Advertising
Advertising

6 Ways to Make More Money as a Freelancer

6 Ways to Make More Money as a Freelancer

I’ve been freelancing for many years, and in that time I’ve worked with a variety of people, learned a lot about myself, and had to figure many things out on my own, including what to charge and how to deal with rude clients, among others.

Ultimately, the most important lessons I’ve learned have been about how to maximize what I can do to make more money and become better in my niche and field. Use the lessons I’ve learned to take your freelancing to the next level, make more money, and become a superstar freelancer.

1. Make Yourself Look Good

There are a few ways to make yourself look great as a freelancer, and one of the first places to focus on is your online portfolio. If you don’t have one yet, make one now. This will give potential clients a quick and easy way to see what you’ve done, what you can offer and more. I personally use About.me.

Don’t just throw a website together, though. Spend time using this as an opportunity to highlight your absolute best work and the skills and experience that sets you apart from others.

Advertising

If you don’t have a website or online portfolio page like those on About.me, make sure your other freelance profiles are up-to-date and make you look good. Get testimonials/reviews on sites like Upwork, Elance, and 99Designs and add portfolio items and details where possible.

Make More Money: Always send a link to your portfolio to prospective clients, and highlight three key features of your work in the email itself. Some people will want to click through and dig around, while others just want a snapshot. This helps you catch all opportunities.

2. Focus on a Few Niches and Excel

Take time to find your niche. If you can become the go-to person for small business e-commerce photography in retail, for example, you’re suddenly set apart from other general freelance photographers. This gives you leverage when talking about opportunities with a client because you can likely cite experience you have that’s specific to their needs.

Make More Money: Take hold of your niche and use your experience to be more authoritative during initial conversations and negotiations: “Well, when I worked with Client X, we found that photos with a white background lead to more purchases…” If you’re knowledgeable about their industry, the client will feel better about bringing you on board.

Advertising

3. Don’t Let Fear Hold You Back

A lot of times I get emails from people who have seen my work and want to see what I can offer them, but this can be a scary email to receive. While it’s exciting to get a new freelance prospect, in cases like this, the bar is already set very high thanks to the great work you’ve already done.

Suddenly, doubts creep in: “Can I actually do this? What if I fail?” A whopping 31 percent of American adults polled cited fear of failure as their top fear—I, and probably you, are no exception. Don’t let this hold you back because it can if you let it.

Make More Money: Turn that fear around and ask yourself: What if I do pull this off? It could lead to more opportunities, maybe even extended work with that one particular client. This is an opportunity to rise to the top, not hold back.

4. Know When to Prioritize

No opportunity is a bad opportunity, but some likely make you more money than others. When working with clients, take stock of how valuable this freelance gig is to you; this could be based on how much you’re getting paid, how big their brand is (and therefore the exposure you’ll get), etc.

Advertising

On days when you’re overwhelmed with work, use this as a way to prioritize the work that will be most valuable to you in the long run.

Make More Money: Set expectations up front based on this prioritization. If you know you could deliver results in two weeks, but you aren’t getting a lot out of the relationship, tell them to expect results in four weeks. If a better opportunity comes along, you have more time to devote to it. If not, and you complete your task in less than four weeks, you look even better.

5. Know Your Worth

As a freelancer, I know how hard it is to turn down an opportunity. We can all use a little extra cash, and there’s always that glimmer of hope when you see a prospect email come through, “Oh, maybe this will lead to something big!”

However, taking work that doesn’t pay you what you deserve based on the work you do will not only be frustrating for you but takes up time you could be using to find better freelance gigs.

Advertising

Make More Money: Always take at least 24 hours to decide if you want to move forward with a new potential client. When you step away and weigh the pros and cons, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision that will likely lead to making more money.

6. Always Start High

When quoting a price for your work, always start high. If they want to work with you, it’s doubtful that they’ll come back and say, “That’s too much, we’ll look elsewhere.” More often, the case is that they’ll come back with a price or range that they can pay and then you can decide if that is worth your time.

Freelancers have a tendency to undervalue their work to get more clients, and that’s the wrong way to think if you want to get to the next level.

Make More Money: Every project will likely have different requirements, so never create a one-size-fits-all pricing model to go off of—this pigeon holes you into a strict pricing bracket, rather than one that’s fluid and flexible. Consider what you’ve charged for similar projects to start narrowing down the appropriate fee.

