Having Confidence With Offering Services
Being a service provider makes some people feel like they’re beneath those who are hiring them. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I want to teach you to have confidence with service providing because it’s the confident people who are most attractive to the marketers hiring them.
Nobody wants to hire a graphics designer or ghostwriter who meekly says they ‘hope’ they can do a good job or who apologizes for every little thing.
Marketers really want to be hiring the BEST and the best has a pretty big ego, truth be told. They’re sure of what they’re sure of what they’re doing, which gives the marketer peace of mind. So let’s start building your self esteem with service providing!
Don’t Compare Yourself in Talent or Price as an Excuse
‘That person has a lower bid than I do! Oh no, I’ll never win a project.’
‘Their portfolio is much sleeker than mine I might as well not bid on this job.’
Those are the kinds of situations where I see people using talent and price as an excuse to fail.
So let’s get you past those two points right off the bat.
Just because someone underbids you, it doesn’t mean you won’t get the job. When I was a ghostwriter, the time when I was MOST booked was when I charged my highest per page rate ever.
There are two different types of marketers out shopping. The vocal, obnoxious ones are always blabbering on about how they want 1,000-word articles for $2 per page or an entire minisite creation for $5.
You don’t want those kinds of clients.
The below-the-radar marketers who are making good money (or who are so diligent that they’ve saved up to invest in their business) are the ones who will pay more for top quality.
If you don’t believe in yourself to charge a competitive wage, then THEY won’t even give YOU a second glance. They’ll assume you’re low quality.
I used to bid on projects on Elance where the maximum bid was $500. My bid would be $1,000 but you know what? I told the client to check out my portfolio, I was specific about what I could do for them, and many times they would hire me.
Many marketers have ZERO clue about what something’s supposed to cost. They’d be willing to pay a normal wage, but they don’t know if $5 a page is fair or $50 a page is right so you have to be a guide to them.
We all have different preferences in what we like to look at and read and experience. You might prefer stuffy, professional writing while I like a conversational tone. You might like soft pastel colors while I am attracted to primary colors.
Don’t worry about the talent of others. There could be a zillion reasons why a marketer would choose you over someone else who you think has more talent.
Maybe the marketer interacts with the other service provider via message board and thinks they’re a jerk!
Who knows? It could be any reason and you shouldn’t give up or be shy about going after clients just because you feel like you can’t measure up.
Do Compare Yourself in Talent and Price for Competitiveness
I’m not going to sit here and tell you to stick your nose in the air and be too proud to turn down jobs when your mortgage is due.
But here’s the deal. Some marketers will lie to you and tell you that it’s between you and another service provider but the other person’s bid is less.
They assume you’ll shave some of the cost off your bid. What they’re telling you may or may not be true.
So that’s when you start comparing. If you and the other provider are indeed very similar in quality of portfolio and price, then it might make sense that you would trim a bit off the price in order to acquire what you hope is a long-term customer.
But if the other person’s bid isn’t anywhere near yours, and their portfolio is drastically different in talent, then it should set off alarm bells for you.
Always be looking at other service providers to see what the going rate is for certain projects. Get a low and high end of the spectrum, see what all is offered and make sure you’re charging enough, or not overcharging if you’re lacking jobs.
Taking Criticism Always Work on Improving Your Skills
Criticism hurts. It might even make you angry. After all, the marketer came to YOU needing help and you do this thing for a living, and now they’re telling you it’s not good enough.
But learn how to take criticism and use it to make your business better. I went to college for journalism and was on the Dean’s list. I made straight As. Yet I had a client tell me I wrote too stuffy.
My first reaction was to be annoyed. But later I realized he was right while I knew more about writing than he did, the CUSTOMER knew more about his target audience than I did.
Sometimes you’ll have to make your work worse than what you would prefer it to be. No worries. Give the client what they want and don’t stick it in your portfolio if it’s something you’re not proud of.
You should always be taking aim at a competitive edge with your services. You need to see how you can get better and then do things to get you there.
For example, I didn’t know anything about keyword density and article writing at first. I had to educate myself about it and then I was able to offer that as an added service to my customers.
