How to Earn More Money as a Freelancer

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Hi, I'm Chris and I'm super glad you're here. 7 years ago I taught my self-web design and freelancing. Now, I do my best to teach others what I've learned so they don't have to struggle as much as I did.

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Table of Contents

There are probably a lot of reasons why someone would want to become a freelance web designer. There are motivations like being in control of your time, having flexibility in your schedule, or being your own boss.

But, one that probably trumps them all is earning more money.

That was one of my biggest motivations to learn web design and start a freelance side hustle.

And of course, earning more money is great for financial reasons. But, it’s also an indicator that you’re doing something right, especially as a freelancer.

The amount of money you earn year over year is like the grades you got in your high school english classes.

More money means you’re producing high quality work and finding good clients.

Less money means you’ve probably got some things to learn and skills to develop.

This Freelancer Tripled His Income

The guest on this week’s Self-Made Web Designer podcast actually tripled his freelance income over a 3 year period.

How did he do it?

One, he found a really unique way to multiply the amount of money he was making by starting a cohort called the Unreal Collective.

But, he also did some really practical things like raising his rates and learning how to produce more work over a shorter period of time.

That may sound simple enough BUT raising your rates can be pretty scary.

What if no one hires you?

What if you have to drop back down and you look bad?

And, what about getting more done?

It’s easy to get distracted or end up in endless loops of revisions with clients if you’re not careful.

Thankfully, Jay has been through it before and he is coaching us on how to do it ourselves.

You’ll Learn

  • How to scale up your hourly rate as a freelance web designer
  • A few simple things that you can do to be successful as a freelancer
  • How to use your long term vision to keep going when things get hard
  • How to gradually get bigger name clients
  • How to overcome fear and increase your rates
  • How to price for happiness rather than value or market rate
  • How a willingness to walk away is a key factor in increasing your income as a freelancer
  • How to understand your true value as a freelance web designer
  • How to understand what a client means when they say they have a certain budget
  • The importance of your personal budget in being successful as a freelancer
  • Why energy management is more important than time management


Chris: [00:00:00] I'm going to make a guess here. So bear with me, but I imagine most of us would probably be okay with making more money next year than we did this year. And sure. There's something to be said about learning, to be satisfied with what you've got. I get that. But increasing your income especially as a freelance web designer is a sign that you're growing.

That you're doing something right. That you're finding the right clients and saying yes to the right projects, that your work is getting better, or it's at a high level of quality. See where somebody is willing to pay more. It's kind of like your grade for the work you do as a web designer. Can I take another guess that if you're listening to this podcast, you're likely highly motivated by financial growth and you're probably working hard to get to a certain level of income for one reason or another.

And the guest for this week's episode, didn't just double his income as a freelancer. He found a way to triple his income over a three year period. And thankfully. He's sharing his process with us today. Hey, what's up everybody? My name is Chris. Welcome to another episode of the self-made web designer podcast.

I hope you had a great week and I hope you're ready for another great episode with mr. Jay Clouse Jay runs the freelancing school as well as a few amazing podcasts that we will link to in this episode. And that we will also talk about in this episode, Jay's teaching us how to get over our fear of raising our rates as freelance web designers and how to manage our day to day energy in such a way that we are able to get more work done and more work getting done comes thing, being, being you guessed it.

More opportunity to earn more or as a freelancer, before we dive into the episode, I want to ask a question that has been burning on my mind, mind every single week. And that is, have you subscribed to the self-made web designer podcast? Have you left a rating and a comment by you doing that? It will help other people find this podcast and learn how to earn more as a freelance web designer.

So take a second. Go to whatever podcast platform that you are listening on. Subscribe, leave a rating, leave a comment and tell your friends about it because it's always fun to listen with a whole crew. Oh yeah. Especially if you're a hip hop crew. Alright. Are you ready? Listen to the one and only Mr. Jay Clouse.

Okay. Here we go.

Hey, Jay. Thanks so much for being on the self-made web designer podcast. Really appreciate you being on.
Jay: [00:02:56] Yeah, I'm excited to be here, Chris. Thanks for having me.

Chris: [00:02:58] So to get started, tell us a little bit about who you are, where you came from and how you got to where you are today.

