How To Upsell Freelance Design Services

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It is important for every freelance designer to maintain a healthy and meaningful business relationship with their clients. Doing this creates a good partnership, because you and your client know each other well and can easily communicate over aspects of your work.

However, maintaining a healthy relationship that benefits you, the designer, and the client is not an easy feat. In some cases, a client will come to you with a specific task they need completed to perfection. You do everything you can to satisfy their needs, and once they are satisfied with your work - they disappear. You need them as repeat clients because you know they have opportunities to offer you and in return, you have a lot to offer them.

So, what do you do? You offer them additional services that will entice them to keep coming back. You upsell your design services in the best way you can.

What is an upsell?

An upsell is a technique used by the seller to entice the customer to buy more. There are many different ways of upselling a customer. You can provide add-ons to their purchase, or offer additional services to increase the value of whatever they get from you. Your clients may not be aware of these extra opportunities, so you have to use different approaches to let them know you have more to offer them. An upsell benefits both you and the client.

When you are offering an upsell, make sure whatever additional purchase or service you are offering is something the client needs. Do not offer unnecessary services just because you want to claw extra money out of them. Only upsell services and products you are comfortable with, and are sure will not end up burning you financially.

What to note during a freelance design service upsell

One of the most important things to note is that your upsell should in no way turn away or turn off a client.  Always create a solid foundation with them, and tailor your approach to their individual character. Remember, you are trying to generate additional revenue from a client who might have a limited budget, and is not ready to buy anything extra from you. Therefore, you have to do it with a light and easy disposition, and enough conviction that will subtly tempt the client into buying additional services. Take the following into account when you are upselling your freelance design services:

  • Take time to fully understand what the client’s needs are before you upsell any services to them. Give your conversations with the client your full attention, gain a good understanding of what they do, and what they need most for their business or work to flourish.

  • Think hard about how your upsell could benefit both you, and the client. Would it be beneficial in any way, or would it be a waste of time and money for both parties?

  • If you think the upsell is beneficial to you both, sell the idea to them. Make it absolutely clear how your services will benefit them, and give them a good reason to go with your ideas.

  • Do not be afraid to subcontract if the time given for you to complete the work is short. You need this client back frequently. Making sure you have their work completed on time should be a top priority. Do not forget the work has to be of the utmost quality.

  • Offer freebies if you can. Free upsell bundles in small packages go a long way in cementing a fulfilling and trustworthy working relationship. If not freebies, you can offer discounts for the whole process.

  • Build strong business relationships with your clients by showing interest in the work they do. Offer as many suggestions as you can without patronizing them. This will go a long way, leaving a good impression. The seriousness with which you approach everything will let them know you are thrilled to work with them, and want to do a good job.

  • To be a good service upseller you have to be honest, but in a kind, friendly manner. Some clients may be suffering in silence with a range of design issues, but are afraid to seek help. As a professional, politely let them know where they are going wrong. Make sure when you are pitching your ideas to them that it is not with the intention of simply selling. Give them examples of designs you have worked on before that had similar problems rectified by your upsell. This will gain their trust, and provide additional design work for your business.

  • Do not be pushy, or come off as desperate. Sometimes a client may still not need any additional design work even after you introduce your upsell and give them your suggestions. If the client does not need the extras and says no, take it gracefully and do not try to squeeze any extra money from them. They might still need you in future for more work.

Possible freelance design service upsells

Possible upsell freelance design services you can offer your clients are:

Support and maintenance

One of the best ways to offer upsell services to an ongoing support and maintenance project is by creating a structure for maintenance and basic questions, especially if the design is a web project. The structure should be affordable and easy to understand. Create maintenance elements like WordPress and plug-in updates that come with a monthly fee.

Designing the logo

Many clients come to you with the project they want done but with no logo design options. Some may have the logo design, but their version is not eye-catching enough. Help such clients to come up with creative logo designs, and offer them an affordable package. The logo design package should be incorporated into the whole project. That way, your client will not feel like you are overcharging them.

Ad and web designs

Advertising and website design are very important to marketing projects. Offer creative ideas for good ad and web designs. These should be attractive enough to get your clients website noticed. The same should apply to all other digital formats of the project.

SEO services and marketing

When you are doing web design for your client, make sure to include search engine optimization (SEO), long-term solution adjustments and ongoing support. Provide your client with a report of all the long-term changes, and what needs to be done to maintain the success of the website.

Print stationery

Offer to produce brand materials for your client as a show of good faith, and to cement a great business relationship. These would be print elements like signage, business cards, complimentary notes, letterheads and other elements that match the design elements you have made for the website.


Design a custom template for your client’s email newsletter. This too should match all the digital and print work you have done for them.

Website hosting

Offer your client website hosting. Many clients hate the idea of doing this on their own, and it would be beneficial to them to get your bulk discount for hosting multiple accounts from different clients.


After completion of your project, do not leave without teaching your client how to use and update the design work. A website or app needs regular updates, and your client needs to know how to do it.


With enough practice and patience, freelance design service upselling is not as hard as it may seem. Anyone in the design business can learn it and utilize it to build their business. The most important factor to consider is your relationship with your client. How you sell to them, and how it benefits you both should be the driving force.

Whatever design work you’re selling or upselling, you can become the best upselling freelancer on the market. Make the most out of what you do.

Have you used any of our tips? What are your upselling success stories? Let us know in the comments section!

Postat: 12 septembrie, 2017


Freelance Journalist & Reporter

Alice is a Community Correspondent at She drifts between London & Sydney.

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