Long-Term Clients: Here's How To Make Them Stay!
Written By: Trina Moitra
You can take this post as a continuation of the last one I put up. In it I had stressed the importance of long term clients if you are to crack the 1 million ceiling in the first year. In this post I will elucidate how you can actually build up your long term clients profile in a few quick and actionable steps.
Let’s start out by identifying who is a long term client. Well in short he or she is the benign fairy Godmother who keeps coming back to you whenever you need some easy cash! If you and your client have been collaborating together on one or a number of projects over a minimum duration of 6 months…..you have yourself a long term client.
Next up….why a long term client apart from the obvious fact that a long term relationship ups the monetary ante considerably? When you and your client work together for a large chunk of time, you develop a rapport. Something more than the strictly professional freelancer-client equation! This rapport can tide you through the tough times like a bout of allergies or an unforeseen plumbing disaster. Your long term client will sympathize with your woes and their first concern will not be an all oppressive worry about the deadline! They might even ask you to “rest for a week”! I know, because it happened to me! Every word I bring to you is based on past experience. With an understanding “partner”…..remember you are an entrepreneur and you do not have a boss…only partners…..life is a lot easier and work is the manifestation of your passion.
So what do you do to get such a friend in your freelance writing career? If you can net more than one…congratulations….you are on your way to the first million super-fast. But just to start out even one will do! It is albeit easier to cultivate long term relationships if you are a part of an online portal which brings together clients and freelancers in a convenient and easy to interact working environment. Not only do you get a choice of many clients, you also get a certain sense of back up or safety. You know that if you do mess up with one client because of extenuating circumstances, all is not lost. There are many other fishes in the freelancing ocean and you need to gird your loins and target the next one. The most important thing that can aid you in this quest is your instinct.
Yes, the first correspondence with the client is crucial. Be professional but at the same time add friendly overtures like “Have a great weekend!” or “Happy Sunday!” and see how the client reacts. If you draw blanks, then it is likely that the client is not a very amicable one and even though it is not impossible but 90% of the times, such clients do not translate into long term business. It is vital that you identify potential “long term” material before moving on to the next stage of the campaign. Which is something shocking! Almost a curse word to the freelancing business…..free work! I am not saying be the fool who cuts the branch he is sitting on. But a little extra never hurts. If you have been commissioned to develop web content, go out of your way and offer to do the FAQs too! This will create a huge positive impression about you in the mind of your client and from there every time there is new work on the horizon, the client will think of taking the business to you! Please remember that you need to do a great job and deliver sterling end results to sustain this good impression.
The last thing that you should do after the project has successfully concluded is offer lifetime support to the client. Yes, tell them that if they ever need to tweak the content, you will do it for them for free. Rest assured you are not biting off more than you can chew. Most of the clients will be overwhelmed by this generosity on your part but…they will never go out of their way to bother you. It will be far easier for them to make tiny changes on their own, but when they do…they will think fondly of you. Everybody loves a standing offer. Hardly anybody cashes it out….but they all love it!
Follow this three tier plan and I am confident you will soon have a number of faithful clients who will swear by your name. And when that happens….thank Shuchi….because she is the one who has facilitated the delivery of pertinent content to you. You can also write in to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with all your queries big or small. Or you can directly join my freelancing family by registering through the link www.elance.com/p/crp/kolkata/trina
Trina is an experienced freelance writer and Elance mobilizer with more than 5 years of professional writing experience. She is in the top 250 of Elance and the published author of the self-help book “The She-Bang!
Author: Shuchi Singh Kalra