This is why some freelancers struggle while others get hired again and again.

by Derek Halpern | Follow Him on Twitter Here

Freelancer Advice

Yes, I wear makeup in my videos.

There. I said it.

To get that makeup on my face I hire a makeup artist.

If you’re unfamiliar with how that industry works, long story short, makeup artists are freelancers.

And the same things that make a makeup artist successful are the same things that make ALL types of freelancers, coaches, and consultants successful.

That’s why, in my video today, I talk about two makeup artists I’ve hired. They both did their job well…

…but I hire and recommend one over the other.

Why?

Because watch this video.

Then when you’re done, I’d love to hear about a time when you chose one business over another. And why.

Be specific. The collective insight of the Social Triggers community will help us all realize what makes business thrive and others die.

To get your brain working…

Why is that one place your favorite restaurant? Why do you use THAT manicurist? Etc.

P.S.

Remember, enrollment for Marie Forleo’s BSchool closes next week, March 5th. See my Marie Forleo Bschool bonus (worth $2997) right here).

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{ 79 comments… read them below or add one }

Pascale

Sadly, being focus on the talent and check/do touch ups all day IS part of the job… something lots of make-up artists forget. :(

and that’s one of the reason production pay less make-up artists than they used to : they get used to a lower lever of quality and don’t really see a ROI worth the make-up artist fee.

LeSigh.
[yes, I must be an old school make-up artist to say that I guess]

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Shaleen Sharma

Now this is interesting. Its also the reason im persuing Chartered Accountancy plus MBA (marketing) .. so that at the interview table I provide the employer more. But it would be interesting to know how one can overdeliver in a blog or website. Like I write business, finance and mix it with fun and wicked articles. Multidimentionalism is the mantra. I promise fun, intelligence and originality. How does one overdeliver on that?

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Marleen Renders

A free e-book perhaps, or an audio, something people weren’t expecting to get from you, but then there it is!

I think a part of the overdelivery is in the unexpectedness of it, or doing a REALLY good job of it (for example, I think Derek’s Perfect Blog Post is a great piece of overdelivery http://socialtriggers.com/perfect-blog-post/)

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Shaleen Sharma

Yes true! In time to come I could write an ebook on financial strategy. Thats a great idea. Maybe a guest post from someone of a profession other than my own would also add value. Maybe could build a blog big enough that Derek would be proud to be associated with .. haha. Never know.

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Marleen Renders

Hairdressers! I chose a different hairdresser because wile the first was okay, she just chatted about herself and we didn’t really have a connection. The OTHER hairdresser however really went the extra mile and asked me questions about myself before even starting the haircut. She then gave advice on my hair, and was also interested in me as a person (people love talking about their lives, me too!). She also went the extra mile and massaged my head while washing my hair.

As a result I felt more connected with her, got a better hairstyle and wanted to come back time and time again for the personal attention. :)

And when I think about it, that head massage is actually a really big reason why I keep coming back! It’s a little thing but it adds a lot to the experience! So going the extra mile really works.

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Angela

OMG Marlene! I had to reply to you! I don’t know how many hairdressers I’ve gone to and they say “What do you want?” I’ll say a colour and a cut…them”What sort?” Me “Well what do you think?” them “Well what do you want?” I want them to help me decide! They’re the hairdressers! I don’t go to the hairdressers that much and this is probably why. I said to one once “Oh I’d love to have that bright red hair but I was told to stay away from red.” she said “So do you want that colour?” Just useless. I mean I could just do it myself, which I ended up doing. Now I’ve found a person who actually helps me, they chat to me about what I do, they’re just awesome. I literally walk in and say, “Just do whatever you think” and I come out of there feeling a million bucks and would happily pay them double. :-) Thanks for the vent! lol!

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Kara

While I agree on over delivering I think some clarification could be in order. What you suggest is also a recipe for some serious burn out. If you are going to make big promises and over delivery you better really pick and choose your clients or you are going to get swamped in a hurry. And if you are also trying to maintain a competitive price point you may end up doing more work for less pay. I understand that that should translate into a pleased and therefore loyal client base but I’ve inevitably lost clients as I tried to incrementally raise my price point for obviously better service. Over delivering needs to have a maximum, I say always over deliver on caring for your clients. Provide evidence that you care about them as people but don’t provide extra products (and in some cases services) without an associate price tag or you’ll end up over worked and with a smaller bottom line.

