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05/11/2019
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One (extremely important) concept most freelancers struggle with

The other day I had a freelancer reach out to me, asking for help.

Apparently he’d recently launched a Facebook Ad campaign for a client, and even though he’d done everything “correctly” on his end…

The results weren’t there (of course, because of the landing page)…

And the client was obviously getting tired of spending money for no reason, so he started asking Joey (the freelancer) what he should do.

Apparently Joey was also getting paid as a percentage of ad spend, so he didn’t want to stop the campaign…

But after mentioning how everything was good on his end, the client asked him to stop it anyway until he could figure out what was going wrong.

This apparently rubbed Joey the wrong way, as he felt like he should still get paid…

So he reached out and asked what I’d do.

This is when I started asking about the campaign, mainly to see if we could troubleshoot it first…

And after trying to explain everything via email, he finally just sent me a link to the landing page, along with screenshots from his FB Ads…

Then 1.2 seconds later, I saw exactly what their problem was.

Instead of using a process that actually gets sales, these rooks tried to send Facebook traffic to a landing page that sells right away…

And well, that never works.

I waited a while to respond, as I wanted to think my answer through — so I didn’t come off as an ass…

But a few hours later I emailed him and in the nicest way possible, I told him it was his fault.

I understood what he was saying (not really, but I was trying to be nice) about getting low CPC and all that…

But at the same time, when clients hire freelancers — they’re not looking for employees (i.e. role players)…

They’re looking for:

Working consultants

If you’re not familiar with this term, don’t worry — I’m pretty sure I made it up…

But it essentially just means that when hiring (higher-priced) freelancers, clients aren’t hiring them for their skill — because anybody can do Facebook Ads…

They’re hiring them for their knowledge, and when you combine that with the skill — that’s when you get a working consultant…

Which is also the hardest thing for every new freelancer to wrap their head around.

Trust me, I’m not poking fun either…

I went through this myself in the early stages of my freelance career — where I was so used to being an employee and being told what I needed to do…

That I never thought about questioning the “boss”, but in the freelance world — I can assure you…

90% of clients have no idea what they need.

I’ll give you a few examples of this in a second, but before we get to that point…

Here’s a few reasons why you need to know this

For starters, it’ll help you avoid the same issue Joey got into…

Where the results weren’t happening and nobody knew why.

From Joey’s end, he’d done his job well — so he felt like he deserved to get paid…

But from the client’s end, the results weren’t happening — so obviously Joey messed up somewhere…

And frankly, I have to agree.

Long story short, even if you don’t know how to do the entire process — it’s still extremely important to understand why everything works…

Because if you don’t, you’ll never understand how to avoid things like this.

That’s the same reason why I teach aspiring copywriters how to create an entire sales funnel, even if they just want to start as a blogger…

Because that knowledge alone will help them how to avoid this issue, but also:

Look like a shining star in the eyes of clients

Again, I’ll give you real examples in a second…

But I honestly couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve landed clients simply because I told them their strategy wasn’t going to work.

They always come at me with this amazing game plan that’s going to help them make $1 Million in the next year…

And usually do this with some sort of Facebook Ad traffic/video sales letter combo — but after hearing this…

I always have to laugh, because that’s not how funnels work.

Then after telling them this, I always have to go on and explain how upsells/downsells don’t matter until you can actually get a sale…

Which is done with a lead nurturing funnel first.

Does every client agree with me?

Of course not, but the ones who don’t usually come back weeks later — asking if I could implement my strategies…

And the ones who did agree right away, usually love the results and:

Give me a lot more work

A few weeks ago I had somebody reach out to me, asking if I ever got paid a lot (like over $60/hr) for blogging…

And at first, I wanted to say no — as blogging in itself is never the part of copywriting that makes a lot of money…

But then I got to thinking about it and there were a few times where I did, but the relationship never started with blogging.

Instead, it always started with a funnel (or portion of it)…

Then after dropping quick tidbits of advice while I was working on their project, they started to realize how helpful this advice really was..

And after our first contract was over, they’d always make up some sort of arrangement that’d keep me on the payroll.

Now obviously I had a say on if I wanted to stay or not, which is why they paid a lot for blogs…

But the main point here is that they didn’t just see a blogger, they saw a valuable asset who’d keep his eye on things and let them know if anything was off.

Does that mean you need to waste all your time being their personal consultant?

Of course not, but it does mean that since you’re already writing the blogs — it’s not hard to send a quick email if you see something that’s wrong.

Okay, so that’s the main reasons why…

And here’s:

How you can do this

The easiest way to explain this is by giving real examples, so let’s go over 2 scenarios I run into all the time:

Scenario #1 — Landing pages

This is always my favorite one to mention, because it happens ALL THE TIME.

You always get these new entrepreneurs who think they can sell stuff by sending ad traffic straight to a sales page…

And unless you’re a big name brand that people are aware of, then I can assure you — that’s not going to work.

