This post is going to be helpful whether you are a new freelancer or if you have been at this for a while. I am going to dive into all of the psychological and business tactics I have learned, experimented with and proven over years of being in business and marketing many different types of freelance projects.

Watch my latest video to learn all about how to increase your client conversions as a freelancer, or read on below. 

Why Conversion is Critical to Your Freelance Success

One of the reasons that conversion is so critical is because if you are having a ton of conversations but they are not going anywhere, it feels like it’s a huge waste of your time.

That’s one of the biggest reasons people get frustrated and think they are not going to be successful landing freelance clients or building a freelance business.

If you have the best sample materials in the world, you have an awesome pitch and you have the potential to work with awesome clients and yet you are not converting clients, it’s a lot of time down the drain.

Conversion is about efficiency. Earning more and doing less. Not spending 10 hours on a pitch and a proposal and conversations with clients, all for it to go nowhere.

You can’t control whether someone chooses to do business now or to wait or to not do business at all, but there are some tips and strategies I’m going to share about how to increase your chances of getting a client to make the psychological decision to hire you when you are obviously the right fit.


Spend the Right Amount of Time Marketing

Another thing that’s unique about conversion is that it’s about achieving that optimal project and client load with an amount of pitching and sales time that makes sense. Freelancers who have a full slate of clients should still be marketing and pitching, but it’s even more important that they use their time wisely. They may only have five or ten hours a week to dedicate to growing their business because they are busy with client projects.

The time that you put into writing pitches, having conversations, doing proposals for clients, negotiating rates and project size is well worth it. If you spend five hours working on a proposal, pitching, putting together amazing samples for a client and doing a phone call with them and then it ends in the best possible scenario, which is a retainer (more than one month worth of work for that particular client), it’s a great investment of your time.


Use Your Non-Billable Time Effectively

As a freelancer or business owner, you are always going to have some non-billable hours in your business. Non-billable time is administrative stuff, answering little emails that you are not billing the client for, doing the legwork to put together the proposal, paying someone to edit your work or to look it over to have a second opinion. We want to make sure that those non-billable hours – the hours we are not being paid by a client – are used as effectively as possible.

Imagine that you typically charge $50 an hour and you spend a total of five hours researching a company, sending in a pitch, and creating custom samples.  Then you have a phone call with the client and it goes nowhere. That process essentially costs you $250 because you could have been working on a billable hour project at $50. It’s not a complete loss because you learned something in the process, but it is five hours that you won’t get back.

There is no definite way to tell whether or not a client is ready to move forward or not, but we want to have as few of these experiences as possible. If you spend three hours a day every single week pitching and creating proposals, and those people aren’t becoming your clients, it’s a really poor use of your time. It’s also a negative self-fulfilling prophecy. You start thinking, “I can’t land gigs.” Then you don’t land gigs, so you think that even more. You beat yourself up and get in this negative headspace.


Reduce Your Non-Billable Time

There are two ways that you cut down on the amount of non-billable time you are spending with prospective clients.


#1 – Reduce the time you spend on each pitch.

You can create a pitch template that you customize with a couple of lines for each client. Some people I know who are really successful with cold emailing as their pitching method hire a digital team member to do the research of the pitch, send the pitch once it’s been created, and set up phone calls.


#2 – Land more of those gigs.

This is easier than you think. A lot of you are probably psyching yourselves up thinking, well I just can’t land it. I have great samples to show how awesome I am and I am just not landing the gigs.


The End to End Process of Converting Clients

What does it look like to convert clients from leads or prospects to clients? What steps do you need to take along the way?

Connect with Your Ideal Clients

You have to know who you want to work with. If you advertise to crappy clients and have conversations with crappy clients, one of two bad things could happen. One, you don’t land the gig. In hindsight you might say thank goodness, I didn’t work with that client. They seem like a nightmare. But that contributes to your feeling that you are not doing well in converting clients or worse, you end up working for the client and then convince yourself that freelancing is a nightmare because you are stuck with the disaster client.

