/  2024   /  Quick chat with Austin L Church
Austin L Church, The content byte summit 2024

Quick chat with Austin L Church

You’re a writer, marketing consultant, and business coach. You’re clearly passionate about writing – what drives you?

What drives me is participating in other people’s transformation. That’s been the throughline in so many pursuits and projects, and a good day for me is when I create something that makes a noticeable impact for good in a friend or stranger’s life.

You’ve coached many people and presented to even more. Do you believe writers really can carve out a six-figure income?

Yes. Making six figures as a writer is possible, but it’s not easy. That said, I don’t think it’s harder than making less than six figures but a matter of leaning into different levers: positioning, packaging, pricing, pipeline, and well-defined process, among others. 

What have been the highlights of your own career so far?

Hmm… Building and selling a portfolio of 30+ iOS and Android apps. Publishing a children’s book, Grabbling. Publishing Free Money, a pricing and money mindset guide for freelancers and consultants. Paying off all my family’s debt, other than our house. Optimizing my business so that I have ample unscheduled time. 

You’re doing the keynote on day 1 about how to create the life you want with your writing – what do you hope copywriters, journos and content specialists attending will get out of your session?

I hope they’ll walk away from that hour believing that they’re worth it (the higher prices, I mean). Lots of us hear that we should raise our rates. We may even believe we should. An important question is, “Why haven’t I done it already?” Examining and upgrading one’s beliefs about money, raising financial literacy, and setting smart, strategic prices are three things that make a significant impact on how much we enjoy our businesses and lives.

What skills do you think are the most important for freelancers to acquire, especially now?

Woof, that’s a tough question. I can make the case that, because all the skills and aptitudes required to run a small business are interlinked, they’re all important. If I had to pick, though, I’d say 1) marketing, 2) sales, and 3) leadership. The last one might seem odd, but if you can lead freelance clients, you can charge a lot more.

Why do you think freelancers need to attend conferences like the Summit?

Camaraderie for sure. A condensed and focused opportunity to learn and make key pivots with your business. And the opportunities to collaborate that emerge naturally once you’ve had happy collisions with new people you wouldn’t otherwise have met.

The conference theme is all about futureproofing your career. What steps are you taking to futureproof your own?

I’m moving upstream and focusing more on strategy and advisory work. Meanwhile, my audience is growing, and I own a direct line of communication with them through my weekly newsletter, Freelance Cake. Publishing the book adds to my authority, particularly in the freelance and consulting space, and that authority bleeds over into the consulting work I do. The best clients prefer to hire experts. Becoming a recognized expert is a no-brainer in a choppy market.

Do you think the future is exciting for freelancers, and if so, why?

Yep. The idea of job security was always a mirage, and lots of folks are realizing it’s less risky to bet on themselves by pursuing an independent career. There’s a reason more and more people start freelancing every year: Once people realize they can own their calendars, that freedom becomes more compelling than the predictability of a salaried position. 

What are you most looking forward to at the Summit? (a particular speaker / session, meeting colleagues, or welcome drinks)

I look forward to spending time with Lynne and Rachel who have already been so lovely. Having a chance to share my approach to pricing which has already created A-ha moments and changed the lives of so many freelancers, consultants, and agency founders. And enjoying Sydney of course! I lived there for a couple of months in 2004, and I’m excited to return.

Where can Summit attendees find out more about you?

Through my Free Money book or signing up to the Freelance Cake newsletter.

Austin is our keynote speaker on Day 1, talking about pricing for life. He’s also on a panel alongside Brook McCarthy (also Day 1) where they’ll get more into the nitty gritty of pricing.

Find out more about Austin on his profile page or via his website.

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