If you’re reading this, it must mean you’re a pretty successful freelancer. Because keeping track of one or two clients is child’s play. But if you want to know about keeping lots of clients organized – you’re already doing well. It’s now time to get this managed a little better. Let’s view the many appropriate ways to keep your client list organized.
Create Categories for Each Client
These categories are to be filled with pertinent information about each client. Many people keep this information in a spreadsheet. It’s easily searchable and new categories can easily be added. A spreadsheet also makes it easier to compare clients to clients. If one starts looking out of place, it’s typically either time to ask for a raise. Here are some categories you may want to include:
- Name of organization
- Contact name(s) and preferred contact method
For contact names, include the names and contact methods of everyone you interact with at the company.
- Contact facts
Here you can include things like personal details about the contact. It can be something like how many children they have, what time zone they are in, etc. It’s helpful to know this information but when you have a lot of clients – or even own an agency – keeping track of all these details is more than a mere mortal can do. Having a cheat sheet helps.
- Invoicing procedure
This is really important. How will you invoice the client? Know the ‘who, what, when, where, why’ for each client. Tracking invoices can be easy on your end but following their procedure takes a little effort.
- Pay rates
How much do you get paid? Include dates when the pay rate was enacted. In a salaried position, most people get 3% cost of living raises each year. In freelancing, that is not part of the deal. So it’s important to make sure your rates are keeping up with the times. If you haven’t edited this column for more than a year, it may be time to ask for a raise.
Include any information that is client-specific. For a freelancer writer, this would include basically everything that’s found in a writer’s guide. If you were provided a writer’s guide, you can just include a link to the guide for this category. When juggling lots of clients, it’s important to make sure each time you present work, you’re meeting their specs. Having the requirements at the ready will encourage you to visit them often – thereby giving the client exactly what they want.
- Links to important files
Include any files you’ve been sent. This is a really convenient way of keeping the things they send you handy. Much faster and simpler than sorting through past emails.
- Major events in the pipeline
What’s coming down the line? This category is great because it prepares you for what’s coming. You can pace your work. Using a content management platform is best but listing out the events can be good to do as well.
Congrats on needing to read this article! I think you’ll find that once you implement this technique, organizing your clients will be much easier. You won’t feel overwhelmed. And when you don’t feel overwhelmed with your current workload – it’s time to get more clients!