How to Negotiate a Six-Figure Freelancing Salary | Maddy Osman | Skillshare

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How to Negotiate a Six-Figure Freelancing Salary

teacher avatar Maddy Osman, SEO Content Strategist at The Blogsmith

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (1h 25m)
    • 1. Intro & Why I'm Qualified to Teach This Class

    • 2. #1: How to Calculate Your Rate

    • 3. #2: The Elevator Pitch

    • 4. #3: Needs Assessment

    • 5. #4: Negotiation Bootcamp

    • 6. #5: How to Handle Common Objections

    • 7. #6: Earning Six-Figures

    • 8. #7: The Art of the Follow Up

    • 9. #8: A Few More Thangs

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About This Class

Are you having trouble making a living wage as a freelancer? Perhaps you need a bit of a mindset shift—and a little bit of process to back it up. In this Skillshare class, I speak from my own experience as a successful six-figure freelancer—as well as a stint in sales with Groupon, where I worked my way from inbound sales to cold calling!

In this class, we'll touch on:

  • Working back from the number you want to make to calculator your rate
  • Developing an elevator pitch (with an opportunity for you to get feedback on yours)
  • How to use your first meeting with a prospect to uncover pain points to later sell to
  • Negotiation tactics, including handling common freelance rate objections
  • Which freelance job opportunities to avoid and how to prove your worth
  • ...and so much more!

Download all the class resources as a handy PDF.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Maddy Osman

SEO Content Strategist at The Blogsmith


Hey all! I'm Maddy Osman, or as my clients know me, The Blogsmith. I write for high-authority publications like Search Engine Journal, GoDaddy, WPMU Dev, and Sprout Social.

Check out my new book, Writing for Humans and Robots: The New Rules of Content Style. It's an essential reference for online content creators and a modern-day homage to The Elements of Style.

It's hard for me to sit still, and I'm the co-organizer of WordCamp Denver and the Denver chapter of Freelancers Union. I'm also on the board for BMA Colorado in charge of social media.

After a few years in sales, I was feeling unfulfilled and decided to go out on my own. Thanks to many years of blogging and web development (and networking!), I started my freelance career off with a bang, and ... See full profile

