Are you thinking about quitting your 9 to 5 job and joining the freelance economy? If yes, then there are two things you should know. First, is the fact that freelancing isn’t an easy undertaking as might be expected. And just because it embodies all you’ve always wished to do with your life doesn’t make it less of a demanding job. Second, as a freelancer, if not well prepared, you may not always be spoiled with the comfort of having a stable income, which is engendered by patronage. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced freelancer, there are 5 ways by which you can close more deals and acquire as much patronage as you can handle.
1. Harness the ‘Briefcase Technique’
Ramit Sethi coined the ‘brief case technique’, which he considers a great way to successfully close deals and demand higher rates. In freelancing, the briefcase technique involves two steps that talk your prospective clients into believing you’re the right candidate for the job.
The first step involves showing off your grasp of a prospect’s challenges using an already prepared note containing realistic, data-driven facts about his or her business.
Next, you’re required to state the strategies needed to solve the presented problems. To really impress, you’ve got to come up with some actionable and innovative ideas.
Although used here in the freelance (hence, remote) context, the briefcase technique in a physical meeting or interview involves pulling out a paper from a briefcase containing every detail of perceived problems and set strategies, so as to come off as prepared and requiring no hand-holding,
Ramit also claims that doing this would have you “separate yourself from 99% of other applicants… and you can charge multiple times what other people do because almost nobody does this”.
2. Choose a Safe, Secure Payment Method
By lacking a generally accepted and efficient means of receiving payments you could lose prospective clients faster than you can actually kick off negotiations with them.
When choosing a payment method, you want to consider such factors as security, cost and convenience. And for the most part, online payment systems cut it.
But this isn’t to imply that online payment systems don’t fall flat in certain respects. While some are unavailable for use by residents of various countries, others are either too expensive to operate, inconvenient for use, or generally inefficient.
Thus, to prevent clients from bolting away when at the verge of striking a deal, you’ve got to do a thorough research to discover and use a payment method that affords everyone security and a cost-effective service.
3. Use Social Proof
Getting people to hire you in the first place requires a great deal of persuasion. And by persuasion, I don’t mean being pushy but proving you fit the bill while also acting professionally.
Social proofs are very much persuasive and are used in various places and forms – from canned laughter in comedy TV shows, to customer testimonials on website landing pages, influencers’ advertisement of products on social media and many more.
As a freelancer, you can get social proofs right up your alley by showcasing some of your works online and/or testimonials written by previous clients. This will work well, as social proof builds trust, especially because people tend to be more endeared to that which has been tested and is trusted.
4. Offer Some Free Services
If you are serious about raking in more dollars in freelance income, then providing some services for free won’t be a bad idea. These services could be those that complement your main service(s).
For example, as a freelance writer, you can choose to offer clients free outreaching service for link-building value.
This will make you more appealing to prospects and also help build a healthy working relationship, which triggers referrals.
5. State The Reasons for Your Rates
You don’t have to do this always, but for the most part it makes you come off as results driven.
As a freelance content writer, for example, you could choose to explain the reason(s) behind your high rates, if you’ve got some. Will you be spending more time doing keyword and general research or designing images for the blog post than doing the actual writing?
State the efforts which you feel shouldn’t go unrewarded. And if truly your service is worth it, then your fees would be considered both reasonable and tolerable, and you’ll stand a higher chance of closing the deal.
The first step to getting hired by a client is pitching, after which comes negotiations. During negotiations, the buck stops at your table, and whether or not you will be hired is based on your ability to put certain things in place. Using the above strategies, you are more likely to increase your client acquisition rate and really feel the joy that accompanies a successful freelance life.