Freelancing remains one of the most satisfying and highest-paying jobs in the world.
London Business School conducted an online survey in collaboration with Eden McCallum on independent and employed consultants. The study reported that independent consultants felt like their career got them better life, work, and money. They believe they do high-quality and high-impact work for their clients that provide better value. They were also more satisfied with their freelance work than when they were employed.
That said, you may begin to doubt your decision to join the gig economy when your job no longer sustains you financially.
But you can earn more if you know how to do freelancing the right way.
In this article, we’ll show you tips on how to boost your earning as a freelancer.
Define Your Niche
Focusing on a niche is the best way to win with your freelancing career. Clients prefer to hire specialists with the right skills and experience instead of generalists.
Niching down your position sets you as an expert in a well-defined market segment or industry. Then, you can become more in demand and get higher rates.
You’ll be able to maximize your resources and attract customers who align with your offerings and will be willing to pay the premium for your service.
So, if you’ve been marketing yourself as a web designer or digital marketer, start defining what you do.
For example, instead of mentioning that you’re a website designer, you could let your clients know you’re a real estate web designer and focus on the real estate industry. You could also present yourself as a SaaS digital marketer and focus on Software as a Service startups.
How Do You Decide on Your Niche?
The secret behind settling for a niche is focusing on what you’re good at. Identify the skills that come naturally to you and the things you enjoy learning about.
If you’re currently offering your services as a generalist, identify the jobs you’ve taken on that you enjoy the most. Then, look at your clientele and find out which customers you enjoy working with.
Create a Killer Portfolio
Having a high-quality portfolio website is one of the best ways to demonstrate your skills and showcase your expertise. The site is one of the things that will make clients take you seriously.
It will highlight your relevant past jobs and experiences, tell your story, display your client testimonials, and convert potential clients.
Even if you’re starting out and don’t have a rich work history, a well-designed portfolio site can really help. You can add details of your past professional work and share your ideas to show targets you’re an expert in the niche.
You must take your time to ensure your portfolio is designed to spark interest and convince your leads. If you offer digital marketing services, make sure your site’s design is in line with industry standards and you’re putting up content that accurately exhibits your expertise.
Here are tips that should help you create the ideal portfolio site:
- Make sure it’s easy to navigate
- Your best projects should come first
- Share your work process and how it benefits the client
- Your vision and mission statement should be displayed in concise language
- Use storytelling
- Always create fresh content
Reevaluate Your Worth
Many freelancers are stuck in an income range because they’re afraid to lose clients. They think they’re more competitive when they charge low.
The truth is, you’ll be losing valuable clients if you reduce your fees too much. Plus, you can’t earn more if you don’t charge more.
Most clients are willing to pay higher fees if they believe you can deliver high-quality results. If they get an incredible first impression, even better.
So, instead of focusing on how you want to bring down your price to win the competition, try upselling your service and showing that you’re worth your fee.
Even if you’re considering charging low, let your clients know it’s a one-time offer. You should do that when you’re trying to give the client a trial run of what you can do.
Practice Your Negotiation Skills
Your negotiation skills are among your most critical soft skills as a freelancer. Because in the end, you’re your own salesman, agent, strategist, marketer, and closer.
To earn more, you need to increase your rates and convince your clients why they should pay more.
Take your time to build your confidence, learn from other professionals and study their negotiation process, and spend your time practicing how to negotiate.
That said, the secret of negotiating is convincing the client that paying a particular fee will benefit them. Let them know they can’t get that kind of deal elsewhere.
Check Out the Competition
Before telling your clients about your price review, do your research. Check out what the competition is charging and for what. If you’ll charge higher than others, ensure you’re providing more value to justify your rates.
Look at your client’s pain points and ensure you’re solving all their problems.
Create Your Freelancing Career Roadmap
You’re not going into freelancing to wing it and make money as you go. You’re setting up a new career. So, defining your career journey is a crucial move.
Think hard about what you want to achieve and brainstorm ideas to get you there. You can break up your goals into milestones and set deadlines for yourself.
Consider your current position and mull over the steps you need to take to get where you want to be.
Creating this kind of roadmap means you have a direction and allows you to have clear plans on your next moves.
You have to provide more value to charge higher rates. To do that, you must acquire outstanding skills that are in-demand.
You can use these skills to set up proposals and new service offerings. You’ll be marketing them to your clients, letting them know how much of their money’s worth they’ll be getting.
You can gain new skills yourself by practicing the new services you want to sell. This way, you’ll be differentiating yourself from the competition.
You can learn more skills by paying for online classes, enrolling for certifications, and taking professional exams.
But it doesn’t end at going for online courses and certifications. You should follow other professionals in your niche, read everything you can, attend conferences, and build new ideas.
You can come up with your own original ideas and go with it. For example, you can define new service offerings peculiar to you.
The skills you learn should also go beyond in-demand skills that help you offer extra services. You can learn communication, negotiation, critical thinking, time management, and leadership skills to improve your productivity.
Networking involves building connections with people who can help your career grow. These individuals should be professionals with connections to companies that can be potential clients. Your network can include professionals in and outside your niche market.
Networking is another effective way to close better paying and higher quality clients. You’ll get to boost your personal sales funnel by expanding the number of professionals you collaborate with.
You can connect with colleagues from your former workplace and personal friends you know that can introduce you to potential clients. You can also join professional communities and organizations and connect with experts on social media sites like LinkedIn.
Boost Your Productivity
You may not be earning enough because you’re not very productive. As you know, working hard isn’t the same thing as being productive.
To be productive, you must know how to manage your time and prioritize your tasks efficiently.
You can use a time tracker to monitor how you work on tasks, identify time waiting activities and distractions, and eliminate mundane processes such as tracking billable hours and creating client invoices.
You should learn how to work on tasks that matter and properly schedule less important activities such as unproductive meetings and responding to emails.
Invest in Marketing Your Personal Brand
Clients will not read your website portfolio if they don’t open it. You need to market your brand more to get more traffic to your site.
To do that, you can be more active on social media, grow your following, and expose your services to more people. Then, you can add a link to your website where potential clients can read your portfolio and see what you can do.
You should also engage in search engine optimization to boost your brand’s exposure on search engine result pages like Google’s. This way, you’ll be getting traffic from demographics that are looking for solutions you offer.
Guest posting is another way to increase your brand’s awareness. By collaborating with other blogs and including your bio and site’s link, you’re reaching out to more audiences.
Knowing your worth and how much value you can provide is one way to evaluate how much more you can earn. You shouldn’t be afraid to drive your price up as far as you believe your services are worth it. You should also level up your skills to increase your service offerings, network with more professionals, and market yourself better.