It’s a fact—you earn more money as a freelancer
According to a 2020 survey by Upwork, the popular freelance jobs platform—75% of freelancers earn as a lot, or more, than they did when working full-time. Even through the COVID-19 pandemic and a global recession, freelancers contributed 1.2 trillion dollars to the U.S. financial system. That’s a 22% enhance since 2019.
At the same time, more individuals are discovering the nice work-life balance of being a self-employed, independent contractor. Thirty-six p.c of Americans earn their residing by freelancing, and that quantity is steadily rising, making it more necessary than ever to be positive to are doing the things you want to do to get your justifiable share of all of the profitable freelance work out there.
Whether you’ve only been a freelancer for a few years, or are one of many seasoned freelancing professionals able to take their small enterprise to a extra rewarding stage, there are some sensible steps you can take to search out work and make one of the best use of your effort and time for the maximum result. Some might require you to place in extra time and planning now, but that funding will pay off in higher future earnings for your corporation.
Take advantage of all opportunities
Even if you’re currently overrun with freelance jobs, it’s a good suggestion to at all times be looking ahead to the next project if you want to increase your earnings. The reality is, consumer budgets change, loyal contacts can transfer, and as we all know, an unforeseen occasion like a world-wide pandemic can affect your small enterprise in a flash. But most importantly, there could be better paying, more fascinating initiatives out there.
So, make it a habit to by no means ignore an excellent lead for a job or a referral from a consumer or colleague. Always make contact to introduce yourself and learn extra about all freelance jobs that come your method. You may find out that the project doesn’t start for another month, which may fit in perfectly with your freelance schedule. But even if the timing doesn’t work out, it gives the client the prospect to find out about your background as a freelancer and hold you top of thoughts the next time an excellent project comes up.
Of course that is simpler said than accomplished. It’s difficult to change gears and follow-up on leads if you finish up totally swamped with freelance work. But, by making ready ahead and having an up-to-date portfolio, resume, and a selection of case studies able to go, you can also make that necessary first impression on a promising and well-paying future freelance client.
> There are about 1.1 billion freelancers around the globe.
Quickly exhibit your work
Creating a portfolio of your finest work takes cautious consideration and planning, which you don’t have time to do if you’re busy juggling a number of freelance jobs. Instead of scrambling every time you come across a great opportunity, schedule a block of time to collect your finest work collectively so it might be simply accessed by shoppers via a web-based link or PDF, or have a provide of pre-packaged onerous copies able to be despatched out by courier or mail.
Also make certain your portfolio may be rapidly updated along with your latest jobs and customized to the needs of each particular person shopper.
· State your specialty or expertise: Instead of “Freelance Writer,” be extra descriptive so you can attract the particular purchasers and the work you need to do. Use titles like “Speechwriter” or “Internal Communications Specialist”.
· Samples of related work: This is your likelihood to showcase your finest work, together with the providers you present, and a brief rationalization of how you obtain profitable results in your shoppers.
· Short one-or-two sentence testimonials: The words of earlier employers and clients present you are a trusted collaborator who delivers glorious work.
· Contact info: So purchasers can easily discover you for all their upcoming jobs!
Update your resume constantly
If you’ve been freelancing for a while you may not assume you want to trouble with a resume anymore. After all, your reputation and expertise as a freelancer speaks for itself. But some corporations and shoppers want a resume for their business hiring practices. Or they may have posted the gig on-line and are inundated with replies and don’t have the time or sources to look at everyone’s portfolio. An up-to-date resume gives a quick snapshot of your freelance experience and skills so you can land on top of the pile.
> If they should, a quarter of freelancers could discover work within 24 hours.
Keep a operating assortment of case research
Sometimes a prospective consumer needs to know extra than simply what you most likely did. They want to understand how you did it—the strategic pondering, ideas, and experience that went into creating your work. Get into the habit of writing up a fast case examine when you finish working on a project. When new jobs come up, you’ll have the ability to select from a listing of great case research to level out potential purchasers how one can meet their particular needs.
