11 Finest Productiveness Apps For Social Media Entrepreneurs

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Productiveness instruments could be a game-changer in case you are a social media advertising skilled. From Francesco’s years of expertise reviewing productiveness instruments and software program, these are the perfect on your function and job. How I Increased My Freelance Writing Income By 79% Percent in a Single Year (and How You Could Too)

Are you a freelancer trying to develop your earnings? It may be powerful to know the place to begin. Maybe you’ve fallen into comfy freelancing routines with shoppers you’ve been working with for months or years. 

That sort of stability is nice … however it may additionally hold you trapped. Possibly you’ve stopped questioning your assumptions about how lengthy writing an article will take, for example, otherwise you haven’t raised your charges in ages since you’re apprehensive about dropping a shopper.

I’m going to take you thru the methods I used to extend my freelance earnings from one 12 months to the subsequent. This isn’t a narrative about “ 10x your earnings” or “how I went from rags to riches in a single day,” … however as a substitute, I hope, a extra practical and achievable have a look at considerably enhance your personal freelancing (or small enterprise) earnings. 

Let’s begin with the tip in thoughts: these methods led me to go from roughly $39,200 USD [£30,744] to roughly $70,500 USD [£55,266] in a single 12 months. That’s a 79 p.c enhance. I did this round a standard, on a regular basis life, with a partner, youngsters, hobbies, and plenty of different issues I didn’t wish to compromise.

Right here’s what I did … and the way you are able to do the identical, whether or not you’re just getting started otherwise you’ve been freelancing for years.

Step 1. Set Clear, Particular Revenue Targets

I’ve been freelancing for over 16 years now, and I’m embarrassed to confess that for much too a few years, I didn’t have a selected earnings aim in thoughts. I used to be masking all my payments, and basically, I used to be blissful to easily make the identical quantity I’d been making in my day job after I was in my early 20s.

A lot later, I spotted this can be a widespread drawback for freelancers and solopreneurs when I came across this piece by Naomi Dunford of Ittybiz. She defined:

Should you can’t appear to interrupt a sure quantity (and particularly if that quantity is suspiciously near your previous day job wage), you’ve bought an higher restrict drawback.

Learn how to Do It

Determine what you made final 12 months (final calendar 12 months or earlier tax 12 months, no matter is sensible for you). Then, set the next aim for the approaching 12 months. Purpose for one thing difficult however practical: possibly a 25 p.c or 50 p.c enhance, and even one hundred pc extra, in the event you’re going to have the ability to work extra hours.

Let’s say you made $30,000 final 12 months. You might goal for $45,000 this 12 months. It’s a major enhance, however removed from an inconceivable one.

Word: Personally, I set earnings objectives for the calendar 12 months, however for the needs of this submit, I’ve given my earnings enhance right here based mostly on tax years (for me within the UK, that’s April 6, 2021–April 5, 2022, vs. April 6, 2022–April 5, 2023) as that’s how my detailed data work out.

Step 2. Know What WON’T Work for You

In my enterprise, I might doubtlessly make more cash by subcontracting: loads of freelancers do, and that is how Kat Boogaard achieved some extremely spectacular figures as a contract author, scaling her business to make over $300,000.

However for me, proper now, I just like the simplicity of being a one-person enterprise. My husband works away among the time and has a lot much less flexibility than me: I actually like with the ability to plan my work round simply me, taking break day for our youngsters as wanted. 

There are many methods I might enhance my freelance writing earnings … however these aren’t trade-offs I’m prepared to make at this level in my life. Again earlier than I had youngsters, for example, I used to be blissful to work on weekends; now, I keep away from night and weekend work.

Learn how to Do It

Resolve what your personal “strains within the sand” are along with your freelancing. Maybe you wish to hold weekends (or at the very least one weekend day) utterly free from work. Possibly there are specific varieties of freelancing work you gained’t tackle – I do know freelancers who gained’t write items about weapons, say, or tobacco. 

There are many methods to make more cash throughout the boundaries which can be wholesome for your online business and for you as an individual. 

Step 3. Break Down Your Annual Revenue Objective Into Smaller Chunks

When you’ve bought your earnings aim, you’ll want to interrupt it down into smaller chunks so to determine in the event you’re on observe or not at any given time.

Once I first began doing this, I used to separate up my aim purely mathematically. If I wished to make, say, £40,000 in a 12 months and wished to work 40 weeks (youngsters are at school for 38 weeks of the 12 months within the UK), then that will imply incomes £1,000 per week. However it quickly grew to become clear that not all weeks can be precisely the identical.

Now, I have a tendency to interrupt down my aim by quarter, then month, then week. So, for example, within the first quarter of 2024, I knew I’d have much less freelancing work than regular, so I set a decrease aim for Q1 vs Q2. 

How I Increased My Freelance Writing Income By 79% Percent in a Single Year (and How You Could Too)

Learn how to Do It

Normally, plan to make a bit much less within the first few weeks or months of the 12 months. You’ll regularly invoice extra as you carry on new shoppers, elevate your charges, or get higher at utilizing your freelancing hours effectively.

Take into consideration occasions of the 12 months while you’re more likely to have trip, household commitments, or different tasks affecting your freelancing time. For instance, the ultimate quarter ends on Dec eleventh, because it's my birthday on Dec twelfth, and I prefer to hold work to a minimal for the remainder of the calendar 12 months.

Right here’s how your 12 months would possibly break down for a $60,000 earnings aim:

  • Q1 (Jan-Mar): $13,000 (build up earnings)
  • Q2 (Apr-Jun): $16,000
  • Q3 (Jul-Sep): $18,000
  • This autumn (Oct-Dec): $13,000 (break day for Thanksgiving and Christmas)
How I Increased My Freelance Writing Income By 79% Percent in a Single Year (and How You Could Too)

You possibly can then break down this aim by month, by week, and by day. You don’t have to set this all out at first of the 12 months (in reality, I like to recommend you don’t!) As an alternative, see what’s developing week by week and plan accordingly.

Step 4. Observe All Your Freelancing Time

I bought severe about monitoring my time throughout 2022 – and that is the one change that I imagine made the most important distinction to my earnings that 12 months.

Monitoring my time confirmed me:

  • A few of my work was netting me near $200/hour. Different work was bringing in additional like $120/hour. Realizing that made it simple to know which shopper’s work to prioritize.
  • Some duties took longer than I assumed they did (like making ready invoices). Earlier than monitoring, I typically mentally discounted this type of admin time, forgetting to essentially plan for it in my week.
  • I labored fewer hours than I assumed, normally simply 15-20 hours per week. 

The act of monitoring my time inspired me to concentrate on billable duties, like finishing articles for shoppers, quite than non-billable work, like writing emails. This paid off very well by way of my earnings within the medium time period, although now, in 2024, I’m including in additional time on advertising and networking once more so I can proceed to develop my enterprise.

Learn how to Do It

There are a great deal of completely different apps that will help you observe your time. Having experimented with just a few, I discover that Clockify is the perfect match for me.

How I Increased My Freelance Writing Income By 79% Percent in a Single Year (and How You Could Too)

Should you don’t wish to use an app, you would possibly prefer to strive monitoring your time utilizing a spreadsheet in 15- or 30-minute intervals. 

Step 5. Ringfence Your Working Hours

I’m positive I’m not the one freelancer who finds that while you’re working from residence, and also you don’t have set hours (or a boss), it’s very simple for all types of non-work duties to creep into your day.

Whether or not it’s popping to the shop for a lacking ingredient for dinner, switching the laundry to the dryer, or chatting to a good friend on the cellphone, you would possibly discover that your working time is getting interrupted or chopped up.

Some flexibility isn’t any dangerous factor; in reality, it’d properly be why you selected to freelance within the first place. However flexibility can grow to be an issue in the event you’re continuously including only one thing more into your day … that means that you simply’re dropping hours of productive time over the course of per week. 

