In the career of every freelance designer comes a plateau; a moment when you simply can’t make any more money because you don’t have any more time to give to your business.
This has always been the inherent problem with freelance designing: no matter how hard you work, there are only 24 hours in a day. Once you max out your hours, you can’t make more money without raising your rates.
If you haven’t hit this plateau yet, you will. And it’s a hard hurdle to get over. But today, I’m here to help.
I present to you, three solid solutions to overcoming the freelancer’s plateau. Let me know what you think of these three solutions by leaving a comment.
First, give up the “per hour” rate you’ve been holding onto
The first step (and least bold of all the options) is to give up the “per hour” rate that you charge your clients. As long as you charge by the hour, you’ll never be able to make more money without increasing your rates (which is always awkward).
But if you decide to start charging by the project, you get paid better the more proficient you get. If you used to complete a logo design in a week and now you complete it in 3 days, but get paid the same amount of money, you’ve dramatically increased your salary.
Charging by the hour is the most common reason any freelancer plateau’s in his career.
Second, find means of passive income
Another way to overcome the plateau of freelancing is to find a way to make money even when you’re not working. Ideas range from the obvious like blogging, affiliate sales or selling designs in a marketplace.
More creatively, you could sell “how-to” guides to your previous clients or find other ways to contribute value to the industry you’re already working in.
Passive income can be a great way to make more money without overloading yourself with more work.
Third, partner with other designers
When your workload gets too big, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. This often results in missing deadlines, doing a poor job, or turning away clients altogether – non of which are good for business.
So instead of losing control of your business when things get crazy, why not partner with other designers to get the work done.
Take time to find a designer who you trust and whose work you admire. Chances are, they also have times of heavy traffic and times of light traffic. If you can coordinate timing and payment, partnering with other designers can be a business lifesaver.
How do you overcome freelance plateau?
I’d love to hear what you think. Have you ever come to a point in your freelance career where the workload is heavy and payment doesn’t seem to increase? How did you solve it? Join the discussion by leaving a comment on this post.