10 ways to increase your income as a freelancer

Increasing your bottom line as a freelancer may not be as difficult as you think. Check out our ultimate guide for ways to increase your income as a freelancer.
10 ways to increase your income as a freelancer

Hero image by Vince Fleming

How to increase your income as a freelancer: an ultimate guide

Working as a freelancer comes with several different benefits that you can take advantage of. As we all know, you will have plenty of control over when you work, where you work, and who you work for. However, many freelancers tend to hit roadblocks when it comes to maximizing their income.

In some cases, they might even begin to feel as though they should never have left the security of their previous job. There's no need to worry, though — we have a guide that has everything you need to know about how to increase your income as a freelancer. Let's get started.

Diversify your skillset

If you want to maximize the amount of money that you can make as a freelancer, you should consider diversifying your skillset. This should come as no surprise, since freelancers who are able to complete different types of jobs will be able to substantially increase their income. The good news is that you have plenty of flexibility when it comes to what type of skills you wish to pursue.

More specifically, you can ensure that they are always related to your primary discipline. For example, let's assume that you are a freelance graphic designer.

Secondary skills that are worth investing in could include video editing, photography, and animation. This will allow you to easily provide more value to your clients and make you much more competitive among other professionals in your industry.

Create a killer portfolio

Regardless of the work you are capable of, it won't mean much if you aren't able to properly showcase it. To do so effectively, you'll have to make a comprehensive portfolio of your past projects. This is something that you can easily achieve by creating a website for yourself as a professional.

When putting your portfolio together, it's important to focus both on quality and diversity. More often than not, your potential clients will want to see that you are capable of handling different types of projects as opposed to mastering a single medium.

As time goes on, be sure that you cycle out your weaker projects from your portfolio and replace them with stronger pieces. This will allow you to continually improve the work that you showcase and ensure that it is an accurate reflection of your capabilities.

Ask for client feedback

When you first start out as a freelancer, it can be difficult to acquire clients. One reason is that that you simply will not have a reputation in your industry. By asking previous clients to leave feedback, you can help convey the type of experience you can provide.

After all, people are much more likely to hire a freelancer who has had a large number of positive reviews over someone who has had no feedback at all. This is true even if the results each freelancer could provide are identical. This is one of the most straightforward ways to help you increase your income, as it will drastically help you acquire clients in the future.

Optimize how you spend your time

One of the most enticing attributes of a freelance lifestyle is the level of freedom that you have. You can work from virtually anywhere that you would like to under most circumstances.

If you aren't using your time as efficiently as possible, though, there's a strong chance that you will make far less money than you intended. For example, let's assume that you set aside eight hours per day in order to work on projects.

If most of this time is filled with you doing chores, checking your phone, or otherwise slacking off, you may only end up working approximately two or three hours. In turn, you will only be able to generate two or three hours' worth of revenue despite the fact that you have set aside enough time to accommodate a full-time job.

It's essential that you get serious about how you work. This means eliminating distractions as best as you can, tracking the time you spend working, and minimizing the number of breaks that you take.

For those who struggle with this responsibility, we offer a time tracking tool that allows you to streamline your projects. When used correctly, you can improve your overall efficiency as a freelancer. You can check out our time tracking tool here.

Prioritize high-value projects

At first, this might seem like obvious advice.

After all, the best way to make more money is to choose better projects. However, many people are often intimidated by high-paying projects due to the intricacies they involve.

It's not uncommon for a high-value project to have a long list of requirements, multiple deadlines, etc. However, freelancers often overlook the effect that mental fatigue can have on them. If you forego high-value projects for a large number of low-paying projects, you could quickly find yourself getting burnt out.

This is often because you are managing a large number of projects over a short period of time as opposed to placing all of your effort on a single assignment.

Finding it difficult to manage your projects? Your management efficiency often determines the results you are able to provide.

You can check out our comprehensive project management tool to learn more.

Automate what you can

Automation will serve to be one of your greatest tools as a freelancer. Oftentimes, freelance work involves completing menial tasks on a regular basis.

This could be formatting text, using application shortcuts, or actions that otherwise become tedious. Automation allows you to handle these obligations with the press of a single button.

How you implement automation will be up to you. For those who have a background in software development, it's highly likely that you will be able to write your own program to handle your needs.

Other freelancers, though, can likely find software capable of improving their workflow. So, be sure to keep this in mind when moving forward.

The more time you can save, the more money you can make within a shorter period. Additionally, you'll also help minimize the effort mentioned mental fatigue that can accumulate.

Accept as much work as you can handle

When you accept a full workload, you'll have no choice but to take the time to handle these responsibilities.

After all, having less time available means that you will use it more efficiently. On the other hand, sparsely accepting work means that you will likely not complete your tasks as quickly as you could. By extension, this also means that you will end up making less money per hour.

If you have the opportunity to, it's always in your best interest to take on as many projects as you can comfortably manage. Of course, you should strive to avoid overreaching when it comes to your workload.

Otherwise, you may under-deliver your results.

Make your client experience as easy as possible

The bulk of your income will come from repeat clients.

Unfortunately, many freelancers make the mistake of assuming they need to constantly find new clients to replace those they have already worked with. In reality, having a handful of long-term client relationships is the best way to reach the level of income you want.

To make working with you as a freelancer more enticing, you should strive to make your client experience as easy as possible. This means having contracts ready to go, offering multiple different ways to get in touch with you at any given time, etc.

The experience your clients have should be so positive that they won’t even consider working with somebody else.

For many new freelancers, creating contracts and proposals can seem highly difficult. However, it's not nearly as complicated as you might expect. You can check out our proposals and contracts tool to learn more about how we can help you easily generate the documents you need.

Slowly raise your rates

As your skills and experience increase, your rates should too. Finding the right amount can be tricky, so use these tips to determine your new rates.

When raising rates, it's important to notify your clients before your next invoice. The last thing you want is to catch your long-term clients off guard and risk losing their trust and business.

Understanding how to increase your income is crucial

Otherwise, you run the risk of missing out on tens of thousands of dollars (or more) as time goes on. The information above will help you set and reach sustainable financial goals as your career progresses.

Want to learn more about what we have to offer? Feel free to get in touch with us today and see how we can help.

Share it!
Our team of career freelancers writes about best invoice practices, what makes a great client, and repeats the mantra, "never work without a contract." We're opinionated about the future of work and will always be on the side of freelancers.
More By This Contributor
Getting everything from your brain in one place
Moxie makes all your systems work together seamlessly with better software, education, and community.
hectic app logo