You’ve worked hard to get where you are. You’ve marketed. You’ve done projects on spec, and for less than you’d like just to make a name for yourself. Finally, you’re starting to get some truly great clients. Clients that fit your ideal client profile. It’s vitally important to keep these fantastic clients.
Your best clients are the ones that are:
* Easy to work with
* Provide frequent jobs and income
* Give you a sense of joy, pride and accomplishment
So what can you do to keep your best clients? What can you do to make sure your bread and butter, your dream clients, stay with you for the long haul?
#1 Deliver more than promised. One of the best ways to ensure your clients stick around is to go above and beyond what they ask for. Imagine if you went to the dentist and they not only cleaned your teeth but whitened a few of the front ones for free? You’d be ecstatic, right? That’s a dentist you’d go back to in six months, maybe even if you’re terrified of the dentist.
#2 Become more than just a service provider. Service providers are easy to come by. Maybe not ones that are as good as you, but they’re out there by the dozens to be sure. One way to keep your customers coming back again and again is to become an advisor and someone they can turn to.
How do you accomplish this transition from service provider to consultant? Begin by offering advice and insight when it’s appropriate and relevant. When they ask you a question or for your advice, give it. Back it up with reasons why you feel the way you do and establish yourself as an expert.
#3 Honor your commitments and follow through. It might surprise you to know that your customers are probably accustomed to freelancers who flake. Many freelancers are really good about making commitments and promises, but few are good at following through. Create a no excuses policy for yourself. Always deliver on time and follow through on your commitments. You’ll surprise your customers and they’ll come back for your services again and again.
#4 Touch base. Sometimes clients drop away for a while. Make sure they keep you in the front of their mind by touching base with them from time to time. Connect with them on social media sites. When you come across some industry information you think they might benefit from, send them a note. Keeping your customer in mind will help them remember you when they need your services.
Keeping your best customers is about offering exceptional customer service. It’s about taking the extra steps to let them know they’re important to you. It’s well worth the effort. You’ve come a long way. Keep your best customers and make your freelance life all you dreamed it would be.