Being selective is extremely important. It’s one of the top secrets of every six-figure freelancer I know. They are successful because they are selective about who they work with. That sometimes means leaving money on the table and firing clients. The more you can learn from this lesson now, the easier it is. It’s never going to be 100% seamless and perfect but you can definitely start to practice those skills now.

Being selective about who they work with is one of the top secrets of every six-figure freelancer I know. That sometimes means leaving money on the table and firing clients.

Seeking and connecting with your ideal clients only is also really important because we want to share the message with our prospective clients that we only work with a particular set or group of people. I often remind people who are new to freelancing that you get to decide who you work with and the types of projects that you take on.

If you are a freelancer, you get to decide who you work with. The more that you choose who to work with and how to work with them successfully, you build this amazing cycle that’s the opposite of not landing clients. You do great work with clients who love your work and they refer you, they give you testimonials, they hire you again and again.  Your conversions with those ideal clients make your life so much easier.


The Phone Call

The process that I recommend for every freelancer is to make the pitch and get them to a phone call. The phone call leads to a proposal. The pitch sometimes can lead directly to you being hired on sites like Upwork. They might just select your bid and you can move forward.

You have to be an investigative journalist on this phone call. You are finding out everything you can because you want to write a winning proposal — a proposal that they are ready to sign and pay.

With other clients, however, you always want to have a phone call. I also like to have phone calls with my Upwork clients. I want them to hear my voice to know I am human and to be able to ask me questions. It instills a greater level of credibility and trust because they know I am really a person. A lot of times, it’s difficult to get a read on someone with their written words only.  Having that conversation is the chance to form a relationship.

Write the Proposal

If you are not Upwork, writing a proposal should follow the initial call. As an example, yesterday I had a call with a prospective LinkedIn client. He contacted me, so that’s essentially the pitch stage. Then we had a phone call. That was my chance to learn everything I can about this guy.

A lot of freelancers think, “I am being interviewed on the phone, I just need to come across professional.”

No, you have to be an investigative journalist on this phone call. You are digging. You are finding out everything you can because you want to write a winning proposal. A proposal that they are ready to sign and pay.

Measure Your Results

In order to know whether you are being successful, you have to measure your results.

How many of your pitches are landing right now? Is it less than one out of ten? We have got to do something to tweak that process.

Not every pitch is ever going to land. No one has a 100% success rate. But you won’t know where you want to go if you haven’t started to measure where you already are.

If you’re sending a massive amount of pitches, I recommend having some type of way to keep track. It’s helpful if someone reaches out to you after it’s been three weeks and you’ve talked to so many people you don’t remember who the person is. 

A spreadsheet is a great way to keep track of your pitching. You can keep track of details like:

  • who the client is

  • any information about the prospect like their website or places they have been mentioned in the news

  • when you pitched them

  • the date you had a phone call with them

  • key takeaways or notes from the call

  • your date to follow up

I like to use color coding inside a Google spreadsheet.

  • Yellow is a warm lead. They haven’t signed anything yet but I think I might be able to nudge them in that direction.

  • Green – they decided to work with me.

  • Red – they straight up said no.

Now if someone says, “No, I hate you, never contact me again,” that’s the only situation in which you would say, “Okay, literally I’m never going to contact you again. I’m not going to spam you, I don’t want to bother you.”

But even clients who say no now may have an opportunity to work with you in the future.  We might list them as red because they said no, but that doesn’t mean you can’t follow up in a couple of months to see if their needs have changed.


Streamline Your Process

Once you’ve begun to measure how you’re doing with your pitching and your proposals, you want to do some reflection time. How can you make your process even more streamlined?

One thing I love is having pitch templates.  I have pitches for every different type of service that I offer. They all touch on the same general points about my personality and my work but they’re different because the work I’m pitching is different.  I have a pitch as a project manager, I have a pitch as a freelance writer, I used to have a pitch as a virtual assistant.

