Are you struggling to meet your income goals? Many writers face this challenge. But you might be sitting on a cash cow and not even know it.
Maybe you’ve just had a contract end, and need to replace that income. Maybe you just want to make more money to save for a special trip. Or maybe you’re ready to move up and earn more, but you’re not sure how to make it happen.
Whatever the case may be, your gut instinct might be to fire up your computer and start looking for new prospects.
There’s nothing wrong with that. If you have zero clients, that’s what you should be doing.
But if you’ve been in the game long enough to have even one regular client, it may be time to take a step back. There’s a way to work smarter, not harder.
When I figured out how this cash-cow technique works, I turned a $200 a month gig into a $1,500 per month contract with the same client.
Want to learn how to get more business from your current writing clients? Here’s how:
1. Jump on opportunities to expand
Don’t simply turn in assignments when they’re due. Pay attention to what’s happening with your client and where things are changing.
When you see a need or when your client comes to you for help, make yourself available. This is a great chance for you to pick up more work and show off a larger skill set. Opportunities to upsell your client and book more work may include:
- A new product launch or redesign
- Changes in management
- Company merger or acquisition
- Annual awards or recognition
- New marketing channels (podcast, social media, blog)
- Investor funding to expand facilities or R&D
2. Be a problem solver
Is your client being bogged down by managing a new project or a launch? Be a resource for them.
If you see an opportunity for your role to grow, explain how you can be part of the solution and give them a few ideas. If you can open their eyes to different opportunities, they’ll be more likely to trust you.
Exercise a little bit of moxie: If you fit the profile of an introvert freelancer, you might be reluctant to call out a problem your client is having. Get over yourself. Giving your client useful suggestions to resolve a problem will boost your credibility as a trusted partner. And they’ll be more likely to send additional work your way.)
3. Get a raise
Request a raise for your work. After 6 months of working with your clients, get in the habit of asking them for a raise.
An important thing to note here is that if you request a raise, be prepared to walk away if they say no. If a client gives the OK to your raise and continues to work with you, it’s a good sign that they’re a client you can expand with.
Note: January is a great time of year to raise your rates. And it’s not to late to do it. Figure out a rate increase that seems reasonable to you, and let all your clients know.
Send an email like this:
“As of Jan. 31, I’ll be raising my rates by X percent. Projects booked before Jan. 31 will be based on 2018 pricing.”
Then wait for your inbox and voice mail to blow up.
4. Show your value
Work hard to meet your clients’ goals and show them that you care about results. Ask them about the results their getting and keep track of what’s going on in their space.
For example, I knew that longer content would drive more traffic for my client, so I suggested that they made longer posts part of their strategy.
Ask your clients about results related to your work to measure things like:
- Social media engagement
- Page views
- Email subscribers
- Average page view times
- Lead magnet downloads
- Blog post comments
5. Keep growing
Meet your deadlines, present new ideas, and be the type of person who you would want to work with to keep growing with your client.
If you can expand your role once, there will likely be another opportunity for you to do so.
This is also a great time to ask your clients for referrals or get a testimonial. If you’ve done good work and followed the under-promise-over-deliver rule with your clients, they’ll be happy to help you and tell their niche contacts about you.
6. Stay where you are to earn more
Getting new clients is exciting and can open doors, but you shouldn’t ignore your current clients. Take a closer look, and you could be sitting on a cash-cow of additional work.
Sometimes, all it takes to level up your income is paying attention. Don’t fear asking for a raise or sharing your ideas. Those actions can quickly put money in your pocket.
Upsell to put more money in your pocket
When I spoke to my client about a rate increase, I was terrified. But they were a lot more receptive to it than I thought.
I didn’t simply ask for more money. Instead, I stuck to this process and let this client know how I would provide more value to them. Once I did that, they were on board.
We negotiated a few terms, including the deliverables that were expected, and I had a new contract signed a few hours later. I went from earning $200 a month from this client to $1,500 a month by using these upselling techniques.
Bottom line? If you want to make it as a freelance writer, you have to advocate for yourself. Upselling techniques can put you on the fast track to move up and earn more. Try it. The results may surprise you…they certainly surprised me.
Need help upselling your freelance clients? Lets discuss in the comments below.
Alyssa Goulet is a freelance technology copywriter. Her past clients include Functionize, Focus@Will, and MemberSuite.