It’s embarrassing … I’ll admit it. It took forever to figure out how to earn more as a freelancer and get off the freelance income rollercoaster.
One month my income was impressively high, and the next, I was digging into my reserve account. I was writing for some of the largest brands in the world, and still, I just couldn’t figure out how to create predictability in my business.
That is until I interviewed a finance expert for a story I was writing.
Do you know what he told me? One of the most important things in the sale of a business is recurring revenue.
And I had none.
Of course, I wasn’t planning to sell my little freelance business, but I had a flash of inspiration. Maybe that’s why I was always stuck on an income cliffhanger.
It turns out that was precisely why.
Do you know what I did to change it? Sell monthly content packages.
Offering content packages as a service quickly increased my income by 30% and saved my sanity.
So, how do freelancers make more money? Here’s how I do it (and if you want an example of a previous package I pitched, you can download it here).
1. How to earn more as a freelancer …. by finding the right clients
Imagine going into each month with a substantial percentage of your freelance writing income booked. That’s what content packages can do.
But here’s the catch: You don’t want to sell them to everyone.
Here are my three rules for pitching a package.
1. You have to love the client. If you don’t, creating monthly content will be good for your income but bad for your soul. You’ll burn out fast. That’s why I never sell packages to new clients until I have time to determine if we work well together.
2. The client has clear ongoing needs. Pitch monthly packages to clients who produce or want to produce monthly, ongoing content. Monthly blog posts, quarterly whitepapers, or ongoing case studies are examples. It’s too hard to talk a one-off client into becoming a long-term arrangement.
3. The client is responsive. Nothing is worse than being committed to a monthly content package and having a client go dark. I only pitch clients who are reliable communicators. I know this might seem obvious, but sometimes we’re so excited about landing work we fail to miss the red flags. This is one of them … at least for me.
Once your client passes the tests, you’re ready to pitch!
2. Pitching like a pro
I never pitch a brand-new client a content package, but I do plant seeds. And for existing clients, I use a different process.
Here are my tips for managing each scenario:
New clients. When I onboard a new client, I always let them know that I offer content packages. I recommend working on a small first project to see if we’re a fit (you can check out my process here). My favorite first project to pitch is a blog post. And if that goes well, I’ll consider pitching a monthly agreement.
Existing client. For existing clients, I say something like, “Hey, we create a decent amount of content, and I just started offering content packages. I can bundle ongoing content together and give you a bit of a discount. Let me know if you’d like to discuss it more.” And if they say yes, I’ll create a monthly content proposal.
3. Create a monthly content proposal … without the fear
Fear. It creeps up every single time I do something new. But if you can push it aside, the new stuff (like pitching content packages) eventually doesn’t feel scary anymore.
When I first started pitching content packages, I was afraid my clients would think I was an imposter. They would say, “Hey, you’ve never pitched this service! Amateur! You’re a big amateur!
The stories we make up, right?
But here’s the truth. Pitching packages is SUPER easy; you just have to do it.
Here’s my process (and if you want to see an example of a previous package I pitched, you can download it here).
1. Add up the deliverables. What will you create? Weekly blog posts? A quarterly whitepaper? Something else? Add the total cost of deliverables in your proposal so the client can see the total cost.
2. Discount it slightly. I’ve seen freelancers offer a bundle discount of 10% to 20%. Do what feels right but resist the urge to discount too deeply. After all, you’re reserving time on your schedule and putting the client at the front of your line, and that is valuable.
3. Deliver it to your client. Send the proposal to your client and if you don’t hear back, follow up in 2–3 days and offer to answer any questions or jump on a call to discuss further.
Um … What do I do again? Here’s an example…
Let’s look at a quick example of how to earn more as a freelancer with content packages.
Jane sent an email to an existing client about her monthly content packages. The client is interested, now what?
Jane sets up a call to chat about the required deliverables. The client explains that she needs:
· Four monthly blog posts
· A quarterly whitepaper
Jane charges $450 per blog post and $2,000 for a short whitepaper. She adds all of that up and arrives at $3,800. Jane applies a 10% discount, bringing her quote to $3,420 monthly.
She creates a proposal including the deliverables’ full price, showing the discount and payment terms. Jane asks to be paid at the start of each month, so she gets paid in advance. This is great for her cash flow, and it’s like a subscription (I mean, you don’t pay for a service like Netflix after you use it, do you?).
She also includes a sentence about canceling the package. She allows cancelations at any time but asks for a 30-day notice (so she can market like crazy and find a new client!).
Jane sends the proposal, and the client says, “Looks great, let’s get started!” so she sends off her first invoice. A week later, it’s all paid, and now Jane has $3,420 of monthly recurring income.
Rinse and repeat, and you can finally step off the freelance income roller coaster and relax a little😊
How to earn more as a freelancer … with a better ongoing strategy.
If you need help with a strategy to find new clients, you can swipe mine! Here’s a free template that I used to generate $24,500 in new work.