Four Actionable Tips to Make More Money as a Soloprenuer

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So, you work for yourself. It’s awesome, amiright? You can set your own hours, follow any creative muse that finds you, and take risks – big ones. 

Well, it is great...until you realize that when you work on your own, time is money – your money. Spending the day at the zoo with a friend and your collective children is fun, but you’re losing money as the elephants amaze you at how much they urinate in one “bathroom” break. (It’s over 42 gallons each time they relieve themselves. Impressive, no?)

If you aren’t working, you’re not pulling in income. Eventually, if you don’t have money, you can’t pay the bills. When times get tough, there’s no need to run to a recruiter and join back up with the nine-to-fivers. There’s a reason you’re working for yourself. You’ve got the skill, drive, and moxie to follow your passions. And even more important: you’re good at what you do. It’s time to use a little of your determination to increase your income, and we have four simple, easy to implement strategies for you.

It’s Time to Raise Your Prices

One of the easiest, though albeit scariest, ways to increase your income relies on informing your customers that your pricing is changing. However, there’s no need for the anxiety. If you provide value to your customers – and you definitely do – they’ll understand that you are a business, and get on board with the changes. 

If you choose to go this route, be sure to give your customers enough lead time to prepare their own finances. For some professions your lead time may be a few weeks, for others, it may be a few months.

Let’s say a hair stylist sees 50 clients in one month. Each client spends $100. If she raises her prices by 10%, her clients only spend an extra ten dollars each, while she is gaining an additional $500 a month for the same amount of service. 

Be Creative with Special Sales and Promotions

If you’re looking to make money quickly and are willing to work extra to do so, run a short-term promotion. Promotions are intensive: you’ll spend time marketing and executing it, and you’ll likely pass out from exhaustion when it’s done, but lady, it’s often worth it. Promotions work in every industry, so utilize them when work is slow.

For example, photographers can offer mini-sessions at a fixed price that take place over the course of one weekend. One could offer two days worth of 10 mini sessions at $200 each. That’s $4000 earned in two days. Yes, there will be a lot of follow up editing, but if you’re in a pinch it’s one way to earn cash quickly.

Bonus tip: treat all promotions with the care a big-named client would receive. They may become reoccurring customers.

Create Retainer Packaging

To make money (and quickly), offer your clients a retainer plan. Many will commit, especially if the retainer saves them money, even in a small amount. That doesn’t mean you need to lower your pricing, though. Retainers work just as well without discounts.

Similar to running promotions, retainers usually work in all industries. A nail technician can offer a bundle of 10 pedicures at the cost of $400. Her clients, who usually pay $45 a pedicure and come to her regularly, save $50 off the price of services, and she gets all the money up front. 

A graphic designer may create a retainer for clients to create X number of designs each month, versus being hired on demand. If she’s doing regular work for the company, they also benefit from retainers because it’s simpler accounting. 

One thing to think about if you implement retainer pricing: while you’re usually able to get money quickly and up front, your work is spread out over a longer period of time (and you won’t get paid for it months from now). Also, if necessary, set guidelines for how long the retainer is valid. The nail technician may want 10 pedicure package to only be valid for 18 months. The graphic designer may demand that no work gets rolled over into the next month. 

Woo Your Lost Customers

Don’t waste another second marketing your business without first checking in with previous customers. The people you’ve done business with in the past know your work. They know your style and ethic, so tap into them if you need to earn more money. Create a template email that you can send to all of your previous customers, but do not – I repeat, do not – send a mass email.

Instead, fill in those blanks with personalized information about your previous clients. Here’s an example that a website designer could use with former clients:

Hello (Customer Name),
I wanted to check in and see if you needed any updates to {her/his website name). I just checked, and everything looks great. Since we last worked together I’ve learned (XYZ), and I’d love to implement it on your site – OR – I think (this function) would be an ideal addition to the site.

I hope you’re well, and I look forward to talking with you.
(Your Name)

Do you have any other suggestions on ways solopreneurs can increase their income quickly? If so, let us know in the comments!

Erin Ollila Believes In The Power Of Words And How A Message Can Inform – And Even Transform – Its Intended Audience.
Erin graduated from Fairfield University with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing. Her writing can be found all over the internet and in print, and includes interviews, ghostwriting, blog posts, and creative nonfiction. Erin is a geek for SEO and all things social media. She lives in Southeastern Massachusetts with her husband and children.