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20 Invaluable Tips for Freelancers and Consultants Who Want to Make More Money

I have no idea where I found the article, Consulting Tips from the Million Dollar Consultant: Forty Methods to Increase and/or Protect Fees (by Alan Weiss and Patricia Fripp), but I have had it saved on a Word doc for 4 1/2 years. I re-read it every once in a while because it is both inspiring and confidence-building, and god knows that us small business owners need a boost of confidence every once in a while.

Here are the 20 tips for freelancers and consultants that I have found the most valuable over the years:

Base fees on value, not on task.

Never use time as the basis of your value.

Don’t stop with what the client wants. Find out what the client needs.

Engage the client in the diagnosis. Don’t be prescriptive.

Never voluntarily offer options to reduce fees.

Add a premium if you personally “do it all.”

If you’re forced to consider fee reduction, reduce value first.

Provide options every time: the choice of “yeses.”

Always provide an option that is comprehensive and over-budget.

As early as possible, ask the key scope question: “What are your objectives?”

If something is not on your playing field, subcontract.

Use proposals as confirmations, not explorations.

When asked prematurely about fees, reply, “I don’t know.”

Any highly-paid employee must bring in new business, not merely deliver.

Fees have nothing to do with supply and demand, only with value.

Psychologically, higher fees create higher value in the buyer’s mind.

At least every two years, consider jettisoning the bottom 15% of business.

Focus on improvement, not problem solving.

Provide proactive ideas, bench marking, best practices from experience.

Always be prepared to walk away from business.


Which 2 or 3 can you start doing today? Which ideas are brand new to you?

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