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- Meghan Turner-Patel made more than $115,000 as a freelance copywriter last year, but she earned another almost $42,000 by offering related services such as branding and marketing.
- She gets and keeps clients by figuring out what other services she can offer to help them and establishing a rapport.
- After speaking with the client on the phone, she drafts a proposal for them in which she mentions additional services that could apply.
- Turner-Patel doesn’t bring up the additional services after the initial proposal and keeps her emails light and approachable.
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Meghan Turner-Patel, founder of Denver-based marketing and branding agency Revelation, made more than $115,000 purely from freelance copywriting services from 2018 to 2019 — but she boosted her income by nearly $42,000 by offering related services such as branding and marketing to her clients.
When a new client reaches out to Turner-Patel about a specific copywriting project, she immediately begins thinking about any additional services she could pitch to expand the project’s overall scope of work.
“I can quickly gain insight about the quality of their marketing efforts simply by researching the brand, reviewing their digital touchpoints — such as website, mobile, social, YouTube — and maybe even digging a little into their analytics and SEO,” she shared.
She noted that while this preliminary research definitely absorbs precious time, these extra efforts can pay off in the long run.
“It helps me quickly build a relationship with the client by highlighting the fact [that] I did my research, I’m invested in the client’s success, and I have the diverse expertise to thoroughly support their brand,” she explained.
Turner-Patel next schedules a 30-minute call with the client to establish a rapport.
“On my end, I want to build a foundation of trust,” she said. “I also want to make sure this person is someone I can seamlessly collaborate with, as well as someone who will benefit from my specific skills.”
The other goal that Turner-Patel has for this client call is to get a clearer sense of the client’s project scope, their vision for the project, and their ultimate goals. As part of this discovery process, she tries to dive into what else they’ve been doing to market the company, which often reveals what they haven’t been doing and could be doing better through her expanded offerings.
This discussion opens the door for her pitch.
“During the call, I’ll briefly address some marketing efforts that complement the project at hand and will boost their marketing strategy,” Turner-Patel said.
She emphasized that it’s key to take an authentic, consultative approach to avoid coming across as a hard sell. Most importantly, she never pitches services that she knows a client doesn’t need.
“I’m honest, straightforward, and supportive, which people will always pick up on and appreciate,” she said. “It’s a delicate balance because you don’t want to overwhelm the client with solutions and the prospect of additional expenses. Rather, you want to educate [them] about different possibilities and why they work.”
Turner-Patel also pointed out that most clients don’t realize that they can benefit from solutions beyond the project at hand — so when she begins mentioning other services, they’re often grateful for the knowledge.
“Something clicks,” she said. “They start to see how different elements can boost the overall brand.”
Digital Marketing Crafting the perfect proposal
Based on the client call, Turner-Patel next writes up a detailed proposal for the client, breaking down all of the services needed to complete the project.
“I get as detailed as possible to ensure we’re on the same page from the beginning about what’s included (and what isn’t included),” she said, adding that in most cases, the client has also asked her to quote at least one or two of those extra services she mentioned on the call.
But the copywriter’s work isn’t done there. In the proposal, she includes a section called “Additional Marketing Support Options (quote available upon request).”
“These services are ones we briefly talked about on the call, plus any relevant extras I didn’t cover,” Turner-Patel said. “The reason I include this section is to strategically cross-sell, and [to also] reiterate those services instead of relying on them to remember them from the call.”
Turner-Patel stressed that she never repeatedly pushes additional services after the proposal phase.
“That would come across more ‘sales-y’ than I want to present myself,” she said. Instead, she stays on the lookout for an appropriate moment to resurrect the conversation. She has found that this time often presents itself when the initial project concludes, or is near conclusion.
“At this time, we can both refocus our attention on new opportunities and priorities,” she said. “For example, if I just finished writing SEO copy for a website, I might email the client to remind them about other services that can further boost their SEO.”
She added, “From my experience, with this mindset, clients favorably respond because they know I’m looking out for their best interest.”
Digital Marketing An example email Turner-Patel sends a client to suggest additional services
Hi [client’s first name],
I thoroughly enjoyed working with you on the new website copy. I’m so pleased you love the final product!
Since the project is now complete, I wanted to share a couple ideas I have to further boost your SEO and the work we’ve done thus far.
The first idea is to start blogging, which is another core element of SEO. When I have a client who wants to blog, I typically recommend starting with two posts per month because Google loves seeing new, high-quality content added on a regular basis. If this interests you, I’m happy to take care of everything, from copy and imagery to incorporating strategic keywords for SEO. I did a bit of research and think it’d be impactful to start with posts on [topic 1] and [topic 2].
The second is data monitoring. As you know, SEO and analytics are ever-changing. After completing a project like SEO copywriting, I often begin a monthly data review. This ensures we maintain a competitive edge online and make changes to the site as keywords evolve. How does this work? In short, I comb through the site’s vast analytics, compile KPIs for your review, and provide any relevant recommendations to adjust the on-page and back-end SEO. These recommendations are based on the site’s data as well as your competitors’.
If blogging and/or analytics monitoring is of interest, please feel free to reach out any time. If so, I’ll follow up with more information. If you have a budget in mind, we can also discuss how to stick to that while continuing to make SEO progress.
As always, I’m happy to chat if you have questions.
Overall, Turner-Patel recommended keeping the tone of your email light and approachable, and avoiding getting too technical about your services.
“If [your client] tends to be more formal, follow their lead and adjust the messaging accordingly,” she said. “If you know they’ve maxed out their budget for the time being, don’t pitch more services. Instead, let them know you’ll be there for them when they need more support.”
The copywriter added that she often waits about a week after the end of the project to send this kind of email, and emphasized that you should be prepared to hear a “no,” especially as COVID-19 impacts businesses’ budgets.
“It’s the nature of the beast,” she said. “I believe being sensitive to costs is particularly important right now, as a lot of people are being more cautious with how they spend money.”
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