Freelancing offers the flexibility to work when you want, focus on the projects you find important, and the ability to work anywhere in the world. Sounds pretty good! So, what’s the downside?
For many people, it’s having your potential earnings capped by how many hours you can work in a day – but it doesn’t have to be that way! Being a freelancer means being a one-person business, and as with any business, you can improve efficiency to boost your profit and increase your earnings.
Freelancers are in control of their finances, which puts them in a great position to make changes to boost their revenue. There are plenty of ways to start freelancing, and we’re going to go through ten tips you can use today to increase income as a freelancer.
Increase Your Freelancer Income By Automating Your Invoice and Time Tracking
Everybody loves admin, right? Didn’t think so. It’s the single most boring part of a freelancer’s life, and also a massive time sink. Every hour spent on admin is one more piece of your day that’s unbillable, driving down your overall potential income.
To solve this, it’s time to start automating your time tracking and invoicing so you can get on with the important work and let the software do the rest. There are numerous platforms out there that offer time tracking as well as automated invoices.
Speeding Up Your Work with Better Collaboration Tools Can Increase Your Income
Being a freelancer doesn’t mean working alone. You always have to deal with clients, and will frequently work with other freelancers or employees at other firms. Collaboration is key to making freelancing more efficient and thus improving your bottom line.
There are plenty of collaboration tools out there, so make sure to find the right one for you. If you’re a freelancer, you’ll want to find a platform that includes all the major collaboration tools you need, from email to video conferencing, so you don’t end up with an expensive tech stack.
What’s more, find a platform that doesn’t lock you and your collaborators in. Other freelancers and client employees might not be using the same solution as you, so finding a platform that enables collaboration without requiring users to sign up for an account is ideal. Spike, for example, allows you to collaborate with anybody so long as they have an email address – no signup or expensive guest seats, just clear communication – making it one of the best tools for freelancers.
Delegate Tasks to Other Freelancers to Do More With Less Effort
Don’t be afraid to delegate! As mentioned above, you’re rarely working alone, and part of that can be delegating to other freelancers. It can be a hard step to take in your freelancing career, but an important one if you want to grow your revenue and increase your income.
Clients hire you for a specific skill, whether that’s design, photography, writing, or hosting a show. As a freelancer, however, you also have to manage every other part of your business – you might be a designer first, but you’ll also manage finances, market yourself, build a website… the list goes on. And, however hard it may be to hear, you can’t be good at everything. Start delegating those tasks to somebody who can actually do them well – another skilled freelancer!
This has a double-whammy effect. First, the aspects of your business you outsource are likely to improve. Second, it frees up your time to focus on your actual work!
In addition to jobs you can’t do, it may be the case that your client base or project load is simply growing beyond your means. Don’t be afraid to shift into a more managerial role and start delegating some of the workload to other freelancers in your field.
Expand Your Scope with Existing Clients For More Hours
Finding new clients can be hard work, so a more efficient solution to boost your bottom line is to expand your scope with existing clients. You already have a relationship with those clients, meaning there is a level of trust there that you can get the job done. This is vital as you push for bigger projects and an increased income.
Expanding the scope of a project, as opposed to taking on new ones, is also a more efficient approach to increasing income because it isn’t as jarring to clients. Suggesting expanding an existing solution that works makes a lot more sense to businesses than having a whole new idea pitched.
Create a Podcast to Promote Your Client
Add extra value! It doesn’t have to be a podcast. It can be anything that adds extra value for your client with a small addition to your workload. If you are conducting interviews for a client blog, adding an audio element may only add 50% more work, but can be delivered as a whole additional marketing stream. Your client gets more value, you increase your income; it’s a win-win!
Ask for Referrals from Existing Clients
Referrals are the single best way to grow your freelance business, and you’re much more likely to get them by simply asking! Potential clients have a lot of trust in referrals, which means you’re starting out way ahead compared to other incoming leads, like social media or a website. What’s more, since referrals are coming from existing clients, the leads you’re getting are more likely to align with what you do and what you’re looking for, which means you won’t have to waste time on relationships that will never work.
You have to invest a lot less energy and resources into closing a referral compared to a lead that comes from because they come with a base level of trust and are pre-qualified. All this results in acquiring high-quality clients in a lot less time, meaning increased income for you!
Outsource Your Bookkeeping to Lower Tax Burden
According to some estimates, more than 50% of businesses in the United States face a fine or levy for incomplete or incorrect tax filings every year. That’s a serious amount of lost income for doing your books wrong, and let’s face it, bookkeeping isn’t the simplest thing in the world.
Outsourcing your bookkeeping can help to avoid unpleasant fines related to your taxes, but could also help you find ways to reduce your overall tax burden. While outsourcing bookkeeping involves incurring some costs, these can quickly be outweighed by having a professional figure out your taxes.
What’s more, it takes the burden of work off your shoulders, so you can focus on building your client base and getting work done.
Deliver Projects on Time and on Budget
The majority of a freelancer’s income is based on trust and good faith. If you deliver small projects on time and on budget, clients (and those they refer you to) are going to give you bigger projects, with bigger potential earnings.
Delivering everything you do on time and on budget allows you to eventually charge a higher premium, keeping your workload the same but the price tag higher, increasing your income, and removing an income cap.
Write A Good Introductory Email to New Prospects
First impressions really count, and for a freelancer looking for new prospects, that impression comes from your introductory email, so you have to make it as good as it can be. There isn’t an exact science since you need to reflect your own business and personality in the email, but there are a few points to keep in mind, such as:
Being concise – get to the key messages quickly, nobody has time for waffle.
Be formal but friendly. Remember, this is a professional relationship.
If there has been a referral, draw attention to it.
Proofread your email. Nobody trusts an email riddled with errors.
Use Social Media As A Marketing Tool
Social media is a powerful marketing tool, and if you’re not using it, you’re missing out on potential income. Social media can be used for direct lead generation from your pages and posts as well as through paid campaigns if you’re having a specific client drive.
What’s more, social media is very often used as validation rather than being the start of a lead funnel. Potential clients might have found you through Google, at a trade show or via a referral, but almost all of them will check your social accounts to make sure you’re legit.
Having a presence on social media reassures potential clients that you do your work, and you do it well, ultimately leading to increased income!
(p.s. if you really hate social media marketing, remember you can outsource!)
It’s Time to Increase Your Freelancer Income
Your income as a freelancer doesn’t have to be capped by the hours in the day. If you’re looking for how to be a freelancer with an above-average income, these ten tips to make you more efficient can help you improve your income while also chopping away parts of the business you might not like!
Start with whichever tip makes the most sense for you, then work your way through them as you discover what works best to grow your income!
You may also like
4 Habits to Ramp Up Productivity and Completely Transform Your Freelance Business
Set yourself up for success in the productivity game. We break down habits you can incorporate into your daily life to ramp up productivity—and completely transform your business in the process.Read More
The Best Free SEO Tools for Small Business Owners Who Know Nothing About SEO
For anyone just getting started with SEO, you’re going to need a few tools. Here, we take a look at the best free SEO analysis tools available now.Read More