15 Brilliant Tips to Help You Earn More
Posted September 9, 2010 in Marketing
I often hear freelancers say they’d love to earn more money. They want more clients. More passive income. More revenues.
And frankly, who doesn’t want more money? The more money we have, the more we can have what we want from life, whether that means more free time, more cool gadgets, a better house… you name it!
Earning more money isn’t always that easy, though, and sometimes it seems like freelancers have the worst of it.
Competition is stiff. The economy is so-so. Lack of time. Lack of ideas. Lack of skills. Let’s give you something to sink your teeth into.
Here are 15 brilliant tips (in no particular order) to help you earn more money. ‘Nuff said.
Brilliant Tips To help You Earn More
Here they are. 15 brilliant tips. You may have heard these before, but they won’t work until you actually try them. ;)
- Follow up. You’ve heard this one before and you’ll hear it again: stay in touch with potential clients after they’ve contacted you. Every time you get a new email from a potential client, file it in a folder marked “Follow Up.” And do it. After seven days, send them a friendly email asking if they’d received your reply, if they had questions and if you can help in any way. You might be surprised to hear that they’re glad you emailed!
- Use the phone. I know, I know. I have a no-phone rule and I shouldn’t preach what I don’t practice–but here’s the thing: I do. I break my own rules all the time. Sometimes all it takes to land a deal worth a few thousand dollars is a 15-minute call. Shy on the phone? Stumble and stutter? Hire a VA to take your calls, or be even more proactive and hire a speech coach who can help you out. It’s fixable–so fix it.
- Upsell like hell. Clients don’t think about the little extra things they might need if they’re not aware they might need them. If you sell web designs, offer to create a matching business card. Or a gravatar for social media. A coder? Mention monthly maintenance packages–many people hate stressing over upgrades. A writer? Point out that a short e-guide would go great with that revamped web copy, or ask if the client’s considered a brochure for local business.
- Get over your fears. Can’t upsell because you feel uncomfortable? Think marketing is a four-letter word? Then you need to remember that marketing is just a way of telling people who need what you sell that you can help them. Why would you hold back that help? Learn that marketing isn’t evil, that there are perfectly ethical ways to help people find your good stuff and that you don’t have to become pushy with your pitches.
- Follow up again. Yup, we’re back where we started. Once you’ve done business with a client, the relationship shouldn’t end at final payment. Make a note on your calendar to get in touch after 30 days. Ask whether the client’s pleased with results. Ask if he needs anything else. Just say hi, if you feel like it. But, stay in touch and keep reminding the client you exist and that you’re ready to work with him again.
- Upgrade your skills. There’s so much information around today that there’s really no excuse not to upgrade your skills or even learn new ones. Buy a book at Amazon that teaches you a skill related to your business–it’ll help you earn more money. Take a course online. There are plenty of free ones and also many offered by recognized universities. Watch tutorial videos and practice what they show you firsthand.
- Upgrade your site. If you haven’t changed your web copy in the past six months, it’s time for some maintenance. Read over each page. Good enough? Or could it be better? Each time I look at my site, I find new places to improve the message or tighten it up. What about design? Get a premium theme that helps you do business, like The Client Machine, and make your business look every inch the pro venture it is.
- Create something. I know no one has time for this, but I also know that those who say they have none just aren’t making the time. Pick a product or service you want to develop and start creating it. Decide how many hours it’ll take you to complete, and then book yourself as your own client. You don’t have to work at this very long–an hour every three days will keep you progressing nicely to the finish line. Then launch!
- Break it down. Many freelancers get stuck on offering one or two vast services, like design, writing or marketing. But there are a lot of sub-services that fall under these wide umbrellas, and they could bring in extra cash. Break down services into individual mini-items for an a la carte list, then create packages that bundle services up together. Oh, and have a list of little extras for those upsells you’re going to do.
- Get out of town. No, really. Get in your car and head to the next town over. Bring nice little file folders you’ve prepared that contain an opening letter introducing your business, some printouts of your work, a list of rates and a business card. Walk down the main street and visit every third store. It’s more effective than telling yourself you’ll visit them all and achieves more than if you handpicked stores you think are best to visit (they’re probably not). Shake hands, hand out your folders and see what happens.
- Find your focus. Many of you spend a lot of time on stuff that doesn’t bring back much ROI, if any at all. Think about where you want to be in five years, down to the exact lunch you’re eating that day. Then with every task you’re about to undertake today, ask yourself: “Does doing this help me get closer to where I want to be?” When the answer is no, don’t do it, or phase it out from your regular services slowly. If the answer is yes, do more of it!
- Find your calling. This sounds a little fu-fu, but you need to be doing work that makes you feel jazzed, excited and on top of the world. If you’re doing work that you hate, every hour becomes a slog, and there’s no way you’re going to convey your excitement to people who need to feel that to buy. So stop doing the work you can’t stand. Outsource it, find a partner or drop it from your services. Do what you love, and show potential clients you’re awesome at it.
- Stop blogging. Well, don’t stop blogging, but stop focusing so much on it and start focusing on what actually brings in money. The investment of hours that go into blogs and the pitiful returns often aren’t worth it, but for some strange reasons, freelancers tend to drop a lot of time into keeping it up. Blog if you’d like, but if you’re chasing money, then cut blogging back to something manageable and spend your time elsewhere doing more work that matters. Or, blog on case studies or post about creative ways to use your products and services.
- Do the math. Sit down and figure out the cost of goods sold (COGS) for each and every service or product you sell, and I mean down to the 30 seconds it takes you to send a PayPal invoice to a client. When you write down every service, all of its related tasks and the time it takes to actually complete each one, you might be surprised to realize you’re working for pennies an hour instead of the hundreds you thought you were.
- Add bonus offers. Instead of chopping your prices with a special, add a limited-time bonus to one of the products or services you sell. Toss it in free of charge if it has low value, or discount it. That way, you get to sell your big-ticket item and still get a portion of revenue from an item that wasn’t getting much attention. Plus, you get both items in front of people’s eyes when you market your promotion!
A Few More Thoughts About Money
Of course, the best way to make more money is to keep more of it in your pocket. Cut out all the subscription payments to services you’re not really using, trim the fat off your budget and bring down expenses–there are probably a lot you don’t really need. Examine every expense you make with a critical eye… remember, this is money you’re giving to someone else.
Does spending money really help you earn more?
What has helped you earn more money? Share your answers in the comments.
Image by CiCCiO.it’s
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