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1. Intro & Why I'm Qualified to Teach This Class: Hey there, Skill, Scher. It's Maddie Azman comin at you with a new topic. How to negotiate a six figure freelancing salary. So my usual shik on skill share is Teoh Go over kind of topics of a more technical nature or, you know, something to do with digital marketing. This is something that is honestly, so near and dear to my heart, not just because of, um, you know, obviously wanting to make it as a freelancer, but because it's something that I feel like a lot of freelancers need a little bit of help with, and a lot of it has to do with the fact that nobody ever taught them I was lucky and that I used to work a group on. It was my first job out of college, and I made my way up the ranks from what's known as warm leads, which is where you know, they're actually getting in touch with you, and all you have to do is kind of, uh, you know, get stuff together, sign on the dotted line, and it's good to go. And then eventually I made it to the cold calling rings, which was a lot of Hey, it's Maddie from group on, Hang up. So I learned how Teoh kind of have a good temperament, good attitude about rejection, but also, more importantly, learned how to get past. You know, the people who are saying no, you know, it's too expensive. It doesn't work for my business to find a fit that makes sense that, you know, you can systematically get Teoh. So there it's worth mentioning that there is a difference between these warm leads, you know, the ones that are coming to you. Obviously, the sales process is going to be a little bit more simple when they already want to talk to you versus when you were cool pitching somebody who might not have heard of you before, you know, definitely have hasn't heard from you before. And, you know, the process definitely differs. Um, one thing that I'll say is that you know, either way, a lot of the tactics that I'm gonna talk about and this class will cover will kind of cover the range of what you would deal with when trying to close a warm lead versus a cold lead. And yes, I'm speaking from experience when it comes to negotiating a six figure freelancing salary 2. #1: How to Calculate Your Rate: So before we get into deep, I want to spend some time talking about the sales process in a general sense. And every company, every individual has their own sales process. Um, it just depends on you know the industry, what you're selling and even just your own personal preferences and how you communicate with people. But suffice it to say that having a sales process is necessary, Otherwise it's going to be impossible to kind of like benchmark your efforts to determine, you know, how many pitches do I need to send out? How many cold emails do I need to send out in order to eventually lead to a sale? So the sales process, you know, this one in particular is composed of first of all, prospecting. That's like, you know, determining who it is. You want to reach out to making the list to doing that initial approach and, you know, making it clear that you do have something to sell three interviewing these people, also known as a needs assessment. It's finding the ways that, you know, they might have been burned in the past, finding pain points that they have was, you know, whatever they're doing now? It's finding, you know, data gathering information that you can use to pitch to them in number four, which is the proposal stage, which is just putting together. You know what you're telling them you think is going to work to fix whatever their problems are and what you're going. Teoh charge for that demonstration. You know, you don't always see it called this in a sales process. I would say it for the purposes of this class. We're going to talk about demonstration in terms of like, you know, creating social proof in building thought leadership. But we'll get into that a little bit later. Negotiating is like objection handling. We'll talk about that, too, and then support doesn't really something that I cover here. But it's the things that you do after the sale. You know, your on boarding process, your account management process. These are all very important things for not only getting somebody to work with you, but to keep them working with you and, you know, to be able to command higher rates and this idea of a process, you know, I can't say it enough. It's so important. Without a process, you're just going in blind, and it's it's not going to result in a six figure freelancing salary. So without further ado, we'll get into the first point here, which is how to calculate your rate. And I see this is kind of before you prospect, you need to figure out. You know what it is that you want to make because that's going to define all these conversations you're having with your prospects, and you know, even the type of businesses that you go after. So a couple of general guidelines to get started here first of all toe have a target, my number in mind and to work back from that and how you're building people. So one thing I want to say is that if you're watching this class, you know your target numbers. Probably. I wanna have a six figure freelancing salary, and that's great. That's awesome. It's something to work towards. One thing I do want to bring up is that once you get past about $75,000 according to Michael or Malcolm Gladwell, excuse me, there's diminishing returns on the happiness that that money brings you and what I can tell you from experience is when you're starting that hustled. To get to those six figures, you're gonna probably be spending a lot of nights and weekends working. And I'm I'm telling you from experience it gets better. It gets easier. But it is hard. It's something that it is probably not going to make you happy for the first year that you actually achieve it. It's really after you hit that. You've gained that confidence and you've gained those really great clients that is gonna actually start to make you happy. So, um, you know, I won't linger on that too long. Another thing that you have to think about is the cost of your overhead. So you know, the great thing about being a freelancer is usually you don't need to have an office, although that's not necessarily true of everyone. Say your yoga teacher. You know you need to have a space where you can be seeing clients, and, you know, maybe you don't have to pay rent, but you still have to pay a cut to the person that is providing you with the space for me. You know, I have a lot of expensive, like SDO tools and you know, project management software and stuff like that that I use. I swear by into me it's worth it. But I have to also factor in that costs of what I'm charging my clients. So I'm not paying for a lot of my own, you know, for fun, salary or whatever. Another thing you want to consider is the fact that as freelancers, we tend to pay higher taxes. So you're going to be setting aside an automatic, you know, 25 to 30% of that to taxes that's gonna hurt. That's gonna cut down your you know, total. But that's how it is. And the other thing you can do in order to determine what that number is your working back from and what's realistic for the type of freelancing work that you do, especially if you're just getting started, is to ask other successful freelancers. You know, what are you making? Um, and you know you can if they're hesitant to give you those numbers, maybe ask for a range or, you know, an hourly rage is something that you can use to benchmark yourself against. And, you know, the good thing is that if they don't if you don't have ah, freelancing friend who can give you this information or, you know they just don't want to. That's fine, because you can do your own research. So here's a couple examples of worried to find some industry bunch Frank's um, I have a glass door up here is a bad example only because it refers to corporate salary ranges. So, like here's a content writer salary and Denver, Colorado And Boy, am I glad that I'm not in the corporate world because that number is not when I'm making right now, and it would be a significant pay cut. What would be better is writers Markets pricing guide, for example, a lot of examples that I'm gonna given the skill showed class or going Teoh related kind of to what I do just because I know what well but just know, with a little bit of Googling, you could probably find you know, the exact same thing for your industry on And also, you know, a lot of people on skill shared do deal with content in some ways. So it seems spare to focus on this, But just so you understand my reasoning behind it. Eso writers market. It's this book, actually. So it's his book and it's like, You know, it's like the writers buyable. There's just like all sorts of information about editors and things like that. But it has, as you can see here, this awesome guide to what you should be charging based on these industry standards, and it goes on for pages. This is just a screenshot eso look it up if you're a writer, and if not, I'm sure there's something very similar that you can use. But, you know, user resource is is the point. And one thing I wanted to add also to this last slide here, the general guidelines is if you need Teoh, if you need or want to facilitate a connection with other successful freelancers, Facebook groups are an amazing way to do that. They are very open, usually about sharing salary and rate information. So, you know, use your resource is or, you know, find resource is that you can use another thing. I wanted to bring up that I feel like I never really took seriously when I first started is you no longer get vacation days or sick days or holidays built into your schedule when I used to work my full time job, the one I did after group on, Um, you know, I tended to use thes days, actually get so done minus vacations. But you know how it is in sick days. Um, if I could If I could find the time and energy to get some, like, side hustle freelancing stuff done, then I would I honestly didn't take them as a day off. Now, I'm a little bit better about giving myself the time off that I need. But these stats here can help you to understand. You know, how many workable days do I really happen here? So we guns, you know, there's 52 weekends in a year, so that's Ah, 100 plus days, all on its own. Um, you know, sick is average for a full time worker is at least April year. So that's another week right there that you know, you might need just to take care of yourself, And you should, because it tends to get worse if you don't. We also have vacation days. Another really important thing to take is a freelancer. But some of us get stuck in this work rut on at least 10 days, and that's where people who have worked a job for 1 to 5 years. Obviously, it goes up, the more you work there, and depending on the company, ah, holidays. The average employees gets gets about 7.6 per year. And you also have to think about benefits like health insurance. Or, you know, some companies will do. Ah, match for your contribution to your 401 k Gasela. You don't get that anymore. So you got a factor in the costs associated with that to a little bit of a pro tip. If you do, if you're dating somebody that you live with that has, ah, corporate health insurance, you could be on their health insurance with the domestic partner. Klaus. I'm not an expert. Don't quote me on that, but that's how I get my health insurance are. So a couple more things, um, other things that can affect your rates. So these aren't necessarily the standard, but there's something to think about. Um, you know you're gonna want it. You're gonna want to make it a practice to charge extra and situations where a project has to be completed in a rush. So you know, your client comes to