Jay: [00:03:03] Well, you got my name.

I'm Jay uh, I grew up in Ohio. I've lived in Ohio, my entire life. Um, grew up in a very agricultural area. Small town. Um, I didn't know what I wanted to do or what I wanted to be when I grew up. And so when I went to college, I, um, basically chose a college based on two things. One where would give me money.

And two would, they have lots of majors available to me when I decided what it was that I wanted to do. And so I went to Ohio state university and not knowing much about what I wanted to do. I had this really great faculty advisor that was like, you should take an independent study. With the student newspaper, because you liked to write.

And so I did a lot of journalism for the first year. I got to cover the Ohio state football team, which is like, you made it in journalism if you get to cover the Ohio state football team. And at the same time, I was discovering entrepreneurship through this undergraduate student organization called the business builders club.

And as I went through college, I got less excited about the future of print journalism and more excited about the opportunity to build my own path through entrepreneurship. And so shortly after college, I joined a, uh, a tech startup as the first employee, essentially a co founder of this company. And we went through an accelerator.

We raised some money. We ended up being acquired about a year and a half later. And I thought, well, that was something. And, uh, I'm really burned out and startups aren't as sexy as I thought they were. And I don't know what I want to do for the next five to 10 years to start my own company. So I'll go take a job.

And I took a job as a product manager at a healthcare startup. Hated having a boss. So I left that job about a year in and started freelancing. And that kind of brings us to all the things that I'm doing here today.

Chris: [00:04:59] I read somewhere that, you know, the first year freelancing was a little bit of struggle, but you push through.

You found a way, and then you ended up doubling the next year and then tripling the third year of the income from your first year. And that's, that's pretty incredible. So talk a little bit about that process, the things that you learned along the way and how you were able to kind of reach that place of tripling, what you made from your first year.

Jay: [00:05:26] Well, I ironically. Despite being really interested in the idea of entrepreneurship. I actually didn't have much knowledge of the world of freelancing. And I didn't realize what I was doing was freelancing in the beginning. I just thought, well, I'm doing whatever I need to do to make some money until I figure out what it is that I actually want to do.

And, um, the first thing that I really did, uh, well, I was, I was doing some freelance WordPress development and then I was doing some freelance, like, hooking the WordPress sites up to MailChimp and building, you know, email marketing funnels. So I was already combining all these things of like WordPress development plus Zapier plus MailChimp plus copywriting.

Like I was, I was doing all the things they tell freelancers, not necessarily to do, like I wasn't specializing at all. And what I started doing about two months into being out on my own was trying to facilitate mastermind groups. And I did that through my business, which I called unreal collective, and I would bring business owners and I group them into small group five and we would have a call every week for an hour and, um, basically map out a 12 week set of goals for them to grow their business.

And I did this still to this day up until we just ended in a cohort about. Five weeks ago and I've worked with, you know, 110 or so business owners through that program, I would still call it client services work, though. It doesn't look like your natural freelancing and it brings all this up because what I had accidentally done that was really, really good.

It was, I basically found a way to really scale up my hourly rate because I was working with five people for the same hour. Um, and so even though I was working with 15 to 20 clients at a time, I actually was only working 10 to 15 hours a week when I was in session with unreal, which saved a lot of time for me to explore my other interests and to make stuff.

So I started doing podcasting and I started writing a lot. And then, uh, LinkedIn learning approached me about doing courses on their platform. Then I started building my own courses and then I started podcasting some more. So basically in the beginning, the way I was able to really grow my income was I learned the process of doing one of these cohorts.

And so I could do that last year. I did three cohorts in the, in the year, which is like pretty much every week of the year, I was doing something related to that business. But really what I credit the growth to was the fact that I saved a lot of time and space for myself to explore my own interests and figure out what do I want this business to be?

I wasn't kind of just on this treadmill. If I forgot to earn for earning sake, there was part of me that could really be intentional abut where am I going? Yes, this is what I'm doing now. This is what's generating income now, but where am I going? And am I actually doing the activities that I need to, to get to that future?

Two years from now a year from now, three years from now, however long that I want to look at that, that, um, horizon.

Chris: [00:08:36] So let's, let's turn the conversation a little bit to making it as a freelancer and, and increasing your earnings. I know you've got you founded the freelancing school. Um, you've got some great courses on, on how to make it.

