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3 Steps to upsell your freelance services that increase profits

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Freelancers who upsell their services are increasing their profits and those who don’t are left always trying to get the next client. Why? Because it’s harder to get new clients rather than retain them.

Keep reading to learn the 3 steps you can take today and make more money from each client you’ve got already instead of chasing another one.

Freelancing is about building long-term relationships and sticking to the client. Not just do one project, then say bye.

65% of a company’s businesses come from existing clients.

In fact, it costs you 5 times more to get a new client rather than to nurture your relationship with existing clients. Therefore, you’ve got more reason to learn how to upsell your existing client base.

What is upselling?

Upselling is defined as

“Online, upselling can be a powerful tactic for driving more revenue from a sale.”

E Consultancy

For freelancers, upselling is about offering your existing clients an offer to help them further achieve their goals. Start taking upselling seriously because when you upsell your clients, you’re getting them to buy another service from you. Including services, you offer at a higher pricing point.

More money for you which is always great to help you grow your freelance business. But you may have heard of cross-selling and thinking ‘isn’t that just the same thing?’. Cross-selling is about offering complementary products but in the same pricing bracket.

What’s the difference between upselling and cross selling?

McDonald’s is fantastic at their upsells and cross-sells. Ever order a Big Mac from McDonald’s and then you get asked if you’d like fries and a drink with that?

Then if you say yeah sure. They offer to upgrade your order to a meal. Accepting this offer, they ask you which size meal.

In this example, asking you if you’d like fries and then a drink with your burger is cross-selling. It’s cross-selling as they’re offering you products complimentary to your burger but at the same price range.

Upsells come when they’re asking if you want to upgrade your order to a meal. Meals are generally slightly more expensive, but this still works for the example. As upselling is about offering a product your clients would want but at a higher pricing bracket.

As a freelancer, you can take a look at your products and consider the journey of your clients. When they’ve bought one service this solves one problem. But then clients find themselves in another problem.

Therefore, create a range of products that solve each stage of the customer journey until they get to their final goal. Use the 3 step strategy to upsell your freelance services and help your clients get to their ultimate goal.

Start talking to your client and understand their needs better


How much do you talk to your clients? Do you just talk to them when they buy your service and then again when you deliver? This is a common theme among freelancers.

But freelancers doing this are missing a trick that would help them to upsell their freelance services and make more money from that one client.

So what is it that you’re missing out on?

Simply put, it’s just talking to your clients about their business.

Your clients love to talk about their business and what’s even better they trust you to do a great job. Having these conversations is essential to complete the strategy to upsell your freelance services.

So take a look at your current list of clients, and or previous clients. Strike up a conversation with them to get to know their business better. Or take a look at their social media to learn about their future projects.

Every bit of information you gather about your list of clients will help you to upsell your freelance services. Then talk to your client about your skills that can help them.

Don’t run away from the problem, become a problem solver

People love to hire problem solvers. As a freelancer, you find potential clients who are struggling right now. Then approach them with a solution to their problems.

Read here 3 quick hacks to using problem-solving to get freelance clients.

Potential clients never want an email saying ‘hey your website is down’. Instead, they much prefer an email saying ‘hey your website is down, here are two things we can do to fix it.’

This shows your value and you instantly become worth more. Although this is about getting a client to begin with. We’re looking at how you can upsell your existing clients.

So what’s the difference? Not much really!

But you already have an established trusting relationship with the client, so they’re more likely to open up to you about their problems. When you deep dive into your client’s real problems and hopes, then you have an edge above your competitors. You have inside knowledge as to what the client really needs.

If you’re not great at people skills or know how to get this information from your existing clients, then here’s how you can become a fantastic problem-solver.

How you can improve your problem-solving skills

If you’re feeling out of your comfort zone trying to solve a potential problem and doubt your problem-solving ability. There are plenty of ways to improve your problem-solving approach:

  1. Focus on the solution
  2. Clearly define the problem
  3. Agree on a process
  4. Be sure to use active listening

Examples of problem-solving skills

Problem-solving skills help you determine the source of a problem and find an effective solution for your freelance clients. Although problem-solving is often identified as its own separate skill. Key problem-solving skills include

  • Active listening
  • Analysis
  • Research
  • Creativity
  • Communication
  • Decision making

As a result, when freelancers use problem-solving skills they can upsell their services. When you listen to your client about their business, hopes, and pain points then you’re in a great position.

A position where you can show clients another service you offer that’ll fix their problems and get their desired results. This takes you onto the final step of the strategy to upsell your freelance services, you need to sell the benefits.

Sell the benefit, not the features, features are boring to clients

Lots of times freelance clients don’t know why they need something done. They just need something to be done.

They may have heard of phrases like SEO being used among their professional network, but they don’t know why they need it. Maybe their competitors are doing it.

If a client says I want more visibility on Google. Then that brings in the client needing SEO. The problem now comes that they don’t understand SEO. I mean it is a huge topic and they don’t want to hear about it.

Therefore, you need to sell them your SEO services. Sell them with the benefits and not the features. You know those features of how you’re going to do the SEO tasks.

What clients also don’t know is what value it’ll bring their business long-term. Or even that SEO services are a long-term solution.

Your potential clients may just think it’s something you can add to their website and bang, you’re instantly on the top results.

This is what you’ve got to get over. That the work you’ll be doing will bring them the results. Plus, to do SEO right, it can take 4-6 months of work. This shows the real value that you bring and your true worth.

Why is it better to sell benefits than features?

Features act as proof of your benefits. Helping potential clients to measure your freelance services against the competition.

Without features, benefits are not as effective. A feature is what something is. A benefit is what something does and its result.

How do I turn features into benefits?

The client may or may not understand, or even care about specific features of your freelance services. What they care about is what’s in it for them, or what benefit they will get from a particular feature.

For example, let’s say you’re a freelancer specializing in SEO services. Your potential clients don’t care about all of the techy stuff to do your SEO services.

But what your potential clients do care about is ranking higher on Google search results. Also, they’re wanting to get more traffic to their website organically without a paid promotion.

Within the copy on your website, you would mention the techy features of these services. Though this is more glossing over it and not going in-depth with it.

Instead, focus on the benefits of that you can get their website ranking higher on Google.

How do you write benefits?

Now you get why you should focus your copy on the benefits of your freelance services and not the features. Here’s how you can start writing about the benefits of your freelance service, rather than the features.

  1. List your clients’ pain points
  2. Address how your freelance services solve those pain points
  3. Clarify your benefits clearly

In your web copy, give potential clients the feeling that there’s something in it for them. Make it clear that your freelance services are designed to solve their problems and make their lives easier.

Do this by keeping your client avatar in mind as you write. Address the “what’s in it for me” question, and you’ll nudge them toward buying from you.

As you can see, selling the benefits of your freelance services in your website copy will attract more potential clients to your freelance business.

In A Nutshell,

Freelancers need to make more effort in nurturing their relationship with their existing client base. Nurturing by asking their clients questions about their business and pain points. Then, create a service and position it to make your service an irresistible offer that they need to purchase immediately.

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