How to Write a Freelance Business Plan

How to write a freelance business plan

If the phrase “just winging it” makes you smile and sounds like epic wisdom to you, this post is for you. If you are a serious freelance business planner and want to outline all the details of how to acquire clients and run a freelance business, this post is also for you. I’ve lived both ways. Both have their benefits.

But my goal today is to get you organized. I’ve already talked with you extremely attractive people about the 12 Essential Steps to Starting a Freelance Business, and today I’m sharing one more step: writing a business plan. A freelance business plan or creative business plan is immensely helpful for your creativity, brand goals, client acquisition, client retention, budgeting, and marketing goals, among others. Starting a business that can potentially replace your full-time income and help you live the lifestyle you desire is too epic to be left to the “fly by the seat of your pants” doctrine.

Transparent moment coming:

It makes me incredibly sad when I see people (friends included) half-tail their way through a freelance business. I promise that I have done it that way. I promise it doesn’t work. And I promise I see a lot of people’s creative businesses fold because they’re not prepared. It hurts, because all of the people I’ve met happen to be talented.

I know that you’re busy. Believe me. I have been writing and creating content for the last 12 hours straight, and I have at least 5 more to go. So, I believe that you are busy. However, please, if you run a freelance business, take some time to watch this FREE webinar on how to create a freelance business plan. If you want a bit more guidance or input, I also have personal, one-on-one workshops called Create Labs that include business plan writing for your blog or freelance business, so feel free to check those out too. But for now . . .

The video training includes:

  • links to 5 free downloads (including a creative business plan template)
  • instructions on how to fill out each section of a 10-section freelance business plan
  • links to resources that will help you with your business plan
  • other awesomeness

Free Freelance Business Plan Template

Download the freelance business plan template by clicking the image above (it’s a Google Doc you can copy and paste into your own account or word processor) and check out the video training (which was a live Google+ Hangout, but is now available as a recording below) for the webinar and other free downloads and resources (including a freelance service processes worksheet and an ideal client survey, among others).

What say you good freelancer people? Gonna write a business plan. I promise you won’t hate it.

Photo: Jovo Jovanovic via Stocksy.com

91 Comments on “How to Write a Freelance Business Plan”

  1. Regina, you are wonderful. Every time I think of something business or blog related, you have me covered. How did you get to be so amazing????
    Seriously though, this is perfect. Thank you for helping me get one step closer to achieving my dreams!
    Much love, Beth x
    P.s. loving the Grow Your Blog with Social Media ekit. Can’t wait to get stuck in!

    • Beth, thank you for your kind words. I appreciate your time + this comment so much. I’m glad that you are living and working on your dreams.

      And, yay to the Grow Your Blog eKit. I’m so happy to hear that! Thank you.

  2. Aww, yeah! I’ve been meaning to put together a freelance business plan and have been using your blog business plan template, but this is much, much more suited to that obviously 😉 I can’t wait to check out the training and get to work! Thanks, Regina.

    PS I wish I lived in Texas now for the Create Labs. Sounds awesome.

    • Sierra, yay. Thank you. Yes, I think this fits better. I also made this one a bit less intense, but still powerful when you really go through it. I can’t explain enough how my bplan has helped me.

      Thank you for taking time to check it out, and thanks for saying that about the Labs. I’m pretty excited but will try to take them on the road next year as well.

      • Oh, that’d be so awesome! I’ll have to put in a vote for Philadelphia, since that’s where I’ll probably go to college next fall 😉

    • I’m so glad you were there. Honestly just knowing you were watching and supporting was very calming. I get less and less nervous each time with these. They’re honestly becoming a lot of fun.

      Thank you, as always, for your support and thank you for sharing the event with others. I appreciate how giving you are Erika.

      • You looked completely natural and confident. You seem to me to be a natural teacher. These webinars are a great forum for you! (Oh, and thank you for that great Twitter list tip, too. I loved that.)

  3. I’m so excited!! As usual, you create amazing things, love that you share + help other creatives!

    • Keizra! You are such a huge support and encouragement. Thank you for your words. This makes me feel like I’m in the right space. I’m such a big fan of yours and take your words very seriously I appreciate you!

  4. I always set aside time for your posts. I love them! If you don’t mind me asking. What tool do you use for editing your images? Photoshop? And where do you get your images from? They’re wonderful and I’m in the process of finding my consistent “look” online. Thanks for what you do!!!!

    • Aww, Maritza, that’s really a huge honor that you take time with my posts. Wow. What a lovely thing to say. Thank you.

      For editing images I do use Photoshop. I’ve used Canva (to try it out, and I definitely love it) for some blog images, but I’m most experienced with Photoshop, so it’s my default.