More by this author

market your ebook How to Market Your Ebook and Drive Leads motivation drain How to Dodge Motivation Drain and Keep Making Progress 6 Ways to Make More Money as a Freelancer interview I’ve Had 5 Jobs in 5 Years—Here’s What I Learned Speaking French: What Glocal Business Owners Should Know

Trending in Money

1 How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them 2 25 Killer Sites For Free Online Education 3 10 Recession-Proof Debt Consolidation Tips 4 The Definitive Guide to Get out of Debt Fast (and Forever) 5 25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on September 2, 2020

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

Personal finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. That’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

In this article, we will explore ways to set financial goals and actually meet them with ease.

4 Steps to Setting Financial Goals

Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task, if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps to get you started.

1. Be Clear About the Objectives

Any goal without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream, and this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore, if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it’s for. It could be anything, including your child’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car, etc.

Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives that you foresee in the future and put a value to each.

2. Keep Goals Realistic

It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a Pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going beyond what you can realistically achieve will definitely hurt your chances of making meaningful progress.

It’s important that you keep your goals realistic, as it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

3. Account for Inflation

Ronald Reagan once said: “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman.” This quote sums up what inflation could do your financial goals.

Therefore, account for inflation[1] whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far into the future.

For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years from now, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is a mere 3%. Always account for this to avoid falling short of your goals.

Advertising

4. Short Term Vs Long Term

Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach to achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It’s important to bifurcate goals into short-term and long-term.

As a rule of thumb, any financial goal that is due in next 3 years should be termed as a short-term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long-term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short-term vs long-term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

By now, you should be ready with your list of financial goals. Now, it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

How to Achieve Your Financial Goals

Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a two-step process:

  • Ensuring healthy savings
  • Making smart investments

You will need to save enough and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals.

Ensuring Healthy Savings

Self-realization is the best form of realization, and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

1. Track Expenses

The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your spending. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you will be surprised by how small expenses add up to a sizable amount.

Also categorize those expenses into different buckets so that you know which bucket is eating most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pumping up your savings rate.

If you’re not sure where to start when tracking expenses, this article may be able to help.

2. Pay Yourself First

Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classic mistake when setting financial goals. We pay ourselves last!

Advertising

Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world, i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and manage all the expenses from the rest.

The best way to actually implement this is to put the savings on automatic mode, i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (mutual funds, retirement accounts, etc) every month.

Taking the automatic route will help release some control and compel us to manage what’s left, increasing the savings rate.

3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick With It

Learning to create a budget is the best way to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be organized

Nowadays, several money management apps can help you do this automatically.

At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely, but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options, and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

4. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that, in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

Make savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counterintuitive to many, there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

  • Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Weekends are more expensive.
  • If you are a travel buff, try to travel during off-season. You’ll spend significantly less.
  • If you go shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

The key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice, which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

Advertising

5. Talk About It

Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission.

Therefore, in order to stay the course, surround yourself with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

6. Maintain a Journal

For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

If you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energized to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot easier for you to track your progress.

Making Smart Investments

Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However, savings, when invested wisely, can do wonders.

1. Consult a Financial Advisor

Investment doesn’t come naturally to most of us, so it’s wise to consult a financial advisor.

Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings, and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

2. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about the common ones, like a savings account, Roth IRA, and others.

Just like “no one is born a criminal,” no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference[2].

As a general rule, for all your short-term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature, for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds, etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less compared to equity instruments.

Advertising

3. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

Einstein once remarked about compounding:

“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.”

Use compound interest when setting financial goals

    Make friends with this wonder kid. The sooner you become friends with it, the quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

    Start saving early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

    4. Measure, Measure, Measure

    All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments and taking stock of how our investments are doing.

    If we don’t measure progress at the right times, we are shooting in the dark. We won’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not, whether the financial advisor is doing a decent job, or whether we are moving closer to our target.

    Measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

    The Bottom Line

    Managing your extra money to achieve your short and long-term financial goals

    and live a debt-free life is doable for anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort. Use the tips above to get you started on your path to setting financial goals.

    More Tips on Financial Goals

    Featured photo credit: Micheile Henderson via unsplash.com

    Reference

    Read Next