News, insights and advice for contractors

Stay tuned to the NWM blog for our latest company news, in-depth industry commentary and insights as well as useful guides on finance and compliance for contractors.


Wed 7th Jul 2021
With 1.4M Brits choosing the freelance route, it’s become an increasingly popular alternative to the “traditional” career route. There are a multitude of reasons why a freelance career has increased by 14% over the last decade, but the biggest one is the promotion of a good work/life balance, according to the Professional Contractors Group.

We’ve put together our top 6 ways to maximise your earnings as a freelancer:

1. Learn New Skills and Polish Existing Ones

Increasing and developing your skill set is imperative to furthering your personal development. By mastering your current skills, you will show resilience and expertise, and expanding your skills by learning new ones will show adaptability and increase your future prospects. This is a great way to maximise revenue!

Try Reed for a variety of career focused courses, Google Digital Garage and HubSpot Academy for marketeers and the tech-savvy, and Udemy for high-rated, self-paced online courses.

2. Believe In The Power Of Social Media

When people say social media is your online shop window, they aren’t lying. It’s usually the first stop people go to see examples of your work, the product or service you offer and to learn more about you as an individual. With 3.96M users on social media, not utilising this tool to advertise your work would be regrettable.

Each channel can be used in a different way: as Instagram is a visual-heavy platform, use it to showcase examples of your work as an online portfolio; Facebook is a great place to find and join freelancing groups for your niche; and, of course, LinkedIn is the home for professional networking - use it to your advantage and create connections worldwide.

3.“Let us never fear to negotiate.” - John F. Kennedy

According to Success, 57% of people are unable to accurately estimate assertiveness in conversations. It’s never easy, not knowing whether you’re under-selling or over-selling, but there are a few things you can take into consideration:
•Portfolios - if you have a newer/smaller portfolio, the best option is to offer lower rates in order to build up your reputation. If you have proven case studies, you can meet market value for your work.
•Payment options - think about which is going to benefit you and your work more: upfront (get paid before you work), after (we advise having a contract in place), membership (a monthly service), or a retainer (paid over multiple months).

4.Cut Down Unnecessary Spending

82% of small to medium businesses fail due to cash flow issues, so keeping on top of your finances is key in order to thrive as a freelancer. The best way to ensure you don’t encounter any cash flow issues is to focus on your savings and stick to a budget.
There are a number of budgeting tools out there including: Quicken, a personal finance management tool; YNAB, an award-winning budget software; Mint, a money management app with personalised insights and spending tracker.
Alternatively, you could go down the old-school route of a physical budget planner diary, like this one from CGD London.

5.Be Disciplined

Being a freelancer, you are essentially your own boss, therefore there’s no one above you telling you what to do, when to do it by, or how to do it. It’s helpful to stick to a schedule and consistently meet deadlines in order to succeed as a freelancer. Work to a schedule that fits your lifestyle - if you work better at night, block out time in the evening to ensure you get everything done.
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