Has your business growth stalled? Your stream of new clients turned into barely a trickle? Then it’s time you started thinking about diversifying your service offerings.
Sometimes being a freelancer can feel like you’re on a rollercoaster between surging success and just struggling to make ends’ meet. The ups and downs come with the territory of freelance work, but there are steps you can take to minimize those downturns and stabilize your overall income. Diversifying your service offerings is one of the best things you can do to ensure the long-term health and sustainability of your business.
So, what does ‘diversifying your service offerings’ really even mean? Basically, the goal is to expand the number and kinds of services you have to offer in a way that appeals to a broader audience of potential clients. When you’re only selling one particular service at a singular price point, you’re only going to be able to attract a limited range of clients.
Now, that doesn’t that mean specializing in a niche service isn’t valuable or marketable. In fact, that could be a major selling point; if you are THE best out there at doing premium, APA style editing for graduate student theses, that’s great, and make sure that message comes across to clients! But if, for some reason, there’s a dip in the demand for that particular service due to some kind of changes in the market, then you could be left without any revenue coming in.
That’s where having a diverse set of offerings can really save you from the ‘Famine and Feast‘ cycle of freelancers that Forbes warns against. Especially in A.C. times (after Corona), the forces of supply and demand are more uncertain than ever. So let’s dive into how you can go about expanding your service offerings to capture more clients!
Evaluate The Needs of Current and Prior Clients
Before you go making any changes to your business, you first need to stop and evaluate interactions with your current clients, previous clients, and potential clients that never panned out. Were they also looking around for additional service providers to fully meet the needs of their project? Was it difficult to come to an agreement on pricing, or were you out of their budget altogether? Did they move on to competitors who offered a more A-Z, all inclusive service package? These are the kinds of things you need to be on the lookout for and take note of for the future.
Once you’ve assessed clients’ needs, see how the current market matches up with those needs, and what gaps there might be between them. These gaps are your jumping off point for diversification!
Create Different Service Packages with Varying Prices
Let’s say you’re a designer who typically does full-service branding for companies, but recently you haven’t picked up any new clients. While full-service branding will remain your primary service and source of income, you can capture more of the market by offering some entry-level packages. Some people might be looking to hire for logo design only, or for branding their upcoming product launch. You can meet those needs by creating several service offerings at entry, mid, and premium price points.
Although lower tier packages might not bring in as much money initially, they increase your business’s reach and might lead to recommendations that bring you bigger-budget clients. Plus, clients who initially came to you for those smaller services are more likely to come back later on and upgrade to premium packages as their needs grow. Don’t undercharge for your skills, but work to make your services more accessible!
Offer 'Adjacent' Services
In addition to offering packages across the price spectrum, you should also consider expanding to adjacent services. These would be additional services that are related to those you already offer. For example, if you are a makeup artist who specializes in formal occasion looks like weddings and proms, you might also want to try offering MUA services for commercial photoshoots, or do hair styling as well as makeup. Or perhaps you freelance as an SAT/ACT Tutor. Due to the pandemic, many colleges are making SAT/ACT scores optional for college applications; but they still do require essays as part of their admissions process. The number of Test Prep clients coming in might drop, but you can offer Personal Statement and College Essay Coaching to supplement your Test Prep revenue.
To recap: don’t put yourself into a box. Your business doesn’t have to be limited to one certain kind of client, and one-size fits all solutions don’t usually give the best possible results anyway! Take note of your clients’ needs and adapt to meet them so you can make more money in the long run.
Check out more cool stuff for small businesses and freelancers here.
Follow us on the ‘Gram! You know you want to 😉