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Income Plateaus – How to Break Through

So you’ve been freelancing for a while but the amount you’re earning has stayed the same for a while. Being a freelancer requires being a jack of all trades, one of the trades being that you are your own boss. Where a more traditional employment scheme would see you promoted eventually by your professional superiors, ensuring career advancement as a freelancer requires more independent motivation. 

Income plateau can increase in two ways; more work or higher charges. You could always implement both but that could get messy. Your loyal clients may not appreciate you charging them 50% more when they’ve supported you from the beginning. Here’s an idea on how to approach this. 

Send a Life Update

As a way to both remind old clients of your growth and attract new clients who’ll be impressed by your repertoire, send some cold emails summarising what you’ve been working on lately, what changes have been happening in your practice, what you need help with, and so on.

Reach out to your dream clients

Sure, they probably won’t all reply to you but you never know! If you have a body of work that you’re proud of, who’s to say that a big client – even just one – won’t be impressed and respond? Take the jump! You’re not asking them for work, you’re not asking them for business, you’re not asking them to help you, You’re simply checking in with them and asking if they’ll take some time to check out your work. 

Pitch Higher Rates for New Clients and Keep Loyal Prices the Same

This allows you to cherry pick. Keep your favourite and most loyal clients in the book and charge them the same. This could make up 50-70% of your clients at first. Then outsource new clients with perhaps larger budgets (you’re at that stage after all if you’re advancing) and increase your rate by 20-40%. The important thing here is to stick to your guns and recognise that you are worth the increased price you’re charging. Remember: you’re much more experienced than you were when you first pitched to your older clients. That makes you more valuable as a freelancer, and that value should be reflected in a higher price. 

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