When I’m sending in a lot of pitches, it really helps to have these template materials that I just add a little bit of customization to each one. You can keep tweaking it so you can easily copy and paste.

If you’re doing a bunch of Upwork pitching, you might have that Google Doc or that Word document open. Copy and paste it into the Upwork mainframe, making tweaks as you need to.

Other ways to streamline your process – create template emails.  Use a system for the way you book calls. You can use a free tool like Calendly. On their free account, they’ll allow you to have one meeting type per month so you can set up free 20-minute consultation calls with prospective clients.

These are just a couple of tips to streamline your system. There are a lot of other ways that you can improve your process and make it as efficient as possible.


Convert Your Clients with These Strategies

We’re taking people on a psychological journey when they read your pitch. We’re taking them through envisioning what it would be like to work with you.  If you have standard offers, like packages, or a couple of different services, or you really like to be in this one sweet spot where you’re selling a particular thing – this is a perfect opportunity to write a template pitch.

Map the Pitch

Then you might want to map out the key things that you have to touch upon. Let’s imagine, for example, that you are a Pinterest strategist. You get people followers on Pinterest, you get re-pins on Pinterest and you manage group boards for them.  You want to talk about why each of those individual services helps the client.

Don’t just talk about the fact that you can do it and do it well. Talk about why the client should care about those particular things that you do. Talking way too much about themselves is a big mistake that a lot of people make in pitching.

Have a planned agenda with every single pitch that you promote. There are certain points that you want to get across in every single pitch without overwhelming the client. That’s your unique value proposition. What is it that you can do that no one else will do?

You will increase your chances of conversion in addition to maintaining control. If you’ve ever pitched on sites like Upwork or you had a phone call with someone and you need to do a proposal, it’s much easier if you already have these materials created. It doesn’t feel like a massive process to start all over again.

Focus in on Their Pain Points

One of the most important things you can do to convert clients more effectively is to understand and speak directly to their pain points. 

Even if you’ve already pitched the client and you’re now in the phone call phase but they haven’t yet agreed to work with you, dig in. Figure out why they haven’t done this project up to now with somebody else. Why did it fall flat?  Analyze the words they used in their job post or conversation with you.

One of the most important things you can do to convert clients more effectively is to understand and speak directly to their pain points.

I have many great examples of client pain points.  They might say, I am totally overwhelmed.  When I hear that, I immediately talk about how easy it is going to be for them to have me do this, and it comes off as they really never have to think about it again unless they want to.

If a client says, “We’ve hired other freelancers before and it’s been a disaster,” you can include in your pitch, proposal or your response on the phone call, “Yes, unfortunately, there are a lot of freelancers out there that drag down this great industry, but you know you can count on me. Check out my testimonials on my LinkedIn profile. I am a high quality professional freelancer. You won’t have to worry about any of that with me.”

Understand their pain points and then directly respond to them. Meet people where they’re at with their concerns or their fears or their worst-case scenario.

If you can quell those fears in a conversation or a pitch, you can be extremely successful at converting them. Because they don’t feel like it is a template pitch. Even if you may have used a template pitch and added two sentences addressing their pain points, they feel like you’re talking directly to them. The real conversation has already started. They’ve already begun to imagine working with you.

Before you have a phone call with them, put out a pre-call survey. Ask them what it is they’re thinking about. You don’t need to have 15 or 25 questions here, but ask them things like, “What are your biggest concerns? In your mind, how would you measure the effectiveness of this project?”

Get a sense of where they’re at. People will often give you quite a bit of information to do it. They will tell you what their potential objections are. If you capture this in a pre-call survey you can practice your response and be 10 times more effective on the phone call because you already know what their hesitations are.

Another great tip to convert these pain points into solutions on your behalf is to rephrase their own words. If a client says, “I am super stressed out, I’m working 60 hours a week, I really need someone to come in and write new home page copy for my website,” you might respond by saying, “Once you get me the instructions and guidelines, I’m good to go. You don’t even need to check in until the work is turned in. You don’t even have to think about it. I’ll take care of the complete process and make sure it’s written as well as possible.” That’s a great way to turn it around directly on them. You’ve heard their pain point, you’ve digested it and you talked about exactly how you solve that.


