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You just completed a short project for a client and got paid and feeling on top of the world! Now you are back to the drawing board seeking new clients; a process that may take you a while before you land one. You feel drained, dejected, frustrated and hopeless after sending proposal after proposal without success. At this point, you may consider quitting altogether, but then you have bills to pay.

Let’s face it; acquiring a new client as a freelancer is not an easy feat. Stiff competition is now the order of the day in the freelancing world. Whether you are cold pitching, warm pitching or bidding on freelancing platforms like Upwork, or contacting clients via #jobopps direct in FB groups you need to put in extra effort to stand out and get noticed by clients.  Your search for new clients means putting in a lot of extra effort, spending more time and resources with no guarantee of success.

What if there was a short cut? Of course, there is! Upselling your current clients is the magic to improving your earning potential and significantly saving you time that would otherwise be wasted searching for new clients.

Think about this; after a good pitch, you finally land a client who needs a specific task done. You produce wonderful work and the client is satisfied, you get paid, and you part ways with the client, what a waste! This is your golden opportunity to turn them into repeat clients. Your first engagement helps you discover more opportunities to solve the client’s needs and in turn you can earn additional ongoing income.

Excited freelancer after upselling client
Excited freelancer after upselling client

Upselling is all about going the extra mile to please your clients by suggesting even better ways they that you can assist them to improve their businesses. Selling more services to existing customers is the path to growth for any serious freelancer or budding agency owner. You want to create a longer relationship with your current client by learning their business, mindset and getting in sync with their thought process.

This will not only help you sell more frequently, but also keep these clients coming back for more work.

By keeping clients happy and providing more value for their money, they will be eager to expand the initial project and spend more with you, sometimes several times that of the initial project!

Serving existing freelance clients is about finding ways to sell a little more content to them. Think about how you would upsell fries and a drink at McDonald’s. Instead of waiting for the clients to come to you for these solutions, you can change the narrative by being the one that proactively proposes them.

Learning the art of adding new services relevant to the client’s business, as a freelancer will not only help you earn more but also enables you to provide more value. This will, in turn, mean better ROI to the client in the long run.

Suggest relevant services to existing clients

You can get new freelance projects from your current clients by suggesting new and relevant services to them. For instance, after writing a 1000-word blog post, a freelance writer can then pull up 5-10 ideas from the blog post to be used as snippets on the client’s social media sites. This will help solve the client’s problem of not having new ideas for their social media content. These suggestions will be music to the client’s ears as you are saving them a lot of time.

The possibilities are endless. If you are a Graphic designer, you may suggest resizing some designs for social media after designing graphics for a client’s website.

As a transcriber, you may suggest repurposing a transcript into a blog post that can be posted on the client’s website.

Your goal as a freelancer is to add value to the business of your freelance clients while at the same time improving your earning potential and significantly reducing the time taken finding valued, long term clients. Treat their business like yours, and you’ll see the gaps you can quickly fill with your services.

Identify your client’s pain points

Freelancer on a video call with client
Freelancer writing notes on a video call with client

Working with a client is your golden opportunity to learn more about their business. What are their aspirations, goals, struggles, wins thus far and even regrets? This way, it becomes easier to come up with an approach formula. When you discuss with your client, ask them about the challenges they face in reaching their goals.

Ask what their frustrations are and dig deeper into their responses. That way, you’ll be able to offer your services as an additional value-add to solve specific pain points. You’ll need to be sensitive to your clients’ needs and business before you can help them. For example, if you’re a website designer, you can offer On-Page Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your client’s new website after it has been completed. Whatever it is, make sure your offer alleviates a problem your client has.

Jump on opportunities to expand

Happy freelancer
Freelancer working

It is not enough to just turn in freelance jobs when they’re due. Always be willing to go the extra mile by venturing out of your comfort zone for the sake of appealing to your client. Remember, the client may be the driver of their business, but this does not mean they have everything about their business figured out. Be an extra think tank by identifying expansion opportunities for your client’s business.

Opportunities to upsell your client and book more work may include a new product launch, a new web design, or new marketing channels (podcast, social media, blog). If your client is bogged down by managing a new project or a launch, be a resource. Your client may need an ebook as a lead magnet for their business. By positioning yourself as a problem solver, more jobs will always come your way.

If you want to keep growing as a freelancer, you must master the techniques of upselling your services to existing clients. Remember, when upselling, be sure to suggest services that you are sure the client needs. Do not just suggest unnecessary services just because you hope to earn some extra cash from the client.

Make it a priority to meet deadlines, present new ideas to clients, stand out from the competition and be the type of freelancer the client wants to work with to grow their business. Upselling techniques will put you on the fast track to move up the ladder and earn more. Try it today. The results may surprise you.

Not feeling confident to do this on your own? Would you like to be mentored by Charmaine for  4 weeks? Simply sign up for the upcoming Source Smart Freelancer Training in February 2021. During the coaching sessions, you’ll learn how to successfully start, grow, and monetise your freelance skills, even if you’re just a beginner and non-native speaker.