Diversifying Your Freelance Business – A Practical Application

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Diversify, diversify, diversify! You’ll hear this advice when it comes to your investments, your diet and your business. To me it can feel like trying to achieve balance – often illusive!

In theory, it’s sage advice – break up your income pie into different buckets, so you’re not dependent on just one source. But what does it look like in practice?

Where I’m at Currently

In preparation of making the leap into full-time freelance work, I’ve been trying to build up enough clientele to replace my current salary. I’m happy to say that I’m more than 50% there when I project out my billables for October, 2014. Here’s what it looks like at the moment:

Freelance Writing-32% of my current salary

Virtual Assisting-20% of my current salary

That leaves about 48% yet to cover. Some of the above is regular work and some are more one-off projects. My goal is to continue to increase my regular work through adding additional long-term clients. I’m not sure how much more I can take on at the moment – having a FT job and two toddlers (plus a husband) is time consuming!

It is nice to have the extra income in the meantime and increase our savings as we prepare to make the change.

Where I’d like to Be

It goes without saying that I’d like to be at 100% income replacement sooner than later. Ideally I’d like it to look something like this:

Freelance Writing-50%

Virtual Assisting-25%

Other-25%

I see the other column of encompassing a few different possibilities. It could be social media management, by creating some sort of passive income or through an intellectual product (i.e. a book or a course).

Over time it’ll probably shift even more, with less concentration on the service side (writing & VA work) and more on the passive side. That’s usually the dream of any webpreneur though, isn’t it?

How I’m Going to Get There

My plan at the moment is to keep doing what I’ve been doing. Keep pitching for jobs, keep making new contacts and keep putting myself out there. I want to remain open to opportunities and make sure my time is being allocated productively – I’d hate to tie myself up with too many low paying clients for example and not have time when the next right thing comes along.

I also don’t want to say no to all low paying opportunities though – you never know where they’ll lead. It sounds like I’m striving for that illusive balance again, doesn’t it?

How You Can Get There Too

Diversifying your freelance business isn’t as hard as you may think. You can do it through gaining multiple clients and/or by engaging in different types of work (i.e. writing vs. VA work). It can also mean engaging in passive vs. active income strategies. There’s a whole world of possibilities!

Start with a goal, share it with others and above all else, start. You can’t get anywhere until you take that first step. It doesn’t matter if it’s one that makes you fall – if it does, get back up, dust yourself off and try again. It doesn’t hurt to try, right?

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