What if your freelancing career isn’t making enough money? Maybe you’re actually getting in work and you’re making sales but you still can’t seem to get the bills paid.
That’s a real bummer, for one – and two, there may be a logical reason why that is. Let’s look into it!
Your rate is too low.
This may be a no-brainer for some people. For the longest time, I’ve struggled with how I should price my work. If you’re fairly new to freelancing, this may be it. Here’s the thing, when you’re just starting out you may struggle with charging people. I did; I didn’t feel like I was pro enough to actually charge REAL money. I felt like I wasn’t a real developer because I didn’t know every single HTML5 or CSS3 tag or attribute. To be a real developer, you have to know EVERYTHING right? nope – that’s wrong! You’re a developer right now – I’m telling you. So charge people for your time, because yes, your time is valuable and you want to remind your client that your time is valuable. A little monetary exchange will remind them of that.
Many people just getting started will not charge clients (or they won’t charge them enough) because they don’t feel like they’re good enough. But you are good enough. Many beginning freelancers might charge a client $300 or $500 for a website that SHOULD be costing $3,000 or $5,000. Not saying you should charge that much but take a real serious look at what you are charging and think about it. You want your client to value your time and you want them to see some value in what you are offering. Charge them – because if you don’t, they won’t value your time nor will they expect you to be any good.
Your rate is too high.
Here’s a different angle – maybe you ARE charging too much! Again, take a good hard look at your pricing and compare it to others in your industry. What are they charging? Are you charging more than they are? Being a freelancer takes some getting used to. You’ve got to charge more than a large company does perhaps because you’ve got to take care of the things like your rent, electricity, food and so on. All that needs to be built into your pricing if you want to keep doing what you love.
That being said, don’t sell yourself short – don’t charge too little, but make sure you’re not charging too much – if you’re too expensive, you may not get as much work. If your freelancing business isn’t making money, you’ve got to do some work to find that sweet spot.
You’re too slow.
Now, if you’re just starting out, don’t let this bug you too much. You’ll get faster at your work – don’t stress over it, but make sure you’re aware of your time if you know you’re slow.
Take a look at your process and see how long it takes you to crank out work. Using web design as an example, if you’re constantly busy but you’re only cranking out one website a month and you can’t make ends meet, then maybe you’re working too slowly. Work on speeding up until you can safely handle two websites a month.
If your freelancing business isn’t making money or isn’t making enough money, you have to take a small step back and look at the whole picture. There’s a lot of things that need to be looked at, if you want your business to succeed. If you slow down and look at just these few points you might find that you’re doing one of them – all it takes are small steps. Work on tweaking and polishing and eventually you’ll get there!