Are you a specialist and sell services to clients? What do you do to succeed? Do you want to sell more and increase your income? I suppose you do. Then this article will be helpful for you.
I hear many stories from both aspiring and experienced experts about their struggles in selling online every day and know that the hardest thing for them is to build a consistent money flow and predictable business. The second most desirable thing is to increase sales constantly. What should you do to have clients and confidence in your future?
If you want to succeed in selling your services, you should do the following things:
- Constantly improve your skills.
- Constantly search for new clients (I have a nice list of job sources in this article).
- Build strong connections with your present and future clients: network always and everywhere.
- Build your personal brand.
- Use effective texts for advertising your service.
- Often renew your portfolio and website.
- Do your own projects to practice and enhance your portfolio.
First, let’s learn what these items mean and what weight they pull into your success.
Improving your skills
When you are a specialist who sells services, you sell your time and skills and receive money for them. It means you must have not only time but some skills that your clients need. If you already can do something from this list, it’s nice. Improve and escalate it.
- Writing: articles, books, posts for social media, news, scripts, translations.
- Designing: logos, promo, sites, UX/UI, games, interiors.
- Development: sites, apps, software.
- Drawing: illustrations, paintings.
- Accounting: analytics, financial models, financial consultations (taxes, fundraising, etc.), bookkeeping, CFOs, etc.
- Architecture: 3D models, industrial, electrical, etc.
You can start with a tiny skill: for example, you can write posts for Instagram. Begin selling it, and in parallel, learn how to write articles, books, white papers, email promotions, and create landing pages. First, you will earn about 5-10 dollars per post, and then you can receive $300 per article or $1000 per book. And it’s all on you: you can stay with $10/post, and it’s okay, but you should write more than 100 posts per month to receive an appropriate income.
Meanwhile, if you develop your writing skill and learn to write articles and emails, you can write only 5-10 texts per month and receive the same $1000. Which way is better?
So your plan may look like this:
- to choose what skills you have or want to have;
- to find out what skills you need to upgrade and improve in your niche;
- to find out what skills give you more money than others.
In my example, writing posts and simple small texts are easy but cost less. So if you want to do less and earn more (which is always the best strategy regardless of what you are doing), you should know which texts are paid better. In writing, it is promotional texts and articles. In design, it can be UX/UI, in development–mobile apps, etc.
Explore your niche, talk to people who have worked longer than you and know more about your specialization, and choose the courses and books that will help you to become an expert in your niche. I recommend the Fiverr Learn platform since there are many short but helpful courses with a concentration of knowledge. Also, if you use Fiverr to search for clients, you will get a badge in your profile after completion of the course–it also will help increase your sales because of your higher rating.
Constant searching for projects
It can sound not very interesting, but it is an essential part of freelancing and selling services in general (even if you run a business already), especially when you have no clients, no projects, and a little portfolio.
When I started my freelance career, I applied to 20-30 jobs and projects every day. I spent up to two hours searching, writing selling texts about my service, and negotiating with clients. And it was worth it: even though I spent a lot of time searching, I always caught the best projects that suited my skills level and gave me enough money to live and continue working.
So don’t only search and try to catch anything you can but also analyze and investigate clients’ desires, needs, and requests. In the first month of exploring Upwork, Fiverr, other freelance marketplaces, and job boards, you will examine so many projects that you will know exactly what clients want to get from freelancers. You will learn how to attract them, what to offer and why they can avoid you.
Also, in the first months you won’t have much work to do really–so you will have time to develop your portfolio while you are searching for some job. Then you will catch some projects. You will do the job, receive your first money, and add the project to your portfolio. You will resume searching for a job (I advise you not to stop and constantly monitor job boards and work marketplaces), find another one–and repeat the circle.
And then, when you have several clients, they begin to refer you to their colleagues and friends as a good specialist–and only then will you reduce your time searching and start working more.
Constant searching in the first months of freelancing is key to fast growth in the following months. You invest your time and persistence first–and you receive dividends later. It always works like that in any area of life.
Connections with clients and networking
As I already said, when you have several clients–usually from 5 to 10–they begin to recommend you to their friends. That’s why it’s tremendously important to stay in good and warm relationships with them.
First, you should do your job excellently. Be sure that your client is 100% satisfied with your work. Second, always congratulate them with their birthdays, Christmas etc., ask them from time to time if they have a new project for you, help them with advice if they need one.
How to build strong relationships with clients? Add them on social media. It’s the first and the most critical step. It would be best to stay connected with them after finishing the work.
Also, you have to find new potential clients by building connections with people who can be interested in your services. For example, suppose you are a copywriter. In that case, you can connect with marketing and ads specialists, PR specialists, and editors. Add them to your friends on Facebook and LinkedIn, comment on their posts (mentioning when it is appropriate that you write texts for business), and show your skills and eagerness to work.
They often post jobs and search for a freelancer for projects, so if you are friends with them already, you will be in the first line of people they remember when they need a writer. The same with other specializations. Search for people who usually buy your services and connect with them.
Building your personal brand
This part is related to the previous one. When you begin making connections, you become a person that people already know as a professional. But it’s a long way: you must add them one by one, and every time tell them (and remind them) that you are a writer, developer, or a designer. They already have several such specialists in their friends, sometimes tens and hundreds–and they may not remember you in this pile. Your weapon to become more notable, sell services more profitable and be the person they remind of first is a personal brand.
A personal brand is like a book about you. There is written who you are, what you can do and what you did already. You write this book by yourself: you talk about your work on your social media; write articles with expert information about your sphere of interest and case studies for publications; take part in podcasts and interviews telling what you do and how people can interact with you.
It helps you collect emails and attract followers who know you as an expert. When they need you, you don’t have to prove to them that you are a professional–they already know it. It reduces the time for negotiations, and you can go directly to work because they want to work with you. They will accept almost any of your conditions and your price. A personal brand helps you increase your rate, take on more exciting and complex projects and save time and money in searching for clients–because clients will find you themselves, and they will fight to have the ability to work with you. Isn’t it cool?
Texts about selling services
There is a formula for effective text called AIDA. You should use it if you want to be the one who will catch the job ahead of other specialists. When you respond to a project or write a cover letter for a vacancy, you should consider what I can offer to this client? What do they need? How can I bring success to their business? How can I make my client’s life easier in a professional way? Answer these questions, and you will get this job.
Renewing your portfolio and site
The next important thing in selling your services is your site with a portfolio. Renew it every 3 months even if your projects are not very good in your opinion. You should add all of the projects in the portfolio because you have a little to add–but your clients want to know how you work and what you can do on your skills level.
Your own projects
Even if you are not an entrepreneur or you think that you are an executive and not a creator, try to invent some independent projects. Draw something for your favorite brand if you’re an illustrator, write an article about your hobby if you’re a writer, make a Tik Tok about your favorite show if you’re a video editor.
Always do something: search, create, communicate, interact, renew your portfolio and texts, make new projects. You will succeed in selling services and be able to increase your income only if you are proactive.
Some links in the article can be affiliate–it helps me write more free helpful content for you.