You’ve honed your writing craft and brushed up on your copywriting skills. You have a great website full of glowing client testimonials and excellent portfolio samples. You’ve picked a profitable niche and started marketing yourself relentlessly to qualified leads.

But despite your efforts, you’re still having trouble charging high rates.

What is the problem?

Is it the state of the market? Or are you sabotaging yourself somehow?

Boosting Your Freelance Income Requires Mental Toughness

While there are several proactive practical steps you can take in order to boost your freelance income, that’s only one piece of the puzzle. You’re unlikely to be successful unless you also have the right mindset.

Getting a freelance writing business off the ground is a lot like running a marathon. It’s a long game. You need resilience, mental toughness and determination in order to succeed. More to the point, you need to make sure you don’t have any mental roadblocks that are preventing you from achieving your targets.

Understand You’re Worth It

I’m often amazed at how many fellow writers think they don’t deserve high rates. Unfortunately, if this sounds like you, no amount of advice in the world will help you increase your freelance income.

Not everyone can write. In fact, some people are terrible writers. This means you have a valuable skill and offer a valuable service. Drill this into your head.

The sooner you understand what you can offer your clients, the easier it will be to start charging what you’re worth.

It’s Easier When Your Schedule Is Full

I strongly believe it would have taken me much longer to boost my freelance income if I hadn’t gone through the experiences I went through at the beginning of my career.

It’s all well and good to say you should only target certain clients and turn down anything that doesn’t pay your rates. But the best of intentions quickly go down the drain when you have bills to pay and groceries to buy. Sealing the deal almost always involves a certain amount of negotiation. And you only have the upper hand in negotiations if you’re prepared to walk away.

It’s a lot easier to walk away from a deal if you have something to fall back on, irrespective of how terrible it is. If someone won’t pay your rate and you already have work lined up, you can afford not to give a shit. After all, you’ve lost nothing. If, on the other hand, you have nothing else going for you, you’re automatically at a disadvantage.

Of course, this means that, at least at first, you’re going to have to take on low-paying clients whether you like it or not. But don’t despair. The trick is to look at it as a stepping stone to better work. Keep at it, always do the best you can and keep going. You’ll get there.

What are some of the mental roadblocks that are preventing you from charging what you’re worth? Sound off in the comments below.

Boosting Your Freelance Income: Overcoming Mental Roadblocks
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6 thoughts on “Boosting Your Freelance Income: Overcoming Mental Roadblocks

  • Great post! I’m struggling with this issue at the moment and you’re right, you need to be prepared to walk away.

    When I first started freelancing a few months ago, I would have taken on some of the prospective clients I’ve had in the last few weeks. But I feel ready to refuse to work for low pay because I think it will be worth it to hold out for the rate I want.

    I think it’s important to focus on providing great return on investment though. For example, if you’re a copywriter, it’s not enough just to be a ‘good writer’ – although certainly essential. You must also be persuasive and understand target audiences. If you can demonstrate this to clients, they’ll be much more likely to pay your rates.

    I’m focusing on demonstrating to potential clients that I can provide the ROI they’re looking for.

    1. Hey Catherine,

      I couldn’t agree more. Good writing will only take you so far. As a copywriter, your value is much more than simply stringing words together into coherent sentences. You also need to provide additional value in the form of specialist knowledge and skills that translate into sales for your client. I’ve blogged about this here: http://maverickwords.com/tripled-freelance-income/

      That said, there’s also a mental component. You could be the best copywriter in the world, but you won’t get anywhere unless you believe in yourself and set yourself up for success. It truly all begins from within.

      I hope you win over some great clients soon!

  • I definitely have an issue with it because I think “Writing isn’t hard, why would someone pay for it?” But I think it’s that age-old thing of just because you can do something, you can assume everyone else can as well! That’s why I’m trying to focus on the crossover with my other skills. So sure, someone else might be able to write, but can they provide graphics as well? Or can they write meta descriptions and alt tags to accompany the writing? It helps me add value and boost my mindset that way 🙂

  • Hey Andre,

    I think it’s human nature to discount something we’re talented at. Raising your rates involves changing the way you see yourself and the work you do.

    Like you said, it’s no easy task, but it’s worth drilling into your head!

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