What Does It Take to Become a Six Figure Freelancer?
For many, freelancing is a happy side hustle that brings in a little extra dough. For others, it’s a full-time job that pays the bills and puts food on the table.
But for some, it’s a dream.
It earns them more than they could working a 9 to 5, and they are doing something they love. The six figure freelancer might seem like a legend, a myth. But it is an attainable goal if you are willing to put in the hard work and stick to your dreams.
It won’t happen overnight, though. So in this post, we are going to take a look at some of the practical requirements that it takes to become a six figure freelancer.
Earn Roughly $8,300 in Revenue Per Month
Let’s start off with the obvious. Money.
To break it down, six figures in annual revenue means that you want to earn a minimum of $100,000. Divide that by 12 months, and you’ve got $8,333.33 that you need to bring in every month on average.
Now, we know what you’re thinking. How could you ever hit that target? It might seem really far off from where you are at right now.
But, the good thing about having a target is that it gives you something to measure yourself against. Now that you have a number to target, you can examine your earnings every month or quarter and see how well you are progressing towards your goal.
Additionally, having a monthly target can help you calculate how many projects you need to complete per month as well. If you make an average of $250 per project, for example, you know that you’ll need to deliver 33 per month to hit your goal.
Build The Skills To Back Up The Bills
No freelancer made it to six figures by selling snake oil.
If you are going to hit those kinds of numbers we just discussed, it’s going to be from repeat business that snowballs over time from quality referrals.
You don’t get repeat orders by delivering sub-par work. You get them from quality and consistency. As both of those factors increase, so can your rates.
So find out the problems that your clients really need solved, level up your skills, and find a way to be the absolute best in your field.
Adopt A Business-oriented Mindset
You don’t become a six figure freelancer by thinking of yourself as an employee. You do it by building a business.
What is a business-oriented mindset? To use an analogy, it basically means that you can’t think of yourself as the barista serving up the coffee anymore. You have to think of yourself as the owner of the cafe.
Here are a two ways to do this:
Brand yourself. Every communication that you have in front of potential clients is telling them something about yourself. Are you telling them the right things?
Take a few minutes to jot down the personality that you want your freelance business to project. Is it fun, results-oriented, and professional? Is it sleek, modern, and informative?
Whatever you are aiming for, find a way to incorporate it into your sales copy, your portfolio, your emails, and even your posts on social media.
Look at the big picture. The difference between the employee serving the coffee and the owner of the shop also comes down to vision.
The owner is always looking for new ways to improve service, bring more customers in, and run a more efficient ship. The barista is generally focused only on serving the customer next in line.
Even though you might be doing the majority of the work on every order that comes in, you can’t get so bogged down in it that you lose sight of your bigger goals. Try to dedicate some time on your calendar every week simply to strategizing your growth.
Market Like a Maniac
A big part of your freelance business snowballing to six figures will be in the referrals you get from satisfied customers. But that doesn’t mean you can slow down marketing yourself.
Every new client you land is another chance to get a referral and get even more clients (hence, the snowball analogy).
What can you do to market yourself? The most important thing is to be consistent. Marketing isn’t a one and done activity. You have to work at it over and over again.
Perhaps the best thing you can do is to simply set yourself a schedule. Seriously. Put it on your calendar. Make a plan to do some sort of marketing every single day of the work week. Something like this:
Monday – Advertise yourself on the Facebook Group for Legiit Mondays.
Tuesday – Add value in an online forum where your clients hang out.
Wednesday – Message at least 2 former clients to ask for referrals.
Thursday – Publish a genuinely helpful post on LinkedIn.
Friday – Message 2 more former clients to ask for referrals.
If you’re looking for more ideas, check out our guide to Marketing For Freelancers.
Work Your Butt Off
Finally, becoming a six figure freelancer doesn’t happen overnight. And it’s not easy.
If you are going to take the road to become a six figure freelancer, you have to admit to yourself that there is no silver bullet. No shortcut.
You have to deliver really good work, to a lot of people, over a long time.
It might take you five years of dedicated work, sleepless nights, and busy weekends to finally hit your goal. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.
The fact that freelancing is a difficult path to take is what makes the potential payoff all the greater. The immortal words of the poet Robert Frost come to mind:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
So make all the difference in your life by opting for the road less traveled. Set big goals, bigger than anyone else you know. Then take little steps—consistently—to achieve them. And along the way, remember to stay Legiit.