What are we most protective of online? Most of us would say our email address.
When someone hands over their email address, it’s as if they’re saying, “I like you. I want to hear from you. I’m beginning to trust you.”
Building quality relationships with our email subscribers needs to be our top priority in business marketing. Why? Because who’s most likely to hang out in our email list? Our most interested potential buyers and clients.
Once we build that trust and influence with our subscribers, we want to inspire them to take action. When we start building our marketing funnel strategy, is it better to start with freelance services or digital products?
How to start freelancing
In the debate of “which comes first” with digital products and online services, we’re on the side of freelance services. Starting your business by selling freelance services allows you to validate your business idea by working with clients while getting paid to learn more about your audience. Win-win!
What kind of freelance services can you start with? Before you determine what business model you’ll be pursuing, think about the types of freelance services you may want to offer.
Types of freelance services to start selling
No matter what niche or industry you’re in, there are several service options that are available. Depending on your skills, strengths, and working style, you can choose the best fit for you. Here are a few examples to help you get started.
One-on-one coaching or consulting
If you’re interested in collaborating with your ideal clients on high-level strategy, private coaching or consulting may be your answer. This is usually the best fit for visionary-style business owners who would rather facilitate a brainstorming session than feel like a client’s workhorse.
Maybe the thought of jumping on a collaborative video call or giving a strategy presentation makes you feel nauseous. Don’t worry! High-touch coaching and consulting isn’t right for everyone.
If you’d rather be left alone to get your work done, pursuing a freelance trade may be a better fit. You can start building your brand in any field from editing to development to design.
Virtual assistant duties
If sticking to one specialized trade makes you want to run for the hills, virtual assistant services could be within your wheelhouse. Virtual assistants are usually great at multi-tasking and excited to jump into any new project. It’s also great for people who love to do things themselves and tinker with a problem until they find a unique solution.
No matter what type of freelance services you decide to sell, email marketing will help you reach your ideal audience.
How to use email funnels for your freelance marketing
Wait, can’t I just reach those people through social media? Yes, but the downside of only building an audience on social media is that your business is at the mercy of those platforms.
If a social media platform changes their algorithm (like we’ve already seen with Instagram and Facebook) or the platform completely dissolves, your business could take a massive hit.
By focusing your attention on building a quality email list from the start, you’re able to start conversations through social media and nurture those connections through your email list, which is something you own.
You may have seen blog posts on how to use marketing automations to sell more digital products (which is an awesome strategy!), but does it help you sell freelance services too? Absolutely.
You can create automated email sequences for hands-off selling
One of the greatest benefits of setting up marketing automations is that once you complete the email course lessons, all you need to do is press “publish”. Then it will run while you sleep (and while you’re awake).
This hands-off approach to marketing is helpful when you’re a freelancer wearing all the hats. Having an email marketing tool like ConvertKit helps you allocate more time to other business projects that need your attention. You can still personalize your newsletters without having to manually send emails every time a new subscriber signs up for your email list.
Even though you can create automated email sequences to sell your services, does that mean it actually works? From my experience, yes. Correction, BIG YES.
The two main opt-ins I have on my current freelancing website are my copywriting email course and an interactive brand voice style quiz. I have both set up with ConvertKit which makes the back-end way easier.
The opt-ins have generated not only more product sales with a low-cost workshop downsell I use, but I’ve also received email replies from potential clients who have said, “I tried to DIY this but I’d much rather just outsource the work to you.”
Both opt-ins prime my subscribers in different ways and ultimately lead to booking more of my ideal client projects. Some of my favorite recurring clients have come through my marketing funnel.
When you strategically plan out your email sequence, focus on creating high quality content that’s easy to digest, and introduce your freelance services in a natural way– it’s a winning combination.
You’ll set up the right subscriber journey customized to their point of entry
When you sprinkle multiple call-to-actions (CTAs) into your website, you’re creating several new points of entry. One first time visitor might sign up on your homepage while a long-time blog reader signs up for the content upgrade at the bottom of your most recent blog post.
With so many points of entry, having a marketing automation for each path will ensure each person gets exactly what they need.
While it takes additional time to set up each automated email sequence, it will be worth it in retaining subscribers in the long run. Since you already put the effort in attracting new email subscribers, retaining them becomes the most important priority. Oh, and you’ll save yourself from receiving comments like, “Uh, I didn’t sign up for this.” Phew!
