How I helped a Client Increase her Bookings 40%
Last time I was on tour a student of the blog saw I was performing in her town. She asked if we could get dinner after my show. I thought it would be fun to meet a fan so we agreed on a time and place.
After the show we met for dinner and talked about a lot of stuff. The woman was a freelance resume updater. Her whole business focused on taking people’s resumes and fixing them. She would change the layout, the template, the language and transform regular boring resumes into these compelling job magnets.
During dinner she told me she had fallen into a dry spell. She was getting some work but a lot of her proposals were going unanswered. I looked at her proposals and was surprised. She had done everything except for three things.
Three Mistakes You Make that Stop you From Getting More Work
I explained that her proposals were written well but she had left out three things. If she included these three things in her next round of proposals her responses would increase. She agreed and told me she would try it out. Little did I know I would be getting a phone call the next day.
The Phone Call
I was on the road when my phone rang. It was the fan from last night. I thought she had another question about what we talked about. I answered the phone and she was hooting.
She had gotten two responses that morning! She had gone home after dinner and sent out five proposals to clients who hadn’t responded to her last round of proposals. That morning two clients wrote her back looking for help.
Three small changes increased her client response rate from 5% to a cold list to 40% with a warm list overnight.
The Scary Secret About Proposals
The big scary secret behind proposals that doesn’t get talked about is that most clients don’t read past the first sentence and a half.
Yes, you read that right. Most people stop reading after the first twenty words. Why? People are busy. Clients get proposals all the time and most of them are in template form.
Big Secret-Even the big firms send template proposals.
When a client sees a dozen templates their minds shut off. You need to get around that by turning their mind back on and keeping it back on. Here are three tricks to do that.
Three Tactics to Increase Response Rates
1)Use the client’s name:
Over half of proposals clients receive don’t include their name. That means over half the content a client sees they know it wasn’t written for them. Use a client’s name.
Search their profile, history, anything you can find to learn their name and then use it. Seeing your name perks up your attention. Using a name also triggers social proof that you at least wrote the first sentance.
2)Share the direct actionable results a client will receive working with you:
Most proposals talk about how great the freelancer is. ‘I did this and that, i’m awesome, work with me because you might never get this chance again, blah, blah, blah’.
Clients rarely are told what results they get if they work with you. Give them concrete details about what you would do, what it will accomplish for them and how it would be implemented. Do all of that in as few as words as possible.
3)Share a Relevant Portfolio Piece:
This is a big one. And before you go complaining that you don’t have a body of work yet I have a trick for you to do this even if you don’t have a body of work. Most freelancers rarely, if ever, send relevant work examples.
Clients want something tangible they can look at. If you tell a client you’ve designed a logo show them those designs! If you designed a round logo for a car company similar to a logo another car company wants show them your work.
What if you don’t have relevant samples? Consider this. All samples are relevant. What I mean is that the samples you have from your previous work, even if they aren’t for the the same style of project, still apply to the project at hand.
An ad for a flier for a dog washing company wants to accomplish the same thing as a sales letter for a technical coding business. They both want sales. Clearly point out what you did, why the core of what you are doing is the same and how the same principles are broad enough to apply to their project.
If you want to get more clients, do better work and charge higher rates be sure to do the following.
1)Include the client’s name in the first line of the proposal.
2)Tell the client what working with you will accomplish for them in as few as words as possible.
3)Share previous work projects that are relevant to the project being proposed.
Adding these three points to every proposal you write will add a minute or two to the proposal but will increase responses immediately.
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