As a freelancer, one must have a bit of hustle in them. When you rely on yourself to get projects or gigs to pay the bills, maximizing a diversity of streams of income is vital. But how do you do that? Check out these tips:
Develop a marketing plan. Active marketing is the best way to command higher rates. Sites like Elance and Odesk are tempting, but it’s hard to convince clients to cough up decent rates when you’re competing with others who seem happy to work for next to nothing.
(Note: Some freelancers do make a decent living on these sites with the right techniques. But most of us need to look elsewhere.)
Marketing looks different for every freelancer, but the bottom line is that actively promoting your services to potential clients—and asking them for decent pay in the process—makes a difference.
According to the 2012 Freelance Industry Report, only 28 percent of freelancers who spend less than two hours a week on marketing earn $70+ an hour, but 41 percent who spend 20 or more hours per week marketing earn $70+ an hour. Active marketing is what connects you to clients who are actually willing to pay what you’re worth.
Drop your worst client, right now. Once you’re ready to start marketing, you need to clear space in your schedule to do it. If your schedule is full, it’s time to drop your worst client—either the lowest-paying client or the one who’s the biggest pain in the ass.