Freelancing definitely has its perks. You get to set your own hours. You don’t have to commute to an office. You can put in as little or as much work as you want into a single week. And, best of all, you’ll have a variety of different work topics.
But freelancing is tough because you don’t always have a steady paycheck. Unlike a salaried job, you might never know how much money you’re going to make in a given month. All you can do is set a goal and do your best to make it there.
If you’re unsatisfied with how much you’re making as a freelancer, there are several ways you can go about boosting your profits. Here are some tips on how to make more money freelancing.
Earn Repeat Clients
The best way to make more money is to earn repeat clients. When you impress a client with your skills, they’ll reach out to you and offer more work when they have it. This is one of the easiest ways to make more money and to boost your reputation in whatever trade you’re freelancing in. The question is, how exactly do you impress those clients so much that they’ll frequently seek your work?
First and foremost, it’s important to do work that’s high-quality. If you’re a writer, use proper spelling and grammar. If you’re doing graphic design, aim to create graphics that are so good, you could hang them in the Guggenheim (key takeaway: aim high).
Second, learn each of your clients’ brand voice. Each client wants to exude a certain image, and you want to make sure that your work matches that exact image.
Third, get your work done on time. Better yet, get your work done before the due date. This will give you time to get feedback from the client. Remember that in freelancing, it’s important to complete high-quality work, but promptness is of the utmost importance for most companies.
You might consider investing in client tracking software, like Zendesk, to keep track of who you’ve done freelancing for and to manage your relationship with those clients.
ProTip: If you’re a freelance writer, you’ll have an easier time retaining clients if you know SEO strategies.
Get a High-Performance Computer
There’s a very simple way to make more money freelancing: complete more work. If you’re going to complete more work, then you’re going to need a good computer.
A less-than-stellar computer will hinder your workflow. If you’re doing freelance writing, your word processor might be slower when you have multiple tabs open. If you’re doing graphic design or website building, you might lose valuable time waiting for images to render. You need a computer that can work as fast as you can.
Versatility is also key. Freelancing affords you the ability to work in different places, so you might consider getting a laptop if you don’t have one already. If you’re creating digital illustrations, you might also want to get a 2-in-1 laptop that has touch screen functionality (see this review of the HP ENVY 13 for a good illustration of what that is). The key takeaway is that you should get a computer that is fast and which also suits your working style and needs.
Charge for Third Drafts
It’s important to spend a generous amount of time doing work for your clients. But remember that your time isn’t unlimited. Time is money, and you deserve to be compensated for every hour you spend working on client projects. Be sure you accurately price your freelancing.
When you’re freelancing, it customary to get paid a predetermined amount for the first two drafts. You’ll use the client-provided guidelines to create the first draft. Then you’ll use the client’s feedback to create a second draft.
But you should always ask for payment for a third draft. Some freelancers are afraid of asking for third-draft payments because they don’t want to rub the client the wrong way and lose their business. That’s admirable, but you should never have to work for free. If you’re going to make it as a freelancer, you need to get paid for the time you spend working, because that’s the time that could be spent working on other projects.
It’s best to communicate this to your client from the get-go: one payment will satisfy two drafts, and then you require payments for each successive draft. And remind your client that they’ll be receiving higher-quality work with each paid draft.
If you want to make more money freelancing, equip yourself with the right gear and work hard to earn repeat clients. But don’t get desperate and never work for free. Abide by these three tips and you’ll be boosting your freelancing profits in no time.
Are you struggling to retain clients? Give each of your clients a survey and get their opinion on how you did. Learn how to create an effective survey here.