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Mackenzie

I think what Derek means by over-promise and over deliver is more about the quality of the product. He’s saying never sell your product short. Hype it up big (over promise) and then, at every possible opportunity that makes sense, make sure your product is even better than the hype (over deliver). This way, you can make big promises and over deliver with a product that is a form of passive income and is thus not going to burn you out.

That’s my interpretation.

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Connie Habash

Kara, I have to agree with you. I tend to get overwhelmed and burned out by doing too much. I’m a giver by nature (aren’t a lot of us who watch Derek?)
And, what I’m coming to realize is that, similar to what Mackenzie below says, it’s important to check in with my Inner Self before I commit to something. I need to make sure it’s something I’m 100% behind, and can really give my all to. That means that I’m not spreading myself too thin with too many projects and events, so that I can go the extra mile for what I AM offering without losing my life balance.
My current mantra: I don’t HAVE to do anything. Now, what do I deeply, truly WANT to do?

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suzie

I think the comment just above yours actually addresses your concern. I too was going to post about my hairdresser. I love her for the same reasons Marleen mentioned. Plus my stylist once gave me a sample of some really great shampoo that I fell in love with. Very expensive. Just last week when I saw her for my regular appointment she told me about another product that she thought worked better and was actually less expensive. I’ve been going to her for several years and even followed her to a new salon that was more expensive. It comes down to connecting with your client and thinking in terms of what will improve their experience. It doesn’t always have to be something big. Figure out what is important to them.

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Paul

I had the same sentiments as Kara, but the followup replies really puts a lot into perspective. Another thing to consider is that in Derek’s example, the makeup artist who won him over was simply doing their job thoroughly. They weren’t actually doing more than what their job required. The one that lost out did so by flaking out. They were on set: so what? Did they have something better to do… like fiddling on their ipad?

I think someone can overdeliver by simply doing a thorough job and giving their full attention on many levels as mentioned in some of the replies. As experts in our field, we are often in a position to give information that would be valuable to most or all our clients. One of the beauties of the information age is that you can create the information once, but give it away a thousand times without having to do more work. Apparently this is what Derek is doing all the time. That’s just one example. Many of us can come up with other creative ways to give an extra mile in such a way that doesn’t cause us to do repetitious tasks.

A lot of overdelivering can be achieved by “perceived” value. It’s not so much about adding labourious hours to your routine, but providing what the client will perceive as valuable.

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Darren

Kara- you have dug deeper than the superficial observation and made a very accurate and compelling case; one in which I have identified in my own world. Constantly over-delivering, but I have had to reel myself in and realize that with providing value, it should also come with a price tag. So in short, over-deliver, but do not give your products and service away for free. It is a tough balancing act at time, and one in which ultimately resides on the business owner. For this reason I ask my customers the hard questions that many business owners don’t like to ask. I want feedback and when I ask the tough questions, I will let my customers guide me into what they really value as a customer and therefore can decide in which ways to over-deliver on a case by case.

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Kara

Thanks Darren,
I run a very small business- just me (about twice a year I am busy enough to hire an extra hand for a week or two). I’m a generally very positive person and I grasped the overall point of the video. Certainly, freelancers who provide personal care and obvious passion are more successful. I have put my all into producing for my clients and while I’ve known the reward of high praise and referrals, I’ve also caught those clients who are not appreciative and never satisfied. Burn out and high 2 year failure rates are 70-80% in my field in my city. In my competitive industry, I’ve stood the test of time, going on 8 years. I think one way I’ve been able to stay on my feet, where so many others have had to close down shop, is by balancing my desire to overproduce with both reasonable timelines and realistic analysis of what different kinds of overproduction will cost and benefit me. Dereks videos are great! For 3 minutes he speaks on a topic gives a great introduction and some solid advice for an issue. Personal implementation of that advice though deserves greater then 3 minutes of reflection.

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Kathleen Heuer

One of my current clients originally hired me to run Facebook & Twitter for him at an hourly rate. Two years later, we’ve expanded into a total of seven social networks. Plus I do content creation (writing, graphic design, and video) in addition to copyediting. I’ve become his de facto one-man marketing team.

Huh. It might be time to raise my rates!

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Jeremy Montoya

This is something I’ve been trying hard to implement as I’m building my new site and hits close to home!