You don’t have to spend so much of time in your case research. In reality, it’s finest to make them as temporary and to-the-point as attainable so shoppers can see at a glance you are the proper person for the job.
· State the challenge, i.e. designing packaging for a new product geared to teenagers.
· State the companies you supplied and the solution you developed.
· Describe the method you went through.
· Share the profitable result, i.e. historic product launch, pleased shopper, and so forth.
Be more priceless to your present purchasers
It’s at all times simpler to begin with what you’ve, so earlier than you begin on the lookout for new purchasers to extend your earnings, check out your existing purchasers and see if there are extra things you can do for them. After all, they already know the way great you are, and you realize their enterprise in and out.
Show them the added value you convey along with your recent new concepts and the services you possibly can provide based on their enterprise goals and objectives. For example, when you have been writing external business speeches, but know they want to ramp up their firm messaging to workers, inform them you can convey your extensive communications background to their internal e-newsletter and intranet site. If you develop their website, talk about how you can add thrilling new options and create microsites for special occasions or initiatives.
Ask for referrals
Referrals are gold for any freelancer and self-employed professional! Just ask any electrician or plumber who has built a successful small enterprise on word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied prospects. But it’s a frequent freelance reaction to feel uncomfortable asking shoppers for referrals, especially in creative fields like graphic design or writing and enhancing.
The reality is, many consumers really feel flattered to be asked to offer referrals. It reveals you value their opinion and likewise consider their suggestion has the ability to influence others. But make positive you ask the right individual.
It might feel extra prestigious to be referred by the CEO of a company you designed a marketing brochure for, but you labored with the company’s Communications Director, and that’s the one that actually is conscious of the way you defeated seemingly insurmountable obstacles to deliver unbelievable work on time and under finances. That’s additionally the individual who’s more than likely to have colleagues who’re in charge of hiring freelancers.
> 61% of freelance writers making over $3,000/month mentioned they largely get clients from referrals and chilly emailing.
You additionally want to select the right time to ask a consumer for a referral—ideally on the completion of a project the place the shopper is over the moon about your work. And ensure the freelancing referral is smart. Don’t ask your consumer to refer you for services you didn’t provide for them. Remember, their popularity can be on the road for the quality of referrals they give.
You also can ask colleagues for referrals. When one other freelance writer is swamped with work and can’t tackle a new job, they can still construct trust and loyalty with their client and save the day by recommending another fantastic freelancer—namely you! It’s also an excellent thought to construct an alliance with a freelance enterprise owner in a related field. For occasion, having an online developer as a contact who knows you write killer internet copy can lead to some good purchasers.
Search out high-quality purchasers
It simply is sensible that the best way to extend your incomes potential as a freelancer is to work for clients who respect what you do for them and pays a premium in your talent and experience.
Although the three martini lunches of the Mad Men era are no longer—word-of-mouth referrals and face-to-face networking opportunities are still priceless methods to make contact with high-quality, better paying clients. But today most companies want a fast, straightforward, and cost-effective way to seek for the freelance talent they want.
Technology to the rescue
You may think freelancer platforms are an efficient way to search out work when you’re first starting out on the highway to self-employment, but they shouldn’t be ignored even when you’re an skilled freelancer.
> According to a 2018 Upwork survey, three out of 4 freelancers say technology has made it easier to seek out freelance work.
Some freelancer platforms are common and cater to all kinds of freelancers from different industries and backgrounds, similar to:
There are also many freelancer industry-specific job boards like
It’s a good rule of thumb to take a bit of time to analysis any corporations you discover on these freelancer platforms earlier than reaching out to search out work. Also examine to see when you have a friend or colleague who works there full-time, or has done freelance work for the company before. It could be as simple as trying by way of your LinkedIn contacts. They can give you valuable data on whether it’s a good company to freelance for—and possibly even help you get ahead of the pack with an introduction to the best people.
Search out clients you dream of working with
Is there a company you admire, that also values freelancers and pays well? Keep your eye out for them on freelancer platforms, and likewise make the leap and get in touch with them instantly to offer your providers. Cold calling like that is hard for any impartial contractor, but you by no means know what you might obtain except you try.
