Hourly freelancing generally involves finding a task that many people can do, and doing it slighly better or slightly cheaper (or slightly more conveniently) than others can. It’s not a bad gig, but with some planning, you can do better.
Start by focusing on three things (and a bonus):
1. An audience (organizations or individuals) that has money to invest in having you solve their problem
2. An audience that realizes it has a problem that needs to be solved
3. A skill, a service, a story, a resource or a technology that only you can provide
4. (A bonus): An outcome that your customers will choose to tell other people about
When any of these elements are missing, you’re likely to be seen as a replaceable cog, without the leverage you seek. The challenge is in finding an area where you can grow and the committing to earning that asset.
If you find yourself saying, “you can hire anyone, and I’m anyone,” then you’re selling yourself short. And if you find yourself arguing with potential clients about what this sort of work is worth, it may be that you’ve chosen the wrong clients.
You are not a task rabbit. You’re a professional doing unique work that matters.