Freelancing provides freedom, flexibility, and unlimited creative control. However, freelancing also comes with its challenges.
For new freelancers, it can be difficult to find your footing and begin securing clients. For long-time freelancers, things can start to feel stagnant. You might not know what actions to take in order to progress your freelance business to the next level.
Regardless of where you are in your freelancing journey, there are things you can do to boost your earning potential. Here’s a list of seven simple strategies to help you earn more money as a freelancer.
1. Understand your ideal client
You may have heard the saying, “If you try to sell to everyone, you end up selling to no one.” If you want to be a successful freelancer, it’s important that you hone in on your ideal client. The more precise you can be, the easier it will be for you to find and secure the right kind of client. When you target your ideal client, this will lead to less time being wasted pursuing the wrong types of leads.
If you’re unsure of your ideal client, here are a few questions you can ask yourself to help you narrow it down:
- What problem do you solve? For instance, if you are a freelance writer, you solve the problem of a lack of content or an inability to create actionable content. Now, you look for clients that need help solving that problem.
- What niche area do you want to focus on? If you’re a web developer, do you want to focus on web development for law firms or nutritionists?
- What type of person do you ideally want to work with? What do you value as a freelancer? Time, money, freedom? Once you know you can aim to find freelancing clients who align with these values and who understand your worth and are willing to pay for it.
2. Become a specialist
Becoming a specialist offers a number of opportunities to earn more money as a freelancer.
Firstly, when you become a specialist, you become more valuable in your industry. The more specific your specialty and the fewer people who can do what you do, the higher your rates can be.
Secondly, when you have greater professional expertise in a particular field, you can accomplish the work faster. Since you know the subject matter inside and out, it takes you a fraction of the time to finish a project.
Thirdly, being a specialist makes it easier to find clients because you know exactly who you are looking for. In addition, if you specialize in a small niche area and you do a great job, people will start to know your name and seek you out.
3. Optimize your productivity
There are several strategies you can use to optimize your productivity so you can make money online as a freelancer:
- Create a schedule – ensure you have a plan outlined for each day so you can focus on getting to work instead of wasting time trying to figure out what you should be doing.
- Use task batching – batching is when you group (or batch) similar tasks together during a specific period of time. This strategy helps to improve focus and productivity. For instance, you could batch all of your creative tasks like writing and designing in the morning, and only answer emails in the afternoon. You can also batch by days of the week. Perhaps you decide to only take meetings and client calls on Wednesdays so you can focus on your freelance work without interruption on the other days.
- Outsource – if you can afford it, consider paying someone to do certain tasks that take time away from your primary freelancing focus. This might include things such as accounting or administrative tasks. This can be an effective productivity strategy, providing you use the time you save by outsourcing to perform tasks that will net you more money.
4. Focus on high-value clients
While having clients is obviously necessary to run a successful freelance business it’s important to have the right clients. It may seem counterintuitive to get rid of any paying client, but you have to assess your opportunity costs.
If you have any low paying clients who monopolize your time with unnecessary phone calls or ridiculous demands, you should question if they are really worth keeping.
Perhaps your time could be better spent seeking out clients that are a better fit. A better fit in terms of your values, and a better fit financially. Remember, one of the major perks of being a freelancer is that you get to choose your clients.
5. Sell information products
There are only so many hours in a day that you can work and make money as a freelancer. As a result, there’s a cap on your earning potential. However, by creating and selling an informational product, such as an online course, you can begin to pull in the best kind of income…passive income!
Use your education, knowledge, skills, and experience to build an informational product or course that will help others. While it takes a lot of upfront work to create an information product, once it’s created and put out there, you get to sit back and reap the financial rewards.
6. Build your network
As a freelancer, your livelihood depends on finding paying clients. Building your network and online presence (through guest posting sites for example) is one way to get your name out there.
You can also create profiles on some of the social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. Share your best freelancing work and focus on building long term online connections. Use tools like Facebook Groups to locate your target audience and be an active and helpful contributor in group discussions.
Networking takes time and effort so make sure you schedule some time each day or week to ensure you are creating a consistent presence. While you might not see the results overnight, this is an effective long-term strategy to find new clients and make more money.
7. Do amazing work
“Be so good they can’t ignore you,” said Steve Martin.
If you want to earn more money as a freelancer, then make sure you are always putting out your best work. Be better than everyone else, and care more.
There’s a ton of competition out there, regardless of your freelancing area. If you want to make a name for yourself and start demanding top dollar for your services, then be the best at what you do.
Whether you’re a newbie to freelancing or a seasoned pro, these seven strategies can help you to elevate your freelance business and start making more money.
Freelancing provides an amazing amount of freedom and flexibility, but it also takes discipline, motivation, and hustle. For most freelancers, success doesn’t happen overnight. But, if you apply some of these techniques and stick to it, there is no doubt that you will start to see the fruits of your labour.