It’s really easy to try and keep a finger in every pie as freelancers. We don’t want to let clients down by saying, “Oh, sorry, I don’t provide that service,” so we quickly become a jack off all trades, offering everything from our main skill to things we never thought we’d end up doing when we started working for ourselves.
But there is an easier way.
When you let clients dictate what they want from you, you can end up:
- Getting paid less for more work as the scope continues to creep up and up
- Doing work you’re not interested in or good at (simply because the client asked for it and you didn’t want to say no)
Instead of giving clients the overall power, start thinking about your freelance work in packages – much like you’d get at a spa (massage + facial for $X, for example) or a hotel (room + breakfast + evening meal for $X, for example).
You can then build out from your main offering with smaller services that add value.
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So why should you package your freelance work instead of offering an a la carte menu?
It speeds up your workflow
Doing different services for different clients can get confusing, especially when you have to keep switching between skillsets throughout the day.
Say, for example, you write social media copy for one client, press releases for another, and blog posts for a third. Switching from pithy social copy to the more formal prose of a press release might stilt your workflow, and you have to keep a track of what you’re doing for who.
Now think about if you were offering a package that included social media copy, blog posts, and press releases. You could bulk write these in sessions – social media copy for all three in the morning, blog posts for all three in the afternoon, etc.
You can earn more
And when you’re adding on value for clients, you have the opportunity to earn more.
Take the example above. For client number 2 you were originally only writing press releases for them. Now, with the packages in place, you’re also creating social media copy and blog posts for them – ergo, more money.
When you start tacking your freelance work together into a package, you can start tacking on extra fees for the added value.
Tips prospects off the fence
Take, for example, a client who is looking for someone to re-design their website. Let’s imagine for a moment that there are two applicants of the same skill level and the style that the client is looking for. Designer one is offering just a bog-standard re-design, but designer two is offering a package that includes a re-design of the website, social media graphics, and a handbook containing a copy style guide.
The value that the second designer is offering is considerably more, and therefore the client would be more willing to go with them even if their price is higher.
Take another example: a client is on the fence about working with you just for blog content. Then you throw in regular social media updates for an extra X a month and the client jumps at the opportunity because they don’t have to find another person to write their social media copy.
Packages give your clients choice
Some clients don’t even really know what they’re looking for until they see it written out in front of them. Simply asking a prospect, “What do you want?” might deter them from working with you if you don’t have an answer.
But if you lay out a number of options in the form of packages, they have a clear description of what they’ll get and for how much. Essentially, it gives them a choice that fits with their budget and their overall vision.
Packages expand your repertoire
It’s common knowledge that us freelancers aren’t one-trick ponies, but we often get known for doing one thing in particular.
It can be easy to get stuck in a rut doing the same work for similar clients because it’s all you have to show in your portfolio. But if you employ packages? You can tack on additional features that you want to get known for and then you’ll have a little something to include in your portfolio.
How Can You Package Up Your Freelance Work?
There are several different types of packages you can create for clients, and they totally depend on what you offer and what kind of clients you want to work with.
Bundled services at different price points
The first option is to bundle a selection of your services at different price points, giving clients the choice of working with you within their budget.
For example, Package A might include 4 blog posts a month, 12 Tweets, and a weekly email for $X price, and Package B might include 2 blog posts a month, 8 Tweets, and 2 emails for $X price. Package B will obviously come in at a lower price point, but it still provides the client with value.
Collaborative packages with other creatives
Secondly, you can pair up with other creatives to present all-inclusive packages. This might mean pairing up with a designer if you’re a writer and creating packages that include both website design and fresh copy to go with it.
Combining your skillsets like this will bring in a higher-quality calibre of client and will allow you to work on projects that are bigger than you could handle by yourself.
How to Decide on Your Packages
Okay, so you’ve got an idea about the different kinds of packages you can offer, but how do you even begin detailing what goes into each offer?
Start by listening to your clients
And I mean really listen here.
Do you often have clients asking you for social media services as well as writing? What is it your ideal clients are really looking for?
For example, if they want social media content to reach more people, they might also want to build a community. In which case you could add a package where you build and maintain a Facebook group for them, or where you offer email marketing services, too.
Think about the requests you regularly get from clients and look beyond the services they’re asking for. For example, if they want blog posts to be in-depth and shareable, consider adding content upgrades or additional graphics to your packages.
Think about the value you can provide
What you don’t want to do is offer packages that include freelance work you’re not comfortable with, so really think about the value you provide clients with.
You might not think of yourself as a social media pro, but you’ve managed to build your Twitter by X thousand people in the last year – that’s definitely something a potential client might be interested in.
Don’t be afraid to get specific
Most prospects will want to know exactly what they’re getting when they choose a package. They’ll want to know exactly how many Tweets are included, how many blog posts they’ll get and how long they’ll be, and everything in between.
Be sure to lay out everything on offer in each package and compare them to each other so the client knows what they’ll be missing out on if they choose Package B over Package A.
Pricing Your Freelance Work When it’s Packaged
Now comes the tricky part. You’ve put together your packages and you’re happy with the elements included in each one – but how the heck do you go about putting a price tag on them?
Consider how long each element will take
I personally prefer charging per project rather than by the hour, but I always, always know how long a certain task is going to take me and I account for this in my prices.
Consider how many hours each element of your package will take and price it accordingly. Don’t be afraid of laying out time frames when you detail your packages so clients know exactly how much work goes into it.
Consider how valuable each element is
Something like a sales email will be considerably more valuable than a single Tweet. Sure, the Tweet might get some traction, but the sales email is going to generate sales – and that means money for your client.
Packaging up your freelance work makes things so much easier for you and your client. There’s less backwards and forwarding via email because the client knows exactly what’s on offer, and you can streamline your work because you’re not doing a hundred and one different things for a hundred and one different clients.
It’s a win-win situation!
Have you packaged your freelance work? If not, what’s holding you back? Do you have any questions about packaging up your services?
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