How to retain freelance clients is a thought that preoccupies many freelancers’ thoughts most of the time. Why is this so important? Unlike a fulltime job, freelancing tasks and services can be here now and no more the next minute. Retaining clients, especially good ones, is paramount for continued earnings. Although every client is different, there is an overall similarity among clients. This includes what they love and hate in a freelance service provider.
Identifying these factors will not only endear you to clients but it will also make them come to you and even pass good words about you to their friends.
- Be a master of whatever you do. It is possible to be good in many things but mastering all of them is nearly impossible. Let your client know you for one particular thing that will always make them come to you. Be the ‘go-to-guy’ in your niche.
- Be very clear on what the client wants. This especially important with new clients. If something is not clear in their request, ask questions until you and the client are on the same level. This helps you to deliver work that meets and exceeds your client’s expectation.
- Be professional. This gives you the strength to deal with all sorts of clients including the fussy or even difficult ones. Professionalism is vital even when breaking or refusing a deal.
- Become an expert in your niche. This is in the sense that you learn all there is to know about your chosen field. Continuously updating yourself about the development and changes in area make your services fresh and up to date and new and existing clients will love your work and want to continue with you.
- Maintain honesty with your clients and only take jobs that you will be able to handle effectively and deliver in the way and within the time your client wants. If your schedule is tight or full, let the client know.
- Give free advice to your clients. Sometimes the client may not be very clear on the way forward with their project. If you notice this or the client asks for your opinion, be liberal with your suggestions. If their question is not within your area of expertise, always suggest and introduce them to the right people who can help them out. However, always remember it is their project and you must write it for them and not for yourself.
- Under-promise but over-deliver. His will always make your clients feel that they got their money’s worth and more.
- Be a solution oriented freelancer rather than a problem inclined one. Let your clients know that you are there to solve their problems and their bad past experiences with other service providers. Always prove this by offering superior work.
- Let the client know upfront how you go about your work. This includes delivery time, corrections/edits and what your rates cover and what is charged separately. This will avoid unnecessary future misunderstanding.
- Remain connected with a client even after the project is over. This could be through liking their Facebook page, following them on Twitter or LinkedIn and subscribing to their newsletters.
Making a concerted effort and combining applicable steps listed will work in creating long-term working relationships with your freelance clients.