you and says, Oh, my God, I need this. Ah, in 48 hours and you say that that's fine. But I'm going to have to love Ian additional feet. Teoh, you know, move all this other stuff around on my schedule and potentially sacrifice my spare time on weekends and on nights of the week days. So, you know, think about this stuff early on because it can be a great way to get a little bit of extra money. Not every client's gonna be super stoked about it, but, you know, a reasonable late fees is something that they definitely should expect. Our rush fee it, but also well, late fee is something that you can incur if you built it into your contract. Um, and if they're really starting to get late, it's not something that you want Teoh have to use all the time because it means that your clients just don't respect to you. But it's something that you can use as kind of a push and be like, you know, maybe I'll forgive that late fee if you just pay being built today, but something to think about and build these things into your contract. So, um, I'm not a mathematician, but I've given you all the pieces that you need to plug into. These rate calculated resource is here and also have created a document. A downloadable PdF with all the resource is from this class at the dash. Blacksmith dot com forward slash six dash figure dash freelancing. I'll put that link in the about for this skill share class, but you can go there. Teoh to use these calculators have also included a really awesome resource from content. Lee. If you are a freelance writer, it's a reads database from some of the top publications, and it's based on people's actual submissions, you know, including, like the most recent and, um, and then freelancers Union also has some useful guidelines here if you're still kind of struggling with what to do with your race. One last point I want Teoh discuss here while we're on the topic is the fact that project rates are always going to be better for you than hourly rates. This is kind of ah, freelance mindset thing that you have to start um, you know, internalizing now just because it's something that's going to affect, you know, almost everything that you do with a client. So in a lot of cases with my freelance writing, I charge per word, but it just scales nicely, you know, as I have Teoh, right? You know, more suffer a client if they request, like, additional things there. I limit my revisions on written stuff, so that's kind of how I keep it from people taking advantage of me. It's not perfect. I should probably charge a project here for those things. But I do charge apart project rate for social media. What design and stuff like that. Um, ultimately, it just depends on the type of stuff you do. But consider the fact that if you have an hourly rate, people are going to treat you that way. They're gonna ask, you know, why can you do this quicker? Um, you know, they're gonna be, like, breathing down your neck. They're gonna be questioning your reports when you send them in. Even if you use, like, a time track or whatever. It's just not a position that you want to be in forever. You want to be respected for all the time that you put into getting where you are right now , Um, that's not something that you can account for in an hourly rate. Really? So And it was. Project rates are a lot better on again on the subject of time trackers. You can use that to determine how much time it actually takes you to do certain types of projects over time. Use that to set an hourly rate that you can use to, um, you know, project your project rate and you know that's a good way to get started. But ultimately it comes down to just figuring it out over time. So next we're going to get into elevator pitches and how that can help you. 3. #2: The Elevator Pitch: so the concept of an elevator pish is kind of a hot buzzword when it comes to things like networking events and the business community. But it's something that you really need to think about for yourself, because honestly, there's opportunities to sell yourself anywhere if you just take them. And being able Teoh, you know, accurately describe what you do in a compelling wit is an invaluable skill that not many spend time thinking on thinking about. So that's one way to set yourself apart as the type of person who is a six figure freelancer. Um, as far as the sales process, I would call this kind of the approach. It's like, you know, you kind of identified people who might be interested in your services, and now you're showing them. You know, I might be someone who can help you make your business, but it so the first thing I want to talk about before getting into, you know, how do I create an elevate? That pitch is the idea of pitching the right person. So if you're, you know, doing like a cold email to somebody, if you're just like reaching out to someone for the first time you're gonna want to make sure that that email is reaching the most relevant person. So for me, as a content creator, I probably want to get in touch with someone who's the head of the content department. Or, you know, the editor for a black guy really like or something like that. It's probably not going to be as useful for me to go above that person and maybe, you know, reached the CMO the CEO. It's also not going to be useful to me to reach out Teoh. You know somebody who is also writing for that flag. That's not to say that they can't help connect to you. It's just that pitching them isn't going to get you anywhere in terms of what we're talking about here, which is, you know, the idea of making that selling connection. Uh, networking is always great, but that's not what we're talking about right now. So you know a good question to ask when you're sending these pitches. If you're not 100% sure that this is the person that you actually need to sell is are you the one who makes marketing decisions for someone like me, you know, Are you the one who makes decisions regarding who writes on this block? You know, whatever it is that you offer, you know, making sure to incorporate that into your pitch. Are you the right person? And also it's worth noting that, you know, do you don't necessarily have to stay after? Are you the one who makes marketing decisions? If not, can you connect me to that person? It's kind of implied. It's almost better to let them volunteer to make that connection for you, because that'll make you seem like a less pushy salesperson. So let's go ahead and dig deeper into the subject at hand. The elevator pitch. Um, you know, everyone has their own timeline For what irrelevant elevator pitches. I say that you only have 30 seconds to get your point across and honestly, and this attention starved economy, it's probably even less than that. You probably want to make your point, like 15 seconds. So one way that you can do that is Teoh. Follow this template just kind of fill in the blank with where these exes are. My name is your name. I describe what you dio for whatever nish you operate and neige is important because the more, um the more open. And did you leave it? The less it seems like you might be an expert on that topic and I'll give you an example here in a second and then, you know, for for whatever the snitches and then, like, here's specific clients that I worked with that hopefully you've heard off. You know, ideally, you're sharing like some of your more high authority. Or maybe if you operate in the local economy like here's some other people down the street that you might have heard of. This is these are things that we used to do when I was a group on Teoh. Honestly, facilitate that first connections, Just like you know, before you hang up on me. We have worked with, like, Joe's down the street. They really liked it. I could tell you all about how that campaign went. So it's kind of like putting up that first line of defense against them. Just dismissing you, basically. So here's my example. Um, my name is Maddie Osma Nyman s CEO, content strategist for digital marketing Software Company is not just, you know, for digital marketing topics. But honestly, for a little bit more of a defined mission. That and, you know, like Go Daddy Sprout Social and and Co. You might have heard of these people. I'd love to tell you all about the stuff that I'm doing for them. So, um, I'm gonna give you a couple examples of, you know works for me to get a response or to get a new client. This one is one that I set Teoh Bones I, which is like a freelance they help with, like, tax payments like collections and stuff like that. And so this is a technique that I've been using recently That's really been helping me specifically because it works for my niche. And that's that I respond directly to email newsletters that I get from places that I respect that have a lot of content on their block. So I said, hey, and it was the person that the email was actually, you know, Anna, get bonzai or whatever dot com pan, and whoever else reads emails in the sandbox because I'm a sushi might not be the decision maker. I noticed that you guys were creating a lot of awesome content, so I'm kind of giving them, you know, like, a little bit of, um I'm saying nice about them. I'm trying to kind of create a connection. I'd love to chat and you find yourself looking for new writers for more writers. Use me. I've run about freelancing for Go Daddy W pmu Dove and bottling and coda Name a few. Here's my portfolio. If you're curious, kind of like you can check it for yourself. I have, you know, these other great people and co. In particular would be something that would be very, very similar audience to them, which is why I mentioned it. You always wanna have relevant examples, because if it's not relevant, second work, um, and also this I'd love to chat. You find yourself looking for more writers is musing, You know, maybe you don't need anyone right now, but I would love to be. You know, I'm your radar because obviously I'm cold pitching. You really might not need me right now. You are creating great content, but I love to be considered in the future. Um, so then I say, let me know if it's worth discussing in more detail and I also wanted to point out that this email signature kind of also sells my content in the background to literally, I knew when I email, you know, chose my latest email from my Blagg and another skill share course that I created. So it's something to consider. You know, one of the many ways they're constantly selling yourself is through, like the content create through your online personas if you operate in an online world and , um, this is wise stamped the signature if you ever want to check that out. But basically I just wanted to share a couple different ways that you can get across the people even if they're not ready to work with you right now and we'll get we'll get two more later. But that's just in the side. So here's a pitch. This is actually like in my first year of freelancing every first couple of months. Sophie Lizard is a freelance writer who's really made a name for herself, and she has an awesome website with a lot of useful, like new freelancer. Resource is, and so she has this thing called pitch bust. I think it's once 1/4 or something like that where she offers, um to pay $100 to the winning pitch. And it gives you a chance to kind of, just, like, practice your pitching and then, you know, obviously makes the money if you win. So this is a pitch that I sat in and it did win, and it was really nice early win for me in my freelancing career. Um, you know, you can see it if you could see the article that resulted from it by clicking that link or by following that link, And it also beyond the downloadable resource is, But you know, something to consider when you're put in your pitches together is just like, you know, articulating ideas. And this is an example where, you know, it's not just like a cold email where I'm like I'm married. This target for a bubble box like this is an idea that I think is gonna be really relevant to your audience. Here is what I'm gonna write about. Here's all the value I'm gonna add to it. So if you're also a freelance writer, you know, think about high your pitches conduce you're selling for you and use This is an example if it's helpful to you. So a couple more things here, actually, just one is that he really wants to stop referring to yourself as a freelancer. So, you know, going back Teoh this elevator pitch template Notice that I said I'm an s e o content strategist, not I freelance, right? Or something like that, because I think it just doesn't come across. Quite is strong. Um, it's just it's not doing you any favors to call yourself a freelancer. People tend to associate that word with somebody who doesn't charge that much. So much better to be a consultant or, you know, define what it is you dio in words that don't include freelancer. Um, so you know, that's my final advice. You, when it comes to elevator pitches I've loved to see your elevator pitch is so please adamant as a project as you come up with them. And if you want to go through multiple variations of happy to look over them all and give you suggestions the best of my ability But no matter what, have one don't just go into, you know, I'm not working event or, you know, a conversation where you're gonna be introduced to other people and you can't articulate what you do for whom And you know how you get results and stuff like that. So next we're going to talk about what I refer to as the needs assessment. 