Freelancing: How Value Propositions Can Work for You.

— April 2, 2017

Freelancing is no walk in the park; there are tons of difficulties to grapple with. First, is usually the problem of stabilizing income when starting out, followed by difficulties in staying productive, managing finances, efficiently handling workload, scaling the business, and more. Much of the hassle is, however, linked to income-related issues.

For example, a survey revealed that finding clients is the biggest problem encountered by freelancers. And even when there’s enough work, more challenges creep in, including ensuring prompt payments and recognizing as well as avoiding potentially fraudulent clients.

Despite the many challenges, however, the freelance life is worth striving for. Today, I’ll give examples of how the right value propositions can be beneficial to your career.

What is a Value Proposition?

Investopedia defines value proposition as, “… a business or marketing statement that a company uses to summarize why a consumer should buy a product or use a service.” This is an apt definition but, considering that my audience comprises individual freelancers, it isn’t perfect in this context. For the purpose of this article, suppose a value proposition to be some unique selling points that make your service more attractive to prospects.

The story of fast food business system rapid rise to success is just one of many proofs that one doesn’t necessarily have to provide the most stellar product to be widely sought after. All it takes is smartness. Kick-ass smartness. And that’s what value propositions are about.

Incorporating Value Propositions Into your Freelance Career

Value propositions can resolve the income-related issues I pointed out earlier. And, perhaps the best value proposition is to become an expert in a field.

Trust me, no one is ever satisfied with working with someone who can’t effectively perform the task for which she was hired. For a moment, step into the shoes of a Recruiting Manager and decide whether or not you’d rather employ a freelancer who poses as a photographer, designer and marketer (a master of no service!) all at once, over one who’s distinguished herself as a marketing expert. You catch the drift, I guess.

While it’s normal to want to diversify as a freelancer, you shouldn’t push your luck beyond reasonable limits. Be consistent and known for something rather than nothing. Expertise assures potential clients that they’d get value for their money.

Providing clients additional minute but substantial services besides those for which you were hired is yet another great value proposition. You may be an adept writer, but so are a thousand writers out there. So, why should you be hired? What makes your service more attractive? Do you take time out to write search engine friendly content, or are you able to churn out content that satisfies the Skyscraper Technique to link building? What additional tasks can you undertake?

Many freelancers don’t realize how referrals can be an ace up their sleeves. They don’t realize how doing an exceptional job can put an end to long rounds of cold-pitching and job-hunting. They don’t understand how being extraordinarily valuable to a client can open the doors to more patronage. So, they don’t prepare for and do much. Instead, they become mediocre freelancers who bring nothing extraordinary to the table.

You can avoid this by discovering extra, unsolicited values that you can offer your client’s business. McDonald’s didn’t produce the best hamburgers, but it did provide the most appealing service. That’s noteworthy.

Also, since many freelancers set minimum rates for their work, they tend to refuse clients whose offers are just a little below what they can accept. However, with the right value proposition, you can gain a lot, even from a low-paying client. All it takes is simply requesting a specified amount of work within a period of time, which would earn you a substantial amount of money within such period. Although you’d earn less than you bargained for, you’d also be better for it in the long term.

Another example of a great value proposition is given by Joseph Ola in this article, which is aimed at resolving the problem of late payments. Therein, it’s stated how providing a discount or bonus for early payments motivates clients to pay promptly. If you’re the type that usually has an urgent need for your money, this is a good route to follow. Using this, you’d provide clients an incentive to pay as early as possible.

To conclude, value propositions aren’t for corporate organizations only; they ought to be a part and parcel of your freelance armory. There are tons of freelancers competing for the same job as you, and there’s probably a client who’s unwilling to pay you at the right time, or who’s ready to get rid of you after sometime. But then, with value propositions you can have your way, most of the time.

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Author: Deji Atoyebi

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