Increasing your freelance income EVERY year is very possible.
As freelancers, we run our own businesses. We can decide when we want to ask for a raise or do other ventures to increase our earnings. This freedom, the flexibility, is what gives us more leverage than regular employees.
But sometimes, we get stuck in a rut. Even with a regular flow of clients or consistent work from long-term customers, we can’t gain that additional bump to our weekly, bi-weekly or monthly paychecks.
The good news is there are simple solutions that can address these issues all year round. They may give you the boost you have been looking for to better enjoy your solopreneurship, both financially and psychologically.
1. Team up with other freelancers
New or seasoned, freelancers reach out to one another. This is because we work at home and on our own, and so it’s logical to find other individuals who understand our work environment and what we go through.
Forming connections with other remote workers is the first step to forming partnerships with them. When you have formed good connections, reach out to these individuals and ask if they’d like to partner with you for certain gigs.
For example, if you are a web designer, you can suggest a joint venture with a writer.
There are many ways to do this.
The most common is to refer each other’s services to new clients. You both get to work for the same project or with the same client while charging separate fees. You can pitch this solution to your prospect employer, adding another 5 or 10% to the amount charged by your partner (or vice versa), depending on whoever manages the deal with the client.
The key is to work with someone you trust and who trusts you as well. With that said, you and your partner should agree to these conditions when forming the collaboration.
2. Earn from your online portfolio or blog
There’s no rule that says you cannot earn from your professional portfolio, especially when you have a blog integrated into it.
One thing you can do is to include affiliate links to your posts. Just don’t stuff it in too much as it may make your post “salesy” and taint your professional reputation.
You can also sell an ebook or email course focused on your niche. It doesn’t need to be a hundred pages long and you don’t have to be a writer to do this (though it would benefit you to do a bit of copywriting). Just make sure that it’s of high value that buyers will really learn a skill or two from.
When you have also taken the time to build up your blog and gained good rankings, you can reach out and attract potential advertisers. Put an “Advertise Here” page or button on your site to let them know you accept advertising. This is a good source of additional income, plus it will not take up much of your time.
3. Slowly increase your fees when you pitch to new clients
Celine Roque suggests the same strategy in a previous post. However, some clients, especially those who hire via freelance bidding sites like oDesk, will ask why you are asking for a higher rate when you are receiving lower rates from your current clients.
While this strategy is easier to do when negotiating with prospects outside of job bidding sites, be confident enough to cite the quality of your work and its results to justify your reason for a higher bid.
This works for existing clients as well. Don’t hesitate to ask for a raise every year, especially when you know your work yields great results, such as leads and/or profit.
4. Do what you love
A good freelance career is not all about money. For most, the main reason we choose to work as freelancers is to be able to do what we love. So for next year, think about what you REALLY want to do.
What makes you wake up each day with so much excitement and rigor?
Have you always wanted to study a certain course, but have been postponing it for the longest time?
Go ahead and do it.
If it requires you to take on-campus classes, find online alternatives or correspondence courses. It may cost a little bit more, but it’s an investment worth every penny since you are investing in yourself.
When you have achieved this, your worth as a freelancer will be much higher due to the skills you’ve gained from it.
5. Give time for your passion, even for just 1 or 2 hours per week
If you like making crafts, make crafts. If you like taking pictures, click away.
Set aside time for it. And on that set schedule, do nothing else. Just focus on that passion.
Doing so will relax and invigorate you. You’ll have more inner motivation to continue to become better at your freelance business for many more years.
Having a prosperous freelance career in 2013 and beyond would all depend on how strategic we are when running our solo businesses. Yes, we can work more and earn more but wouldn’t it be better to work less but earn more and enjoy more time for ourselves and our loved ones? Think about it.
What are your plans now to make your freelance career more prosperous in the coming years? Share them in the comments.