While I love freelancing, I have issues with the business model. Issues that, quite frankly, have been plaguing me for at least 18 months – the fact that it’s difficult to budget on inconsistent income. As such, part of my mission this year has been to find better ways to create recurring business revenue.
Before I get into what I have discovered, I first want to say that freelancing has been the foundation for what I’m about to share. If it wasn’t for the fact that I’ve been blogging and freelancing for years, I wouldn’t be able to create the recurring business revenue I have now.
That being said, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater because freelancing still has it’s place. My goal is simply to get you to start thinking about what comes next after freelancing.
Have freelance contracts on retainer.
The first step to creating recurring business revenue as a freelancer is to put as many contracts as possible on retainer. For example, I’ve had one client that I can rely on receiving $X every month for years.
The upside is you know you’ll receive guaranteed money so long as you deliver. The downside is you still have to pitch constantly. It’s also sometimes difficult to get a hold of editors or clients so this is assuming your points of contact are responsive. While it’s certainly an upgrade, you’re still on the hamster wheel.
Start consulting on retainer.
My favorite way of creating recurring business revenue as a freelancer is to start consulting. This year, I stopped offering small three-month consulting packages for $X. Instead, I started getting six to 12-month contracts for $X per month.
The best part is since this is a deeply customized offering, it comes at a very high price point. With just two retainer consulting clients my business expenses are completely covered. This also makes it way easier for me to budget.
Granted, it takes a while to upsell someone to this kind of an offering. This brings me to one of my other favorite ways to create recurring business revenue…
Create a scalable high-end product.
Earlier this year, I launched my first group coaching program. This is a hybrid consulting/on-demand product that sells for nearly $2,000 a person.
Since creating this, it’s become easier to create recurring business revenue. If I sell just a couple of these a month (which is not hard), then I can better budget.
This product also plays a role in my overall sales funnel. Out of all the students who take this group course, I can count on a percentage of them becoming high-end retainer clients.
Have a lower price point offering that supplies recurring revenue.
The last step in creating recurring business revenue is to offer lower price point offerings that still get you paid each month. I’ve started to incorporate into my business in two ways:
- Affiliate marketing for subscription products. Many of my coaching clients need schedulers and email marketing services. I recommend products, they subscribe and I make a commission each month.
- A membership site. Individuals who cannot yet afford my higher price-point offerings can join my membership site for a monthly fee.
While freelancing is a great start, eventually you’ll have to find other ways to earn recurring business revenue. In doing so, it will become much easier to manage your finances.