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How do you get new clients without losing your shirt?
As a freelancer working online, you may find yourself trying to earn a premium fee in a market where a significant number of your direct competitors are on sale. The prevalence of virtual team members coupled with the popularity of online job bidding platforms has made it possible for you to compete for work online with providers from all over the world.
While there is nothing wrong with global competition, you have to keep in mind the living wage in your country will differ drastically from the living wages of other countries. What that means for your bottom line is that your competitors may financially thrive in their economies working for pay that is far less than what you can actually afford to earn in your economy.
If you plan to earn your living as a writer, web designer, virtual assistant or in some other service position where the majority of your clients will come from opportunities advertised online, price cannot be your value offering. There are too many other providers in the market who can demonstrate far more flexibility with their rates and you will find yourself in a race to the bottom, perpetually trying to underbid the competition while doing more and more work.
Been there. Done that. It sucks.
Creating an Irresistible Offer to Get New Clients
An irresistible offer outlines the value your clients get by working with you instead of your competitors. When you work online, that offer usually has to be based on something other than price – things your competitors either cannot or will not promise. That means assessing the needs of your client and figuring out how you can meet those needs better than the competition. Price may be part of your value, but you are unlikely to be able to run an online business based strictly on your ability to be cheaper than everyone else. Use the following checklist as a guide.
The Five Ingredients of a Solid Irresistible Offer
- A unique proposition that is valuable to your customers – The proposition incentivizes the prospect’s decision to do business with you. The proposition meets a need or a desire your prospect has, such as an auto dealer offering free gas for a year to new lessees or an airline offering $50 flight upgrades to certain military personnel.
- A value-based price advantage – That’s not to say you need to be the cheapest, but as Napoleon Hills says, “Go the extra mile.” Make good on your brand promise then do a little something extra. Make the value you deliver far greater than the monetary cost of their investment.
- A time sensitive offer – Your offer creates a sense of urgency that compels your audience to take advantage right away. Limited time offers and free trials are great at leveraging the “do it now” message.
- A clear vision of the end result – Buyers should not have to wonder how it will all end up. Clearly define deliverables.
- A guarantee – Whether that guarantee is a 30-day money back guarantee or a 14-day no-risk free trial offer, customers like the idea of getting something for nothing or trying a product before they buy it. Tailor an offering for your online business that fulfills this desire.
Greatness never goes on sale, even when you work online. Be great at what you do and you will find an audience who can afford your level of quality.