Upfront offers, like first or second dates, are a way to hang out with your potential long-term client and show them how fun you are, how great you are, and how enjoyable you are. Your prospects do the same for you.
An upfront offer is usually a portion of what you would do in an ongoing engagement, but it’s designed as a test. There is either a limited time or scope, but you get the chance to work together.
Upfront offers that are completely independent (where you’re given access to analytics, and then you go away for a month to figure something out) are not awesome. They lack the level of interactivity and engagement that allows you to connect with your client.
Your upfront offer must have discrete value. It must, on its own, provide value to your client. Audits can be good upfront offers, but they often don’t have enough interactivity. The real deliverable of an audit is an interactive discussion with your client about the roadmap to solve all the problems from the audit.
Your upfront offer needs to be a condensed version of working with you. Prospects get an understanding of your process, your values, your insight, and your impact at a fixed or reduced cost. The most important thing about an upfront offer is that you need to be working with the client. It shouldn’t be something that you generate on your own or something that you hand to them that they go do on their own. It has to be collaborative.