Making a full-time income as a freelancer can be a very lucrative proposition. However, for most people, the income they make from freelancing is far too meagre to replace their day job.
It is not hard to see why - there are over 12 million registered freelancers on a platform like Upwork. Standing tall against this crowd of competition can be a tough job. Not surprisingly then, most freelancers view bidding on these platforms as a race to the bottom.
There are a few recommended tips to make more money on these platforms. The first tip is to gain a lot of projects under the belt and secure good ratings in the process. When you do this, you get recommended to more clients and can therefore make more money.
It is also recommended that you move away from ‘generalist’ roles to ‘specialist’ ones. A programmer who specializes in Python is more likely to get a project from a client seeking this specialty as opposed to someone who can do a bit of everything.
Most importantly, you need to increase your value proposition to the client’s business. Your hourly income is directly proportional to the value you provide to your client’s business - either in terms of expertise or their top line.
Having said this, there is a whole world of freelancing outside of these marketplaces. Adopting the right strategies here could make you successful here.
Here are a few tips to offer more value as a freelancer.
Learn more your client’s business
Want a loyal client who will work with you project after project? Well, start learning more about their business - what they offer, who their customers are, what strategies they use, and how they make money.
For example, you may be an app developer. But knowing more about App Store Optimization (ASO), mobile user experience, etc. will help you build a product that appeals to the client’s target group better - thereby increasing client satisfaction.
Learning this will provide you more context about the work you do. This way, you will be able to offer new perspectives and ideas that the client may have not thought of themselves. In due course, you become an inalienable asset that the client will want on their side all time.
Be more productive with tools
A lot of freelancers charge by the hour. But here is the thing - while an inexperienced provider may charge less, they also take more time to do a job. On the other hand, an experienced freelancer may charge more, but should be able to complete their tasks much sooner.
Even if you are just starting out, you can make yourself more productive by using the right tools. For instance, if you are working on a WordPress website and the client wants you to build a subscription form, you could consider building this with third party integration - this accelerates the process and makes it easy for the client to launch their campaigns.
Make communication seamless
Technology has come a long way. Yet, we still face network connectivity and latency issues while communicating with clients. Invest in collaboration platforms that makes it easy for your client to reach out to you at their convenience while you could respond to their messages promptly.
The benefit of such non-real time business collaboration software is that it negates the connectivity and latency issues that bug real time communication channels like phone calls or Zoom meetings.
Be an ambassador for your client’s business
The more successful your client is with their business, the greater are the chances of them hiring you again, and again. Be an ambassador for their product or services and spread the word about it to your network whenever relevant.
For example, if your client runs a project management app and you have people in your network asking for suggestions for good project management tools, actively talk about your client’s offering.
This way, you take ownership of your client’s product and speak about it in a way you would speak about your own product. Clients are more inclined to trust you and stay loyal when you take ownership.
As a freelancer, your time is not only consumed by the projects you work on, but also by other tasks like marketing, customer support, and administrative tasks. By adding value to your offering, you bring down client acquisition costs and can thus improve your overall top line.