Want to improve your writing business? Here’s how
It’s easy to let your freelance writing business fall into a rut. You’ve got clients, they pay you money, and you’re busy, but you feel that you could be doing better. Or perhaps you’re new at the freelancing game, and wonder how you can get more and better clients.
Consider that your success may be less about writing, and more about business. Here’s why I say that it’s less about the writing: because writers who are less competent than you make more money.
I see this every day with my coaching students. Competent writers, with great credits, and lots of ability, are making a mere fraction of what their less competent peers make.
A digression. You know that I encourage you to blog. I encourage blogging, because blogging gives you confidence, and your income depends on your confidence.
Here’s an example. Some writers charge ridiculously low fees, because “my clients can’t pay more”. Of course your clients will tell you that they can’t pay more. No one wants to pay for writing.
They’re happy to pay for more business, however. If you can show them how they might do that, your fee becomes immaterial. Everyone wants to do more business, and if you can show them how, they won’t quibble about your rates.
Let’s look at four ways you can boost your business today.
1. Raise your rates by 10% across the board
Raise your rates first. It’s a simple step, and most of your clients won’t even notice, I promise. 🙂 Just create a new schedule of fees, and use it. Yes, use it with current clients, as well as with new clients. If a client comments, say: “our rates have risen.” That’s all you need to say. You don’t need to explain.
2. Enhance your offerings
Next, partner with a developer, and/ or a graphic designer, so that you can take on bigger projects. Today, your clients want to hire you with the same ease as they’d hire an agency: they want you to manage everything. And you can.
While it’s ideal to form relationships before you need someone’s expertise, it’s easy enough to take on a project, then hire a developer or designer on Elance or other outsourcing venue.
Speaking of Elance, get an account, if you don’t have one. If you’re a new freelancer, bid on some gigs. If you’re experienced, use the outsourcing websites to see what needs your freelancing clients have, which you can supply. You’ll see often see services which you could offer.
Then pick up the phone and call a few designers. Tell them you’re expanding your business. You want to take on larger projects. Ask them what they’re charging, so you’ll have some idea of the costs when you’re talking to clients.
3. Set a goal: one new client a week, every week
Freelancers tend to complete gigs, and then never give the client a thought again, once the account’s settled. That’s always a mistake, and it’s the primary reason that freelancers go through feast and famine syndrome.
Set a goal that you’ll get one new client a week, every week. Write it on your calendar.
A new client a week not only increases your income, but it means that at the end of the year, you’ve collected 50 additional clients.
4. Follow up with five clients once a week
You’re getting new clients, because you want to do more business with ALL your clients, both new, and with clients you worked with six months ago, and six years ago.
It doesn’t take much to follow up. Just send a quick tweet, or an email message. Your message doesn’t need to be lengthy. I waited in a queue at the bank this morning, and in those few minutes, I sent messages to three clients.
In summary, think of your writing as a business. Raise your rates, and get a new client each week. Your business will grow, more quickly than you imagine.
Here’s a bonus tip…
(Bonus tip) If you’re too busy, hire help on the outsourcing websites
Often, when I encourage a student to get a new client a week, he worries about getting so busy he can’t meet deadlines. Consider that you can hire help when you need it. If you’re hesitant to take on a big new project, realize that you don’t need to do everything yourself. Get help from the outsourcing websites.
Closeouts: check out the bargains to help you to write more, and sell more
To meet my goals for 2015, I’m closing out some of our bestselling programs, so that I can focus on coaching and publishing. This means that you get special offerings on some of our current programs. When they close, they’ll close for good. And yes, you receive coaching with them too. 🙂 Enjoy.
How to profit from your writing: online store.
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