Pivoting to D2C Helped us Develop by 267% in 1 Month: This is How We Did It

Home » Pivoting to D2C Helped us Develop by 267% in 1 Month: This is How We Did It

Be taught why and the way Anja Skodda shifted distribution methods for her pet meals firm, and the spectacular outcomes it’s helped her obtain.How I Increased My Freelance Writing Income By 79% Percent in a Single Year (and How You Could Too)

Are you a freelancer seeking to develop your earnings? It may be robust to know the place to start out. Maybe you’ve fallen into snug freelancing routines with shoppers you’ve been working with for months or years. 

That sort of stability is nice … however it will probably additionally maintain you trapped. Perhaps 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 anxious about dropping a shopper.

I’m going to take you thru the methods I used to extend my freelance earnings from one yr to the following. This isn’t a narrative about “easy methods to 10x your earnings” or “how I went from rags to riches in a single day,” … however as an alternative, I hope, a extra real looking and achievable have a look at easy methods to considerably improve 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 yr. That’s a 79 p.c improve. I did this round a standard, on a regular basis life, with a partner, children, hobbies, and lots 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 Objectives

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 earnings objective in thoughts. I used to be overlaying all my payments, and usually, I used to be glad 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 noticed it is a widespread drawback 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 obtained an higher restrict drawback.

Do It

Work out what you made final yr (final calendar yr or earlier tax yr, no matter is smart for you). Then, set a better objective for the approaching yr. Intention for one thing difficult however real looking: possibly a 25 p.c or 50 p.c improve, and even one hundred pc extra, in case you’re going to have the ability to work extra hours.

Let’s say you made $30,000 final yr. You could possibly intention for $45,000 this yr. It’s a big improve, however removed from an inconceivable one.

Be aware: Personally, I set earnings targets for the calendar yr, however for the needs of this put up, I’ve given my earnings improve right here primarily based 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 may probably earn more money 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 few 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 time without work for our children as wanted. 

There are many methods I may improve 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 children, for example, I used to be glad to work on weekends; now, I keep away from night and weekend work.

Do It

Determine what your personal “traces within the sand” are together with your freelancing. Maybe you need to maintain weekends (or a minimum of one weekend day) utterly free from work. Perhaps 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 earn more money throughout the boundaries which might be 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 obtained your earnings objective, you’ll want to interrupt it down into smaller chunks with the intention to determine in case you’re on monitor or not at any given time.

After I first began doing this, I used to separate up my objective purely mathematically. If I wished to make, say, £40,000 in a yr and wished to work 40 weeks (children are at school for 38 weeks of the yr within the UK), then that might imply incomes £1,000 per week. However it 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, for 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)

Do It

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

Take into consideration instances of the yr if 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 yr.

Right here’s how your yr may break down for a $60,000 earnings objective:

  • Q1 (Jan-Mar): $13,000 (increase earnings)
  • Q2 (Apr-Jun): $16,000
  • Q3 (Jul-Sep): $18,000
  • This fall (Oct-Dec): $13,000 (time without work 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 must set this all out at the beginning of the yr (the truth is, I like to recommend you don’t!) As an alternative, see what’s arising week by week and plan accordingly.

Step 4. Observe All Your Freelancing Time

I obtained critical about monitoring my time throughout 2022 – and that is the one change that I imagine made the largest distinction to my earnings that yr.

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 believed they did (like making ready invoices). Earlier than monitoring, I usually mentally discounted this type 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, reasonably than non-billable work, like writing emails. This paid off rather 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.

Do It

There are a great deal of totally different apps that can assist you monitor your time. Having experimented with a couple 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 positive I’m not the one freelancer who finds that if 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 telephone, you may discover that your working time is getting interrupted or chopped up.

Some flexibility isn’t any unhealthy factor; the truth is, it’d nicely be why you selected to freelance within the first place. However flexibility can develop into an issue in case you’re continually including only one thing more into your day … which means that you simply’re dropping hours of productive time over the course of per week. 

