While winning clients may be your primary concern, keeping them is another story. It’s something that a lot of freelancers neglect. They’ll happily complete work and walk away when there’s more money to be made in a lot of cases.
Here are some key benefits to maintaining good client relationships.
Client retention is cheaper and more cost effective than client acquisition. That’s true in almost any business. It’s much easier to convince someone who already knows what you can do to hire you than it is to convince a stranger of the same thing.
As a freelancer, with naturally inconsistent income at times, stability can be found in repeat business. According to a 2018 Freelancer Writers Survey, low earners are nearly seven times as likely to say they have “no recurring work” than high earners.
While this will depend on your type of work (e.g. wedding photographers will find this difficult), see if you can offer your services as a regular thing. For example, if you’re hired to write product/services pages for a website, give them a quote for your ongoing blogging services while you’re at it.
Familiarity is a valuable thing to tap into. People trust recommendations and reviews because it’s an independent person and therefore an unbiased opinion.
There’s more trust and trust is an important thing to develop, especially if you’re an online worker who doesn’t usually meet their clients.
In the same study mentioned above, most high earners said their main sources of income are from client referrals and their personal network. Once you’ve completed work for a client, ask them for referrals because you never know who your client will know.
It makes the work more fulfilling
While it may sound a bit wishy washy, making your work more fulfilling does impact your business and income. The more enthusiastic and fulfilled you are, the more motivated you will be to do some extra marketing tasks or to send a pitch out to a new potential. Being comfortable with your client means it’ll be easier to ask for things like referrals and testimonials too.
Making the client relationship more enjoyable also means there’s less stress for you to deal with which could impact your work quality.
How to maintain good relationships
You may think that building client relationships is impossible for those working online. However, there are still things you can do to make the arrangement work for both of you.
Keeping in touch throughout the duration of the project can help to keep clients reassured and more positive about your services. It might help to schedule some catch-up times at the beginning so you keep each other up to date.
Giving them contact options, depending on what they prefer is also helpful. Some clients will want to contact you via phone, others will prefer instant messaging. Clients will appreciate little things like this tailored to their needs and it’ll make them more likely to go with a freelancer over an agency in the future.
The best thing to do above all else is to produce quality work on time as this will put you in the best position to ask for repeat business or help in return for your services.
Do you keep in contact with clients after you’ve completed work? Have you ever got any business through referrals? Let us know your thoughts below.