We know freelancing can be a feast or famine but what happens when your existing or current portfolio of clients starts to disappear? It can be hard getting new clients but should you be burning your existing ones? Could they be cost cutting or simply looking for a change?
Freelancing is all about you – your business and reputation is built all around your creativity. As a designer, developer, marketer, VA or consultant – you are the problem solver, the brains of the operation and you need to show that you are on top of your game. Retaining your existing clients and not driving them away.
Show Prove Be Creative
One of the reasons a client leaves a freelancer or moves onto someone else is they feel the relationship has become stale, the work is stale, the relationship is stale and everything needs a refresh – new energy and new ideas = new freelancer. How do you overcome this? for a start you need to prove your creativity and not your staleness at any given chance, when you have finished a project for a different client – show this to your existing client.
Send them an email or link to your updated portfolio, they are already on board as your client so its not cold calling but it is showing off – which is a good thing in this industry, get credit when its due. If you don’t have anything recent or impressive, give an opinion piece on something new in the industry, a new app, new software, new something. Still no ideas? Think about your own branding, do you need a refresh? does your website scream stale?? cleaning up your website can be done anytime and saying you are too busy is no excuse.
Don’t be Complacent
Think about it, you have done all the hard work in getting your client onboard, your client is willing to pay your hosting or support renewal invoice and then ….nothing.. ? no communications during the year? – in your client’s eyes this shows that you either don’t care, are too busy to manage them or just not bothered. Even updating WordPress to the latest version is an action that you can let your client’s know about. A simple email or call each month to check in with your client will show that you are alive! that you are managing their website or project. Even if there is nothing to do, you can still check in each month..asking if there is anything that needs to be done, this is something clients love.
Never say No
What else can you do for your client? Freelancers have many strings to their bow and as resourceful people, if they cant do something they will get someone to do it or at least collaborate and help the process! never say no an it will really show that you are part of the company and the team.
Size doesn’t Matter
Treat all your clients equally, the small guys may seem small but one day they could become very big! They might have a product or idea in the pipeline that you don’t know about or a possible takeover or merger coming up, It would be a terrible thing if one of your so called smaller clients left you and became huge.
Of course there are small clients that will always be small and stay small – and that’s ok, but always do your best to maximise any opportunities with them, if there is nothing, move on and leave your details so to speak if something does come up. They may have colleagues, friends or family who need work in the future.
If you have any thoughts or ideas, let us know in the comments below!