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Charge More! 5 Ways to Reach More Clients While Raising Your Prices

This is a “one-of-a-kind” guest post by Shane Melaugh, who runs a small software development company and writes about growing online businesses on imimpact.com.

Your content is valuable and your time is valuable, but your clients love a bargain. How can you get paid more for your work and reach new clients at the same time?

Watch this video to see five ways to do just that:

The key, as you can tell from the video, is specialization.

Just like any business, a freelance writer needs a unique selling proposition. If you are simply offering content, you’re competing against the masses and it’s easy to get tangled up in a price war (which is the last place you want to be).

Here’s a quick summary of the five options presented in the video:

1) Sell Media Rich Content

Instead of creating and selling text only, offer the addition of images, illustrations and even videos and audio.

Selling angle: the web is no longer just text based. Users expect media rich content and the addition of images and video increases user engagement and social sharing. In addition, images, video and audio are great ways to more effectively communicate a message and establish a brand.

2) True Search Engine Optimization

No matter where you order content, “SEO” will almost always be one of the advertised benefits. But the truth is, few content providers really understand SEO. Offer a truly optimized content, beginning with keyword analysis, analysis of currently top ranking content and an understanding of on-page SEO that goes beyond “keyword density”.

Selling angle: search engine optimization is becoming more and more complicated and expensive. Your on-page content is the first piece of the puzzle you need to get right, for a chance at high rankings. Don’t leave this important element in the hands of cheap content writers who don’t really understand SEO.

3) Write Viralbait/Social Media Friendly Content

Create content that is geared, from the ground up, to do well on social media. Analyze content that gets shared and goes viral in your client’s niche and base your writing on that.

Selling angle: There’s a big difference between what we usually think of as “quality content” and the kind of content that gets many social media shares. It’s not about the number of words or even the usefulness of the content. It’s about the viral potential and emotional appeal.

4) Specialize on a Topic

Become the number one content provider in a specific niche.

Selling angle: too many writers are Jacks of all trades. If you need content for your website in the travel industry, how well qualified is someone who also writes about pet care, quitting smoking and online dating? Get content written by someone who truly understands the needs of your prospects and customers, instead.

5) Copywriting for Conversions

Specialize in copywriting, whether it’s for sales-pages, lead generation pages, ecommerce stores or other purposes. Ultimately, businesses need content that leads to sales and copywriting is possibly the most valuable writing skill you can have.

Selling angle: content is a waste of money unless it somehow contributes to the bottom line of your business. You don’t need content for the sake of content, you need content that sells.

Why Excluding Potential Customers is a Good Idea

These are just five examples of specialization. They are by no means the only ways to specialize, in order to raise your prices. If you understand the principle behind these five examples, you can find endless opportunities to specialize, that perfectly match your skills and preferences.

What the examples all have in common is that they narrow the focus of your offer. You don’t simply offer content or writing, you offer one very specific kind of content.

Many businesses shy away from this kind of specialization, because they’re afraid of missing out on potential customers.

Clearly, the number of people who need “social media optimized content” or “content for the sports equipment industry” is smaller than the number of people who just need “content”. That’s because one includes the other, as illustrated here:

Venn Diagram of the Content Market

Specializing always means excluding segments of your market. And that’s a good thing.

It’s counter-intuitive, but the truth is that narrowing your focus actually increases your reach.

How can it possibly increase your reach?

It’s a traffic vs. conversions situation.

Yes, the total amount of people in a broader niche is always bigger than the amount of people in a narrow segment of that niche. But if you’re trying to offer a service for everyone in the niche, you end up appealing to no one.

When you narrow your focus, you become the perfect solution for a smaller group of people and businesses. The goal is to know exactly who your service is for and to get them to say “this is just what I’ve been looking for!” when they find you.

Choosing a narrow focus

Becoming more relevant to your prospects, by narrowing your focus.

And when they find just what they’ve been looking for, they will be more than willing to pay a premium for it.

Sounds Like a Lot of Hard Work…

Yes, all the methods suggested here require that you invest some time and effort. You can’t learn the intricacies of SEO overnight. Good copywriting skills take time and a lot of testing to develop. If you want to provide specialized content for a specific niche, you need to gain that specialization, first…

This is something that works to your advantage, however. It’s the exact reason why generic website content often sells for around $1 per 100 words, while a sales-letter, written by a top copywriter can cost upwards of $10,000.

To charge more for your work, you need special skills. Skills don’t happen from one moment to the next. A skill is an asset. It’s okay to grow an asset slowly, over time, even if you can’t benefit from it immediately. It pays off, in the end.

Having said that, you can probably instantly find a way to narrow your focus and increase your prices, even if just in a small way. You probably already have skills and unique value in your content, to some degree. The trick is to capitalize on it and market it to the extent where you are excluding a segment of the market and become more appealing to your target segment.

My advice is this:

  1. Find a way to narrow your focus right away, for a quick win.
  2. Pick a skill to grow and cultivate in the long term, so that you can keep developing, keep specializing and ultimately become a highly paid authority in a very narrow niche.

What is your take on this method? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below!

Also feel free to ask any questions! I’ll be checking the comments and replying personally.

