Before you learn various methods to double your income, you have to first ask “Is my freelancing rate accurate?”, “Am I charging too much, or too little, now?”, Let’s move forward with these questions first, because there is no need to double your income if it’s wrong in the first place.
You should be asking yourself “How Can I Charge the Most Amount of Money and Provide the Most Value?”
Is your freelancing rate even accurate? One common way to determine what you can charge clients is to take your last salaried position and divide it by 2080. 2080 is the amount of work hours in a year. This will give you your hourly rate. The concept here is that if you can be billable as a freelancer 8 hours a day, 2,080 hours per year, then you’ll match your corporate salary. However, it is improbable to think that you can fill 8 hours a day of billable work. In reality, it should be 4-6, the rest should be for prospecting and other business-related tasks. So take that number you just came up with an multiply it by 2. This number is what you need to charge to be billable 4 hours a day and maintain your corporate salary. I bet it still seems like a reasonable number! It does, because it is a reasonable number. Working a salaried job, if you break it down by hour, really doesn’t pay that much in most situations. $100,000 per year is only $48/hour.
Once you determine what you should be charging, you can now begin to think about how to charge more by providing more value.
There are two main tips I would like to share with you about charging more and providing more value.
First, in order to charge more, you need to provide more value, so make a list of things you can do BEFORE you charge a client that will show your value.
“In order to charge more, you need to provide more value.”
- For example. If you’re a designer, perhaps send watermarked samples to the client before charging a prospect. This will show off your skill set and not allow the client to use your work until it’s paid for.
- If you’re a digital marketer or UX specialist, perhaps do a website review for a prospect.
- Personally, I do a great discovery call where I show them I am an expert at strategy. I spend a few minutes researching the company and already have a list of suggestions for improvement for them.
The more valuable you are before they higher you, the more you can charge.
Also, don’t bill hourly, bill per project. It’s much more profitable. Doing this allows you to group similar projects together and bill as if you were creating each from scratch. If you have done a similar project in the past for a client and this new client wants the same task done, you can use your existing work as a framework for the new client. Take a content strategy document for example. They are very similar from client to client. I created one complete content strategy for a client many years ago and now each time I have to create a new one, I just use that first strategy as a “base”. it’s 80% the same, but it’s unique to the client. In cases like these, bill per project. This way you are able to charge as if you made it from scratch, the clients get the value of a perfectly fleshed out and fresh project and you get to reap the rewards of spending less time on the project than you thought. So, a project that would have taken 10 hours, now takes 3, but you’re billing for what you would normally charge someone 10 hours for. Yes, I am telling my client this is a content plan I have used before but it would be unique to them, don’t hide that fact. But in this situation, I am spending less time and the client is spending less money. It’s a win-win.
The more you can help a client, the more you will be worth to them. So, identify problems early, even before the prospect tells you about them. So instead of volunteering that you can help with a blog post, say “I can help you format the blog, code it for HTML, publish and distribute it.”
“The more you can help a client, the more you will be worth to them.”
All of the above tips should definitely help you double your income. But wait, there’s more…
To Double Your Freelancing Rate, You Really Need to…
Step outside your comfort zone. Most freelancers, and most people in fact, don’t like to go outside their comfort zone. Just remember, unless you get lucky, nothing in business comes easy. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it! Do you think most people spend their day working 8 am-5 pm Monday through Friday in a cubicle because they want to? Do you think most people like to ask permission to go on vacation? Hell no! They do it because they like the perceived security blanket of an 8 am-5 pm job and a steady paycheck. Those are the people who work for people LIKE YOU! The entrepreneurs, the 3% of people who go outside their comfort zone, take risks and are willing to reap the rewards of their creative and risk-taking labor.
Take Elon Musk for example, when he arrived in North America, he had a budget of 1$ a day and survived by buying food in bulk. Now that’s extreme, but you have to admit, there isn’t anything comfortable about that. Personally, I am an admitted introvert. I love being on stage, but in a crowded room at a party, no thanks. I had to force myself to network offline to make some contacts as a freelancer. I did it to force myself to come outside my comfort zone. Too often freelancers rely on one or two types of marketing channels for work. That is a recipe for failure on so many levels.
As an exercise, write down all the marketing channels you have experience with. I write about some of the ways to find freelance jobs online here. Research some offline ways to find freelance jobs too. Some examples are networking at meetup events, going to conferences, etc. Once you have a list that mixes online and offline ways to find freelance jobs, simply prioritize them by interest. So if you have 10 ideas, write them down in order from top to bottom, the ones at the top you have the most interest. Now, take your number 1 and number 10 choice and do them at the same time. This way you are mixing your favorite and least favorite. Try those for a while then move on to number 2 and number 9.
This method allows you to always be working on a task you like and a task you don’t like. I take a similar approach at the gym. I will do an exercise I really like and then one I don’t like. It works great and allows you to expand your horizons and get outside your comfort zone.
Now go out there and double your freelancing rate! If you haven’t yet, check out our Masterclass course and start building toward your goals. Share this article and comment below on some tips you have to either charge more or provide more value to your clients.