By Lori Widmer – see all of Lori’s posts here.
You’ve worked hard to build that list of clients. Why not help them increase their own brand value and awareness by offering them services they may not have considered?
Before you say, “But Lori! How can I convince them to part with their cash now?” remember – you have to be convinced yourself that what you offer will matter to them. If you approach it with a “Gee, I know the market is tough and you probably don’t have the money, but…” just forget it. You’ve shot your own foot, put a noose around your own neck, and talked your client out of anything before you’ve even started. You have to trust that what you propose is going to help them. Think of yourself as the creative equivalent of the cavalry. You’re there to save your client’s business, one fantastic idea at a time!
But how? Here are a few projects that will give your clients more face time with their customers and will make you look like a genius:
1. Email blast. Whether twice a month or twice a week, your clients should be turning up the volume on their marketing efforts. By offering helpful email tips (along with say a discount offer or free consultation), they’re going to build something with their clients that’s almost as good as revenue – trust.
2. E-newsletter. Maybe your clients want to look a little more in-the-know than the average company. By providing their clients with topic-centered – not advertorial-centered – copy (written by you, of course), your clients up their level of expertise with the very people they want to impress.
3. Weblog. This one’s great for you both, for your client gets to build a solid reputation as a technically-savvy industry leader and you, well, you get a regular gig out of the deal. It works, too. I just pitched this idea to my favorite clients and they fell in love with it.
4. Ghostwritten articles for trade publications. I’ve written them for major companies and for sole proprietors. Many industry magazines are itching for free articles written on industry-related topics (and free of all horn-tooting advertisements) by experts in the industry. You can offer to pen the articles for the “author” for your regular fee. If you have connections, you might even help the client come up with the topic and find a home for it.
5. Brochure/website update. Your clients are looking for ways to bring in new customers in a mighty tough economy. A fresh brochure and website is a great way to look current.
6. Executive profiles. This one will require a bit more work from you, but it could pay off well. Lots of trade publications publish profiles of companies/executives in those industries. Mind you, you’re not going to be able to collect twice (that’s just unethical), but you can offer your client a freebie in terms of PR by pitching a profile of their company to a trade magazine. What a great way to win a client over – with free publicity written by their favorite writer!
7. Ask what projects they’d love to see completed. You’d be surprised what they’re holding back on thinking it’s better left for another day. Why not take one more thing off their desks?
How about you? What extras do you propose to your loyal clients? How do you create value (and work for yourself) these days?