Author Bio:

Shane Melaugh's PicShane Melaugh is an Irish guy from Switzerland. He owns imimpact.com and if you want to learn more from him, you can sign up for a free case study, showing how a beginner managed to build a 6-figure business in just 6 weeks, right here!

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Category: freelance writing

2 Pings on "Charge More! 5 Ways to Reach More Clients While Raising Your Prices"

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19 Comments on "Charge More! 5 Ways to Reach More Clients While Raising Your Prices"

  1. This post is quite unique. I think specialization is vital because it helps to command attention for the skills you’ve built over time. As you’ve rightly said, the results of specializing may not happen instantly, but the end result is all that counts.

    “You don’t need content for the sake of content, you need content that sells.”

    That’s the most amazing line I’ve read so far this month. That’s why copywriting is the bedrock for charging more and earning what you’re worth.

    I also did a post recently titled “Everything bloggers do are stupid, except this “one” Thing. You may find it helpful, too. Here: http://contentmarketingup.com/bloggers-one-thing/

    • Shne says:

      Thanks for your comment, Michael!

      I find it’s very easy to lose focus and do work for work’s sake. It’s always a good reminder that everything we do for our business should be a step towards a specific goal.

  2. Paul says:

    Yes, if you don’t specialise in anything then basically your content is a commodity. And if you’re selling a commodity then the only thing you can compete on is price – or in other words – you’re racing to the bottom.

  3. joe says:

    Nice post, liked that you brought up specific examples. I google+ it to some associates, we always talk about niche or usp but really appreciate the examples to solidify where we need to come from. Thanks a lot.

    • Shne says:

      Thank you for your comment, Joe! Glad you liked the addition of the examples. 🙂

  4. Very nice post bro, your each and every post is very well written and explained and i learn so much from these.

  5. Deb Lamb says:

    Excellent tips! My problem is trying to narrow it down. I’m a ghostwriter, therefore, I do a lot of writing for a variety of clients. Some of those are bail bond experts, internet marketing, travel, finance, web designers and social networking, among a few others. So you see my issue? How do I drill it down to where I can specialize? How do I choose which category I specialize in? Any advice, direction or help is SO much appreciated.

    Thank you!

    Deb
    Ghostwriter

    • Shne says:

      Hi Deb,

      I suggest that you look at all the writing jobs you get and find the most lucrative ones. Do they have something in common that you could fashion into a niche or USP?

      Also keep in mind that even when specializing, you can offer more than one service.

      Let’s say you become known as the go-to ghostwriter for ebooks and reports (as opposed to blog posts and articles). You can use that as your brand and still offer article writing. It just wouldn’t be what you emphasize on your site and in your brand.

  6. Hi Shane, this is explicit and very rich. Truly a skill is an asset, even if you can’t benefit from it immediately. It pays off, in the end. I like that!

    • Shne says:

      Hi Sharon,

      Yes, I think changing my focus from “opportunities” to “skills” was one of the most important things I ever did.

  7. I love your infographic of “any content” vs “content with specific purpose”, Shane! Those little prospects’ thoughts are so accurately portrayed, you’ve made this a 3-second concept to grasp.

    • Shne says:

      Thank you, Sophie! Glad the graphic “clicked” with you. 🙂

  8. Chimezirim Odimba says:

    I like the point you made about extending your reach by excluding potential customers. The truth is that we can’t sell to everyone if we want to stop treating writing like a commodity. Commodities are usually bought on the basis of “the cheapest”. Top quality services are bought on the basis of the ROI.

    Can you, as a writer, prove that you can increase a business owner’s bottom line with your writing skills? If you do, they’ll have little hesitation cutting you a big check.

    • Paul says:

      Good point Chimezirim – knowing that you’be able to increase a business owner’s bottom line is not enough. You have to be able to prove that to your customers and that’s why case studies can be a great thing to have in your marketing promotions.

  9. Yeremi Akpan says:

    Hi Shne,
    You know, I had this very situation yesterday. A client contacted me for a guest blogging campaign and when I mentioned my rate, she panicked. After demonstrating the scope of what she would get in every post, it was easier to get her to agree my rates were justified.

    I won me a happy customer by besting the competition. 😉

    • Paul says:

      Yeremi, just out of interest, do you mind sharing what kind of selling points you used to put your client at ease and have her agree to your rates?

      • Yeremi Akpan says:

        Hey Paul, nothing so extraordinary!

        Just pointed out that my articles are SEO optimized and that I have relationship with top blogs in the niche where I can publish them.

  10. Rene' Michelle Floyd says:

    Great information! I certainly have learned something…specialize and become an authority…will do.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Peace.
    Rene’

  11. Very informative post! I have a background in graphics, so the idea of adding viral infographics to my offerings could definitely work for me. I also have a very tight niche — marketing on a Mac / other Apple products. My problem is that I’m finding it hard to drive traffic to such a tight niche. Do you think this idea could work for me?

Onibalusi

Welcome! I'm Bamidele Onibalusi, a young writer and blogger. I believe writers are unique and highly talented individuals that should be given the respect they deserve. This blog offers practical advice to help you become truly in charge of your writing career.

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