Want to increase your freelance writing income? While there are lots of things you can do to increase your income, few freelancers have strategies for doing it. Their focus is on getting the gig, doing the work, and then getting another gig.
Consider that if you develop some income-boosting strategies, you’ll be making more money from your writing, without working any harder than you’re working now.
Let’s look at four simple things you can do to increase your income today.
1. Improve Your Negotiation Strategies for an Instant Increase.
Do you negotiate your gigs? If you’re shy, consider that negotiation is a normal business strategy. Your clients negotiate, and they expect others to do the same. Unfortunately, over the years writers have gotten a reputation for being easy marks.
Don’t perpetuate that stereotype. You can negotiate successfully without being obnoxious.
Tip: ALWAYS negotiate.
If you decide that no matter what, you’ll always see if you can get a better fee, guess what? At least half the time (more than half, in my experience) you’ll get what you want. It never hurts to ask, and the worst that can happen is that your client says no.
Get your client to reveal his budget, and then say something like: “My usual fee for that is ___ (name your price), but let’s look at it to see if we can get what we both want.”
Tip: never name your price up front. If you’re quoting fees blind, stop doing that. By “blind”, I mean that you quote a fee when someone asks you for a figure. Example: “How much would you charge to write eight webpages?”
That kills a negotiation. You have no way of knowing what the client wants, until he gives you sufficient information for you to estimate how long the gig will take, and how much work is involved. Ask questions, so that you understand what your client means when he says “eight webpages.”
Then ask him what his budget is for that. If he says he doesn’t know, that’s a clue that he’s wasting your time. Just say: “Get back to me with a figure, and I’ll see whether it’s doable.”
I’ve discussed the “I don’t know my budget” client with my writing students and other freelancers, so I know what happens in that situation. You work up a quote, and never hear back. It takes me anywhere from 20 minutes to half an hour to create a quote for someone. That time is money, and if your prospect has no idea what his budget is, he’s stealing your time. To repeat: ask him to get back to you when he’s figured it out.
2. Create a Social Media Plan.
Love social media or hate it, it’s become an essential part of the freelance life. Look on the time you spend on social media as an investment in your future. Once you’ve built your own social media network, you’ve got friends and allies. Not only is your network useful for intelligence gathering, it will provide you with gigs and support.
So, create a social media plan. Your plan can be ultra-simple, it needn’t take much time from your writing – five minutes a day is ample to post a couple of tweets, or respond to someone else’s.
Twitter’s a useful resource for writing jobs. When you’re looking for gigs, do a Twitter search for “writing jobs.” There are always jobs; occasionally good ones. Use Hootsuite; it will save searches for you, so that it takes seconds to scan the list.
3. Approach a Better-Paying Market Today.
The easiest way to increase your writing income is to get better writing jobs. You know that I suggest that you hustle.
Decide for whom you’d like to write, and approach them, even if you think that they’d NEVER hire you. You could well be wrong. These days, everyone wants content, and everyone wants ideas. It’s never been easier to get writing jobs, because good writers are in high demand. You create content; everyone’s looking for it, so approach people.
As I’ve suggested many times, the easiest way is to introduce yourself to a market.
4. Upsell Your Clients With Questions, Such as “Would You Also Like?”
Ah, upsells. You gotta love them; I certainly do. If you’re not upselling, you’re not making as much income as you could. (Read the linked article for upselling ideas.)
Upselling is easy. Start by looking at the services you provide, and think about how you could upsell that service. For example, let’s say you offer blogging services. That’s easy. Create packages. With a package, your clients save a little money, you make more money. A blogging package could include: posting to social media sites, writing a press release, creating a slide deck for Slideshare from a blog post, etc.
Always upsell. To get into the habit of upselling, spend a few minutes thinking about how you can upsell. Write out your upsells. Then add your upsells to your quotes template, and to your invoice template. This will remind you to upsell a client immediately, as soon as you get a gig.
It’s never too late to upsell. You can upsell past clients. Just send them a message reminding them of a project you did for them, and ask “would you also like… (whatever) with that?”
When a client agrees to an upsell, you’ve just increased your income with little effort.
There you have it. You’ve now got four ways you can increase your freelance writing income today. Increasing your income is a mindset. Have it in the back of your mind. Commit to ALWAYS, always negotiating… It’s the way business is done, and you’re a business person. And before you forget, right this minute, create some upsells. Happy writing. 🙂