Freelance business involves spending considerable time selling your skills and finding ideal clients who value your work. Getting clients is one of the biggest hurdles freelancers deal with daily. To maintain a steady cash flow, freelancers need to keep adding projects to their pipeline. This means finding new clients is a recurrent activity for freelancers. It’s not something a freelancer can do once and get rid of it.
Ask any freelancer and they will agree that persuading old clients to rehire you is easier than finding new clients. The success of any freelance business depends on your capacity to retain clients as long as possible.
Benefits Of Working With Retainer Clients
There are several benefits of working with retainer clients.
- You don’t need to write pitches, send a proposal, hop on discovery calls, seal the deal, and take the client through the onboarding process. Since the client is already familiar with your working process, you can get going from day 0.
- Since you have already worked together, rapport is built. You know the client’s preferred ways of doing a task while the client is familiar with your working style. Minimal friction will lead to a better output. Win-win, we say!
- As you’re already familiar with the briefs, the guidelines, and the nitty-gritty of the project details, you can improve your work speed and accuracy and produce better output.
- You have built mutual trust — the client trusts you with the deliverables while you trust the client with your payments.
- You’re already aware of the common freelance mistakes and probably won’t make them again!
But How Do You Get Your Clients To Rehire You?
1. Let Your Work Speak For You
Whenever you are working on a project, give it your best shot. Do a great job by avoiding sloppy work or not adhering to the proposed deadlines. Always try to provide more than the expectations of the client. Improvise your profile by adding value to your content that speaks for itself. After all, what matters, in the long run, is the work you put out to the client.
It is easy to work with your clients by providing content that aligns with their objectives. Get to know the client better by scheduling meetings and listing down your doubts for the client. Avoid submitting your project at the last moment. Provide ample time for the client to review your work.
2. Keep The Client Informed At All Time
Effective communication is the most important aspect while dealing with clients. Always keep the clients updated with the status of the project. Deliver consistent performance and constant results to gain more projects from your old clients. Understand the client’s requirements and get to know them to meet their needs.
3. Stick To The Deadline
Clients prefer hiring those who value time and know-how to deliver quality content. Following time schedules reflects a freelancer’s professionalism.
Check out an ideal day in a freelancer’s life.
Also, seek opinions from the clients on areas of improvement. Ask for any possible change in the submitted projects to display your level of interest.
4. Proactively Ask For Feedback
A freelancer should never shy away from asking the client for feedback. If the feedback is positive, let them know that you will deliver the same quality in other projects. This attribute depicts that you are interested in getting hired again in the future. If the feedback is mixed, ask where you can improve. Incorporate it in your next assignment to win the heart of your client!
Check out the 6 reasons why client feedback is necessary.
You can also ask them to review your performance and quality of work, which is integral in building a long-term relationship with the client. Also, you may offer additional services and suggest ideas on how they can expand their businesses. The client may provide other perks and benefits if your thoughts seem genuine and convincing.
Read more about how to collect client feedback in this blog.
5. Build A Relationship
Build an email list and ask your clients if they would like to get added to that list. You can share valuable tips or free products that are helpful to the clients. Ask them to join your email record or connect with them on social media. This helpful technique allows you to keep in constant touch with your previous clients so that they think of you when they plan to hire freelancers.
Increase your visibility by sharing your content with your email list. A more extensive email list implies that you can reach more clients to pitch your services. This technique helps in converting readers to clients. Email lists also allow you to remain connected with your audience and stay in touch with them.
6. Reach Out After A Couple Of Months
A freelancer must keep in touch with old clients and focus on building long-term relationships. Reach out to them, share your updated portfolio and ask them if they have any new assignments for you. Besides excellent writing skills, a freelancer must have brilliant communication skills and networking skills to persuade clients.
Read more about how you can get more projects by networking.
Each follow-up must be endowed with a call to action. Let your clients know about your new skills and ventures. You may offer a special discount to them to persuade them to hire you.
Start the conversation, ask open-ended questions, send resources, find and fill gaps and never hesitate to be proactive. Become a trusted content partner and associate yourself with the client’s goals. Add a personal touch to every conversation you have with the client. Don’t lose the lead. Let them know you are available and stay in touch with them.
7. Share Your Updated Portfolio With The Latest Work
Portfolios matter a lot in determining the future trajectory of a freelance business. A well-structured portfolio displays your level of professionalism and credibility as a freelancer.
Regularly update your portfolio with all the projects you have done for your clients. Got a new byline? Flaunt it! Worked with a new brand? Include it in your portfolio. Share your updated portfolio with your old clients so they can look over your recent projects. Your portfolio plays an integral role in convincing your old client to hire you again. Your portfolio describes your skills, level of commitment, and performance in other projects.
Check out the top 15 elements you must implement in your portfolio website.
Finding new clients and keeping the workflow steady is one of the biggest challenges as a freelancer. Sometimes it may get overwhelming, but know that you’re not alone. The best way to keep your pipeline steady is to sign up more retainer clients.
Check out how freelancers should find clients in this blog.
Getting hired by your old clients means you already know each other’s working styles. Also, you need not prove your “worth” again as your client has rehired you because they trust your quality of work. So focus on retaining your old clients, and take your freelance business to new heights.