Written by Mat Casner

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Ep. 8. Adding Recurring Revenue to Your Freelance Business


Freelance CEO Mat Casner
The Freelance CEO Podcast with Mat Casner
Ep. 8. Adding Recurring Revenue to Your Freelance Business


Now, guys, we’re gonna talk today about recurring revenue. At its very essence, what that means is getting paid on a consistent basis. Maybe that’s week to week, maybe that’s month to month, maybe that’s quarter to quarter or maybe even year to year. But the idea is that there is recurring revenue that’s coming into your business that’s predictable. I remember when I started freelancing and, and I think many of us are like this, we are working from job to job. We’re finding someone who has a problem that we can solve, and we go to work for them. We do the project, we bill for the work, and we get paid, and then we rinse and repeat, okay, we find the new job, we serve the client, we bill them, and then we just continue on this treadmill. And I think this is probably one of the things that causes the most stress among freelancers, is the gap that comes in between those projects. Now, as I was getting started as a freelancer, I started off part-time, so the gap didn’t feel quite as noticeable, but as I started going Freelance full-time,

I started really becoming very aware of the periods of time when I was not getting work. And it created stress. It creates anxiety, and it puts extra pressure on you to be out there finding new work. Now, I’m going to say that I’m always on the lookout for a new client. I’m always looking for someone new to serve, but I don’t do it out of a sense of desperation anymore.

I’m looking to up-level my clients and to bring new opportunities to my business where I can serve and get results for new customers. What changed for me? Well, what changed was I started to learn that there were ways that I could serve a client on a consistent ongoing basis. Let me give you an example. One client that I worked for, I did some work for them, and you know, one day my phone rang and it had been a couple of months since this customer had called and they were wanting to get some updates to a, a piece of work that I had done for them. Well, of course I was willing to to help them out. And one of the things that they asked was, well, you know, we need to have this piece updated every so often. Would it be okay if we just set up a, a contract with you so that every couple of months we would just know that we would be sending you updates for this piece of work, and that you would turn those around for us? It would save us a little bit of headache in terms of going out and trying to get the work done knowing that you would be there and be available for us.

Well, guys, it was like music to my years. I was blown away that there was gonna be someone that was going to be planning to pay me over the course of a year and having me being able to set up those recurring invoices knowing that that work was going to be coming down the road, and that was really just the beginning for me to understand the power of how recurring revenue can really stabilize and take the stress out of a Freelance business.

So today what I wanna share with you is I wanna share with you some very compelling reasons why recurring revenue is a great thing, but I’m also gonna share with you some great examples and ways that maybe you could be looking for recurring revenue in your business that might already be there. So the first thing I wanna say, and I’ve already said this before, is that recurring revenue creates stability in your cash flow. When you have recurring work coming into your business, that is cash that is coming into your business month after month, year after year, and it helps you to be able to plan for expenses. It helps you be able to plan for paying yourself, and it can decrease that at stress and anxiety because you have monthly income that’s coming into your business that you can plan on.

So like I mentioned, there could be a, a recurring revenue could come in, in, in a variety of different ways. It become in terms of a weekly type of an arrangement, or it could be monthly, or it could be quarterly, or it could be annually. I have customers that I’ve served now for many, many years, and I get,

I know that when a certain time of year comes around, I’m gonna be working on a project for them doing some updates and creating new work for them because we have created this relationship and knowing that that work is coming, of course, I, I communicate with them and commu we communicate often, but I can then put that project on my calendar months in advance knowing that when that time comes,

I’m gonna have that work there to work on. So that is that that stability that comes in our cashflow is super important, and we need to have that to make our businesses stable. So the second thing I wanna talk about is that when you start to work with your clients, then I want you to be on the lookout for opportunities for you to be able to serve your clients long term.

So what one of the things that I tell my customers is it is so much easier to sell to an existing client than it is to find a brand new client. So if you find a client that you really like to work with, then it’s up to you to start to find ways where you could provide that customer with some additional services.

Okay? Now, one of the things that I think that building a long-term customer relationship does is that also provides you with this, this increased trust and dependency. I can tell you that the clients that I have been working with for a very long time, trust me, and they know the work that I can do. They know my capabilities and they know that I’m responsible with the work.