So, um, talk about some of the people that maybe have been through some of the courses that you have. What were there any key differentiators between people who ended up being successful and people who had ended up quitting?

Jay: [00:09:04] Some of the hard part of this is these courses were built from, um, courses that I made for LinkedIn learning.

I had initially been contacted by them to do some product management courses. As I started helping more freelancers and client based service owners through unreal collective. They said, we want you to help us with our small business catalog too. And. Beginning to put thoughts on paper and build curriculum around helping freelancers, uh, market themselves sell more projects, run their businesses as businesses.

I love doing that. And so I said, okay, I'm proud of the course that did for LinkedIn. Now I want to expand upon them and go outside of some of the constraints that you have in that, in that construct. Like they want their videos to be three to four minutes. They have a whole structure and I get it, but I wanted to do things with screen capture and make the video 15 is if I wanted it to be that being said, there were like, 50,000 people that have taken the courses on LinkedIn, which dwarfs the number of who have gone through my courses independently.

So the people that you know, are the most successful in the frequency school courses and courses generally are people who go through the lessons. Like fundamentally, most people don't finish online courses and, uh, like it sucks. And I wish that wasn't true. It was sitting here as a course creator. But I try to nudge people through it because you're going to find the most success.

If you go through the lessons, if you do the actual homework that I put at the end of each lesson, and ultimately, you know, the people who find the most success are those who are willing to treat their business like a business. It sounds so simple, but a lot of creatives, you know, they think that. Art and business are antithetical.

They think they're, I like complete odds. And yet when you start freelancing, most often people do that because they want more control over their time. A lot of them want to carve out more of their own time to do their own projects. And you can't expect your business to reward you with time and optionality.

If you don't treat it like a business. And so the people who are most successful lean into understanding their budget, understanding cash flow, knowing that they need to be consistently having conversations with new clients, even if you know, their, their, uh, workload is full right now, you need to still have conversations because two months from now, you're going to be looking for your next client.

And that conversation probably should have happened now. Two months ago. Um, that's, that's the biggest difference that I see and that's actually, you know, where I try to focus my courses and the things that I teach. There are a lot of people out there who can teach you how to do design or copywriting or development.

I'm not an expert in any of those things. You know, when, when we first spoke, I was telling you, I was combining like WordPress development, which was all browser-based with, uh, marketing funnels with copywriting. Like I dabble in all kinds of things. I'm not going to tell you how to be there. Perfect. Any one of those disciplines, but I can't help you figure out how to run your business like a business and build it in a way that's going to reward you with the money or time that you wanted in the first place.

Um, and that's just. Good old fashioned finance and marketing and sales, not the fun grade of stuff. Let's talk about the, the freelancing aspects of it. Um, especially getting bigger clients. Um, cause we have a lot of listeners who are just starting out and they're asking that question of how do I, how do I scale up my business?
Not just with, you know, the width of it, the amount of. Um, projects I'm getting, but also with the prices that I'm getting paid per project, how do you coach people to go through that process of scaling and getting bigger and earning more, something that I've noticed with really anyone that you work with in any capacity they're going to look at?

Well, what have you done in the recent past and try to give themselves a signal a very quick heuristic of do people like me work with people like you. And I see that in terms of my podcast. Like, it's easy for me to book a lot of guests now because I talked with Seth Goden and James Clear, and it's easy for people to say like, Oh, this seems aspirational.

Um, same is true. When you work with companies, you know, if you can work with a fortune 500 company, it's easier to approach another fortune 500 company and say, I worked with this company, this company in your industry, or at the size also. And they'll say, okay, that makes sense. So you must understand how businesses like us work.

Now, if you're not getting started right now and you can't like start with one of those big clients, you're gonna have to build your way up. And it's going to be probably a little bit of a stair-step because you're basically looking to take each client to a slightly higher level. Like people will see a little bit of a Delta and they'll cover it.

You know, if you, I don't know if anyone talks about fortune thousand companies, let's say you worked with like a fortune thousand company. You might be able to get a fortune 500 company who sees that company that, that work and says, okay, that's pretty close to us. It's going to be harder to say, like I worked with the local coffee shop now Jay's bank, let me do your marketing.

