How To Increase Your Earnings as an Independent Consultant

We could all probably use a little extra cash in our pocket. There are many ways you could go about it. You could be direct and ask your boss for a raise, you could put your unwanted belongs up for sale, or better yet – you could try freelancing.

Moonlighting is nothing new. Creative types like writers and designers have been doing this for decades. The gig economy is only becoming more and more common these days. Chances are that a company or individual is looking for your exact skill set for projects that could range from on-demand to long-term.

There are nearly 54 million Americans — 34% of workers — working as freelancers.

What’s all the hype about?

Besides the extra income, freelancing opens you up to new opportunities. It allows you the freedom to work on things you are passionate about. You develop new skills and sharpen your craft. Look at it this way, your income and value as an employee can only increase as you develop and become more experienced in your work.

Your business skills will also be put to practice. First thing you’ll need to do is go after clients. Best tip we can give – stay connected with your friends and colleagues. So many opportunities come from introductions that are made from referrals. One project can lead to another and soon you’ll look back and wonder why you thought it would be so hard to land gigs.

Great work gets noticed, and each project is a stepping stone to the next one.

Let’s talk rates.

When you’re starting out, putting a value to the work you are doing can be puzzling. Don’t make the mistake of suggesting a number just because it sounds right or because you hear that’s what others are charging. Determine the scope of the work you’ll be doing and incorporate guidelines around the process. This will help set expectation with clients on timeline and hours. Always talk to your client about their budget and address how you can help them achieve their intended goal.

“If you decide to go full-time as a freelancer, figuring out what to charge is even more important.” – Ellevest

Don’t forget to take into account your personal expenses along with expenses you’ll be responsible for once you’re self-employed. Things like health insurance, software and equipment updates, connection services, retirement and taxes will be up to you to budget when thinking about your rate.

Click here for an example on how to calculate your hourly rate using real figures via Ellevest.

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