If you were at CFC 2009 in San Diego, I’m sure you remember Michelle Goodman, who is a writer, speaking about “Dealing with Nightmare Clients.” If you weren’t there, you can listen to an audio excerpt here.
In her latest article, Michelle shares practical ways for freelancers to boost their income in her article, Suddenly Self-Employed? Seven Ways to Boost Your Income.
Here is an excerpt:
Fresh on the heels of Independence Day, a fellow freelancer confided in me that he wasn't sure this self-employed thing was all it's cracked up to be. One, a demanding client had been giving him grief. Two, work he'd come to count on from a steady client seemed to be drying up. And three, he couldn't remember the last time he'd gotten a raise, taken a Saturday off or shaved and showered before 6 p.m.
Sound familiar? For green and seasoned freelancers alike, all can be common problems. And while I can't help with your grooming issues, I do have some suggestions for optimizing your workload, increasing your income and boosting your morale…
Track Your Project Time
Getting paid $1,000 to write a white paper or $5,000 to design a website might sound terrific. But if that white paper takes you 40 hours to write or that site 200 hours to finish, you're grossly undercharging. (To the uninitiated, $25 an hour might sound like a lot, but by the time you factor in taxes, overhead, health insurance and the like, it's actually a freelance pittance.)
Using a free online tool like myHours, Slim Timer or Toggl to track the time you spend on each project can help you determine which projects aren't just worth the returns…
Institute Project Minimums
I know it's hard to turn away work, especially when so many freelancers are clamoring for it. But if you're scooping up every one-time, rinky-dink, $200 project that lands in your lap, you're doing yourself a great disservice. With each new client comes a new relationship to forge, a handful of administrative chores and a potential learning curve. Better to invest the time either in a client that will have repeat work for you or in a one-off project that pays at least $500, $1,000 or whatever minimum price works for you…