Oct 4

Freelancer Sales Tips (+ 3 Things to STOP Doing)

I asked my LinkedIn network for their BEST freelancer sales advice. They did not disappoint! Here I share their wise words with you, so you can confidently market and sell your freelance services.
Time and again my freelance coaching clients tell me that getting clients is one of their biggest challenges.

It doesn't surprise me at all. And frankly, it's getting harder. There are more freelancers in this post-pandemic world, and with the constant threat of economic turmoil lots of businesses seem quite hesitant to invest at this point (a HUGE mistake if you ask me).

This perfect storm, of increased competition + fiscal uncertainty, means that you're going to want all the sales tips you can get. That's why I asked my awesome network, and I'm pleased to share their advice with you here.

[Watch] these 3 things are harming your sales

Tip #1: know who you are

A lot of freelance advice centres around the idea of "knowing your worth". I get that, but I personally prefer not to attribute my worth to a monetary figure (or money at all, actually).

A better way to sell your services as a freelancer is to dial into who you are. Before you write this idea off as some fuzzy self-development mindset stuff, consider this: if you know who YOU are, then you can connect more easily with your ideal client. Greater connection = more sales.

Freelance consultant Kate Skelton says "be yourself. You'll form much more positive relationships with the right kind of people if you're not pretending to be something you're not. I regularly make silly jokes and have some fun on calls with prospective clients, because that's my personality, but also to gauge whether we will have the kind of working relationship that works for us both."

I love this advice. So many of us wear a mask when talking to clients, pretending to be some warped version of "professional" in an effort to impress. Rarely does it work, and even when it does, we don't often feel good about it. We know when we're being inauthentic (and they probably do too).

Meghan Downs advice builds on this: "don’t be afraid to put people off working with you. It’s almost as important as attracting the right people. If someone can say they’re definitely not right for your service, it avoids time-wasting."

Freya Swanson Costello agrees: "don't be afraid to walk away from a client if they're not the right fit. It won't make you happy, you won't enjoy the work and your mental health will suffer."

So freelancing tip #1 here is simply: know yourself in order to find those best-fit clients. So think about it, who are you?

Tip #2: Be a niche expert

I personally believe that niching down is really important if you want to build a solid freelance business. When you position yourself as an expert in a specific area of focus, selling is MUCH easier. You can charge more too. I know this because I've done it.

No, niching is not vital, but trust me when I tell you that it really helps, in all areas of your business!

Business strategist Edward Beaman agrees: "specialize. You’ll stand out to the right people and be seen as an expert. As a result, you can charge higher prices and work faster while doing what you enjoy most."

When you niche down you know your clients better than anyone else does. That's gold. And when you can articulate your client's challenge as well as they can - if not better - you can create done-for-you services that they can just buy.

WooCommerce consultant Neil Matthews says: "create productised services, they are really easy to sell as upsells on custom work"

When you've niched to a level where projects are predictable, you can easily offer "productised" services. This is a way to deliver your services in a more structured and repeatable way. I go into detail about this in my course The Freelance Business Builder but for tip #2 of my freelancer sales advice list, please do consider niching down to become an expert. You won't regret it, and even if you find it's not for you, you can always change direction because nothing is set in stone. It's your business, after all!

Tip #3: "Sell the solution, not the service"

I have taken this quote verbatim from Webflow developer Peter Wright. Despite this advice being one of those things we tend to hear all the time; it needs to be said repeatedly because it is so often overlooked!

When you get on a call with a prospect resist the urge to get into the detail right away. Even if a client wants to. I've been on many calls where a client wants to get into the functional solution. But you are not selling a website, or a logo, or some copywriting; you are selling an outcome, so it's important to first know what they're actually dealing with.

Take the time to diagnose before you prescribe. Yes, this can slow the thing down, but high ticket services aren't built on quick transactions. Create the relationship by putting what you DO aside in that first conversation, and sit with the person and their challenges.

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Get more sales tips for freelancers in my course The Freelance Business Builder
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