A version of this article previously appeared on Skillcrush, an online education program for creatives, thinkers, and makers that gives total tech newbies the tools to make major career changes.
Kelli Smith, Skillcrush
If you're reading this, you're probably either freelancing full-time or as a side hustle or at least considering it. But, with the freedom of freelancing, some days (or weeks or months!) you just don't know where to start. You're so overwhelmed with work you can't even contemplate when you've last invoiced your clients. Or you're so freaked out because you don't have any work that you end up jealousy-surfing site re-designs on Dribbble all day.
But I'm guessing you don't enjoy either of those situations too much – and I imagine your bank account ain't too happy about them either. So now's the time to do something about it. And I promise it won't take much time.
The super easy and ruthlessly efficient checklist below will help you right now, and that help is just 10 minutes away. That means, if you do all 5 of the money-making actions on the list, it'll take you under an hour – less than the time you could waste watching a couple re-runs of "Friends". (Sorry, Chandler! We love you, but we gotta get some funds – fast!)
And no need to feel bad that you need a list like this. When you're a freelancer, you and you alone are running the show. Which is all "I am woman, Hear me roar" cool. But sometimes you just need someone or something (like maybe a 10-minute checklist, hint hint!) to make sure you take care of what's important right now. And I'm guessing the most important of your most important things right now is to make money ASAP!
Agreed? Good! But still wondering why, if this is so critical, I'm only giving you 10 minutes to get each thing done? Because 10 minutes is enough time to actually make a difference without taking a huge chunk out of your busy schedule. And, when you know that it literally only takes a few minutes to do something AND that the result of it will be something you truly want, you're so much more likely to actually get 'er done!
So, here are your 5 actions to take to make more money freelancing today…
ACTION #1: Make a doable to do list
Before you can get something done, you gotta know what you're doing! Just letting all your tasks rattle around in your brain waking you up at night is NOT good for your productivity. And poor productivity equals poor freelancer. Booooo! Time to get it out of your head and get it organized.
ACTION #2: Send that hard email
Every freelancer has a message that they know they should send but… Stop making excuses about not knowing what to say or how to say it. It only takes a few sentences to get it over with – and, eventually, get the money you need!
ACTION #3: Refresh your site
Choose one way to update your portfolio. Your own website is a reflection of you and your skills so keep it looking awesome! You know that there's more than a few little (or big?) things that you've never loved about your site. It doesn't help for you to just ignore them because the whole Web can see them – and that includes your potential clients! Instead, grab a friend to get a fresh take on how to make your site shine.
ACTION #4: Recalculate your rate
It's hard to admit, but you're probably not charging enough. Really! Forget being "nice" or "modest". You have skills. Skills that other people don't have. So those skills are worth paying for, and you have todemand what you're worth.
ACTION #5: Commit to getting better
Working in tech means you have to keep up, constantly. It can be a bit overwhelming some times – with new tools, tricks, frameworks, and even whole languages coming out all the time. Instead of stressing out about it, try seeing it as an opportunity – a money-making opportunity! The more you can offer your clients, the more you can make. So, there's no procrastinating learning new skills…
That's it! 5 actions. 10 minutes each. Sounds simple enough. But how are you going to do it in 10 minutes or less?? Download the guide and get the simple, step-by-step instructions for finishing ALL of this in less than an hour – plus 5 bonus actions to take your money-making to the next level!