Diana Kelly Levey

How to Set Better Freelance Business Goals

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January 22, 2021

You may have set a freelance writing goal at the end of last year or early this one, but have you made headway on achieving that freelance business goal?

In order to make a goal be more likely to happen, it should  be S.M.A.R.T. : Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

I’m still working on fine-tuning my freelance writing goals for the year, but I thought I’d share some short-term freelance goals and long-term freelance goals to help you as you think about what you want to achieve this year:

See Examples of SMART Freelance Goals to Set This Year

If your freelance goal is a higher income, identify the income you want.

Do you want to make six figures freelancing? Do you want to earn $1,000 a month as a freelance side hustle? Do you want to find out what freelance writers make and how you can find higher-paying assignments. Write your freelance salary goal down, post it where you’ll see it.

If your freelance goal is to secure more anchor (steady, monthly) clients, here’s one way to do it.

Look back at your inbox to see if there are clients from the past few years you could follow up with. These are called warm leads and are one of your best potential clients. If the editor worked with you in the past and you had a great relationship, hopefully they will look forward to working with you again. Doing ongoing work helps you get faster and earn more money per hour. That’s why I don’t recommend doing a lot of one-off freelance assignments. They’ll drain a lot of your time.

If your freelance goal is to take more vacation time, do the calculations.

Many freelancers get into this line of work because we love the flexibility. I believe it’s important to take time off on weekends when you can and to take regular vacations–even if you don’t travel anywhere. A staycation where you put your laptop in a closet and don’t work for a week can still refresh your spirit and brain so you’re ready to get back to your freelance business. Work “time off” into your salary calculations.  If you want to earn $75,000 freelancing this year and take two weeks off a year, you need to make $1,500 a week.

If your freelance goal is to find more creative work, carve time in your schedule.

You might want to stretch your abilities and write essays, find new article ideas for old topics or try something totally different, like telling stories with video. In order to achieve your creative freelance goals, you’ll probably need to learn new skills and schedule it in your calendar. I know that I tend to skip over working on projects for me when freelance work gets busy or I’m not feeling motivated, but if I have an hour blocked out in my calendar every Monday afternoon, I’m reminded that this freelance goal was important to me at one time and I made a promise to myself.

If your freelance goal is to earn a higher hourly rate, try this:

You’ll probably need to ditch your lowest-paying client or two so you have more time in your schedule to find and work on higher-paying freelance assignments. Also, create a “desired hourly rate” that you want to achieve and quote projects and freelance writing article word counts that reflect that rate.

Make sure you aren’t making these money mistakes when pricing your work.

If your freelance goal is to find a new, profitable niche, explore your interests.

Sure, your current freelance writing niche might be base on past work experiences or skills, but when you want to break into a new niche, think about what hobbies and products you enjoy. Then, see if there’s an industry related to that and “tech” or “smart products.” That’s one of my secrets to finding a higher-paying niche that’s likely got more staying power.

How to Make More Money Writing for a Niche

If your freelance goal is to work less hours and make more money, try this.

Working less (and working smarter not harder) should be a freelance business goal of yours. My freelance coaching clients come to me with this challenge and I strategize on how to help  them solve it, factoring in their individual needs and goals. Learn more about my freelance business coaching services here.

Also, you’ll probably find it helpful to learn how many hours freelancers work each week, and, how to become a faster writer.

What are your goals for this year? Share them in the comments below, or, email me for accountability!

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