A shining example is every time I visit an Apple Store. They go above and beyond anywhere else I can buy their products, but I choose them every time over others for the service simply for being a customer.

My key take away is that building a relationship and exceeding the expectation is what will make raving fans and customers for life.

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Sean Mysel

Derek,

I can actually give you a great example of this. This month I closed $62k worth of copywriting/marketing contracts.

It was a bloody and brutal competition for a baseball bat manufacturer and I had to go toe to toe with a well known agency here in Orange County.

But the reason I won was two-fold: a) I took lots of time getting to know the client and their deepest wants and b) I was more available and provided better customer service.

So after I got the bat account the owner hits up the sales manager I’ve been working with and passes along this message, “Hey Sean my boss wants you to help with his sports facility account… he loves the customer service and aggressiveness in getting stuff done… you down?”

Boomshakalaka! Easiest $30k I’ve ever made it was simply being attentive, aggressive, and providing service… not because I’m “the world’s greatest marketer.”

Thanks D!

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Nathalie

Ah, this is awesome, Derek and I do have a story for you! I’ve created a Program for people who want to ditch diets, doctors & dorky shrinks step by step based on a comprehensive. multi-level approach. The program includes group calls, as well as one-on-one coaching sessions and there was this one lady who was struggling with quite a few issues in the very beginning and tons of self-doubts. We had alread had our calls but because I really care I sent her quite a few extra support messages and also offered another call for free. Just to help her settle in and help her get back her self-confidence. And boy has she made incredible progress so far (I’m just saying: no more meds!!!). I went the extra mile, she pulled through and she gave me a glowing referral, too! :-)

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Jon

I completely agree, Derek, about overdelivering. Sometimes, if you love what you do so much more and wanna help people succeed, you can’t help me (or at least, I can’t).

But is it true you will always be rewarded? Because what if the person you’re overdelivering to doesn’t even notice that’s what you’re doing. Derek, you were only able to see the differences between the makeup artists, because you had different people to compare.

Also, what if you’re overdelivering, but not changing equivalent to that? What if you’re under-charging – but then you decide to charge what you’re worth when you overdeliver, only no one now wants to hire you?

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Kara

I agree. There is risk in over delivering. Not everyone is an awesome client. When my business was young to some degree I just had to put up with it (ok even still sometimes I have to put up with it) but now I can be choosier about what clients I accept and only keep those who reciprocate the caring and awesomeness.

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Jon

“but not changing equivalent to that”

Oops, meant to say “charging equivalent to that”

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Elaine Nash

The best example of this I know of is Zappos.com. They over-promise (free fhipping of orders, free shipping for returns, best prices on products) on every single product they sell. They over-deliver (even send exchange items without charging, before receiving return of original order in emergencies like wedding shoes, etc.) Their business has exploded- when all they do, in reality, is sell the same things a lot of other companies do.

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Ryan

Interesting stuff Derek. There’s no doubt that going the extra mile and actually giving a s*$t about your clients pays big dividends.

As for you wearing makeup. Questionable. Really. ;-)

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Not Always the Way

I over-support / -deliver because it’s just my way. I got tired of being taken advantage of over and over again. And again. There goes that theory.

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Jason

I’d been looking for a payment processor for a subscription service I’m going to launch soon, and I had initially started with Chargebee. It was between them and Paypal. The experience with Chargebee was exceptional, though. I can list several reasons, but the ones most intriguing were how they didn’t charge me after the first month since I had only launched a short-term test, even though I had continual subscribers (they got in at a one-time price). Then when it was time to start up again, they were offering me a discount on their normal price for a few months. Even so, their fees were more than Paypal, but between the ease of their service and the fact that the SEO handles emails and goes out of his way to work with you, I was leaning heavily towards Chargebee.

(In the end, though, I went with Stripe – the difference in cost is much higher, Stripe is much cheaper and for a fledgeling business like mine, I needed to focus on price for a minute. I’m thinking about switching back to Chargebee when I’m making enough to cover it, though.)

