Great tips, a passive income can be a great “base” for your freelancing income and can really help when business slows.
How To Maximize Your Freelance Income
Freelancing income often seems as though it is a limited commodity. It seems limited by time, limited by ability, and limited by the number of opportunities available. Many freelancers behave as though there is a specific number of freelancing jobs out there, and that once those jobs are gone there are no more jobs to go around.
That’s not necessarily how it works, though. First, there are new freelancing opportunities daily. Second, it’s possible to influence your freelancing income by making your own income opportunities.
In this post we’ll teach you how to maximize your income by both finding and winning opportunities that are already out there, and then by creating your own new income opportunities.
How the Find the Most Freelancing Opportunities
Although there are many freelancing opportunities listed online, most freelancers fail to make the most of them. That’s because they haven’t really learned to look for freelancing gigs properly.
Here are several suggestions to help you find more freelance work:
- Be first. It’s true that most jobs are posted on a Monday morning. This fact holds for traditional jobs as well as for freelance jobs. By Friday, many posted jobs are already filled. Make it a habit to get up early Monday morning and respond to new freelance jobs as soon as they are listed.
- Go to the source. While sites that aggregate job listings provide a valuable service, remember that there is a time lag between the time that the job is posted on the original site and the time that the job appears on the aggregating site. If you can, check the original site and apply before the job makes it to an aggregating site.
- Follow instructions. Many freelancers miss out on jobs because they don’t follow the instructions in the listing. If the ad says to call, make the call. If the ad requests references, make sure to include references. It sounds simple, but following the instructions will set you apart.
- Ask for referrals. Don’t be afraid to ask a client for a referral. Often your client is aware of others who need to have similar work done. In fact, you should be asking for referrals from all of your contacts, including friends and family.
- Have a website. If you freelance, it’s really important to have a website. A website helps clients find you and also lets them know that you’re serious about freelancing. Make sure that your website includes a way to contact you for work such as a contact form or an e-mail address.
- Have a social media presence. Not only is social media important to a freelancer for networking, potential clients are increasingly turning to social media to look for qualified freelancers. Recently, I’ve actually seen jobs posted on Twitter. A social media presence also provides another way for clients to contact you.
Don’t limit your income just to opportunities that others provide. As a freelancer you can also make some of your own opportunities.
How To Make Your Own Freelancing Opportunities
Most freelancers don’t realize it, but it is possible to take steps to create ongoing income streams independent of the income that you receive from your clients. This additional income can be very helpful for the inevitable slow periods (feast or famine cycle) that many freelancers face.
Here are several suggestions to help you make your own freelancing opportunities:
- Write and sell an e-book. You probably already know enough about your area of expertise to write an e-book. Once published, you can use your own website as well as your social media contacts to promote the book. Each time someone purchases your book, you will see a little spike in your income.
- Be someone’s affiliate. Include a link to someone else’s book or product on your website. Each time someone purchases through your link you receive a portion of the purchase price. (New laws require that affiliates disclose the affiliate relationship, but if you are honest and open that shouldn’t be a problem.)
- Accept advertising on your blog or website. If you own a popular blog or website, you may be able to earn income by selling advertising space on your site.
- Create something that you can sell more than once. If you can create something and sell it more than once you will have created a revenue stream for yourself. Images, photographs, website designs, and many other creations that can be re-used lend themselves nicely to resale.
- Become an adviser. Could you help someone else to understand and succeed at what you do? There’s a lot of money to be made in consulting. If you can give valid professional advice to others, then you can consult. Look for potential consulting clients not only among companies that use your services, but also among your less experienced peers.
- Participate in revenue sharing. The Internet offers many opportunities for revenue sharing. While not all revenue sharing opportunities are worthwhile, a few are. Do your homework and research each opportunity carefully. Select only those opportunities that are likely to be worth your time.
When you create your own opportunities, you may find that the feast or famine cycle disappears (or at least significantly decreases). You’ll also notice your income start to increase on a regular basis.
How do you find and win new freelance jobs? How do you make your own opportunities?
Share your tricks and tips in the comments.