Do your analysis on who greatest to contact in the firm for the kind of work you do, then ship them an e mail explaining why you wish to work with them—and most importantly—what you are able to do for them. Keep your e-mail short and try to arrange a name or assembly by ending with a pleasant assertion like, “Let’s schedule a call within the next few weeks to discuss how I might help your company meet its targets.”
> The most wanted skills currently for freelance jobs are Instagram marketing, brand strategy and AI (development).
Position your self as an expert in your subject
Higher-value purchasers often search out one of the best of the best for their freelance tasks, so begin positioning yourself as an skilled in your explicit area. If you have a distinct segment skill set like enhancing medical journals, or expert knowledge creating a unique consumer expertise as an online developer, your special offering can be your ticket to charging larger rates. Like any specialised small enterprise, folks can pay extra for professional work.
Several methods freelancers get the word out about their experience
Teach or mentor: Community faculties, business faculties, and grownup education programs are eager to search out instructors to give first-hand, practical instruction to college students. Some colleges also have mentorship packages. You could share your business expertise with an up-and-coming graphic designer or freelance writer whereas cementing your reputation as an expert in your area.
Create a web-based course: Instead of in-person educating, you would use your in depth expertise to create an online course. Offer your course as a free service through your web site or for a fee on an internet learning platform like Udemy or Skillshare.com. Besides establishing yourself as a subject matter expert, you can even earn some additional income.
Start a aspect enterprise as a speaker: Do you concentrate on technical writing or building web sites for a specific industry or sector? You have valuable insight and information to share with specific audiences. Freelancers have found that talking at industry conferences is an effective way to position themselves as an skilled, in addition to create networking opportunities to offer providers and discover new initiatives. It may additionally result in turning into a topic skilled for the press once they need somebody to discuss about a specific problem.
Be a blogger: You know about the challenges, trends, and hot topics in your field of labor, so start writing about them! Creating unique and attention-grabbing content material is a fantastic method for shoppers to search out you. Use your weblog to showcase your talent by writing about difficult or complicated projects you’ve worked on, and appeal to potential new shoppers by sharing best practices. Blogging on your web site can even help enhance your search engine marketing (SEO) rankings.
Don’t have an internet site yet? Hire a contract net developer to create a internet site for you to home your portfolio. The investment will pay off in spades.
There are also some easy-to-use freelance instruments and resources like Squarespace or WordPress that may help you create your personal branded website, although it won’t be fairly as gorgeous as what you would have with the services of a professional net developer, graphic designer, and writer. If you occur to be a sort of professionals, use your web site as a method to show off your designing, writing, editing, or web improvement talents.
Dive additional into the best stuff: A blog is a superb place to start, however it’s even higher if you can get your work revealed in a trade journal or other industry publication or web site. And remember, when you want some help with the actual writing, you probably can at all times hire a freelance editor to whip your writing into shape.
Manage your time extra effectively
If you are feeling like you are not making as much money as you should be, it’s pure to really feel that you aren’t working exhausting enough. But perhaps you simply aren’t using your freelance time in the easiest way potential.
Streamline how you’re employed
Even a fast fix such as adding a second monitor so you can do research on one display, whereas continuing to work on the opposite, might help you save valuable time. Imagine just transferring your mouse between the screens without having to reduce or close screens! Why isn’t everyone already doing this?
Another nice approach to save time is to notice which duties you repeat for your freelance jobs – and discover out if there is a fast and straightforward way to replicate them instead of starting from scratch each time. This might embody saving a wide selection of design templates that could be modified for new jobs, or preserving an open file of powerful quotations and present statistics you’ll have the ability to check with over the lengthy run instead of doing new searches every time.
Cut down on administrative work
A frequent freelance problem is making an attempt to cut down on those burdensome administrative duties that take up too much of your time. For instance, creating new invoices for every consumer is an important however time-consuming task. Even when using an invoice template, sending new invoices to shoppers and tracking down overdue payments can eat up more time than you assume. Luckily, there are answers out there that may prevent time and power.