-j

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Clover Jean Entertainment

Hi Derek, I enjoy your videos; very much! They are fun, informative and the way you deliver a text; is truly inspiring. Anyway; as a Freelance British singer – comedienne – presenter living in Amsterdam I recently inquired about advertising space with 2 Wedding Planning Companies. The first company called me, followed up with an e-mail and offered a cheaper rate. They would then publish my business details on their website. However, the Wedding Planning company that I eventually chose; also called me, took the time to explain their concept, would publish my company information on 2 of their website pages: live wedding party music and wedding ceremonial music. Then they sealed the deal, by asking if I wish to be a guest blogger on their monthly wedding planner blog page. And to top it all; as I am English they would translate my articles free of charge. It was an offer and price I could not refuse. The service and sales pitch were superfluous!

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Elaine

When hosting media events, heading up a marketing campaign, or doing social media work, I always offer a satisfaction guarantee. “If you don’t like my work, you won’t owe me a dime.” It sounds risky, but I’ve never had a client not want to pay me after I provided services. Of coure, I always go the extra mile.

“The quickest route on the road to success is found not by taking short-cuts, but by going the extra mile.” -en

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Mary Kathryn Johnson

The key word here is “Job” and you said it many times, Derek!
The one you continue to hire does not do a “Job” she is an Entrepreneur who truly is committed to making a difference in the people she pretties up…sorry, you’re really not a “pretty boy”! ;-)
I just made that distinction when inviting a new member to my mastermind group. Between the two people I consider friends, and successful business people, I chose the one who truly shows care to her customers, prospects and just everyone she meets. The other business owner feels as though she is just looking for the next sale, and shuts down, just like the other makeup artist you mentioned, if someone can’t do something for her.

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Sasha

I really enjoyed this video because it’s so true of the services I deliver myself! I own an Image Consulting agency and work for both private and corporate clients alike. Some of the compliments I’ve consistently heard when I work with clients is my attention to detail, willingness to stay until a project (i.e. photo shoot, commercial, etc.) is finished, and always being present.

I know that these qualities are what keep reaping me repeat business from those clients as well as bringing me great referrals. I find being honest yet over delivering has been a great strategy for success. Too many times I’ve heard horror stories of a private clients experience with a personal coach or other type of consultant, or a corporate clients dissatisfaction with a previous professional in my field because they did the minimum amount of work. Putting myself in the clients shoes and giving them the type of service I myself would want is key.

Sasha
Confessions of A Fashion Stylist
Website: http://sashabowmanshops.com/
Blog: http://sashabowmanshops.wordpress.com/

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Jennifer

I do have to agree. As a consumer, there are times I’ve purchased some e-books expecting a lot more and when I saw it wasn’t really there it definitely turned me off to where I’m not buying from that person again.

Now it’s just a matter of me doing that in my own creations. :-)

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Kirk

Derek,

Great video and post. I have a virtual assistant that I LOVE.

She has rocked my business world and because of the smart, trustworthy, dependable way she works, I get to go have coffee pretty much when I want, go to the occasional movie with my boys and yes, make more money than I did before hiring her. She has made herself incredibly valuable to me and my company.

She also needs more work. Another client like myself…and I want to help her find another gig (or two) so that she can remain freelance and keep helping me build me business while she makes more money. Got any ideas on how I can promote her and help her find another person like myself to hire her? Thanks!

Kirk

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Lee

Great post and video as always, Derek! I wish EVERYONE in the world could watch that video… the world would be a better place, LOL. It applies across the board, no matter what your business or endeavor.

Kirk, I’d be interested in sharing your VA… I have been looking for one for the last 2 weeks, and was about to post the job on a couple sites… It’s a bit scary to make the leap when you have no references or recommendations to go on. Not sure how we can connect here through Derek, but respond below if you are interested, and we’ll figure it out from there. Of course, it depends on the type of work your VA does/can do, too… Thanks!

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Steph

I know someone who needs a virtual assistant! Send me her contact info!

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Minhaj

For that same reason I decided to buy a product from an affiliate who called me on my phone and because other didn’t.

I trusted the person more than who didn’t call.

Thanks.

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kiki

I have had my business for 30+ years and have always given 110% to every client. I am successful, but I must say that sometimes I can give them my all and I never see them again. through the years it has happened many times, but it has also helped me build a very strong client base. Some of my clients have been with me for over 20 years. BTW, Derek, although I have tried almost everything you talk about at some point in my career, but I continue to listen to your videos because your enthusiasm inspires me! Thanks for your hard work!

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Colin

Basically, if you want to be treated like a million bucks, treat people like they are worth a million bucks (especially when they’re paying you!).

