6 Tips to Retain Long-Term Freelance Clients
One of the things any successful business owner or freelancer will tell you is that you need to retain happy clients. If they are not happy they will not stay in the business relationship with you.
In turn, keeping them happy helps you to build a bigger client base. It is important to build a steady base of clients that you can add to in order to increase your income and keep your bills paid.
To do that, here are 6 tips to help you retain long-term freelance clients.
1. Request Feedback
Being a good communicator is important to retain long-term freelance clients. Ask your clients for feedback on the work you do for them.
Monthly meetings can be helpful, even if things seem to be going ok. If you can’t meet in person, do it over the phone, by Skype, or by some other method.
What is important in your business relationship is staying in communication. It can make all the difference in keeping your client happy for the long term.
2. Resolve Problems
When problems arise, as they do occasionally, be ready to help resolve them as quickly as you are able to. For example, if the task is not clear, perhaps you need to ask more questions or offer changes. In addition, if the problem with a task is not something you are familiar with, offer solutions on how to fix it.
You must be ready to solve problems and keep things running smoothly. Keep in mind you are working to make them happy even if a requested change is not necessarily the way you would do it.
3. Be Honest
Honesty is another way to help you retain long-term freelance clients. In fact, most clients appreciate honesty, even if you are telling them something they don’t want to hear.
For example, if the task they are requesting can’t be done in the time frame they would like, let them know. Or, if the workload is something you can’t take on right now, be honest.
Working together with your client as a team with honest is important if you want to maintain a long-term freelance relationship with them. Be honest if you need the help of someone else to solve a problem.
4. Learn from your Mistakes
Mistakes sometimes happen in the work you are doing for someone else. If your client is not happy with something, try to correct it if you can so you can keep them as a long-term freelance client.
Accept criticism, fix problems, and apologize if the situation warrants it. Learn from it and ask for further instructions the next time if something seems unclear.
It isn’t acceptable, however, to continue making the same mistakes for that client over and over. Eventually they will tire of it and move on to a different freelancer who will do a better job.
Your clients need to be able to count on you to do a good job every time. Learn from your mistakes and don’t repeat them.
5. Meet Deadlines
Another way to help you retain long-term freelance clients is to make sure you meet deadlines. When you consistently do not meet deadlines you are risking losing your client’s business.
Why should a client keep you as a freelancer over someone else who can do the same thing but meet deadlines you never meet? Make sure you allow yourself enough time to get the work done and then meet the deadline.
6. Be Available
Being available for your client’s needs doesn’t mean you have to answer a text message at 3 a.m. Availability needs to be reasonable.
But, you do need to make it clear that you will be available for questions about projects or tasks. Provide your clients with a couple of different ways to contact you or ask them for their preferred method of communication.
Keeping your clients happy is important to the success and future of your business as a freelancer.