Did you know that there are people out there who work for themselves, doing what they love, working with whom they choose, doing so on their own schedule, from anywhere in the world, AND make $100,000 or more while doing so? Yep, it’s 100% possible to be a six-figure freelancer.
It’s true. How do I know? I’m one of them.
Before we really dive in, I’m going to say that working for yourself isn’t for everyone. While there are so many positives to it, there are also a lot of challenges.
Personally, I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but some may find the lack of predictability, risk, absence of co-workers, and the responsibility of being your own motivator to be too daunting. And that’s totally fair.
However, if you ARE like me, then you’ve likely known for a very long time that you wanted to work for yourself. For me, that instinct started at the ripe old age of four, when I took items from around my bedroom and laid them out on my bed for my very own yard sale. I actually invited my cousins and children in the neighbourhood in to try to sell to them. Needless to say nobody had any money to spend. Pffft, toddlers.
My point is, that if you are like me and know that entrepreneurship is something you innately have in you and want to pursue, I want you to know that it is absolutely possible to be successful at it, make six-figures per year, and never look back.
From my experience, here are the six pillars than make becoming a six-figure freelancer or solopreneur possible:
1) Passion For What You Do
If you are wanting to work for yourself, my best guess is that you aren’t doing so just so you can be unsatisfied with your career and work, right?
Being passionate about what you do is crucial to your success, otherwise, you’re just asking to burn out physically, emotionally, and mentally, real quick, and repeatedly.
When choosing which services to offer, I recommend evaluating potential options under four key factors: passion, skill, demand, and competition.
Of these four, can you guess which one is the most important?
You’ve guessed it, passion.
If you’re truly passionate about what you do, you can always improve your level of skill. Your interest in your craft will keep you motivated to continually be learning and levelling up. Which is what’s needed to get ahead of your competition and stay relevant.
2) Being Really Freaking Good at What You Do
To follow up on the above, while passion is what’s most important, perfecting and honing your skills is what’s ultimately going to take you to the top — where six-figure freelancers live.
If you don’t have a ton of background in the service/s you’re planning to offer, take on some passion projects! I actually opened an e-commerce store of my own back in 2014 for the sole purpose of learning how to use Shopify, understand e-commerce, and to learn Facebook Ads. Now I’m one of the most skilled Facebooks Ads providers in the e-commerce space in all of North America.
Another option is to take on a couple of clients for free. This way, you get to choose the type of businesses and clients you really want to work with, you gain experience, testimonials, and hopefully some referrals! Just remember, if you’re taking on pro bono work, make sure it’s clearly outlined for how long you’re going to be doing so. I would make sure to limit it to 2-3 months maximum per service, per client, or one solid project. And ensure this is communicated to the client ahead of time too.
3) Healing Your Limiting Beliefs
Okay this might sound a little new-age, and maybe it is, but it’s also neuroscience.
Ever hear of the quote, “Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right”?
There’s science that backs that up.
When we start to become aware of beliefs that might be holding us back in life, we can begin to transform them, and ourselves, for the better. Here are some examples that could prevent you from becoming a six-figure freelancer:
“I did horribly in school, I’m not smart enough to build a business or work for myself.”
“If I try working for myself, I’ll disappoint my family and I don’t want to do that.”
“People will think I think I’m better than them if I go against the status quo.”
The above beliefs are all very popular. And they’re all able to be distinguished and replaced with healthy affirmations. The next time you hear a limiting belief pop up in your head, I want you to ask yourself what you can replace it with to affirm that you ARE indeed capable and worthy of living a life that is true to you and that you love.
4) Have a Healthy Money Mindset
What is a money mindset? Well, it’s simply your beliefs around money. Whether it’s spending it, receiving it, or giving it.
Most of us have subconscious beliefs around money that are not our fault. In fact, they were learned in our early childhood through the experiences we had with our primary caregivers.
I personally experienced this.
When I grew up, I learned that money was scarce. I learned that there wasn’t extra, and that I wasn’t worth having money spent on me.
(Trigger Warning: Cancer, Death)
I remember this one time, when I was twelve years old and my mother was dying from cancer, her and I were in a store together.
She was eyeing this beautiful pale yellow short sleeved sweater and I could tell she just adored it.
But nobody in our family was used to buying new, good quality clothing. We just never had the money for it.
I asked her if she was going to try it on. She said “No, it’s $50, we can’t afford that.”
I begged her to try it on, just for fun.
She tried it on and her eyes lit up.
And then she put it back on the hanger and hung it up.
I told her in that moment, that she was worth $50. And that $50 is a small price to pay for something she loved so much. I begged her to buy the sweater.
And guess what? I’m not sure why she listened to me, but she did.
And she wore that beautiful sweater at least twice weekly until she passed away just months later.
As you can tell, this experience really stuck with me. And while I’ve really struggled with my own beliefs around money mindset for most of my life, until I put in the work to transform those beliefs just a few years ago, I still look back at that moment and wonder how I was able to coach my own mother through that, when I had the same beliefs as her. I think that experience was meant to stick with me.
The truth is, that there IS enough money to go around. And when we spend money, there is ALWAYS more money to be made. And YOU and your work are WORTH it.
5) Price Your Services Properly
Setting your rates as a freelancer is in my opinion, one of the trickiest parts of the whole thing when you’re starting out. I struggled with this a lot.
I wondered if I should use hourly rates and price myself similar to my previous hourly wage?
Or maybe I should just pick my “ideal salary” and divide that by 52 weeks, and then how many billable hours I’d be working in a week to determine my hourly rate?
Or maybe I should choose project rates and risk working too many hours for the project to even be worth it in the end?
It was a lot to consider. And if you’re new to freelancing I’m sure this is a key area you’re wondering about.
The real answer is to do research and determine the “market range” for the service you’re offering, and then place yourself accordingly in that range.
But whatever you do, please please please avoid setting your rates too low. You’re not doing this just to scrape by and spend every waking minute of your time working, right?
6) Brush up Your Sales Skills
Ahhhh the uncomfortable part.
I used to despise selling. I felt dirty. I felt sleazy. I felt like an imposter.
But once I healed my limiting beliefs around my abilities, polished my skills, and adopted a healthy and abundant money mindset, this all went away. I now firmly believe that I’m really damn good at what I do, and that should come with a premium. I have results to back it all up too.
This being said, if you’re not quite at that place in your journey as a freelancer or solopreneur, selling can be incredibly anxiety-inducing and terrifying as it used to be for me.
Here are some tips:
1) Focus on providing value to your audience and community for a period of time before asking for sales or for people to buy. You might just find that if you’re putting enough value out there, people will come knocking and already be ready to buy from you, instead of you having to even ask.
2) Be confident when you do communicate your services and rates to people inquiring. I would recommend creating a script for yourself around this, and practicing it, so you sound self-assured and professional.
3) Gather case studies and testimonials. Sometimes your work CAN truly speak for itself. If you’re great at what you do, create materials that showcase this.
4) Focus on getting people to know, like, and trust you. These are the three elements that must be in place for someone to feel really confident in hiring you / buying from you. So be yourself! Show who you are! Don’t filter yourself (too much). And share your knowledge and value with others to demonstrate your expertise.
I hope you found this article helpful! Please be sure to share it with anyone else you think might find value in it as well.
If you’re just starting out on your freelancer or solopreneur journey, I highly recommend you pick up my free PDF guide that goes over 7 key steps to start freelancing. Check it out here: https://caleydimmock.com/freelancerguide/