If you don’t want to ride a financial roller-coaster, get at least one anchor client and you’ll see less volatility in your freelance income.
A lot of freelancers start out gigging and some continue operating that way. A gig is a one-time or sometimes deal. Once it’s, it’s done. From there, you have to get what you need from somewhere else.
Gigging is like sleeping around. You get maximum freedom but minimal stability. It’s a stressful and risky approach, especially if you have a single-income household or you’re the breadwinner.
Anchor Clients Answer Top Freelance Concerns
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Nearly half of all freelancers are concerned about unpredictable income and difficulties finding work, according to figures from Upwork. One way to assuage those worries is with anchor clients.
Anchor clients are like long-term relationships. Once you connect, they’ll hold you down and you can build. You’ll get a long-term, steady supply of work, which translates into a reliable stream of income. And, if you’ve chosen the right anchor clients, you can pay your bills and stack your chips.
The trade-off for the financial stability is less flexibility in your work habits. When you have anchor clients, you can’t just finish the current job and drop off the grid for a month-long sabbatical. Having anchor clients means people are relying on you.
You get stable income. They get stable services.
Long-term Is Not Forever
You may work with your anchor clients for several months or several years. Don’t let the money or the length of the relationship obscure reality. Having an anchor client is a business-to-business relationship, not a marriage. At some point, anchor clients may, and likely will, decide to stop using your services.
That’s why you never want to be dependent on a single anchor client. And don’t upgrade your lifestyle in a way that consumes all the income from these clients without allowing you to save anything. Putting yourself in any type of circumstance where losing an anchor client will break you is putting yourself back in the financial danger zone.
If freelancing is your sole stream of revenue, either get multiple anchor clients or have an anchor client and gigs on the side.