Is it really possible to achieve five-figure months as a freelancer?
It’s no secret that there are many freelancing myths out there. When I first started my business, freelancing was pretty much a code word for “unemployed” – meaning that you didn’t freelance by choice, you did it because there were no other options.
After 10 years in the game, I can proudly say that the benefits I’ve secured from freelancing far exceed any desk job I’ve ever had (sorry not sorry, corporate world). I’ve also managed to become a six-figure freelancer in the process earning consistent five-figure months.
So, how exactly did this happen?
I won’t sugar-coat it. It’s taken hard work behind the scenes to get here, mixed with multiple “Why am I even doing this?” moments. I ended up back at a desk job the first time I tried to freelance full-time – which is exactly why I want to teach you what I learned the hard way: how to build a consistent income as a freelancer.
Whether you’re just starting on your freelancing journey or have been at this for years, you’ve likely been told that what you’re doing isn’t going to last. Or worse, that you’re better off trying something else if you want to be successful.
Generating five-figure months as a freelancer and earning income that not only covers your business expenses and bills but also helps you reach your financial goals IS possible – so, if you’re looking for a permission slip paired with a confidence boost to keep at it, you’re in the right place! In this post, I’m covering what will set you on the path of reaching your goals efficiently, and also growing your business.
1. Streamline and standardize your processes
The value that you offer as a freelancer goes far beyond the services you provide – and that’s where streamlining your processes comes into play.
Now you might be thinking…
Get more specific, Jasmine. What the heck does ‘processes’ even mean? How can I offer more than just my services?
Don’t worry – I’ve been there, and I won’t leave you hanging with vague answers.
Having systems and processes in place is less about the business tools you use (i.e. Notion, Asana, Kajabi, etc.), and more about the client experience you provide. Having a map of the full customer journey from A to Z is a necessary part of this and can make all the difference when positioning yourself as a high-quality service provider.
Here is a brief breakdown:
A. Initial inquiry
When a new lead reaches out to you, how do you proceed? Maybe you have a link that allows them to book a call, or perhaps you have email templates generated depending on their inquiry. Regardless of where your new leads come from, you should be able to funnel them into your business without it being overwhelming. People are more likely to invest their money into your services if it requires less effort from their end.
B. Easy-breezy onboarding
After the initial communication, you’ll need a go-to system in place to start working with your clients as efficiently as possible. The last thing you want is to lose a potential client because you don’t have an easy-to-navigate onboarding process in place. Whether you have a Google Drive folder with templated contracts or an automated email sequence, make sure you’ve outlined follow-up items for your client to take action on. The quicker you’re able to get this to them, the faster they can verify their decision.
C. Consistent communication
So – you secured a new client. Yay! Now what? Many freelancers make the mistake of going MIA for a while and getting knee-deep into the project. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you want to make sure you’ve communicated that to your client. Do they know exactly what you’re working on? Are they aware of when they can expect the deliverables? Do they feel comfortable contacting you if they have any additional information to provide? Do they know how or when to contact you?
Figuring out answers to these questions will save you time in the long run, and might even give you the capacity to take on more paying clients. Plus, building a solid foundation for the operations of your business is a key part of aiming for five-figure months.
2. Audit your services and conversion rates
Having an overview of which services you’re selling most often and what your high-ticket offerings are is a game-changer. If you’re just starting out, it might take multiple months (at minimum) to evaluate this, and that’s okay.
The more you work with clients, the more you’ll learn about what you do and don’t like to offer, along with what’s contributing the most to your income. Having a healthy balance between the two will save you from sleepless nights worrying about why you became a freelancer in the first place.
Evaluated your numbers and you know there’s room for improvement? Here’s a few methods that could be worth trying out:
- Expanding your network and marketing strategy to get more leads
- Using a freelance rate calculator to take the guesswork out of pricing your services
- Investing in a freelance business coach
- Offering retainers to bring in consistent monthly income
- Upselling your current clients
Selling your services can feel icky, uncomfortable and awkward. But the more confident you are in your ability to deliver value, the easier it will become to highlight why your services aren’t just a “nice to have,” but a NEED to have.
3. Generate multiple sources of revenue
I know, I know – almost every six-figure earner online has posted about the importance of expanding your income streams without actually explaining what that could mean for you.
Depending on your niche and expertise, there are likely a variety of ways to generate new sources of revenue such as:
- Offering digital templates on your website
- Launching a workshop to teach others what you know
- Using affiliate marketing links
Ideally, creating offers or products that aren’t directly tied to your time (i.e., they can be purchased while you’re taking an afternoon nap) is key.
4. Leave a lasting impact on your clients
When projects last multiple months or are extremely time-consuming, it can be tempting to dip the moment you receive your final payment. But if you want to have five-figure months and build a consistent income, you’ll need to be more strategic than that.
Think about the last time you had a really great experience purchasing something. Maybe it was a candle from a local small business or take-out dinner from a new spot in the city. Now ask yourself…
What made the experience memorable?
Was it the detailed packaging? Fast shipping or delivery? Friendly check-in from a customer service representative to ask how you enjoyed your items?
Think of your services in the same way. What can you do or provide to leave the same type of impact that you’ve received?
Earlier, I mentioned streamlining your processes. The cherry-on-top details, such as personalized thank you cards, can definitely be part of your process.
Here’s what that extra effort can lead to:
- A glowing testimonial that permanently lives on your website
- Reoccurring or consistent business from the client
- A stamp of approval and recommendation, leading you to new clients
Five-Figure Months: Not a Freelancing Myth
I’m living proof that you can make a comfortable living (and then some) doing things that don’t make you feel like pulling all of your hair out.
Will building a sustainable income happen in a few weeks? Probably not. But if you play your cards right you can achieve the income you know you deserve. Having clear processes, retainer rates and multiple streams of income are great first steps you can take towards achieving six-figure months.
If you’re thinking…
This is valuable info, but I think I need more guidance.
I’ve got you!
Hands down, the number one question I get from new and aspiring freelancers is: “How do I price my services?!”
That’s why, with my accountant’s help, I’ve put together this handy spreadsheet tool to help you define your hourly rate, which you can use as a jumping-off point to create service packages, day rates, and more!
This simple tool will help you finally figure out your freelance hourly rate so you can sell your services with confidence. Just click the link below to download the calculator.