Learn how to Do It

You would possibly discover that it helps to:

  • Have particular “begin” and “cease” occasions on your freelance day. (My day is book-ended by my youngsters’ begin and finish occasions in school.)
  • Have time allotted elsewhere for non-work admin and chores, so these don’t find yourself creeping into your work day. 
  • Maintain your work to-dos and your life to-dos in separate to-do lists. That might imply two lists inside one app (or paper planner), otherwise you would possibly even use two completely different apps.

Step 6. Elevate Your Charges if You Haven’t Accomplished So Lately

One of many causes my freelance earnings rose was as a result of a shopper who accounted for a good chunk of my earnings elevated by pau from $0.20/phrase to $0.25/phrase. 

I used to be fortunate I didn’t need to ask in that occasion, however I’ve typically put up my charges and have by no means had any pushback. Final 12 months, I raised one other shopper’s charge from $0.13/phrase to $0.15/phrase.

You would possibly discover these charges are fairly completely different! Don’t be afraid to set completely different charges for various shoppers based mostly on what the work includes. As an example, my higher-paying shopper’s work required much more analysis than the lower-paying shopper’s work, and it additionally typically meant tackling requested edits.

Learn how to Do It

Elevating your charges as a freelancer might be daunting: you may be apprehensive about dropping an excellent shopper. Bear in mind, this can be a regular a part of doing enterprise, and your shopper may be very more likely to take it utterly of their stride.

I discover that it’s easiest to tackle newer shoppers at the next charge after which regularly elevate the speed for older shoppers to match. I goal to offer shoppers at the very least a full month’s warning that my charge shall be going up.

Step 7. Use Timers to Maintain You Targeted and Productive

In addition to monitoring my freelancing time, I additionally use timers to maintain me targeted … you could discover this a bit an excessive amount of, but it surely’s positively price a strive.

I sometimes set my timer for 15 to half-hour, which helps me keep laser-focused. After the timer goes off, I’ll both set it once more for a similar activity, swap to one thing else, or take a break.

Typically, I’ll goal to finish a sure activity (e.g., drafting a piece of an article, writing a top level view) earlier than the time goes off – I positively discover this helps me pace up and work extra effectively. I additionally use the timer at factors the place I may be battling my focus.

Learn how to Do It

I take advantage of a bodily timer dice (I at the moment have the TickTime Cube) or set a timer on Alexa. You might use your cellphone … however I discover I simply get distracted within the act of setting the timer if I spot a brand new notification!

Should you’re struggling to focus otherwise you’re procrastinating about beginning a giant activity, setting a 10-minute timer and promising your self you’ll focus for these 10 minutes will help you get shifting.

Step 8. Attempt Creating and Promoting Digital Merchandise

A small share of my earnings – about 3.5 p.c in 2021 to 2022 and simply 0.9 p.c in 2022 to 2023 – was from promoting my very own digital merchandise. 

How I Increased My Freelance Writing Income By 79% Percent in a Single Year (and How You Could Too)

How I Increased My Freelance Writing Income By 79% Percent in a Single Year (and How You Could Too)

This wasn’t a very important earnings stream, but it surely did lead to an earnings enhance in months the place I wasn’t doing a lot freelancing (I usually run Summer time and Winter gross sales, for example, as that matches with after I’m taking a while off from freelancing).

In 2024, I’m specializing in rising this facet of my enterprise: it’ll give me much more flexibility and a better incomes potential, plus I like creating my very own merchandise. As a part of this, I’m engaged on rising my newsletter list to construct a bigger viewers of potential prospects.

Learn how to Do It

There are all types of digital merchandise you could possibly promote: suppose ebooks, e-courses, templates, printables, apps, and extra! You’ll want some sort of on-line platform of your personal – that might be a web site/weblog, Instagram account, Fb group, e mail listing, or wherever that you would be able to promote your merchandise to your followers.

