freelancing fundamentals 101

The path to predictable freelance income is shorter than you think.

You have what it takes to build a successful, profitable freelance business. You just need to follow a step-by-step process to raise your rates, fix your marketing, and sell confidently (even if the idea of “selling” scares you).

If you’re a freelancer, then you know all about unpredictable income.

Some months, you’ve got plenty of work. You’re flush with cash, so you pay off a sizeable chunk of debt. You do a weekend getaway to a cool city and don’t have to watch your spending. You really are living the dream!

Then, two months later, your bank account has gone from an enviable playground to a sad place with a rusty swing set. You wonder how on earth you’re going to pay your bills. Your anxiety amps up from 3 to 11.

After several stagnant months, you begin to doubt your ability to build a successful freelance business.

You do good work. You take good care of your clients. Your rates are competitive.

So what gives? What are you missing?

Unpredictable freelance income leaves you feeling stuck, frustrated and, if we’re going to be super honest here, jaded.

Are you ready for two hard truths?

  1. You always make what you’re worth.
  2. Somebody with a third of your talent is making 3x as much as you RIGHT NOW.

You’re welcome to disagree but look around you. We’re afloat on a sea of crappy creative. Weak writing, ugly design, and crappy code is all around us! Somebody got paid to produce that garbage. Clearly, “quality,” “experience,” or “skill” are NOT a prerequisite for charging premium rates.

The only thing stopping you from charging more is… you.

Charging more is the first thing you need to do to make predictable freelance income. 

If you don’t raise your rates NOW, you will miss out on $10,000s in the coming months and years.

I don’t mean to be harsh. 

I care about your freelance business. I don’t what you to miss out on $10,000s because you kept saying “yes” to crappy clients (many of whom, consequently, are very nice people) and “no” to a successful, profitable business.

Most freelancers don’t believe they’re saying no to success.

Despite the fact that they’re frustrated, they continue to undercharge, and their reasons for doing so seem sensible:

  • “I’m just not very good at business.”
  • “I need more experience.”
  • “I’m charging less while I build my portfolio.”
  • “If I tell my clients I need to charge more, they will leave.”
  • “I’m shy and I hate client calls.”
  • “Selling makes me nervous. I don’t want to be ‘that guy.’”
  • “I don’t want to sell my soul and do work I don’t enjoy.
  • “I know I do good work, but I’m scared to death to put myself out there and actually solicit clients for work.

I used to feel exactly like you. I never wanted to be a businessman.

I mean, I had two degrees in English. My life plan was to be a poet and a college professor. I only started freelancing by necessity when I got laid off from my job, had no unemployment benefits, and had no savings.

Not the most auspicious start!

But I did find a way out of freelance feast-or-famine.

I can show you how I went from $486 in April to landing my first $2,900 per month retainer in November.

I was a clueless poet who became a savvy businessman by sticking to the fundamentals. If I can do it, so can you.

Predictable freelance income is closer and easier than you think.

The Freelancing Fundamentals process consists of five main steps:

  1. Rethink your freelance rates using the right framework.
  2. Rework your pricing.
  3. Repackage your services as products.
  4. Use a simple marketing plan to fill up your pipeline.
  5. Sell by asking good questions and taking notes, not “pitching.

That’s right… we’re going to focus on the fundamentals.

I don’t believe in shortcuts. I don’t believe in perfect plans or foolproof recipes. I do believe in practicing fundamentals. 

I also believe in the uncommon sense like this:

  • The easiest way to raise your freelance income is to charge more for each project.
  • Before you can charge more, you must raise your rates.
  • Raising your rates takes confidence—or as I like to call it, “swagger.”

Someone with a third of your talent is charging 3x as much as you RIGHT NOW. 

How can someone who doesn’t do amazing work get clients to pay premium prices?

He understands that pricing is branding.

He sets his rates and stands by them.

She has the guts to walk away when clients try to lowball her.

He or she has swagger.

You may doubt you have what it takes to build a successful, profitable freelance business, but I don’t. You just need to build your confidence by following a step-by-step process to raise your rates, fix your marketing, and sell by listening, not pitching.

Now is the time to do something different and expect different results.

Life’s too short to spend most of your waking hours getting underpaid to do work you don’t particularly enjoy.

Ready to take your freelancing serious and increase your income by $10,000 per month?

The practical strategies and tactics that Freelancing Fundamentals covers you can use immediately to tune up the core areas of your freelance business.

it starts with one small step
Maybe you want to spend more time with your kids or finally finish your album. Maybe you to give more money away or help your husband quit his boring job. You can travel the world and buy a house and be more generous with your friends, family, and faith community. You can be your own boss, set your own schedule, and work anywhere in the world. You can practice Freelancing Fundamentals and use your profitable business to bankroll the lifestyle you want.

I’ve distilled the key lessons I teach in $1,500 one-on-one strategy sessions into a $349 course you can work through at your own pace.

this class will help you

– Learn what separates you and 100k a year, freelancers

– Structure your billing schedule so you don’t get screwed

– Create a basic marketing plan

– Gain confidence and clarity 

– Gain insights to recognizing dead-end clients


It’s nice to meet you, I’m Austin

My name is Austin L. Church, and I am thrilled to finally be pushing this Freelancing Fundamentals course out into the world. I’m a freelance writer and marketing consultant living in Knoxville, Tennessee. My lovely and patient wife Megan—aka, DJ Megatron—and I have two boys, one girl, and one minivan.

My family is the reason I’m so gung-ho about freelancing. I want to watch my kids grow up. I want to be around. I want my kids to say, “Go away!” not “Why is Dad always gone?” My family and my faith are my motivation for constantly improving my business and myself.

The freedom to choose my hours and move things around in my schedule is way more valuable to me than the supposed “security” that a 9-to-5 job offers. The only problem is, working for someone else really isn’t more predictable or secure.

I learned that the hard way back in April 2009 when I got laid off. My boss called me into his office on a Friday and told me with tears in his eyes that he had to let me go.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do without you,” he said. “You’re indispensable.”

“Uh… clearly not!” I thought.

I woke up the following Monday with $486 to my name and no clue what to do next. I didn’t really know what “freelancing” was. I had no freelance clients. I had no clue how to run my own business. I had never taken a single business class.

Talk about a great start! (That was sarcasm.)

Things were really scary for awhile. By the grace of God, I was able to quickly scrape together enough projects and money to pay rent and utilities.

Seven months later, I landed a $2,900 per month marketing retainer, and my eyes opened. That first year I gave myself a raise. I made 24% more as a freelancer than I would have if I’d kept my 9-to-5 job! Along the way, I made a surprising discovery: I liked business, and I was good at it.

Oh. A poet good at business? How strange.

A richer, fuller vision for my calling began to emerge: helping to create a bigger middle class of artists. I want to teach 1,000,000 creatives how to make at least $100,000. 

Just think about how much money all those creatives will give back to their friends, families, communities, churches, and favorite causes! Or let me rephrase that: I believe the way I can exponentially increase my positive impact in this world by help you build a profitable business around work that doesn’t feel like work.

Will you allow me to participate in your transformation?

That may sound a little weird, but it is certainly less corny than saying I want to help make your dreams come true, which is also true. Ha! Like smart athletes, smart business owners stick to the fundamentals. That’s what I teach. Freelancing Fundamentals.

I hope you’ll invest in this course, and I hope you’ll allow me to join you on your journey.

If a poet can learn how to be a smart businessman, then so can you. It’s your turn now. You’ve got what it takes to be a successful freelancer, and like any journey of a thousand miles, this one begins with a single step.

HERE’S What other freelancers have to say about it
“Austin’s advice has helped me as a freelancer in more ways than I can count. Since putting practical tips to work, I’ve broken up with troublesome clients, explored new fields, tripled in confidence, and nearly doubled my hourly rate.”
Elissa Watts
Writer & Communications Specialist
“I now have writing clients in cities across the nation. My income tripled over the last month. You gave me everything I needed to get started, and your blog posts keep encouraging and inspiring me. Thank you!”
Amy Noelck
Writer, Editor & Organizer
“The way you explain things made me feel like I was getting personally coached by a New York Times best-selling author.  I recommend this course to anyone doing consulting, writing, design, coding, or other freelance work.”
Mitch Purgason
Freelance designer & stylist
“I now have writing clients in cities across the nation. My income tripled over the last month. You gave me everything I needed to get started, and your blog posts keep encouraging and inspiring me. Thank you!”
Jim Rainier
Owner, Fresh Start Media Group

Still, have some questions? No sweat.

How is this course different than other freelance courses?

I like some of the other courses out there. In fact, some of the course creators are my friends! But I did see some gaps.

There’s a lot of talk about what you should be doing and where you should end up, but the step-by-step process was missing.

For example, I’m not going to tell you, “You really ought to sell productized services.”

I’m going to say, “Here is the exact sequence of steps you need to take, and here is the worksheet that will walk you through each step.”

When will Freelancing Fundamentals go live?

The course goes live on February 15.

How will you deliver the course?

You’ll get your own login credentials to the password-protected members area on All of the videos, worksheets, and other course content will live there.

What all is included?

  • 29 lessons
  • 12 worksheets
  • 5 real-world assignments

Are you a charlatan and fraud who wants to take my money and run?

I certainly hope not. Check out the testimonials scattered throughout this sales page. Check me out online. Book a call with me on and ask me trick questions.

What happens if I don’t like the course?

Just let me know within the first 30 days, and I will give you a full refund. Keep in mind, however, that I will ask you this question: “Did you go through the material and take action with what you learned?” I’m like a personal trainer. You can pay me to meet you at the gym and tell you what to do, but only you can lift the weights.


So… I sincerely hope you will get to work and see the same results that my other students have.

What if I have a question about something the course doesn’t cover?

We’re going to do 2 live Q&A sessions when I’ll be happy to answer your questions.

What if I want some one-on-one help?

I offer various private coaching and mentoring packages. We can find one that’s a good fit for you.

What’s Austin’s favorite food?