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My #1 Super Ninja Secret To Ensuring Your Success As a Freelancer

My #1 Super Ninja Secret To Ensuring Your Success As a Freelancer

I’m going to share an easy exercise you can do to ensure your success as a freelancer.

We’ve all heard the term “under promise and over deliver” many times in our lives. I am not in love with intentionally “under-promising” just to set yourself up for a win, but just don’t promise the world to them right out of the gate.

Any time a transaction takes place, the person spending their money needs to feel that the value they got from it was more than the price they paid, in order to be happy with everything. Otherwise, they will be unhappy with their purchase and not only will they not buy again but they won’t brag to anyone about it.

The more value you can add to the transaction, the happier the client will be. The next time they need your product or service, they will likely come back to you because they perceive the cost associated with it is way less than the value they receive. This is what creates loyal customers.

You Want More Than Just a Loyal Customer

Loyal customers are great! Don’t get me wrong. There is a type of customer that is even better though. That is an ambassador for your business. An ambassador is someone who actively promotes your services. They are constantly sending you referrals without you even having to ask.

It is tricky to recognize just who would make a great ambassador for your business so I recommend treating all of your clients like they are.

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article titled “Freelancing Isn’t Easy” where I talked about the many different hats you wear as a freelancer and the importance of always doing a great job. I told a personal story that took place when I was a teenager and had a great impact on me.

It’s a story where I was wanting to cut a corner, arguing that we weren’t getting paid for the job so they should appreciate anything we do and my dad used this as a teaching moment. He pointed out that it is important to always do your best work no matter what you are getting paid because you agreed to do the job and your name is on it.

It was a very pivotal moment in my life and this is something that has stuck with me throughout the years. I’ve never cut a corner in anything I have done since that day and that is something I pride myself on. Anyone that has ever worked with me knows I do absolutely everything to the best of my ability! That is what my name means – great quality work.

Over Delivering

Never cutting corners and paying attention to every small detail has done wonders for my career. I’ve gotten referral after referral in my freelancing career and when working for marketing and development agencies, they knew they could count on me each time I was handed a project. I always over deliver.

So what is the key to ensuring you over-deliver on every project? 

We are all motivated by money. While you should never perform a job based on the amount of money you are receiving for it, and instead, always do the job to the best of your ability, as the story above points out, there is an “exercise” you can do with each project you undertake.

We defined what happens when a transaction takes place above. The person needs to feel like they are receiving more value than the price they are paying for it. If they do, they will remain a loyal customer. If that value GREATLY outweighs the price, they are much more likely to become ambassadors.

Your Clients Should Feel Like This!

Let’s say you are doing a project and the price you charged is $500. Just before you mark that project complete and deliver it to them, pretend for a minute you are charging 10 times that amount, so $5,000 in this case. 

Really examine the work you did. Is it worth $5,000? If the person handed you $5,000 would you be embarrassed to turn over the project? Would they be unhappy with it or would they feel like they got a great deal still? Probably unhappy, right?

Now ask yourself how can you make it worth $5,000 to them? What can you do to improve on it? It doesn’t even have to be directly related to the deliverable. Think outside the box. What value can you add where the person would say, “Wow! I can’t believe they only charged me $5,000 for this”?

That’s obviously an extreme example but you get the point. Always make sure what you delivered is more valuable than what you charged. It’s a recipe for success!

Over Delivering In Action

When Heather was starting out as a freelance virtual assistant, one of her early jobs was a simple Upwork gig where she had to come up with 100 questions that would help create engagement in a Facebook group. I think the one time contract was worth $150.

When she was at question 76 or so, she asked me if I had any ideas to help her come up with the last 24 questions that were missing. We brainstormed and came up with the remaining questions. 

Then we used an exercise similar to the one above. How can we make this better? How can we make this worth $1,500 instead of $150?

She delivered 125 questions total, 25 more than was requested, and a bonus section. When she was finished with the project, having the 100 questions to deliver, she didn’t stop there. She spent another hour or so on the project, making it worth 10x more than she was charging. Sure, this brought her “hourly rate” down a bit but the ROI will almost always be much greater than that!

The “bonus section” just stated some ideas to help create more engagement, what the client was ultimately after. She researched the group a little more and brainstormed some ideas she thought would help skyrocket engagement. He loved it!

The client was thrilled. It just so happened he had another posting that was looking for a full time virtual assistant. He asked her if she would be interested in putting in a proposal for that. She did and she landed her first full-time client. He is still a client today. He has also referred around 5 people to her over this last year, 3 of which she still has as active clients. He does this because she ALWAYS OVER DELIVERS!

This Guarantees Your Success as a Freelancer

It might seem like a silly exercise at first, but I promise you it works! It’s one sure way to over deliver on every single project you do and puts you on the path to becoming a successful freelancer. 

If you always do this, you will gain a terrific reputation. People will come to associate your name with high quality work and you’ll never again have the problem of trying to find new clients. They will be knocking on your door, and that is the ultimate goal.

Over-delivering will have people begging to do business with you. Having people begging to do business with you allows you to work with the clients you want to work with and charge what you want to charge. Working with your ideal clients and charging what you want to charge is what enables you to truly enjoy the perks that drew you to freelancing in the first place. 

Congratulations! You’ve made it as a freelancer.

What are some things you’ve done to over deliver on a project? Tell us in the comments below. We’d love to hear your stories. 

About The Author

JD Simpkins

JD Simpkins is the creator and founder of GroLancer, The Freelancer's Growth Platform. As a web developer, he fell in love with freelancing back in 2005. He has mentored many up-and-coming freelancers over the years and developed a passion for helping others work towards their dreams. He used a lot of tools to run his freelancing business and remembers how expensive this became. That's when he decided to build GroLancer, not only to share information with aspiring and established freelancers but wanted to offer all of the tools a freelancer needs to run their business and make it affordable to everyone, no matter what level they are at in their career!

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