Mastering Client Upsells: Boost Your Earnings as a Freelancer

By Sean Ogle •  Updated: 08/03/23 •  10 min read

Hands down, the easiest way to make more money as a freelance writer is through your current clients.

But, a lot of freelance writers feel scammy about approaching clients and selling them.

I’m here to tell you to put those feelings away.

I have a few strategies I want to share that can help you approach your clients in a way that’s a win-win for both of you.

You don’t need to feel scammy (and you make more money), and your clients get more work done in a way that makes their lives easier.

So how to do it?

Freelancer upsells.

And I’m going to walk you through exactly how to do it.

Keep reading, or check out the video below.



What is an Upsell?

So first off, you might be saying, what the hell is an upsell?

Here’s one you’ve probably gotten before.

You’re at the McDonald’s drive-in. You order a burger, and they say, would you like fries with that?

You hadn’t really thought about getting fries, but sure, why not?

It’s a couple of bucks more, you get some tasty fries, and you’re happy.

That’s an upsell.

It’s an add-on to a product you’re already selling.

A great upsell can feel like a no-brainer to your client because it ties into what you’re already offering them, and it helps add more value.

Here are some of my favorite freelancer upsells.

Add Social Media into the Mix

Let’s say you’re hired to write a blog post. You write the post.

Now what?

Well, technically, it’s out of your hands.

But your client is going to post that on social media.

And someone has to write those.

So you can say to your client, ‘Hey, for an extra $75 a post, I’ll add three Tweets, a Facebook post, and a LinkedIn post with the article. What do you think?’

Something like this won’t take you much extra time, you already wrote the post, so you’re the best candidate to write the social content, and it saves your client from having to do it themselves (or pass it on to someone else).

They get a bunch of social content, and it takes another step out of their publishing process. The post and the social stuff can get loaded at once, and they’re off.

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Offer to Write Newsletter or Email Copy

Alright, the second thing is a little bit more advanced here. But let’s say that you wrote a blog post.

Social media is one channel for your client to get new clients.

And so is email marketing.

That means if they have an email list (hint: they should), they’ll send out something about your post — either individually or in a monthly newsletter.

Now, just like with the social media stuff, you can offer to write the accompanying email.

Here’s your freelancer upsell: ‘Hey, for another $100, I’ll write an email you can send out about this post. It’s going to drive clicks and help add people to your email list.’

Again, it saves them from having to get involved with another person to write the emails. And you may even save them from having to hire another person and just take on some of that email work.

Sell Clients on Content Updates

This one may be my favorite right now because tons of bigger brands need it.

You may have some bigger clients that churn out tons of content. But are they going back and updating their old stuff?

You’d be surprised how many aren’t.

And that’s a huge opportunity for freelancer upsells.

So many companies now have all of these old blog posts that they’ve paid for they put time and effort into that actually might have very good information, but they’re not getting seen simply because they’re viewed as outdated by Google and the people that are reading.

The opportunity is there for you to say, I’ve noticed you’ve got half a dozen older articles that are really good around the article/topic I was writing. They just need some updates.

I will fix the links, have a couple more modern references, make sure posts are linked properly for SEO, and republish with a more recent start date. That’s going to drive more Google traffic to you and potentially get you more customers.

A lot of clients will love this offer.

Demonstrate the Importance of Content Repurposing


One of the biggest opportunities to build a business around right now is content repurposing. It’s where you take content that’s already been published — like a blog, webinar, or YouTube video — and create more content out of it.

So, it makes for a perfect freelancer upsell too.

Chances are your clients have tons of content out there. But are they taking any of the old stuff they’ve published and using it to make social media posts, emails, new blogs, or scripts for YouTube and webinars?

Probably not.

With content repurposing, you can take one blog post and turn it into anywhere from 3-7 other pieces of content.

And it ties hand in hand with content updates too. You can pitch it as you’re going through all the old stuff, you’ll identify hidden gems that can be used for other resources.

