You want to increase your writing income. What if there were five things you could do over the weekend, to make more money next week? There are.
I’ve been working with a coaching student we’ll call Ellie. Ellie’s been freelancing for a couple of years. Normally you’d expect that Ellie’s income would be increasing. She has more experience, she’s getting better clients, she knows how to prospect… Ellie should be excited, because she knows there’s no ceiling on her income: her income can increase, every year.
On the contrary. Ellie’s on her way to making less money this year than she made last year. It’s a bad time for her too; her partner had an accident and hasn’t been working.
I created a quick little set of tasks for Ellie to implement over the weekend. These five little things aren’t a complete solution of course. However, they’ll give Ellie some confidence, will shake things up, and will get her moving in the right direction, which is upward, ever upward. They may do the same for your writing business.
By the way, if you’re struggling like Ellie, take advantage of Team Up while it’s available, so that you can take control of your career. Get a plan; get motivated, and crush it, as Gary V would say.
1. Raise Your Rates by Ten Per Cent
Simple, but effective. If you haven’t raised the fees for your writing services in a year, raise them today.
You don’t need anyone’s permission to do this. Yesterday I did our weekly supermarket shopping, and my favorite brand of coffee is suddenly a dollar dearer. No one asked me whether I wanted to pay more. I’ve got a choice: pay more, or drink an inferior brand.
Nor do you need to make a fuss about it. Just raise your rates. I’d be surprised if any of your clients quibbled about this. Your expenses go up. You need to charge more. So you do.
You’d be shocked at the writers I speak to who haven’t raised their rates in half a decade. Please run your writing like a business, and raise your rates.
2. Add Additional Writing Services
You’re blogging and are writing other content for your clients. What else could you offer? Go to elance.com or another outsourcing website and browse the projects. These projects are posted by companies who are hiring writers, right now.
You’re sure to find services you could offer, which you haven’t considered. For example, Ellie was creating Web content for clients, but hadn’t considered ghostwriting. As you can see from my writing journals, ghostwriting forms a big part of my writing day.
Clients look for ghostwriters for many different kinds of projects. Books of course, but also articles to be published under their name in trade journals; company histories; book proposals; presentations; speeches… Most people hate writing. They’ll get out of it when they can.
Most of your clients aren’t even aware that ghostwriters exist. Let them know. Ellie picked up a couple of projects the same day, once she’d outlined her new services and contacted her current clients.
3. Create a Mailing List
The biggest mistake I see freelancers – both new and established – make is that they don’t build a mailing list. They send a final invoice for a project, then never think about the client again. They could triple their income with a mailing list, because if someone’s hired you, chances are he’ll hire you again.
I’ve used aweber for my mailing lists for a decade. Create a list today. Send out regular mailings. Let your clients know what you’ve been doing. They’re like you. They forget your name once a project’s done. Remind them.
4. Got a Blog? Publish an Ebook to Promote Your Writing Business (Use the Material You Already Have)
If you’ve got a blog, you’ve got content. You can do lots with that content. The very least you can do is revamp it, and publish it on KDP. Amazon will expose you to an entirely new market.
Ensure that your ebook’s valuable to your target audience; that is, to quality clients (see below.) Put your URL in the front matter, as well as in the back matter. Then forget about it. Look on the ebook as a little salesperson for your writing business. It will take a few months, but you’ll get enquiries from it.
5. Set Fire to the Dead Wood
You’ve got dead wood in your client list. These are the clients who cost you time and money. You’ve heard of the Pareto Principle, also known as the 80–20 rule: 80 per cent of your income comes from 20 per cent of your clients.
Fire the dead wood. If you’ve been writing for a while, you’ve got a tribe of clients who give you tiny projects, then make you chase them for payment. Make a list of them. When they approach you with a gig, send them to another writer.
Next, make a list of your best clients. Study it. What industry are they in? Consider ways you could find more great clients, just like them. Here’s an easy way: give them a call. Ask them to refer you.
So there we have it. Do these five things. You’ll increase your writing income.
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