Joe Hader: From Freelancer to Business Owner

September 20, 2023
Content Marketing | Direct | Marketing Strategy

Episode Summary

In this episode of Direct with Corrina and Taylor, our hosts engage in a deep dive with Joe Hader, Founder of Preframe. Joe shares his journey from being a freelancer to becoming a business owner, emphasizing the importance of systematization and process management in delivering a high-quality customer experience.

Joe discusses the challenges of transitioning from a service that depends solely on him to creating a productized service that can operate independently. He highlights the value of focusing on a single problem and designing systems around it to execute consistently. This approach, he believes, allows for the creation of a well-oiled machine that can deliver solutions effectively.

The conversation also touches on the mental hurdles that solo founders often face. Joe candidly shares his experiences, and the hosts encourage him to be more outspoken about his beliefs and insights.

Featured Guest

Name: Joe Hader
What he does: Founder
Company: Preframe / LinkedIn
Noteworthy: A freelancer turned business owner, Joe is a hobby farmer and multi-talented musician.

Key Insights

The Shift from Freelancer to Business Owner

Joe discusses the significant shift from being a freelancer to becoming a business owner. He emphasizes the importance of designing a service or product that doesn’t solely depend on the founder for its fulfillment. This approach allows the founder to focus on their unique abilities and start building a team around fulfillment and scaling. 

The Power of Asking Questions

Joe shares a crucial mindset shift that helped his business grow – moving from pitching his services to asking open-ended questions about his clients’ needs. By understanding the market his clients are targeting, their competition, and how they differentiate themselves, Joe can identify where he can provide value. This approach contrasts with offering help without understanding the context, leading to more effective solutions.

The Value of a Productized Service

Joe highlights the benefits of having a productized service. He mentions that specialization, or identifying a single problem in a market and becoming an expert at solving it, is a key reason for productizing a service. This deep expertise compounds over time, providing significant value to clients and differentiating the business in the market.

Episode Highlights

The Journey from Freelancer to Business Owner 

In this segment, Joe discusses his transition from a freelancer to a business owner. He doesn’t underestimate the founder’s importance. Still, his goal is to build a service where he can remove himself from the fulfillment process, allowing him to focus on his unique abilities and grow a team around fulfillment and scaling.

“I think one of the biggest shifts from freelancer to business owner would be designing a company, designing a service or a product where you’re removing yourself from the fulfillment of the product or service […] I want to make sure that the service itself doesn’t solely depend on me, though I’m designing myself into key inflection points to ensure quality and making sure that we’re doing things in the right way.”

The Mental Hurdles of a Solo Founder

Joe talks about the mental challenges of being a solo founder. He admits to often getting stuck in his head and emphasizes the need to be more of his own cheerleader and advocate. The hosts affirm their support for Joe and encourage him to overcome these mental hurdles.

“I get in my head a lot about; I guess that’s part of the defining features of being a solo founder bootstrap, is you just get in your head and you get looped in there forever. But I can take even more action, being outspoken about the things that I believe in or the things that I see.”

The Importance of Social Selling and Partnerships 

In this part of the conversation, Corrina discusses the importance of social selling and leveraging partnerships. She emphasizes the need to empower employees to talk about the company’s services and offerings. Joe shares his experience with ZoomInfo and reluctance to follow the old playbook of spamming a list.

“I wanted to be able to identify a problem and then design systems around it so that we could execute consistently and also be able to provide a really high-quality customer experience. So all of this requires systematization and process management.”

The Value of a Productized Service

Joe highlights the benefits of a productized service. He explains how identifying a single problem and becoming an expert at solving it can provide significant value to clients and differentiate the business in the market. He also discusses refining the service over time to create a well-oiled machine.

“So 5, 10, 15 years into it, it’s like, Hey, we’ve been in this focused game, laser-focused on the single problem. And then, we’d be able to bring best practices and solve that unique challenge. And be able to differentiate.”

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