How to make consistent money as a freelancer

Ahhh, freelancing.

You love what you do...

But you don’t love that your revenue looks like:

We’ve all snort-laughed at these posts because it’s painfully true.

But seriously, it doesn’t have to be.

In this article you'll see how to step off the wild rollercoaster ride of up-and-down revenue.

You can have smooth sailing knowing how much will land in your bank account each month. 

Because I couldn’t take any more of THIS:

My spouse gingerly asking “are you able to cover your half of the rent this month?”

And me bumbling “ummm I THINK I’m about to sign another client…” 

*awkward pause*

Okaaaay, it was fair to question if this “business” would actually work.

But I KNEW it would — I just had to figure it out.

And I did.

Now we’re ‘checking things off’ our vision board

House near the beach? Check.

‘Once-in-a-lifetime’ vacations, several times a year? Check.

Pool? ALMOST check! Just waiting for it to be installed.

My clients are amazing. I work with the best people. I take projects I personally care about, not just stuff that ‘pays the bills’.

I’ve helped a lot of other business owners figure it out too, so let’s get into it.

One of the biggest questions I’m asked is,

“How can I make consistent money with freelancing?”

Welp, first we gotta cover what’s not working.

The surprising thing is that it actually starts with your offer itself.

In the beginning it’s normal to do lots of different things.

You’re hustling to get your business off the ground, so you say 'yes' to EVERYTHING.

It's good to get started.

It gets money coming in the door.

It helps you figure out what you like, and what you don’t.

But at a certain point it stops working.

You get pulled in every direction

I regularly see freelancers saying stuff like,

I love every kind of writing! I write websites, emails, and social posts. I also write resumes and AirBNB listings.

Counterintuitively, offering too many things will leave you with too few clients.

Here’s one of the big reasons why…

People don’t understand what you do

You can’t talk about your offer effectively if you do a bunch of stuff.

The person who wants a resume, and the business owner who wants a website, are looking for completely different things.

And here’s the kicker:

Research shows that people need to see an offer 16 times before buying.

Talking about all those offers to all those different people is not only confusing…

It also makes your sales cycle sooOooOOOoo much longer because it takes FOREVER to hit that sweet spot.

Worst part, it’s exhausting

“I have NO idea how I’m going to hit six figures in my business. I once had a 10K month and I was EXHAUSTED, I can't keep that up”

I knew exactly what this person was talking about.

(Side note: I don't think five-figure months are necessary! It all depends on what you want life and biz to look like. 

Sometimes just knowing you CAN do it regularly is enough :)


Delivering a smorgasbord of services divided her attention and left her wiped by the end of the day.

She basically started from scratch every time, which cut into her billable hours.

And she didn’t see how to replicate those big money months because it was just too hard.

If this sounds familiar, it’s a sign you might want to rejig your business so it's sustainable long term.

In short, offering a bunch of different services:

→ Makes marketing your business harder.

→ Makes finding clients harder.

→ Makes delivering your service harder.

So, what should you do instead?

Here’s how things started falling into place

Actually, the backstory is pretty miserable.

I wasn’t going to talk about this but apparently I’m just laying it all out there.

I’d burned out bad. Completely and utterly burned out, unable to work for MONTHS.

As I slooooowly recovered I started taking clients again — but I had to be smart about it and listen to my body.

I asked myself,

“What's something that people are looking for, that I can easily do in a short amount of time?”

This was the start of my Signature Service.

This completely changed my business

A Signature Service is the one service you offer.

It is the simplest way to become more profitable, productive, and in-demand.

It’s how you become known, referred, and get a waitlist of people who want it.

It’s also how you build a service business without burning out. (Or in my case, how I recovered from burnout)

3 things for an amazing Signature Service 

On top of being something that people are looking for, it should also play to your strengths.

What would be fun and exciting to do for a client? Ding ding ding, follow that breadcrumb and see where it leads!

You can think of it as your unfair advantage.

What is something easy and enjoyable for you - that other people struggle with?

For me it was sales pages. People dread them, I’m great at them. Win-win.

A good signature service should be:
✔️ Easy to put together
✔️ Easy to sell
✔️ Easy to do

And in a sec we'll get into the 5 questions to ask yourself to create your signature service.

Before we do, let's get clear on why this works...

It’s how freelancers make the most money in the least time

Offering one service makes it easy to systematize into a repeatable process.

It makes you faster
Because I had a simple system to onboard and deliver, I could serve more clients in less time. (Or just serve the same clients in less time because... Netflix ;)

It makes you better
This makes you become an expert. Start with something you already know. Then the more experience you get, the better you become.

It makes work easier
You’ve got systems. You’ve got expertise. Now the work gets easier with every project, while taking less effort and time.

It sounds good so far, but maybe you're wondering...

Book more clients in 3 simple steps

Get 3 simple and practical ways to book more clients and start using them today

You'll stay on this page after registering so you can keep reading :)

“But will it be… boring?”

People always worry they’ll end up doing the same thing all the time.

And I feel ya, I’m allergic to boring!! I need to keep things fresh to stay interested and engaged. (Otherwise I fall off the bandwagon)

And even though I follow a similar process, the clients I work with span every topic imaginable:

• Organic lettuce farming

• Growing a profitable Facebook group

• Healing digestive issues

• Getting out of debt

• Online art classes for teens struggling with mental health

It never feels the same :)

So now that the wheels are turning and you’re starting to think of what to offer, let’s talk about how…

Done-for-you services fall into 2 camps:

✔️ Projects with a set beginning and end

✔️ Retainers where you provide monthly services

I know you’re probably like *duhhh* but seriously, there’s a lot going on here that nobody ever explained to me.

