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How Can Freelancers Earn More Without Working More

I started working as a freelance guitar tutor in my 20s.

I enjoyed it and it was pretty good money (for a university kid) but I quickly realised 2 potential problems:

1) There was a cap to how much I can earn

2) If I went on vacation, I would “lose” a lot of money since I can’t earn it while I’m away

That was when it sparked off several ideas that led me to building my own music school today.

But this post is not about how I built it.

I was speaking with a freelancer personal trainer recently where I mapped out a plan for her to get more clients online.

It brought back memories of those days where I worked as a freelance guitar tutor.

Times where I got so tired rushing around for private guitar lessons yet I wasn’t hitting the income level I wanted.

So this post is written for freelancers who want to earn more, but maybe not wanting to put in more work hours.

Here are ideas I’ve personally executed that can help you achieve that.

For a start, you WILL need to put in the work to execute the idea, but after which, your income can potentially grow in larger proportions than the work hours put in.

1. Create an online video course

This is perfect for coaches, experts, trainers and teachers. Basically anyone with a specific knowledge to share and teach.

Why not record all your knowledge into an online course and sell it to more people?

You just need to record it once, host it on a learning platform, and start selling it on your socials or run ads to market it.

I wrote a whole course about how to sell and monetize your knowledge. I haven’t been promoting this, but here I go into step-by-step details how you can do it systematically.

(You can check it out here)

It helps a lot to be clear on the outcome you are going to deliver through your video course, before moving to planning the outline and creating the content.

Outcome = what they can achieve after going through your course.

If you’re already an expert on a topic, maybe a physical fitness trainer, then this part should be relatively easy.

Once you set your goal, then proceed to write your outline (topics).

Start filming the video content according to the topics written.

These days, the quality of our mobile phones are more than enough to shoot good videos. 

You may want to invest in a microphone because audio quality is important.

For me, I use a wireless condenser from this brand called Boya. You can google ‘Boya wireless mics’.

After filming, you can use this mobile app called Capcut to edit your videos. It’s easy to use and it’s free. You can even use it to generate subtitles for your video automatically – that’s my favourite feature of the app.

Once your content is done, host it on a learning platform. There are plenty.

I personally use ThriveCart as my learning platform – I use it primarily as a checkout cart but it also allows me to host my videos on their learning platform.

Once your videos are created, the challenging part would be to get sales from your course.

I’d firstly sell it through my social media.

Then I’d write a landing page to sell this course, and run Facebook ads to it.

I’ve done this many times, and this was how I finally don’t have to teach private guitar lessons anymore while earning more than I would have as a private guitar tutor.

All my teaching methods are recorded online and people can now purchase and learn it at the comfort of their own home.

2. Write an eBook containing tips/hacks

This is another type of digital product you can sell – something easier to produce than a video course.

Digital products are my absolute favourite stuff to create and sell because once sold, it’s already delivered.

I don’t have to fulfil anymore or put in the time to earn that money.

For eBooks, you can write a topic around a method or process that can help someone achieve their goals.

My eBook is on the topic of running profitable facebook ads, using my 3-step method.

You can create eBook not just on processes, but perhaps stuff like a cheatsheet, worksheet, hacks/tips.

Dan Koe makes somewhere between $1-$3m annually selling his digital products – and he prices them around $150 per product.

One of his best selling products is his 2 Hour Writer course.

It’s a combination of a written and video course.

If you don’t want to create a video course, the next best option would be to write an eBook or something like a written course.

3. Bundle a product with your service

When I started offering music lessons, I wanted to sell a product that my students could buy and that I could also profit from.

The idea was to increase the amount of money they could spend with me (increasing the customer lifetime value)

That led to me building my own brand of musical instruments. They learn music from me and also buy my music instruments.

If I were to restart as a freelancer today, I/d think about what products I could bundle with my services.

A product that can either help my clients get to their goals faster or easier.

If I’m a physical trainer, I might consider tools like stretching band, heart rate monitor, or even go into recovery supplements if I had the capital to.

If you’re in a profession that doesn’t quite allow you to build physical product, that’s where point 1 and 2 above comes into play.

You can bundle them together with your usual service and increase the total selling price.

4. Build a referral system

This is another way to generate more income with you having to work more.

There are 2 ways you can do this.

First would be to partner with fellow peers in your industry, and send clients to them and earn a referral fee for it.

Why would you do that? Maybe your client list is full – or the client isn’t a good fit.

Refer to someone and charge them maybe 50% of their first month fees. 

Secondly, you can partner with related vendors.

If my music students want to purchase a guitar today, but I don’t have my own brand of guitar, I might partner with a music shop, and get paid for sending someone there to buy an instrument.

Building out networks like these and earning referral can work out in your favour in the long run.

It’s almost like passive income.

5. Increase your rates

This is the easiest thing to say, but the hardest to implement, especially if you are already working with existing clients whom you may not feel comfortable increasing rates.

But this is the fastest and best way to increase your income.

If it helps, you can provide more value while increasing your rates.

For example, you can increase your hourly rate, and tell your clients they also have access to your online training.

So it all goes back to taking the effort to build more digital assets (courses, PDFs) that can increase your overall value.

To increase your income without putting in more hours, the key is to leverage the media.

Build digital assets.

Create educational videos.

Put out more value. 

Once you increase the value you put out, you can increase your income.

Who Is Edmund Chew?

I own a 7-figure music education company called TravelClef. I help fellow business owners scale their business using paid ads. I’m obsessed with marketing and entrepreneurship.

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