I do the work in a timely manner, I communicate well and I meet deadlines. So with that increased trust and dependency means that the client now has a vendor or I can, I call myself a partner because I consider myself a partner working in their business with them. I create an opportunity for them to get work done at a faster rate. So, you know, the process when someone goes out and they’re looking for a freelancer and they have a project that needs to be completed, there’s this big evaluation process where they have to send out the R F P or the request for proposal, and they have to get all of the bids in and they have to go through everything and they have to pick a winner, and then they have to establish a relationship with a new vendor, the new freelancer. It’s exhausting. And when a partner that you’re working with a company that you’re working with can find you and you can develop a trusting relationship with them, then you’re really giving them the best of both worlds. They have a skilled freelancer that can do the work that they need to do, but they don’t necessarily have to go through that evaluation process every time they have a new project that comes up. In fact, some of my best clients now simply will pick up a phone, send me an email and say, Matt, hey, we have this new little project we’d love for you to do for us, and for me that just, that just tells me that they trust me and they’re not going to nickel and dime me.

I know they know what I charge, and they are comfortable with me doing whatever it takes to do the project, and then being able to submit the invoice. Now, with that comes some very important client management skills and communication is one of the biggest pieces. I don’t take advantage of this relationship with my clients where I have built trust. In fact,

I guard it very, very strongly. I wanna make sure that my client is taken care of and that I do exactly what they need, and if I can provide additional value, then so be it. That just makes the client more happy with the relationship they put they have with me. But the win is this, is that if I have a client that is really gonna call me whenever they have a project, that creates stability as well. Okay? I know that I’m going to have a client that is going to call me when they have work that needs to be done because they trust me, and they know that that work is going to be completed with excellence, okay? So it creates that fast track to get new work done and approved that you wouldn’t have in a normal client relationship.

So having this recurring revenue in your business can really strengthen your existing client relationships. Now, the last thing I wanna sell about recurring revenue is that, again, with these, these long-term client relationships you have, you get a chance to really learn their business. You get to learn the inner workings, you get to learn about their products, their services, their marketing, and it gives you a great platform for keeping your eye open for opportunities. Okay? You may have complimentary services or skills that could be valuable to your customer, and they may or may not know that you have them, but the longer the relationship that you have with your client, then you can have the opportunity to suggest maybe a complimentary skill that you have that could potentially turn into recurring revenue.

Let me give you an example. When I was getting started as a freelancer, I was, I, I built websites. I was doing graphic design and building websites and would typically use whatever hosting company that, that the customer was used to, to using, or maybe they didn’t have a choice, and we would just pick one. Well, over time,

I would be developing relationships with customers maybe who did not have a website. Maybe I was doing some graphic design or branding work for them, and the conversation would come up about websites and I would say, Hey, by the way, did you know that I could, I could help you with your website as well? Well, one of the ways that I was able to quickly spin up recurring revenue is I developed a relationship with a web hosting company, and I was able to use them as a way to upload and host my client’s websites in one central location for me at a fixed price, and then I could resell that service to my customers in the terms of a monthly web hosting invoice and monthly web maintenance. So for me, it was allowing me a chance to work closely with my customers, provide additional value, and I was able to generate work that was recurring month over month. So, again, I’m, I’m leaning on the trust and dependency that my clients have with me because now they trust me and are willing to give me more work. So the more recurring revenue that I can build in my business, and the more recurring revenue that you can build in your business actually helps to make your business more stable, it reduces the stress level that you have in your own life and the anxiety, and it gets you off of the feast or famine treadmill. All right, guys, remember, recurring revenue does three important things. It increases stability in your cash flow. It creates an excellent environment for long-term client growth, and it creates a unique opportunity to cross-sell and upsell complimentary services or skills that Could be Used for recurring Revenue.

Do you wanna get started as a freelancer, but not quite sure where to begin? Then be sure to check out the Freelance Blueprint, a free resource that I created just for you. Inside the Freelance Blueprint, I share a detailed roadmap that you can follow to help you build a stable and profitable Freelance business. Grab your copy of the Freelance Blueprint right now. Just go to Freelance CEO dot com slash blueprint. Would you like to learn how to find perfect clients? Even if you’re just getting started as a freelancer? Then I want to invite you to download a copy of my client Snowball framework. Get your copy now@clientsnowball.com. Hey, just a second. Before you go, I wanted to say thank you for tuning in.

I hope you found something here that’s valuable to you and your business, and if the podcast has been valuable, I’d like to invite you to leave us a positive review on iTunes or whatever platform you’re listening on. We would appreciate it. Your review really helps us to get the podcast in front of a lot more people.

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