Building an efficient and long-term relationship with your clients is the key to having an everlasting freelancing career and an endless income stream. In this article, I will share with you some of the strategies I use to get recurring orders to have my clients come back for more each time.
In my experience, most clients are usually looking for a good freelancer to settle down with and outsource their work. They actually use a simple strategy to find the best freelancers.
How Clients Find Excellent Freelancers
It goes like this: First, they will offer you a simple one-off job. It could be a job for a blog article or a logo design. This is their way of testing your skills and quality because most freelancers try to finish these low pay jobs as soon as they can to get back to their high-paying projects.
That’s a big mistake.
Two out of three clients I’ve worked with ended up offering me long-term contracts. Why? Because I always treat every job I get as if it’s my first ever job and I do my best to deliver high-quality results, no matter how small the job is.
Clients love it when you over deliver.
As a freelance writer, I always work hard on each article I write to satisfy my client. And, I write an extra 100 words than my promised word-count, just to give my clients a delightful surprise. As an added bonus, I also send them high-quality images to use with their articles.
Thanks to that simple gesture, I’ve received a lot of positive reviews and responses from my clients over the years.
You don’t have to be strict about your hourly rate or your word counts. Try being friendly and understanding with your clients. You’ll be surprised by the results.
Improving your communication skills is one of the most important things you must work on as a freelancer.
I’m not just talking about writing better emails or having friendly Skype chats with your clients. It’s also about responding calmly when your clients criticize your work and tries to cancel the entire project.
Communication has a strong effect on the human mind and an amazing ability to persuade people. When used properly, you’ll be able to cool down even the angriest client with a few words.
Personalizing your messages doesn’t mean starting your email with “Hello dear” or “Dear sir”. That just goes to show how much of a lazy freelancer you are because you couldn’t even take a few minutes to learn the name of your client.
Here’s what you need to do instead:
- Always do your research to learn a little bit about your client.
- Learn the requirements of the project.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
- Express your personality through careful word selection.
- And write unique pitches to your potential clients to stand out from the rest of the freelancers.
When I receive large projects, for example like an order for 20 articles, I always update my clients each time I finish an article instead of waiting until I finish all 20 articles to get their feedback.
This will not only help you keep them happy throughout the project, but it will also give you the time to connect with them by asking casual questions in your emails, such as “how’s your weekend?”.
So, remember to update your clients on the progress of your on-going projects. Let them know that you are actively working on the project, one step at a time.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming you know everything.
I know how bad you feel when someone tells you that you’re wrong and say bad things about your work. I also know how difficult it is to admit to your mistakes. And it’s easy for any freelancer to get angry when a client asks for a revision. But, it’s crucial that you stay calm during these occasions.
When your client criticizes your work or gives negative feedback. Set your ego aside for a moment and think with an open mind. Look at the situation in your client’s point of view and try to understand their frustration. Then, respond as pleasant as possible. Remember, you’re a freelancer, not a dictator.
Much like any other business, Freelancing is not something you can master overnight. It took me over six years to get to where I am today. So, just be patient, consistent, and keep improving yourself and you’ll be making more money than I am in no time.
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Author’s Blog: FreelancingHacks.com
Roshan Jerad Perera is a blogger, freelance writer, and the founder of FreelancingHacks.com, who’s now on a mission to help other freelancers build a successful career online.