One of the key distinctions is this:
Marketing (or lack of).
This might seem like a simple observation, but in most cases it is an accurate one.
Those who see freelance writing as a business know that marketing is essential. Those who don’t, generally market their services when they feel like it. The effect of this mindset is shown in the erratic monthly income fluctuations.
While there are many effective marketing methods, one of the very best strategies is to generate repeat business.
Why Getting Repeat Clients Matters
While every business needs new clients, it is far easier to sell to those who have paid for your services already.
If the client was happy with your service last time, you are the obvious choice again. However, your client has a hundred other things to do, so you need to be proactive – and follow up (email, call, send flyers or a letter).
If you just follow up with past clients, you will gain a major competitive advantage over many other writers (who don’t take the time to do it).
But, realize, it’s not just about following up.
The process of reselling your services starts with the first interaction. With that said, here are 5 ways to help you generate more repeat business:
Obviously, when you send out emails or messages via social media, you keep the lines of communication open. This can also be done with blog commenting, or via a newsletter.
It shouldn’t always be a blatant pitch either. Communicate in a low-pressure manner but remind them of your services.
Know this: a client who forgets about you, will never hire you again.
Create a database (or spreadsheet) of past clients in order to systematize this process.
Consider this: if you were selling a physical product, you would offer a bonus, a discount, or a bundle to entice customers to buy again.
Well, think of your writing services in the same way. How can you add more value to the experience?
- Can you bundle two services together (so that you increase the transaction value)?
- Can you provide better formatting (so that your client can upload the content right away)?
- Can you include an image with each blog post?
Small incentives matter, and they give you the edge over your competitors.
This doesn’t mean that you should communicate in a corporate manner.
It means you should always remain personable, but treat your clients well. Be courteous and polite. Get to know your clients by name.
Needless to say, you must also deliver on time and fulfill your promises.
Show, Don’t Tell
Clients hire you to generate income and traffic for their business. So, the more proof you have of your skills, the better.
One of the best ways is by linking to examples:
- link to your article that generated 100 comments
- link to a blog post that was shared all over social media
- link to a tweet that was re-tweeted thousands of times
- link to a landing page that created thousands of subscribers
In order to make this effective, know what results your client really wants. Now prove you can give them those results.
Side note: many clients don’t realize that writers have other skills such as marketing, blogging, social media etc. You need to show them that you can take on these tasks (for the right price, of course).
Your career as a writer is based on your reputation. As such, you need to show that you are credible, professional and trustworthy.
Therefore, if your client asks for something that you are unsure about, don’t pretend you know in order to make a few extra dollars. This will not turn out well for you.
You will never be hired again by this client (or referred).
If the client needs something that you can’t provide, recommend another service or writer that you know and trust.
You will gain credibility and the client will be impressed. You might not make the sale now, but this client may come back again later, or may refer a friend or associate.
Getting repeat clients is the most effective, and low cost marketing method for freelance writers. Use the 5 ways listed above to land more business in 2014.
How have you have been able to generate repeat clients in your business? Leave a comment below.