Most freelancers are looking for ways to earn more money. Luckily, there are plenty of ways freelancers can make more money – and these go beyond the usual advice of ‘charge more’ or ‘get more clients’.
Because getting more clients is great, but what about when you want to take a vacation? Or what if you’re already doing 60 hours a week of client work, and you want to work less before you burn out?
The answer – you may need multiple streams of income.
Focusing not only on raising your rates, but creating multiple revenue streams can free up your time from strictly client work while putting some extra cash in your pocket.
Here are 8 ways you can earn more money as a freelancer
(Note: This blog post contains affiliate links, but I only recommend stuff I have personally used and loved. Clicking my link costs you nothing extra – but I may get a kickback from the creator. This helps me continue to make free content for this site. I truly appreciate the support!)
#1 Offer Retainer Services
One of your biggest potential sources of new income is one that you already have… Your existing clients!
Retainer services are a great way to ensure you have some reliable income coming in each month. This takes some of the pressure off of you to constantly be finding new clients.
Find a way to get repeat income for services that can be ongoing. This could be:
- Monthly support calls or services
- Instead of doing one-off blog posts, create a retainer package for one post every month (or more if they need)
- 10 hours of x service (whatever you provide) as needed. Copywriting, design, website updates, etc
If you’re not sure what to create as a retainer, talk to your clients to find out what you can do for them on an ongoing schedule.
#2 Create a smaller offer or service
If you typically work with clients on large projects, it can be difficult to take on more than one or two clients at a time, which puts a big ol’ cap on your earning potential.
What if you could create a smaller, pop-up style service that only takes you a couple of hours to complete? Something you could easily do during some downtime, while waiting for approvals on your projects, or just by tacking on a couple of extra hours to your workday once in awhile.
This would allow you to take on more clients without starting a huge new project every time.
Here are a few examples for inspiration:
- A sales page revision to improve conversions
- Landing page design or set up for webinars or squeeze pages
- I offer my content marketing clients an additional service to have one year’s worth of social media content created for their best blog posts to drive more traffic
- Design reusable content upgrade templates for your client to ‘plug & play’
This type of service can be offered to your existing clients, past clients, your list and people who’ve been wanting to work with you but can’t quite afford the whole thing. Plus, you’ll be able to get quick results for people and showcase that in your portfolio.
And you never know, your pop-up service could be a hit and become what you’re known for.
Think of something that you can do in a few hours that would add value to your clients, and start pitching it.
#3 Offer Consulting Services
Do you ever get people asking if they can ‘pick your brain’? Well here’s your chance to turn that into a service and capitalize on all that brainpower of yours.
If you’re a strategic thinker or problem solver, getting into consulting might be a great option for you.
There are probably people in your audience that don’t want everything done for them. They want to do the work themselves, they just need a little guidance or reassurance along the way. This is where offering a consulting session comes in really handy.
In terms of setup, this is probably the easiest of the bunch:
- Decide on how long your calls will be
- Decide on a price
- Write a short description or sales blurb about what people can expect in their session
- Send an email to your list letting them know you’re now booking sessions
Be sure to put in some time researching your clients before you get on the phone and give them your full, undivided attention. Provide an action plan or recording of the call so that they have something tangible to take away from it.
#4 Host A Workshop or Training Series
I know I already said this, but you’re like, really smart. So why not put your genius into action in a workshop or training series?
Hosting workshops is a really great way to build your community and establish yourself as an expert.
And the best part is, you’ve probably already got quite a bit of content to use in your workshop, whether that’s from your blog or resources you’ve created for your clients.
The topics you could hold a workshop on are pretty limitless:
- Talk about a trend or theory in your niche
- Teach people how you use a certain tool or piece of software, like Chimp Essentials where Paul Jarvis teaches you how to use MailChimp
- Walk people through your exact process for something, like Spruce Road does in these lunch & learn workshops on streamlining your business
- Teach a new skill, like this content creation workshop from Montreal social media agency Frenzr
Your workshops can be held online or in person, depending on where your audience is located. If you’re trying to build a local presence, it makes sense to hold something in person so you can interact with your community face-to-face.
There are plenty of options for monetizing your workshops:
- Charge for it
- Host a free workshop but offer an upsell for your services (this is the format of a lot of sales webinars)
- Use affiliate links in your workshop
- Use workshops to build your list, then make offers for working with you down the line
#5 Sell Ebooks
If you like writing, consider putting your wellspring of knowledge into an ebook.
Just having an ebook available can give your credibility an instant boost. Being able to put ‘author’ in your LinkedIn profile looks pretty damn good.
Obviously writing a book is a pretty big undertaking. But you don’t have to write a 300 page epic to see results. Create an ebook that is clear, concise, and helps guide your readers to results. You can definitely do this in less than 300 pages!
And again, you might already have a lot of content that can go into it!
You can choose to sell your ebooks on Amazon or on your own website using a tool like Gumroad. Alternatively, you might decide to offer your ebook for free as a lead magnet to build your email list.
#6 Set Up A Tripwire
Have you ever signed up for a free checklist or guide, then immediately gotten a new offer to buy another resource?
That’s a tripwire.
A tripwire is a low priced, expiring offer. It’s meant to get your new subscriber to act really quickly and make a purchase or work with you.
The idea here is that once someone buys from you once, they’re more likely to buy again down the road. So you offer them one of your books, courses, workshop, or services at a high discount hoping that they turn into a raving fan for life!
Although it’s a low priced offer, you could greatly increase conversions of one of your books, services or courses by attaching it to a tripwire.
#7 Create An Online Course
An online course is a great option to earn consistent income by sharing your knowledge and expertise. The online learning industry has grown massively in the last few years. People are looking to learn new things to help their careers or businesses every day.
If there’s a question or topic that constantly comes up for your clients or audience, it’s probably a good starting point to build an online course.
For example, if your audience is always coming to you asking how you get such a perfect Instagram grid, you can put together a course on the topic that teaches them your exact process.
Once you’ve picked your topic, map out everything you want to include and decide on how you’ll deliver it. Teachable is a great platform for hosting your course that requires no tech or coding expertise from you.
Online courses can range in price from a few bucks to a few thousand. It depends on the level of knowledge you are putting into the course, as well as the amount of one-on-one advice and support they’ll receive from you throughout the course.
#8 Become An Affiliate
Posting affiliate links all over your site is a pretty surefire way to turn readers off. But when done in a strategic, intentional, and transparent way, affiliate marketing can be gold for you and your audience.
The non-scammy guide to affiliate marketing goes like this:
- Pick products, courses, or software that you’ve actually used, liked and would genuinely recommend to a friend. Seriously, if you wouldn’t tell your mother to use it, don’t promote it.
- Create content that explains why you use it, what you love about it, and why your audience needs to start using it too.
- Always disclose somewhere on your site that you use affiliate links. Fo’ real, you could get in some hot water if you don’t.
Each of these strategies for freelancers to earn more cash comes with a varying level of work.
For new services or consulting, the up front work is pretty minimal but you’ll have to dedicate the hours each time you get a new client.
If you’re going with one of the ‘passive income’ ideas, like writing a book or creating a course, a lot of the work will be upfront while you actually create the content and set up the sales funnels.
With pretty much all of these income ideas, putting a major focus on building your audience and your list will ultimately increase your conversions and your earnings.
Which of these strategies do you find most appealing for your business? Are you going to try one? Let me know in the comments!