4 Practices That Have Helped Me Overcome Imposter Syndrome as a Enterprise Proprietor

Home » 4 Practices That Have Helped Me Overcome Imposter Syndrome as a Enterprise Proprietor

Like many small enterprise house owners, Diana Sofia Tabatabai nearly let imposter syndrome maintain her again. Be taught the instruments that helped her transfer previous it. 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 revenue? It may be robust 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 might probably additionally maintain you trapped. Possibly you’ve stopped questioning your assumptions about how lengthy writing an article will take, as an example, otherwise you haven’t raised your charges in ages since you’re fearful about shedding a consumer.

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

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 traditional, on a regular basis life, with a partner, youngsters, hobbies, and plenty of different issues I didn’t need 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 Earnings Targets

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

A lot later, I spotted it is a frequent downside for freelancers and solopreneurs when I came across this piece by Naomi Dunford of Ittybiz. She defined:

In the event 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 downside.

The way to Do It

Work out 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 objective for the approaching 12 months. Goal for one thing difficult however real looking: 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 can purpose for $45,000 this 12 months. It’s a major enhance, however removed from an inconceivable one.

Notice: Personally, I set revenue targets for the calendar 12 months, however for the needs of this submit, I’ve given my revenue 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 information work out.

Step 2. Know What WON’T Work for You

In my enterprise, I might probably 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 a number of the time and has a lot much less flexibility than me: I actually like having the ability to plan my work round simply me, taking day off for our youngsters as wanted. 

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

The way to Do It

Determine what your individual “traces within the sand” are along with your freelancing. Maybe you need to maintain weekends (or at the least one weekend day) utterly free from work. Possibly there are particular sorts 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 earn more money throughout the boundaries which are wholesome for what you are promoting and for you as an individual. 

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

When you’ve bought your revenue objective, you’ll want to interrupt it down into smaller chunks as a way 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 objective 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 may imply incomes £1,000 per week. But it surely quickly grew to become clear that not all weeks could be precisely the identical.

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

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

The way to Do It

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

Take into consideration instances of the 12 months while you’re prone to have trip, household commitments, or different obligations 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 maintain work to a minimal for the remainder of the calendar 12 months.

Right here’s how your 12 months may break down for a $60,000 revenue objective:

  • Q1 (Jan-Mar): $13,000 (build up revenue)
  • Q2 (Apr-Jun): $16,000
  • Q3 (Jul-Sep): $18,000
  • Q4 (Oct-Dec): $13,000 (day off 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 objective by month, by week, and by day. You don’t have to set this all out initially of the 12 months (actually, I like to recommend you don’t!) As an alternative, see what’s arising week by week and plan accordingly.

Step 4. Monitor All Your Freelancing Time

I bought critical about monitoring my time throughout 2022 – and that is the one change that I consider made the most important distinction to my revenue 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. Understanding that made it straightforward to know which consumer’s work to prioritize.
  • Some duties took longer than I believed they did (like getting ready invoices). Earlier than monitoring, I usually mentally discounted this sort of admin time, forgetting to essentially plan for it in my week.
  • I labored fewer hours than I believed, 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, slightly than non-billable work, like writing emails. This paid off rather well by way of my revenue within the medium time period, although now, in 2024, I’m including in additional time on advertising and marketing and networking once more so I can proceed to develop my enterprise.

The way to Do It

There are a great deal of totally different apps that will help you observe your time. Having experimented with a number of, I discover that Clockify is one of the best match for me.

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

In the event you don’t need to use an app, you may prefer to strive monitoring your time utilizing a spreadsheet in 15- or 30-minute intervals. 

Step 5. Ringfence Your Working Hours

I’m certain 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 straightforward for all kinds 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 buddy on the telephone, you may discover that your working time is getting interrupted or chopped up.

Some flexibility isn’t any unhealthy factor; actually, it’d nicely be why you selected to freelance within the first place. However flexibility can turn out to be an issue in the event you’re always including only one thing more into your day … that means that you simply’re shedding hours of productive time over the course of every week. 

The way to Do It

You may discover that it helps to:

  • Have particular “begin” and “cease” instances to your freelance day. (My day is book-ended by my youngsters’ begin and finish instances 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 may even use two totally different apps.

Step 6. Increase Your Charges if You Haven’t Carried out So Just lately

One of many causes my freelance revenue rose was as a result of a consumer who accounted for an honest chunk of my revenue 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 usually put up my charges and have by no means had any pushback. Final 12 months, I raised one other consumer’s charge from $0.13/phrase to $0.15/phrase.

You may discover these charges are fairly totally different! Don’t be afraid to set totally different charges for various shoppers based mostly on what the work entails. As an illustration, my higher-paying consumer’s work required much more analysis than the lower-paying consumer’s work, and it additionally usually meant tackling requested edits.