4. #3: Needs Assessment: So I'm going to argue that this is actually the most important part of the sales process because it will help you to uncover the things that are most important for actually closing that person later on in the conversation. You know, making them a customer so needs assessment. If you want to refer back to that graphic at the beginning of this presentation, it's it's what I would call the interview stage and basically, you know, like I say, this is where you're gathering those softballs to pitch to those pain points those things that you know that you can help this person with, and you could do it well and you can prove it. So couple questions. We're gonna go through a bunch of questions in this section that you might want to ask people to unveil these softballs and to gather that information that's going to help you sell 1st 1 is why now, This is especially, um, you know, this is this is relevant. Honestly, whether it's a warm lead, somebody's who's interested in you or you know, someone that you're cold pitching. Why are you considering, you know, hiring someone for this service? You know What? What made you respond to my pitch? You want to figure out if there is a pain point present right now? You know, maybe they're seeing that in the world of freelance writing. Maybe they're seeing their competitors doing it and, you know, publishing how effective they are with that. And they're starting to feel like they're getting behind. These are all great things that you can sell to later on in the conversation. Um, you also you don't want to think before you really dig deep into the sales conversation. Is you really want to just, like, give this person a chance to talk to you as a fellow human being start by building or poor . And one way that you can get this conversation started is, you know, prep before the meeting by looking at things like their web site, their social media, I like Oh, you know, I saw that post you did last week. It was really cool. I shared it with my family like, don't lie about it. But, you know, find different things that you can talk about. And if you did actually helped Teoh, um you know, if you help them by sharing it or commented on on it or whatever. Excuse me. Um, these are all good things to bring up during your meeting to show that you really do care that you really are interested in their success. So, um, the next point here is have you worked with the contractor before and again, we're not talking about freelancers because freelancing is a dirty word when it comes to actually making the money that you deserve. So a contractor or an S e o writer, or whatever it is that you are but just asking that if there is some previous experience learning about that previous experience and and honestly, the idea of working with the contractor is something that you know might make some companies scared. You know, maybe they're used to the typical employee employer relationship. So this is just This is partially to understand just how you know if they even have experience, like with this type of working relationship. So, you know, if they did work with someone, asked what went wrong, You know, why aren't you working with that person now or what went really well with the ones that you're working with now and you want to look for ways that you could be better than those people if they did make mistakes? Uh, what are you trying to achieve? So this is to figure out what kind of goals they have for me as a content writer, you know, What are you trying to achieve? Might be while we wanna have more relevant traffic coming to our company website. So it's like, OK, fair and laid it on when I'm pitching them. I can show some case studies of other businesses. I've worked with some screenshots of Google analytics and stuff like that and be like, Look, this is what you said that you wanted here nous. But it's important to also talk about the fact that when you're asking these questions, you're just listening, okay? You're not trying to sell yourself. Yeah, you're literally just gathering all these awesome things that you can pitch to later. So hold your tongue. The next one is What would it mean to you? I mean, for you to have this handled. Um, you know, maybe it's maybe you're working with somebody who is just like a content manager, and they're just stretch. So saying you know, they're really stressed about it. There's people above them that are just pushing down on them. And so maybe to them like this without seeming the world and then when you do have the chance to sell to them, you can say, Well, listen, like I'm very on top of things. I was turned in things early. You know, Um, I'm very diligent, used like a lot of different editing tools so that I can reduce your workload. These are all things that you want to be thinking about. You know that you could pitch you is the result of this question. Another very important question is, did you have a particular budget in mind? And you know, you don't necessarily need an exact number or rain just fine. You can tell them, you know, give me a range. So that s I know if we're in the same ballpark here and one thing that I learned in my early seals career is that you want to disqualify people as potential leads early on as early as possible, because the further you get into the sales process, the more of your time and energy you have to spend and um, you know, personally, I don't see myself as a full time sales person. I see myself as an S e o content writer. And if I'm spending all my time on sales appointments that never lead anywhere, that I'm not gonna be a six figure freelancer, So think about that. You know, it's very tempting to get caught up in every client interaction or any prospect interaction and get excited about the possibilities. But if that person's budget is $30 per 1000 word article or what have you, they're not gonna help you achieve your goals and we'll talk about that, and we're detail later. Another good question is, are you currently evaluating other solutions or, you know, freely in Syria as well? We'll use that word. But other contractors, um, this is your your chance, Teoh. You know you might not even like, want to pitch to it yet, But if you have an appointment later to talk about your actual proposal, then this is something that you can act on and go to their website you to see if there's anything that it seems like they're lacking, see if there's any things that you know, it's clear that you would do a better job of So this is just again information gathering. Another very important thing is, you know, when would you be ready to actually put the solution into place? You want to get a time frame for when they would be ready to hire you or somebody like you ? Is it next week? Is it next month? Is it next quarter that's going to affect your follow up activity? And you know, if this person is going to be in immediate client or somebody that you just want to keep staying in touch with in the future One last thing that I'll talk about here. And, you know, keep in mind that these air just general guidelines. You're gonna want to build out your own set of questions, and you're gonna want to be flexible enough that you can change them during your, you know, needs assessment stage, just information gathering time. But the last one I want to talk about is every inch interaction to end in the next step. So, for example, let's say that I just, uh, you know, didn't needs assessment with someone on my email them and say you know, it was really great talking to you today. I'm going to send you in a proposal in the next couple of days here. But, you know, before I actually get you that document, I'd love to schedule color. We could go over it together. Well, once they work for you and honestly, you know, leaving it is closed as possible. So missing Wednesday as opposed to you know what day works for you. I want to move along the sale. I want to strike while the iron is hot. You want to try to close this up as quickly after these initial steps as you can, because otherwise life is going to get in the way. Maybe somebody else is going to try to sell them on the same thing. Um, you know, give them a time in the date. And if that doesn't work for them, they'll tell you and little give use of alternatives. So always have that next step in. Honestly, even better than an email is on the phone. So, you know, thanks so much for, you know, chatting with me today. I'm going to get that proposal ready. And let's schedule call on Wednesday to go over. It does to 30 work for you. So that's all I have to say on the needs assessment. And next, we're going to talk about the actual negotiation stage. 