Handling a Bulk Work Request as a Freelancer
In this week's training video, I discuss the benefits of bulk work requests and your options as a freelancer when presented with such an opportunity. I also share a few tried and tested strategies for incentivizing your clients in this direction. I touch on key things like how to get your client to commit to a minimum project scope or size, incorporating different discount structures in your negotiation process, as well as offering shortened delivery timelines.
Hi everybody! Welcome to this video where I'm going to talk about how to handle the client who's thinking about offering you freelance bulk work. Now this is an exciting prospect when somebody comes to you and wants to give you a huge project or wants you to work on a retainer where you will be responsible for a lot of things every single month. It's great for income security and it also benefits the client because they know they can turn to one freelancer they trust to produce the same things or different types of projects over and over again. But from a pricing perspective, there’s no doubt that a client who is interested in giving you bulk work wants some kind of a benefit from you. And you might not think to offer this right away but it does make sense to give somebody an incentive to sign the contract and begin working with you on these bulk projects. So how do you handle this situation?
You always have to speak confidently about price when you're having a conversation with a client because you'll want to come across like you know what you're talking about and that you know the value you bring to the table. A client offering you a bulk project wants to see that the project gets done but you can incentivize them to sign the contract and to get started working with you by giving them a small discount.
Now I don't recommend giving a huge discount to this client until they have proven themselves to you so maybe after they've worked with you for three or six months, it makes sense to potentially renegotiate especially if the volume of the project is bigger. But if your client is essentially brand new to you, you want to see if they can actually hold up their end of the bargain. One way that I do this is by giving them a discount if they agree to work with me for a minimum period of time or if they agree to a minimum project amount. So, let's say that the project amount is $1000 and if your client signs on to do at least $1000 worth of work, you will give them a 5% discount automatically.
You might treat it differently if the project is even bigger or if they are promising to work with you over a longer period of time. So, if somebody is offering you 3-6 months of work, you might offer them 10% to 15%. Now some people might balk at this idea of discounts and say, well is that really necessary? The client knows, they are going to have to pay for my services. I shouldn't have to discount it just because they are giving me a bigger project. You’re right. You shouldn't have to but the client may be looking at other freelancers as well so it makes sense to give them an incentive to work with you. Now if you cut 5% or 10% off the overall project price, think about the time saved that you won't have to be marketing to land other gigs. You can essentially book yourself out and have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you already have your calendar full. So yes, you are exchanging a discount but you get in return knowing that you have work consistently coming from that client.
Now from the client's perspective, they love these small incentives and discounts because it might be all that they need to tip them over the edge. They've already met you and talked to you and are interested in using your services. But when you give them a reason, even 5% off, if they commit to a monthly minimum or a project minimum, they are much more likely to sign the contract and get started. It shows that you're serious and it's an indication of good faith on their part that they are serious about the project as well.
When someone offers you bulk work, you don't want to have a race to the bottom on price so bear in mind that the other freelancers in consideration may also be discounting their services. So, you can also sweeten the pot in other ways. You can promise to deliver more quickly; you can throw in bonuses. So, if you're writing blogs, you might throw in properly licensed stock photos to go with the blogs as well. You might offer to share things on their social media channel. Whatever upsells and bonuses you can offer will help to sweeten the deal and increase the chances that the client will get ready to sign the contract.
Another way to do this simply at no cost to you is to say you're ready to get started in the next 48 hours. And by sharing with your client that your availability is only good for the next 48 hours, i.e. you could get booked in that time, that might also encourage them to sign the contract. And in many cases, it's true. A lot of busy freelancers only have room for one or two more clients on their roster. So, if somebody doesn't take action, move forward and take advantage of the discount, I recommend having an expiration on the offer (e.g. if you sign up in the next 48 hours, then that discount is still good). This encourages those clients to take action and it gets them on your roster immediately. And usually once a client is giving bulk work to a freelancer they like, they are very unlikely to change that. So, you've locked in the client, you've locked in a particular amount of work, and if you decide to continue offering that discount on an ongoing basis, the best way to do that is to hold them accountable to their end of the deal. So, if you said you'll give a 10% discount to any client who orders more than $1000 a month, hold them to that. If they haven't ordered $1000 that month, perhaps they've only ordered $700, you could suggest some additional upsells that they still want to take advantage of the pricing break. I find this to be an excellent strategy to help encourage clients to start working with you.