Um, but you can go kind of step by step, get a little bit bigger each time. If you're just getting started, or if you, uh, kind of want to skip over this, you got to start with relationships. You gotta find people that you know, who are in these organizations who are in these companies who can help the decision maker, feel comfortable taking a little bit of a leap on you, but the bigger company you go to, it's gonna be harder to get a leap because they're thinking.

I got to protect my job. Is this gonna get me fired? Nobody fires the person who hires, you know, McKinsey that consultant group, because that's such a big name. So you either, you know, build your way there or. You get a favor and then you leverage that. And that's, you know, candidly, that's what happened with my podcast too.

The guy I know James Clear, cause I've met him several times. He and I used to get coffee like twice a year. And so I was able to say like, Hey, let me ask you for a favor. We can I talk to you on this podcast that I'm starting, it doesn't exist yet. There's no audience, but we can at least catch up. And I could leverage that to other people who see his name and think, Oh, this must be a thing.

And then eventually you get to a point where it's not even a question because they just look at your track record and say, okay, this is clearly what people like me do. And it's easier from there.

Chris: [00:16:26] I found that. Every time I'm making step up. There's quite a bit of fear. That is it feeling in before I make the decision, you know, like, it seems silly now, but I remember in the early days I was like, I was at $20 an hour as a web designer and I was thinking, Oh man, nobody's going to pay me 30. You know, like what, what am I going to do?

And so, but I, I knew I'm like if I stay at $20 an hour, I'm going to hate it my life. And so either I need to grow or I need to give up. And so I just I've made the leap and quite literally had a panic attack as I did it. Um, but, but found that it, it wasn't as scary as, as, as I had imagined it to be and people were willing to say yes, and then I went on to much higher rates than that, thankfully.

Um, so. Did you ever experience that yourself? Or have you seen students go through that where they're like, I, is this like, will anybody ever pay me if I asked for this much? Or if I go to that big client and propose a project.

Jay: [00:17:40] I think a lot of people hide here because we like to pursue things and go for things that we.

Already kind of implicitly knows a sure bet. And so we'll hide there and we'll be like, well, I'm only making $20 an hour, but I'm closing all my sales. Here's the thing. If you're, if you're like closing every client, you're either not putting yourself out there enough or you're underpricing yourself and everyone's thinking, man, this is such a deal.

And they're basically taking advantage of you. I love the topic of pricing because. I don't approach this the way most people do, like sure. Conceptually, the best thing you can possibly do is value based pricing, where you help the client understand what is the value you're providing. And you can like charge really close to that, where it's clear that the investment in you pays itself off in a couple of months, that takes so much handholding.

Question asking, walking people through this process of answering questions for you. And it's really hard to do. So what I tell most people at the beginning, right? Please start with the price for this project. I liked the price on a project basis. First of all, I really don't like hourly. We can talk about that if you want, but I just say as soon as you can ditch hourly, hourly, but think about a project, what is the amount of money that would make you happy and excited to get up and do this work?

Because most people kind of implicitly have a gut feeling of all right. If they agree to this price, I'm going to be happy or I'm going to be disappointed. And I'm going to feel like I'm stretched. Like at the beginning, you usually know that. And it almost never takes less time than you're expecting. So start with like, what's something that makes you excited to do this work.

I had a coach one time, his advice was, think about the price that makes you a little bit uncomfortable and then increase that 40%. I love that advice too, because most of the time, you know, first of all, pricing is a conversation it's very rarely for somebody, for a client that you've worked with directly and kind of warmed up and it's not coming through Upwork or something.

Pricing is very rarely like, Hey, give me a quote. Here's my quote. All right, sorry. Bye. It's usually let's build from this. Let's talk about this. You know, it's usually a negotiation, so you have more steps than you think you can start higher than you think. And those to be surprised, you know what people are open to because especially good clients, good clients want to be seen as a good client.

They want you to like working with them. They want you to feel valued. They don't want to start a project low balling you and making you question your own value and question the relationship because it's not going to lead to a great outcome. So, yeah, I think with pricing, you know, start with, what's at least exciting to you and, and go from there.

