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You may think it’s corny, but, yes, this is yet another blog post about New Year’s resolutions for 2010.
But this isn’t like every other New Year post out there. This one is focused on one thing alone: helping you make more money in 2010.
No matter what any one says, there are really only 3 ways to make more money from freelancing (or any other business, for that matter):
- get more clients
- get more projects per client
- get more money per client
So the following 10 resolutions are all designed to help you achieve one or more of these things. If you’re feeling particularly bold, go ahead and do all of them.
10 New Year resolutions for more profitable freelancing:
1. Market your services continuously
It’s easy to forget about marketing when you’re inundated with client work. However, it’s important to keep actively marketing your services even when you don’t need clients – to avoid the feast and famine phenomenon that can be tough for freelancers.
Some ways to promote your services regularly:
- publish a blog post at least weekly
- interact in an online forum at least a few minutes a week
- get on Twitter and Facebook for 10-15 minutes a day
- contact existing clients with new offers at least every 3 months
2. Increase your rates
Want to make more money without working more? Then jack up your rates! If you haven’t increased your rates in the last 3 months, then it’s long overdue.
Many freelancers are nervous about this, but many freelancers swear they get even more clients after increasing their rates. That has been my personal experience as well.
If you don’t believe me, just try increasing your fees by 12% – that’s all. Try it and see what happens.
3. Upsell to existing clients.
This is one way to get more business out of existing clients. As soon as they sign you up for a project, offer a to do a related task for them for a small additional fee. For example, if your client just hired you to write 5 articles, offer to write 5 more articles at a reduced fee per article.
Or offer to turn the articles into a special report. Ask yourself: “What else does my client need to make the most of this project, that I can do for them?”
Just ask. The worst that can happen is they’ll say, “No, thanks.” But you’ve got that first project to begin with.
4. Add one or two recurring services.
This is related to number 3 above, but this time, we’re after assignments that need to be done on a regular basis, month in and month out.
For example, if you create websites for clients, why not offer a monthly service of backing up their sites and monitoring their stats for a fee?
If you’re still trying to attract every possible client, think about focusing on a more specific target client. Come up of a specific niche that you could specialize in, depending on your experience, training and interest. Make sure the prospective clients in that niche are those who want your services and have the resources to pay your rates without resistance.
Remember that specialists make more income than generalists. You’ll find marketing your services to be easier as well.
6. Sharpen your skills.
If you want to become a premium freelancer, then you need to be better than most service providers out there. Invest in books, training and mentorship to make you a better writer, graphic designer, computer programmer, photographer, virtual assistant… whatever you are right now. Be committed to keep improving yourself.
7. Expand your networks.
As you specialize, increase your rates and move to more profitable niches, you’ll find yourself outgrowing your current clients. This is a natural phenomenon and one you should welcome. It’s a sign that your freelancing business is growing.
However, it requires that you expand your networks so that you will continue to attract those clients who are perfect for you right now.
8. Blog more often.
- gives you a web presence
- provides a dynamic and interactive brochure for your freelancing services
- showcases your expertise
- attracts prospective clients and allows you to start building a relationship with them, even before they hire you
- gives you a central hub for your social networking activities
If you’re not blogging yet, then start blogging. If you have been blogging, publish more often. At least once a week. And while you’re at it, get an account from Aweber and start building your list of prospective clients.
9. Start a new, preferably passive, stream of income.
It doesn’t matter if you’re making more than enough money with freelancing right now. It’s still a good idea to have multiple streams of income. And the more passive it is, the better.
Some ideas (for both passive and non-passive income):
- do some affiliate marketing from your blog
- sell digital or physical products
- organize live classes or seminars
- individual or group coaching via telephone or webinar
10. Save more.
Here’s one advice I need to give myself: spend less money and save more of it! As financial experts say, “It’s not how much you make that matters, but how much you keep.”
So spend your hard-earned money wisely, and save for a rainy day (not to mention retirement).
I hope at least some of these New Year’s resolutions will resonate with you and help you to have a more profitable freelancing year in 2010.
Tell me: which ones appeal to you? Which ones will you actually do in 2010? And why?
photo credit: Tracy O