Invoicing software like Wave might help you quickly create professional-looking invoices, send one-off and recurring invoices to clients, monitor down overdue invoices, and get paid fast! The greatest part? Wave’s invoicing options are absolutely free!
Finally, you’ll be able to go all in by investing in project administration software program like Trello, Monday, or Asana. By selecting software with an excellent user expertise you presumably can handle all areas of your business, from creating a piece schedule, to drafting contracts and making sure you’re taking benefit of tax deductions while you meet your tax obligations.
Focus on high-value jobs
Besides looking at the way you manage your time, it additionally could be good to take an in depth look at the kinds of purchasers you have. You know which clients you take pleasure in working with and who compensate you properly for the work you do. But there are additionally these different clients—the ones you spend lots of time, sources, and mental power on. All impartial contractors have stories about feeling ripped off by certain purchasers on the finish of the day.
If you wish to earn extra money at your freelance jobs, you should concentrate on the purchasers who pay nicely. But before you begin cutting shoppers, begin jotting down some fast notes whenever you work on a project with them. Notice how clearly they convey what they need, and if they’re indecisive, or don’t correctly suppose through what they need you to do. This may help you spot patterns you could not have noticed earlier than. Maybe you can take action to remedy some of these issues, but when not, it might be time to drop these folks before they suck up any more of your effort and time.
Revisit how you receives a commission
Payment structure can usually affect the amount of cash professionals and small business owners earn. Some jobs are best charged for by the hour, while others make sense as a fixed rate. For example, should you design logos you would possibly hit on the proper design quickly—which is a testament to your ability and experience—so a flat rate is more acceptable than charging for only a few hours.
On the other hand, a speech might go through many unforeseen revisions as a end result of a altering marketing strategy or new info. A fastened price wouldn’t think about all the extra work you had to do. And who knows, these purchasers who continuously change their minds could be better organized and clearer in their directions when you cost an hourly rate.
Consider growing your rates
Electricity bills go up, automobile insurance coverage goes up—in fact the price of dwelling regularly goes up—and so do full-time wages. So why are freelancers so hesitant to extend their rates?
As an impartial contractor you should sustain with rising costs too, and there are additionally different necessary reasons why you could need to lift your fee.
Do some analysis on what other freelancers in your area are charging and see how your rates compare. You could be surprised to find you’re charging a lot much less. While it’s good to be competitive, you don’t wish to be recognized on your cut price basement freelance jobs.
If you might be continually overloaded with work, your expertise and experience are clearly in demand, especially if you have a singular offering. That means your purchasers aren’t prone to be upset over a well-deserved fee increase.
Test it out first
If you’re uncertain about elevating your charges, you can all the time take a look at the waters by charging a better fee for a new client. That’s also an excellent strategy for elevating your charges overall. Charge the higher fee to new shoppers, after which gradually introduce the higher price to the relaxation of your purchasers, giving them a lot of discover earlier than the new charges kick in.
Many of your purchasers elevate their fees every year. If your enhance is fair they may understand. Especially if you haven’t elevated your charges for some time.
Another factor to bear in mind is you keep getting better at what you do. You are additionally most likely working quicker and extra effectively. You want to extend your hourly or fastened price to be pretty compensated, in any other case, the better you get at what you do, the much less you will be paid!
Live the dream while rising your earnings
You already know the numerous nice advantages of being a freelancer versus having a full-time job—such as a greater work-life balance and the ability to make your residing engaged on tasks you love and are good at. But you aren’t really living the freelancing dream when you don’t really feel you’re earning what you ought to be.
Be ready to reap the advantages of all freelance work opportunities that come your way. Attract clients that value what you do, are willing to compensate you well for your talent and experience, and provide attention-grabbing tasks. And even if you don’t want to find work, you can always find ways to manage your time more effectively.
By putting in the time now, you presumably can join that special league of freelancers who’ve increased their earnings and have made their freelancing dream a actuality.