Reinvest in your business if you’re going to take it seriously. There are many ways you can improve:
- Go back to school and take specific classes.
- Download ecourses to teach you something new.
- Tune into blogs that offer competitive tips and apply what you learn.
- Find a mentor who can help you take it to the next level.
- Read how to books that you buy or check out from the library.
- If you’re not willing to implement some continuing education into your business, then you won’t be the top provider, period.
Realize That Customers Like Confidence, Prey on Anxiety
I said it earlier people are attracted to confidence. It’s that way in the dating world. Women don’t like jerks they like confidence.
It works the same way with service providers. If you’re confident and can take or leave a project, then it makes that marketer want to hire you that much more.
There’s something to all that social proof you hear about.
If everyone’s hiring you, then the new marketer wants to hire you, too.
When I started calling myself the ‘Ghostwriter to the Gurus’ I had people crawling out of the woodwork BEGGING me to put them on my client list. All because they wanted to be using the same service provider that a guru was using.
If you need to, reach out to some of the top names and do some gratis work for them. Don’t ask for anything in return and don’t get your feelings hurt if they don’t like it.
When they know you’re new and anxious about bidding on projects and worried that you won’t be able to pay rent, then that’s when the sharks in this industry will hunt you down and gobble you up.
They can smell desperation. They might be watching your Tweets or looking at your posts on forums to see if you’re talking about desperation.
They’ll contact you and make it sound ridiculous that you’re even thinking of charging as much as you are. Making you feel stupid is easy, because you’re not successful.
Don’t let desperation seep out of your pores. Keep your confidence level up. I know it’s hard when you have nothing to make you feel confident, but you have to project it.
I’m not into the Law of Attraction per se but I had to watch The Secret once, and something really resonated with me that helped me in this area.
Someone in the movie said to live life as if what you want to happen has already happened. Something like that.
Basically, I started living each day with a mindset and attitude that said, ‘I’m a top guru.’ It worked! But it’s not a universe thing for me it was just changing my mental habits from being down on myself to being supportive of myself.
I had confidence to compete. When that started being displayed to others, it made them feel the same way towards me.
Finding, Keeping and Cutting Your Clients
You have to have confidence that you can find clients almost anywhere. You can find them on freelance sites, sure. But you can also build your own page and have them find you.
You can get found via word of mouth. You can run a special on a forum. You can approach online marketers and offer your services even give a simple freebie to let them test out whatever you have to offer.
Confidence in keeping clients is a bit different. As long as you’re doing good work, you’re probably going to keep them. But what about keeping them if and when you decide to raise rates?
That’s a tough one for many service providers to swallow. If you’re only charging $7 per page for ghostwriting, and you want to go up, then do it this way:
Let’s say you have 5 clients paying $7/page. Whenever that 6th client comes along, you charge them $8 per page. You then go to one of your 5 clients and let them know that the rates are increasing by $1 per page.
If they can’t afford it, you’ll be okay because you’ll still have 5 total clients. But if they’re willing to stick around, you go to the second and third and fourth clients one at a time and give them the same notice.
Make sure you give your existing customers a last chance to order something at their usual price. This is a good will gesture that keeps them from being stuck without services in case they can’t afford your new rates.
How about cutting clients? This is never easy. Well, sometimes it is and even fun if the client is a real jerk.
Have confidence to let people go who don’t fit into your business plan well. Now you’re going to meet a variety of clients.
Never burn bridges in a tirade. Unless you’re at that place where you can afford it and if you’re there, then confidence certainly isn’t an issue for you anymore.
Don’t be afraid to tell a client that you won’t be able to work with him (or her) anymore. Thank them for letting you have them as a client and just say you won’t be able to complete anymore projects.
If you have the ability to direct them to someone else who can handle their needs, then do that.
When it comes to clients, there’s a power play of who has the ‘hand’ at any given time. If you’ve never seen that episode of Seinfeld where George and his girlfriend compete over who has the upper hand in their relationship, watch it and see how it applies to your service provider-client relationships.
Whoever has the confidence in your dynamic is going to be the one who gets what they want. It shouldn’t mean either party gets screwed over it should just mean one or both of you is in control, as opposed to one of you being dominated by the other.