5. #4: Negotiation Bootcamp: I'm calling the section and negotiation boot camp, but it could also be related. Teoh the demonstrate part of this sales process. It's kind of it's kind of the proposal stage, but really, I just wanted to dig into a couple things to keep in mind when you know, trying to get that nice rate for your project getting paid for for what you're worth, uh, deserved the essential items that you're gonna need to get there. So the 1st 1 is just starting with budget. So we've talked about budget a little bit. Ah, this is something that you're gonna want to know before the proposal stage. So if you haven't figured that out yet, it might be worth a follow up call without prospects. And, um, you know, one thing that I want to tell you is that I've learned from experience that most small businesses just don't have the budget to work with freelancers. You know, when when we have to account for our own benefits or sick days vacation. Um, the higher, you know. Ah, higher hourly rate. Then maybe what? An employee would be able Teoh, charge them as part of their salary or whatever um, it's just not gonna make sense for the average small business. They're not gonna help the budget for it that I think it's different if they're coming to you. If you're someone that they've contacted, like their warm lead for you. But in general, I wouldn't waste your time with negotiations with a small business just because it's not going to get you anywhere closer to a six figure salary. So that's my two cents ways to ask for budget, if you haven't asked already is you know I usually charge around X or a range of extra X for this type of project. Was that within your range? Is that kind of what you were expecting? Um, that's a really like, low risk way to do it. Um, really had a problem with somebody not coming to me and saying, You know, either that's pretty much what we expected. Or, you know, maybe that's a little bit outside of our range. I don't know if that this is gonna work well. Usually show your hand. This is best done over the phone. People might dilly dallying if it's over email you want toe whenever possible. Keep your important negotiations on the phone because you'll have a chance to kind of respond to that person. Gonna be able to hear, you know, them deliberated with themselves on. And that's something that just gets lost over email. So the next thing is you're gonna want Teoh position. Your delivery herbal is more than just the sum of its parts. So, you know, when I create an article for somebody, it's like, OK, here's your article, but really, you know, it's something that I've optimized for us. Yeah, I found, like a future image for academic research. On what the key word is, Um, there's all these things that go into it, And so what? I what it was going to make me a lot more money is if I say, you know, I've optimized this for this type of customer and, you know, here's the monthly search data, you know, here's the difficulty for ranking whatever. Like you could get a little technical with it. That might actually help you, because it will show that you're an expert and that you probably know more about the subject than they dio. But, you know, creating building a value, having a large perceived value tends Teoh outweigh any sort of, like, weird pricing considerations. And, um, you know, the other thing is, if I'm gonna create this, like, really, like kick ass black pose and like, everything's done like it's already edited for you. Um, you know, I could even uploaded WordPress for you or whatever. It's like they're gonna think. Okay, now, I don't have to pay an editor. Now, I don't have to pay, you know, like a virtual assistant. Upload this for me like I'm actually saving money and the headache of managing multiple people to do it. So if you can show that your delivery herbal has so much value that you know it's going to accomplish the jobs of what would otherwise be several people's jobs, that's another great way to make money for yourself. So, um, this is to use with caution tactic. So let's say that, you know, you charge Ah, a couple 100 bucks for a black post in the clients is why can pay most of that, But I'm not gonna pay the whole thing. Uh, you could up to just not work with that client because, you know, they're never gonna be at the price that you have set for yourself that you have said, You know, this price reflects, like, you know, my benefits. I'm not getting my overhead. My vacation is a lot stuff or you can find an opportunity for trade off. So for me, as a content writer, maybe I want to work with a high, uh, high quality publication and, you know, they just don't really chart there. They don't pay a whole lot because they know they're great. They know that I want to write for them. But you know, the truth office. Well, you know, this won't be ghostwriting. It'll have my name on it and we'll have a link to my website and we'll have a bio that where I can talk directly to the type of prospects that I want to get in touch with me. So I think about you know what kind of trade us that would be worth it to you, especially if you're still establishing your portfolio. And you might, you know, benefit greatly from those opportunities, even if they don't pay you exactly what you want. Or you could say, you know, why don't we come up with some options for the scope of this project based on that budget, you know, like it's not going to give you everything we talked about before when I talked about that Perfect. You know, peace where nobody's gonna have to help you. It'll be all done. Set it and forget it. Whatever. Maybe it's not gonna be that, but I can get to most of the way there, and I'll save myself some time on the annoying things that I don't want to do anyway. The next thing is to define the scope as clearly as possible. This is going to be important not just for selling yourself, selling your services, but also for saving yourself a lot of headaches later on. So when I talk about the scope of my business, I'm talking about things like turnaround time. Like on average? No, I turned around an article seven days from once. We've discussed the topic attribution, which is is it goes through it nor byline. And here's the pricing for each. You choose. I actually give a discount for bylined rating because I want people to publish my violin. It helps me to create more business for myself without having to go through this annoying sales process. Um, you know how long the document will be with word count payment turns. Is it going to be on receipt Net 30? Whatever. Um, I also talk about I'm going to send the contract. It's really just gonna go over the scope. You know, let me know if you have any questions. And I also like to talk about are there and his specific ideas that you want me to get started on because I'm trying to move this along to being a closed one thing. You know, you're not people to be thinking about how it will be toe work with you. So you know, also, when you're speaking to them, even if you're not there, even if they're not your client, yet you want to talk is if they are to be like, you know, we'll focus on this in the next block or, you know, when I start writing for you Well, you know, we'll do this. This is what will change or whatever. You know, you have to kind of embody that mindset in what you say so that it kind of becomes dislike . That's what it is like you work for them. It sounds stupid, but it's a good way to you be talking as if you already are, you know, working for them because then we'll start thinking about it, too. So the next thing here is, um, I think a lot of people are tempted to offer a discount when somebody starts to fret about pricing. And my solution is to offer discount as a concession, not necessarily by default. So, you know, don't immediately offer a discount when somebody starts acting like it might be a price problem. You kind of want to dig in and be like, So is it the price? That's the problem. And if so, you know, like, what were you expecting to pay for this? And so let's say and this is actually a legit example. Um, for one person, I was talking about writing articles for the nature of the articles in my regular pricing would be like to 50 and he was like, Well, I really only budgeted 200 for these, and I'm like, you know, like it's not exactly my ideal, but still 200 bucks an article. It's something I really love to write about. I'm gonna get a byline. Um, it was a concession. It wasn't something that I immediately offered to him. I got his price first, so I knew what the benchmark was and what my maximum would be with this client. So keep that in mind for you to, um you know, you wanna you want the person, the other person to name their number first, because then you can get us close to that as possible. Um, and on that note, there is great power and silence. So, for example, let's say that you're on this proposal. Call your salmon, do those little out and do that, and it's gonna cost you, you know, 500 bucks a month or whatever it iss. Just leave it. Say that. Leave it. If you have to wait on the phone for six minutes for that person to say something else, I'm telling you, do it. Do not be the first person to talk after Price after talking about price, because you will lose that battle. I promise you, uh, so, you know, don't immediately cave when someone brings it up like I said it before, but, you know, listen, when you're going to the sales process so that you can say I'm justifying this price after they finally start talking after that. Great silence. Yeah, we're talking about this price because it includes, like, so much great value and, you know, you know, here's some other clients that I've worked with have already vetted me, so you know, I'm legit simplifying it, but whatever. Um, so another thing that I think a lot of feeling answers themselves worry about is you know, if I don't close the client right now, does that mean that all this time was wasted? I don't think so. I think that walking away doesn't have to mean it's over. Um, you know, a lot of times when I am talking to people, maybe my price is too much for them right now, But they really do like me and the, you know, refer me to another client, for example, And then maybe a year from now, they're in a better place to be able to pay my price. And so, by staying top of mind with them with some of the things we're gonna share later on and also having a system for follow ups That means that I really didn't waste any time. They could still be a viable prospect. And, you know, things change so often for different businesses that, you know, you might have just contacted them at the wrong time. And that's OK because you're creating a relationship. And that's the thing with consultative selling. It's not about like me, me, me. I gotta hit my quota, you know, whatever it's like. I want to create relationships so that I don't have to be selling all the time. I can, you know, get to know people and they can get to know me. And then when it's the right time, we'll figure it out. So don't think about sales. Is being this like, really, like, intense, like pitching, like being annoying type of thing. It's really not. It doesn't have to be eso. This is kind of a famous ideology in modern sales is the idea of selling the benefits, not the features. So to give you an example, you know, I have my iPhone. It's shitty iPhone. It's like the success or whatever, but, um, you know, some of the features could be like, Oh, the camera has, like you know whatever megapixels. And, you know, the battery life is 16 hours and whatever. I mean, obviously, that's not true, but, um, when I'm selling the futures, it's like, Okay, cool. But, like, what does that actually do for me? What can I do with a 16 hour battery life? Well, you know, if I go to a music festival, and, um, I'm trying to get in touch with my friends. It's nice to know that my battery life even under, you know, the pressure being in a place where you know it's gonna have Teoh were carted established signal which is gonna kill my battery and all that stuff. Like, you know, I'm still gonna be able to get in touch with those people because it's such a good battery life or, you know, the camera. Like, um, I love taking instagram pictures and knowing that I have a great camera means that, you know, it's enabling that desire for me in my personal life or something like that. So try to think about, you know, it's not 1000 word posts. It's, uh, you know, this marketing piece that's going to help drive, you know, a lot of people to your website over time. And honestly, the more numbers you can give, the more you can quantify what you're saying with examples of success in the past, then the better you're gonna be able to justify your rate. Couple more things. Um, one thing from a group on days is this idea of unsold inventory. So it's like all this. Every business out there could be doing at least a little bit better than they're doing right now. So even like ah ah, good example, if you're from Chicago is sociable it some this amazing burger place. Everyone's obsessed with it. It has lines out the door almost every day, except for when I went on like a Tuesday afternoon