In order to build a reliable income for your freelance business you must go beyond client work. Don’t just trade your time for money. Instead, work hard now. Develop multiple streams of income with the skills you already have and continually reap the benefits over time.
With client work, there’s always the possibility of it drying up – leaving you without money coming in. It’s a scary situation to go through, so don’t put all your eggs into one basket.
In this post I’m going to share how I diversify my freelance income. I’m going to break my different streams of income into percentages based on categories – revealing what’s been working best for me over the year.
How I diversify my freelance income
I’ve been experimenting over the years with different ways of diversifying my freelance income. In that time I’ve worked with a countless number of clients, created multiple digital products, blogged, ran a Kickstarter campaign to fund a run of physical products, wrote a guide, and more. All of which has lead to where I’m at today.
This year I’ve stuck to four major ways of diversifying my freelance income:
- Client work – 90.3%
- Digital Goods – 9.06%
- Physical Goods – .32%
- Blogging – .32%
Right now client work accounts for 90.3% of my freelance income. That’s a very large percentage. If I were unable to find client work, that’d be a devastating blow to me and my business. This is why I’ve been pushing for new income streams this year, which has progressed tremendously compared to last years earnings.
No one said diversifying your freelance income was easy or could happen overnight. Nothing in life comes easy, especially when your annual income is entirely dependent on your own efforts.
The percentage of digital goods sold may be small compared to how much my client work brings in, but it plays a large roll in my freelancing. I put in the time and hard work to develop multiple products – some of which were more time consuming – now, there’s minimal to no work needed to maintain these products, and the revenue earned is continuous.
Of all the digital products I sell, my guide, Start Your Freelance Career has brought in the most revenue, but took the longest to develop.
I’m not saying you have to write a book or create in-depth resources. There are many different types of digital products you can create and sell. To name a few: graphics, templates, themes, fonts, and photos. My advice would be to look at the skills you have or what you have fun with creating. Then come up with some sort of resource that others could find value in. In many cases, the resources you may have already created for yourself turn out to be great first products. Take a look at what you’ve already created. Maybe you can refine and sell it online.
In 2013 I ran a Kickstarter campaign to help lessen the financial risk of producing my first run of physical products: my Stay True t-shirt, 9×9 prints, and more.
To be honest, my physical product sales are sparse nowadays, but everytime I do get an order, I get all giddy. I thoroughly enjoy the process of sending out my products. There’s a unique experience to producing physical products, holding them in your hands, and shipping them out to a real person.
I don’t push these products often, but I definitely have the desire to do more of it. Regardless if it generates much money – I enjoy doing it.
This may be a surprise to some of you, because for most, blogging appears to be a major way to earn money online, and it definitely can be. But for me, I make next to nothing with it. Not because I can’t, but because I’d rather not plaster my sites with Google Ads or affiliate marketing.
Just two months ago I joined the “premium, invite-only” ad network Carbon. I don’t expect to earn much (and I don’t). But, if I can earn a little bit for my efforts to help pay for small services and fees for the site, then I’m happy.
With that said, blogging to me is much more than a possibility to earn ad money. That’s not my strategy. My strategy with the writing I do is to connect and grow an audience of people I genuinely enjoy interacting with. From a business perspective, my blog generates traffic, then the design and strategy of my site generates the results I’m looking for. On here, my biggest goal is to generate interaction with you (the reader) and to market the premium product(s) that I have to offer. The same applies to my personal site. I blog, create case studies/portfolio pieces, and create content to generate traffic. Then I use calls-to-action to convert that traffic into the results I’m looking for – such as client leads or product sales.
There are many different paths you can take with blogging. At the very least it’s the number one way to generate results and improve your search ranking.
What’s your income split like?
I hope by sharing how I diversify my freelance income I was able to help shed some light on the possibilities that are out there.
Now I’d love to hear from you… What’s your favorite way you diversify your freelance income?
Maybe you haven’t tried to generate income outside of client work yet. If so, what’s holding you back? What unanswered questions do you have? Let me know and I’ll try my best to help.