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October 20th, 2009 at 11:11 am
October 20th, 2009 at 11:26 am
There’s a lot of negativity and despair in the freelancing world because people feel that their opportunities are limited.
With a little planning, it really is possible to make some of your own opportunities. Hopefully, this post will help people see that.
October 20th, 2009 at 11:41 am
I actually do most of these – and a few other things. I was already working on a post about it, so I’ll let you know when that’s up! :-D
Great stuff here, Laura!
October 20th, 2009 at 11:47 am
Thanks for you ideas Laura, they very helpful. I could say that having your own website will save you from drought periods. Although, it may eat some of your time in maintaining it during busy moments, this is still a good investment to have as a freelancer. It’s like your open portfolio where potential clients may bump in which open doors for a possible job for you.
October 20th, 2009 at 11:48 am
Great tips :)
October 20th, 2009 at 11:52 am
Revenue sharing is an area I have yet to fully explore, but I will probably take this option in 2010.
I like the idea of writing a strong article and having it produce income for many months, perhaps years. That means it must be evergreen content, able to endure the test of time.
Having a residual income appeals to me; make money why you sleep and this is no scam!
October 20th, 2009 at 11:58 am
By the way, feel free to share what works for you.
October 20th, 2009 at 11:58 am
There are many ways to maximize your Freelance Income . Look for services that are unique and that can provide residual income.
SEO Services / which is an ongoing maitenance
Content Writing / Updating Blogs
online advertising banner space on your website/blog
Sell WordPress Themes or templates
Sell graphics (icons,PSD Layouts, etc..) Checkout Theme Forest
create a popular app (iphone,android, Blackberry…)
And many other innovative way to generate income.
Thanks Laura for another great article.
October 20th, 2009 at 12:47 pm
I participate in affiliate marketing and sometimes dabble in PPC marketing. I forgot about the “golden rule” that jobs are posted on Monday. I do have a social media presence but sometimes it gets overwhelming. Creating your own writings is a great idea. Many people sell eBooks on their website. It’s a great way to supplement your income.
October 20th, 2009 at 12:56 pm
Creating your own opportunities doesn’t have to be limited to passive income, either. In a lot of cases you can create freelance work where there was none before.
For example, you may have a current client who needs a website designed. With the right recommendations and good quality work you could easily get them to buy into social media marketing, a little SEO, and a whole host of other projects that they probably never considered before.
In the same way, you can find and approach businesses about doing work for them even if they aren’t actively looking for it. If you can convince them that it is in their best interest, you might just land a project that didn’t exist before you came along.
Great article Laura!
October 20th, 2009 at 1:09 pm
October 20th, 2009 at 3:06 pm
Great topic, Laura! I think every freelancer should have multiple streams of income, especially PASSIVE income.
In fact, Unlimited Freelancer, inspired me to get into affiliate marketing. Just today, I received my very first affiliate check from Clickbank. The amount isn’t enough for me to quit freelancing – far from it – but it’s proof that what I’m doing on the side works. (Imagine that, a sideline from freelancing!)
Now, if only I weren’t so busy with client work, I could make this affiliate marketing thing even more profitable, LOL.
October 20th, 2009 at 5:27 pm
Every little bit helps, or at least that’s what I think.
October 20th, 2009 at 5:38 pm
Great article and tips. I sell my lil e-booklets on lulu.com and studentorfortune.com (I do not write their assignments for them here). I post my store-front links to a Publications page on my site. Am now making a small monthly income regularly. In a couple of months I will be able to bundle together several booklets to create one e-book.
October 20th, 2009 at 7:36 pm
really good article. for me the probleme is the start win project in freelance website like : odesk, rentcoder and other . all client search for one with good portfolio and good rates in website.
October 20th, 2009 at 10:39 pm
These are nice tips Laura! I def. agree with having your own website, its a must in today’s world!!!
October 21st, 2009 at 12:30 am
Nice post! I think this would definitely help all the freelancers like me to get extra money online. Affiliation can definitely be a good option for everyone.
