Getting freelance clients is a big deal, let’s be honest. 79% of the US freelancers spend from one day up to one month finding a new job.
This is why dedicating enough time to retaining clients is very important. Professionalism, personal brand, entrepreneur approach – this features influence the process of providing high-level services. Modern freelancer is a freelance business owner, not a random contractor.
1. Proper expectations from the start
Chat about the job’s requirements, share your process and approach, discuss how the client is involved in the project.
It is important to be on the same page from the very first step of the project. The client has own view on the process of cooperation and the result of it. Talk over everything.
As for example, discuss the ways of communication. How often would your freelance client want to get updates on the project and in what way? Would it be an email, or you will be communicating every evening at 5 pm through Skype or Zoom?
This will save you from disturbing messages from the client during your work day. By the way, one fair thought – if the client asks for updates on the status of the project – you are missing something. Don’t make them ask you, set time and date frames of updates/reports.
And the same about what will be delivered – the concept, the format, how the client will get it, would there be any revisions, etc. Providing one thing when freelance client expected another is a fail. No matter how high quality you have provided.
2. Talks less, do more
When you are building proper expectations avoid telling about services you don’t sure you could deliver. But definitely, try to overdeliver.
It is a huge thing on retaining a client. Promising less, doing more.
Writing an article – add relevant pictures, there are some good and free photo stocks. Creating a web design – release it, make it live someways, there are some services now for people without coding skills. Launchpad is a good example of it.
Imagine a client who has to search for pictures to add to an article. Maybe he/she was expecting to buy them, spending money and time. When the client gets an article from you with pictures, it is ready for publishing. Great experience.
Or a client who expects to get jpg screens and gets a real site or clickable mock-up, that is available for sharing with colleagues. This things give an additional value to your work.
3. Have a contract
The third thing about retaining your freelance clients is a contract. Have a contract for every project. Yes, even if you are going to work with an old friend or a colleague. Include everything that you are going to deliver, specify when and how you will deliver it. Make sure that your client understands that he/she will get only things that are mentioned in the contract.
In addition, include in a contract the points that can cover you. For instance, write down that client has to provide you an answer for your questions on the project in 24 hours. If it wouldn’t happen, delivery date of the project gets postponed for the number of days the client doesn’t answer you.
Cases similar to this you will find out on your own experience. But never hesitate to add them to your contract.
When you have no contract, only the client decides when your service is delivered and when to pay. Not the best situation.
At the same time, when you deliver everything according to the contract and client wants more – it is an opportunity to close one more deal, create a new contract instead of providing services for free.
As for the conclusion
Don’t rush on the start – talk over everything, overdeliver and always have a contract. This approach will let you successfully retain your freelance clients. And you can use Periodix to win more freelance jobs.