A majority of clients have no point of reference when it comes to freelance copywriting costs. So, when you quote a project as a freelancer, clients have no way to determine if it’s a good value.
(This is the reason they often compare your rates to a “comparable salary," which is understandable, even if the comparison is unfair to you. Remember: the best way to avoid this is to stop charging clients hourly. Both you and the client benefit.)
Perceived value is an important component of your relationship with a client. With current clients, it’s a matter of serving them with excellence, watching out for their interests, and dedicating yourself to being the best of the best in the services you provide.
But with new clients, the game is very different.
You have to establish a high perceived value up front, proving you’re a terrific (and safe) investment for them. And you have to do this without the benefit of previously working together. It demands a lot of trust from the client, but there are five things your website can do to foster that trust:
1. Gear your freelance website toward your ideal client.
Clients light up when they feel a freelancer “gets” them. One of the first ways you can prove this is with a professional-looking website geared toward your ideal client. Focus your messaging on their specific problems and how you’ve helped other clients like them solve those issues.
2. Curate a select portfolio of your best work.
The key to a powerful and convincing portfolio is to showcase your best work, not all your work. Showcase projects that you want to continue to work on. (If you love writing email campaigns but fall asleep at your keyboard writing press releases, feature your best email campaigns and leave the press releases on the cutting room floor.)
Also, highlight projects that your ideal client normally needs help with (maybe it’s white papers or blog posts). And don’t forget to consider how the project you want to showcase looks in its final form—the more professional it looks, the more professional YOU look.
3. Include a healthy client and/or project list.
As with your portfolio, your client and/or project list doesn’t have to include everyone you’ve ever worked with. Instead, showcase clients or projects that demonstrate your depth of experience. If you focus on a particular industry, include any clients you’d consider big players. Or if you’ve worked for a limited number of clients but worked on a lot of projects for them, feel free to briefly list key projects you’ve assisted each client with.
4. Feature knock-out testimonials from delighted clients.
Testimonials are powerful social proof that you know what you’re doing. If a project’s gone well, there’s no reason you should shy away from asking a client for a testimonial. Curate your most effective rave reviews and add them to your site. It goes a long way to help new clients trust you’re a professional who’ll deliver.
5. Create blog content that demonstrates how deeply you understand (and think critically about) solving communication problems your ideal clients face.
This is an important strategy for freelance marketing writers. Blogging for your business gives clients a chance to see your writing in action. Portfolios, while vital, can often come across as static. A blog where you’re actively publishing content shows them how effectively you communicate for your own business and how deep your expertise runs. By focusing on topics and issues your ideal client faces, they’ll be able to see themselves in your writing and trust you as the freelancer who can help them.
How else have you been able to foster value in the minds of new clients?