As a freelancer, you have little consistency and security in how much you will get paid each month.
In a typical 9-5 job, you receive either a salary or an hourly wage, which allows you to plan your personal and business expenses accordingly.
But as a freelancer, working one-off jobs, you never know exactly how much you will receive each month. Some months, you will have less work than normal. Other months, there will be much more. Also, even after completing your job, some clients will pay late or, sadly, not pay at all.
This inconsistency in revenue is why many freelancers ask, “Is there some way to build recurring revenue into my freelancing business?”
With recurring revenue, you benefit from the consistency of regular payments for products or services that require much less work than the continual sourcing new leads.
Here are four ways that you can add recurring revenue to your own WordPress freelancing business...
1. Offer a Productized Service
A productized service is basically what it sounds like: it is a service you offer, but it is standardized in some way to allow you to provide the service to more clients.
One productized service that many WordPress freelancers have begun offering is a WordPress Maintenance Plan. A maintenance plan requires very little to implement but can bring a solid, recurring revenue, which explains it's popularity.
These maintenance plans usually involve offering the basics you’d expect for WordPress maintenance, such as plugin updates, backups and security monitoring.
2. Create a Product
You can also offer a product, such as a plugin, theme, or training course.
The upside to building a product is that it is not only recurring revenue but also almost entirely passive. Once you create a product, no matter if you sell 1 or 100,000 units, you put the same amount of work in each month.
But, a major downside to this model is that it requires a lot of work up front. And you never really know if your product will be a success.
That being said, many WordPress freelancers I’ve met have found much success building products as an additional offering or even small business.
Nathan Tyler of Tyler Digital has built a remarkable development agency. But if you take a look at his site, you will see that he has also built some excellent WordPress plugins.
3. Resell a Product or Service
You don’t always have to create a new product or service. Instead, you can resell someone else’s product or service.
Many companies offer solutions such as white labeling that will allow you to resell their product or service.
One of the most popular options here is hosting. Freelancers will purchase a large hosting package and charge their clients a fee to host their website (and you can even introduce a maintenance plan here).
Or take a look at Video User Manuals (created by WP Elevation’s Troy Dean). They offer the ability to white label their WordPress training videos and sell it to your clients. I’ve seen some WordPress freelancers who will add this to their clients site at a small, monthly charge.
4. Recurring Billing
Maybe creating and selling a product or service just isn’t for you. Maybe you just like offering your one service and want to stick to that.
That’s fine. There is still a way to introduce recurring revenue into your business.
Many freelancers receive some small requests from current and past clients for their site. For instance, maybe they want a new plugin installed.
Most freelancers might charge a little bit for this one-off job. However, these one-time, small jobs provide an excellent way for you to make recurring revenue - and also will allow you to serve your clients faster.
Instead of billing for each job, you can have your clients sign up for a monthly support plan. You charge them a certain amount each month that includes a certain number of hours of work.
For the client, this is useful as well because they no longer have to worry about paying each small invoice. For you, you get a revenue you can count on.
What Recurring Revenue Models Do You Use?
Have you implemented one of these recurring revenue models into your own business? Did you find it successful?
Have you implemented something else?
Please share in the comments below.