at three. No line, plenty of space for people come in, you know, For them, it might have made sense for them to run a group on for weekend times or three PM or something like that. The point being that, you know, even the busiest business could probably be doing a little bit better, especially depending on if they were selling physical goods or if it's like a software company where you know they're just trying to somewhere licenses, seats and so on. So you want a position yourself? Is somebody who can help them sell this unsold inventory? You want Teoh, Position it to them as a missed financial opportunity. You know, like, what would it mean for you to get 50 more trial users per month? Because, you know, im a conversion rate expert, and I can help you do that. Whatever it is, whatever your thing is and how it connects to that connect it. This is also known as the cost of doing nothing. So try to figure out why you're questioning, you know, during that needs assessment stage, Like, what is the cost of doing nothing for this business? And finally, when you're going through the proposal stages, why not just ask for the sale? You know, Are you ready to move forward right now? Is this something that you're interested in? If so, if I send a contract over tonight, will you sign it? Is there anything that would get in the way of your son in that contract tonight? And this is your opportunity to uncover any objections that this person might have. And that's precisely what we're going to talk about next 6. #5: How to Handle Common Objections: so dealing with objections is never easy. I'm going to tell you that right now. But if you have a process in place and that if you can be calm and collected and your answer and confidence, most importantly, then you can definitely get through them. So this refers to that graphic that I I shared at the beginning. This would be like the negotiate stage. And one thing I want to say before I get into the specific objections that ive uncovered here for this particular discussion is, um, the idea that you never want to say you're wrong to a customer. So somebody says, you charge too much, you might start that conversation with, You know, I totally hear you. I've heard that before. People have said that to me. It kind of creates this, like camaraderie with who those other people might be. And this person who's objecting with you and it makes them feel good about themselves. It makes them feel like I'm not crazy and, you know, because they're not. I mean, they're just people trying to figure out what solution is gonna make the most sense for their business. So you want to say listen like I've heard that people, people tell me that. But I guess what? I still have other customers that are paying my full price. So, um, when you're going into this proposal, which is when you're going to start, you know, getting these objections, you might say, you know, biggest some of the things that we've talked about, you know, when we were kind of determining this fit, you know, when I was learning a little bit about your business, I really think there is a fit here. And here's three reasons why no one told me that you are trying Teoh increase the traffic here, Webb said. And like I've showed you with umbrella, that client examples, I've done that many times over. It's second nature for me to, you know, you talked about the fact that you're really stressed. Right now. I don't have a whole lot of time to get stuff done. And, um, you know, I'm the type of person you can really take charge of a project. You won't have to worry about me. I mean, I'll prove it with the first thing that I sent to you and so on and so forth you know, all that said, Is there anything that might get in the way of us getting started and then you you know, silence and then you give them a chance to talk. So a couple of the common objections that you might hear is a freelancer. And as somebody who is trying to command a higher rate that you deserve the 1st 1 that I hear all the time, I'm interested. But can we do a test run? So, you know, this is something that you have to kind of prefaced with the fact that especially if you're a marketing, you know, I could do a test drawn. That's fine. I want you to know that if I'm going to be doing this for social Media, it's not something where you should expect results that happen overnight. The type of work that I do is really more of a complete campaign, and so I'm happy to give you an example of what I do. But I just want you to understand that it's going to work. Best is part of a complete campaign. Um, eso eso when you're, you know, talking about tests runs, you want to talk about when we do work together again. When not if, because you want to put that idea in their head. Um, you know, I would recommend that we worked together for 3 to 6 months or whatever before you, you know, expect to have the best results. You'll see results initially, but it's not going to be optimized until we have some time to work together and get to know each other. So, um, you know, when it comes to paid test things for, like, blogging and stuff like that again, it's like I'm happy to do it, but you know, it will be a paid test, so make that clear. With whatever client you work with the fact that it's going to be something where it's not , it's you're not giving away work for free. There is some recent hub spot or too cold that was like, No, I will not do your marketing strategy trials thing for like a corporate job, however, and like it's so true, everybody always expects that. You want the job so damn bad that you're gonna just, like, work for hours from free, and it's like, Oh, no, honey, like it's it's only gonna work if you pay me, and it's going to be the full rate that I would charge if you worked with me. So either way, you know you're covered. Ideally, get that money before you start, in case they just suck. Uh, can you give me a good deal? Oh, God, Do I love this one? Get it from so many different prospects. A good response, if you want to be a little cheeky is this is a good deal. You get to work with me and, um awesome. Um, the correct response is no, because that would take away from the time that I could spend with somebody who would pay my full price on Think about it. Not only is time, but his energy, you know, you only have so many hours that you, like, really going toe have to focus on the work that you do every day and every crappy, cheap client that you have. First of all, you know, it's time spent away from that. But also, it's just the fact that, you know, they're going to be the ones who want were visions. They're the ones who were gonna be like on your back um, it's not Raise it. Trust me, I know from experience. And then, you know, of course there is. You charge way too much. And this is something that you're gonna hear no matter if you charge pennies or thousands of dollars for what she dio. Um, even when somebody sits says this, you have to temper yourself to not immediately think it's about the money, because, honestly, there could be something else that's making them say that Maybe they worked with some freelancer in the past. Let's just use the freelance writing example. Maybe they worked with someone who did. You know what you would charge $300 for for 50 bucks? And it's hard for them to understand the difference in the quality of the content, the value that you provide. So here's your chance to say, OK, now I know that you worked with that with another person like me in the past, and you told me earlier when we were doing her needs assessment or whatever, Um, that, you know, they charged you this, and I know I'm definitely a higher rate than what that person did. But let me ask you this, you know we're tracking results. Were they really great? You know, where people engaging with the content were they getting in touch? You know, you kind of put the onus back on them and say you might have paid this money for the content, but did it actually achieved what you wanted it to achieve? And if not, are you willing to take a chance on something that could work? If so, let's get a contract going. Uh huh. So, ideally, before you got into this point, you understand what? Their idea of our allies. So it's like, you know, uh, how many seals do you normally get per month? You know how much of that is pure profit and then figure out how you fit into that equation . You know, this is how much I charge if I can help you get to sales than we're already. You know, we're already covering your costs. It's helpful. Toe have these money conversations, and it could be a tough thing to get into with clients. But just tell them that it's the purpose is to understand if you're a good fit in most of the time, will volunteer that information without much of a fight. And if they fight you on it, then you say Okay, well, we could move on without that. You basically want to show them how the how they can make money by working with use. That's the whole point of that conversation. You could also ask as a result of this question, you know who tried too much? Well, how much really expecting to spend on the service? And hopefully by now you disqualified anyone who's really not in your, you know, range. But this is another chance to disqualify them if you have it. Okay, here's another good one. And again, it really depends on the nature of the service you're offering because some people do tasks while their people do strategy. So it's important to understand kind of where you fit there. How will I know if it's working a great question, and you should definitely have an answer to this. So, for me is a content writer, you are for any freely, and so you want to establish those key performance indicators since KP eyes that relate. So what you know would actually show achievement. So for me, it might be monthly visitors. It might be. You know how many people sign up for emails at the end of the article? It might be, you know, how long do people stay on article based on Google analytics? The important thing is that you're deciding these with the client, your bulls agreeing on them because you don't want to sign up for something that you can't promise or that you know it's gonna be impossible for you to effect, given your role in that strategy. So, for example, um, you know, maybe you run Facebook ads for somebody, and, um, but the landing page sucks, and you have no control over the landing page. So you want to say, Well, you know, I can drive people there, and that's what the KP I is gonna be, How many people I send their for what budget? You don't want to make your KP I something like, You know how many people sign up? Because that's not what you're paid to, Dio. Um and just as a final note, you want to be realistic with what you're promising. Don't don't promise someone like the world just because you want them to be your client. You're gonna get figured out and it's gonna hurt your reputation and it's just going t o be bad for you down the road. So speaking of reputation, the next thing we're going to talk about is creating value and thought leadership and, you know, kind of back in your stuff up and making it so people, you know, not only that yet to pitch some, but that they might even be coming to you. So that's what we're focused on next. 7. #6: Earning Six-Figures: So let's talk about earning six figures, both in terms of negotiations and in terms of positioning yourself as an expert in your field. First thing I want to talk about is showing off social proof. So this is like testimonials that clients have given you in the past. And, you know, you have to be pretty proactive to actually get this to happen, but they can be insanely useful. I usually have the start on Lincoln's. There's like a public record of it. And then I just copy