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April 23, 2019 Adrian Zee

Three ways to increase your revenue as a freelancer

Whether you’re looking to start a freelance business or just starting out, here are three ways to increase your revenue

Working as a freelancer has never been easier. People love the flexibility to work on their own time without a supervisor breathing over their shoulders. Whether you’re looking to start a freelance business or just starting out, this article has three ways to increase the revenue you bring in every month.

Finding new clients

There are many ways people find work as a freelancer. Recommendations, referrals, and marketing are great ways to build your client base. (In case you missed it, here’s our article on building a strong referral network). However, less thought of  — and possibly even more effective — are pitching and cold emailing.

When this article refers to “pitching”, it means to pitch to anyone and everyone. Whether you’re a web developer, photographer, or writer, you never know when someone could use your services. This means going to the dentist and asking if they need photos for their website. Better yet, asking if they need a website to begin with. You will never know if you don’t ask.

Who doesn’t love a good photoshoot?

Cold emailing is also an effective way to get new clients. By using LinkedIn to find relevant people and sending them a message via LinkedIn or email, you could land yourself a new client. Even if only 10 percent of people actually reply to your messages, you could easily send out ten emails a day and get one reply a day.

To make sure you’re reaching out to the right people, first understand a bit about the business you’re pitching to. For smaller businesses (one to 10 people) reaching out to the owner is most effective. For slightly larger companies, it will depend on what your service is. Often the go-to person will be their marketing team for services such as photography, writing, and web development. For services such as software development, it could be better to reach out to their engineering team.

Make sure to personalize your email. Don’t send a generic email that’s copy and pasted to every person — you’ll get a much higher response rate by referencing what their company does or whatever you have in common with the person you’re reaching out to. Mentioning any mutual connections is a great way to personalize as well.   

Make more money from current clients

A hard upsell is not the ideal way to make more money from your clients. A better method is to talk to them, understand their goals, and show how you can add value. For example, if your client is looking to drive conversions with the blog posts that you’re writing for them, you could suggest helping them with monthly newsletters as well. Newsletters are a great way for businesses to drive conversions and a way for you to get more billables with current clients.

Additionally, consider expanding your services as a freelancer. Let’s say that your dentist loved the photos you took for her business. Why not also help her use those photos on her social media? Running social media accounts is a great service to add to your business because it flows naturally out of other freelance services.

Don’t let a lack of experience in a certain field stop you. If you’ve proven to your clients that you’re hardworking and competent, they may just give you a shot at something new. It’s often better to find someone who is dedicated and reliable than someone with relevant experience. Also, the fewer freelancers your client has to deal with, the more time they have for their own work.

Creating passive income

Another way to expand your business is by adding passive income. Passive income is money earned through initial investment and minimal maintenance. This can really help scale your business because you don’t have to add additional hours into it once it’s up and running. It generates income by itself. A great example is with photographers and stock photography.

The new passive income trend is to create your own online course. Many freelancers are masters of their craft, and there are likely a number of people who would love to learn from you. Some of these individuals are even willing to pay a few hundred dollars. Using websites such as teachable, Didacte, and many others, you can create online courses and develop a great source of passive income.

Whether it’s finding new clients, making more from existing ones, or creating a passive income, these are all great ways to make more as a freelancer and expand your business.

Adrian Zee

Adrian Zee is a freelance writer and a student at Osgoode Hall Law School. Previously, he studied management and writing at Western University and worked in the data & analytics industry. Adrian is also a part-time food writer and photographer at DailyHive/DishedTO.