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Ways to Add Value For Service Offerings

When putting together a freelancing service, or a consulting offering, you can offer different options, and each option can be a package of value. Let’s define a few of the ways your clients might define value.

Speed. If you can deliver super fast and consistently, price it into a bigger package. It may not be that you work fast, if may just be that you reply fast. The value is about immediacy. Alternatively, your speed might be valued by your client by way of feeling associated with a master of their craft as a status symbol.

Availability. You’re offering presence. This should be in competition with other forms of value, as it implies you offer everything else undifferentiated, packaged into you being at the ready. Make your availability asynchronous, unlimited, and fast, and that’s the basis of a design subscription or a purely feedback service.

Friendliness. Without impeding on your professionalism, if you can be stern, deliberate, and also a joy to work with, you attract a special kind of rare and valuable client. People will pay a premium to only work with you.

Integrity. When discretion or dependability has a special place in the mind of the buyer, they’ll seek integrity over other kinds of skills. This is a fragile personality trait, tested and proven over a long time.

Image. With your help, they’ll be able to improve their status, or at the very least preserve an existing image.

Innovation. People will feel like they can’t see new and novel options, because they’re too close to the material. They’ll hire out someone for added perspective and new ideas. Careful though, they might still want to stick to their original ideas, and they’ll use outsiders as scapegoats if new ideas don’t work out, feigning responsibility.

Sales. Knowing enough about the market and the product to help make sales, close deals, create incoming leads, interpret the buyer’s context.

Expertise. For some, it’ll be about delegating workload if you meet the minimum amount of skills to build what needs to get built or to solve problems. For others, it’ll be to help learn a new skill.

Deliverables. Producing documents, new material, evaluations, working through workflows and procedures. This value stems from an efficiency mindset, and has a tendency to be viewed as a commodity to be automated away. This works tends to be measured by deliverables per hour.

Results. An increase in sales, a decrease in costs, an improvement on something measurable. If the result is binary, like “is the project delivered on time”, it’s not so much a result as it as deliverable. Look for metrics such as “percentage changed”.

Independence. Helping the client create autonomy on a skill or building in-house what has been up to now an external dependency. In the case of learning a new skill, you can expect mastery to come after a period where the client will feel inadequate and will feel like they’re underperforming, possibly regretting initiating the transition, and you’ll be appreciated if you can help people push through.

Accountability. The client understands that without frequent check-ins, a difficult transition won’t happen on its own.

So many times, your expertise is sold with many of these values packaged into a single number, your hourly rate.

An hourly rate can be one of the options in your proposal, but consider that offering multiple options has the effect of helping the client make a decision, and ultimately a decision based on value, on making progress. Offer different options based on different ways to offer value (three options is a magic number here), and the client will likely pick one.

Photo of Pascal Laliberté

New article sent every Saturday morning.
by Pascal Laliberté.