So here’s the quick and dirty on the upsides and downsides of both…


I recommend short-term projects for signature services; something you can deliver in a day, week or month.

Any longer than that and projects can suffer from scope creep, which is draggy and eats into your profit.

These are SO fun because they keep things fresh since you do something new all the time!

It’s also easy to play with your pricing. You can literally raise the price with every client you take until you find the “upper limit” of what’s easy for people to say yes to.

On the flip side, you need to sign new clients regularly - or offer the same service to your existing clients multiple times.

It’s not as stable as a retainer, so you can balance the “ups and downs” by having a highly desirable offer which makes it easy for people to buy.

Funnel setup, logo design, and sales page copy (my “thing!”) are all examples of projects. 


These offers are sweet because you get money coming in automatically every month!

(I remember running the numbers of “if I have 5 clients at 2K a month, that’s $10,000!!”)

The toughest thing about a retainer is also its greatest strength - it can be stable, but boring.

Retainers work well for higher-ticket services.

Low-ticket services aren’t worth the hassle, and people often find themselves feeling stuck overdelivering to clients who pay too little.

Price it right the first time, since you want a long-term (profitable!) relationship with retainer clients.

Social media management, Facebook ad management, and email newsletters are all examples of retainers. 

And it seriously affects how you get paid

Really! Just look at these cool graphs.

Even though projects and retainers seem so similar, the way you get paid is totally different. 

Projects give sporadic big payments

Retainers give steady revenue

It’s worth keeping in mind as you plan your Signature Service.

Ultimately, whatever you choose is just the beginning.

Once your Signature Service is up and running, you might want to move into Phase 2 of being a Profitable Service Provider…

Here’s how to run The Perfect Service Business 

This is ‘next level’ stuff, so if you’re not there yet don’t run off and try to do this right away.

I just want you to have the bird’s eye view of where we’re going so you see how it all fits together.

The Balanced Business Model strategically layers both a project and retainer service.

Which means your revenue looks like this:

Revenue with the Balanced Business Model

Ooo, look at that!!

A reliable 'cushion' of money, paired with Big Money days? Come to mama.

Layering the two services together gives the BEST of both worlds.

You have the stability of retainers, with the revenue spikes of projects.

It's the best mix of security, money and freedom.

The Balanced Business Model isn't about offering a random assortment services - it’s highly strategic. We'll cover the kinds of services you should offer in just a minute.

But before we get there, here’s the biggest reason I love the Balanced Business Model…

It gives you more freedom to enjoy life 

And because you’re not scrambling, you enjoy your business more too!

I personally like to cover more than all my life expenses (including fun extras, saving and Uber Eats) with retainers.

That way, I don’t sweat it if a client cancels.

It also gives the leeway for guilt-free “bare minimum work” months.

Sometimes I don’t take projects at all, and instead spend most of my time reading on my patio. Or traveling. Or whatever.

Because let’s face it, one of the biggest reasons you started freelancing in the first place was for freedom.

Go and live your life already :)

In Rome wondering when I'll get my next gelato fix

How to create your service suite

It’s not about creating different offers willy-nilly, it’s about strategically having 2 offers that work together.

They fit like puzzle pieces.

These related offers support each other and give your clients even more value.

Here’s where you can layer in the other kind of service to create a Balanced Business. Like if your Signature Service is a project, add a retainer.

Here’s how to do that…

Book more clients in 3 simple steps

Get 3 simple and practical ways to book more clients and start using them today

You'll stay on this page after registering so you can keep reading :)

Continue with a similar service
Clients often need a variation of your existing service.

Like a writer with a knack for emails might have an email funnel as the project, and weekly email newsletters as the retainer.

Solve the next problem
Addressing one thing often reveals a “next level” problem.

A graphic designer offering a custom brand kit might offer a monthly design service where they deliver a package of graphics so the business is always on-brand and in season. 

It’s a simple way to add more value (and make more money)

It’s easier to continue serving a client you already know and love instead of finding a new client.

It’s the perfect answer for when a client asks “how can we continue working together?”

Or you can pique their interest by saying something like, “If [this service] was helpful, you might want to think about [getting this other thing done too].

Shhh… this might even be a ‘secret service’

lol different Secret Service 😅

Depending on your offer, you can keep your add-on service as a secret offer that only Signature Service clients get.

This makes it easier to deliver.

For example, I typically write sales emails only for offers where I’ve written the sales page.

Not only do I already understand the offer thoroughly, I can count on the page to convert. I get the client even better results by also writing the emails.

Plus, it’s easier to market a Signature Service instead of a suite of offers.

Once clients are “in” they’ll want to keep working with you, and voila! You have a service designed specifically for that.

But I’m getting ahead of myself

Let’s get back to what you need to focus on now - creating your Signature Service.

Answer the 5 questions below to quickly outline your idea.

The quick start guide to creating your Signature Service

1. Who is this service for?

2. What will it help them do?

3. What is the deliverable?

4. What’s included? Not included?

5. Why are you the best person to deliver this service?

Once your Signature Service is well established, you can ‘rinse and repeat’ the process to create your add-on offer and build your Balanced Business.

Now you know what goes into a Perfect Service Business:

✔️ You see what makes a high-revenue, low-stress freelancer

✔️ You know the major roadblock that stops most service providers from making that happen

✔️ And you see how to overcome it with a service that's easy to create, sell and deliver

And you're probably wondering,

... How do I create a service people want?

... Where do I find people who want it?

... And how can I turn them into clients???

Great questions, let's dive in...

Katie Momo has been featured in

Copyright 2022, Katie Momo - Terms + Conditions - Privacy Policy