Chris: [00:20:21] Yeah. I like that. And you know, I, um, I think there's this mindset when it comes to the client and freelancer relationship that a lot of people view as adversarial, um, to where it's like, okay, if, if I'm going to win, then I need to, to charge at the highest price. I think, well, if the client's going to win, then they need to get me at my lowest number.

Right. Um, but like you're saying. You can't look at it that way. You have to look at it as a mutually beneficial
relationship and see that it's, there's not just a machine on the other end of the project. It's a person who is, has goals who wants to be liked to who wants to be treated fairly. Um, so, you know, how do you, how do you shift that mindset?

Like how do you, how do you go from thinking, okay, we're in a relationship where I'm trying to win and you're trying to win. So hopefully we'll meet at the middle and we'll both win a little bit versus like, no, let's, let's make this to where we're both winning for one another.

Jay: [00:21:24] Yeah, this is, I love this conversation because it's also relevant to salary negotiations, frankly.
Um, I've never. I've never failed with the approach of, listen, let me level with you. I want to start us off on a good foot. You know, like I want us to start this relationship in a really positive way where we're both excited. So here's what would make that true for me and starting from there, because I guess probably implicitly something important to say is just about every client that I work with now that I've worked with in the past, I've had a relationship with them.

To some degree, even if it's like, I've known them for a couple of months and we've talked on and off, it's never like, here's a stranger and they want to work with me and want me to name a price. Sometimes it is. And I guess in those cases, I'm even more comfortable just saying here's what would make me happy because it's like, I didn't know you 10 minutes ago.

If I don't know you 10 minutes from now, that's fine too. But like, I'm going to protect my own happiness and sanity, and this is what that would take. So I think people have really responded to me. Well, when I basically say I don't want to be hung up on this, I don't want to spend a ton of time talking about this, but I gotta let you know, like I want to start off on a good foot and here's what that would take.

And if people can't meet me there, there's usually some other form of, um, Compromise. Like, I can't meet you there, but what if I do this? You know, like they are genuinely trying to do what they can to start there. And I'm never trying to take advantage of the client either. You know, I've got their interest in mind.

I'm not trying to go so far. The ballpark that I feel like I'm taking advantage of them. And I think people sense that and they appreciate that because it's very human.

Chris: [00:23:10] Yeah. And, you know, I think what it, what it comes down to. Um, and from what I hear you saying is there, it has to be this moment where you're willing to walk away and, and

Jay: [00:23:24] 100%.

Chris: [00:23:26] You know, and going okay. If this doesn't work out then that's okay. Um, so how do you become comfortable with that? I know you mentioned a little bit before, like you, you start to develop a track record of knowing that even when you got nervous, like it always kind of worked itself out, but was there a process for you?

Is there a mindset? What does that look like?

Jay: [00:23:48] Glad you called that out. That's, that's probably, uh, something that I no longer recognize and appreciate, but it's 100% true. You need to be willing to walk away and, and recognize that rejection is a natural part of the process. Like you're not going to close a hundred percent.

And again, if you are closing a hundred percent, you're leaving money on the table. So I'm happy to walk away pretty consistently because I know there's going to be another opportunity. And like, if it doesn't present itself, I can go find it. I I've come to really, really trust myself in my ability to sell myself.

The hard thing about selling is, and this is hard to get out of. It's like, you need to be comfortable with your own value. Like people will sense whether or not you're willing to walk away. People will sense if you're bluffing, people will sense if you're reaching, they will sense if they have room to move.

So the more honestly, and like honestly confident you can be to say, this is what it is for me. Um, I hope this works for you. Uh that's that's where you have your most low, right? And that's when things happen. And you know, this is, this is I think the unfortunate reality of people who are really empathetic we'll look at numbers and think to themselves what I pay that for this.

And of course, you're not going to pay that price for this work because you have the skills and it's hard to divorce yourself from the understanding of how to do something. But when you're working with a client, they have two choices. They can either take a lot of time to learn the skills and try to do the thing as well as you do it, which has cost them a lot of money or they can pay someone really good that they trust to do it.

And that's you, and that they will pay that. So you can't, you can't think like, Oh, this is I'm asking for something that I would never pay. Of course not. You have the skills and it's hard to get yourself in the mindset of what would it feel like to need this thing, but have no way of accomplishing it. A lot of people.

