Today I caught up with a couple of old friends I hadn’t seen in 10 years.
We met up at the local Dome cafe, so I ordered my favourite drink — a “Honeycomb Goldrush” (a dubiously healthy blend of ice, coffee, milk, whipped cream, and a smashed Crunchie bar) — and casually sipped it as we talked.
Admittedly, it was kinda weird to catch up with these guys after a decade:
Even though we’d all graduated with Engineering degrees, I’d gone on to become a copywriter, and they’d ended up in the entrepreneurial world.
Yet today, here we were, discussing bringing me on as a marketing consultant for a new venture they were launching.
But, it ended up being a very profitable meeting for them:
In 30 minutes, I laid out a simple, five-step marketing plan for getting their product off the ground, bringing in a steady stream of leads, and turning them into customers.
Best part: everything I recommended in my plan was either free, or cheap.
The only expensive part would be my services — yet I’d showed them how they could rely on me (and pay me) as little as possible, to keep costs low.
As I finished talking, one of my friends sat back and sighed.
“I gotta tell ya mate, it’s refreshing to hear you say that,” he said. “We’ve already ploughed a lot of money into this venture, and it’s nice to hear someone talk us OUT of paying them more.”
“What else have you spent on so far?” I asked.
“Ah, well, we probably overpaid a little bit for the branding agency,” confessed the other.
I took a slurp of Honeycomb Goldrush.
“Overpaid?” I prodded. “How much did they charge?”
The guys looked at one another for a moment, before looking back at me.
“Thirty grand,” he confessed.
“Thirty GRAND?!?” I blurted out, nearly choking on whipped cream.
“Yeah, and it gets worse,” he said. “Get this — these guys actually advised us ‘go and raise $200k, so you can spend MORE with us’. Talk about a conflict of interest!”
He shook his head. “If we’d talked to you first, there’s no way we would have spent so much.”
Sadly, stories like this abound …
Odds are, most clients you’ll work with have been burned by someone.
Which is good news:
As a freelancer, it’s easy to stand out by just … being a trustworthy person.
Clients now, more than ever, are DESPERATE to find someone they can trust to not rip them off.
And the easiest way to do that is to be willing to tell people NO:
No — you wouldn’t recommend hiring you for that.
No — that’s not in your skill set.
No — it’s actually not worth paying you for that.
Rookies fear that this makes it less likely they’ll actually get hired for something.
Veterans realise that it only increases their value, because clients see you as someone who has their back.
Case in point — as they were getting up to leave, they said this:
“Mate, we would have paid you three times as much for what you’ve just told us.”
That’s the experience you always want to cultivate in your clients:
Instead of leaving them feeling ripped off, make ‘em feel like they just got a ripping BARGAIN on your services, because you massively over-delivered.
It’s the best way to ensure you get booked on more jobs … get a solid flow of referrals … and have your pick of the gigs you want.
Now THAT’S a Goldrush …
Anyway, while today’s meeting was very good for both me and my new clients, it may not be so good for you.
That is, if you were thinking of hiring me.
Because, today I just got booked out a little more …
Still, you can always throw your hat in the ring for a few months down the line, when I might have some more space.
If that’s you, you’ll need to go here, right now: