5 Ways to Improve Customer Retention as a Freelancer
As a freelancer your mind is always focused on finding work. No work means no money being made, which means you do not eat. Not eating is something that no freelancer likes to experience. Therefore, freelancers are always hustling so that they never have to endure a period of famine.
One thing that seems to be the constant problem with most freelancers is that they always have to hustle for work. Once they are done with a present client’s work, they move on to trying to develop a new job, which will only be a temporary client as usual.
This sort of behavior is exactly why most freelancers never turn their freelancing skills into an actual business that has recurring customers. Instead most freelancers deal with constant anxiety about finding another paying gig so that they can make enough money to merely survive.
If you are a freelancer who has to constantly hunt for clients, you are not operating with the mindset or actions that will help you prosper and grow.
Your lack of business understanding keeps you in a perpetual state of struggle. There is no reason for you to continue to struggle as a freelancer. Here are 5 actions that will help you produce a thriving freelancing business.
Having Great Communication
Communication is key in any relationship, especially when it comes to business. As a freelancer, you should always communicate what is occurring to your clients. Doing this lets the client know that you are you are actually working and it helps to gain their trust in you as a professional. The key here is to update clients on all progress, whether it be goals that have been met or any setbacks occurred the process of accomplishing their project.
Another thing that will help with communication is having the options to communicate that best fit your particular client. This options include:
It is very important to always get back to a client within 24 hours of them contacting you! Not doing so will definitely weigh negatively against you when it comes to future work with that client.
Always Ask for Feedback
Many freelancers make the mistake of thinking that just because the client didn’t say that they did a bad job, it automatically means that they did a great job. The client may feel differently and is just not willing to express their thoughts to you because they like to avoid any type of conflict.
While you are working on a client’s project and especially after you are done with their project, ask them how they would rate your services. This information is critical knowledge that will help you understand how you should improve your services in order to better serve clients.
Some key questions to ask clients:
Have I met your expectations or exceeded your standards? If yes, how so? If not, what should I improve on?
What did you like best about working with me? What did you like least about working with me?
How would you compare me to my competitors who are providing similar services?
Based on your experience, would you recommend my services to family and friends?
The key rule that every provider of services should follow is to under promise and over deliver. Once you have set people’s expectations at a specific level, they will not be happy if those set expectations are not met. So if you are promising extraordinary results, that is what must be delivered and nothing less.
Stop making promises that you will go over and beyond just so that you can initially get the client to agree to work with you. Instead explain that you will give them exactly what they are asking for and then work to go beyond their initial expectations once you are chosen for their project.
One thing to know is that exceeding expectations can mean doing just the small things that leave a positive reflection in the client’s mind. This could be as simple as finishing the project early or providing exceptional work of very high quality. Always work to go the extra mile so that people actually want to become your loyal clients.
Increase Your Skill Sets
When you became a freelancer, you probably were and still are only marketing yourself as having one particular skill set. While it is very important to be highly capable in one area of service, it also helps to be competent in other areas of service that will benefit your clients. This does not mean become a jack of all trades but instead have the skills that you can offer as complementary services to your main focus of service.
Having 2-3 different skills allow for you to offer packaged services, which means more money earned from a project. At the same time you have the ability to retain clients due to the fact that they can get a combination of things accomplished with one person, which ultimately saves them money in the long run.
The key when developing other skill sets is to acquire skills that can easily be packaged together. If you are a content writer, it would make sense to also have the ability to provide marketing services and website/ blog management services. You want to pretty much make people think it would be foolish to only get one service instead of going with the better option of the packaged services.
Develop a Real Business
A lot of freelancers make the mistake of remaining freelancers. This means that they do not create a business that serves them and instead remain in the frantic hustle that most freelancers experience. While hustle is important towards developing a successful business, hustle without strategy and goals does not produce successful results.
As a freelancer, your main goal should be to create a system of actions that lead to you developing a real business. You want to get out of the continuous chase for new sources of income and get into the act of consistently serving existing clients. This is the basic criteria of what makes a real business.
Make it a must to understand the different processes of business so that you can effectively build one. The core processes that you must understand are: marketing, sales, administration, finances and customer relationships. These core functions will be the foundation that will lead to you creating a business that can be scaled for growth.
Do not get into freelancing for the freedom it offers to only be stuck in the vicious cycle of desperately always needing to find work. As you gain projects, you should be working to earn client loyalty. You do not want to just remain a basic freelancer that has no stability. You need to become a freelancer that has a business that actual supports you!
Posted on December 7, 2015, in Communication, Customer Relationships, Entrepreneurship and tagged Entrepreneurial Ambitions, how to be successful as a freelancer, how to grow your freelancing business, how to retain clients as a freelancer, how to succeed in freelancing, I am failing as a freelancer, what does it take to succeed as a freelancer. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.