You can educate your audience on your topic and why you’re the expert
Before you start to sell your freelance services, you have to build your know, like, and trust factor with your audience. The greatest way to to do this is by educating your audience on a specific topic in your field, telling them why they should care about it, and introducing how you can help.
The beauty of email marketing is you don’t even have to come out and say, “Hi, I’m an expert in _____ industry.” You can show you’re an expert by providing high quality, insightful content that subscribers haven’t found anywhere else.
Your freebies and various opt-ins should all be focused on your niche topic. Ask yourself what you want to be known for and create content around that. Then you’ll see the subscribers start to pool in.
How to set up your freelance marketing sales pitch using our marketing automations tool
Rather than blindly pitching your freelance services, you’ll be able to answer commonly asked questions and show your expertise before stating what you offer with Visual Automations.
This will help you get closer to making the sale because you’ve taken the time to educate your audience and build trust, all of which helps potential clients feel more confident in working with you.
ConvertKit users have always been able to automate their email sequences but it took a few workarounds and wasn’t as pretty to set up. And we like pretty. Now it’s all in one place!
Step 1: Create a ConvertKit Form
Your first step is to create a Form within the ConvertKit platform. You can do this from your main ConvertKit dashboard or inside the visual automations tool.
- Click on the Automations tab in your dashboard navigation.
- Next, click the blue, New Automations button to create your educational email funnel.
- Click on the Create Automation button in the middle of the page and choose Subscriber joins a form.
- Choose a previously created form from the drop down, or create a new from by clicking the link below the drop down.
- Click Add Event.
Step 2: Subscribe user to a dedicated email sequence
When a subscriber signs up through the Form, you’ll want them to be added to the educational email sequence you’ve created to nurture them further down your marketing funnel and teach them about your freelance services.
- Click (+) and under Action, choose Email sequence, and scroll the drop down to find your educational email funnel about the service you offer.
- Click Add Action.
As your subscribers go through the email sequence content, they’ll have different levels of interest in learning how to work with you. One subscriber might be interested after your second lesson. Another subscriber might wait until the last lesson to express their interest.
No matter where they are in the process, your aAutomation will help them move forward through Link Ttriggers. With Link Triggers, you’re able to personalize your marketing messages to the specific needs and interests of your audience members and where they are in your sales process.
Step 3: Create a Link Trigger to direct their next path
Link Triggers are one of my favorite features in ConvertKit! Instead of manually tagging subscribers who are interested in the next step in your marketing funnel, you’re able to automate this process.
Inside your email content, you set up Link Trigger that, if clicked, will create a new path for that reader to lead them closer to becoming a potential client.
- Click (+) and under Condition, choose Tag, and scroll through the drop down to find the Interested in: Services tag you created for that email.
- Click Add Condition.
- If the do not click that Link Trigger, under the No path, click (+) and under Action, choose Email sequence and subscriber that reader to your RSS feed or newsletter.
If the link trigger is clicked, you can add them to another email sequence that takes them further down your sales funnel. For example, this sequence could be information on whether they should hire a freelancer like you.
In this sequence, you can create another Link Trigger for anyone who ends up hiring you for your services. This link could send them to your email, to a calendar link to set up call, or a project information form on your site. Once they click this link, you can tag them as a new customer and send them through your customer onboarding sequence.
- Under the Yes path, click (+) and under Action, choose Email sequence, and scroll the drop down to find your next educational email sequence about hiring you.
- Click Add Action.
- Click (+) and under Condition, choose Tag, and scroll to find your New Client Tag you’ve created.
- Next, follow up with your new client by subscribing them to your onboarding sequence.
If the reader doesn’t not end up hiring you for your services, you can send them through your marketing funnel for a free or lower-priced product offer.
Build your freelance marketing funnel today
With your freelancing marketing funnels in place, you’ll find that the right type of freelance clients– the kind you’re excited to work with– will be an easy pitch and an easy sell. After they’ve gone through you educational sequences, they’ll be ready to trust you with the work that you do best.
Which freelance services will you build a marketing funnel for today? Take a few minutes right now to think about your top freelance service, how you can create education content to help you build authority in your industry, and start writing today!