If your goal is to have a more comfortable life as a freelancer, it can be tough to realize that you may need to take on lower-paying gigs when you get started. #TheHustleIsReal
But it is possible to be a freelancer and earn the big bucks.
One of the things you’ll need to do to make this happen is to edge your way into more profitable markets.
It’s not an easy feat, but it is certainly doable with the right attitude, resources, and strategies.
Here are five effective strategies that will help you break into more profitable markets.
1. Always get better at what you do
“Putting in time to get better at what you do should be your first objective.”– Jeremy Noronha, The Six Figure Freelancer Audio Course
You may not be able to charge the fees you want to with your current skill level, but that doesn’t mean you’ll never be able to.
If you relentlessly focus on getting better at what you do, you will reach a point where your skills do all the talking, and clients can’t deny that you’re worth paying the big bucks.
Once your skills warrant raising your rates, remember that where you started doesn’t dictate where you’ll end up. Maybe you used to charge $1,000 for website projects that you can now charge $10,000 for—but don’t let that cause you to doubt your worth.
Your mindset will need to change along with your skill set, so you learn to value the work you do as much as a client will.
“My first dollar I ever made freelancing was building websites for cafes, and I was paid less than $100 to build a super simple website for cafe. But I used that as a stepping stone to then get to where I am now, as the Head of SEO at Foundr magazine. Where you start doesn’t necessarily have to be where you end up. You can use it as a stepping stone.”– Jeremy Noronha,The Six Figure Freelancer Audio Course
2. Don’t be everything to everyone
Rather than trying to be a jack of all trades, establish yourself as a subject matter expert in one area. By all means, offer multiple services when you’re starting out, but over time you will start to see which things you enjoy doing most, and you can use that to define your personal niche.
Figure out what your specific specialty is—both in terms of the service you’ll provide and the industry you’ll provide it for—and stay in that one lane.
“Let’s say you want to be a WordPress developer… Don’t be a WordPress developer. Be a WordPress developer that builds out WordPress themes for blogger moms. Now you know who your audience is.”– Jeremy Noronha,The Six Figure Freelancer Audio Course
Defining your niche will help you figure out how to market to your specific target audience.
Find out where your ideal customers hang out online and make sure you’re a part of their conversations.
Subscribe to online publications specifically for the markets you support. Choose relevant Youtube channels to follow, forums to join, Reddit threads to keep up with, Facebook or Slack groups to join, and be on any other platform that’s relevant to your niche.
This will keep you abreast of what’s happening in the industry. You also learn about the people who drive the industry—the movers and the shakers.
By establishing yourself as an expert in the industry, you’ll discover that your target audience are more willing to choose you over a freelancer who can offer a generic version of your service.
On top of that, they’ll be willing to pay more for your specialized expertise, which means you’ll not only be winning more work, but that work will be more profitable. #WinWin
3. Cultivate self-discipline
As you elevate your craft and transition to a six-figure freelancer, self-discipline will be the difference maker in the business you attract and the business you keep.
Without the ability to discipline yourself to effectively manage your workload, follow up on contracts, and build lasting relationships, you’ll struggle to enter more profitable markets.
So, while you’re in the beginning- to mid-stages of your freelance career, lay a solid foundation of good habits and processes that will support your six-figure freelance career.
4. Show, don’t tell
Ever watched an infomercial? You’d have noticed that the bulk of the advertisement is not spent talking about how long it took to create the product; the science behind how it was created; or the many features it has over its competitors. It’s spent showing the viewer how the product will simplify their lives. And as annoying as they can be, these things have been working for years.
You’ll need to do the same with your work. Show potential clients how your work will add value to their business. Spend less time extending offers for your services and more time explaining why your client needs your services to achieve a specific result in their business.
“When I was building websites, I went to cafes and I told them that I could help them build a website. But instead of telling them that they needed a website, I’d tell them that they need to be online because their customers are online.”– Jeremy Noronha,The Six Figure Freelancer Audio Course
You can use case studies from your previous work to your advantage here. As well as showing the work that you did, show the outcomes that the client achieved as a result.
5. Commit to the journey
It can help to think of your freelance career as a marathon, not a sprint. Along the way, you’ll have many small interactions that lead to larger and more impactful relationships.
Always find ways to offer value to people in the interactions you have with them. If you want to approach a company, rather than pitching to work with them, offer them something that will help them. You never know if it could evolve into a business relationship in the future.
If you have breaks in between your work, send a warm greeting to your past clients. Take a moment to comment on their social media page. These kinds of gestures go a long way to showing your client you’re genuinely concerned about more than their next order. When you view your clients as partners rather than as a transaction, you gain their loyalty and their recommendation of your services.
More resources to help
This list is not intended to be an exhaustive solution to breaking into more profitable markets, but it will get you moving in the right direction.
Supercharge your journey into more profitable markets by checking out this episode of the free Six-Figure Freelancer audio course where Jeremy Noronha talks about how to land higher paying jobs as a freelancer.
Earn more as a freelancer by learning what the six-figure freelancers know.