 If they don’t give you enough information, prompt them to elaborate. Use that initial phone call as your chance to interview them.  If you’re not getting enough details, keep digging.

If you’re on the phone with someone who is difficult to talk to, you can ease them in by asking yes or no questions. You can reiterate back to them what they just said, “What I’m hearing from you, it sounds like what you might need is this.” Most times people will echo that back to you and give you further details at that point in time.


Align Your Solutions with Their Pain Points

Here is where we begin to connect the dots. Align your solution directly to the priority or pain point. Maybe they are mad because people they’ve hired in the past didn’t meet deadlines. Or they don’t really understand why they need to pay somebody to do this particular service. Give a little example of a past client you helped and the type of results that you got. You don’t even need to name names. Then they can see the benefits of hiring someone who’s a professional.

Always draw that line directly between what they’re saying their problems are and then directly align your solutions and the services that you offer to that particular pain point.

Directly align your solutions and the services that you offer to the client’s pain points.

Being able to navigate these conversations, whether they are over the phone or in person, is key. You can change a conversation based on the way that you respond to the client. Don’t act like you’re the one being interviewed completely – interview them back as well.

Be Prepared to Deal with Objections

Be prepared to deal with objections. You want to really up your game with converting clients. Know the possible objections ahead of time and have examples of how to respond to them.

You can even pre-empt their possible objections if they’ve given you a clue that your price is a little bit out of our budget. If they gave you that clue before you even have a phone call, you can use that information and turn it around on the phone call. You might bring it up first and say, “I understand that I am a premium provider and so I have rates higher than the industry average. That’s because the quality of my work is above the industry average.” Address it like that and then move on to the next point.

Leverage all of your experience, any transferable skills you have that are relevant – volunteer experience, something you did in school, experience with previous clients, if you edited your college newspaper, how you met deadlines.

If you have a potential way to relate to the client and draw a connection, you will instantly form a relationship with them. They will be more open to hiring you or at least talking to you. Every skillset that you have can be translated over to something that addresses a client’s needs.

When you’re already addressing these objections and concerns on the phone call, you’re leading with value.  They will see upfront what it’s like to work with someone like you. They see that you’re professional, you’re talented, you know what you’re talking about, that you care about their concerns.  They start to imagine, if a phone call is going this well, or if this pitch is written this well, I cannot even imagine what it would be like to work with them.

My previous online business manager was excellent with this.  She looked at my websites and said, based on my review of your websites, here are a couple of things I’d recommend changing. She wasn’t being paid by me yet. I didn’t even know if I was going to hire her yet.

And as soon as I had a conversation with my current online business manager, she already had a list of things that she had come up with and said, “I noticed this, this and this. This would be on our priority list if you chose to work with me.”  I was sold immediately on the initial conversation.

This is somebody who took five or ten minutes of their time, but they went in and found pain points that I knew about or maybe didn’t know about or realize. Then they directly connected what they could do to fixing a problem that I had.


Create a Sense of Urgency

Another technique that works really well to convert clients is introducing a sense of urgency. Sometimes this urgency is real and sometimes it’s not. Sometimes you may only have one spot left on your client roster and you mean it when you say, “I can only work with one more person. I just wanted to circle back on this proposal and see if we’re good to get started in July because it’s mid-June now and I’m closing up this last spot open on my client roster.”

When you send them a proposal, you can say this proposal is good for 48 hours or a week, or one month, and that may help them make that decision. You can also say my rates are going up next month. If you chose to work with me now you can lock in the rates at this lower amount. It would be better for you.

Make the Ask – Confidently

A really important strategy that so many people overlook is in making the ask and doing it in a confident way. Ask questions to see where they’re at psychologically: “How is this all sounding to you. Does this sound like the type of thing that could really help you, that’s going to help your business go to the next level or get some things off your plate?”

