Note: This article is a work in progress and will be continually updated to keep you from getting bored of reading it!

1. Charge more

The only thing holding you back from making more money is the fear involved with raising your prices. Here is a typical conversation I have with myself every time I think about working with someone new:

Me: How much should I charge?

My Ego: $1000 for a blog post.

My fear: $1000?!? No one will EVER pay that much!

I usually side with my fear and charge $250 for a blog post that’s worth $1000 and it goes on to make the client $2000. Your work should bring in at least twice as much revenue to a client than what you charge. Of course, clients are not too forthcoming with that information. You have to ask.

The bottom line is this: don’t let your own fear hold you back. If you know you can bring a client $10K with a project you’re in charge of, don’t be afraid to ask for at least $3K.

If clients are only getting one project from you and disappearing into the abyss forever, it could mean you’re charging to high or going after clients who can’t afford or don’t value what you’re bringing to their business.

2. Take a course

I am in love with learning so much I’ve never been able to commit to a college degree. But the one thing that has helped my freelance business tremendously is the need to constantly be learning and growing everyday.

Even if you’ve been freelancing for years, there’s always something new to learn. Here are a couple of courses you may find helpful…

3. Join a group coaching program

The best thing I did for myself when I started freelancing full-time for the third time is to join a group coaching program. The investment is low, but the value is so so high!

Here is some criteria for choosing one…

4. Invest in one-on-one coaching

One-on-one coaching is definitely an investment. It takes a tremendous amount of time and effort and money, but the rewards are worth it. Here are some criteria for choosing a coach…

5. Stop worrying about money

Easy to say, but hard to do, especially when the bills are piling up. But worrying about money is as useful as putting on a poncho and going for a walk in a hurricane: it makes you feel protected but doesn’t change the situation. Take that energy you’re wasting and invest into trying some of these other tips instead.

6. Slash your expenses

It really does take money to make money.  If you’re pulling in a decent freelance income but still struggling to keep the lights on, it’s time to take an honest look at your lifestyle and make some adjustments. That $5 a day coffee habit may not seem like much, but it adds up quick.

Start by making a list of all your hard monthly expenses. Include everything that has a set monthly or yearly cost.

Next, right down every penny you spend in a month, regardless of how little the amount is. If you don’t use cash at all, print out your account activity and review it. Once you have 30 days worth of spending recorded, take a look at where your money is going and where you can cut back.

Here is a list of the things I gave up in order to avoid having to be a millionaire:

  • Car payment
  • Cable (I bought a Roku for $29 and pay $10.99/month for Netflix instead)
  • New clothes (I find new ones at the thrift store for a fraction of the cost)
  • Starbucks (I go out for coffee occasionally but my $12 coffeemaker works just fine)
  • Makeup (it’s bad for your skin anyway, I wear it only on special occasions)

Here are the things I REFUSE to live without:

  • Internet
  • Healthy food (I buy local meat at farmer’s markets and get organic stuff online at Brandless)

7. Pay down debt

Making money takes TIME. No matter how good you are at your craft. If you have crazy awesome skills and the most amazing client list anyone has ever seen, you’ll still need to learn how to be a business owner.

It’s hard to give yourself the time you need to adjust to the freelancing life if you’ve got a mountain of credit card debt, student loans, and an ultra-high mortgage for that mansion on the hill.

If you’re still working full-time, cut back on that $5 a day coffee habit and pay off your credit cards. Every. Single. One. Library fines, mortgages, car payments, and even internet are all expensive when there’s not much money coming in.

Starting a business with no debt gives you a clean slate. If you’re already freelancing full-time and up to your eyeballs in bills you can’t pay, you might want to consider getting a temporary job so you can chip away at those high balances. Trust me.

8. Sell your stuff so you can pay bills

If you’re in the full-time freelancing situation like I am and absolutely refuse to find temporary work, you can always sell your stuff.

It’s amazing the amount of used furniture, kids toys, books and even old clothing I accumulate without trying. Someone on Facebook is always looking to buy something. Or Craigslist. Or Etsy. Or….well, I think you get the picture.

You might not make much, but at least you can buy some groceries or put a little gas in the car.

9. Work less

My best work comes from the days when I work from 10am to 3pm with an hour lunch. Back in the day I used to call those half-days. But I find that four hours gives me plenty of time to start or complete a client project, do a little accounting, and work on my website.

When I put in 10-12 hour days, I am so stressed and tired that the quality of my work suffers and I tend to hate my freelancing life because I’m working wayyyy more than I did when I had a dayjob.

Work less. Live more. The freedom is worth it!

10. Plan your days

If you don’t want to get distracted by Netflix or the laundry or the dishes make a schedule. While things come up during the day, you can “win the middle” by taking control over your morning and evening routines.

There are a steady stream of planners, calendars and journaling systems designed with entrepreneurs in mind. Instead of trying them all, pick one and stick with it. Practice makes progress; you’ll get better over time.

11. Have a weekly “CEO day”

It doesn’t matter what flavor of creative freelancer you choose to call yourself: writer, designer, cute baby hat knitter, etc. You ARE the CEO of your career. Start acting like it.

The awesome coaches over at The Six Figure Freelancer started singing the praises of CEO Days back when I was struggling to get a handle on my freelance business. Instead of focusing on client work, pick one day a week where you do nothing but strategize. Write down your ideas, sing a song about them, do whatever it takes for you to visualize how you can get the life you dream about in your head out into the world.

12. Keep an eye on your business finances daily

Many of us creative types hate to think about money, much less deal with it. But the starving artist stereotype exists. Just because you’re doing what you love for a little bit of cash doesn’t mean you’ve sold out to the man. Quite the contrary. What it means is that you are living the life you dreamed about for years. Every. Damn. Day. So go out there and build a career you’re proud of.

13. Set a monthly income goal

Know thy expenses. Write them down. There’s your first monthly income goal. To break even.

See how easy that was?

Now increase that goal a little each month and it won’t be so overwhelming for you.

14. Discover your why

Why do you really want to be a creative freelancer? It’s not the money, is it? Or is it?

Here are a few of the most common reasons why people want to be a creative freelancer:

  • Make more money
  • Work less
  • To be a digital nomad
  • Flexibility
  • Stay-at-home with their kids
  • Freedom
  • The ability to work with who they want to work with
  • Take a moral stand
  • Health issues
  • Don’t want to commute
  • Early retirement
  • Less Stress
  • {Insert your reason here}

15. Do nothing

Yes, you need to work. But sitting in silence makes me a happier person. Scientific studies show that sitting and breathing reduces stress, promotes better sleep, and a whole bunch of other health benefits I can’t think of at the moment.

So don’t forget to do nothing at least once every day. Your work will improve greatly.

16. Reconnect to your why daily

This is different in knowing your why. You probably have had a why since before you left that full-time job. Everyday you need to spend a couple of minutes thinking about that why. It will help you when times get tough and you want to go back to corporate slavery. It will help you when every client you send a proposal to says no for an entire month. Your why is the driving force behind your business.

The crazy thing about your why is that sometimes it will change, especially if it’s tied to an income goal.

17. Practice gratitude

It’s hard to feel positive about your future when you hate your present. That attitude will spill over into everything you do, making it impossible for you to get ahead. It shows up in seemingly invisible ways that completely sabotage your freelance business, and people pick up on it. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have YET, spend a couple of minutes each morning being happy for what you do.

18. Market yourself everyday

This doesn’t mean you should call strangers on the phone and beg them to hire you. There are a million ways to market yourself to potential clients. Here are a few of my favorite (and most effective):

  • Connect on LinkedIn
  • Answer questions on Quora
  • Send cold-emails
  • Write a guest post on someone else’s blog

19. Start a monthly newsletter for current and past clients

Are you keeping an email list of all your clients? If not, get started right away. I find emailing regularly helps keep people in the loop and reminds them I exist. Clients I haven’t heard of for years often come calling once I start this habit. I have to admit, I’m rather inconsistent about it, but it is an easy way to warm people up to your services that haven’t used them in a while.

20. Learn a new skill and start selling it

As you begin working with others, find out what their biggest problems are. Add new skills to your repertoire based on your client’s needs and you’ll never be out of work again. Need a little training? There are tons of free and paid options available online, in various price points.

A couple of courses and training sites to check out include:

Creative Live

Coursera

Udemy

The Designer’s Pricing Class

The Six Figure Freelancing Academy

21. Talk to others about their success

22. Be more organized

23. Clean your desk everyday

24. Start using project management software

25. Save half of your income for taxes and reinvest what’s leftover once you pay them

26. Change your business structure

27. Start treating your business like a job and show up everyday

28. Make a dream client list

29. Create a daily mindset practice

30. Take a vacation

31. Stop comparing yourself to colleagues online

32. Find a hobby you enjoy

33. Spend more time with your kids

34. Use a Chrome Extension like Win the Day or Stay Focused to cut down on distractions

35. Turn off your cell phone

36. Turn off your TV

37. Schedule fun time everyday

38. Spend more time with your friends

39. Join a business networking group

40. Quit your dayjob

41. Start a side hustle

42. Get a part-time job

43. Stop procrastinating

44. Ignore the hype

45. Build your sales skills

46. Learn to write a cold email

47. Hire someone

48. Fire someone

49. Start a network marketing business

50. Research potential clients