I continually get potential clients who talk about what a jerk their last attorney was, and how he didn’t listen, didn’t return calls, didn’t care about their goals, etc.

Guess that’s how they ended up going to someone else!

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Jim Wang

You need people to tell you what you don’t know, see what you can’t see, especially in the case of makeup on your face. You like working with Caroline because she follows up and CARES, she’s watching to make sure you are succeeding and that’s why you remember her, refer her, she’s part of your team now because she’s bought in. The other makeup artist was a freelancer, do the job, checked out… not part of the team.

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Milos

It’s going beyond simple requirements of a contract; it’s personality, charisma…attitude, all of these contribute to the overall impression of who we are, what we do and how well.

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Louise

Get the concept and agree with you re over-delivery, make it part of the strategy. Just one observation, when people talk about blogs and comments they always make the point that its good to respond and comment on your comments – I note you don’t, isn’t that counter to your concept of over-delivery? I was expecting your responses to some peoples comments – but there weren’t any… does it matter? I’m serious in asking this question cos you seem to get plenty of comments – so perhaps it doesn’t?

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Kristie

Always loved this quote!

“My father taught me always to do more than what you get paid for it is an investment in your future” -Jim Rohn

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dan

I realised this a while back. It’s all about going the extra mile in everything you do. I work in live events and the other thing I try to remember is that, even if its not my job, if I can help out with something to make the whole event better, I will!
Its not really your make-up artists job to make sure your tie is in the right place (That’s costume?!), but she does it & the end product will be better because of it.

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Jamie

I think this is relevant but I just finished my website and had it done by some people on elance. I narrowed it down to two but the one company took the time to already check out what I had and make suggestions even though I hadn’t hired them yet. That was enough for me so went with them
So now http://www.regainedwellness.com is up. It will always be a work in progress but they got me off on the right foot
Thanks Derek

Jamie

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Sifat Siddique

This is true. Clients and employers love it when we go the extra mile, however, there are a lot of clients who prefer us to stick just to the job description.

What I am trying to say here, is that not all clients are the same jolly minded guys and their perspective differ. However, if you give them another batch for free, this might work. What do you think? @Derek

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Darlington Jones

Great stuff man – but how in the world do I keep making money that way? Over promising and over delivering – I wont be able to charge for all that work. How do I ensure I am getting what I deserve to be paid? Also, you staying late after work and then working while helping others sounds like being a workaholic. What did you have to sacrifice in order to get where you wanted during that process?

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AJ

In my online business, my partner and I do what we can to go that extra mile and go above and beyond for the customer.

As far as when I once chose one business over another, about a year and a half ago the timing belt on my vehicle broke off. I remember I picked up a business card about a mobile mechanic from somewhere. I called the gentleman, told him what was going on (my vehicle just died and would not start again), I agreed to his service fee for coming out and diagnosing the issue, and he was on his way.

When he arrived, in a matter of minutes he pinpointed the issue. He then said if I had my vehicle towed to his shop, he would give me a ride home. He also said that he continually checked on his competitors to make sure that his rates were better. Whereas most other mechanics would charge $300 or more (parts and labor) to replace a timing belt, he said his grand total would be $150.

Long story short: he replaced the timing belt on my vehicle, delivered it to me at my home, and maintained good communication throughout. Not too many mechanics would have taken the time to either deliver my vehicle or pick me up. He truly went above and beyond for me. As a result, I am more than glad to refer others to him. I even threw in an extra $10 on top of the $150 since he did so much extra that he didn’t have to do.

Bottom line: find ways to go above and beyond for your clients, take care of your clients, and they’ll take care of you.

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Garance Desiree

What if you are a very efficient person ?
I never work beyond hours because I am always done in time.
Really often I am even finished early.
The job is well done and me working fast does not affect the quality.
What then ? I’ll never get promoted ?

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Paul

I got promoted in a job once. I didn’t stay after hours. No one stayed after hours. You couldn’t. When it was quiting time, it was quitting time. I just did the best job possible I could. I often saw fellow workers who had a system of hiding out and finding ways to get out of work. I avouded their tricks and they thought I was weird or uncool. Since my job included working in different areas of the company, when I applied for a better job in the company, six other supervisors recomended me and my boss, who had fired every other person who had my job since it’s inception, gave me a good recomendation. I think you’re on the right track Garance. If it doesn’t work out better for you soon, maybe you should start looking for a better company who will appreciate what you do.

