools for getting their business up and running.

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    This is a well-rounded and excellent foundational course that presents the student with tremendous content and tools for getting their business up and running.

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  • Great Beginning

    Amy Nelson

    This was a very informative start to becoming a virtual assistant. I had no idea what it will actually take to become my own boss. I do now and I know what...

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    This was a very informative start to becoming a virtual assistant. I had no idea what it will actually take to become my own boss. I do now and I know what direction I will be taking. Thank you for putting together this class and all the information will be valuable throughout my training.

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  • It is an extremely encouraging course

    María de las Mercedes Guerrero Pérez

    I have been working as a freelancer since 2009. Honestly, I left aside my “why” taking jobs to gain experience. What I value the most is that the course rein...

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    I have been working as a freelancer since 2009. Honestly, I left aside my “why” taking jobs to gain experience. What I value the most is that the course reinforced my “big why" and it gave me excellent clues to relaunch my business!

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  • Great Starting Point!

    Malise Grimes

    Freelance 101 really gets your mind and your juices flowing! The videos are very well put together, which makes learning new skills something to look forward...

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    Freelance 101 really gets your mind and your juices flowing! The videos are very well put together, which makes learning new skills something to look forward too!

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  • Great Info

    MARY WILLIAMS

    Learn a lot of new information

    Learn a lot of new information

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  • Venturing into the "land" of Freelancing?

    Kathy Birkett

    Craig Canning's step-by-step process provides the reader with a thorough understanding of what is required to set up a freelance business. By the end of the...

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    Craig Canning's step-by-step process provides the reader with a thorough understanding of what is required to set up a freelance business. By the end of the course you will know what how to set up an home based office and the "tools of the trade" to venture needed. In addition, there is some great resources on how to find the niche and the clients you will want to gain in your business. I highly recommend this course to anyone who is either looking into, or venturing into the Freelance business. You will certainly have a greater understanding of what Freelance is all about.

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  • Great Starting Point for a Freelance Business

    Sue Chadwick

    This was an enjoyable, yet thorough, course in how to start a freelance business. I learned a lot. It helped me to focus on a niche, define my target marke...

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    This was an enjoyable, yet thorough, course in how to start a freelance business. I learned a lot. It helped me to focus on a niche, define my target market, and build all the productivity and marketing systems necessary to get it off-the-ground. I will re-visit these concepts often, as I move forward in Freelance University.

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  • Amazing Course!!

    Alexandra Montfort

    This course was fantastic! Each lesson is clear, provides practical steps and is not overwhelming! You get the exact information you need to begin implementi...

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    This course was fantastic! Each lesson is clear, provides practical steps and is not overwhelming! You get the exact information you need to begin implementing. Freelance 101 is awesome for novices and those that may need a refresher. Thank you sooo much!

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  • Appropriate Title for the Freelancer or Virtual Assistant

    Patricia King

    Text was very pertinent as instructions, and what is in demand for today's freelance or Virtual Assistant businesses. I learned about many possible options,...

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    Text was very pertinent as instructions, and what is in demand for today's freelance or Virtual Assistant businesses. I learned about many possible options, methods, and techniques that can be used for efficiency.

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  • A Wealth of Information!!

    Nicole Turturice

    This is a deep dive of information! The course gives you information of things you may not have thought of, which is a huge help and gives you an advantage.

    This is a deep dive of information! The course gives you information of things you may not have thought of, which is a huge help and gives you an advantage.

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  • Excellent guidelines to developing, establishing and oper...

    Barbara Gilbert

  • Freelance 101

    Karen Sandrelli

    Lots of great concepts to think about and incorporate. Some were more common-sense but still good to have all of these tips and resources in one place

    Lots of great concepts to think about and incorporate. Some were more common-sense but still good to have all of these tips and resources in one place

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  • This course was excellent and comprehensive; it has given...

    Tanya Davis

  • Everything I needed to setup my business

    Casandra Hayward

    I am so thankful and grateful that I was able to take this course. I found everything that I needed to actually get my business going. Thank you!

    I am so thankful and grateful that I was able to take this course. I found everything that I needed to actually get my business going. Thank you!

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  • We all need this course, thank you!

    Sabrina Espinal

    You need this course. Whether you have been in business for many years or you are just starting. Most freelancers jump into a freelance lifestyle because the...

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    You need this course. Whether you have been in business for many years or you are just starting. Most freelancers jump into a freelance lifestyle because they have a laptop and a need to make money. But there are many segments of being a solo entrepreneur that we all need to learn and put in place to run a successful and professional business. Learn about the foundations of running a business, how to go from an employee mindset to an entrepreneur mindset (this is a big one), personal branding (so important), finding the right and profitable niche (this may surprise you), creating offers, pricing your services, billing and so much more. I highly recommend this course as a means to get "on-point" and uplevel yourself and your business.

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  • Very good

    Jennyfer Moreno Shek

  • Freelance 101 Review

    Esther White

    The course was long but Wonderful! It's an answer to my prayers. I didn't think there was any hope in moving beyond working a "9-5". Plus I was bored and no ...

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    The course was long but Wonderful! It's an answer to my prayers. I didn't think there was any hope in moving beyond working a "9-5". Plus I was bored and no longer interested in working for someone else. Freelance U has given me hope and shows me that I can do this. Craig thank you so much for the hope you and your team have given me.

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  • Great place to refresh and focus thoughts. Excellent reso...

    Kenneth Lattin

    Well done. Presented in a great format.

    Well done. Presented in a great format.

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  • Apt

    Jacqueline Henderson

    Clear, concise. Exercises were helpful

    Clear, concise. Exercises were helpful

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  • It was very good

    Michele Costic

  • I enjoyed this course and listening to the instructor, he...

    Barbara Newton

  • Great introductory course to the freelance business

    Craig Sobolik

    Great amount of information. Very thorough. Excellent handouts. Rather lengthy to watch all videos but well worth the time investment.

    Great amount of information. Very thorough. Excellent handouts. Rather lengthy to watch all videos but well worth the time investment.

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  • Great Program

    casandra hayward

    Thank you for creating so many useful resources.

    Thank you for creating so many useful resources.

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  • Price, Package & Position your Services

    Kelly Wayman

    I learned a lot and am excited to start this journey!

    I learned a lot and am excited to start this journey!

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  • Mindset matters!

    Audre Hill

    While going through this section, I took notes on how the topics and questions applied to my background and to the lifestyle I want to create with my new bus...

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    While going through this section, I took notes on how the topics and questions applied to my background and to the lifestyle I want to create with my new business. Following the suggestion to take my time and give each section some thought (rather than racing to finish) is paying off--I feel clearer about my strengths and weaknesses, and more confident about my ability to build a successful business around them. 

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  • Great Course - Freelance 101

    Judy Strain

    Great course! Really good quality information. The videos are easy to watch and learn from. The instructor is thorough, engaging, and informative. I feel con...

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    Great course! Really good quality information. The videos are easy to watch and learn from. The instructor is thorough, engaging, and informative. I feel confident that I can apply what I'm learning to not only build a freelance business but in my daily routine. I enjoyed taking this course.

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  • Build Your Personal Brand

    ANITA ROBERTSON

  • Excellent

    Mathilda Mascarenhas