How I Doubled My Freelance Income in Two Years (Part 2)
Salespeople talk about "getting to 'yes'" but sometimes "getting to 'no'" is more important.
April 15, 2014 - 4:00 pm
In fact, my income doubled in about 24 months.
I promised I’d try to explain how I accomplished this over the course of this week, so here’s my first “tip”:
1. Always Say “Yes” (Except Sometimes).
At this juncture in my freelance writing career, clients and publishers approach me, not the other way around.
(Here’s how I got to that point.)
Today, one of my biggest challenges is knowing when to accept assignments and when to turn them down.
Mostly, I say “yes,” even if I’m (secretly) afraid to squeeze one more gig into my 14-hour a day, seven day a week schedule because my calendar already looks like a clown car, and I’d love to just veg out with a Criminal Minds marathon.
(Nope, The 4-Hour Workweek this ain’t. I don’t buy that gimmicky formula and neither does Timothy Ferriss or he wouldn’t be Timothy Ferriss…)
I’m able to say “yes” as often as I do now because a few years ago, I screwed up the courage to sometimes say “no.”
That’s when I’d first noticed a strange pattern:
The less someone pays you, the more work they demand from you — usually for free.
These “I need it yesterday!” types want multiple revisions and last minute changes, but they sure freak out when you add them to their bill.
Whereas my “high end” clients who are paying full freight are easier to work with.
They’re more satisfied with my efforts, and they pay faster, too.
So two years ago, I politely “fired” some long time clients who were still enjoying my old, low “just starting out”/”I’m afraid to charge too much” rate.
I also stopped writing for publications that weren’t paying me enough. (No, I never write for free.)
This left me more time and energy to devote to newer, better paying (and more enjoyable) clients and publishers.
Yes, I still work long hours, but now those hours are now less frustrating and more lucrative.
(Stay tuned for Part 3…)