There's a fine balance between ensuring you don't waste time on low-budget leads and leaving money on the table.
That's why whether you are brand new to social media management or have been a freelancer for some time, your business needs a Freelance Filter® in place.
In this article, we're introducing you to this system so you can build a Freelance Filter® into your social media management business.
What is a Freelance Filter®?
The Freelance Filter® is made up of:
- A pre-qualifying system.
- A conversion process.
This system ensures that you never waste time on leads that cannot afford your management services, or are not a good fit for them without turning them away entirely.
You'll never invite someone onto a discovery call (part of your conversion process) unless they can afford your fees and have all the attributes required to be a good client for your high-ticket or long-term services.
Instead, the people who don't qualify will be taken down an alternative route to invest in another one of your services.
For example: Client A fills in your pre-qualifying form, and their answers are music to your ears. The next step (your conversion process) is to invite them onto a discovery call to find out more information about their business to ensure you can provide them with a detailed proposal they can easily say yes to.
But, in contrast, Client B's pre-qualifying form alerts you to something that makes them a less ideal long-term client, perhaps their budget. Instead of wasting time with them on a discovery call, you'll send them down another path (conversion process) to offer them a different service, such as a power hour or audit.
Without a Freelance Filter in place, you'd waste valuable time on a discovery call with Client B, and they will be left disappointed that they've wasted their time too.
Filtering your leads into different ‘buckets' based on their needs, assets, and budget means you can serve them better in the long term.
How to create your Freelance Filter®
Step one is to set up your pre-qualifying system and ensure you are gathering all the information you need to determine if someone qualifies for an invitation to your discovery call.
When you are using the Freelance Filter® system, you replace any ‘book a call' CTAs with an enquiry or application process taking leads to your form. No one gets access to your calendar unless you've read their replies and chosen to invite them to book a call with you.
Step two is to work on your conversion process.
For some leads, this will be to invite them onto a discovery call, followed by sending a proposal and then following up to get the agreement and start onboarding.
For others, it will be the offer of an alternative service such as training, audits or strategies. For these people, you'll send them information about those services rather than inviting them onto a call and provide a way to book and pay for the service directly.
By the way, The Social Media Managers Toolkit provides guidance and templates to help you to build your pre-qualifying system, become more confident on discovery calls and send a proposal your leads will struggle to say no to!
Advanced strategies for your Freelance Filter®
The more you can automate your Freelance Filter®, the better. But many people make the mistake of thinking that means directing people to your diary booking page immediately after completing the pre-qualifying form. And that is NOT the way to do it.
Automating your Freelance Filter® will ALWAYS start with a manual decision where you'll read the responses. Only after you've done, that will your process become automated.
To do this, set up some automation in your CRM or email marketing platform and then add the leads to the relevant system.
For people who DO qualify, add them to an automated system which sends them an invitation to book a call.
Those people who do NOT qualify can be added to automated email campaigns to sell them your other services. To do this well, you may need to segment your leads further to ensure your conversion process offers them the most appropriate service, whether training, done-for-you services or consultancy-based offers.
We use a system called ResponseSuite for this, but you could do the same with TypeForm, Airtable or any other survey or form-based software.