It’s a great way for your client to get more from the stuff they already have.

Showcase Your Editing Chops

The fourth freelancer upsell is editing other posts. Let’s say the company you’re working with has a few other freelance writers. That means they’re probably spending a lot of time editing all these posts — that can add up to hours of extra work a week.

But if you’ve got a good relationship with the client and you nail a lot of the posts with few or no edits, you can go to your client and offer do take some of that editing off their hands.

So you might say, ‘I know you’re posting a piece of content a day. What if I took some of that off your plate and I did the editing? I’ll review the posts, make edits, and then load them up into WordPress.’

This is a great upsell because it takes a lot of work off your client’s plate, so you look like a hero. And you build up another solid skill set: editing.

If you struggle with editing your work, this may not be the best fit — you have to do more than run things through Grammarly. But, for some people who want to add editing into the mix, it’s a great foot in the door.

Add More Copy to a Site

These last two tips are more for copywriters.

Any good copywriter knows that there are plenty of ways to convey a story and drive traffic through a website. But your client may be missing out on some really low-hanging fruit to help them do that.

Paying a little bit of attention as you update your client’s current pages can let you offer to create more pages as an upsell.

For example, maybe you’re working on an about page, and you notice your client has a ton of happy customers but no dedicated place to add all these testimonials. Offering to create a testimonials page is a clear upsell there.

Another great one is the Frequently Asked Questions page. Go through their blog posts, and ask clients about what their customers always ask about, and build out some content around it. Then create a new page that answers these questions and creates more content.

Finally, you can offer to review all of their current copy to make sure everything is consistent across all the pages and make any small tweaks.

Dive into Email Marketing

A more advanced copywriting upsell is to offer to create email sequences for your clients. You may notice, for example, they don’t have a welcome sequence. That’s something you can offer to write — especially if you’ve already upsold them on creating individual emails for your blog posts.

If they already trust you to do that one email, chances are they’d be willing to have you try to bang out a few other emails.

So let’s say you were hired to write a sales page. One of the most effective ways to make that sales page convert is by warming up your potential customers via an email sequence.

That means you can go to your client and say one of the best things we can do to increase our conversions on the sales page is to write an email sequence that’s going to warm them up.

And, rather than hiring a separate person to do this, that’s not necessarily going to have the same vibe and same flow and same messaging; why don’t I give it a shot?

A Few Tips on Freelancer Upsells

Here are a couple of quick tips when thinking about upsells for your freelance business.

  • Have a solid relationship with your client. If you’ve been working with someone for a few months and have a good rapport, chances are they want to give you more work, they just don’t necessarily know what you’re capable of doing. That is the perfect opportunity to kind of float some of these upsells out there.
  • Stay in your lane. If you’re doing writing work, don’t pitch them on like graphic design work. You want to be an expert in what you are working with them for you don’t want to be a jack of all trades, master of none. So if you’re writing, then upsell them on related writing projects.
  • Listen to what they need. If you’ve got a good relationship with this person, you’re probably having conversations, and they’re probably mentioning things like it’s really hard to find someone who can edit all our content. That’s an opportunity for you to ask questions and see where you can make their lives easier.
  • Don’t be pushy. Sometimes, your client will say no. That’s totally ok. If they do, move on. Maybe revisit it again down the road. But the last thing you want to do is really try to force it on them when they gave an answer. If it doesn’t work for this client, it might for the next one.

Starting to see just how many upsells you can start adding to the mix? It’s a pretty powerful tool that I don’t think enough freelancers are taking advantage of right now.

So try it out. Make a plan. And next time you see an opportunity fire off an email to your client and float the idea.

It never hurts to ask!

Sean Ogle

Sean Ogle is the Founder of Location Rebel where he has spent the last 12+ years teaching people how to build online businesses that give them the freedom to do more of the things they like to do in life. When he's not in the coffee shops of Portland, or the beaches of Bali, he's probably sneaking into some other high-class establishment where he most certainly doesn't belong.
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