How to sell the benefits of your freelance service

The real key thing here is to market the results of your service, not the process by which you achieve them.
Whilst you are an expert in your field and skilled in your craft, your clients are, generally speaking, not interested in how you do what you do, but what they are going to get out of hiring you.

For example, if you were in my profession of business coaching, and someone asked you, “What is coaching?” you would be unlikely to enrol a client by saying, “We meet by phone for an hour every two weeks and talk about your goals.” That’s just the process – where’s the value?

A slightly better answer might be to say, “Coaching is a process for helping you get what you want.” Now you are stating some value. But an even better answer would be not to market “coaching” at all, but instead to market higher earnings, improved selling skills, or more fulfilling work. You would respond not with a definition, but with a statement of benefits: “I help my clients learn how to make more money by working less hours.”

The following is courtesy of CJ Hayden, author of Get Clients NOW!, which I think illustrates this beautifully…

“Imagine you went to an auto mechanic, and he told you he was going to lift the hood of your car, shine a light around, and move some parts up and down. Does this sound like a service you would pay for? Of course not. What you want to hear from the mechanic is that he will fix your car. If you’re not telling clients about the results your work produces and the benefits they will get from it, they will never see the value of it.

Instead of offering tax preparation, an accountant could invite you to “save money on taxes.” Instead of selling logo design, a graphic designer could suggest “get your business noticed.” Rather than proposing a company retreat, a trainer could promise “improved teamwork and cooperation.”

Whenever possible, market benefits your clients can place a dollar value on. You’re asking them to write you a cheque, so if they can’t see a monetary benefit, they are much less likely to do it. In a corporate environment, talk about improved productivity or employee retention. With individuals, describe the benefits of a healthier lifestyle or better relationships. People need to see your service as the answer to an essential need they have. If you allow it to be something that’s just nice to have, you will either limit your market to clients with a budget for luxuries, or you’ll limit your rate to only what people will pay for something that’s nice but they don’t really need.” CJ Hayden

The great benefit that you already have is that you know WHO your target market is, even if you have multiple niches you are getting to know what is important to them and the kind of description of your service results that they expect. It is easier to develop a snappy description of the benefits of your service to a small, niche audience than trying to capture everyone and anyone. Plus they will know that you understand what is important to them and be much more likely to hire you over someone else.

During my research for this article I visited the listings for some of the Freelancers on Freelance UK and found only ONE Freelance Art Director marketing the results of their service rather than the process, or information about their experience or background of the artist, or perhaps the worst examples that claim in their headlines to be CHEAP!! By advertising your affordability you are ripping the value from your expertise (see ‘Identifying Your Niche’ article, March 14th 2008).

This was true of all the Freelance UK disciplines, so I have a question for you, how do you stand out from the crowd?

Taking some examples below:

"Bespoke, affordable marketing solutions for any business requirement. Specifically for every business size and type to help with effective implementation of marketing plans, strategies and activities."

becomes

"Boost your sales by working less! By employing ‘A N Other Marketing Company’ you will place your business in the market and begin enjoying the fruits of OUR labour."

or

"After a lengthy career in industry I bring much experience as a design consultant to companies who want to utilise creativity in developing a strong brand."

becomes

"Get your business noticed TODAY! If you are serious about building your brand and your business then you need to be talking to me."

Put yourself in the position of the prospective client – what is in it for them? If you have a process, then what does that do for the client?

If you were considering business coaching with me would you want to know how you were going to achieve your goals, or the results of my coaching – getting your goals, making more money, getting more clients, expanding your consultancy, working less hours?

Visit www.servicebusinessboost.com to learn more about getting the best from your business.


Mar 25, 2008
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