Skills are a dime a dozen. Clients want value. They want to know what benefits you bring to the table when they hire you.
Unfortunately some professionals (especially writers) tend to be rather subtle in the way they market themselves. They do not proactively demonstrate value to clients. They suppose that their expertise will magically translate into multiple offers of exciting income-generating projects.
Nothing is further from the truth. It is highly presumptuous to expect that work will find you based on your skills, or because you dabble with social media, a little networking, and some article marketing.
There are powerful ways to market your value without diminishing your more diplomatic side (if indeed diplomacy is the issue). Here are some suggestions:
- Offer a more complete package of solutions: By researching a client’s website and marketing material, asking the right questions and listening to their concerns, writers will discover that a client has more needs than they initially let on. This presents an opportunity to offer more value in terms of meeting all those needs and demonstrates to clients that you are a ‘one-stop-shop’ solution provider.
- Offer complementary services: Closely tied to the first point is being able to offer services that are tied to your solution but not specifically your specialty. Perhaps a client needs a brochure for a new product launch. You can offer to bring in a designer who will work with you to create a compelling and visually appealing marketing communication piece. This strategy also gives you the opportunity to mark up your price for the added value that you’re bringing to the table.
- Offer training services: Some clients want you to teach them stuff, and they’ll ask. Others may not ask you directly but again, by doing a little research you might discover that they need training in a subject- area for which you happen to be an expert. Write a proposal and present it to the Marketing Manager. A lot of organizations have training budgets which are relatively under-used. This is not only an extra source of income for you but it establishes your value as a subject matter expert and thought-leader in your niche.
- Sell information: This is not the easiest, but is probably the most effective way to demonstrate value to clients. When you write and publish a book (or e-book), a special report, or a ‘How To’ tutorial, you immediately earn the title ‘author’. And the funny thing is, whether or not your clients have read the book, there’s an immediate transfer of ‘status’ and respect that comes with the territory.
- Outsource mundane tasks: By getting rid of repetitive and mundane tasks, you will have more time to devote to highly skilled and creative projects that bring in more money and provide more value to your clients. Tasks such as book-keeping, proof-reading and administrative work may be outsourced to those who can perform them faster and cheaper.
This list is certainly not exhaustive, and there are dozens of other ways to demonstrate value in your services. What methods have worked for you?