When you boil it down, there are two kinds of freelancers in this world. Those making enough to support their family, and those who aren’t.
But what separates the successful freelancers from those not making as much as they’d like to be?
Well, we’re glad you’ve asked. Because it’s a new year, which is the perfect time to put some steps in place to ensure you take your freelancing to the next level this year.
Here’s some of the steps that the freelancers listed on The Freelance Collective will be fine-tuning this year to make sure they reach their financial goals in 2018.
1 Start by setting some goals
Set aside some time to set some very specific financial goals for this year. Look through your invoices to ascertain who your best paying clients were last year, and your worst payers. Make sure to also look at how long each of the jobs took you, too. Next, make some decisions on what you want to achieve this year. This could include a list of clients you’d like to work with (and actually contacting them to offer your services), the hours you’d like to work, and your weekly and monthly financial goals. Be very specific. While sometimes we all need to put in a few extra hours here and there for our clients, try and be realistic about your available hours to freelance in the first place.
2 Plan out your working week
Spend just 20 minutes on Sunday evenings looking at the week ahead, and planning how long each of your projects you’re working on will take. Mark out time in your calendar app or diary for each project, and stick to it. Make sure you communicate realistic timelines to your clients, and always deliver on time.
3 Make sure you’re easy to find online
Sure, you might have a website, but how are clients finding your website? The key to being successful is making sure you’re easy for clients to find. Those unexpected emails landing in your inbox from clients can turn into very lucrative and long-term clients, so check your SEO, and look at ways to bolster your online profile. Connecting with other like-minded freelancers in related fields can also lead to lucrative new job leads. Creating your very own profile page on The Freelance Collective will enable clients to come and search for someone with your skills, and reach out direct to you. AND we connect you with other freelancers listed on the platform – we’re always sharing new leads and opportunities with each other.
Collaborating with other freelancers to deliver an incredible product can make your client’s life so much easier. Look for ways to add value by teaming up with a quality hand-picked Australian freelance graphic designer, and SEO specialist, marketing guru, project manager or copywriter, so that you’re giving your clients a beautiful finished product. Not only does collaborating like this help your client, you can learn so much when you work with other freelancers – plus it could open doors to new opportunities to work with their clients next time.
5 Track your time
Tracking your time so that you know exactly how long your regular projects take you can teach you so much about how to better operate. Once you’ve been tracking your time for a month or two, look for opportunities to outsource (such as hiring an Australian freelance Virtual Assistant to handle your accounts or your social media, for example). The Freelance Collective likes Rounded, which manages your accounts AND offers time-tracking, and also Toggl.
6 Get techy
Working away from an office with a dedicated IT department can make freelancers feel like they’re in the dark ages in a few short years. Make sure you look for clever ways to utilise apps and online tools to deliver better service to your clients. For example, there’s a whole host of apps out there that enables you to quickly create an online contract, ask your client for a digital signature or enable clients to book a session with you for a chat via your website.
7 Increase your rates
Of course, the quickest way to earn more is to increase your rates. Successful freelancers don’t fret about increasing their rates – they understand that it’s just part of running a successful business. You don’t need a reason to do this, but the start of a new year is a great time to communicate to your clients that you will be increasing your rates. A well-worded email is a great way to do this. And if you haven’t increased your rates for a while, make sure you do it now.
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