In relation to the growth and success of my remote freelance business, retaining customers has been super important. Long-term working relationships are something I actively pursue and have become the basis of my monthly income.
If you’re a serious freelancer, contractor or consultant, you should work hard on client retention. Here are a few ideas how:
In my development business, I’ve worked with lots of different types of client. While you’ll not always find common ground with everyone (as is life), it generally makes working together better if you can find some kind of level.
Ask questions now and again. “How’s the weather where you are?, “How’re the kids?”. Typing those sort of things out feels cheesy, but trust me; it builds rapport, makes your work interaction easier and can form the basis of a lasting partnership.
I’ve seen work from home freelancers struggle with the idea of connecting with their remote colleagues and overseas clients. Sure, we don’t have that everyday face-to-face interaction; but it doesn’t start and end in the office. Make use of tools like Slack for chat, Skype and Google Hangouts for video calling and once in a while, get together for a coffee.
People hire people. Build a relationship, talk about more than work. Be personable, not robotic. Above all, be sincere.
Once you take on a project, it’s time to prove your worth. Be capable and do a solid job. Add value to your clients’ business. You’d think this goes without saying, but I’ve heard some horror stories on past hires from the people I’ve dealt with.
In my experience, people can already be a little wary of hiring freelancers. Especially if you prefer to work remotely or don’t have the largest portfolio. Don’t give them a reason to doubt your integrity. Use your skills to do the best job possible.
The feedback I get is; a good freelancer who is reliable, personable and adds value to their client’s business is worth their weight in gold. Be that person for your clients.
My career as a freelance WordPress developer took off on the basis of this value. Starting out, I impressed an agency with a one-off theme build. The next time the agency had a similar project, they passed it on to me again. This eventually grew to ongoing monthly work and I became the client’s go-to hire for WordPress jobs.
Make yourself indisposable.
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