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Aqiyl Aniys

I agree with Paul. You be extremely efficient and move up or be an over-deliverer. Both show the willing to put the energy in the deliver a superb job.

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ScrewtheSystemJoe

Great video, totally agree with this principle. I always under delivered when working in employed work – couldn’t wait to be out the door and subsequently never made an impression. However, when working for myself it just seems natural to over deliver. This means giving kids a lift home after tennis lesson or giving clients extra time in a hypnotherapy session. And it’s true, they really do notice!

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Mike Turco

Derek,

Regarding the questions you asked at the end of the video:

I have a problem with the phrase “over deliver”. It’s like saying, “I’m going to put 110% to your project.” Either you’re doing your best or your not.

Over promising? That’s a great way to kill a business. The most important thing you have to do as a consultant is manage the expectations of your customer. When you promise someone the moon and the sky you set yourself up for failure.

My .02

All The Best,

Mike

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Torie

It’s the little things that matter in this over deliver, not give away a bunch of free product or making yourself loose money in the long run.
It’s the hairdresser that offered to touch up my “fringe” between cuts, the follow up call from my vet to check on my dogs after a visit or the free top off at the oil change shop.
These aren’t great feats to the businesses, generally they are insignificant in cost and time. But they are that little sweet sprinkle that make you feel good, and want to come back.
I agree with Mike’s comment that you should always do your best, but there is always some way to throw on a few sprinkles at the end to make you stand out. To make you better. To make you get the next gig.

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Paul

I think you hit the nail on the head Tori. It’s the perceived value that you overdeliver that counts. You don’t have to kill yourself to give a client the impression that you are overdelivering.

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The Get In Shape Girl

So when you are tired of going the extra mile, would that be a sign to change what it is you are doing?

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Paul

Get creative girl. This is the age of information. Put together some valuable information for your clients and give it to all of them for free. You only have to do it once, but you can give it away a thousand or two times.

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Debashish

I have chosen one online service over many others because they absolutely blow away the competition when it comes to home delivering products. They promise X days and usually deliver within X-1 or X-2 days. I am willing to pay a little extra to have that peace of mind. But, they are usually within range of the competition when it comes to prices. It has become my most preferred e-shop and I only go to others when I can’t find the product on this one.

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Mike Turco

Great point, Debashish. I posted earlier that was basically against the concept of “over deliver”, but the way you put it makes sense. I provide complicated/time intensive deliverables myself. I can say first hand that one is much better off by *not* trying to short themselves on time when delivering a bid, regardless of how that may affect the success of any particular proposal.

It’s really hard to exactly predict time required to complete complicated/technical services, such as programming. If you don’t give yourself some leeway and you run into a delay, you’re project ends up being late. But when you do give yourself extra time, and deliver early, things almost always go your way. Good comment, it made me think. Thanks for posting that!

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Joanna Brown

I am a business copywriter, but I over-deliver in that I don’t just write the words and email them back, I give opinions on the design, links, URLs, photos, social media, delivery etc. I attend staff meetings and contribute. When the job is over, I promote the site and keep in touch with the client to see how it’s performing and if there is anything I can do to make it even better.

In short, I care about my clients’ businesses as much as my own, and I have a lot of repeat clients, who regard me as part of their teams.

So, I completely agree with over-delivering. BUT, I don’t agree with always working long hours to do it. Quality, not quantity. A healthy family life, not an absent parent. Results and not presenteeism.

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Mohamed Hussein

Hello Derek, great short, and sweet tip!

I have been an outsource freelancer for 3 years now. I got through all the ups and downs. Few years ago, I never knew what caused these ups and downs (I thought it’s just the market and maybe some luck), lately I absolutely believed that it was me. I do Architecture Design, 3D animations and Interactive Visualizations. The few times I under promised + under delivered / Over promised + under delivered were absolutely BAD! Especially the second one. As means of over delivering, now I ALWAYS give simple PDF reports of the work flow during the WIP previews, create work flow charts with timeline and share them with the client before I start, and share the updated reports and charts AFTER the work is done. Besides my very high quality of work, this simple addition gave me lots of credit! I was surprised how much you can help your client by just keeping him insight if what’s really going on :)

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Jennifer

For me, what makes a difference is personal attention. If the haircuts are the same, I’ll go back to the person who remembers me by name, asks about the kids, jokes around with me, that kind of thing.

