But chances are, a few years down the road, instead of working the elusive ‘4-Hour Workweek’ and having adventures every day, you feel like you’re always working, juggling too many clients who need you round the clock, and not making as much money ask you’d like.
You’ve tried ‘working smarter not harder’, increased your rates and tested all the productivity hacks under the sun, but somehow you’re still feeling overwhelmed and underpaid. Don’t worry, you’re not a ‘bad digital nomad’ (seriously, I’ve heard so many people say this about themselves!), but it might just be time for you to scale your business and take it to the next level.
Here are the 3 main signs that it’s time to scale, and a short overview of how to go about it:
Sign 1: You work too much
Do you have more clients wanting to hire you than you can take on? Maybe you’ve already taken on too many and now you’ve got so much work that you simply can’t juggle it all. You’ve missed some deadlines, or the quality of your work is starting to suffer because you’ve got too much on your plate.
You’re probably working all hours of the day, and even on weekends. And worst of all, you feel like your work-life balance is a total joke, as you can’t even remember the last time you took a full weekend off, or even *gasp* a vacation.
Sign 2: You can’t grow your income anymore
Do you feel like you’ve hit a ceiling with your earnings? You might have already increased your hourly rate and your package prices a few times and feel like there isn’t any room left to raise them. The market simply won’t allow for you to charge anymore.
But at the same time, you can only work so many hours, so your earnings are stagnating. You’ve completely maxed out the time you can work and the amount of money you can make with that time.
This is a really common situation, and every successful freelancer will reach this point.
Sign 3: You’re burning out
This is a really common sign and you might have mistaken it for being ‘too unproductive’ or just disorganised. While that’s also possible, burnout is a sign of being ready to scale up your business.
You might even feel like your work isn’t enjoyable anymore, that you’re overwhelmed and aren’t even enjoying this business you set up.
If you’ve nodded along while reading the signs above, then it’s time for you to level up your business! Yay!
It probably sounds super daunting to scale up your business and take on even more work, right? But only by taking your biz to the next level will you be able to create more balance and freedom and make time for all the other important things in your life, like travel, family, friends, hobbies (remember those?), exercise and all the other good stuff.
You’ll also be able to build some extra income streams and finally increase your income, which will, in turn, give you even more freedom.
Now the big question is ‘how do I do that?’ and while this topic is
The most important thing is to define your core offer and know exactly what you’re offering your clients. This is crucial, as you’ll have to get clear on all the different roles that you’ve taken on so far. For example, if you’ve been offering web design and branding, you could be wearing the hats of designer, brand consultant, web designer, project manager, copywriter, accountant, marketer, UX expert…and the list goes on. You get the idea!
Get clear on all the different roles and then find contractors to bring onto your team. They can be on a retainer or project-based pay. Of course, there is a lot of work involved in vetting and hiring a whole bunch of contractors, which we won’t get into here.
Next, you’ll want to add some extra income streams to your business. These can be passive, but they don’t have to be, as you now have a team to help you.
And last, but not least, you’ll want to properly ramp up your marketing efforts by putting a client funnel into place. It will be your main job to get more clients, so freelance platforms and hanging out in Facebook groups won’t cut it anymore. A client funnel can be automated and help you bring in qualified leads for your business.
I know it sounds like a tonne of work, and it will definitely be a learning curve. But like our expert, Esther said in the Inner Circle, “Baby, it’s time to scale!”.
If you’d like to learn how to grow your freelance business step-by-step into an agency model, then come and join us in the DNG Inner Circle! Join the waitlist here.
A HUGE thank you to Esther Inman for being our featured expert and sharing her brilliance and experience with us! You can find out more about Esther and her businesses The Content Bank and Virtual Assistant Internship here or come and hang out with her inside the DNG Inner Circle.
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