Asking these questions gives you a clue if you’re on the right track. If they seem a little bit uncertain or unsure (“Well I guess I could see how this is going to help us,” or “I guess I understand what you’re saying,”), you need to dig a little bit more to answer more of their questions. Keep learning more about them.

If the client says, “I don’t know. This seems like too much. I’m really busy, I have too much going on,” you’ll still create a proposal but you’re not going to spend a lot of time on it.

A great way to do this is to ask, “What would you like to have happen next?” They may say, “I need to see a proposal,” they may say, “I am ready to hire you, what would this look like?” In that case you are still probably going to say, I need to write up a quick proposal, can I get that to you this afternoon or tomorrow? It is beneficial to give yourself time to digest everything that happened in the phone call, review your notes and come up with a proposal. I’ve found that my proposals are much better when I take a little bit of a break and have some time to think about it and allow other ideas to come in.

If you ask, “What would you like to have happen next?” and they say, “Well we’ll see, we’ll call you if we are interested – you don’t need to put any more of your energy into that. They have already told you that the ball is in their court.

Or if they say, “I’m really interested in hiring you but I need to see some references. Do you have two people I could talk to?” then you know what you need to do next to keep the conversation going.

Sometimes you may have already stipulated all of the aspects of the contract. This might be an Upwork person who wanted a phone call to get to know you better. It could be someone who has already seen a proposal. You can ask the direct question, “Are you ready to move forward?” It puts the ball back in their court. Do they have any further questions? Are there any other objections that have come up that you, as the freelancer, can still address because it is really on you to address those.


Provide Social Proof

Nothing converts clients better than the words of other clients along with having great work samples and a great pitch.

If you are thinking, “I am new, I don’t have anything yet,” offer to do a slightly reduced rate for people for the purpose of getting great testimonials that you can put on your website or your LinkedIn profile.

One of the things I have done is that I had my VAs pull out the absolute best feedback I have ever gotten from Upwork clients. We put it into a PDF, so whether I am pitching on Upwork or not, I share the PDF with potential clients.

I also ask my clients (when I am not in a ghostwriting position or a non-disclosure agreement) to leave me feedback on my LinkedIn profile.

Across every platform where you have a professional presence, you need to make sure that it’s consistent. Your website, LinkedIn profile, Upwork profile, and Facebook page should all mesh together and present the same image whatever your brand is.

Potential clients are probably going to Google your name. They are going to look for you in other places. If you don’t have enough of an Upwork profile but maybe a little bit of it piques their interest, they will go digging. Hopefully, you have implemented your LinkedIn strategies properly so that they find you and request more information.

A great way to see how is this working for you? Google yourself. What do you find? You should be in control of the information that is out there about yourself. Do some work to tweak your LinkedIn profile. Get a website, enhance your Upwork profile, make sure that those are at least coming up first.  And of course, as always, make sure that your personal stuff stays personal.


Handling the Nos

Occasionally you will get a no from a client. Everybody is going to hear the word no at some point in time in their freelance business. Just respond professionally. It can be aggravating if you put in a lot of time with a prospective client or if you thought this was an obvious win, but respond professionally because you never know where it will go.

I have had clients hire me where I never even worked with the person who referred me to them. You never know where your relationship is going to go and they may come back later and choose to hire you.  Unless the person was a complete jerk and you never want to work with them, always keep it professional. Always let them know that you’ll be around if they change their mind or if they have any questions, they can still reach out to you.

No definitely doesn’t mean never. Sometimes people need time to think about it. They need time to pull together their budget, they need time to convince somebody else on the team that you are worth money you are asking for, etc.

If you propose something huge, like a $5000 proposal and they got sticker shocked – no to the bigger job doesn’t mean that they are going to say no to the smaller job. Sometimes, you need to get your foot in the door with a trial job and you can actually increase your chances of converting them to the bigger job by doing an amazing job on a smaller gig.


