Client acquisition and retention are two of the most challenging tasks for freelancers.
The key to landing and keeping clients is to convince them that you can provide value.
Of course, promises are cheap, it’s the execution that will determine whether or not you get to keep that client.
Many freelancers like to charge per project and give a quote before they get started.
There’s nothing wrong with charging per project.
In fact, sometimes it even works in your favor.
That said, offering monthly packages to your clients can help you establish a stable income in the long run due to the fact that it’s a recurring source of income rather than just a one-off deal.
Today we’re going to go over how you can put together the right package to help you acquire more clients, how to do quality work to keep those clients, and why you should start offering packages more frequently.
The most important thing to factor in when putting together a client-facing package is mutual value.
You have to ensure that both you and the client are getting something out of the arrangement.
One-sided deals never end well for either party as it usually ends with a premature end to the working relationship.
To ensure that both parties get an equal amount of value, you should assess your compensation-work ratio.
If you’re barely doing any work and charging $1,500/month then your client will feel ripped off and drop you before you know it.
On the flipside, if you’re working like a dog and only getting paid $100/month then the arrangement will most likely end in one of two ways:
- You end up getting fired when the quality of your work declines due to you getting burnt out.
- You decide to put an end to the agreement because you realize that you’re being overworked while being paid peanuts.
It’s all about balance.
You have to find that Goldilocks zone where you and your client both benefit equally, that’s where you wanna be.
Affordability is another important aspect of your package.
Even when you have a package that offers mutual value, it’s still completely useless if no one can afford it.
If you frequently get responses like “sorry, you’re just too expensive for our budget” or “I’ll email you when I have more money to spare” you’ll probably start to consider the possibility of dropping your prices.
Now, no one likes to drop their prices.
Not only will you earn less, you’ll also feel defeated.
Luckily, there’s a better option.
I like to call this strategy “splitting”.
The first thing you need to do when employing a splitting strategy is to find out how much money you need to be earning monthly.
Let’s use $3,000/month for this example.
So, now you know how much you need to earn.
At this point, most freelancers would go into tryhard mode and just hustle and grind for days or weeks on end until they can find a client who’ll pay them $3,000/month for their services.
Of course, $3,000/month isn’t very affordable for many business owners.
This is where the splitting happens.
Rather than attempting the Herculean feat of landing a $3,000/month client, just try to find six clients who will each pay you $500/month.
$500/month is a much more affordable price and will be easier to pitch to prospective clients.
Splitting can make acquisition much easier for you and at the end of the day, or month rather, you’ll still be getting paid the same amount of money for the same amount of work you would be doing if you had landed a $3,000 client instead.
Employing this strategy can help you land clients and the benefits don’t end there!
Splitting also provides more security.
You’d probably be ecstatic to have one client that pays you $3,000/month, who wouldn’t right?
What happens when that client drops you?
You’re back to square one.
No income stream, no client, nothing.
Now imagine having employed the splitting strategy which got you six clients, each one paying you $500/month.
If one client drops you, you’ll still have five clients and a monthly income of $2,500.
I’m sure that an income stream like that will be enough to keep you afloat until you replace the sixth client.
You’re investing your time whenever you accept a client so you need to abide by the cardinal rule of all investments, diversify.
Just like having a diversified portfolio, having multiple clients will decrease the chances of loss.
This is the reason that a lot of people invest in mutual funds instead of individual stocks.
Always remember that there’s power in numbers.
Know your limits
So you employed the splitting strategy and it worked.
You now have enough clients and a large enough cash flow to live life in style.
But wait, what’s this?
Oh, an email from someone who needs your services.
He wants to subscribe to your affordable and value-packed $500/month package.
Obviously, your first instinct would be to take it.
I mean, come on, let’s be real, who turns down money right?
Before you hit that send button and agree to work for them, you need to pause and take some time to think about whether or not you can handle the load of accepting another client.
As hard as it is to turn down money, there comes a time when you simply have to for the greater good.
Don’t take after Gloria Grahame, learn how to say that simple two letter word that so many people seem to fear; no.
Knowing when you can’t take any more clients is just as important for you as it is for them.
If you get greedy and start taking on more clients than you can handle then your work quality will start declining which will tarnish your reputation, lose you your current clients, and leave you in quite the pickle.
It isn’t rocket science, just don’t overwork yourself and you’ll be able to provide top-notch services to the clients that you already have.
The bottom line
We hope you learned a thing or two today.
Always remember to offer affordable packages that provide mutual value, only accept as much work as you can handle, and make good on your promises.
If you bear these things in mind then you’ll be walking on easy street in no time.