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5 Things You Can Do as a Freelancer to Get Paid What You’re Actually Worth

5 Things You Can Do as a Freelancer to Get Paid What You’re Actually Worth

As a freelancer, you have a lot of competition out there. This sometimes means that work isn’t as abundant as you’d prefer and it can be tempting to work for a lower rate just to have an income stream. But you can only work for a discounted rate for so long before you begin to get frustrated with the work that you’re doing. If you’re talented at what you do, you should be getting a rate that fits your skill level.

Regardless of whether you are a writer, graphic artist or computer programmer, here are some ways that you can get paid what you are actually worth.

1. Show Your Expertise with the Questions You Ask

If you take a job and are given only a sentence or two of instructions, you probably won’t be creating what the client actually wants. The problem is, many clients don’t know what they actually want and so they provide instructions that are not specific enough. It is your job as a freelancer to ask questions that will not only show them your expertise and commitment to their satisfaction, it will greatly reduce the number of unsatisfied customers that you have.

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Of course, the questions you ask will vary depending upon what service you are providing to them.

2. Know What to Charge

If you don’t know what the going rate is for the type of work that you are doing, you will have a hard time charging what is fair. Often, freelancers find themselves low-balling their bid for a project only to find that the client would have been satisfied with a price that was double what they actually bid.

You’ll also need to decide how you are going to set your rate – per hour, per word or a fixed rate for the entire project.

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3. Advertise by Word-of-Mouth

The best way to advertise is not by posting on Craigslist or visiting forums where writing services are bought and sold. Instead, the best way to advertise is to impress every single customer that you do work for, so that they will recommend you to their friends and associates.

Posting on forums means that you will have to keep the same rate or even lower your rate, but when you advertise by word-of-mouth you are going to be in demand and that means that you can set your rates much higher.

4. Offer to Work on a Trial Basis

If you want to show a client how valuable you are, it might be worth it to work for a short time for free. Depending upon what type of service you provide, you might be able to offer an article, a design, a block of code or just an hour of service to show clients that you are the freelancer that they should be working with.

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If you are trying to land clients that pay decent rates and have consistent work, this is a great way to attract them and it is definitely worth the unpaid work that you will be doing to get a great long-term client.

5. Offer What Others Don’t

Some of the things you might be able to give clients that no one else does include great communication and the ability to ask the right questions, fast turn-around times, multiple revisions and advice on other aspects of the project that they are working on, to help them get the best result possible. If you can provide clients with the experience that they desire, you will not only improve your chances of getting more work from those clients, you’ll also improve your odds of negotiating for a higher pay rate.

By following the 5 steps that I’ve outlined above, you’ll have customers begging to take your money. Sometimes, I even have to turn down some seriously intriguing software development contracts and offers — but I’ll take that problem any day.

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Featured photo credit: markus spiske via flickr.com

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Josh MacDonald

Internet Entrepreneur

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

I imagine that like me, you say that you never have enough time and that you just cannot cope with 60 dozen things all at once.

How on earth do you get out of that spiral?

Many people never sit down and look at how to work smarter, rather than harder and even longer hours. But not you, you’re smart enough to try to learn effective ways to work.

So how to work smarter not harder? Here are 12 smart ways you should be following:

1. Improve Your Time Management Skills

Easier said than done? Well, no actually, because there are a few simple rules that can really help you to manage time better.

For example, when setting up a top priority task, you need to switch off the phone and ignore your email first. Then you need to abandon any ideas of multitasking as that will slow you down and ruin your focus.

Finally, set a reasonable deadline and do everything in your power to meet it.

“When you’re born, you’re born with 30,000 days. That’s it. The best strategic planning I can give to you is to think about that.” — Sir Ray Avery

2. Speed up Your Typing and Use Shortcuts

These days we’re all keyboard slaves. So why not speed up your typing and try to get rid of the two finger syndrome. In fact, when you save 21 days per year just by typing fast!

This is exactly what I am doing now, so I cannot honestly say I am practicing what I preach!

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But help is at hand. Try some of these apps and games to help you type fast: 8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

Using shortcuts on the keyboard is another time saver and can speed up your work.

