Nowadays, being a freelancer isn’t frowned upon on anymore—it’s becoming more and more common, especially considering the convenience of being able to work anywhere possible, not just within the confines of a cubicle.
Auditing firm Ernst & Young claims that by 2020, 1 in 5 workers will be a freelance or contract worker. Payment firm PayPal further reinforces this; based on their Global Freelancer Insights Report, there are now 1.5 million freelancers in the Philippines. They added that the country has one of the highest freelancers per capita at around 2%.
The gig economy is just as competitive when it comes to wages; and with the flexibility it offers, freelancers are given more opportunities to earn more by getting two or more projects. If you’re a freelancer who’s looking for ways to further maximize your income, here are some ways to do so.
- Establish a niche
Know what kind of job you can specialize in, and learn more skills related to it to address the demands of clients better. Creating a niche or specialization helps you be discovered in your community of clients who share similar goals and challenges. This also helps build your reputation as an expert who can help them resolve their problems. To know your niche, it helps to answer these questions:
- What are the skills that make you unique and set you apart from the competition?
- What is your ideal project? What kind of work do you like to do?
- Who is your ideal client?
- Who is your ideal target audience?
- What are your business goals?
- Instead of guessing, calculate your hourly rate
Much like being a regular employee in a company, freelancers should also know how to ask for the right compensation from their clients. But, also like a regular employee, it’s easy to over and underestimate your skills and ask for the incorrect amount for your services. While compensation may still rely on the difficulty of the project, it still helps to find a base amount.
There are available tools that can help you compute the right hourly rate to request from your clients. Some tell-tale signs that you’re not getting paid enough are:
- if the payment you’re receiving isn’t enough to cover maintenance or repairs of your essential equipment; and
- if you’re struggling to manage and grow your business.
Find your hourly rate and send out quotes to your clients right away.
- Offer a unique, add-on service
You can differentiate yourself from the competition by giving an added service. You can maximize your reliable income by offering unique contractual services. Find out what other things you can do by asking them what they would most benefit from after you have completed the work for them.
From there, you can ask what more you can do to assist. Not only can you make a profit from this additional element, but your client will also be happy.
- Make sure that your clients will return
According to a study by consulting agency Rosetta, recurring clients tend to spend more and more frequently than new customers. Engaged customers or satisfied buyers who advocate for a brand may pay 300% more, twice more likely to buy upsells, and six times more likely to try new products than typical customers.
One of the ways that you can convince a client to hire you again is to keep in touch with them. Payment disbursement should not be your last point of contact with them.
- Earn in dollars, spend in pesos
One of the perks of being a freelancer is getting to work with a clientele from different parts of the globe. And since the US dollar is still the most common currency in the world, most clients would prefer to pay freelancers with it.
The good news is that the US dollar is bigger in value compared to Philippine peso, and an increase in exchange rates can provide you a larger profit than expected (though, inversely, you may also get a smaller pay).
- Diversifying investments to include Dollar-denominated equities
It’s not all good when it comes to freelancing—there may be times when you couldn’t get a client so income flow tends to get sporadic. A smart solution is to make investments. A dollar investment equity like Dollar Protect Plus is a good option because not only is it an affordable coverage with high premium payments, but it is also bundled with life insurance to protect your dependents from any risk.
Diversifying your investments can ultimately help with your personal and business finances’ sustainability and growth
- Smart business decisions with the right investment
You are in a good position to maximize your income—thanks to the continuing advancement of the technology you need for freelance work. However, you would also need to think like a businessperson—you’re not only doing the work, but also making the decisions.
Plus, you have more opportunities outside of freelance work to grow your wealth, such as allocating funds on your chosen investment venture. Start today by visiting any of the 900 BPI branches nationwide and consulting a Bancassurance Sales Executive.