Do It

You may discover that it helps to:

  • Have particular “begin” and “cease” instances on your freelance day. (My day is book-ended by my children’ begin and finish instances at college.)
  • Have time allotted elsewhere for non-work admin and chores, so these don’t find yourself creeping into your work day. 
  • Preserve 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 Lately

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

I used to be fortunate I didn’t must ask in that occasion, however I’ve usually put up my charges and have by no means had any pushback. Final yr, I raised one other shopper’s fee 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 primarily based on what the work entails. For example, my higher-paying shopper’s work required much more analysis than the lower-paying shopper’s work, and it additionally usually meant tackling requested edits.

Do It

Elevating your charges as a freelancer could be daunting: you is likely to be anxious about dropping shopper. Keep in mind, it is a regular a part of doing enterprise, and your shopper could be very prone to take it utterly of their stride.

I discover that it’s easiest to tackle newer shoppers at a better fee after which steadily elevate the speed for older shoppers to match. I intention to present shoppers a minimum of a full month’s warning that my fee will likely be going up.

Step 7. Use Timers to Preserve 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, but it surely’s undoubtedly value 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, change to one thing else, or take a break.

Generally, I’ll intention to finish a sure job (e.g., drafting a piece of an article, writing an overview) earlier than the time goes off – I undoubtedly discover this helps me velocity up and work extra effectively. I additionally use the timer at factors the place I is likely to be scuffling with my focus.

Do It

I take advantage of a bodily timer dice (I presently have the TickTime Cube) or set a timer on Alexa. You could possibly 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 can assist you get transferring.

Step 8. Strive Creating and Promoting Digital Merchandise

A small proportion 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 vital earnings stream, but it surely did lead to an earnings increase in months the place I wasn’t doing a lot freelancing (I usually run Summer season and Winter gross sales, for 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 really 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.

Do It

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

Step 9. Preserve Experimenting With New Methods to Develop

All of the above steps helped me improve my freelance earnings considerably … however I didn’t need to cease there! Through the 2023-2024 tax yr, I did a few further issues to proceed to develop, albeit extra steadily. You may need to give these a strive, too.

Taking On Extra Freelancing Duties

Generally, you may be capable of up your earnings by taking over an additional job for an current shopper. One in every of my freelance writing shoppers requested me if I may 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 fee 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 further billable work for every article I wrote, it additionally meant I may write extra articles, as I used to be protecting the pipeline of recent posts flowing.

Do It

Choose a shopper you take pleasure in working with and ask if there are any additional duties you might tackle. Some prospects are:

  • Writing briefs for articles so the shopper doesn’t must prep these
  • website positioning optimizing articles in response to the shopper’s preferences
  • Getting ready e mail newsletters or social media posts primarily based on an article 

Working With an Accountability Coach

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

Do It

Teaching is a superb technique to spend money on your self as you develop what you are promoting – but when one-to-one teaching isn’t reasonably priced, you might 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 Components Outdoors Your Direct Management

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

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

For example, you might:

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

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

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

  1. Set your earnings objective. Intention to be each bold and real looking! Solely you recognize what meaning in your circumstances. It is likely to be a 25 p.c improve, a 50 p.c improve, or perhaps a 100% improve in your earnings from final yr.
  2. Break down your objective by quarter, then by month, so you recognize in case you’re on monitor.
  3. Search for the simplest wins first: ones that don’t require working any additional hours. That might imply:
    1. Enhancing your focus, so that you’re getting extra completed in the identical period of time.
    2. Monitoring your time so you may see precisely which gigs are value probably the most to you per hour.
    3. Elevating your charges so that you earn more money for a similar quantity of labor.
  4. When taking over additional work, begin together with your present shoppers: that is simpler and sooner than trying to find brand-new shoppers. Provide to tackle extra of the identical (e.g., six articles per 30 days as an alternative of 4), recommend additional duties you might deal with, or ask in the event that they know anybody who wants a author.

You can also make a terrific dwelling as a contract author. My earnings in 2024 seems 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 lots of time without work throughout college breaks. It took me 16+ years to get to that time, however you might do it a lot sooner utilizing the concepts above. Even simply implementing one or two of them may make an enormous distinction to the place you’re in a yr’s time.

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