Did you know that the clever use of incentives can drastically increase the quality of the client you attract as well as your general freelance writing workloads? Not only that, incentives set you apart from the competition and can demonstrate to clients that you’re business-savvy and suitably competitive.

Before we begin talking about how incentives can improve your success rate with clients, it’s wise to clarify what it means in the world of freelance writing. The formal definition of an incentive is, ‘a thing that motivates or encourages someone to do something‘. For example, a shop manager might use an employee incentive programme which gives a monetary reward to the salesperson with the highest sales each month. This is an incentive for employees to work harder.

In the actual buying and selling process between a prospective client and a freelance writer, it is something that convinces the client to go ahead and purchase the services of the writer. Incentives like this one can come in a variety of packages and it’s important you think about how to best use incentives to give your prospect the nudge they need.

Let’s look at how you might do this:

  1. Give an initial discount. When providing a quote, talk about how much you would usually charge for the service, and then offer an initial discount and show the client how much they’re saving by working with you. This is a smart tactic if you’re hoping to work on a month-by-month basis with a client. For example: If i were pitching for a job that consisted of 4 articles and 4 sales emails per month, I might write, “Ordinarily, this would cost £800, but I am happy to give you a 20% discount ( bringing it down to £640) for the first two months which we can review after month 2”. If the client is only after one piece of content but is open to more in the future, you might offer a discount on that one article or blog post.
  2. Give something away for free. At Learn Freelance Writing, we don’t advocate working for free. But giving away a small freebie as a one-off with the aim to generate hundreds or thousands of pounds worth of work is different. If your client is lingering on the edge of buying in bulk from you, offer them a free blog post to convince them you’re the best person for the job. This not only helps sway the client but demonstrates a real eagerness and drive. If you don’t want to write free content, or if the job is initially very small, you could offer a free content plan or a free one hour marketing consultation. Whatever you think will work!
  3. Offer a guarantee. This is probably the riskiest incentive, but might also be one of the most effective. If your client is on the fence about whether or not a blog post will increase traffic to his or her website, or is dubious about how social media content might improve their customer engagement rates, offer to prove it or else they get all or a percentage of their money back. Only do this if you are totally confident in your abilities and have been writing for long enough to know your articles and social media content gets good traffic. Commercial clients are the best ones to offer this type of deal too, because they are interested in seeing a return on their investment. If you feel confident you can guarantee this, then use this as an incentive to hire you!

When competition is fierce, it is crucial you can separate yourself from the other writers out there. And by offering an incentive,  you are doing just that. Most writers don’t think about this element of the sales process – they have a set per-word or per-project rate and never think to change it. By adding an incentive into your package, you give yourself the edge and show yourself to not only be a more attractive writer, but a more equipped businessperson too.