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A lot of freelancers mistakenly assume that the only way to be perceived as premium providers is by doing things that involve great personal sacrifice.
This is a colossal (yet all too common) misconception.
You don’t need to give away freebies (at least nothing too big), do extra work without additional pay, waste time interacting with clients on the phone, or any other hassle or time-consuming task.
You would be amazed how easy it can be, and how little time it takes, to give clients things that no one else is giving them, and get them to fall in love with your service. All you need is the right attitude toward your project and client.
When you go beyond the call of duty, you’re tapping into several powerful psychological forces:
- *Trust and Confidence. *Clients (and the rest of us) love to see that you care about their company, and view yourself as a member of the team. It reinforces trust, and assures them you’re doing what’s best for their business, which is a huge concern of theirs
- Adds value. Business owners (rightfully) feel like they shoulder a huge burden of running their company, and welcome someone who genuinely helps them improve their business and adds real value to your work.
- Reinforces their decision to hire you. By over-delivering and going beyond expectations, you distinguish yourself from other freelancers who are only out to do the bare minimum. That makes you a valuable asset, and your client will be confident that you’re worth the financial investment they’re making in you
It feels good. Clients are people too. They want to be taken care of. Who doesn’t? By holding their hand when they need you, you give them valuable emotional support and comfort. Sort of like therapy.
Amazingly, none of this depends on your skill level, how much time you spend, or whether you give clients something of value.
It’s all about two factors: YOUR attitude and THEIR perception.
Here are 8 simple, non-time-consuming ideas to show clients you care:
1. Offer to proofread
When I write an email or landing page for a client, I always tell them that before it gets blasted or goes live, they should send me the final version to proofread. They love this. I’m telling them I take pride in my work, and I want it to be perfect (which happens to be true). They don’t always take me up on it, and even if they do, it takes just minutes to do.
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2. Optimize their Call-To-Action Box
This is a super simple way to blow clients away. Whether you’re a writer, designer, or coder, there’s a lot of research about CTA box text, size, and color. Tell them how they can improve their CTA box, and if you want to get really fancy, send them a link to the research you’re using. This is insanely quick, and a valuable way to increase their conversions (and make them feel cared about).
3. Walk them through your process
It seems obvious, but many freelancers don’t bother to tell clients what to expect, and clients feel like they’re “in the dark.”. Basic things, like when they’ll begin to work, how the revision process works, etc. Some freelancers only focus on payment terms, but forget to discuss things that the client cares about. Don’t be too invasive. But a short “what to expect” rundown is something clients always appreciate.
4. Point out something about their website
If you notice that their website could be improved or optimized, mention it. Sometimes there are small mistakes, or clumsy looking designs. Or you may have a creative way they can get more signups, like extra opt-in boxes. You need to do it in a respectful way, of course, not critical. Your client may not use your advice, but that doesn’t matter. They’ll still appreciate your time and effort
5. Send them a link to an article or blog that’s relevant to their project
If your client is marketing a new app, or nutritional supplement, or anything, you can easily find a checklist on a blog that will help them. Remember, your client is not immersed in marketing blogs, so they don’t know nearly as much as you. You can send them some links they may find helpful, and if you want to get fancy, you can even send them a list of bullets that you think they can implement.
6. Compliment them
When I discover something unique, creative, or awesome about my clients’ website or product, I let them know. I tell them that I’m impressed. I even use an “OMG” or emoji, and maybe some exclamation points. You can’t be phony or contrived, but if you’re genuinely excited by something your client came up with, why not let them know?
7. Tell them your strategy
Again, this may seem like a no-brainer, but a lot of people don’t do this. Tell the client your plan to make their project come out stellar. Clients aren’t mind readers, and just because your strategy is obvious to you, does not mean they’re going to notice
As Dale Carnegie would say, the person your client wants to hear more than anyone else on the planet, is THEMSELVES. If they’re on the phone, and want to share their ideas, let them. You can’t get carried away (unless you’re billing for phone time), but don’t make the mistake of thinking you need to interrupt and make suggestions. If they talk, and you listen intently and focus on what they said, I can pretty much guarantee you they will be elated with the conversation.
This seems simple enough. Why don’t more freelancers do this stuff?
It takes a lot of effort to think outside yourself. Most of us get wrapped up in our own world, and forget to focus on what’s going on around us. You need to constantly remind yourself to think outside the box, and focus on the other guy.
It’s a continuous battle. But over time, you’d be amazed at how you can condition yourself to do it without much thought and effort.
And believe me, it’s a worthwhile investment.
Josh Margulies is a Freelance Copywriter. His “no-fluff” blog and podcast, Fast Track Freelancer, teaches newbies and veterans how to achieve continued success. To get Josh’s free emails with his personal strategies to attract more clients and write better job proposals, click here.