Common Mistakes

Freelancers often make missteps that cost them conversions. Learn about these common mistakes so you can up your client conversion game.

Mistake #1 – Giving Up Too Soon

If you had one bad phone call, one job you thought was yours on Upwork and it didn’t pan out, don’t give up. Likewise, you want to build up your tolerance to hearing the word no because you are going to hear that a lot.

I have pitched someone in my network seven times over the past six months. I told him the second time he turned me down that I am really persistent. I am going to keep coming at you until I get a yes. I prepped him for what was about to happen.

He has told me no seven times, but it has only made me more resilient. I have heard no before in my freelance business and I have used it to tweak and grow and adjust.  I am not scared of it.

Even if you hear a no, you’ll learn what the pain points are for your potential clients, so this is never a lost cause.

I learned this early on –  my clients kept saying, “People have turned in plagiarized work. We are tired of dealing with duplicate content. It is poorly written. It sucks.” I realized that this was a common theme. This was something I could work into every pitch that I sent.  

You can always incorporate the information you’ve gathered into your future pitches, your website copy, etc. This is valuable intelligence to collect. If you bomb it and they have an objection, you can prepare to be more effective in the future. You’re also going to get practice and tweak your pitch to enhance it and make sure it’s as effective as possible.


Mistake #2 – Closing Too Soon

A big mistake that a lot of freelancers make is closing too soon. People do this a lot on LinkedIn. They’ll add a prospective client on LinkedIn and the prospective client accepts the invitation and then the freelancer immediately starts with, “Let me tell you all about my services.”

Or maybe you got on a phone call to see if you’re the right fit with a prospective client and then five minutes in you’re telling them how they can sign the contract. You’ve got to have time for this emotional connection and the psychological dig into what it is they are looking for. Then it’s your opportunity to come back and show that you’re the right person for the job.

Don’t wait too long to close either. You don’t want to keep your client on the phone for 45 minutes if the conversation is not going anywhere, if they’ve asked all their questions and you’ve asked all your questions. Look for that natural point in the conversation to say, “What do you see as the next step? Have I addressed all your concerns? Would you like me to create a proposal for you?”


Mistake #3 – Providing Too Much Information

Another mistake that you can make is in trying to provide way too much. Don’t make the solution seem too overwhelming or too difficult.

Let’s say someone wants to hire you for Facebook ads and you go into all of the things that you need in detail: “First we’re going to have to install a pixel on your website. From there we’re going to have to get everything approved and make sure that the language you’re using is going to be accepted by Facebook ads. Then we’ll run a split AB test and we’ll see what’s more effective and 30 days later we’ll circle back. You’re going to need a $20 a day budget for that.”

The client doesn’t know the words that you’re using, and they’re extremely confused and frustrated. They don’t need to know all of those details. You need to parse it down to as little detail as possible so the client doesn’t say, “Whoa, I don’t know what you’re saying. It sounds expensive and difficult. I’m out.”


Mistake #4 – Not Doing Research

Don’t go in blind without doing your research. Always check all your clients first. This is a great way to convert them. Find out everything you can, especially if it’s a big fish. If this is a client that’s offering a really good opportunity, go check out LinkedIn, Facebook, their website and Google. Look for common connections that you could use to break the ice with them.

I have a client that found me on LinkedIn and we’ve been communicating for six months now. He was trying to get the project approved by his superiors. I went to his LinkedIn profile and saw that we had the same master’s degree. I used that as the conversation and then having done a lot of research on him, I know the type of topics that interest him.

When a really prominent issue in the news came up surrounding something that he talks about and wants to blog about, I said, “Hey, I came across this.” 

I’m keeping that conversation going by using the intel I gathered in the past.

And then, of course, know who your competitors are and what they are doing. What is the competition doing to stay ahead of the curve, to convert and close clients?


Mistake #5 – Not Following Up

Another big mistake: you need to follow up with your prospective clients. It can take them a while to come to the decision to hire you. A lot of freelancers will drop off after one or two follow-ups. You’ll want to follow up multiple times.

