Not sure why you’re not able to charge premium freelance rates in your niche, but other people are successfully charging 2 or 3x what you are?
There’s a secret in the way they position themselves to prospective clients that enables them, within seconds, to go from a perfect stranger to “the freelancer I have to hire.”
It’s not by accident. Or because they charge higher rates. Though, they can charge higher rates because they have done this one, simple thing that you haven’t.
They have inspired trust in confidence. They showcase themselves as the relatable, educated, confident freelancer who WILL get the job done effortlessly.
How do they go from stranger to trusted freelancer so quickly? They employ these free, easy to implement marketing strategies!
Ever heard of WIIFM? It stands for “what’s in it for me?”
When you indicate to the client that you understand his/her pain points, and you have the skills and experience to resolve them, you immediately pique the client’s interest and stand out from the 50+ other proposals and freelancers who’ve bid on the job.
What most freelancers do wrong: They give a synopsis of themselves to the client.
“I have 15 years experience in IT. I have worked with clients like big name company. I am very proficient in these systems….”
When you spend all your time talking about you, it doesn’t resonate with the client. In fact, it just makes you seem like everyone else. You don’t stand out. You don’t say, “hey, I GET it. I’ve been there and done that. I know just how to solve this problem for you!”
Try something like this:
“Tired of working with IT managers who are non-responsive, never thorough, and don’t get the impact that challenges have to the productivity of your team and their delivery to clients? Hope to never hear another team member complain about the internet, phones or some wonky thing their computer is doing?
Me too! That’s why I started freelancing: so that I could do great work for great clients without being hindered by teammates who don’t get it. My goal is to shoulder the burden of IT for you, so you can focus on your top priorities. I’m successful if you don’t have to hear or think about your IT problems.”
Do you see how this WIIFM statement is completely different? You’re speaking directly to the client’s pain points and LITERALLY saying, I hate it too. This builds an immediate trust factor! When you tell them that your goal is to completely remove the IT burden from their shoulders – they hear angels sing!
Now your outreach or proposals grab your prospect’s attention.
Now that you’ve got the prospective client’s attention, you want to continue to instill confidence in your ability to DO the job successfully.
One way to do this is by positioning yourself as an authority – in your subject matter, but also in freelancing.
The simplest, lowest barrier to entry is to start a blog. You can start a WordPress blog in the next 10 minutes at Siteground for $3.95/month.
I’m sure you’re thinking, I hate writing. I don’t wanna be a blogger.
That’s the amazing thing. You don’t have to be! Write 10 – 15 posts about what you do and how you do it. Challenges you’ve encountered. Why a project went particularly well and what the client had to say about it.
You can set your WordPress theme to hide the date the blog was published so clients don’t know if you wrote it a week ago or three years ago. What they do know, is that you have a blog and you give advice to other people!
This positions you as an AUTHORITY. An expert who has opinions on the right way to do the job and interact with the client. Who took the time to write the blog posts. Again, a differentiator that builds confidence and trust with the prospect.
Now that you’ve gotten the prospect’s attention, and they view you as an authority, they want to know that you’ve DELIVERED the results successfully before.
Remember, this client is scared that they are going to hire the wrong person and their problems aren’t going to go away — or might even get worse.
They want to know you’ve actually given a client the RESULTS you’ve promised to them.
The 5-star reviews without copy are ok. Better than 2-star reviews, but too many reviews without a written endorsement indicate the clients aren’t really that impressed with you.
What should jump out to your client when reading your reviews is that you delivered on your promise. Revisiting the example of Jane, the IT expert, her perfect profile would be filled with client reviews that say something like:
“We’re so glad we hired Jane to fix our problem! It was a pain-free experience for us. Our team is happy and productive for the first time in a long time. If you need help with such-and-such problem, Jane should be your go-to-person!”
Now, if your clients are Marketers, they are probably naturally writing great reviews like this. But that won’t be the nature of most clients, especially if you’re in a field like IT. But it is perfectly acceptable as you wrap up the project to tell the client what type of review is most helpful to you or to offer to write it yourself, if it makes their life easier.
If you execute on all three of these strategies effectively, what you’ll find is that you’re able to get the attention of more prospects and inspire confidence in your abilities as a freelancer.
And, when your rate is higher, they will be glad to pay it, because they KNOW you can get the job done.Originally published on Freelancer Foundry.