As a freelancer, you have to be prepared to be a salesperson as well as a web designer. It’s likely that you are a one-person show, and you have to put on all of the hats that are required to run your business smoothly. The salesperson hat might just be the most important one you put on.
Selling a service like web design is different than selling a product, and it’s different when you are your own business without a sales or marketing department. It requires a whole different set of skills, so we’ve put together a list of sales tips to help you help you along the way.
#1 – You’re Selling Yourself
When you are selling a service of any kind, you really are essentially selling yourself. While potential clients will obviously want to see samples of your work, it’s in you that they have to feel confidence and trustworthiness. Kelly James-Enger, author of Six-Figure Freelancing says in an article for Entrepreneur, “Work won’t just stumble upon you. You can be as talented as anything, but it won’t mean a thing if you can’t sell yourself.”
#2 – Focus on Personal Branding
Following along with selling yourself, you have to make working on your personal branding a priority when you are building your business. Market your business – which is you – on social media, on your business’ blog (yes, you need one), and by guest posting on other sites. Establish yourself as an expert in your industry.
#3 – Compete on More Than Price
When you are selling a product, having a competitive price is key. When you are selling a service, you have to consider other things in addition to how much you will charge. There is a limit to how much of a service you can sell – you only have so much time. Even in the beginning, you don’t want to spend every waking moment working. Beating every other freelancer’s price isn’t possible if you want to make a living.
#4 – Quality is Essential
Since you can’t always compete on price, you have to focus on quality. The quality of your service is what is going to set you apart. Be sure that you do the following:
- Make sure that your work is 100% correct before presenting it to the client.
- Update your skills as needed.
- Keep your portfolio updated at all times.
- Make suggestions on improvements for the clients as appropriate.
#5 – Networking is a Must
You’re going to have to do some networking to build up a client base. It’s important to build trust in order to get deals. Whether you network in-person or online, be sure to present yourself and your service confidently, have samples of your work to show, and by all means, be prepared. Consultant and author, Brennan Dunn of Double Your Freelancing says this about preparing for an in-person networking event, “After you’ve done a little research on who’s attending, come up with a hit list that you can use at the event. You want to make sure you meet with the right people.” Networking will take time, but it’s necessary to grow your business.
#6 – Learn to Ask for the Sale
Don’t be afraid to ask for the sale – it’s the only way to grow your pipeline and your business. The worst thing that can happen is they say no, and sometimes that is code for “not now.” You don’t have to push hard for a sale, you can make the request something that is comfortable for you.
#7 – Create Recurring Relationships
Whenever you have the opportunity, create ongoing relationships with customers even when your initial project is finished. For web designers this may mean hosting websites, sending monthly reports to keep clients engaged, or offering monthly SEO services. It’s much easier to sell to existing clients than to new ones, so doing whatever it takes to build recurring relationships will improve your sales.
#8 – Use a CRM
You may be able to keep a bunch of client information in head in the beginning, but as your client base grows you are going to need a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to help you keep track. It will help you with organization, contact and interaction information, and alerts to make sure you are staying in touch with clients. Just because you’re a one-person business, doesn’t mean that you don’t need a great software solution.