As an independent professional, it can be easy to get caught up in the cycle of finding a client, completing a project, getting paid, and then repeating the process. While constantly being on the lookout for new projects and new clients comes with the territory of being an independent, if you find yourself starting from scratch each time, the process may quickly begin to feel unsustainable.
Finding ways to create a stable base of monthly income can help give you more freedom in your work, minimize the stress of living with a fluctuating monthly income, and give you the time to find the projects and clients you truly want to work with. Here are four additional revenue streams to explore.
Take a look at your current service offerings compared to the skills you know you have. Are there any additional, smaller services you may be able to provide that you can upsell clients on? For example, if you specialize in social media strategy, could you add on the option to create social media content or run ad campaigns? If you specialize in website design, are there other design services you may be able to offer?
Aside from your base service offerings, what other valuable assets can you provide to vary your sources of income? Consider creating and selling online products such as training courses on specific topics, e-books related to your expertise, or a subscription service to exclusive content or a monthly newsletter. These supplementary products not only help to boost your credibility, but they can also help to generate additional monthly cash flow.
Offering recurring services is a simple way to generate more reliable income each month. A monthly retainer is one type of recurring service. With a retainer, clients pay a set amount each month in exchange for utilizing your services as needed—perhaps for a set number of hours—rather than signing a contract for one specific project. Similar to a retainer, you may also consider offering monthly maintenance packages. For example, if you’re a website developer, a monthly package could include backups, security audits, site updates, and general support. Monthly and package offerings diversify the type of services you offer and can help you build a strong business relationship with a specific client.
When discussing a new project idea with a client, think ahead to what additional services they may need once you’ve completed their initial ask. In addition to designing a client’s website, for example, perhaps you also talk about including monthly website support once the project is complete. Or, in addition to reviewing your client’s content marketing strategy, talk to them about providing a monthly or semi-annual strategy review. By thinking ahead and anticipating your client’s future needs you can build trust by showing them the value your services while keeping your pipeline full. While clients may not initially be interested in including an additional monthly service, if you’re able to prove your worth by successfully completing your current project, you’re certain to be top of mind in the future.
Having a contingency plan is of particular importance for independent contractors. Here are four simple steps to take to make sure you’re prepared for a worse case scenario.
Land your next consulting project by following these five steps.