How to Over Deliver
The best clients come from referrals from other satisfied clients. Not only are they easy to land (they already know they want to hire you), but also they’re often ready to pay your fees because someone they trust recommended you.
Referrals come over time – after you’ve done stellar jobs for other clients. But let’s talk about how you can build a foundation for great referral clients now.
You probably already know what your clients expect from you. For example, if you’re a direct-response writer, you increase your clients’ leads and sales so they make more money.
This is very valuable for the people who hire you, but there are ways you can go above and beyond. That extra effort may seem like more work (because it is), but when you consider that your clients to rave about you for it and in turn increase your demand, it’s worth it.
Here are three ways you can provide more value to your clients:
1. Help them out (even if it’s not your “job”).
When a client hires you, it’s because they don’t know all the answers. If they ask for help beyond the scope of the project, don’t say, “That’s not my job.” If you can’t help directly, offer to help find someone who can.
If you can, it doesn’t mean you should do it for free. But keep in mind that many smaller clients don’t know what’s included in a copywriter’s project fee. It’s a really good idea to explain – up front – what you do and what you don’t do as part of your quote. Otherwise, they’ll feel “nickel-and-dimed.”
If they ask for your suggestions on another part of their business, be as accommodating as possible. Remember, a question like, “What should I do about this newsletter?” can lead to hiring you to take over that project. If you were to take an attitude of “It’s not my job,” you could lose future work and referrals.
2. Always, always, always do your best work.
There will probably come a time that you will feel pressure to take on extra work, do a rush job, or accept a lower fee than you want to – it happens to the best of us.
If you agree to do any of these jobs, you have to be willing to still do your best work. You’ll preserve your reputation and get a great portfolio piece and testimonial out of it. And doing your best every time will bring you more clients through referrals.
The best way to avoid taking a job you really don’t want is to decide whether you will accept rush jobs or not and stick to it. Consider charging a higher fee for a rush job.
Also, set a minimum you will accept per job. This will make it easier to say no when decision time comes around.
If you do slip and take a job like this, then you should …
3. Over deliver.
There’s always extra copy at the end of every project. Maybe I came up with 30 headlines, but they only ordered one. Or maybe I had two ideas for a sales letter lead. Rather than filing this extra copy away, I send it to my clients so they can test it or use it for other promotions.
Also, as I’m researching, I usually come up with a lot of ideas for improving and enhancing their website or product. I could keep these ideas to myself, but instead I make a point to send these over to the client. More often than not, it results in more work. For example, a short critique of their home page could turn into a project where I rewrite the entire thing.
I’ve never had a client say, “I didn’t pay for that!” Instead, they are thankful and appreciative and refer other clients to me.
I believe going the extra mile, doing your best (every time), and over delivering are the keys to building a business of happy repeat and referral clients. It’s way easier than finding new clients.
How do you impress your clients so they’ll refer you to others? Go below to join the conversation.
The Professional Writers’ Alliance
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