How to scale your freelance business in 5 simple steps

We all know the benefits of moving into a freelance career. And once you have a steady stream of work with a collection of trusted clients, it's plain sailing, right? Well, there's one area of freelancing that isn't often discussed – scalability. After all, it's hard to keep growing once you've maxed out your billable hours.

We've decided to put together a list of steps you can take to scale up your freelancing business. From taking on new people to branding, we've got the tips you need to grow. Without further ado, let's dive in:

1) Streamline your processes
How many of your weekly work hours are taken up doing admin, booking in work, and chasing invoices? And how much of that time could be transferred into billable hours?

By looking at how you work and creating workflows or processes to make things operate more smoothly, you'll have more time to fit in client work. It doesn't need to be complex. Something as simple as integrating your email, scheduling, and project documents into a service like G Suite will save you hours of time.

2) Build a team
This is perhaps the biggest step in scaling your freelance business. But don't worry, you don't need to take on an army of full-time employees in order to scale successfully. It can be as simple as outsourcing some tasks to specialists, getting some freelancers on your books, and having a few collaborators on speed dial.

Next time a project drops into your inbox that you're not able to fit in, pass the work along to one of your freelancers and take a management fee off the top. It'll feel weird, but as long as your freelancer is getting paid properly and the client is happy with the work, it's all good. Congratulations, you are now running a business!

3) Consider your brand
When you're a one-person setup, branding is pretty straightforward – 'this is who I am, and this is what I do.' But, once you have people who may be relying on work from you, it's important to start building something bigger.

Branding doesn't just mean getting an expensive logo and shiny website. Rather, it's about encapsulating the service you offer into something tangible that anyone (not just you) could sell. Consider everything – from your tone of voice in email, to the things you tweet about. That attention to detail will not go unmissed by clients.

4) Look at your revenue streams
Okay, so your processes are streamlined, you have a team of freelancers and suppliers ready, and your brand is up and running. Now it's time to go out and find bucketloads of new work.

You might have tried and tested methods of bringing in new business – if so, get exploiting them. If not, stress test a few different areas to see what works for you. Word of mouth and referrals are by far the most lucrative way to gain new contracts, so explore how you can maximise those. Also, something as simple as an afternoon touching base with old clients could yield some new work.

Sounds time consuming? Well it is, that's why you've got your team to do the day-to-day work, so you can concentrate on new business growth.

5) Get productising
In order to keep scaling your business, you eventually need to move away from service-only thinking. Time is finite, so you can only ever sell so much of it. But products can be produced and sold almost infinitely. All you need to do is find the right product to sell.

There's a whole host of ways you can productise your service. Of course, what you package up will vary hugely on what your specialism is, but if you scratch at the surface you'll soon find a number of options. For example, maybe you're a copywriter with a unique angle on advertising language. Why not collate your ideas and publish an ebook that can be sold to your peers?

In short, a product will enable you to potentially get your work to a much wider audience while providing an excellent passive income.

Of course, scaling up isn't for everyone. But, if you are thinking about making the move from freelancer to business mogul, we hope you've found this article useful. And, on your journey to billionaire status, why not sign up to our newsletter? It's free, and full of great tips and advice.

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