      The majority of my images come from Fotolia.com, but lately I’ve been finding great images at CreativeMarket.com and Stocksy.com.

      Thank you for the great question. I can’t wait to see what you come up with for your blog.

  5. Oh wow Regina, you are AWESOME!! This is going to be so helpful for me, thank you for taking the time to do this ansd share it with us!

    • Maru, I can’t get over how lovely it has been to connect with you these last few months. You’re one of my favorite bloggers, so supportive, you do such beautiful work. I love how seriously you take blogging yet how laid back you are. Thank you.

      • You just made my day Regina! It has been such a pleasure to connect with you and I have learned so much from your site, things that are important and that have changed the way I blog and the things I can create with it, thank you!

  6. Hi Regina, I really appreciate the work you put into sharing your knowledge! I plan on using the resources you provide to help rebrand my business (Blog Design). Thank you so much, this is definitely the kind of information worth sharing!!!

    • Wow. Thank you for letting me know. And thank you for your sweet comment. I’m all about the black + white on your blog Ce Ce, it’s such a timeless, beautiful combo.

  7. Pingback: 12 Essential Steps to Starting Your Freelance Business - by Regina [for bloggers // creative businesses // and you]

    • Aww, thank you. Even though I can only understand 1/2 the words on your blog, you seem lovely and I definitely love that sidebar profile photo. The hair!

      Thank you for stopping by and leaving such a sweet comment Lamia.

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  9. I love your blog, but considering I have sensory overload, hearing things makes it difficult and trasnscripts aren’t always provided in the blog world. 😡

    For “SWOT”, what does the T stand for? At first, I thought I mistook it for “P” and it’s “press”, but then I heard it again, and it sounds like “duress” or “tress” or “stress” or “strep”.

    :3 Thanks in advance!

    • Liz, haha. You’re so right. I probably didn’t pronounce it wonderfully either. You have me laughing with the “strep” though. Sorry. I meant to say “Threats.” To analyze what could be a threat to them.

      Thank you for the questions and your sweet compliment.

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  11. Hey Regina!

    I just wanted to say thank you for all your amazingly helpful articles, including this one. I don’t think I would have had the confidence or felt anywhere near prepared enough to start a business and launch my first e-course had I not come across your site a few months ago. Since then, I’ve been working my way through your posts, completing all your fantastic worksheets and making a copious amount of notes. This has been an invaluable resource for me and I know it’ll to inspire me in future! So thank you, Regina, for being so friendly and authentic and an all-round star 🙂

    • Skye, that’s the most amazing thing you’ve just said. Thank you so much. I appreciate that you took time out of your day to comment and leave me encouraged.

      Is your e-course this amazing looking Writember? Congratulations on launching that. It looks so packed with value. I love that it helps writers focus on and do the one thing that must be done most, writing.

      Thank you again for coming by, reading, and sharing your wonderful feedback.

  12. Regina,

    Thank you SO much for this post and the video! I have been struggling with putting together a business plan for a while now since most business plans are designed for companies rather than freelancers. After finding your site on Pinterest though, I feel much better about how to get where I’d like to go, so thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

    I do have one question: In filling out the “Define Your Audience” worksheet, I had a hard time narrowing down my audience since I can see a wide variety of people seeking out my services. How would you recommend I narrow this down? Should I do a profile for each type of client I can imagine for myself, or do I need to make my overall business goals more specific first?

    Thank you!

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  15. Hey Regina! I just found your site and blog yesterday and have consumed at least 15 posts in the past few hours. I’m most excited about this post and getting my business plan underway. Thanks so much for posting!!

  16. Thank you for sharing this! It’s putting my mind at ease when it comes to creating my business plan!

  17. oh man. That was so incredibly helpful! I’m starting a new business and the whole video & all your resources are just perfect. You explained a business plan better than my teacher did in my college business course. Thank you for this!

  18. I just watched your video and am definitely feeling much more ready to tackle my business plan. Thank you so much for so many excellent resources – it’s really appreciated by those of us with non-existent budgets and it’s super inspiring as well!

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  20. Regina

    A light in the dark! I have been struggling to begin a business plan, your explanation and worksheets provide an excellent basis for me. Thank you so much!!

  21. I want ask u basic step
    how we become a partner of freelancer in my town there is no company of any kind sector so i m decide to open bussiness give work them through my company hw much investement how to contact with us

  22. Your information is always so awesome! It takes the stress out of figuring out what step to take next. Thanks for the help!

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  26. Thank you for an awesome webinar. You are super inspirational and I look forward to create my business plan. Thanks again.

