What is one of the hings business owners are usually told when they want to grow their revenue and profits without spending a fortune on advertising? To cultivate relationships with customers that can lead to repeat business.
The same holds true for freelancers trying to make more money without spending a lot of time bidding for jobs / sending cold email pitches.
In this article you will find some tips you can use to make more money from each client you land.
The tips I am going to share, work whether:
- You find clients by bidding on online job sites like UpWork, Guru, Freelancer or Fiverr.
- You get freelance clients by sending email pitches.
- You use social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter to land freelance jobs.
- You use classifieds websites like Craigslist, The Star and Jiji Kenya to find online jobs.
- You get clients by browsing the ad listings on Entity.co.ke.
What clients are generally looking for in freelancers that they end up giving repeat work
If you can do the following, most clients will be happy with you.
When they are happy with you the chances of you getting repeat work will double, triple, even quadruple.
You will just stand a better chance of getting more work sent your way by the same clients if you can do the following:
Adhere to the client’s instructions
If they tell you to do A, B, C, D just do that. There is no point doing a 3000-word article if a client specifically asks you adhere to a set word count of say 2500 words.
If you are hired to do customer support and asked specifically not to upsell certain customers, it is better to do what the client expects.
It builds trust. And breeds an environment where the client will feel more comfortable not spending their time looking over your shoulder all the time (wondering what you are going to do next that they won’t be happy about).
And you also get to enjoy doing your work once you know the person you are working with won’t be forced to micromanage any and all aspects of your relationship.
Ask questions if you don’t understand something. Gaining clarity so you can be able to deliver to their expectations shouldn’t be something you have to feel ashamed of (or consider as something the client would deem an annoyance) – as long as you are reasonable.
Turn work in on time
You want your clients to be happy with you? Once you agree on the rates they will be paying you, just do two things:
- Deliver. Meet their expectations. Or go above and beyond in helping them get the results they are after.
- And two, just beat the deadlines they set. If you are given reasonable amount of hours (days / weeks / months) to work on a project, do yourself a favor: turn work in on time.
You will be happy you did. And the client will be glad that you are capable of acting in a professional manner. No excuses, that is how all of them like it.
If you know you are not going to be able to deliver work on time, just let them know. And give them a good reason why. Something true and believable.
Don’t go about spinning tales of a migraine or an emergency you were experiencing when you know you were just working on some other client’s work or busy killing time procrastinating (in front of the TV or online checking random sites for stuff to keep you entertained).
Ask for compensation that is reasonable the first time they engage your services, and later on if you are sending word to them about your intentions to increase your rates, do the same.
Clients don’t all have the same resources. Some run enterprises bringing in millions of Kenya Shillings every year in profit. Others run outfits that bring only several hundreds of thousands in profit every year. So, what one can afford to pay, the other may not be able to afford.
So, talk to them. And arrive at a reasonable number. If they are coming to you with the ‘I know good work deserves good pay’ mentality, just see if you can work something out, even if they can’t really afford to pay you the rates you currently think you deserve.
What you want to avoid are the manipulators – who will agree to pay you say 5000 Shillings for an article (and promise to pay you the same rates in the future) then turn around and ask you if you can take less pay (say KSh 3000 for the same work) because they are going to give you more work (a candy / carrot usually dangled in front of you once they figure out you are good at what you do – but don’t want to meet the quality of work you send them with reasonable compensation).
Don’t go dark on them. Be there when they need you. Be there when they message you. It doesn’t matter if it is via email, Skype or WhatsApp messages.
Promptly reply to messages you get from your clients. Buy daily, weekly or monthly internet bundles, so you are able to go online at least 2 to 3 times a day to check if your clients have left you any messages.
Ways to ask for more work from a freelance client: How to go about winning more business from your existing clients
- Suggest upgrades. Could be a PDF file with a summary of the most important points covered in a piece of content you create for example. Or it could be half an hour more per week free if you are offering virtual assistant services.
- Suggest how you can help them leverage other people’s platforms to grow their business. So, you can suggest sites & article headlines for guest post (for relationship & link building purposes).
Or it could be how a content piece can be repurposed, so in the end they got more bang for their money by getting additional traffic from other platforms back to their sites.
If you get good at most of the things listed in this article, you will find that a lot of clients will start sending you more work – and pay you well.
So, practice more. Get good at the thing you are offering as a freelancer. Get good at marketing. Get good at pitching potential clients. And when you do get hired, be cordial, be professional, turn work in on time and don’t forget to have fun.