I think “over-delivering” can be simple. As a wedding musician, I do it by offering simple e-books I’ve written about wedding planning in general, giving song suggestions for their specific situation, referring other vendors, following up with personalized thank you notes, etc. I think it has to do more with personal details and signs of caring than running yourself ragged.

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Carlos Ramirez

Speaking of clients, I attended a course on sales and customer service. one of the subjects that mind blew me was how not to keep the customers interested in my services.Sounds crazy right? well a key element that was thought was that it is impossible to keep 100% of the clientele for various reasons, as we already know. one of the strategies mentioned was to increase the price of services! my opinion was “No! that will partially make some of my costumers leave”. my instructor replied “That is what you want, ” as he went explaining he states that any costumer who is satisfied will stay with any changes to your services. therefore the strategy is as follows; for each individual that stops getting services I will approximately gain 3 to 4 new costumers. Of coursed I thought the idea was unrealistic.
Funny thing is I applied this strategy to my business, and Yes! I did loose some costumers as I increased the prices for my services. Of course as a business owner this was a scary thought to potentially begin to loose established clientele, but what amazed me is that I begin to gain the double of the previous clientele I had.
I honestly couldn’t believe that strategy will have a positive or negative effect , but from personal experience I can honestly tell you that it is a great strategy to keep in mind for future business changes.

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Paul

Nice tip Carlos. I’m defenitely going to try that.

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Beatrix Willius

When I hire someone that person needs to read and respond to my emails, needs to unterstand what I’m trying to do and needs to be a bit flexible. Also, I don’t want to pay the moon (no 300$ haircut for me!), but I pay for quality.

I recently wanted to have something at my desk changed. From 5 carpenters I contacted only one managed to give me a quote. What sort of business sense do the others have?

Allow me to disagree: in corporate world over-delivering never get’s you promoted. Only someone good at politicking is promoted.

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Paul

Ooohhh you are so right Beatrix. It’s more than once that I’ve seen the best candidate get passed over for the CTO’s nephew.

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Joshua Rivers

Don’t under-promise. Over-promise and over-deliver.

I love that! Promise something great, and deliver something even better.

Definitely need to work at implementing this better in my business!

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Ken Van Nortwick

Greetings Derek,

Enjoyed what you said. If you promise a city. You over deliver with a world of benefits.

Great insight!

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Shannon Lagasse

Hmmm… I think there are plenty of examples in this case.

For instance, two of my cousins are hairdressers, but I recommend one over the other. One of my cousins gossips during haircuts, the other listens and lets the customer do the talking. One of my cousins does what she wants with your hair, the other listens to the client and does exactly what they want, making suggestions if she thinks you’d be better off with a different cut. This cousin also could tell you which other hairdresser in town cut your hair before she did. Seriously. She’s THAT good at her craft.

Also, in terms of business coaches, there’s one that I recommend over all the others that I’ve worked with, because she goes out of her way to go above and beyond and provide REAL value for her clients. She doesn’t just stop and say, “Well, I gave you the program you paid for and that’s that.” She takes it a step further and asks, “How can I help you implement this? How can my team support you? What’s holding you back?” and she is constantly giving encouragement to her clients. She’s got my business and my referral every time. :]

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Paul

You should give your business coach a plug here. I’m sure she’d appreciate it and some of the readers would too. It would prove Derek’s point.

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Paul

I say over promise and over deliver, but quote a price that would fully compensate for the value of both.

Okay, I’ll join in with my example. I, being a geek, have purchased anywhere from 30 to 50 items from newegg.com. Once I couldn’t understand why it would take 15 days to deliver an item, so I called customer service. They said because it would be delivered from Asia. The the cust. service rep helped me find and alternative. Once we found an alternative he said he would send it to me no charge since it wasn’t an exact match for what I wanted. Maybe my purchasing record allowed him to give it to me free or something. It was only $10, but it meant all the world to me. I would gladly paid for the product that I wanted, but what they had was not something I would want to pay for. All the same, it got the job done. I told him that I would be getting all my computer parts from new egg. I would have anyways because new egg is very price competitive with great quality, but talk about overdelivering. I won’t even bother looking at other companies.

