Upselling Tips for Every Freelance Writer

Upselling Tips for Every Freelance Writer

For writers, January is the perfect time to change rates, upgrade or upsell. Float out a new year email to all your past and existing clients with offers and sales. This is the time of the year when many writers turn up their prices by a small margin. The more years of experience you keep gaining, the more you keep your rates up.

Easier said than done, right?

Pitches, as a writer, is never an appealing part of the job profile. We don’t bicker about it, we get it done. What if I told you that as years go by, you can simply float on the same collection of clients with the frequency of new pitches getting less and lesser every year?

It is simpler to communicate with the client bank you have already established contact with. Right? They know you, know your work and as a fact are more likely to convert for more work opportunities or work upsells.

As I writer, we underestimate ourselves and hesitate to offer up. Think of it as providing greater value to the client. You aren’t just upselling, you are adding value to work, solving problems and covering larger base. You can be the one man/woman solution to every content problem if you put your mind to it.

You can dedicate more time to work rather than cold emails. Here are a few tricks and tips to upselling that will make life easier.

Tips to Upsell

  • Don’t upsell to a brand new client.
  • Upsell after you have done one or two projects with a client.
  • Increase your rates in January or December to float out in the new year.
  • Ask for raise in 6 to 8 months from your biggest client.
  • Offer limited sale with upsell as an initial enticement.
  • Upsell right before the delivery
  • Sell Add-on services
  • Upsell in a Thank You email
  • Do not upsell if there is no more value to add to the content.

What will make a client want to convert again? It is big question among writers. But before we dive in deep to understand the know-hows, it is vital to know when to upsell:

When to Upsell?

To know the right time for increasing your rates is a big part of upselling. As mentioned above, upselling to new client or at the start of work scope is probably not the best idea. So, what is?

Upsell in January

Since we started the blog with this, let’s address it first. Start with a ‘Happy New Year’ email where you can add an additional service to float out or your increase in rate that will start in the new year.
Caution: Mention that all new work will start with new rates but 2019 (past year) clients can continue with the same rate for the current work deliverable. Do not spring surprises and be flexible.

If you float this email at the start or mid of December, you are likely to see an increase in work requirements from clients for they will want to bank on old rates. How you proceed from there is up to you. You can either use this as a technique for more work or float a special December offer for early work bookings.

Special Occasions

Not just New Years’, you can upsell on any special occasion like Diwali offer, Christmas offer, Mid-year offer, Fall offers and so on. When you pitch to people you work with or have worked with, they are more likely to see the value of an offer since they are familiar with your work ethics and find it equally hassling to go through the recruiting process as you find the process of cold emailing.
Remember: Offers, Discounts and Sales are also upsells.

With the Deliverable

Sometimes, the data or information you have is more than enough for you to create more content than the client asked for. Make sure to mention the same in the upsell email. Even if you work on same rates as before, you have gained more work and hence it counts as upsell. It is pure bliss to save time on pitching to new clients.

Float two emails, one email to deliver the work tasked and another with a catchy subject line that offers more value to the client. Be clear that you have more than enough information to create more content like an additional blog or page or a different point of view. Add all the additional details that would otherwise be discussed in a email chain like word count, delivery date and such.
Beware: Be patient with the client’s reply (if they do choose to reply at all) before going forward to discuss the money details.

Post Delivery

This is a little different from above. Post Delivery Upsell is about additional services that you can offer the same clients or a problem you can solve for them. Can you add blogs when they only asked for website content. Can you copy write when all they asked for was blogs?
Don’t worry: Take up work, relating to, but outside, your expertise.

This type of upselling is about observing opportunities. Look for places where you can add value for a client. Interestingly, this technique can also be used for pitching to new clients. We will discuss further, how many websites or pages ask for part work while you can clearly see that another section can definitely use your dexterous hands and creative brains.

How to Upsell?

Now you know when the iron is hot but how to strike the hammer is another matter altogether. What exactly do you offer for the same clients to convert again, and again?

Thank You Email

You are at the end of your work relationship. All that was needed to be done is done and tied neatly with a bow. You even have an amazing testimonials and a colorful referral. Now what?

It’s is time for a Thank You Email, stating the amazing support and cordial work relationship you enjoyed. Add all the above and beyond services you will be willing to provide to this exclusive client for any future work.
Important: Curate the services to their specific need.

Add on services

Now that you know how you will go about upselling to a wrapped up client, learn to concoct customized services. For example: you worked on website homepage or landing page and the project is wrapped up. Ask the client for stats like page views, conversion or clicks apart from testimonials. This helps you maintain communication with the client.

Thus, you can keep track of an opportunity like offering up to write more pages or making a set number of revisions for a fixed price. These count as add on services. This technique is common among social media writers for upselling.
Remember: Be clear on your initial work about add-on services and offer them up later once more.

Ask for raise in 6 to 8 months

If you are in a long term contract or work relationship with a company, brand or editor, knowing when to ask for a raise is important. A client is in a long term work relationship with you because they know the quality of your deliverable is high. After working for 8 months with the same client, it is high time to ask for a raise in your rates.

If they are willing to let you go instead, ask for a testimonial and move on to a client that will pay you a higher rate. Most clients settle for negotiation on when to raise rates or how much they can raise. It is alright to be flexible.
Caution: If they reject your demand, be mentally prepared to walk away in peace.

Problem Solution Method

Offering upsell is less about what you can do and more about what the client needs that you can provide. You might be an amazing copywriter for landing pages but be prepared to offer social media copies if that is where the job opportunity lies. You can also pitch ideas that might open a potential customer’s eyes to new opportunities. From subscription to ads, there are many channels to observe for opportunity with the same client. Don’t say you can do it better, say that this is what you can add. Presentation matters, tone matters.

Personal experience: At times I have come across websites with stale blog section or none at all. While they seem not to mind it, I have offered blog services while stating the advantages of having custom content on their page. Most potential clients, when they understand it’s use in marketing and internet ranking are eager to establish this channel.


Upsell for every writer isn’t higher rate, it about what more to offer and when to offer. Upselling is pitching to the same set of client in a cycle. It sometimes get you higher rates and sometimes more work.

It is a success if, it reduces the pain of cold email or gets you more money. Win-Win solution!

Be warned that upselling can sometimes go sideways. Be ready for a client to refuse. Accept graciously or move on. Remember, you and your work experience decide your value.

Get digging for opportunities.

See you next blog!