Who doesn't want to make more money? It's a safe bet to say that we all want to become multi-millionaires.

The problem is that if you don't know your true earning potential, then you're probably going to have a hard time achieving that goal. When I started in the business world I never really believed that I could make great sums of money. I believed that "some day" I would make a six figure salary. Sound familiar? It wasn't till I really started believing in myself that I started to unlock my multi-million dollar earning potential.

But, how exactly can you unlock your earning potential?

Here's a couple of ways that myself along with many others have unlocked their true earning potential.

Starting Out

How much should someone with your experience be earning? That's the million dollar question that freelancers and small business owners ask when starting out.

In most cases, they charge hourly rates after doing some research, like searching freelance job boards. But, this may not always the most effective method.

For starters, there are many variables to consider when determining your earning potential, such as your location, family size, and monthly expenses. A freelancer with roommates living in Tennessee won't need to make as much money as the freelancer who owns a home for their family in the Bay Area.

Another concern with charging hourly is that you're often stuck making that same amount of money each hour - regardless how long it takes to complete a job. That's why some freelancers opt to charge per project.

The fact of the matter is that when starting out, do some research and look at multiple job boards where there are freelancers that have the same experience and skills as you.

You then need to look at factors like your specific cost of living. At the very least, you'll get a ballpark estimate on how much you can start charging clients.

Knowing What You're Really Worth

However, determining your true earning potential is more than just a job title and your experience level. Variables like unemployment rates, geography, and minimum wage increases can also impact compensation.

That's why you need to consider the following factors when attempting to find out what you're really worth.

Do some online research.
Create a one-page "brag sheet."
Get the timing right.
Compromise.
Ask for a specific number.

I'll also suggest that you start targeting more high-profile clients. Gigs on Fiverr are cool if you're just starting out or need a couple of bucks fast. But, you're not going to find clients who are willing to pay you what you're really worth.

What's Your Unique Value Add Proposition?

"As a freelancer, you're the mouse. There are 100 other mice out there," writes William Lipovsky in an excellent Due post discussing the importance of unique value proposition.

"Getting in the top ten isn't too difficult if you're good. Your prices must be competitive, you must prove you can do the work, you must be pleasant to deal with." writes Lipovsky.

"But being in the top ten doesn't mean you have a job. There's often only a job for the best. Why are you the best? What is your unique value add proposition?"

In other words, when you make your pitch you should always be asking; "Why would they want to hire me?"

What makes you stand out from all of the other freelancers out there? What skills or experiences makes you the best damn freelancer around? How can you help solve a specific pain point for a specific group of clients?

When answering those questions, be honest and authentic. You should be able to determine your unique value add proposition.

How To Price Yourself as a Freelancer

Some of the best advice I've read when it comes to determining how much you should charge as a freelancer is from an CareerFoundry article written by Jake Jorgovan.

"Make up your pricing for every client. There is no formula, no rules, and no perfect way to do it," writes Jorgovan.

However, your pricing is based on the following criteria:

Do you enjoy working with the client?
How much do you expect the client to pay?
How much value are you providing the client?

Don't be afraid to experiment either until you find the pricing model that works best for you.

How You Can Start Earning More Money Now!

While you may have finally determined your true earning potential, it can still be difficult to to grow your client base and increase your revenue.

Thankfully, you can change all that by following these priceless tips:

Target a highly specific niche.
Calculate your hourly rate.
Look for upsell opportunities.
Look for additional revenue streams.
Leverage your existing connections.
Use freelance networking sites.
Team-up with other freelancers.

How have you unlocked your true earning potential?

Published on: May 31, 2017
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.