Over the last decade, I’ve run a lot of experiments to try and increase my freelance income.
Some worked quickly.
Some compounded over time.
In this guide, I’m going to take you through a 5-step process that will double your freelance income in the next 30 days.
But there’s a catch.
You have to actually DO this stuff.
It’s not passive or conceptual.
These are all action items. Do all five of these over the next 30 days and you WILL double your income.
Prove me wrong (with documentation) and I’ll send you $50.
Let’s get to it.
Step #1: Send Out 20 Pitches Per Week
The #1 reason you aren’t making more money is that you aren’t pitching enough.
That’s the reason.
No, it’s not that other thing you are thinking about right now.
It’s the pitching thing I just said.
I’ve worked with over a thousand freelance writers.
It’s the pitching.
It’s always the pitching.
Frankly, 20 pitches per week is bush league.
You can do better!
But 99% of freelancers aren’t even hitting that threshold.
Send out 20 (OR MORE) pitches every week for the next 4 weeks.
Watch your income literally double from this BY ITSELF.
Don’t know how to pitch?
Step #2: Identify How You Make Your Clients’ Money
How does your work result in income for your clients?
Don’t tell me, “Well I make my clients more money through the power of persuasive copywriting.”
That’s not anything.
Copywriting is an input.
Income is an output.
Explain to me the exact mechanism by which your copywriting results in income.
And then PROVE to me that your copy is doing what you claim it’s doing.
90% of freelance copywriters can’t do this.
After all, you don’t NEED to be able to explain this to accept money from people in exchange for some writing.
Now, that’s not to say that you are a bad person or a poor copywriter if you can’t supply this information. I’ve been freelancing for nearly a decade, and I can count on ONE hand the number of clients who came to me looking to track their copy’s performance.
Most clients operate on the same emotional basis that many freelancer writers use when evaluating copywriting.
This feels good.
This feels bad.
I like this.
I don’t like this.
And you know what… that’s okay.
I’m not here to criticize this phenomenon. I’m here to tell you that IF you want to double your income in the next 30 days, you’re going to need to go a step further.
It starts by identifying EXACTLY how your copy results in additional income. That’s pretty easy for most types of copy once you stop and dig into it.
The next part is the hard part.
You need to find a client who will actually test your copywriting on a page getting at least 100 visitors per week consistently.
You might need to offer a free rewrite to the right person in order to do this. It’s very hard to find paying clients like this, especially BEFORE you have proven results to demonstrate.
And that’s okay, because once you can demonstrate EXACTLY how your writing makes money, with proof included, you will be in a category that 90% of copywriters can’t compete with.
Step #3: Package That Shit
What’s the difference between freelancers who charge a few hundred for blog writing and agencies that charge a minimum of $10k per month.
First of all, I can tell you for a fact that it’s not quality or skill.
This is not a knock on anyone currently writing for an agency, but as a general rule, the moment you become a good writer and marketer, you are too expensive for an agency to afford.
Agencies are staffed primarily by writers who are learning the trade, plus a handful of more experienced staff who just don’t want to mess with generating their own demand as a freelancer.
IN OTHER WORDS… the writing quality from an agency will typically be a bit lower than what you’d get from an experienced freelancer.
So why are those same freelancers charging a few hundred bucks while the agencies are doing $10k per month minimum?
The answer is actually quite simple.
Businesses typically go to freelancers for “a la carte” writing services, but they go to agencies for comprehensive marketing packages.
And this is where I’m going to let you in on a little secret.
People pretty much always choose the cheapest option.
Let’s say a client has a budget of $750 and doesn’t entirely know what they need.
If you offer 3 a la carte services ranging from $100 to $500, they are very likely going to pick the $100 one, just because it feels the least painful and it lets them evaluate your work before investing more money.
If you offer the same client 3 packages ranging from $1,000 to $3,000, they are very likely going to hire you for the $1,000 package, even though their budget was only $750.
It’s just how people operate. If someone is willing to pay $750, they are willing to pay $1,000. If someone wants to hire you, they are going to spend a bit extra to hire you rather than have to go through the lengthy and costly process of finding another copywriter they like.
Package that shit.
And do it in a way that makes sense for the customer.
People don’t go to agencies to be sold a random assortment of services.
They go to agencies to purchase an intuitive package that will accomplish a specific task. They go to succeed at content marketing or to receive a fully functional, high performing website, or to develop and implement an email marketing system.
When thinking about how to move from an a la carte service to a package, think through how you can offer additional value surrounding that a la carte service.
For example, if you are writing email copy, upgrade that to an email marketing package.
You might need to learn a few additional skills, and that’s okay.
Learning is great.
For more on this topic, check out this article on ways to pivot off your a la carte writing services.
Step #4: Upsell A Recurring Service
Do you want to know what sucks?
Having a kickass month where you close a bunch of sales, finishing out the month, and then realizing you have to go do it all over again if you want to make even $1 the next month.
Imagine closing two $5k gigs every single month for the next year.
By the end of the year, you would have made $120k, but none of that effort would be continuing to pay off for you.
You made your money, you got a one-time benefit, and now it’s over.
Now imagine this.
You try to upsell every client to a package where they hire you for $5k that month and then pay $500 per month for an ongoing service related to the original project. Let’s say only half of them say yes.
By the end of that year, not only would you have made $120k in one-time project fees, but you would also be making an additional $6k per month ONGOING via your recurring services.
Now, you aren’t starting over every month. You are able to stack your effort in a way that continues to pay off for you over time.
What’s a recurring service that you can add to your main package?
Or if you are already focused on recurring work (like blog writing), how can you increase the recurring package size and make more from each client?
Upselling will absolutely transform your business. Here’s a more in-depth guide to what upselling is all about.
Step #5: Ask For Referrals
Speaking of starting from scratch after each client, are you asking your clients to refer you to other clients when you finish working with them?
If not, you should be.
You can do this one of two ways.
Your first option is to just ask them. Once they say, “Hey, you did a great job, we have what we need.” respond with, “Awesome, I’ve really enjoyed working with you! Would you be willing to introduce me to two associates of yours who might be able to benefit from my writing?
Or something like that.
However you word it, don’t make it a request. Make it a question that they have to respond to.
The other option is to do a customer feedback survey where you ask for feedback on your work and then include a place to include referral contact info for two associates.
Getting feedback on your work is a great strategy to have in general, as it can help you improve the customer experience you provide by identifying ways clients are perceiving you negatively or sub-optimally. I’ve learned over the years that getting results isn’t actually enough. Humans are dumb. You need to be able to get results AND keep your clients emotionally happy in a variety of random ways that you would never even expect until you get this type of feedback.
Now Go Forth And DO THE WORK
Time to do the work.
If you follow these steps over the next 30 days, one of two things is going to happen.
Either you are going to double your income and send me a really excited email, after which I will include you as a case study on this post and link to your website…
Or you are going to send me proof you did the steps but didn’t get any results, after which I will send you $50 and personally work with you to fix anything you were doing wrong so that you can then double your income over the next 30 days and be included as a case study on this post with a link to your website.
Enough reading! Go forth and do the work!