I outline the top 7 mistakes freelancers make and how to fix them for an instant boost in revenue. This freelancing tutorial will be about making money. There are a lot of other benefits to being a freelancer, but for the sake of this video, we will be solely focused on the money aspect. As an entrepreneur coach and lead instructor of Freelancer Masterclass, I can tell you from experience that money is a major motivator for transitioning from a side-hustle to full-time freelancer. This freelancing tutorial was written specifically for those transitioning to being a full-time freelancer.
Hello everyone, Mike Volkin here with Freelancer masterclass and the freelancer school podcast. Today we’re going to be talking about how to make 35% more money freelancing instantly. So how do we do that? Well, we have identified seven common mistakes that I have noticed after working with hundreds of freelancers. And even one of these mistakes could help tremendously but combination of these mistakes could increase. Stopping these mistakes could increase your revenue 35% or more. So let’s talk about the first one, which alone would increase your revenue 35% more if you stopped doing this
Working eight to five. All right, this is especially for new freelancers who have been accustomed to the corporate world where they clock in at eight, and they clock out at five. And that’s their work day. But advances in neuroscience lately show us the optimal time that the human brain can be productive. It is the what’s called flow. And you as a freelancer need to keep in flow to keep ultra productive and ultra efficient. So what does that flow time, the optimal time a human brain can stay focused is around 52 minutes, given a 17 minute break. Now what you should be doing is working for 52 minutes, and then taking a break and doing something else for 17 minutes. So if you’re in front of a computer, then for your 17 minute break, you’re going to step away and I don’t know take your dog for a walk or something. All right, that is the way you should work and it’s tough. If you love what you’re doing, and you need to get your teeth into it and really just start writing. It’s tough to get away after every 52 minutes, but I’m telling you from experience
That time will come back to you
three fold or more because you’ll be super productive when you come back. So make that a habit. Mistake number two.
How to get a drink, they’re inconsistent prospecting. When times get busy freelancers stop prospecting for work. It’s just natural. You’d say, Well, I’m so busy. Why should I spend time prospecting for it? But there’s a lag time there, usually between when a prospect actually needs you to work, like right away. And when you’re developing a relationship with them, almost always, with just a few exceptions. Now, I’d say probably, on average, less than 20% does a prospect need to hire you right now.
And even if they do that, there’s a problem with that prospect, that client is probably not the best one to work with because they’re very reactive and they need they’re going to be that client that needs everything done right away. What you’re doing when you’re freelancing is you’re developing relationships. And you might need to talk to someone now for a job three months from now. So you should always block off
At least an hour of every day, either networking with your existing network to bring in referrals or taking a new prospect calls to start a new relationship.
Mistake number three accepting all work too many freelancers just accept all work that comes to them. And I understand it I I always there at the point for many years where I just I wanted the billable hours I needed to fill my calendar. But I’m telling you from experience that you need to start filling your calendar with work that interests you the most, you need to start saying no, there’s been so many authors, notable businessmen that says the best word in business, the best thing you can do for your business is to say no, because that way your brain your mind stays focused consciously and subconsciously, on the work that you need to fill your calendar with. I’m telling you, you need to start saying no to work that comes in that doesn’t suit the highest and best value of work that you can do. Mistake number four setting your rate incorrectly. Set your hourly rate too low and you come off as cheap.
You’re also telling your prospects and clients, hey, I might even go even lower. I’m trying to be the low price leader. All right, and then there’s the flip side of that setting it too high. And you price yourself out of a job. Maybe your value, in your experience don’t exude what you’re trying to do. I had a an agency where I had a low level marketing manager. She was, let’s just say she was bad at what she did. All right, I got rid of her really fast after her first couple deliverables with a client. So then I saw her on Upwork. And she was charging more than me. And she had less than a quarter of the experience and she was sloppy and English was even her first language and she was trying to work in the US market. And it was just a mess. And she stopped getting work from what I heard from someone else. It’s like why would you price yourself that high. She just got a big ego. She worked with me which was she was using my name with clients and my agency which was had a good name at the time. Will had a good name until I shut down the agency. But the proper or the best way to say this is if you
Price yourself too high, given the value that you’re exuding to your clients and the way you sell yourself, you’re just not going to get very much work. So how do you set your rate correctly? Well, there’s a lot of ways to do this, the easiest way is to subtract three zeros from your goal that doesn’t really show what value you’re going to give to clients. But let’s just say that your goal is 100,000 a year, right? You subtract three zeros from 100,000, that equals $100. That’s your hourly rate $100. Now see if you can get booked with that. If you can’t, you got to lower your rate. If you if you’re too full. With work, then you’ve got to increase your rate. So use that as like a central guideline to kind of play around with where you should be in terms of what value you can provide to your clients. Okay. Mistake number five, not limiting communication with clients freelancers want to react fast to their clients. It’s just natural. But it’s actually a productivity killer for your business if every time I just heard my phone go off, let me let me go reply up. I just heard I just saw this message and Facebook. Come
up, I just got a text message.