I have clients that I followed up with beyond one year. I checked in with them once a month to say, “Hello, how’s it going? Are you still thinking about this project? My calendar is getting full for next month.” Finally, at the 12-month mark, they hired me on a retainer for a year.

It takes a while to follow up. That’s just the way it is sometimes. That extra effort will be appreciated. They’ll see that you are doggedly pursuing them, gently reaching out and saying, “I just wanted to see if you are still available, if you’re still thinking about this.”

Of course, you can ask for their permission to circle back. If your phone call ends ambiguously, you can say, “Hey, I know this isn’t something you’re ready to move on right now. What about if I circle back in a month to see if it’s a better time?” or “I understand this is a big decision and that you need time to think about this. When would be a good time to call you again?”


Preparing for Sales Calls

A couple of quick tips I have for preparing for these sales calls.  


Know Your Value Proposition

Always know your value proposition. You need to know not only how to communicate it to the client but to avoid bad clients. If they get on the phone call, talking about a value proposition that you don’t have, this may not be the right fit for you, and that’s equally valuable for you to know that.

Prepare for Objections

Of course, be prepared for those possible objections. Don’t let it hinder you or freak you out that the client is going to have objections. Almost every client is going to have an objection. They could say that you’re not experienced enough, they could say they don’t know enough about you from your work samples. They want to talk to people who’ve worked with you before. You’re too expensive, you’re too cheap. They’re worried you don’t have time in your schedule. There’s literally every possible objection out there and it’s all about how you respond to it.

Just because a client has an objection doesn’t mean they have already decided not to work with you. They are in a sense challenging you and saying, hey, this is an issue I have. Can you convince me I’m wrong? And that’s your opportunity to come back and show them that they’re wrong.

Some common possible objections: I’m looking at other people, I’ll get back to you when I’ve interviewed 50 other freelancers. Or I don’t know if I really need this.

Every single one of these objections can be turned around.

Objection: I don’t have the money.

That’s your opportunity to say, “Maybe this project is a little too big for where your budget right now. What if I presented you with another option where instead of four pieces of landing page copy per month, we did two. Would that work? Would that be a good way to start?” And then, once you start working with the client, over time you can scale up to what you originally hoped.

Some clients literally don’t have the money. They want to pay you $5 to create an entire website. That’s okay. They’re not your ideal client. Hopefully, you weed them out before you do this phone call. But sometimes when someone says, “I don’t have the money,” they’re just meaning that they don’t have the money today or next week, but they could have it in the future. Or they’re saying, “Pitch me something else I can afford.”  This can go both ways. If they’re just looking for the cheapest possible price, they’re not your ideal client anyway.

But you can talk about yourself in comparison to other people and say, “That’s fine. Go out there and gather all the information you need. I only can hold this quote for 48 hours though and I only have one spot left on my client roster so please let me know as soon as possible.”

Another example:  I recently hired a web designer who fixed two of my home pages and she was the most expensive proposal I got. She said, “I know I’m the most expensive proposal you got but I can get this done in 7 days and my work is way above average. You’re going to know that it’s done right the first time.” Sold. Done. Paid her. Over with. Project fixed.

Objection: I’m too busy right now.

That’s all the more reason they need to hire you. They’ve got a lot going on. Maybe they can’t hire you this week but continue to circle back. This is a great case for the follow up with these clients who are too busy. I often tell people that I’ve spoken with that I’m too busy right now because I have a lot going on but I will be able to fit it in at some point in the future. Just keep following up. And, people will wait for a high-quality freelancer. If they don’t have the budget now, they’ll find a way to make it work. If they’re super busy, they’ll fit you in in the future.


Looking for more tips on growing your freelance business? Check out my YouTube channel, Freelance Freedom.


You’ll find all my best advice about building a fulfilling and sustainable business here. It’s where I’ll give you all the juicy details about building a strong digital team or using project management to stay on top of tasks.

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