Want to solve that problem with money.

Chris: [00:25:48] Yeah, that's fantastic. And it, it reminds me of a story. Um, I'm actually in the process of helping my wife learn how to do freelancing web design stuff. Um, she, we just recently had a little baby. She's a stay at home mom now. And so she's kind of looking for ways to earn money in her spare time.

And I just did quotes for everybody listening onto the podcast to know that I realized she's got a baby and she's got her hands full. Um, So, but it's funny. We, she just got her first project on her own without me. And, you know, the client came and said, here's my budget. And, and I didn't really get a chance to talk to her before she talks to the client to say like, budgets are kind of an, a theory you'll thing with a client.

Like somebody will say here's my budget, but more times than not, there's there's wiggle room. There's other factors. It's a conversation to be had, like you're saying. Um, it's, it's hardly ever hard and fast. And so she was thinking, okay, here's their budget. And I know it's gonna cost this for a template.

It's going to cost you this for hosting. So I'm going to bring my price down and then pitch that to them. And I was like, no, Oh, you can't do that. She undercut herself from that thought process of not understanding her value, not understanding the ins and outs of what it, what it is when you're having a conversation with, with the person.

And, and, and I think that's, that's kinda tough because it, you know, and I've said this there's, there's nothing like being a freelancer and entrepreneur to pull out all of the insecurity that you've ever had in your life and bring it to the forefront to, to figure out how to deal with it.

Jay: [00:27:34] In the beginning, you really feel like people are accepting you or rejecting you and not, you know, the, the costs of your work.

That there's a, there's a removal of emotion that you need to do. Like in this case with the template, those things have costs and that's not the value of my work. That's just like a price here. Like the more, I think another thing that I do is I'm just very direct about like the realities of the situation.

And again, I remove the emotion it's like, well, okay, so you want this, the template cost, this hosting is going to cost us. That's going to be an addition to my fee. And that's not like an indictment on them. That's just a reality of the situation. Something that's interesting that we though we could talk about here.

You know, you mentioned budget. That means a different thing to different types of clients because, um, for small business owners or individuals like the budget you're working with with them, Is very personal. Sometimes it's like how much of, you know, my very finite resources that are my personal resources.

Can I part with, versus when you work with some large organizations, sometimes the budget is just money that somebody has to spend and you can very directly ask them like, well, what's your speakers do this, for example, like, what's your, what's your budget for a speaker to come in and do this. And people can give them just a very direct answer and you can decide if that's worth it to you or not.

So understanding who the client is and if the budget is their money or given to them that they're just overseeing. Can change your approach.

Chris: [00:29:04] No that's a great point looking at it from the, the person behind the conversation and the situation behind the conversation I think is, is super valuable. Um, another, another factor in all of this, when it comes to earning more or making more, getting better projects, getting more projects, um, is your ability to actually do the work.

And manage yourself, manage your time. You talked about cash flow. I know that you've got one of your courses is all about project management and all about being efficient and looking at your income and looking at finances and stuff. So talk a little bit about, about that. Um, what are some ways that people can be efficient with all of those things, to make sure that they have time and, and margin to be able to grow and improve.

Jay: [00:29:57] The most important thing you can do if you've never done it before is get a handle on what's. It cost me to exist every month, like a realistic number, um, both, you know, your regular recurring expenses. And then, you know, some of the things that you have to calculate averages of, like how much do I spend on groceries?

How much do I spend on alcohol, frankly, or on coffee? You know, things that it's not a monthly subscription, but you know, you're going to have some amount of budgets that going every month. You need to know what that number is because when you write down into a spreadsheet here, exactly the things that are going out the door every month, you can start to see, okay, what are the lever levers that I pull to reduce it?

If I need to, you know, maybe I'm spending twice as much on groceries as I need to. Maybe I can stop drinking this month and save $200. You know, like that's, that's a very real reality. If you don't have a figure on, if you don't have a handle on that figure, it's really hard to know. Uh, Month to month. How are things going?

Like, how's your cashflow? Are you good for the next month? Do you need to be prospecting right now? I mean, honestly, you need to be prospecting all the time, but I don't meet very many freelancers who, um, Really understand their cash flow more than just kind of a gut feeling of like, I don't know where things are coming next month.