For example, press F2 to rename a selected file, while CTRL + I will put selected text in italics.

There are so many of these. If you make the effort to learn them, they really can be helpful.

3. Learn How to Use Productivity Tools

It is well worth downloading all the useful tools and apps that can highly boost your productivity. Take a look at these 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools and install whatever fits your needs.

Now that is really a great way of working smarter, not harder.

4. Use Your Phone Wisely

Instead of writing emails, sometimes it’s better to pick up the phone and talk to the person responsible. It saves time, especially for important or urgent discussions.

If that colleague works in the same office, it is even better to go and talk to him or her. It gives you a break, you get some exercise and you actually make human contact which is becoming quite rare in this electronic world.

5. Keep a Tab on Your Tabs

If you are like me, you might well find that you have a ton of tabs open at the top of your browser.

In order to find the one you want, you have to search for them as they are off screen. Having all these tabs open slows down your browser too.

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One solution is to use OneTab which can keep a neat list on the screen of all these tabs when you want to quickly get to one of them or you want to remind yourself which ones you have open.

6. Use a “To Don’t” List

We all know about to do lists and I find that they are generally great. They give me a great sense of achievement as I cross off the tasks done.

But often, I find that we are doing non-essential tasks or ones that can easily be postponed. That is why many people recommend the to don’t list.[1]

Some people prefer to savagely prune the to do list while others prefer to have two separate lists, to do and to don’t. You just have to work out what works best for you when you are trying to save precious time to become more productive.

7. Expect Failure and Fight Paranoia

When failure rears its ugly head, some people get a bit paranoid and fear that this may become a trend.

Projects will go wrong and failure should be expected rather than feared. Learning lessons from failure and analyzing what went wrong is the best way forward.

“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” — Richard Branson

And here you can find 10 Great Lessons Highly Successful People Have Learned From Failure.

8. Be Concise

Rambling on at meetings, in emails and even when introducing yourself to new clients can waste a lot of people’s time.

One way is to practice and sharpen your “elevator speech,”[2] which tells people in 30 seconds or less why they need your skills and how they can benefit from doing business with you.

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Just think of the many situations where this could be useful:

  • Making new contacts
  • Talking about yourself at a job interview
  • Meeting people at conferences or parties
  • Phone calls to new clients

9. Ask the Right Questions

“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” — Naguib Mahfouz

How do you get feedback? The secret is to ask the right questions at the right time.

When you do this, you are gathering the information you need to help in decision making. This will save you time and you will be able to cut meetings to a minimum.

Forbes magazine reports on research that they carried out on asking the right questions.[3] When that happens, the positive effects are increased by 400%. There are also other benefits in staff motivation and a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.

Lifehack’s CEO Leon has shared about how to ask for feedback to learn faster: How to Learn Quickly And Master Any Skill You Want

10. Learn as Much as You Can

You should always be on a steep learning curve. Look at your skills profile and determine where you need to fill a gap. Talk to important connections and network in your niche.

Keep up to date on trends and developments. It is a fact-changing world. When an opportunity arises, you will be the best equipped to seize it because you have never stopped learning. Just another way of working smarter.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” — Mahatma Gandhi

11. Look After Your Greatest Resource

No, your greatest resource is not time. It is YOU.

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If you do not get enough sleep, exercise and relaxation, you find that you become less and less productive. You begin to work longer and longer hours, which is the exact opposite of what you want.

What you should be doing is making sure you are in the best shape. It is useful to remember that you need a break of 15 minutes after every one and a half hours of work.[4]

Taking breaks and getting fresh air and exercise is one of the best ways of working smarter, not harder.

12. Don’t Fall into the Trap of Working Smarter and Harder

As a society, we are obsessed with doing everything smarter so we are more efficient and we save time all around.[5]

But the most important thing to remember is to accept when we are ready to switch off that computer and not fill up the time with even more work!

The Bottom Line

The key to greater productivity is to work smarter, not harder. Working smarter saves precious time and energy for the things that really matter — your life goals, your personal growth, your health and your relationships.

Stop working for more hours and start working smarter!

More About Working Smart

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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