the words you know, in people's bios and things like that, and then share them on my website. So this is actually a screenshot from my freelance Web site. I also like the idea of logo clouds, especially if you work with a lot of high, um, authority, publications, clients and things like that. This can immediately communicate to somebody that you're the type of person who you know, has awesome clients, you know, why wouldn't you want to be one kind of that sort of idea? So use social proof to your advantage by sharing these things, you know, and you're in your proposal stage on your website when people are coming to you. And, um, you know, like I said before, this could be your foot in the door. It definitely was when I worked at Group on when, you know, people otherwise wouldn't want to give me the time of day. But if I talked about a business that they're in competition with your friend or something like that, then it definitely perked up their ears. Another thing you're gonna want to think about is job boards and whether or not they're going to help you to achieve the six figure salary that you must want if you're watching this class, I have definitely gotten jobs off job boards before. I can tell you that there is a level where they taper off and they won't pay the rates that I'm charging now, to be honest, that's why I don't even look there anymore. There is an exception to every rule, and so my exception for this rule is that's where I found Sprout Social as a client on, and they, you know, definitely paid very few fear. Great. So I will say that it might be worth setting things like, you know, certain alerts or something on job boards. But you know, it's it's not going to be something we're like if an unknown company posts on it, that they're going to be able to afford the prices that you're gonna want to pay to make a six figure freelancing salary. So unless you're trying to build up your portfolio, unless you see a really awesome opportunity, that seems like it's gonna pan out for you, I would say avoid, um also, you might want to avoid staffing firms as well. They really for your emergen. I used to work with creative circle for a couple different projects, and one of them, um, you know, I think I made like 25 bucks an hour. You know that they're making the other 25. That maybe more. I'm not sure. But in any case, when you're working with the staffing firm you're hurting. You're leaving money on the table because they're making money off of your own work when you could do the job. The staffing firm to find your own clients. So consider that the next time you see some alert from Creative Circle, it's usually an annoying process to even, like get an interview with the client. And then even when you get, then there's all this sort of, like important. You have to dio, and it's just probably gonna be more work than it's worth. The exception to this rule is that a lot of awesome companies work with staffing firms because they're outsourcing. You know, that part of their hiring or, you know, finding people to do certain specialized jobs that don't need to be employees. So if if you're trying to build your portfolio again, this might be a viable strategy for you to create those samples that will help you get six figures later in life. Course it's not gonna help you much if it's ghost rating or, you know, if they make you sign in India, which that you cdo, um, we've talked about this. I'm not gonna spend too much time on it, just to say, in most cases, a small business just can't afford to pay you the type of rates that we'll get to you to six figures. So it's best to just not bother with them unless they come to you and they like you. Um, another thing you're gonna want to do is update your pricing at least once a year. And if you're thinking like how do I have been justified that, um, I think an easy way to do it. It's just by thinking, like, what have I learned experience in the past year with relation Teoh the service I'm offering , You know, surely that's got to be worth an increased because I've increased the knowledge in my head . You know, I've see true to my craft and try to get better at it. Um, it can be a bargaining tool with current clients. Like, you know, I'm changing my prices, effective whatever date, if you want to lock in my current rate for the next you know, extra liberals. And I'm happy to do that if you pre pay eso, that could be a great way to generate a lot of short term work. And just open up that conversation that yes, you know, at a certain point, you will be paying a higher price to work with me in order to command a higher price. You're going to want to establish yourself as an expert, you know, um and how do you do that? Well, one way that I do is just by having my own block, which is the dash blocks that dot com topics of interest to people that deal with a seo content marketing, even like freelancers like you. So you know, having your own black gives you a lot of creative control in establishing yourself. You know, you're also gonna want to create promotions around that, and that's a whole other thing to think about. But in general, you know, that's a great way Teoh create that idea of use an expert into demonstrator even if you don't have a lot of portfolio samples, another thing you're gonna want to do is consider gas blagging, which just exposes you to another audience. I would consider about more of like a sales tactic by finding guests logs that have an audience similar to yours and, you know, by creating some sort of compelling reason for them to either get in touch with you or sign up for your email list. Then you know that's another way that you can establish expertise well, also creating prospects for your business. You're also gonna want to think about your social following, especially if you're a freelancer who has an online business because this is kind of like what people see you as. It's another place where you can establish this expertise, perhaps sharing those articles you publish on your block or on other people's blog's. The other benefit of building your social following for this purpose is that even use it as a tool to increase prices you charge. So, for example, I have 11,000 plus followers on Twitter, and I don't necessarily charge extra for it. But it's the value that I build into the articles. I create a lot of my followers or the same audience as the clients that I have. And so by saying, you know, when you work with me, I'm gonna share this on Social. I might also share it on the email newsletter. I'm building that value so that the price becomes less of, you know, a point of contention. Another thing you want to think about is when you're trying to close, somebody who's hesitant is creating urgency with availability. So, for example, you might say, you know, listen, it's been really great talking to you. Um, I only have room for one more client this month. I'm talking. I have some of these calls with some other people, too, and I just want to give you the first opportunity to book me before I'm no longer available . Now, honestly, like this can come across really badly. You're not good at articulating our if it's, like, clear that you really have, like, a load of availability. So I would caution you not to use this unless you actually are pretty close to being at capacity. But it's another tactic you can use to just get that sale clothes and get things started. We've talked. We definitely talked about this before. Um, the idea. Pitching your value, not your great. So you know, it's not just 1000 word article. It's something that can bring more people. Bring more targeted traffic to your website that you can then convert into paid customers. You know, show them the business school. What are you trying to achieve? Hopefully you know what their goals are because you've already asked them about it and you've articulated it and you can even show them. You know what the r. I's working with you, but in general you're just trying to communicate what it is that makes you an invaluable member of their team. And if you can't communicate that to them, maybe they're not a good fit for you. And maybe, you know, you need toe end things prematurely before they become a client. And, you know, potentially something bad happens that hurts your reputation. So, um, another thing that you're gonna want to consider is you know, once I figured out what my rates are, should I actually publish them? Should I make it really easy for people to find them and act on them? And for me, the answer is yes. I went Teoh a an article I put together her w p m UTEP, which is all about the considerations that go into whether or not you want a public The published this pricing. But suffice it to say that my answer is yes, I want to do that because it creates for me this inbound marketing funnel where people, you know, read one of my articles. They go to my website, they go to the service page. They look at, you know, all the value that I talked about before I get to the pricing and then, you know, they get to the pricing And if they if that's in their budget, when they get in touch and you know it's just a question off what we're going to start with , like I don't even have to go through the sales process for the people who get in touch because they already know my pricing. I've already shown them my rate. So that's something that you're gonna want to consider for yourself and definitely read that article. If it's something that you know you're struggling with, it's included in the resource Is that you confined in in the Lincoln, The about section. The last thing I want to say on the topic is that if you price yourself low just because you're desperate and you're trying to get a job you really heard and all of the other freelancers who do the type of thing that you do because you're artificially lowering, you know the rates Ah, people charge on average. Um, you know, think about people in countries that have a lower cost of living like India, For example, when people when people are competing with these people, you know you can definitely pitch value in terms of, especially as a writer, you know. Well, I'm a native English speaker, so you're not gonna need to have to edit this stuff as much. But you know, if you're working, if you're pitching against someone who is very similar to you but they're just really cheap that really hurts us all. So one thing I want to say is that when you're pitching a lower rate out desperation, you're really not helping anybody. And, you know, furthermore, if you're gonna fill your a roster with, the type of clients are going to be, you know, penny pinchers, then it's it's going to hurt you and your available energy and time to work with clients that do have the budget to afford freelancers who charge a living wage. So, um, uh, we got two more sections left. The next one is all about the art of the follow up and why that's so essential in the sales process. 8. #7: The Art of the Follow Up: so most sales actually happen after you followed up with your prospect multiple times and I'm going to show you that in this graphic that is surfaced, like, all over linked in all the time. Um, and it's it's just about, you know, the nature of how many times, how many, you know, touches or contacts you have to make with someone before the sales actually closed, based on, you know, averages that people have recorded. And, you know, this is something that might be useful for you to be measuring. You know how many you know, how many like initial contacts does it take versus, um, you know, when I'm in a needs assessment versus proposals, how many of these activities do I need in order to close a sale? And more simply, how many contacts do we need to make with somebody to close a sale? So, as you can see here, almost 50% of actual, like sales people whose job this is don't ever follow up with the prospects, which means that you know, they're never going to close a sale 50% of the time that sales not gonna get closed because , you know, they just don't follow up. And it's not on the prospect to be the person to follow up. You need to show them that you're interested in working with them. Otherwise, why would they want to throw their money at you? You know, it just doesn't make sense. And 25% of sales people make a second contact and stop it. Still a force. You know, of people and opportunities that are wasted. 