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lillyink

sometimes over delivering is unappreciated….I am a freelancer so I have no set hours – I work anytime 7 days a week, at any hour of the day/night – that comes in very handy to my clients that need something they give me on friday night due on monday morning- which is something most agencies do not give their clients – but I have had many, many conference calls on Saturday nights, early Sunday mornings and although I really don’t mind, my client NEVER says thank you, nor do I get more work- and this client does have a lots or other connections. Since I have worked with this client for well over 12 years I also know they do not want to share me (crazy I realize) because they want me available to them anytime – how do I break through that!!!! And I do know they love my work and ability to solve problems. Any one have any helpful hints for me?

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Paul

I don’t mean to be derogatory, but I think you’ve defined the difference, lillyink (nice nick), between overdelivering and being a doormat. By what you’re describing I get the idea that your clients don’t appreciate you so much, but they appreciate that they have someone who they can walk all over and wipe their feet on. Those are the kind of clients you want to get rid of.

You should take a look at Carlos Ramirez comment above. I don’t answer my phone or respond to emails after 4pm, maybe 5pm at the latest, on Friday. I don’t mind working 6 days a week, but most of my clients won’t ask me to do anything on Sunday. Saturday is off limits. That’s my day off. I don’t care how much they fuss. I won’t respond until Sunday at the earliest, or Monday more likely.

I think the clients you’ve already trained to work you on the weekend will resent it if you take that prveledge away, so you might as well consider them lost. As you get new clients make sure that you do not make yourself available on the weekends and cut your old clients weekend priveleges. If they are happy with your work and like you, they will stay. If not, then you don’t want them. You can work in raising your fees as Carlos describes later on. I think people will appreciate you more and respect you when you set boundries.

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Darren

Love the quote “people who over deliver get rewarded.” Boom! It’s literally that simple, it’s true and it happens every day! Love it. Thank you

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Sarah Jordan

Hi Derek,
I’m glad you found a makeup artist who treats you right! Here’s an example you asked for: In my online training course, people expect to learn a few hula hoop tricks and that’s it. But instead, I created 58 lectures worth of material including videos showing them how to make a living while using these skills. People are THRILLED! They”re telling me it’s worth so much more. I’m listening to my tribe and raising my rates while still over-delivering.

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Nathan Gotch

Awesome video Derek. Constantly over-delivering is how you get lifetime clients and a great sense of “security” for your business. Although 99.9% of my clients appreciate the value and work I’m providing them, there is always that .1% who thinks you’re never doing enough. The good news is that as a freelancer, we have the choice of working with people who actually appreciate our work! Thanks again for the video Derek

- Gotch

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Sase Antic

Right on the point, Derek.
The thing about overdelivering is not something new in business, but it’s worth to repeat that lesson again.
Good advices however.

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Karen

Mr. Social, Did you just say a Dr. Suess rhyme at the end? Awesome! Good post. Your content is always good even before you wore makeup and got $300 haircuts. ; ) I get booked offline. I do better in person but my website gets me the gigs.

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Barbara McKinney

I think the bottom line here is to be great at what they asked you to do. Come in with the skills and the knowledge to get the job done. Do it on time, within budget, and better than they expected. Your job is to make your client look good. If you do that, they’ll remember it and give you another call the next time they need help.

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Marc Rodill

“The secret to success is doing your job… and more.”

Okay. That was killer.

Marc

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Marcus

Love this video. I’ve always made a point of under delivering. I never promise ANYTHING, and then I work like hell to get the best possible results for my customers. So far it’s working great!

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Phyllis

I hired one roofing company over another because they quoted me a higher quality shingle and said they would put a new wood frame under my roof swamp cooler. The quote was higher and therefore I had to pay the amount above what the insurance would cover, but I now have a lifetime-guaranteed roof. They didn’t assume I wanted the cheapest fix.

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Rob

Yes! “people who over deliver get rewarded” – so true.

I would go one step further too, Derek.

You made a great point about being present, being part of the team. Team members who ‘show up’ to other events and opportunities that further support their clients will also make a stronger impression.

They also increase their chance of being introduced, first hand, to other new clients with a blazing introduction…

This has happened to me countless times – although I have no idea about make-up ;)

Who would you choose… the make-up artist who just does your make-up or the make-up artist who is not only present for your entire video shoot AND also makes it to a public speaking gig you have that week, in their free time…going the extra mile?

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