These days more than ever consumers want value. While the cost of a product or service is still important, the reality is that it is NOT the only factor people consider when making a decision to purchase.
It turns out, people want more than just a product or service. They want to make a connection — with the brand, and more importantly, with the people behind the brand. And if you’re a freelancer, that means YOU. Your clients want to connect with you.
Clients want to know you’ve got their back, that you will be there for them when they need you. They want to know you’re a human being. They want to connect and feel that they are getting real value for their money. The thing is, there is a massive sea of freelancers out there. In the U.S. alone there are 57 million people offering freelance services.
How do you stand out among all that competition? You need to offer your clients more than the bare basics of what they hired you to do. You need to provide value that will set you apart from the other freelancers out there. Here are four ways to help you do that…
1. Establish a Relationship
First and foremost, get to know your clients and let them get to know you. I’m not talking about sharing the details of your latest family gathering here, but there are ways you can establish a relationship with your clients that will go a long way to adding value for them.
- Establish a blog that will help them learn about various aspects of your service. If you’re a writer, this might mean writing on topics such as how to work with freelancers, how to know when you need a whitepaper, or the benefits of content marketing. This is purely informational and gives clients great insight into the potential of what you can do for them.
- Send out holiday greetings. There is no better time to give your relationship with your clients that extra little nudge than over the holidays. Sending out a holiday greeting will show you care. You can also send out birthday greetings, congratulations on a life event, and you can even send a gift if you are so inclined. Talk about the personal touch!
- Ask them about themselves as you work together. Take cues from what they say. If they apologize for taking a while to respond to an email because they had to take their child to the emergency room (this happened to one of my clients once), ask them about their kids. How many? How old? Is their child OK? In other words, make small talk whenever possible. This is how people get to know each other.
- Network on LinkedIn and at freelance or industry events whenever possible. You will meet people who could be potential clients and you can get to know them in a casual setting. This relationship development will go a long way to helping you add value to your service if they become a client.
2. Make Your Work Impeccable
It goes without saying that there is incredible value in ensuring your work is truly excellent. I have seen the work of some freelance writers firsthand that was dismal. I couldn’t believe these people were charging money for their services.
It might take clients one or two times of receiving shoddy work to appreciate what you have to offer, but as long as your work is always top notch, believe me — that’s value!
3. Go Above and Beyond
When a client has given you their requirements, find a way to do better, to give them more than they feel they are paying for. Remember, value is subjective. It’s all about perceived value.
You can get the work to them before the deadline. You can add some extra embellishments to the work you are doing for them. One way I add value is by offering unlimited revisions, something no other freelance writer I know of offers.
Whatever way you decide to go above and beyond, take the opportunity to get creative. There are many ways you can enhance your service.
4. Use Social Media to Help Them
If you are active on social media — and you should be — then you can leverage your social media presence to give your clients more exposure. Get their permission first. Then you can link to their website, blog posts, and social media posts. The additional exposure you can give their business can really make a difference for them.
The more value you can provide your clients, the more of a chance you will have them for the long-term and the more chance they will send referrals your way. And isn’t that what we all want in the end? Happy clients and a growing business?
Do you have ways you add value to your service? Maybe something I touched on here or something not mentioned ? Please share with us in the comments section below and let’s all learn from each other.