If you’ve been freelancing for some time, you’ve probably learned by now that it’s easier to convince the people you’ve worked with in the past to work with you again than it is to constantly hunt for new customers. Making sure your existing clients are happy doesn’t just make it more likely that they will want to hire you again. It also makes them more likely to recommend you to others who are looking for help writing press release(s) or who are looking for content writers. Keeping your current clients happy isn’t as much as a challenge as it might seem.
So many problems, both small and large, can be solved when people take the time to actually communicate with each other. Good communication with your clients helps you both stay on the same page. It also helps you both understand and manage expectations. A client is less likely to hire you again if you hand in a book when he or she wanted a few blog posts.
Communication goes beyond discussing the scope of a project. It also involves being responsive and polite. Although you might feel that you and the client have a bit of a rapport, don’t start sending your client super casual emails that leave out the salutation or any of the niceties of a polite email. Also, don’t leave a client hanging. If you can’t get to a project request right away, send a quick email saying you’ll take a look at it and respond in more detail in a set amount of time.
Focus on Their Needs
Your clients want to feel that you are invested in their needs and projects. Whenever you submit a pitch or proposal, make sure it really zeroes in on the specific wants of that client. Don’t just pull up “Generic Idea Pitch B” and send that along. Even if you’ve worked with a company before, the client wants to be sure that you understand the specific requirements of the current project.
Turn Things In On Time
Projects have deadlines for a reason. If you’re writing a press release, it usually needs to be submitted, proofed and edited, and distributed to media outlets well in advance of the event it’s promoting or distributed in a timely manner if it’s promoting a piece of news. If you dawdle over it and miss your deadline, you’ll be messing up the rest of the client’s deadlines. Don’t be that freelancer. If you want people to hire you again and again, be the writer who turns things in well before deadline.
While communicating with your client is crucial, and you want to make sure you understand exactly what’s expected of you, you also want to show your client that you are independent and resourceful. Research the company and the current project on your own, without prompting from the client. Don’t feel that you have to call in or email every day that you are working on the assignment, unless the client specifically requests a regular check-in.
Be the Best You Can Be
Doing the best work you can and going above and beyond the client’s expectations should be a given. But, for many freelancers, it’s not. Remember, it’s a tough, competitive world out there. You want to give your clients the best, so that they don’t start looking around for, and possibly finding, a writer who does what you do, only better.
Amy F has an MFA in theater criticism and has worked in many capacities on- and off-stage. She’s also an avid baker, vegetarian cook, gardener and reader.