When I discovered Collective almost three years ago, I had little idea of what an incredible impact it would have on my life.
At the time, I was a little over two years into my full-time freelance career.
My business was flourishing. But the process of filing taxes and keeping up with my books was becoming increasingly difficult.
I’m an excellent freelancer. And I’m an excellent entrepreneur. But I’m no tax expert.
I used to dread my quarterly filings with every bone in my body. And cursed the Quickbooks gods for seemingly making the process more difficult than it had to be.
To make matters worse, my husband is also a self-employed contractor.
So as you can imagine, tax time in my household was no fun.
We had been paying a local firm to help with our actual filings.
The fee for two self employed individuals with multiple 1099s was a mere $7,000 per year.
That’s not a typo – $7,000 per year for just quarterly estimates and annual filings.
And that didn’t even include bookkeeping.
When Collective came into the picture, it’s no exaggeration to say, they changed my life.
They helped us file as S Corps which saved us a ton of money on our taxes, took over our books, and did it all for a fraction of the price of the local firm.
It put the accounting part of our business on autopilot, and let us get back to doing what we were good at – delivering quality products to our clients.
So needless to say, when Collective approached me a few months ago about joining their referral program to help spread the word about their services, I lept at the opportunity.
Since then, at the time of this writing, I’ve referred more Collective members to date than anyone else in the program.
And I’ve done so, by earnestly sharing my story.
How to promote your referral partners
When it comes to referrals and affiliate sales, there’s really one major rule of thumb: finding an audience who is in need of that item or service.
As many business owners already know, identifying your target audience is key in everything you do.
It doesn’t matter the medium. It matters who’s listening.
Luckily for me, I’m already deeply entrenched in the freelance community online through blogging and social media.
My following isn’t huge – with just a mere 5,000 followers total between the major platforms including Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. And my freelance blog only receives about 4,000 pageviews per month.
But what makes my network unique is that it represents a curated group of professionals who are likely in need of a back-office tax platform specifically designed for self-employed individuals, exactly what Collective offers.
All I have to do is connect the service with the people who are in need of it.
And selling something that you genuinely love is the easiest thing in the world. I enjoy preaching the Collective gospel because I know what an impact it’s had on my business. And I know how it can help others in my position.
What to say when promoting
Thanks to Collective, I don’t have to worry about bookkeeping, taxes and other government related tasks and can focus a 100% on my work. If you’re self-employed and need help with legal, tax, bookkeeping and ongoing support, all-in-one place, you’ll love Collective!
Arjun Dev Arora
Strategy, Venture, Technology
When telling people about Collective, I try to avoid sounding “salesy”.
I don’t use cheesy taglines or catchphrases. I don’t use cutesy sales techniques.
Collective’s ideal target audience are self-employed professionals looking to improve their bottom line and maximize their time.
They are pitched to – through ads and cold calls – dozens of times a day.
They know better than to fall for slimy sales tactics. They can tell whether or not you are genuinely passionate about a product or simply trying to make a quick buck.
And when people feel like they are being “sold to” they immediately become defensive and suspicious.
Instead, I earnestly share my personal story, and how Collective has specifically helped me and my business.
By sharing my personal story, my audience knows that this is more than a sponsorship or an ad. It’s a testimonial.
My audience can easily relate to my struggles and pain points, because they’ve had similar experiences.
In many cases they’ve already been looking for a service like Collective but just didn’t know where to turn.
I also share specific features and benefits about Collective’s service.
I tell people about the money we’ve saved on our taxes since filing as S Corps. I tell people about the $85 dollars per month in subscriptions (Quickbooks and Gusto) that are included with membership. I tell people how Collective will file your spouse’s taxes for free, even if they’re on a simple W2.
And my favorite part? I tell people about how my husband and I have had 90% fewer tax-related marital spats.
“You’re always behind on your bookkeeping,” my husband used to complain. “Why do you do this to yourself?”
“It’s too haaaaarrdddd,” I’d whine like a toddler throwing a tantrum.
The stress reduction alone, for me, is worth the price of admission.
Don’t sell. Find the right audience. Share your story.
And don’t be afraid to get a little personal. Authenticity is key.
How being a Collective referral partner continues to change my life
Fast forward to today. Collective continues to change my life in ways I never thought possible.
The Collective referral program popped up at a transformative time in my career. I was already transitioning from hourly service-based work to content creation.
Some months, I pulled in more income from the Collective referral program than I brought home as a once-salaried employee.
The extra income I receive from promoting a service that I already use and love has given me the runway I needed to spend more time blogging and building new income streams.
I’m now focusing less on hourly income and more on planting seeds for my future.
I also like to think that I’m making a difference in people’s businesses, which is a great feeling.
I know there are others out there right now, just like me, who would do anything to put their taxes on autopilot and have no idea a company like Collective even exists.
And it’s my mission to make that connection happen.
Tennessee native Morgan Overholt is a freelance graphic designer, owner of Morgan Media LLC and co-founder of TheSmokies.com. Morgan and her team have worked with nationally recognized clientele from all over the world, including the Centers for Disease Control Foundation (CDCF), Kimberly-Clark, and Stanley Black & Decker.
Morgan transitioned into the role of freelancer and small business owner after spending nearly a decade in the traditional corporate world left her feeling unsatisfied and unfulfilled. Today, Morgan is passionate about sharing her story with other hopeful entrepreneurs who hope to follow in her footsteps. She has been featured on Upwork.com, Refinery29, and Business Insider.