Well, that’s easy. You just work more hours, right?
My goal has always been to work fewer hours and make more money. Isn’t that yours?
And it is happening for me.
First, of all, I’m not averse to increasing my rates as I become more in demand and my experience warrants it. So, don’t take this as a message that you can’t or shouldn’t continue to get better paying clients as your business grows. You should!
However, there is another dynamic that comes into play as you build your business that increases your revenue, regardless of whether you raise your rates or not. It’s called:
Remember, your income as a freelance writer has to cover more than the time you actually spend working on projects. It also has to cover your marketing time, prospecting for work. Many freelance writers are spending up to 50% or more of their working hours just hunting down work. How much they are truly earning per hour is determined by taking their income for the week or month and divided by ALL the hours they spent working. That includes prospecting time, billing time and everything else related to their writing business.
So how do repeat clients figure into the equation? Repeat clients and returning clients cut down on the amount of time you need to spend prospecting for work. One client that will give you weekly or monthly blog writing assignments, ongoing, is worth much more than one client who wants one project done, but doesn’t provide hope for future work. If you get the same rate for your writing, but spend 80% of your time actually earning money instead of only 50%, your income goes up, without investing anymore time.
Unfortunately, you can’t always tell who will become a repeat client. The ones who contract for the weekly or monthly work up front are worth gold! Keep them happy! But there are others that may seem like one-project clients who come back to hire you again.
I had that happen twice this week. One website client I’d worked for last year decided they need to add some copy, so they contacted me. Another was a client I wrote some articles for a couple of years ago. They are heading in a new direction and needed a good copy writer. They reached out to me.
I had been reaching out to several past clients lately trying to drum up some fresh work. These were two clients that I hadn’t even considered, yet their emails came popping into my inbox just when I needed them. I’ve already finalized an agreement with the first one.
So how do you make more money without raising your freelance rates? Spend less time prospecting for work. As you prove yourself as a dependable and high-quality writer, clients will want to work with you. They come calling on you, instead of you have to seek them out.
What advice do you have for keeping clients coming back?