The way to Do It

Elevating your charges as a freelancer could be daunting: you is likely to be fearful about shedding a great consumer. Bear in mind, it is a regular a part of doing enterprise, and your consumer could be very prone to take it utterly of their stride.

I discover that it’s easiest to tackle newer shoppers at the next charge after which steadily increase the speed for older shoppers to match. I purpose to present shoppers at the least a full month’s warning that my charge shall be going up.

Step 7. Use Timers to Maintain You Centered and Productive

In addition to monitoring my freelancing time, I additionally use timers to maintain me centered … chances are you’ll discover this a bit an excessive amount of, however it’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 job, swap to one thing else, or take a break.

Typically, I’ll purpose to finish a sure job (e.g., drafting a piece of an article, writing an overview) 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 is likely to be combating my focus.

The way to Do It

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

In the event you’re struggling to focus otherwise you’re procrastinating about beginning a giant job, setting a 10-minute timer and promising your self you’ll focus for these 10 minutes might help you get transferring.

Step 8. Attempt Creating and Promoting Digital Merchandise

A small share of my revenue – 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 revenue stream, however it did lead to an revenue enhance in months the place I wasn’t doing a lot freelancing (I usually run Summer season and Winter gross sales, as an example, as that matches with once 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 larger 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.

The way to Do It

There are every kind of digital merchandise you would promote: suppose ebooks, e-courses, templates, printables, apps, and extra! You’ll want some sort of on-line platform of your individual – that could possibly be an internet site/weblog, Instagram account, Fb group, electronic mail checklist, or anyplace you can 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 revenue considerably … however I didn’t need to cease there! Throughout the 2023-2024 tax 12 months, I did a few extra issues to proceed to develop, albeit extra steadily. You may need to give these a strive, too.

Taking On Extra Freelancing Duties

Typically, you may be capable to up your revenue by taking up an additional job for an present consumer. One among 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 comply with, so it grew to become a simple, low-energy, and low-stress job. Not solely did this imply extra billable work for every article I wrote, it additionally meant I might write extra articles, as I used to be holding the pipeline of recent posts flowing.

The way to Do It

Decide a consumer you take pleasure in working with and ask if there are any further duties you would tackle. Some potentialities are:

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

Working With an Accountability Coach

I didn’t fairly meet my revenue objective 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 satisfy my revenue objective in 2023: particularly, it helped me do higher at ringfencing my freelancing time and at avoiding distractions.

The way to Do It

Teaching is an excellent option to put money into your self as you develop what you are promoting – but when one-to-one teaching isn’t reasonably priced, you would have a look at peer assist. That may imply becoming a member of a supportive on-line group or working with an accountability buddy, the place you share your targets and mutually assist each other.

Dealing with Elements Outdoors Your Direct Management

All of the above concepts are ones you would replicate or management. However some modifications is likely to be exterior your direct management. You do nonetheless have some affect over these.

As an illustration, within the 2023 to 2024 tax 12 months, I landed a brand new higher-paying consumer because of a former colleague who was now in a advertising and marketing/enhancing position. You possibly can’t pressure one thing like that to occur – the supply got here out of the blue, for me – however you can also make it extra probably.

As an illustration, you would:

  • Sustain with previous contacts and let folks know in the event you’re in search of extra work
  • Write visitor posts to get your title on the market (notably in the event you can write for blogs that your preferrred shoppers are prone to learn)
  • Keep good relationships with editors and shoppers who may move your title on to people who find themselves in search of a author

Your Plan for Rising Your Freelance Writing Earnings Over the Subsequent Yr

Are you prepared to extend your freelance writing revenue? Let’s run by way of an important steps from above to get you began.

  1. Set your revenue objective. Goal to be each formidable and real looking! Solely you realize what meaning in your circumstances. It is likely to be a 25 p.c enhance, a 50 p.c enhance, or perhaps a 100% enhance in your revenue from final 12 months.
  2. Break down your objective by quarter, then by month, so you realize in the event you’re on observe.
  3. Search for the best wins first: ones that don’t require working any further hours. That might imply:
    1. Enhancing your focus, so that you’re getting extra carried out in the identical period of time.
    2. Monitoring your time so you’ll be able to 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 up further work, begin along with your present shoppers: that is simpler and sooner than looking for brand-new shoppers. Supply to tackle extra of the identical (e.g., six articles per 30 days as a substitute of 4), counsel further duties you would deal with, or ask in the event that they know anybody who wants a author.

You can also make an ideal residing as a contract author. My revenue in 2024 appears to be like set to place me throughout the highest 10 p.c of employees within the UK regardless of working part-time hours – by no means greater than 20 per week – and taking quite a lot of day off throughout faculty breaks. It took me 16+ years to get to that time, however you would do it a lot sooner 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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