October 21st, 2009 at 3:50 am
Yes, I think that these are all good pointers and tips to increasing revenue as a freelancer. Though I’m not sure about re-using work for different clients, I prefer to start afresh when designing instead of rehashing something as I think it values the client and its also more interesting for me as a designer.
October 21st, 2009 at 4:43 am
I love your suggestion about having a website.
Sometimes ordinary forms of freelancing jobs like graphics work for instance is do not generate passive income because it is mostly labor.
But when you have a website, you can do creative alternatives or diversify to other money making possibilities which is as broad as your imagination.
October 21st, 2009 at 7:47 am
while I’m a novice in technology… I do what Mason said here. I do good work for clients and help them to see other opportunities to sell their products and tell them about other social media avenues and build trust.
I also do some free samples to get the attention of some new clients and give them feedback on the existing marketing communication they have and, hoping one day I would land a job. I’m still waiting for it… and damn sure they would call me.
I agree that the passive income through websites n affiliate marketing is so nice, but, frankly I don’t know what it is… ha haa ha!
Thanks for the tips, Laura!
October 21st, 2009 at 8:46 am
Well, I’ve written an ebook and I have a few blogs. Does require time for promotion if anyone is thinking of going that route. It is fun and rewarding though.
Would be great if you could write more on “revenue sharing” in the future.
October 21st, 2009 at 9:29 am
Thanks to everyone for all of the excellent comments!
Juliet, we will look into writing more on revenue sharing in the future. Thanks for the suggestion.
October 21st, 2009 at 11:50 am
Great Article Laura
simple and clear. I like the last section “How To Make Your Own Freelancing Opportunities”; I think we tend to forget that we can do some of these things.
October 21st, 2009 at 11:54 pm
Another way is to create a side project, such as a software program, ebook, etc., that can generate passive income and also serve as part of your portfolio to potential clients.
October 22nd, 2009 at 12:15 am
Thanks for this article. I like the idea of creating an ebook and I’ll spend some time working on that.
Also, networking is a nice way to increase your income. It’s a venue I, myself, am just beginning to explore, but so far, I’ve had positive results.
October 22nd, 2009 at 1:44 am
the 2 C’s; Content and Communication. People do business with those they know, like and trust…some freelancers have a great skill but try to shortcut building the relationship…if you do this you might as well pull out the gun and shoot yourself in the foot!
Put out great content, communicate your message well and if your relationship is solid they will think of you when they have a referral or a need for your services.
October 22nd, 2009 at 9:39 am
This response is awesome. This topic resonated with a lot of people.
I have to say that the Freelance Folder community has come through again with lots of good advice and tips in the comments.
October 22nd, 2009 at 11:11 am
Amazing timing! Thanks for the tips… I’m coming to the end of a project and really need to be more pro-active in sorting other avenues of revenue.
JuanOctober 27th, 2009 at 2:00 am
a very veridic and good publication (thanks a lot). I would like to find out about how many freelancers like us work globally, providing internet-based services (like data entry, online management, media development and a long etc). That looking to improve my image and sophisticate my services. If anyone knows about an statistics site, an specific file or any useful clue, I will be really grateful
good work and a bit of luck to all
October 30th, 2009 at 7:26 pm
Very inspiring list!
WIllie DoveNovember 21st, 2009 at 5:22 pm
For someone that wants to get started into the freelance world how do i tget started? Where do i go to start my won web site? What is step one?
April 17th, 2010 at 9:04 pm
Thanks for these great tips, I’m pretty new to freelance work so this helps a lot. I especially like what you said about being there first. It’s great advice to apply for jobs very early on Monday morning.
February 2nd, 2011 at 12:40 am
Hi Laura, I post my store-front links to a Publications page on my site. Am now making a small monthly income regularly. In a couple of months I will be able to bundle together several booklets to create one e-book.
April 8th, 2013 at 7:18 am
It is not my first time to visit this website, i am browsing this web site dailly and get nice facts from here all the time.
June 4th, 2013 at 1:42 pm
Whats up this is kinda of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML.
I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding expertise so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!
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