Imposter syndrome is a real thing amongst freelancers. Maybe more so than in any other profession, especially when we are talking about those in the creative fields.
This means that you end up working harder for less money because you don’t actually value the work you do as you should. This creates a never-ending cycle of having to hustle to find new clients and working for peanuts.
It is a process and will take some time, but more than anything requires you to understand that you are worth every penny.
In this article, I will go over several of the ways that you can make more money and attract better and higher-paying clients as a freelancer.
1. Make it a two-way street
The very nature of being a freelancer is transactional. Somebody pays you to do a job for them and then you do it and they pay you. End of transaction.
What works better and will get you more money is when you make their vision your vision and you work to not only finish the job according to their specifications, but you also try to help them achieve their dream.
It means having a collaborative relationship rather than a transactional one.
It will take communication and a lot of work on your part to make this happen, but when you are instrumental in a client’s success, then they are going to stick with you and recommend you to others. And this means you can ask for much more money than before.
2. Have a professional CRM
Your client is your customer and understanding that their project needs management is essential. It is not enough to tell them you are working on it, you need a system like a CRM to help you manage the workflow.
One that helps the client communicate and see the status of the project goes a long way to look professional and on top of things. Bloom is a good one if you are in a creative field, but there are many others and each is suited to whichever area your expertise lies.
In some of the best apps or programs, you can have a live chatbot that can answer a lot of questions that a client has without needing to take time away from your project to do it yourself.
The more time spent working on things that pay and less time spent on managing your clients will ultimately lead to more money.
And also clients that pay more as they can see that their money is well spent with the quality of the work and the speed of delivery on the project.
3. Get everything in writing
There is this thing called scope creep in which a project can end up getting layer upon layer added to it and suddenly it is a far bigger project than you had agreed to.
To finish means working for peanuts essentially.
You can avoid this by making a contract that clearly stipulates what the project entails and what it doesn’t.
And you can add on to the cost by putting a price tag on certain things.
If they ask you to change something related to the project, they can only get so many requests before it starts to cost them money.
Either you end up making more money as the project grows, or you only have to do the original work you were hired to do and then you move on to greener pastures.
4. Learn to say no
The power of “No” is something you need to harness as a freelancer. It is tempting to take every job that comes across your desk.
After all, you never know when the work will dry up so it is better to just stay busy. Well, no actually it isn’t.
When you take all kinds of work and for lower fees, than you want to charge, then you are going to end up in a cycle of being overworked and underpaid.
When a less than ideal proposition comes forward, just say no. Don’t take the job even if you don’t have your next project lined up.
What happens more often than not is that you take that low paid gig and then another better paying one comes along. Well, you’ve already committed to the lower-paying one so you end up having to say no anyway. But, to the higher paid ones.
You should also be firm when it comes to the type of work that you do and not just for the fees that you should charge. Stick with your expertise and stay focused.
If you take on work that is not what you should be doing, you dilute your expertise and end up losing your reputation as a sought after freelancer within that field. And that costs you money in the long run.
Networking is important for any entrepreneur and freelancing is no different. Surrounding yourself with smart and well-connected people helps you to elevate your skills in a major way.
Nobody becomes a success without the help of others along the way that lends a hand. You will often need to lean on other people in your network to help you find good-paying clients.
People that know you and can vouch for you as being responsible and professional goes a long way to finding the high paying gigs. This is much better than trying to convince a client yourself that you are worth the money.
It is a two-way street, however. You also need to be helping others out otherwise you will be seen as somebody abusing these relationships as opposed to it being mutually beneficial.
Once you finally break that barrier and start getting the higher paying projects, you will never have to look back at those days of low pay and long hours. Except to remind yourself that you’ve paid your dues and deserve all the success that you get in the future.
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