Freelancer’s Guide to Sales by Not Selling

Written by Tammy Durden

We all dislike having to sell to others. That’s why I’d like to talk to you about having a Freelancer’s guide to sales by not selling. Let’s consider that selling is simply explaining the benefits of using your services and pointing out the negatives if they do not. How are you selling your freelance services to clients?

When you are attempting to share your services it often starts with why. Why should they work with you? Why should they partner with you?

At one time I was so overwhelmed because of the many marketing tasks I had to complete. I was doing exactly what I told my clients not to do! I came to a place where I could no longer do it all.  I needed help, even though I had a team of contracted freelancers. And now I needed help from one of my team members who was an expert in email marketing.  So, I did not hesitate, because I understood the benefits of hiring a freelancer or subcontractor.

If you develop a relationship with your prospective client, via communications such as email, then they begin to trust you.

So the ‘no selling’ sales start here with the why. You need to provide reasons why a solopreneur should work with you. This truly ends up being the benefits you can provide.

At some point, a solopreneur realizes that they need help with their business. Of course, you know one of the best ways to get help is to hire you. For me, it meant allowing my amazing team of freelancers to help me with certain tasks.  Yet there are plenty of solopreneurs and other freelancers who do not realize they need help and you have to show them why they do. The freelancer’s guide to sales with no selling is simply showing them the benefits of your services. You do not need to push but simply helping them see the benefits and asking simple questions can help them realize their need to partner with you.

Entrepreneurs are often overwhelmed and think that is simply to be expected as a business owner. You have to provide benefits that explain why they don’t need to do everything. As a freelancer, you want to produce content that shows them how they can begin to feel freedom again by utilizing your services. Point out how your services will take away the burden of _____ (fill in your services).

When I ran a digital marketing agency I often told other freelancers that most clients needed to hire us at least 6 to 18 months earlier. It took time, however, for them to see all of the benefits as well as realize the negative effects on their business if they did not.

The average solopreneur, at least in the beginning, thinks they should do it all. They have to ‘earn it’ as we are sometimes told. This is far from the truth. Business owners cannot and should not do it all.

By trying to do it all they end up doing work they do not like. Therefore selling them on not having to do the unliked tasks is huge. You will alleviate that and help them focus on the work in their genius zone. By doing this you help propel their business forward. You also free them from the work they dislike which usually takes them much more time than needed or they often put it off and do not do it at all even though it is badly needed.

We’ve established that most small business owners take on much more than they should. Some of these tasks are ones they do not complete well. Because they do not know how to complete the task or they are not good at completing them it takes far longer to do the task. As a freelancer, you alleviate the work that takes them too much time because they cannot complete them or do not do the task right.

The sales approach of helping provide the work they aren’t good at doing is another way to discuss your benefits. Discuss providing your services so the entrepreneur can focus on the work that drives their own sales and that they are passionate about as this will help open their eyes to the benefits of hiring you.

There are several benefits to hiring you as a freelancer. You should be shouting your benefits to all! One of the things I learned as I hired my freelancer was that I needed to ‘let go’. Letting go is probably the most difficult thing for business owners when they first hire you, especially if they have been doing it all since they began. Delegating is difficult enough but if they cannot let go and want to micro-manage you could have a problem. By utilizing virtual freelancers it is literally out of sight and out of their hands.

Remind them that you will be freeing up time that will allow them to focus on more revenue-producing tasks. 

I would often recommend (when I was a freelance digital marketer) to clients who were overwhelmed and did not know where to begin, to start with just one task. 

Question: I would ask them “What is one task you dislike doing and would feel relieved most by getting rid of it?” Letting go of just one task at a time, in the beginning, as they outsource does not feel as overwhelming. 

Getting a client to delegate work can be one of the most difficult parts of starting to work with them. Ask your client two questions as you begin working with them. Number one, which task most overwhelms them. And number two, which task would they be most relieved by if they never had to do it again? This will give you and your client the best place to start with their digital marketing.

You must highlight the benefits of your freelancing business to other business owners. Let’s talk about other benefits entrepreneurs experience by using the services of freelancers.

They do not need to provide employee benefits such as health insurance, vacation pay, holiday pay, disability, and others usually associated with hiring a full-time employee.

Most freelancers are ready to start and do not need added training (except for the very industry-specific software the company uses). You are ready, skilled, and experienced to begin working. These are all important benefits for your clients.

Freelancers only charge by the hour or by a flat package or project rate.  Overtime is not a concern (unless there are demands requested outside of the usual & specified in the contract).  This means they only pay for services used. They are not paying for someone to sit in an office all day whether they work on specific tasks or not. This almost always comes out much less expensive than hiring an in-house employee.

Freelancer sales should also include the fact that your clients do not need to submit social security taxes, federal taxes, or any local or state withholding taxes. These are all your responsibility as an individual freelancer. [There may be a need to provide a 1099 form at the end of the year if the freelancer was paid more than $300 in that given year – consult your CPA, Accountant, or IRS.]

Most freelancers are multi-talented. They often have many skill sets and can help in more than one area. If you are one of these you will want to include this in the list of benefits you offer in your sales by not selling approach.

Almost all Freelancers I know continue to keep up with and improve on their skills. I continue to do so myself, through Freelance University, the best-known eLearning platform for the last decade to train VAs, Freelancers, and Digital Marketers (as does most of my team).  With technology always changing and new programs coming out daily this is a necessity.

Let’s face it, none of us want to learn ALL of the software, apps, and programs available.  Freelancers often know multiple programs and platforms so the business owner does not have to learn them.  A big benefit of hiring you is that you most likely know a lot of technology. Having someone on the team who already knows many of the current apps, software, and programs out today is another plus! 

You should include your benefits when doing content and emailing prospective clients. Your freelancer’s sales guide includes all the benefits of hiring you. It will also include giving time back to the business owner’s day. Now they can work ON their business and not IN their business.

I know how easily I can get sucked into working IN my business, instead of ON it.  Yet, All experts agree that real growth comes when You (the business owner/CEO) can go from working IN your business to working ON your business.  I have experienced the benefits of this firsthand.

A huge benefit to hiring you, a freelancer is that it will FREE Up your client’s time! 

Another important reason clients should hire you is the consequences if they are trying to do it all. When trying to grow a company, solopreneurs can no longer hold onto the idea of being able to do it all.  If we do not relinquish some control, as business owners or CEOs, it can have devastating consequences. Therefore, you must also provide reasons why they cannot and should not do it all. In other words, share the negatives when you are not selling your services.

What Are the Consequences? I have seen this in many clients over the years.  As a freelancer, it is important that your audience also understand the negatives of not hiring you. If the business owner (your client) tries to do it all they will suffer many consequences. Let me share some of those below.

  • Revenue flatlining or worse
  • Missed deadlines
  • Missed opportunities
  • Overwhelmed Owner/CEO
  • Overworked Owner/CEO
  • Stressed Owner/CEO
  • Lose potential new clients
  • Lose colleagues
  • Less time with family and friends
  • Unable to market their business

These are just a handful of the consequences that could happen when they are unwilling to hire you, the freelancer.

Trying to communicate with our prospective clients and explain all of the positives and negatives related to hiring us is an important part of marketing your freelance business. I hope this article will help you promote your freelance business better in the future.

Until Next Time, continue doing good and making a difference out there!

Don’t keep putting off getting the help you need. Let’s meet and talk and see if I can help you. Schedule a free session now! What do you have to lose? It’s free!

To Your Continued Success,

with love from Tammy Durden of Fearless Business Boss

Like this post? Please share.