There is one major differentiator between freelancers that make $10 of projects and those that make $1000 (or more) for the exact same kind of deliverable – and it has almost NOTHING to do with your skills, your knowledge, or your ability.
It all has to do with whether or not you take advantage of systems that can really help you out.
You see, your average freelancer flails around wildly, trying this and then that hoping to “strike it rich” or “get lucky” – but there’s no real plan, no real strategy, and no real system to work off of. Without this system in place, they never really know whether or not what they’re doing is good, bad, or irrelevant.
They are flying blind.
Because of that, they aren’t able to command the high fees that “top pros” command every single day of the week – even if they are technically better freelancers with higher skill levels, more experience, and all the knowledge in the world.
They won’t make as much money because they do not have intelligent systems to do a lot of the “heavy lifting” for them.
Here are a couple of systems that you’re going to want to put into place.
Create a “new client generation” system
One of the most (if not THE most) of all the systems that you could put into action for your freelancing business is a system that generates new clients almost on autopilot.
Trying to jump from one freelancer client to the next, without ever really knowing where your next paycheck is coming from, is the greatest fear that every single freelancer has to live with when they do not have a trusted system that produces new clients almost on demand.
This is something that you’re going to need to get fixed.
Think of your marketing efforts as a major component to your freelancing career, build real value and distribute it freely to your target market, and continue to fish for new clients even when you’re up to your eyeballs in work.
Build templates for all of your important documents
Secondly, you need to make sure that you have templates in place for all of your important documents.
You don’t want to be wasting a mountain of time trying to come up with all kinds of documents that you use hundreds of times (or more) each year every time the demand for one comes up.
Systemize your important documentation process by creating templates that allow you to fire off customized solutions in a fraction of the time. Build out employee contract template options, payment schedule templates, proposal templates, and anything else that you find yourself sending out to clients on a regular basis.
It’ll take a little bit of time to do up front, but it will save you a ridiculous amount of time in the long haul.
Have a referral and recommendation system in place
Finally, you need to understand that your current or past freelancer clients are your very best source for new clients.
There are too many freelancers out there that bail on their clients completely after they fire off the deliverables for a particular project, but that’s a mistake that you simply cannot afford to make. Instead, you should be doing absolutely everything in your power to make sure that you become a trusted advisor to those clients – and that you are the first name they think of whenever someone in their circle of influence needs that kind of work done.
Not only that, you need to be proactive in asking for referrals, asking for recommendations, and asking for testimonials or case studies that you can use in your marketing. This is the only way to climb to the top.