And you might say, but Mike, how would I lose clients being a great communicator? Well, that’s the difference here. You’re not being a great communicator, you’re being a fast communicator. This is the way and we talked about this in Freelancer masterclass. This is the way you need to structure your your communication with your clients, when you first bring on a client, you you tell them you give them a welcome email saying this is what it’s going to be like working with me, this is the way I can provide the best value. And one of those bullet points is I respond to my emails three times a day, or one time a day, whatever.
I will respond to all emails within one business day or two business day, whatever you’re comfortable with. I do not respond to messages on this, this and this. Now I tell them specifically I do not respond to slack on
Skype. If you want to get ahold of me, the best way is through email. Do not text me. I do not respond to texts. The texts are for emergencies for family members only.
Again, the best way to get ahold of me is through email. That’s what I say.
That way, they know exactly what to expect. And they will respect your time more when you do that. Now, here’s another big issue with this is that when you start responding to your clients and all these different platforms, and maybe the second month goes by and you’re a little bit slower, maybe instead of responding right away, you respond every 20 minutes, which is still a great response rate. But then your clients see that as a drop off in performance, okay? Even though you’re responding faster than 99% of all other freelancers, you’re still showing yourself as someone who isn’t responding as well as you previously did. So you’re setting an unrealistic expectation for yourself, and you’re going to be a slave to all sorts of different communication methods. I have this Freelancer that I work with, he’s just working 80 hours a week, and the actual productivity is like, like two or 10 hours, like he’s hardly doing anything, because they’ve got all these clients and he’s always just blah, blah, blah, just responding to different Skype messages and slack and he’s hardly ever getting a chance to actually work on clients work, and then they drop them because they didn’t he doesn’t get anything done. So you don’t want to get stuck in that rat hole.
Mistake number six, using the try fail and give up approach. This is very common for marketing. And even marketers do this unknowingly. marketing works very well if you want to market yourself, okay, but only if you have your approach dialed in. So I had this Freelancer
trainee, someone, I’m his mentor, and he says, You know what, Mike, I set up this marketing funnel to bring in some high value clients, and it started the top of the funnel started with Google ads. So I threw $200 into Google ads, and then I stopped because I wasn’t getting any calls. And so how do you know that $200 is enough? I mean, how many clicks that it gets your website Oh, I got 13 clicks or 30 clicks, whatever he said. And it was barely even enough he just he he spent all this time setting up this funnel with this webinar and this free call to action and he’s going to take calls and he had his VA that was going to answer phones
and it gives it a try for 18 clicks or whatever it was just so ridiculously low number. So when you set up marketing, you have to give it its due to
To be able to see if it works. And then if it’s not working, don’t just shut it down, revamp it. Where was it in the funnel that wasn’t working? Was it the text on the ad? Was it something on the landing page? Was that the call to action? Like, what was that? That wasn’t working, don’t just shut it down. Alright. And the last tip I want to talk to you about the mistake is working without goals. Working without goals is like getting a car to drive somewhere but having no destination. All right, you should be reviewing your goals weekly. I personally have a yearly goal. I make them I chunk them out in quarterly installments. So every quarter year, every three months, and then I put in my calendar every week to review where I’m at. So if I’m ahead of the goal, great. If How can I keep up that momentum? If I’m behind the goal, what did I do wrong? How can I change things in the army, we call that the AAR the after action review. So we’re always reviewing our goals, reviewing what mission we just had, and then figuring out what went right and what went wrong. And every single week for an hour. I do that and it’s the best hour I spent
In my business, and it makes me the most money. And the goals don’t have to be monetary. All right, they can be anything, whatever your goal is, if it’s still spend more time with your daughter or your spouse, or maybe it’s the work, your goal is to work out of your house more whatever it is, you just your goals have to be written down and chunked out and baby steps almost and just have to be reviewed often. So any one of these are changed. If you change any one of these in your business, you’re going to do fine, and you could possibly increase your revenue instantly. 35% so if you’re not doing if you’re doing any of these mistakes, you can stop doing them and you see an instant increase in revenue. Good luck. Thank you for joining us for freelancing school. Be sure to subscribe and get the latest updates on the show. Go to freelancing masterclass calm to become a master freelancer.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai