How To Grow Your Income:10 Ways To Make More Money In Your Business Without Working Harder or Longer
What can you do if you feel like you’re working as long and hard as you possibly can, but you’re not making as much money as you want (or need) to?
I’ve been stuck in that position multiple times in the 10 years I’ve been self-employed, and I’ve discovered 10 ideas to make more money in my business, without working one extra hour.
It’s not that I mind putting in a hard day’s work. But I’ve got other responsibilities - like feeding, cleaning, and nurturing my two sons - so the time I have available to work on my business has always been pretty fixed.
How I went from making £500 per month, to £1,000+ per day!
(not every day…..but that is genuinely my day rate now, and people have paid it)
Let me take you way, way back to 2012 when I was an odd-jobbing freelancer, hunting for work on websites like People Per Hour (now Upwork).
Both my boys were at primary school, so after recovering from the school run, I had around 30 hours a week available to work.
That time was split between hunting on freelance job sites for suitable writing gigs, and completing work I had been hired to do. I didn’t have my own website, I wasn’t doing any proactive marketing, I just trawled through the listings looking for anything that paid more than £8 per hour.
On a typical month I would make around £500.
Then a couple of clients (digital marketing agencies) from those gigs turned into regular work. I could spend less time hunting for gigs, and more time completing paying work. And as I proved my reliability, consistency and quality, I was able to nudge my price per hour up (just a little).
I still had around 30 hours per week available, and now I was making around £600-£700 per month.
But I had no control over the type of content I was writing, and after a couple of excruciatingly boring projects (eVape cigarette product descriptions, and a series of SEO’d blog posts for a damp proofing company 😣🥱 ) I’d had enough of subbing for agencies.
So I decided to set up my own copywriting company, Worditude Ltd, and build my own website, so I could attract the kinds of clients I wanted to work with, and write the kind of copy I excelled at (website copy and sales pages).
Now that I had a website, I could see the point of creating marketing content - to drive people back to that website, so they could see how to work with me.
My time was split about 70% on client projects and 30% marketing my business by writing blog posts, social media content, and guest appearances. I still only had 30 hours each week available to work, but now I was regularly making £4-5,000 each month.
Since then I’ve built a reputation for writing high-converting sales copy, working on multiple £10k launches. I’ve also developed my own copy coaching programme for business owners - Write Your Website - which runs three times per year. And I’ve taken both my sons out of school to home educate them - so I’m down to around 20 hours per week available to work on my business, so I’m making more money, in less time.
10 Things I did to 10 x my income
When I switched from writing blog posts to writing sales pages for people, I was able to charge more for my time, because it was easy for the client to see how investing with me would make them money. You can charge more when you make a clear link between what you do, and how that will save/make your client time/money.
This is linked with charging more. When you switch from pricing per hour of your project, to pricing per project or deliverable it’s easier for the client to invest in you. Paying me £1,000 for one day’s work might seem outrageous. Paying for £1,000 for launch copy including a sales page, waitlist page, and email sequence, and Facebook Ads copy - a package that has the potential to generate my client £10k not just with this launch, but with each subsequent launch - sounds rather reasonable.
These are clients who need the same or a similar job doing month after month. For me that was writing up podcast show notes. I didn’t need to put any time into quoting for this work each month, and it was quick and easy to do the work because I knew the client so well - so they were an efficient use of my time, and often led to add-on projects from those clients throughout the year.
Anything that I have to do over and over again, I have a system for. Writing a blog post. Quoting for a client project. Completing a copywriting project. Invoicing. Having packages and retainers makes it much easier to systematise. And having systems makes it quicker and easier to do these tasks. Systems also make it easier to…..
Teamwork really does make the dream work. If I can earn £x per hour doing client work I love, it makes sense to outsource anything that I don’t enjoy doing (accounts, website maintenance, Pinterest), so long as the cost of outsourcing that work is not greater than the income I could earn in the time it frees up for me.
Offering your services to groups of people through courses, memberships and group programmes means you can be available to people who may not otherwise be able to afford to work with you + you can leverage your time, so you can make more money in fewer hours. I can help dozens of business owners at a time through my Write Your Website programme.
If you can package your knowledge up into an eBook, course, video series - some sort of digital product - you can do the work once, but sell it over and over again. So initially it’s rather a lot of effort for very little money (so far I’ve spent around 20 hours creating the Strangers To Superfans eBook and it’s made £0 because even though it’s sold around 100 copies, I invested in a graphic designer to help me create it, and I’ve spent money on Facebook Ads to promote it. But I’ve got faith it’ll be a money-maker for me in the future.
If a product I love offers an affiliate scheme, I jump on it. They pay me a ‘thank you’ commission for anyone I refer to them. It only makes up a small % of my income right now, but like the digital products, it’s something I do the work for once (like writing this blog post) and it has the potential of earning me money forever. This beginner’s guide to affiliate marketing will walk you through how it works, and how you can use it to supplement your income.
High Converting Customer Journey
When you know who you’re focussed on, and what you want them to buy, you can concentrate your marketing efforts on gently guiding them through a customer journey with multiple opportunities for you to make money, either by selling, or through affiliate commission. When I first started Worditude Ltd I wasted so many hours on guest appearances on videos and podcasts, and on being helpful in Facebook groups. These things worked to generate leads in the very short-term, but if I stopped doing those things for a while (because I was busy with clients) the leads totally dropped off. When I focussed my efforts on creating blog content, that brought people back to my website, where they would see what I offered, and sign-up to my email list, I could put the same amount of hours in, but that marketing content, and that email list would generate leads longer term. I did the work once, and the content worked hard for me over and over again.
I have just basically given away the key themes for every online marketing and business-building programme out there.
Why? Because I see too many people wasting time and money on their website copy before they’ve considered what they want to sell and who to.
Before we get started on the Write Your Website programme I ask my clients to do some number crunching.
- What work do you love to do, and how much do you charge for it?
- How much money do you need to make each month, and how many of these clients/projects would you need to sell and deliver to achieve that?
- How many of these clients/projects would be your maximum capacity in a month, and how much would this earn you?
If the numbers don’t stack up, super slick website copy won’t save their business.
If you need to make more money in the time you have available to work on your business, you might find these useful:
- Mettle On Demand - my YouTube Channel where I interview business owners about how they work hard for their future, while still enjoying their life right now.
- Affili-what - My blog post about affiliate marketing.
- Strangers To Superfans Copywriting Framework - buy me a coffee and I’ll show you how the right copy can turn your website into a lead-generating, money-making machine.
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