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‘How to make money as a freelancer’ has almost 23 million search results on Google! I saved you the trouble of combing through all of those and brought the answers straight to you via this week’s Coffee With Kim guest, Tia Meyers. Tia’s vast experience and community of 250,000+ Freelancing Females has given her top tier insights on the freelance industry. In our convo she shared her tactics and tips on avoiding common freelancing mistakes, finding and retaining clients, and negotiating for more money. She left us with a wealth of information, but don’t worry about writing it all down, sign up here and I’ll send you the notes.
Since the pandemic, we’ve seen an influx of freelancers in every industry. As someone who works with freelancers daily, Tia sees firsthand the pitfalls they run into. Avoid these common mistakes to make money as a freelancer:
Before you can make money as a freelancer you’ll need a portfolio to showcase your work.
If you are just starting out and don’t have any examples, Tia says create your own! Once you do, let people know you’re available for hire.
“Post on your social media accounts and tell past coworkers that you’re available for work in your new niche. Also, take advantage of sites and directories like Freelancing Females and Working Not Working to post your availability and build clientele.”
(Join Tia’s community at Freelancing Females using the code COFFEEWITHKIM & get 20% off)
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The number one question freelancers ask is, “How much should I charge?” Tia says the answer starts with knowing how much you want to make.
“Have a goal income. Keep in mind about 30% will go to taxes and all your software and tools are being paid for out-of-pocket. Next, ask peers what they are charging so you can know what industry standards are and be confident in your rates. Check out Freelancing Females’ rate sheet for starters!”
Additionally, here’s how to know when you should charge more.
“In corporate, everyone gets a raise once a year so give yourself a raise at least once a year too.
You can also charge more with every client you get. If your first client is charged $50, charge the second $55. You aren’t charging enough if your client roster is getting too full and people aren’t questioning your rates. Shoot for the stars and negotiate down when you want to.”
Pro Tip: Remember, you deserve to get paid. Be ok with saying no to clients offering to pay you in equity. The company may not take off as imagined, the equity may not come in, and you’ll be left with regret.
Speaking of, here are Tia’s tips for ensuring potential clients are the right fit:
Bonus: Create a persona of your ideal client to reference back to with each potential deal.
Tia and I both shared horror stories of early freelancing days when clients said “the check is in the mail” but it never came. Require a deposit to make sure you’re getting paid on time.
“It’s important to get a deposit! I recommend 50% up front and then 50% upon delivery of assets. You can show your clients the completed assets in a web meeting but don’t send them until you receive your payment. I also recommend adding a late fee clause. You shouldn’t have to babysit your client either, use tools like Quick Books and Lumanu for payments.
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