Being broke is too expensive.
Three times in 2014, in June, August, and September, I made more money in my freelance writing business than I did in 2013. You’ll learn how I did it.
The first assumption many freelancers have is that it takes years to build a successful business.
Even though I agree with that, it’s not totally true.
The reason why I said that is because when you don’t have enough clients who pays what you’re worth, then you’ll always be on the lookout for more opportunities.
But what about other freelancers who when they started, leverage their network and had clients come to them in droves.
Does this freelancers need years before they can grow their business?
I don’t think so.
Embrace the best business model
If you’re struggling to make more money online, freelancing is the best business model that I recommend.
Because you really don’t need thousands of clients to work with – if that ever happens you’ll be drained and may even quit freelancing due to too many assignments.
Needless to say, the 6-figure freelancers don’t have plenty of clients in their cabinet, but a handful of clients that pay handsomely. That’s exactly how to achieve freedom, while doing what you love and impacting lives with your work.
Let me quickly show you how to make more money from a single client if you’re a freelancer or aspiring to become one.
In fact, this is the same strategy I used to generate over $30,000 in those three consecutive months – without sending endless pitches.
Step #1: Project your personal brand high
Satisfaction is what brings about repeat clients.
How often you pursue clients has a lot to do with the legacy that you’ve left behind with your initial clients.
According to contently, 28.5% of freelancers pursue new clients every month. In other words, they churn and burn clients – only to start from scratch. How sad!
Personal branding is no longer an option in today’s freelance-paced world, it’s a necessity. “Because people buy from other people,” says Pam Moore.
It’s high time you launch yourself as a freelancer. There is no perfect time to start. As a freelancer, you’re the CEO of your own personal enterprise.
As such, you’ve to project your personal brand at the forefront. A research study found that 87% of people believe that a CEOs reputation is an important part of a company’s reputation.
If your reputation is questionable, you can’t thrive, no matter the marketing skills that you posses. Your personal brand is your identity online. Tame it. Safeguard it. Because your success depends on it.
You see, some of the clients whom I’ve worked with in 2011 still recommend my services to their friends – not because I’m the best writer, there are better writers out there.
But my slate is clean. My reputation is so important to me. Interestingly, if I run into muddy waters with a client, I usually will deliver the job, but will not send an invoice. You may think I’m a fool for doing that, but only I define who a fool is, you don’t have a right to call me names…
A fool is someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing. But in this case, I understood pretty much that laying up gold for the rainy day; in the nearest future, is more important than today’s profit.
Quick tip: Do all that you can to make your clients happy. Treat them like a King, so that when they wake up by 12.00 midnight, they’ll remember how awesome you handled their job. This will go a long way.
Step #2: Know what you’re worth
Freelancing doesn’t really sound that difficult. Once you set a standard that’s in line with the value that you bring into the marketplace, smart clients who understand what “quality work” means for their business will hire you nonetheless.
How much are you worth?
This is a confusing question to most freelancers. Only a handful knows how to calculate their worth.
First, calculate your hourly rate. Here’s how to do it:
Go to Yourrate.co: Fill in your annual income (how much you want to make per year)
Fill in your billable hours per week (how much of your time in hours you’re willing to invest into clients’ works)
Finally, how many weeks in a year would you like to go for vacation or just relax and leave work behind? Fill that in as well.
Here’s how it should look like:
Finally, click the “CALCULATE MY RATE” button to get the final result:
So your hourly rate is $67, if you want to earn $50,000 annually, working 6 hours per day and taking only 2 weeks off.
Depending on how fast you’re, it’d take you 1 – 2 hours to write a 1000+ words article. And you could earn $60 – $100 per article.
So it’s possible to make 5-figure income every year if you’re hard working. But you’ve got to stick with your rate, and only work on increasing your value so that you can charge more. But don’t charge less.
Step #3: Reference clients’ results in your portfolio
Crafting a portfolio that will pique potential clients is always a nightmare for freelancers. That’s why I recommend that you reference client’s results in your portfolio instead. See how I did it on my portfolio page:
You may not have a lot of work in your portfolio page, but if you can take the results that you generated for clients, or their testimonials, you’ll command more rate than ever.
I’ll have to digress a bit here. I started freelancing in 2011, and till date, one of the things I’m glad I did was build my email list. In fact, every month, I get 1 or 2 clients from my list.
Also, whenever I need feedback from prospects and clients alike, I would send a persuasive email newsletter and with the push of a button, hundreds if not thousands of feedback will be sitting in my inbox.
As a freelancer, if you’re not collecting your prospects email address, you’ll always pursue new clients and you know how difficult that can be.
Step #4: Offer complementary services
There is something to be said about being an expert in one field. It becomes a major obstacle when you refuse to see through the lens and offer your clients complementary services.
Obviously, you want to make more money, and that’s exactly what your client wants. By working with them on a specific project, you’ve already won their heart.
Don’t take that lightly. As a professional freelancer, your major pursuit is to retain clients more, and increase customer lifetime value (CLV).
You really need to diversify, because if you don’t do it then your client will look elsewhere. So how do you do that?
Let’s assume that you only offer blog writing services. Do you know there is possibility that your clients would need help with copywriting, SEO, PPC advertising, social media marketing, and more?
If you don’t have additional skills aside from what you’re currently offering, YOU CAN ALWAYS LEARN. There are free lessons online, high-quality and interactive tutorials to help you out.
Even if you want to learn high-level programming, you can do it online and become a pro at it.
In 2014, one of my clients needed a social media manager. I said that I would handle it, and deliver excellent results and I did. How?
I read every social media marketing book I could lay my hands on. I watched YouTube videos, and attended social media webinars. Most especially, I studied the best times to post on social media, and posting frequency – and that really helped. A lot.
Trust me, you could charge premium prices for complementary works. For example, if your current rate falls within $70 – $150 for logo designs, did you know that you can/should charge between $500 – $1,500 to design customize a WordPress theme.
Here’s how Oli Anderson puts it:
“If you are a web designer, don’t just do one kind of website. If you are a developer, don’t just manage one single kind of coding. If you are a writer, don’t write in a single niche. In fact, don’t just remain in your own industry. Designers and developers can get into writing, even if it is technical.”
Freelancing is here to stay. More people are going to get in. It’s a choice to either increase your earnings or remain where you are. But rest assured that business expenses and fees will continue to add up.
For example, just PayPal alone is 2.9% +$0.30 for people who live and work in the U.S. This means that if you earn $1,000 per month, that is almost $30 in fees for a single transaction.
So what’s left for you?
Work on improving yourself. Top up your skills, and above all, stick out your personal brand like a fork. You’ll find that your income will continue to increase – even when you don’t have floods of new clients looking for your sign post.
What major challenge holds you down from earning what you’re worth as a freelancer?
This article was a contribution from Michael Chibuzor of ContentMarketingUp.com.