Do you have a diversified freelance business?
Are you more than a writer, a virtual assistant, a web designer or social media manager?
What’s to say you can’t be a bit of both?
Although I started as a freelance writer, it wasn’t too far down the road that I added VA services (and then a little later on coaching and most recently products). Because I’m more than just a writer – I run a diversified freelance business.
And honestly, that’s how I like it.
Because I don’t want to write for 40+ hours week in, week out (I do do A LOT of writing though). Or just work as a VA supporting someone else’s business for growth. I also focus on growing my own.
And there’s no reason you can’t do something similar. Start with one freelance service and diversify to include others over time.
And why wouldn’t you want to diversify? Doing so keeps you challenged and learning new things. It’s also a great way to diversify your income, and therefore make it a bit more secure.
You might be thinking:
“Okay Gina, I’m on board with this diversification stuff, but how do I actually go about it?”
Upsell Your Current Clients
One key way is to offer additional services to your current clients.
Let’s say you’re a VA. Let your clients know that you can also write blog posts, copy or do social media scheduling.
Or maybe you’re a writer. Let your clients know that you’re also an editor, interested in blog management or conversion optimization.
Or maybe you’re an expert at increasing traffic using strategic pinning techniques and collaborative boards on Pinterest. Let your clients know that you’re also able to take on admin or customer service work.
But don’t clients want to hire me as “an expert” or specialist in just one thing?
But once they’ve started working with you and know how awesomely you can do one thing, I bet they’d be thrilled to know that you are just as amazing at doing other things that will support their business’ growth too.
And it’s much easier to offer additional services to a current client (therefore increasing your billable hours and earnings), then it is to find and start working with a brand new client.
So What Should I do Next?
Get out a pen and paper (or if you’re fancy open a new Google doc or Excel spreadsheet) and list all of your current clients. Then rank them on a few key criteria.
I would use things like:
- Rate of pay
- Timliness of pay
- Ease of working with
- How much you enjoy the work
- Whether you’re learning new skills while working with them
And so on.
Once you’ve chosen your criteria and rated each client, rank them in order of best to worst. Then spend time assessing your top three client’s businesses and your skill set to see how you can partner with them in additional ways.
Lastly, you have to ask.
If you go through all of the work above, but don’t actually ask them for more work, you’re not going to get it. They may think of other things for you to do, but you’ll certainly increase the odds of landing more work if you let them know you do more than <writer, VA, social media manager> and are looking to take on more work.
So open up a new email draft and shoot your top client an email today!
You want to make sure that you keep it short, start off with that connection or compliment and then let them know how else you can help them to grow their business. Even if they’re not ready (or don’t have the budget), who wouldn’t want to receive an email like this?
It’s kind of how I talk about cold pitching, but your odds are even greater of getting the gig, since you already work together.
You’re probably more than a writer, VA or social media manager. You probably know how to do all sorts of great online business things. (Or at least you have the capacity to learn them.)
If you need or would like to increase your income, taking on additional clients isn’t the only way to go about it. You can also expand your working relationship with your existing clients too.
And it’s actually easier to get your existing clients to give you more work than it is to find and onboard a new one. So why not take the time to pitch your current clients on additional services you can offer?
Why not you, why not now?
Do you offer more than one freelance service? If so, what are they?
Photo credit: Jon Ottosson