A few months ago, I shared my story on how I landed a $1,600 gig using LinkedIn.
So far, I have built an excellent relationship with this client, and have been able to upsell them on a blog post writing package priced at $1,890.
Savvy freelancers focus on improving their upselling skills more than cold pitching and seeking out new prospects, especially when they already have a stable income from their retainer clients.
Getting the most out of your existing clients can be done very creatively. Just a few months ago, I published an article on FreelancerKenya about how I went from $140 to $350+ per week with one freelance writing client.
In that blog post, I walked through the exact steps I have taken to upsell my existing client on more blog posts.
I used LinkedIn to learn more about my client’s businesses; then I hit them up via email to see if they need any help with content at their other websites.
In today’s article, I will be talking about a different approach I have taken towards upselling my clients.
After delivering my first package to my client, I asked myself the question:
“How do I turn this client into a retainer?”
Since I am a big believer in the importance of building trust and positioning myself as an expert, I opted for creating a report with a detailed, 6-page analysis of my client’s market and what works and doesn’t for their competition.
The idea of creating a report resonated with me as I assumed it would the best way to logically justify why I am offering them my new services while leaving a perfect impression.
On another note, I should admit that I would not have created this competition analysis if I had a stronger personal brand.
Although I have lots of work experience and credentials, I still felt the need for using data and analysis to increase the chances of having a successful upsell.
My client’s team was impressed by the report, and I believe it played a crucial role in building trust in our relationship and eventually agreeing on a new contract.
To show some statistics on the effectiveness of upselling, according to Paul Farris, there’s a 60-70% chance you can upsell your existing clients.
On the other hand, success rates with cold pitching usually range from 0% to 20%.
Before we dig into the components of the competition analysis I used to upsell my client, let’s first understand the difference between upselling and cross-selling.
Understanding the Distinction Between Upselling and Cross-Selling
According to PredictiveIntent, upselling on e-commerce websites generates 20 times more results than cross-selling.
Although this does not apply to B2B as it does to B2C, it still says a thing or two about what we as freelancers should do.
Upselling is more effective than cross-selling because you sell your clients on a service they already trust you on. You have already convinced them to plump for that package. Your only job after that is to remind them of the benefits of your service and to mail them a new invoice.
On the contrary, cross-selling introduces new services to your client, which means that you will likely need to do a whole lot of selling again so they can make a buying decision.
Cross-selling, consquenltly, lowers your chances of turning your one-off client into a retainer or getting them to sign a new contract.
For me, I believe that you should only cross-sell when that is aligned with the service you have already provided to your client.
For example, if you write blog posts, you can suggest creating a lead magnet and writing a newsletter for your client to attract and market to their email subscribers as cross-sells.
As for upselling, you can recommend a larger package of blog posts that matches a strategic content marketing plan.
Now that you have an understanding of the difference between upselling and cross-selling, let’s dive in.
How to Craft a Killer Competition Analysis
Before we dive into how to craft a successful competition analysis, here are three things to keep in mind before upselling your client:
– All of your services need to be data-driven, and you should always aim to generate results for your client
– Creating a competition analysis requires you to be familiar with SEO and content analysis tools such as SEMRush and have some analytical skills (If you have any questions regarding this point, don’t hesitate to hit me up via the WriteWorldwide contact page)
– The best way to produce a thorough, relevant analysis that resonates with your client’s needs is to have access to their Google Analytics dashboard. Even better, having access to an API based panel of one of your client’s competitors (another client of yours) would be a huge plus (assuming you don’t share any private data without requesting permission)
With that in mind, here are my two favourite components of a content marketing analysis:
Note: Since this blog post is experience-based from the bottom up, I will only address freelance contracts focused on SEO & blog content creation.
1- Traffic Analysis
When I ask my clients on discovery calls about what they aim to achieve with their content operations, the answer is usually one of the two following or both:
“We want more sales.”
“We want more traffic.”
The statements above point out two weaknesses: conversions and traffic.
A website might be getting tons of traffic; but without conversions, they are not getting anywhere. Alternatively, a site might be getting little to no traffic.
Let’s suppose your client struggles to get traffic.
What you do is you gather a list of their competitors’ websites (in case you don’t already have one) then analyse the traffic of every website.
Wondering which tools to use to stalk on your client’s competition? Check out the “My Top Four Tools for Competition Analysis” at the end of the blog post.
Analyzing traffic consists of spotting the most active traffic sources for both your client and their competition. This will allow you to narrow down the strengths of your client’s website.
For traffic analysis, you might find out that many of your client’s competitors’ rely heavily on paid traffic. If you do not offer PPC and ad management as a service, always make sure you focus on organic social media and search engine traffic.
Usually, your client might have three or more popular web pages. If any of them is a blog post, show the data to your client and propose creating a skyscraper blog post as a service to attract more traffic to that specific article.
Also, as a part of your traffic analysis, consider analysing keywords and search results to see what pages need a little push to top search results.
Now on to conversions…
2- Conversions & Copy Analysis
Since sales are the end goal of every business, analysing your client’s website copy and conversions is crucial.
And if your client makes more money, then so will you.
I quote from my blog post, How to Position Yourself as an Expert and Make Clients See You Differently:
“Long-term partnership for mutual growth.
You drive them [your clients] more sales; they pay you more money.”
That’s what freelance writing is all about; helping companies make money using written content.
In an analysis WriteWorldwide co-founder Richard Rowlands has sent to one of his clients who runs an e-commerce store, he suggested using some Shopify plugins and pop-ups to increase their conversions.
If your client doesn’t run an e-commerce store, you may alternatively recommend using regular website pop-ups and sign-up forms throughout the website.
Other than plugins, you can also track your client’s website visitors’ behaviours to decrease their bounce rate, improve conversions, and more.
If you are in the business of creating conversion funnels, check out Kissmetrics’ video on how to create a sales funnel using Google Analytics.
After you create the sales funnel, you will be able to specify for your client which pages need improvement.
For this analysis, always study your client’s competition first to have an evaluation and understanding of your client’s market.
If a successful website in your client’s niche is using a particular strategy, plug-in, tagline, or anything in-between, there’s definitely something you can learn from that and advise your client to use.
If you have the guts to provide guest posting as a service (which I think is very hectic), you may as well analyse your client’s competitors’ backlinks to see where to pitch your next blog post idea.
My Top Four Tools for ِCompetition Analysis
BuzzSumo is the number #1 tool for content research, creation and promotion.
SEMRush is an SEO competitors research tool that analyses online websites.
3- Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a world-famous analytics tool that tracks user activities on websites.
Mangools is an SEO website that houses four valuable SEO research tools: KeyWordFinder, SERPChecker, SERPWatcher and LinkMiner.
The report I sent to this client was excessively detailed, and it included a call to action at the end with invoice links and packages.
After discussing this with WriteWorldwide co-founder Richard Rowlands, conducting research and thinking this over, I got to the following conclusions:
- The shorter the report is, the more effective it would be. Your client is more likely to read the analysis when it’s short.
- Only use the report to back up your proposal (which might be a simple email or a short Qwilr webpage proposal)
- The more relevant the upsell is to the services your client already opted for, the more likely you are going to land the new gig
- Make the buying decision for your client as simple as possible
I am pretty sure that this blog post has raised some questions in your mind, so feel free to share your ideas on this in the comments below and I’ll be happy to join the discussion.