On average, freelancers make 45 percent more than their office counterparts. Sounds pretty great, right?
But what if you’re looking to build your business this year, trying to find a way to make more money? I’ve pulled together some simple ways you can bolster your freelancing income.
1. Increase Your Prices
Sometimes the best advice is the most obvious: The easiest way to make more money is to charge more! However, it’s not uncommon for people to get in their own way — to feel nervous or uncertain about how to raise rates. Try these tricks:
- Start with new clients. It’s easier to sell different rates to a new client, rather than someone who has been paying you the same rate for several months. It’s OK to start small: The next time you get a new inquiry, commit to increasing your rates by 5 percent. Your prospective clients won’t know what your “usual” rates are and you’ll get a good sense of the feasibility of this increase.
- Focus on projects, not hours. Repackage your services to create a project rate instead of charging by hour. When you charge by the hour, it can feel like a lot for someone to pay you $200 per hour. But you can charge $2,500 for a project, do an excellent job, and your client doesn’t need to know whether it took three hours or 30.
- Don’t use zeros. I love this trick: Delete the zeros from your proposals to increase your prices gradually and win more work. For example, instead of charging $3,000 for a project, try $3,315. Not only does it put an extra $315 in your pocket, but also your client is more likely to think that you put time and effort into coming up with an exact quote for the scope of work at hand.
2. Increase Your Marketing
So one way to grow your income is to increase the amount you charge per client; another way is to bring more clients into the fold. Fresh marketing is a great way to make more people aware of the services you provide. Try this:
- Invest in your online presence. Build yourself a beautiful website. You can use a platform like Wix, Strikingly, or Squarespace to get started. For a comparison of which platform is best, see here.
- Build your network. Join networks of freelancers like the Community for QuickBooks Self-Employed or Freelancers Union Hives. Commit to going to events regularly, and try to meet just one person per event who will be a lead for new work.
- Volunteer your services. Offer to do pro bono work for a high-profile nonprofit, NGO or small business. If you’re a Web designer, redo the website of the hot, new boutique in town. If you’re a writer, send a pitch to a blog you read regularly and offer to write a series for free. Getting your name out there in connection with brands you care about is a great way to build your portfolio!
3. Expand Your Services
What are your clients always asking for above and beyond your services? Are you in marketing and you repeatedly hear that your clients need images and other graphics for social media? Are you a writer and you constantly hear that your clients need help maintaining their WordPress website? Try these suggestions to capture that additional business:
- Pick a partner. Find other freelancers you trust to provide the services your clients need. Offer deals and refer each other clients as appropriate.
- Do it yourself. Learn new skills so you can become the go-to professional! Learn a little bit of Photoshop to take your content marketing game to the next level, take a course in SEO so you can offer search engine-optimized posts, or beef up your WordPress skills so you can help your client manage her website. The more skills you bring to the table, the more work you can do for your client. Plus, you can charge more for hard technical work.
Freelancing gives you great earning potential, but that doesn’t mean you should settle. Like any traditional career path you should look to innovate and grow your income.
Adda Birnir is a member of the DailyWorth Connect program. Read more about the program here.