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Monday, February 04, 2013

The Upsell

What's on the iPod: Portland by Middle Brother

freelance, writing, marketing
How was the weekend? Mine was lovely. The stepdaughter was home, and it was her birthday, so we were able to spend time with her and spoil her to some extent. She has to drive back to Maine today, which isn't pleasant (it's roughly 10 hours thanks to traffic -- 6 and a half according to the map programs that don't realize what a pain in the ass traffic is from Manhattan on north).

We got a little snow Saturday into Sunday -- not much at all, but enough to give us a pretty coating. And since Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow, I suspect spring will be here sooner rather than later (or within six weeks, which hey, is rather normal anyway).

February is more than just Super Bowl and Super Groundhog. It's also the month this blog is dedicated to promotion and client project generation. And what better way to generate projects than to sell to already-satisfied customers?

In the retail world, it's called upselling. It means to sell customers more product. You have encountered upselling already -- "Do you want fries with that?" or "Here on our dessert tray is...."

That's upselling.

So how can freelancers upsell? Our products aren't right out there to be purchased, like a fuel filter change with our oil change. What can we possibly add to our repertoire? Here are a few things:

Social media work. You're already writing the client's newsletter. Why not help promote it? It's a great add-on feature that some clients who may not be as social-media savvy would welcome.

Blogs. If you're doing their communications writing, why not offer to do their blog posts, too?

Ghostwritten articles. I remember writing just press releases for one client until I mentioned that I had just finished a ghostwritten article for another. The client was intrigued, so I explained what that entailed. I was hired. Again.

Bios. Does your client have a bio on their website? How about in any press kits? Do they have a press kit? You could suggest the bio that can appear in any number of places, including LinkedIn.

Press kits. Why not? Some clients  may not have them because they don't understand how to put one together.

Editing and proofreading. That book client of yours may need an editor. Why not offer to provide that service at a slightly reduced rate if you're helping with the writing and organization process?

Advertising pieces. How is an email blast different from a newsletter? Length and urgency. If you can convey to your clients that you can handle the emails, press releases, or sales letters, you could score some additional work.

How do you upsell?


anne wayman said...

I don't seem to do this at all, come to think about it... well, that's not true. I have offered to blog and such or set up a blog for a ghostwriting client... so yeah, I do it... not well, judging by results.

Paula said...

I need to find some ways to do this...

One thing I did mention to a client I've written numerous executive bios for: You really need a style sheet for easy reference. Why? They keep having me make sure bios they've already used are all consistent.

Sure, a style sheet would make it easier for them to do my job, but it would be a valuable tool and time-saver down the line. My suggestion was met with, "Yeah, we should," but no commitment. If they want to pay me to keep editing existing bios for consistency, that's okay with me.

Lori said...

Anne, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. :)

Paula, change how you "ask." Instead of saying they should have one, tell them "The style sheet you need costs $XXX for me to set up. A one-time charge that will make things simpler and cheaper down the road."

Bet they buy it then!

Paula said...

Interesting approach. And it'd be a HUGE sum for that kind of work.

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