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How to retain freelance clients

<p>If you speak to someone who&rsquo;s been a freelancer for a long-time, perhaps one advice they would tell newbies is that happy clients need to be retained. In fact, it is much cheaper to retain clients than you get new ones, and the personal relationships you can develop can be more valuable than you think. Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to advertise and showcase your business and that&rsquo;s why you should (ideally try to) all of your clients happy!</p> <p>In order to do so, we&rsquo;ve put together a short list of ideas to retain long-term freelance clients!</p> <p></p> <h3><strong>1. Stay true to yourself and your work</strong></h3> <p>When you first start in the freelance world, you need to determine the quality you want to put in your work.</p> <ol> <li>If you truly believe your work is the best, and this is how you advertise it, then you need to live up to it.</li> <li>Stay focused and treat each client as unique, equal and important.</li> <li>Last but not least, don&rsquo;t let personal situations affect the way you work!</li> </ol> <p></p> <h3><strong>2. Request feedback</strong></h3> <p>When your freelance work for a specific client is done, make sure you request some feedback. This will help you adjust your work or will give you awesome ideas for the future! Feedback is also a great way to see if your pricing is right, if your deadlines are appropriate and if your work is considered &lsquo;&rsquo;of quality&rsquo;&rsquo;.</p> <ul> <li> <p>Negative feedback: Try to accommodate the client as much as possible. Ask why they aren&rsquo;t happy, etc. If the client is being too difficult, read <a href="">this article</a>. Sometimes, it&rsquo;s just better to &lsquo;&rsquo;fire&rsquo;&rsquo; a client than to work with someone who isn&rsquo;t wanting to collaborate with you.</p> </li> <li> <p>Positive feedback: Send them a thank you note, or send an email to ask they have any other projects, or work for you. Simply remind them that you are there if they need it.</p> </li> </ul> <p>Use that feedback to get adjusted to your customers. If you see that multiple people leave the same comments, or have the same questions, then maybe it&rsquo;s worth a change, or at least it gives you something to look into. &nbsp;</p> <p></p> <h3><strong>3. Stay available and meet deadlines</strong></h3> <p>Freelance life comes with pros and cons and one of them is that you can work from anywhere, at any time. It&rsquo;s an advantage, for sure, but it can also be considered a disadvantage because it becomes very hard to separate your personal life with your professional life. For example, when you&rsquo;re at the movies with the family, should you step out to answer an &lsquo;&rsquo;important&rsquo;&rsquo; call from a customer?</p> <p>The answer is, <a href="">you should set your own boundaries and stick to them. </a></p> <p>Basically, you should stay as available as possible, but you should also believe it&rsquo;s okay if you waited until the next day to reply to a customer that sent you an email at 10 pm the night before.</p> <p>As for deadlines, you need to simply (try to, as much as possible) follow them. I mean, of course, there are some exceptions, for example, if the customer&rsquo;s been a little difficult and more editing had to be made, and it is simply not possible for you to meet the deadline. You just need to be transparent with your customers. Let them know how their projects are going, and try to update them as much as possible. Customers will be happy to know where you are at with the work and if any modifications have been made, deadline-wise. This could possibly avoid some difficult situations at the end when you can&rsquo;t meet your deadlines and the anger starts to show.</p> <p></p> <h3><strong>4. Offer a loyalty or reward program</strong></h3> <p>This doesn&rsquo;t really apply if you work on big projects for one-time customers, but if you work with recurring customers, this could be very much worth it. Offering a loyalty or reward program will make them feel important to you, and who doesn&rsquo;t like getting a reward? This could motivate them to talk about you to their entourage and could possibly get you new clients. As we&rsquo;ve said before, do not underestimate word of mouth, it is still today one of the most effective ways to promote your business.</p> <hr /> <p>No matter which (or all) of these ideas you choose to do, the important thing is to remember that your customers are the only factor that decides if you have work or not. As freelancers, you never know when or where you will find your new customers and that is why, especially at the beginning, you need to do everything in your power to retain them. They are the reason why you get to live from your passions!</p> <p><strong>Good luck, and happy billing :)</strong></p>