Try doubling your rate. Yes, I’m serious.
Ask any freelancer if she’d like to earn more money, and I’d bet her answer will be something along the lines of, “Of course! Who doesn’t?”
But there isn’t always a clear path between wanting to earn more and actually doing it.
Here are five ways you can earn more as a freelancer without simply working more hours.
Add-on products or services can be an easy way to earn more from your current customers without doing a ton of extra work.
If you’re a web designer, for example, you could resell white-label web hosting to your clients. If you’re a writer, you could offer to create social media messages to accompany the blog posts you write. If you’re a photographer, you could offer bound albums or framed canvas prints.
Think about the things your clients are likely to buy in addition to what they’re paying you to do. Then see if you can offer it directly to them — for a profit.
Training can be a direct add-on to your regular freelancing business, or you can offer it as a standalone product. Create a course, an e-book, a webinar, or in-person training for your services.
For example, if you create websites in WordPress, offer training on topics like how to add content, install plugins, change (or customize) themes, or how to keep your WordPress site secure.
Any freelancer working in a technical field will find a demand for training. Other potential candidates include marketing consultants who might train their clients in maintenance activities or photographers who can teach people how to style themselves for professional photo shoots.
Sell Stock Products
Stock photos, templates, themes, graphics, audio files, and the like can all be created when your regular freelance work is a little slower. Once they’re completed, they can provide you with an “evergreen” income stream.
An average WordPress theme with customization options can sell for anywhere from $30 to $100-plus. Some people make their livings entirely from selling stock products, forgoing regular, individualized client work entirely.
Visual designers can easily sell stock images. Web developers can sell virtual goods such as plugins or extensions. Musicians can sell stock audio files. If you create something that could be reusable, then you can probably sell a stock version.
The most obvious way to make more money as a freelancer is to work more hours. But you can only work so many hours in a week before your productivity — and mental health — begin to suffer.
One solution is to outsource parts of your business. By letting go of some tasks, you can concentrate more on what generates the most revenue, like landing new clients, upselling current customers, or focusing on the services you can bill the most for.
Anyone can outsource some work, whether it’s the behind-the-scenes administrative tasks or client-facing products. Just be sure to thoroughly vet anyone you bring on board to help share the workload.
Increase Your Rates
I know this sounds risky. But so many freelancers undercut themselves by offering rates that are lower than what their services are worth.
The next time you bid on a project, double your rate. I’ve done this successfully multiple times, effectively doubling my rate in the process. If you charge $30 per hour, try quoting your next project at $60 or more per hour. You’d be surprised at how many new clients accept a higher rate without question. However, this can be trickier with existing clients, so you may have to roll out these increases gradually.
One of the best things about freelancing — apart from the flexible schedule, of course — is that you’re in charge of how much you earn, based on your rates, your add-ons, and how many clients you can land.
Diversifying your income and figuring out how to earn more without necessarily working more are great ways to make your freelance business more stable and fulfilling.