It's like, okay. So how, how bad is that? Like? Is that $500, uh, you know, whack? Is that a $5,000 dollar lack? Okay. How much money do you need to bring in every month, even including your goals for taxes in retirement, like savings. What does that number every month? And what are you doing to capture that? Like they kind of go month to month and they're saying like, well, I had some come in here and this is good.

I think I'm doing okay. They don't look at their bank account. So first and foremost, getting a handle on finances is super, super important. If you want to keep doing this. And second with things like process management, We could talk about tools and processes all day, but here's the thing that's important to know about systems.

The system should serve you. If you're spending more time trying to maintain the system and like make the system look good and make the system work. It's the wrong system. You need something that facilitates you, getting the work done and actually saves you time. And that may be adjusting the tool that may be adjusting, how you use the tool, but ultimately systems are there to serve you even not serve the system.

Chris: [00:32:17] Yeah. And I've found that personality plays a big part into the system that works well for people. Um, because like my, my personality is, um, I don't want to say flighty, but it's not very regimented, you know, like I, I kind of work at weird times. I, I find creative inspiration at weird times. I find myself going for stretches of productivity when most people would not be productive.

But during the times that most people are productive, I'm not very productive. And so I've, I've kind of had that. Self awareness of, okay, this is, this is who I am and what works well for me. And, and I'm sure that it's, you've seen a lot of people experience that as well with finding a system or a process or a workflow that works for them.

Jay: [00:33:06] I'm more and more convinced that instead of time management, we should be focused on energy management because yeah, some people operate differently for me. My most productive hours are in the morning. Some people are night owls, but whatever that is like, you need to protect that time for your own output.

If you're having client calls during your most productive, creative time, you are actually removing more time than you think, because in your productive time, you can do things three times faster. Let's say, so you, you really lose a lot of time if you're soaking that up with things that are not using that energy, the best way that you can.

Chris: [00:33:45] Jay, so many good things, so many good points. I could talk to you forever about this stuff, but I have a feeling we probably need to arrive, put up for our listeners. So, uh, if you could just, just, uh, share a little bit about where somebody might be able to find you or connect with you if they want to do.

Jay: [00:34:02] Totally. Um, all Chris, this is awesome. Thanks for having me. Thanks for letting me experience the news and caster beta for the first time. Um, if you want to follow what I'm doing, you can go to Jay that will direct you to all the projects we talked about here at the podcast. Unreal freelancing school.
Uh, you can find me on social at Jay Clouse. And if you are a freelancer and you want to surround yourself with other freelancers, we have a free community at

Chris: [00:34:28] Man, I love what Jay had to say about increasing your income as a freelancer, and really, you know, it con boils down to two things.

Number one, you have to increase your rates. And number two, you have to increase the amount of projects that you're putting out. And the first one, increasing your rates is, is a pretty scary thing. And there's always that one hurdle of, of a rate, whether it's hourly or project base, that you're just afraid.

If I go above this, certainly people won't pay me any more for the work. I'm doing, Hey, I want to encourage you this week. Just do it. Just try the next project that you pitch to a potential client. Double your rate. Triple your rate. If you want to stay more conservative, that's fine. You can increase it by 25%.

Heck just increase it and see what happens. And then the next thing is just figuring out those processes. Figuring out the ways to output things quickly, to focus on the things that matter and get rid of the things that don't matter. So you can have more time back for future projects or for things that you are wanting to do in your free time.

I hope you enjoyed this episode. I want to encourage you to go check out Jay at Jay Clouse. C L O U S to see everything that he has to offer, because let me tell you it is some really cool stuff and you won't regret giving it a follow until next week. I hope you have a good one. I hope you're ready because next week is going to be another awesome episode.

Excited to share it with you. Stay up with me Wednesday night, midnight. It's going to be dropping until then. Don't forget if you don't quit, you win.

How to Earn More Money as a Freelancer || A man excited at his computer to signify earning more money as a freelancer


Hi, I'm Chris and I'm super glad you're here. 7 years ago I taught my self-web design and freelancing. Now, I do my best to teach others what I've learned so they don't have to struggle as much as I did.

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