For this customer spotlight we focus on web developer Taylor Scollon. You can find Taylor on Twitter at @taylorscollon.
Provide us with a little background: How long have you been self-employed? What type of work do you do? How did you get started?
I have been self employed for around 2 years. Prior to that I worked in politics. I started dabbling in Internet marketing and web development while working on campaigns. Eventually I was able to start taking on paid web design contracts and, fortunately, turn it into a full time business.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself when you first went out on your own?
Charge more. I always undervalued my work. I probably still do to some extent. I notice a lot of other freelancers have a similar problem. But in my experience the limit on what you can charge is mainly mental. If you have an in-demand skill, you are likely providing more value for your clients than you think.
How have relationships with others had an impact on your success? Did you get to where you are by yourself or did others play a role? How so?
80% of my business comes through my network, either people I know or referrals from people I know. Having a solid network and tapping into it is probably not the only way to build a client base, but it's what has worked best for me. I'm not recommending 'networking' in a sleazy way here, by the way. Just let the people you know what you're up to and to keep you in mind.
Where would you like to be one year from now in regards to your business?
I'd like to have a stable and large enough revenue stream to create time to complete some interesting side projects. I'm definitely not the type of person who wants to be working 24/7. The goal is to make enough money to get by and spend the rest of the time doing cool stuff.
How does goal-setting factor into the way you run your business?
I am bad at setting financial goals. I have vague annual targets in mind, but that's about it. I have the sense that goal setting is important, but I fail when it comes to actually doing something about it. One of the things I like about Harpoon is that it compensates for my laziness in this regard: just set one goal for the year, and it breaks down what you need to do every day to get there.
Taylor Scollon is a web developer specializing in web products that improve conversion rates. Learn more about Taylor at taylorscollon.com.