  27. Thank you so much Regina for this article. I was stuck in my blog project having tones of ideas in my head and not being able to organize them ! So now i crystal clear vision of the change i wanna make for my company.
    I’m a french entrepreneur and business planning here (in France) is so boring you don’t want to put your nose in it.(does that sound english?)
    I’m gonna follow your blog, so inspirational and answering all my questions !
    Take care, bien à toi,
    Claire from France

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  31. Remarkable.

    I have always dreaded doing this but you have laid it out very well. Thank you for the examples (fake PR biz), downloads, and this video. The downloads are going to help me so much!

    I can honestly say I’m excited to dive in. I’ll be sure to come update you once I’ve finish. I plan for this to be very soon as I’m already doing business and I don’t want to fold!

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  35. Hi Regina

    I really love everything you do. I’m such a fan!

    you talk about som Keyla Holits in this video but i can´t find her site. Do i have the right name? It´s about 8 min into this movie.

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  37. Just wanted to say thank you and this is so helpful – I have started following/receiving a lot of your free products as I explore starting a freelance side-business. Your resources and contributions are so valuable!

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  40. Hi Regina.
    There was a time in my life I thought I made a mistake studying english for teachers (I’m from Poland). I got really into sewing, drop studies after my BA and in between gave birth to my beloved daughter. Now I’m planning a business in tailoring and concider my ‘mistake’ the best thing ever. I wouldn’t be able to find and understand your site if I haven’t spend that amount of time with that little devils in primary school… THANK YOU very much for sharing all that information and being so nice.

    This is my first comment on internet ever (going to do that a lot more now).
    Have a nice day!

  41. Holy MOLY, girl! I stumbled across this while looking for business plan help all over the internet and it is an INCREDIBLY helpful resource.

    I’m a wedding DJ, in business for 2 years, and while I have experienced growth and success, my business plan has only existed in my head – and I’ve come to a point that I know that progression is calling for a real, solid plan. I love that this is simple and not overly word-y or jargon-y like many business plans out there.

    I almost never listen to webinars due to a super short attention span, but I was hooked on this one – even skipping back to make sure I caught everything. I can’t thank you enough for all of the included resources here. I feel like I’ve struck gold!

    Ok, I’ll stop gushing now, but for reals, thanks a million <3

  42. You are a ROCK STAR! I’m so grateful to have found your site. I can now breathe a sigh of relief. I have been blogging for fun for about a year off and on. I’ve just decided to take the leap and make it a full time job and I’ve paid for my domain. Soon I’ll be selling handmade all natural organic skin and hair care products as well.

    Not having a whole lot of business experience I’ve been doing a lot of online research and have even taken several online community college courses. None of which have really helped me really pinpoint exactly what steps I needed to take for me and my business.

    But you…. honey chile! You are able to break it down in a way that’s so normal and less business-y. Thank you so much for your openness and willingness to help the wee folks like me. You really are a blessing! ?

    Check me out on IG and the twitter @_dreadedbeautii. My blog will be back live on June 1st if you want to check it out DreadedBeautii.com (It’ll still be a little green, but aren’t we all a work in progress?). Blessings to you!

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  46. This post reminds me I need to check my biz plan, which consists of a few goals in a blog post about how I don’t like business plans! LOL (I linked it.)

    Your plan is much more detailed, and I agree Tom’s post was cool and useful.

    I need to dig through your site more. I totally want to guest post for you!

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  48. Regina… you are so generous with your excellent knowledge … I’m excited to share this info with my tribe … thank you!! ❤ Ande

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  50. I am not a freelance business owner but a salon owner and this was soooo helpful! Thank you so much for producing this! I am definitely using all the resources and tips you offered.

    Ashley 🙂

  51. This is huge and I’m so grateful for it. I was part of your first Zero to Blog class (I think then it had a different name) and have been obsessed with your advice ever since. Thanks! <3

  52. Thank you so much for your knowledge and resources, Regina! This is the best tutorial I have found regarding setting up a business plan. you’ve brought peace to my world! 🙂

  53. Thank you very much for taking the time to share. This is an extremely helpful resource. I thought I would never be able to do it before I found this tutorial.

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  57. Oh my goodness how amazing to have had the opportunity to find this both available and free. You’re very generous with your information.
    I have been dreading making a business plan for myself, but you have just made it so exciting 🙂

    Thank you for creating something so simple and directly to freelancers. Such an awesome community.

  58. This is super helpful, thank you for taking the time to offer, this freelance business plan, it seems like a lot of work, but very helpful and useful, and free!! Thank you for the worksheets too!!

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  60. Hi there! I work as a freelance writer on essay-helpwriting.org and I can say that this job really pays off. It is a good possibility to develop my proffesional skills and broaden my outlook while conducting researches on different topics.

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