You want to be smiling like the lady above, but you’re tired.
One month you’re earning a lot online, enjoying life and paying all your bills.
Another month you earn much less.
…and another, almost nothing.
In short, one month feast, another month famine.
It’s easy to blame such things on many known or unknown forces.
However, it’s wise to fix things to do with YOU that can make a difference. Use these tips to finally get out of the feast or famine cycle. To finally be able to mostly earn the same, or even more, in each coming month.
1. Stop overdepending on online work accounts
Whenever someone tells me that their online income is inconsistent, I almost always rightly guess they’re overdepending on some online work account.
Here I’m talking about accounts like Upwork, SpeechPad, Rev, PeoplePerHour, name it.
It’s okay to work on these accounts. However, the point here is not to overdepend on them.
This means that you can use them when starting out. They can help you pay some bills. They can help you get your feet wet in online work. But…
Here are 3 quick reasons why you shouldn’t overdepend on them
First: You’re forced to follow their rules, even those ridiculous ones
For example, Upwork nowadays randomly autorejects profiles.
It charges 20% fees to freelancers earning between $1 and $500 with a client, which is above the 10% fees that used to be there.
It suspends people who send too many proposals without getting jobs.
If you only work in such in Upwork, you have to keep following their rules, both the good and the bad.
And yes, let’s cut them some slack; there are some great things that have happened there. Such as the introduction of M-PESA a few years ago, and the fact that it still has high paying, amazing clients.
However, to be absolutely honest, they once in a while come up with ridiculous rules.
Second: You confine yourself between specific pay ranges
This may also not be such a bit problem if you’re starting from the bottom.
However, once you’ve been working for a while and you’re already earning something, this becomes a big problem.
Check this out:
Freelancer A starts at, say, SpeechPad, where they earn a certain amount per audio hour of transcription. With that, they only earn a maximum of $1,000 per month.
Freelancer B decides to branch out and get higher paying clients. They grow from clients paying the same amount as SpeechPad. However, as their skills and expertise grow, they start getting higher paying clients. They have no set limit as to how much they can earn per month.
See, Freelancer B has the ability to keep getting higher paying clients, unlike Freelancer A who is locked to SpeechPad rates.
Third: They can kick you out
Yes, plain and simple, these sites can ban you.
Of course, if you don’t follow their core rules, you deserve to be banned.
However, there are many complaints of people being banned from sites for no good reason. Just google or check out Facebook groups to see how people have lost their sources of living for absolutely no reason.
I’ll give you one example:
This used to be a great site back in the days, but it long lost its glory.
They banned absolutely everyone from specific countries. At the time of writing this, if you have an iWriter account somewhere, just try logging in and you’ll most likely get an error stating something like “Account banned due to security risk”.
Imagine following all the rules in a site, then waking up to this. How painful would that be if it was your only source of income?
There are more reasons as to why you shouldn’t overdepend on online work accounts, but I’ll limit myself to those three.
Here’s exactly what you should do instead
Start with online work accounts if you have to. I actually recommend this as a potential starting point. After that, swiftly start looking for direct clients. Check out this guide to see how you can do so.
Note that if you’re not starting from the bottom income-wise, you can just go straight for the direct clients. This means clients you’ve hustled for yourself without using any online work account.
2. Manage your time
No, I’m not just giving you the obvious time management tips you’ve heard out there. In fact, I’m giving you one of the most important lessons I’ve learnt my entire life.
It’s something I’ve been working on for a while. But I recently read this book called Work Less, Earn More and it totally changed the way I look at time management.
What I realized is that online freelancing can make you waste so much time.
See, here you’re doing everything yourself. You’re your own boss. You do your own accounting. You do your own marketing, human resource, evaluation and so on.
Therefore, you don’t really reprimand yourself whenever you’re on the wrong.
You may waste precious time watching movies, browsing on Facebook, watching videos on YouTube…name it. After all, you have no boss, right?
This heavily hinders your progress.
Here’s what I suggest when it comes to time management:
- Create a checklist of things you have to do daily. Make sure you check them off before you even log into social media. Don’t be surprised if a day goes by without Facebook 🙂
- In your daily work schedule, always start with things that have the most impact on your income. This includes things like looking for clients and delivering client work (don’t wait for last minute). I’d also add things like starting and growing a high income business, so that you don’t just depend on client work.