The only time this ever “kind of” works is when you do a “free plus shipping”…

Which is still charging people, just hiding it in the form of shipping & handling — and that’s a whole different story…

But in short, you never want to go straight from ads to sale…

And as somebody who works a lot with landing pages, I get this request at least 3 times a week.

It always starts with somebody reaching out, saying how they’ve heard about my conversion rates (usually via referral) and would love to work with me.

Then they start mentioning how they already have the landing page built, and the Facebook specialist is getting the campaign ready now…

So they just need me to create “persuasive” copy.

After that, they usually tell me a little bit about their product – along with the price they’re going to charge…

And here’s the difference between an employee mindset and working consultant.

Employee:

Sounds good, I can gladly write persuasive copy for you.

Please send the contract over and we’ll get started right away.

Working consultant:

Hey Jarrett, thanks for reaching out.

So I’d love to help with this, but I have a few concerns I wanted to mention.

First, it doesn’t matter how good your copy is…

You’re not going to get sales using this method.

People never just buy from somebody they don’t know, even if it is a $10 product…

So you’ll have to do some form of lead nurturing funnel.

In the simplest terms, a landing page is really just used to get their email address (so you can contact them later on)…

Then after that, you’ll want to explain your product to them.

Maybe you do that with a training video, or maybe you do that with an email funnel…

But either way, if you go straight for the sale — you’re just going to lose money.

If you’re interested in learning more about a funnel, I’d love to help out…

But with the current setup I can’t do it as I know it’s not going to work.

Okay, so as you can see — there’s nothing complicated about this, it’s really just understanding how things work — not focusing on the skill itself…

Because once you do that, then it’s really not that hard to implement this strategy.

Alright, and I hope you’re starting to get the hint by now — but let’s do one more for good measure.

Scenario #2 — SEO needed for instant traffic

Again, I’m not poking fun when I say this — as I went through the exact same thing myself…

But if there’s any “signs” of a new entrepreneur — it’s somebody who thinks they can get instant traffic with SEO.

I see this all the time on Upwork, where you have people writing descriptions like:

“We need to rank high for this many keywords within 60 days, as we need traffic”…

And I’m not sure how familiar you are with SEO, but that’s not happening.

To be honest with you, SEO is actually something you should never worry about — because in the simplest terms…

It’s really just “making Google better”, so as long as you write a good article…

Then you’ll eventually reach the front page (and I can say that, because even though I’m not sure on the current count — last I checked…I had 12 articles on the front page by using this strategy).

Anyway, I don’t care how optimized your article is or what kind of backlinks you have…

If you’re just starting out, there’s no chance in hell you’re going to have organic traffic within 60 days…

And if you do, it’s not going to be much.

That’s the same reason why it’s important to look for their underlying “goal”, then after realizing this…

You can plan accordingly.

For this case, it’s obviously getting more traffic on their site…

But we need to take it one step further and see what they’re trying to do with that traffic.

For some reason, new entrepreneurs think more traffic = more sales, and that’s simply not the case…

Because if their website isn’t ready for conversions, then none of that matters.

With that said, this will depend on the company, but for this example — let’s assume it’s growing their email list.

Carrying on with the same format we had earlier, here’d be the two types of responses:

Employee:

Hi Francis,

I see you’re looking for somebody who can write a SEO-Friendly blog and get traffic on your site within 60 days.

I’m very familiar with SEO and would love to do this for you.

Please let me know if you’re interested.

Then we have…

Working consultant:

Hey Francis,

I see you’re looking for somebody who can drive traffic to your site.

Love the SEO idea and think it might be a good long term strategy, but if you’re looking for traffic within 60 days — then that’s not your best option…

But here’s what I’d advise.

You can still write the blog on your website, as it’ll help with SEO juice later on…

But after publishing on your website, you can then republish it on Medium.com

This is helpful as it’ll expose your article to an audience right away, and you can leave a call-to-action at the end that sends them back to your website.

I’d also think about creating a landing page, as those convert better than sending them back to a generic website…

But we can talk about that later, just something I wanted to mention right now.

Would that be something you’re interested in?

As you can see, this really follows the same approach as our first example…

Where we’re just telling them it’s not going to work, but then on top of this — we’re also giving them an approach that will.

That part is huge as they’ll love you for it, and again…

You can’t please everybody, but if you start to do this — I absolutely guarantee you’ll land more clients.

The takeaway:

Start with the main goal and make sure their current approach will help them reach that goal.

In other words, if their goal is to get more sales…

And you see them trying to go straight from ads to a landing page, then let them know why this won’t work.

If they don’t believe you, that’s fine…

Because you wouldn’t want that contract anyway.

Long story short…

Most clients have no idea what they need.

Instead, they read a short article that tells them what they’re looking for (i.e. fast sales, instant traffic, etc.)…

And then they get dead set on using that strategy to reach their goal, which is why it’s the job of a working consultant to tell them if it won’t work.

Not only does this benefit both of you, as you won’t be taking on an impossible contract…

But when done correctly, they’ll really appreciate the info and look at you as a quality asset…

Not just another “skilled laborer” like every other freelancer out there.

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