Getting new clients is an uphill task. On the other hand getting existing ones to hire you for another project, is as easy as ensuring they are happy and satisfied with the work you are anyways doing.
I love repeat clients, and I am sure you do too. But you won’t have those client coming back if you are not working hard to make them happy.You will be surprised how the little things can make all the difference between a happy and a not so happy client.
1.Write Tailored Proposals – This may seem as an obvious point. But I double up as a contractor and a client on Elance, and I am usually surprised by the amount of copy-paste proposals that I receive when I post a job, or proposals which do not meet the project specifications.
Make it easy for a potential client to select you by tailoring the proposal to the project requirement.
- Read the requirement carefully and attach the most relevant samples in the project bid.
- Outline your approach to handle the project, along with the interim milestones and expected timeline
- Mention professional and personal experiences that showcase your suitability for the job. For instance, I recently worked on an e-book on ‘Life after redundancy’. While I have not experienced redundancy myself, in my bid to the client I did mention my own struggles of giving up a well-paying banking job to become a freelance writer.
Customizing each proposal may be a time consuming process, but its the only way to get well paying projects that are really worth your time. Making the effort, is a win-win for you and the client.
2.Communicate Effectively and Openly– Employees who communicate effectively stand a higher chance of winning promotions in their workplaces. The same applies to the freelance writing industry.
A few communication DO’s:
- Ask relevant questions before you commence a project. For example – who is the target demographic and who is the competitor ? This will help you understand the requirement and also indicate the client’s own preparedness for the project.
- Send the client regular updates during the project.
- Follow basic email etiquette, which includes addressing the receiver, signing -off with your name and contact details, and avoiding abbreviations. Acknowledge all emails of the client within a couple of hours. As freelancers, it is natural to keep irregular hours. But checking your inbox regularly and sending a brief ‘I will get back to you’, is all that is needed to assure the client and buy you time for a more detailed response.
3. Add True Value – There is an imminent danger in stopping at doing exactly what you are hired to do. Sooner or later the client will discover another freelancer who is willing to go a step further, and guess who will the client be predisposed to hire the next time they have a job opening? You guessed it right – the other writer!
If you want to have clients who hire you time and again , you must be willing to go the extra mile. Here are some suggestions –
- Submit a well formatted document
- Suggest multiple tag lines which the company can use with various promotional material
- Include graphics/ images if it adds value to the content
- Add certificate of authenticity
- Mention all sources of research at the bottom of the page
- Offer constructive suggestions in areas that you have expertise
4. Share Your Service Charter – What is the client signing onto when he decides to hire you? If you do not have a service charter, you are missing out on an important aspect that can win you happier clients. A service charter is a promise of –
- high quality content
- timely delivery
- consensual draft revisions and
- a seamless experience in dealing with you as a writer.
5. Improve Your Skills – Add value to the arsenal of skills that you possess as a freelance writer.The year is still young and there is still time to craft a few New Year resolutions . Here are some suggestions
- Which three books are you reading this year that will help you add to your skills?
- Are you taking a writing course?
- Are you revamping your website design skills or starting a professional blog?
Set goals to improve your skills and track your progress.
6. Be Courteous at All Times – Each client is different and should be treated as such. Some may require more communication than others, others may not be as forthcoming with information, or may take longer to process invoices. Be courteous and professional in your communication regardless of the differences among your clients. Give them your best both in terms of content as well as in the way you deal with them.
7. Ask for Feedback – Positive feedback is the backbone of your freelance writing career. New clients will depend on feedback and recommendations when deciding whether they want to hire you. Feedback will also help you identify things you need to do differently or handle better with an existing client.
There you have it – the 7 freelance writer’s tips that will make your clients happy and keep them coming back for more. Do you have additional suggestions for the list? Feel free to drop them in the comments box.