If you’ve been stuck working for peanuts for freelance clients you can’t stand, you’re going to love this.
It’s a way to find better clients by tuning into your own feelings.
The fun thing is, your main guide to additional freelance success can be an emotion you might not associate with business that much. But it’s one we all really enjoy feeling.
Have you guessed what it is?
A few hints:
“Do what you ___ and the money will follow.”
“All you need is ____.”
“God is _____.”
That’s right. Could it be that simple? Yes, it can.
How to love your way to higher rates
I recently encountered the theme of employing love in your business twice in the past few weeks. Which was enough repetition to finally bring it home to me what a road to riches this emotion can be.
First, my pal Linda Formichelli sent me a chapter of entrepreneur and Sufi teacher Mark Silver’s book, Unveiling the Heart of Your Business. The chapter was on how to raise your prices using your heartfelt feelings as your guide.
When you think about a range of prices, sense your level of discomfort. If you tune into it, Silver says, you can discover the point where you feel love and harmony when talking about a price — and that’s where your rates should be.
Forget about market research and what competitors are doing. What feels right at heart? Where you can radiate positivity and love when you say that price? That’s the right price for you.
Try saying your proposed prices aloud and notice what happens with your body. Too low, and you’ll feel uncomfortable. Same with too high.
Open a loving heart to what you deserve to be paid, and you’ll see what to charge.
The formula for freelance love
Next, I headed to SOBCon, where one of the speakers was someone I’ve enjoyed learning from before — leadership expert Steve Farber, author of The Radical Leap Re-Energized.
Steve teaches people how to be bold and fully actualized in their careers.
One of his core sayings was a theme of SOBCon this year. It’s a simple formula for skyrocketing your freelance earnings and your job satisfaction level, too. It goes like this:
“Do what you love in the service of people who love what you do.”
I don’t know any better way to describe how to end up making a great living as a freelance writer doing projects you’re thrilled to write.
This formula has two sides. First, you need to figure out what types of paid writing you enjoy most.
Then, you look for people who truly appreciate your talents, and will pay you well as a result. When you get the love going both ways, you have a terrific project — one that will create a great sample, get you a glowing testimonial, and be a pleasure to work on.
That tends to lead to more work you love with other great clients. If you haven’t noticed, the good ones tend to talk to each other and will refer you.
How to make the leap from losers to lovers
If you’re stuck doing assignments you dread for clients you loathe right now, you’ve got to make some changes to your formula to grow your income.
It can seem impossible to turn this around. But you can.
Start by changing one side of the formula. Maybe you just start working only for clients who appreciate you more and drop the whiners and boundary-pushers.
Or you only write about topics you adore.
Gradually, get these two to line up. Find the clients who love your work in your favorite type of writing. And boom! You’re there.
My freelance client love story
Here’s the story of a client love affair I had once that shows what can happen when you live Steve’s credo.
This client approached me (which I always love!) through LinkedIn. They were a Fortune 500 company I happened to know and adore. Obviously, they had a marketing budget to spend on editorial.
I shop their stores and had covered the company in the past as a reporter. They were big fans of my more recent magazine articles on business topics. I thought their CEO had the highest ethics and admired how the company treated its employees.
They wanted me to write newsletter articles for their business clients about some of their services, the sort of business-writing challenge I enjoy. I’d get to talk to their customers and managers to write the stories, something I also find fun.
Then they asked me to bid it. I said it sounded like $1 a word.
They thought about it and got back to me and said, “That’s not enough. We think it should pay $2 a word.” And they did.
Find the writing you love. Find clients who love how you do it.
Not only will your income explode, but you’ll find yourself loving your freelance writing life, too.
Are you doing what you love for people who love what you do? Leave a comment and describe how it’s working — or what you’re doing to move in that direction.