4 Biggest Mistakes Established Freelancers Make That Limit Their Earnings
If you have been freelancing for a while you should already have a sound system in place to attract your ideal clients. You should have narrowed down your market niche and advertise your services effectively so you can secure enough client work to be financially stable.
So, what else can you do? One key area that is often overlooked, by novice freelancers, and can massively boost your income margins and make you indispensable to your clients is your ability to stay ahead of the curve. That means you are not just providing a service but creating the opportunity for future services. How is that possible and what does that mean for your clients?
Incorporate feedback time
When you offer your services through an online platform there is probably already a feedback loop in place, where your clients can rate their experience working with you and offer feedback. However, while valuable, this is not the type of feedback you always need. You need deep insight into your client’s brain, which only comes if you are paying close attention to how they are responding or if you just straight up ask for it.
The latter is best if you already have a good working relationship in place and haven’t just started working together. But even if that is the case, just think. When was the last time your client was blown away by your service? What problem or issue did you solve for them? That kind of information is particularly useful when you are looking to stay ahead of your clients’ needs and will be the basis of your actions moving forward.
Predict their needs
With your feedback loop in place, it is now time to focus on what each client needs the most or what their future needs and desires look like. This can look different for each one and your role, as a professional, is to identify where in their entrepreneurial journey the clients are, and where they are looking to go.
- One client is just starting out and knows they need help but not exactly why or for what!
- Another client has been working with freelancers for a while and has limited time to edit or review your work. They just want someone to get the job done quickly and without issues.
- Lastly, it could be that a client is gearing up for a big change and will require extra support in the future. They might have more permanent or complex roles available that they will be looking to fill from people that are already familiar with their work.
Focus on freeing up their time
While your strategy may differ according to what your clients’ need, one thing is for sure. The key component where you show you can provide value and that you are one step ahead of them in predicting their needs and looking out for their best interests is to free up their time. So, do some extra research before you send them an email with a question that is easy to answer. Make your virtual communication as smooth as possible and if you see something that needs fixing or altering, be proactive by making a suggestion and offering a solution.
Obviously, staying ahead of your clients’ needs also means it will be easier for you to upsell your services. This can only be done when a client recognises they need additional help and that you are the right person to make it happen. You will want to time your pitch just right, ideally right after a successful project that you have completed flawlessly, and focus on the big-picture goals that matter to them and not the fact that you can do it. You have already sold yourself previously!
A clearly thought out plan, with measurable goals and objectives that are client-driven, is the way to go! So instead of saying, “I can take on your email marketing.”, you instead send them a proposal with a few changes you will implement, a timeline of the project, and your suggested milestones to show you have put some thought into this plan and that it is the best option for their business going forward.
If you are still struggling with how to stay ahead of your clients’ needs, we can help.