Step 9. Maintain Experimenting With New Methods to Develop

All of the above steps helped me enhance my freelance earnings considerably … however I didn’t wish to cease there! In the course of the 2023-2024 tax 12 months, I did a few further issues to proceed to develop, albeit extra regularly. You would possibly wish to give these a strive, too.

Taking On Further Freelancing Duties

Typically, you would possibly be capable to up your earnings by taking over an additional activity for an current shopper. Certainly one of my freelance writing shoppers requested me if I might format and add weblog articles for him, as this was an actual bottleneck in his course of.

I agreed to do that at an hourly charge and created a complete guidelines to observe, so it grew to become an easy, low-energy, and low-stress activity. Not solely did this imply further billable work for every article I wrote, it additionally meant I might write extra articles, as I used to be maintaining the pipeline of latest posts flowing.

Learn how to Do It

Decide a shopper you get pleasure from working with and ask if there are any further duties you could possibly tackle. Some potentialities are:

  • Writing briefs for articles so the shopper doesn’t have to prep these
  • search engine optimisation optimizing articles in accordance with the shopper’s preferences
  • Getting ready e mail newsletters or social media posts based mostly on an article 

Working With an Accountability Coach

I didn’t fairly meet my earnings aim for the 2022 calendar 12 months. In November 2023, I began working with an accountability coach, Blake Stratton. I discovered teaching invaluable to assist me push to fulfill my earnings aim in 2023: particularly, it helped me do higher at ringfencing my freelancing time and at avoiding distractions.

Learn how to Do It

Teaching is a superb technique to put money into your self as you develop your online business – but when one-to-one teaching isn’t inexpensive, you could possibly have a look at peer help. That may imply becoming a member of a supportive on-line group or working with an accountability buddy, the place you share your objectives and mutually help each other.

Dealing with Components Exterior Your Direct Management

All of the above concepts are ones you could possibly replicate or management. However some adjustments may be exterior your direct management. You do nonetheless have some affect over these.

As an example, within the 2023 to 2024 tax 12 months, I landed a brand new higher-paying shopper because of a former colleague who was now in a advertising/modifying function. You possibly can’t power one thing like that to occur – the supply got here out of the blue, for me – however you can also make it extra seemingly.

As an example, you could possibly:

  • Sustain with previous contacts and let folks know in the event you’re searching for extra work
  • Write visitor posts to get your identify on the market (significantly in the event you can write for blogs that your ultimate shoppers are more likely to learn)
  • Keep good relationships with editors and shoppers who would possibly cross your identify on to people who find themselves searching for a author

Your Plan for Growing Your Freelance Writing Revenue Over the Subsequent 12 months

Are you prepared to extend your freelance writing earnings? Let’s run by a very powerful steps from above to get you began.

  1. Set your earnings aim. Purpose to be each formidable and practical! Solely what which means in your circumstances. It may be a 25 p.c enhance, a 50 p.c enhance, or perhaps a 100% enhance in your earnings from final 12 months.
  2. Break down your aim by quarter, then by month, so in the event you’re on observe.
  3. Search for the simplest wins first: ones that don’t require working any further hours. That might imply:
    1. Enhancing your focus, so that you’re getting extra finished in the identical period of time.
    2. Monitoring your time so you may see precisely which gigs are price essentially the most to you per hour.
    3. Elevating your charges so that you make more cash for a similar quantity of labor.
  4. When taking over further work, begin along with your present shoppers: that is simpler and quicker than looking for brand-new shoppers. Provide to tackle extra of the identical (e.g., six articles monthly as a substitute of 4), recommend further duties you could possibly sort out, or ask in the event that they know anybody who wants a author.

You can also make a fantastic residing as a contract author. My earnings in 2024 seems to be set to place me throughout the highest 10 p.c of staff within the UK regardless of working part-time hours – by no means greater than 20 per week – and taking numerous break day throughout faculty breaks. It took me 16+ years to get to that time, however you could possibly do it a lot quicker utilizing the concepts above. Even simply implementing one or two of them might make an enormous distinction to the place you might be in a 12 months’s time.

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