You have been writing for a couple of months or years now but paying your bills is still an uphill task. You have been writing alright and receiving payments while at it but it is just not enough. Many would advise that you sell yourself and your skills, but marketing isn’t your thing.
It just seems like a tedious exercise, and you would not even know where to start from. True, marketing is a good avenue to get your skills known and to gain new clients, but it is also a skill that few people have and are good at.
Truth be told, you will need this skill to build a sustainable business but for the time being, you will need some kind of strategy to earn more from clients.
- Revisit old clients
Since you have been in the industry for a while now, you definitely have a history with some clients. Some you worked with for a month or two years. Their reasons for cutting you off may have been their budget, or they figured they could do without your services at that time.
Reach out to them in a personalized email and politely ask if they have any work for you. Be careful who you send such an email to because not all clients are worth revisiting. Some might have been a pain to work with because of the demands and deadlines they gave.
Go through all the clients you have previously worked for and choose wisely. Make sure that you are talking to them and not addressing a whole group of previous clients. A personalized and polite email is more likely to get a response than one addressed to many people.
Hello (insert name of client),
I hope you are doing well. I had previously worked for you on a project for (name client’s site or code name of project), and you were impressed with my work.
I would like to know if you have any work available for me at the moment.
I will sincerely appreciate your response.
Such an email is simple and precise. Remember not to waste your client’s time with too many stories because they may not read through to the important part of your email and that may cost you future earnings.
- Ask for referrals
If you reconnect with your previous clients, and they say that they have no work available at that point, gather a little more courage and politely ask if they know of anyone who might have some work available.
The worst that could happen in such a scenario is them saying no (which I’m sure would not be the first time in your life for you to hear) so take a chance. You might even strike a better deal than what you could have made from the first client you had talked to.
- Negotiate for higher rates
You currently have clients, but you think they are not paying enough for the work you give them. It could be that they can only afford that at the moment, or they don’t think your work is worth as much as you would like to be paid.
You can start by adding value to your work. Conduct better research for your work and add useful data. You could take it a notch higher and post this information on social media sites.
Give them a ‘notice of increase’ because it is not nice to just surprise someone with higher bills and expect them to pay up. A few weeks would work well. Also, make sure that they see and understand the reasons why you are asking for an increase.
Don’t be in such a hurry to increase your rates. You may have a target income, but it can’t always be achieved in a few weeks. Take it one step at a time and ask for about 20% to 50% increase. Grow this gradually as you improve your service delivery too so that they feel that they are truly getting value for their money.
- Implement new rates with new clients
You know where you want to get regarding income, and you have established a certain rate that you feel you should be earning at the moment. This is a good place to start from, but you will need to implement it so that it works for you.
When you get a new client, you need to remember your new rates. Tell them your new rates so that you begin your journey to a better income. Existing clients might have a difficult time accepting your new rates, but new clients have no idea what you charge the others so they may be easier to convince.
As much as you enjoy what you do, that doesn’t mean that you accept lower fees for it. Many writers have a hard time charging high amounts for their work, yet they know they are worth that much. Value your work and skills and seek avenues that will be commensurate to the passion that you put into your work.