By Tasha Lessey
You read tons of tips on how to increase your income, but how do you decide which are worth your limited time? After all, there are only so many hours in the day, and bill collectors aren’t known for their patience.
It’s simple. You focus on the tips that have been proven to work. Here are five of them, garnered from the best practices of successful freelance writers and good old fashioned scientific studies:
1. Prospect in the right places
Successful writers go where the money is. Freelance writers Mridu Khullar Relph and Tom Ewer , who both net $100 per hour, don’t write for content mills or search for work in bargain basement bidding sites like Elance. Instead they focus on clients who pay writers a decent wage. Here are some links to get you started:
2. Retain and gain
Regular clients are the key to good, consistent income. It is 50% easier to sell to existing customers than to brand new leads (Marketing Metrics). Not only that, but a 5 percent increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75 percent (Bain and Company). Work to keep your existing clients and watch your income grow.
3. Specialize to command higher rates
As successful freelance blogger Marya Jan puts it, “You can demand higher rates if you are a subject matter expert.” This is a universal truth, and is echoed by Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, one of the most influential financial books ever written. In it, he advocates specialized knowledge as the fourth step towards riches.
4. Wow your clients
Just doing your job is not enough to skyrocket your income. You must deliver superior customer service and superior writing. This will bring a flood of new business your way through enthusiastic referrals from your existing clients. According to AdAge, 20 to 50 percent of purchases are the result of a word-of-mouth recommendation. And a Nielson 2012 online survey found that 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of advertising. The best part? Word of mouth advertising is free.
5. Increase your productivity
Writers get paid to write, and the faster you can write the higher your income. If you get paid $100 an article and take two hours to write it, your hourly rate is $50. Reduce your writing time to one hour and your rate bumps up to $100 per hour, double your previous rate. How do you increase your writing speed? First avoid the time suck of over research. There is nothing wrong with being thorough but you don’t have to interview ten people for a 300-word blog post on the latest skin care breakthroughs! Do just enough to support the arguments in your article.
Second, resist the urge to endlessly tinker with your piece. Edit and rewrite as necessary, but don’t let the perfectionist in you take over.
You can make more money with your freelance writing. Implement some or all of the above tips and watch the difference it makes to your bottom line.