How Alli Hill Used Jobs Boards and Fiverr to Launch Her Six-Figure Freelance Business

How Alli Hill Built a Six-Figure Freelance Business

The flexibility of freelancing appeals to many of us. Alli Hill was motivated by a boss who wanted her to take on additional responsibilities without a pay increase. Alli decided to use the skills she was developing for her full-time job to build her own business on the side, and today, she enjoys all the privileges that come with being her own boss.

In this interview, Alli shares her journey from frustrated employee to six-figure freelancer. One of the most unique parts of her story is how she transitioned out of her full-time job by staying in the role but moving to work as a contracted consultant instead of an employee.

Now that her business is established, Alli works fewer hours and spends more time with her family. Read on to see how Alli has grown her business and her plans for some new monetization methods.

Key Takeaways

👉 Alli started her service business with a $0 investment
💼 She found her first clients by using job boards
🚀 Alli used Fiverr to build her portfolio and get reviews
📣 Today, Alli is expanding into speaking and writing a book

Overview

Business Name: Fleurish Freelance
Website URL: https://www.fleurishfreelance.com/
Founders: Alli Hill
Business Location: Online (US)
Year Started: 2016
Number of Employees/Contractors/Freelancers: 0

How much revenue and profit does the business generate?

I went from $0 to a steady six-figure salary in less than three years.

Tell us about yourself and your business.

I’m a freelance writer and content marketer specializing in SEO content, feature stories, SME interviews, and case studies to help businesses grow their digital footprints. I consult with clients on their content strategies and provide the eyes, hands, and expertise they need to execute on all components of content marketing. I am expanding my personal brand to include additional revenue streams, including contributorships and columns, books, digital products, and speaking events. 

When I’m not helping clients at the keyboard, I am a wife and mom. Our family of four lives in Georgia with a golden retriever, a cat, a hamster, and five chickens. I can usually be found on the sidelines of the baseball field cheering for my son or watching my daughter dance and tumble.

Fleurish Freelance Website

How does your business make money?

The majority of my revenue comes from client work. I collaborate directly with brands and business owners to build and execute content strategies, from keyword research and topic creation to blog and landing page writing, email newsletters, and social media copy. A small portion of my revenue comes from by-lined work for large publications.

I’ve earned some paid speaking events and am currently writing a book related to freelancing. 

What was your inspiration for starting the business?

Working a typical 8-to-5 punching someone else’s time clock was not ideal for a mom of two-under-two. The moment my boss asked me to level up my marketing skills so I could handle more duties for his business (with no discussion of a pay increase) was the last straw for me. So I put my new marketing skills to work for myself.

I landed a few content writing clients after about two weeks of prospecting. This helped me build a real portfolio, which helped me continue to get clients. Eventually, I had so much client work I no longer had time to work my old desk job, so I renegotiated my role and offered to consult for the business at a restructured salary and on a 1099 contract instead of full-time employment. 

My business grew organically, allowing me to charge more for my services, work fewer hours, and be present for my family.

How and when did you launch the business?

I landed my first writing client in 2016. Within a month, I had four steady clients and a growing portfolio that helped me successfully prospect additional clients.

How much money did you invest to start the business?

Surprisingly, $0. It went against everything I thought I knew about starting a business. I didn’t have months of expenses saved up. I didn’t have an office. I didn’t buy fancy software or equipment. I used the laptop I already owned, worked from my couch, and relied on “freemium” software and tools like Asana and Google Docs. 

Alli Hill
Alli Hill

How did you find your first few clients or customers?

Good old-fashioned job boards led me to my first few clients. Without a website, blog, or any other online presence, I focused on outbound prospecting. It was a lot like applying to any other job, except with the realization that I was an independent contractor instead of an employee.

What was your first year in business like?

The first year was a struggle in terms of time management, simply because I was still working my full-time job while trying to build my business. I wanted to ensure my success was sustainable and not just beginner’s luck. I wanted to have a system in place to continue acquiring clients.

What strategies did you use to grow the business?

I prioritized online reviews and referrals from previous clients and industry connections. To start collecting reviews, I joined Fiverr as a seller, which allowed me to shift to an inbound marketing approach. I could spend less time prospecting and more time working with clients and generating income.

I also focused on agency relationships, which allowed me to work with a variety of clients and build a diverse portfolio. Agencies handle the day-to-day efforts of generating leads, billing clients, and developing strategies, which leaves me more time to create the content without wasting time on non-billable activities.

Tell us about your team.

No team, just me.

What are your future plans for the business?

In addition to gaining client work and rebuilding my team, my growth plans for 2024 include gaining contributorships to large publications, booking speaking events, and publishing my book and digital products.

How did you make the transition from side hustle to full-time?

I patiently waited until I was spending more time on my side hustle than my day job. It was a natural progression, and I’m glad I waited because it gave me the confidence I needed to keep going.

What was the turning point when you knew your business was successful?

When COVID hit and many businesses were shuttering or struggling to survive, my business was thriving. I had more work than I could handle. Thankfully, I had a great network of other freelance writers that were in need of extra work, so I quickly assembled a team to keep the growth going. They helped me get over the pandemic mountain and allowed me to maintain good client relationships.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned growing the business?

Growth doesn’t always come naturally. There’s an ebb and flow to everything, and no matter how skilled or popular you are, you need to be prepared for both. Dry spells happen to everyone; it’s about how you respond and how you use your time that will help you emerge better and stronger on the other side.

What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs?

Just start. You don’t have to have all the answers, a foolproof plan, or thousands of dollars in savings. Motivation follows action, so take the first step and get things moving.

What are some of your favorite books, blogs, podcasts, or YouTube channels?

Atomic Habits by James Clear and Badass Your Brand by Pia Silva are two of my favorite business books. I love reading Pia’s work and her witty style. I also enjoy Laura Belgray and her Talking Shrimp blog.

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