- Always learn how to earn using smarter ways. Find ways to increase your passive income streams. Aim to one day be able to get 50 to 75 (plus) percent of your income passively. Don’t watch a movie or dash to Facebook before you’ve learnt something today.
I prepared a valuable daily routine that you can be using. This has really helped me to live a happier, more productive life.
3. Scale up consistently
Try to make sure that every few months, you significantly increase your income.
If you’ve been a member of a Facebook group or any other group for a while, you’ll notice a pattern. Some people start off as very active members, then they slowly start keeping quiet. Eventually they either leave the group or become very inactive.
By God’s grace I’ve managed to talk to some of these people privately. Some actually become inactive since they literally can’t keep up. Why? Because they’re so busy scaling their businesses.
Some of my friends, who are no longer so active on social, ended up earning heavily with their blogs, doing affiliate marketing, dropshipping or creating companies that offer valuable services. Their business literally takes up all their working time.
When free, they travel around the country (or world) and do charity work.
They’ve founded wonderful things — both great online and offline businesses.
See, these founders didn’t just stick to writing, transcription or virtual assistance. They quickly scaled up to other things that have higher income potential.
Did you know that Brian Dean of Backlinko, who earns hundreds of thousands of dollars, was once a writer like some of us? Yes, with hard work you can get to such levels.
I keep challenging most people I meet nowadays to find a way of creating a sustainable business. There’s so much opportunity today than ever before.
4. Focus on making clients succeed, and you’ll succeed as well
If you’re only focusing on your success, then please know right now that you’re limiting your success. Your focus should be on making someone else succeed. Your client’s success will lead to your own success.
Airbnb, Uber, Netflix and Google are huge because people genuinely benefit from them.
I’ll give you a quick personal example on this:
There’s a client in UAE that I’ve had on and off since 2013. For the last 2 years, her workflow has been even more consistent and lucrative.
Nowadays, I don’t even do her work myself. I hired another guy to do it. The client is totally okay with this arrangement.
She pays me via Western Union and takes care of absolutely all the fees.
Recently, she got an extension in her workplace because of our input. She literally emailed me and said that she’d like to work with me for 6 to 9 more years.
You don’t want to just focus on getting that one client or that one pay. You need to get clients consistently and stay with them for the long term.
And you do this by making those clients succeed.
If you write for a client and that article gets 100k views, awesome Google rankings and consistent sales, why won’t the client hire you again?
Focus on delivering pure gold. Never forget that. People out there make money simply because they aptly sort other people’s problems.
5. Look for clients even when you have clients
You’ll (prayerfully) one day get an awesome, dream client who pays your dream income, respects you, and gives you a good volume of work.
Please remember that today’s dream may not be the same as tomorrow’s dream.
Therefore, don’t stop looking for clients just because one of your dreams came true.
Back in 2011, I prayed and fasted so that I could start earning 30k per month. That was my dream income. But when I hit 100k (plus) per month within a few months of online work, my dreams changed.
Apart from monetary dreams, many of my dreams changed once I hit a specific milestone.
What many freelancers do is this:
They get an awesome client and they feel like they’re in heaven.
Until that client runs out of jobs, and they’re back on the streets looking for work. That keeps them in the feast or famine cycle.
Don’t do that to yourself.
Keep looking for clients consistently. When you get clients, only take up workload that will allow you to still have time to look for even better clients.
This means that every few weeks, you’ll be getting better clients and letting go of clients who don’t match your criteria.
Funny thing is that some clients will be willing to adjust.
For example, remember the client I’ve talked about above? The one who says she wants me to work with her for 6 to 9 years?
I once told her, truthfully, that I’ve landed other opportunities and wasn’t able to continue working at our usual rate. You know what? She instantly increased her rate.
Not all clients will do this. But you’ll keep getting better and better and better clients as you go along.
I really don’t want to see you struggling with this feast or famine cycle
I want you to succeed. In fact, I’d be happy to see you owning a huge online corporation the size of Google, Netflix and Uber among others.
To get there, you need to stop living the feast or famine lifestyle. These tips will help you consistenly increase your income.
Have you struggled with the feast or famine cycle? What did you do about it? Let me know what you think in the comments section.
And since you also want the best for your friends and family, go ahead and share this post with all your circles.