As the world is stepping into a digital revolution, many people are switching their regular day jobs and working as a freelancer or independent researchers. The flexibility of working from a remote location instead of going to the office and the opportunity to increase the client base without leaving the comfort zone makes the whole concept of freelancing appealing. With the number of perks that come along with freelancing, 45% of freelancers feel secure with their career choice.
However, the freelancing journey isn’t that easy for a new freelancer. While building up a good client base and a steady income seems to be daunting in the initial year, with proper use of time and by implementing a few proven strategies any freelancer can generate stable revenue. Thus, we have compiled a list of five creative ideas which will help you increase your income as a freelancer.
1) Build Your Client Base:
Building a strong client base is the first step to become a successful freelancer. The more customers you make, the more experience you will gain. Many freelancers work on a subscription model where the clients subscribe to a freelancer’s services by paying a minimum monthly fee based on mutual understanding. While this kind of model helps the customers to control their expenditure, it provides freelancers with a base income to count on.
If you are a new freelancer and want to attract more customers, you can offer complimentary trial services to your subscribers for either an essential service or for the first few days. This will be helpful in gaining the trust of the new customers and will encourage them in using your services. Keeping your entry-level prices lower than the traditional prices is also useful in catching the attention of new customers.
2) Offer Comprehensive Services:
Although demonstrating your skills in your predefined niche plays a considerable role in the success of your freelance business, offering services different from your domain will bring more feathers to your cap. You can expand your services by either learning the fastest growing skills or by collaborating with other freelancers who hold different specialties and the desired expertise.
By offering a variety of services to your clients, you will be able to charge your client for the full services and pay the approved share to your partner. To collaborate with a right partner, make sure to bring along a freelancer who is affordable yet reliable. An agreement with your partner where the partner will share work based on your proficiency will help you generate some bonus income. Such kind of a set up will both add value to your business and boost your income even in the not so sunny days.
3) Upsell to Existing Clients
As most of the freelancers run behind new clients to increase their income, they tend to overlook their services which can be easily offered to existing clients. While the chances of selling services to new clients remain between 5-20%, the chances of selling services or products to a current client are between 60-70%. As existing clients can offer excellent income opportunity, it is always advisable to persuade existing clients for more orders.
Extending your contract or services and offering new products to your existing clients will also be beneficial in strengthening your relationships. However, while upselling your services, refrain from forcing your clients into an uncomfortable situation.
Try to get an insight into your client’s needs before offering services and make more practical proposals. The best way to learn about your customer’s requirements is to check about the next steps after finishing an existing project.
4) Get Paid Up-front:
50% of freelancers have at least once in their career experienced a situation where the client failed to pay for the work done. Boosting your income does not only mean to get paid more, but it also means to get paid at the appointed time.
To gain more experience and make more clients, many freelancers often agree on the payment terms of their client, no matter if the payment is even after a gap of a few months after the submission of the final work. The piling up of invoices can sometimes result in either overlooking of a few payments or endless follow-ups with clients resulting in a waste of time and money.
If you have successfully executed a project and built a good rapport with your clients, it is better to renegotiate the payment terms and get paid for aging invoices before starting a new project. Most of the successful freelancers negotiate the payment terms before initiating a new project, and even clients prefer a mutual payment set-up which is free from misunderstandings.
5) Work Smart:
The main advantage of working as a freelancer is you can set your own goals and achieve them on your terms. For generating an extra income, it is not necessary that you work hard, a little bit of smart work will help you in the long run. Once you have succeeded in building a strong client base, you can set your strategies and ditch your low paying clients or sub-contract unwanted work to a junior freelancer. This will help you focus more on projects which are more rewarding and which you want to do by yourself.
Using time management software will help you in utilizing your time more efficiently. By tracking the actual time invested in a project versus expected time for completion, you can make a hassle-free schedule for your future plans. This will also help you in evaluating your distractions and rectifying them to make your work more profitable.
Establishing a strong client base and growing your earning probability will be one of the biggest challenges in your freelance career. However, implementation of one or more of the above ideas at a time will eventually help you in overcoming your problems. These ideas will not only boost your income but also help you in making a good reputation and strengthen your relationships with clients.