12% make three contacts. Only 10% make more than that. And then you can see for yourself how that effects, you know, actually getting the sale here. So it says 2% of sales are made on the first contact. That's almost none. 3% on the second again, Almost none. And then the fifth to 12. That's where stuff starts to get. Really? So again, follow up as important. Um, it's not something that you can just expect to that a client is gonna follow up with. You have to be proactive. Um, if somebody is just not responding to you, that's something where you're gonna want to be a little bit more proactive on, um you know, asking why that is so Butera act. If you think you know why they're responding, and if you have a really good idea of what you think it is, you might say, You know, I'm wondering if you're not responded because you just don't think that we're in the same budget. Can you clarify that for me? Most of the time, people will come through and do that and like the example I shared earlier of, you know, being outside of somebody's budget and then being able to negotiate that was a situation where he really just stopped responding to me because he didn't see me as somebody who would negotiate with him. So, you know, being direct usually gets them to reveal their budget if they haven't already. And you know, at this point you can decide if it's worth, you know, negotiating with them or or if you're really just not in each other's ballpark. And at that point, you're gonna want oh, you know, say okay, well, it's just not gonna work. Another thing you can do if people aren't responding to your if it's if some time has lapsed since your last contact and you just want to reopen, it is just try a mailing just following up on this. It's kind of like a low effort. Way to be, like, you know, I'm still thinking about you. I'd so love to work with you. And, you know, honestly, this might have gotten lost in your mailbox, so I just want to bring it back to the top. Um, you could also, in order to stay on top of your follow ups, considerate to some of calendar reminders or what's called a customer relationship management tool. CRM where it can automate this for you. Um, but in general, you know, once you get off the phone with prospect, you're gonna want to temper yourself to go into your calendar and say, okay, if I haven't heard back from so and so by then, or and or, you know, I promised them this by that date. Just put it in your calendar. So you don't forget the more you keep up here, the less sales you're gonna make. And with that, we're done with follow up. And I just have a few more things to talk about with you 9. #8: A Few More Thangs: We have definitely gone over a lot in this class so far, and you'll be relieved to know that it's almost over. So, um, let's talk about these bare minimum success tips. First of all, the idea of having a process and writing about, you know, it's gonna seem like going through this class like I'm a little all over the place. And I've tried Teoh Ruli each step to a certain part of the sales process. Um, but, you know, you're gonna have to fill in some of the blanks in terms of, you know, first of all, what kind of services you offer, but also, like, who are you as a person and how do you communicate with other people? And, you know, I would say what's comfortable for you, but you're definitely going to have to get out of your comfort zone to be successful with these negotiation tactics. It is just how it is in the way that you're gonna get comfortable with, um is by practicing. You know, once you've decided on your process, you kind of written it out. Maybe, you know, created some ah templates for higher. Gonna track your efforts and stuff like that. Just practice it. Whether it's with, you know, your mom, your friend, your spouse, whoever it is, just make sure that you're actually talking and saying the things that you need to say, so that it's not just in idea in your head that you actually have the opportunity to get those words out and see how they feel in your mouth. Um, another thing that I want to say is you know, we talk about the sales process we have talked about. The sales process throughout is being this, you know, seven step thing were you know, whatever it is for you, it might be six steps. You know, you might combine some steps. Whatever it is, though, don't skip a stuff. Don't skip the nature of those steps because it could be very tempting to just rush ahead if you think things are going really well. But what I learned in my sales career is that you really miss out on important things for, you know, handling objections that people have or uncovering the softballs that you're gonna pitch to . You know, those pain points, but I'm gonna help you get the sale. Eso every step is really important. You don't want toe, you know you don't want toe mix them up. You don't want Teoh Omit thumb. Just be patient is all I can really say. Ah, a couple tools suggestions that will help you with your seals process in general. First of all, the Hub spot serum most of these air free hub spots Basic offering for a serum is fruit. It's awesome. I love it. Integrates with a lot of stuff. Salesforce's better, but it's a lot more expensive, which is why I don't use it, um, for drip campaigns, which is, like, you know, sending a series of emails or creating like a serious of follow up tasks. I love Sears inside. They're actually one of my customers, but I also use the tool, and their claim to fame is that they integrate with Salesforce. But they also offer an option that integrates just with Gmail, and it's a little cheaper to use, but either rate you can use. You can sign up for a free trial and, um, you know, make you said that tool without investing in a first. Another tool that I love is callin DLLee just for finding that meeting time that works between you and your customers again. I've talked about giving specific meeting times, but when you're in kind of like the early stages of a negotiation, it's easier to just use something like this instead of that back and forth email. Um, you know what time works for you? Serious insight can also do this, but this is a great free option. If you just want a tool to do just that, um, contracts he can use and CO for that. That's what I use again. They were a client of mine. I've written for them before, and they used to have a paid tool, but now it's actually completely free use. They'll be happy to know that on then for documents signing. If you don't use and co, you could use hello Sign and they offer you three. Um, you know, documents, signings that air legal or, you know, the gold standard for documents signing online by using that tool. And then it's like 15 bucks, I think, a month or less to have unlimited documents. If you are sending out a lot of proposals and contracts, and then finally um, it's always useful toe have as much sort of like body language and contact with somebody as you can. Sometimes things get lost over the phone, especially if you're talking to somebody from abroad. You don't want to use your phone for that anyway, because it's gonna cost you a lot of money. But videoconferencing can be a great way to connect with people and to see you know, things like when you talk about price. See how they react to it, as opposed to a phone where you just have to wait in silence until they say something. So Zoom is great. I think you get like 40 minutes per call for free. And if you want unlimited minutes in unlimited guests and stuff like that, then again, it's an affordable monthly rate to add that to your roster of tools. Um, I swear by these sales books, the 1st 1 the first to actually we're not technically sales books, but books that relate to sales. The 1st 1 is how to win friends and influence people. If you haven't read it yet, you must read it. It's all about connecting with people and, you know, honestly, getting what you want out of those connections with them. Eso there is, you know, the matter of ethics to consider, but it will help you to get on the right track with your negotiations. Daniel Age Pink is like a non awesome author, has a lot of awesome books, but this one is one of my favorites of Hiss called to sell Us human. And it's really about how you know in any part of your life you really trying to sell things. Whether you know your freelancer is trying to generate business for yourself Or, you know, if your corporate worker he's just trying to get approval for some project that you're working on. So again it's the idea of being a sales person are the idea that being a sales person is not something that's restricted to sales activities like negotiations? And I think it will help you to find that natural balance where you're not being pushy, but you are getting your point across, and then finally, zig Ziglar, hey has a lot of like religious overtones to what he says, and so I kind of blacked that out when I read it. Not because I don't have my own faith but because I don't like when people proselytized to me. But all that said his secrets of closing the sale and other books provide really awesome like tactics, you know? So it's like the X close like this is like one type of clothes you could use eso. It helps you to understand the psychology behind the sale, and I think that's really invaluable. The last thing I want to talk about before we are officially done with this class is the idea of outsourcing to become a six figure freelancer. So you know you're just one person, and no matter what you do, there's probably tasks within your profession that could be handled by someone else. Whether that's research for writing or, you know, scheduling for someone who does social media or asking are outsourcing like creating graphics for social media, whatever. There's always things that somebody could help you do. Even if they're not an expert. They can help you take parts of a project or specific tests as opposed to the whole delivery herbal. So think about you know, the idea of how outsourcing can help you make more money. I'm thinking about making this a future school share class. A couple of resource is will be included in that about page, your about Section two skill share that then leads Teoh, a downloadable thing you can get from my Web set. One of them is online jobs at pH, which is a market for where you can find people who work in the Philippines. So it's just like a lower cost of living for someone. Research tasks like easy administrative tasks would be a really great use of people like that, especially if you're just getting started. And then W pmu Dever wrote to articles about how Teoh find, um, contractors for your business and also how Teoh onboard them to your business, you know, because that's really just as tough to figure out if you haven't done it before. So with that we are officially done with this class. I'm going to chuck a bottle of water to restore in my voice, and, um, you know, I'd love to hear from us to what you got out of this. If there was something that didn't make sense that you'd like some clarification on and again, send me your elevator pitches and I love to go through those with you, but with that, we are done