Build a Referral-Based Business with Maddy Osman

Build a Referral-Based Business with Maddy Osman

Better Freelancing Episode 021:

Build a Referral-Based Business with Maddy Osman

Here’s how to connect with Maddy…

HTML & CSS Tips for Bloggers
The Blogsmith
Chicago Cheap Ass

Episode 021 Takeaways

  1. Freelancing can be a stepping stone to gain job experience.
  2. Hiring a freelancer is a cost effective alternative for many small businesses.
  3. Networking events can help you to grow your online business faster.

Episode 021 Quotables

“I have a lot of other freelance friends and acquaintances … they want to partner with me. Those aren’t jobs I have to go out and win.”
Maddy Osman

“Networking events are still a huge part of what I do. I like going to conferences, too … if you’re not networking, you’re not meeting new people, and you’re not getting new business.”
Maddy Osman

Start Your Own Online, Service-Based Business

Listen — freelancing isn’t just for so-called experts. You, too, could enjoy the freedom, flexibility and financial independence of work-at-home freelancing just like my guests on Better Freelancing.

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What Is Better Freelancing?

Better Freelancing — formerly known as Better Blogging — is the video interview series that explores the best practices of successful freelancers. Catch new episodes bi-weekly, with occasional bonus episodes! Subscribe to my YouTube Channel for updates.

Here are a few recent episodes you might like…

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Thanks for Watching!

Have a question for me or my guest? Why not drop it in the comments below?

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31 thoughts on “Build a Referral-Based Business with Maddy Osman

  1. Excellent video Brent.
    Referral marketing is a must and most businesses ignore the power of asking their existing database of customers for support and business referrals.

  2. Congratulations on your first episode Brent, it was a good one friend! And I just signed up to get your help with freelancing :).

    Hi Maddy,

    It’s great to meet you. I’m so glad I watched your interview and thank you for sharing what works for you and how you get new business. I’m going to have to look for networking meet-ups here in Houston and of course online ;).

    I wish you both continued success. Have a great day!


    • Hi Corina,

      I didn’t realize you live in Houston! Do you ever hang out with Adrienne Smith…? You totally should! And I bet there are a ton of networking events down in Houston, too.

      Glad you enjoyed the first episode, and thank you for subscribing to my list. Hopefully you continue to enjoy the content I send out!

      Better Freelancing Episode 022 will feature Alicia Rades and will be published this Monday, February 29. Stay tuned!

      Thanks for watching and commenting. Best,


    • Cori,

      Thanks for the kind words 🙂 Brent will definitely lead you in the right direction with freelancing – he’s helped me a lot! Best of luck in your freelancing career!


  3. Hey Brent,

    Great interview with Maddy here.

    She’s absolutely right about networking. It’s truly key — yet the truth is, I’ve never actually attended a networking meetup. That’s something I need to ‘try’ to do and setup.

    Huge congrats to you both, Maddy and Brent. And I wish you both nothing but success in 2016 and beyond.

    – Andrew

    • Ah, man… you’ve never attended a networking meetup? That’s too bad. At least you have quite a few options in Toronto. My wife attended a conference for beauty bloggers in the east end last year… I imagine there must be others like it.

      Thanks for checking out our interview, Andrew. And thanks for making time to leave a comment. Your well wishes are appreciated, and I know this year has a lot in store for you, too.



    • Andrew,

      It can be scary to take that first step but I promise it’s worth it! Bring a friend, even if they’re not in the same industry. They can be your networking “wingman” 🙂


  4. Hello Brent Jones,
    Good interview 🙂
    Agreed with Maddy, as she quoted ” if you are not networking, you are not meting new people and not getting into new business.

    No doubt freelancers are doing well,a ll they need is a better guidance to be showed upon.

    Thank you for sharing this one.

    Shantanu sinha

    • Hi Shantanu,

      Thanks for checking out my interview with Maddy and leaving a comment!

      Yes, it’s so true. Sometimes we just don’t know what doors will be opened when we make new connections. It’s funny when I look back over my own list of clients… thinking back to how and when I first encountered them. You just never know where a conversation might lead.



  5. Hi Brent. I enjoyed your first episode with your new branding. I think you have done a good job of honing on a niche. That’s what I have been struggling with for the last six months, and it can be hard to let go of something that you’ve created.

    I liked what Maddy said about not burning bridges, and I wish I could mix and mingle the way Maddy is able to in Chicago. I love country life, but it does have some networking disadvantages. 🙂

    All the best,


    • Hi Leslie,

      Thanks for commenting and for your positive feedback!

      I’m happy to be interviewing again. I really enjoy getting to connect face-to-face with so many talented people.

      Narrowing down your niche can be difficult. Don Purdum helped me a lot with that — identify one person with one problem, and then offer that person a solution. I highly recommend checking out some of his content — like this article — to get some ideas.

      There certainly is a lot going on in Chicago, isn’t there? Great city.

      A lot of my business also comes from referrals, and I live in a fairly small town… none of my business is local. It’s still very possible to network, build connections and acquire referrals without having to attend events in person. It’s just a different way of doing things, I guess.

      You rock, Leslie! Chat soon,


    • Leslie,

      Chicago is definitely a great place to live with a lot of opportunity! But when all else fails – reach out online. There are so many awesome Twitter Chats, and Linkedin/Facebook groups with people who are likely sympathetic to what you’re doing.

      And I feel the same way about finding a niche. “The Blogsmith” started out as “Put Your Brand Online.” The name wasn’t bad but it didn’t really focus on what was important, so I threw it out! It’s definitely a process 🙂

      Thanks for your comment,

  6. Awesome interview, Brent! Nice landing page, btw. I like it!

    And thanks Maddy for sharing! It’s always inspiring to hear other freelancers who are doing well. It helps others know that there is success to be found in freelance work.

    • Hi Raymonda,

      Thanks for taking the time to check out this episode and leave a comment. There will be 20 episodes in all this year — a new one posted every other Monday. So stay tuned… because if it helps you to see other successful freelancers, we’re just getting started!

      I appreciate your kind feedback on my design. Best,


  7. Great interview, Brent. Enjoyed it a lot…and was thrilled to hear of your success, Maddy!

    Ya know, I’ve never gone to a networking event. That caught my attention right away–though I’m not sure that would work for me. Being here in Utah, artists are as common as water from the tap , so I have intentionally avoided local business.

    Good or bad, I’m not sure–but it’s working for me presently, lol.

    So I learned from this is to develop a “service intense focus” and build referrals!

    Thanks you two.

    – Jaime Buckley

    • Hi Jaime,

      Awesome of you to stop by and check out the interview. I look forward to featuring you in Episode 024!

      I know artists are common in your area, but I wonder how many illustrators are networking with local businesses? You might find out that those local artists aren’t as great at making connections as you are.

      Referrals are, of course, the best compliments we can receive as freelancers. And I’m sure you get a ton of them!

      Hope you’re having an awesome day,


    • Jaime,

      I live in Chicago where awesome networking events aren’t hard to come by. I’m sure it’s a different story in non-metropolitan areas!

      One thing I do is to always be “virtually” networking on Twitter and LinkedIn – I’ve found some amazing quality connections by being helpful and sharing useful content to those in my niche.

      This type of networking will help you get to referral status 🙂

  8. Woohoo! Go Maddy! What a fantastic interview. I’m so inspired to go to a few events this year and start building some local connections as well. Keep up the good work 🙂

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