Are you constantly frustrated with the idea of finding new clients every month just to keep your business alive or do you try to build relationships with ?
I realize that as a freelancer this is, to some degree, inevitable. But what I found was when I started to shift my mindset and see my clients in a different light, I was able to ease my mind, gain hope and make profitable and lasting relationships along the way.
As a young freelancer, I found myself constantly stressed about the future, wondering how/where/when I’d find my next client instead of trying to build better client relationships.
Gigging, The Fast Food of Freelance?
In this gig economy, everyone is hustling for clients. They go on one of the big hiring platforms to get a quick one-and-done client. It’s the equivalent of going to the drive-thru to get fast food rather than making a healthy meal. Sure, it fills a void, but soon after, we feel empty, crave more, and haven’t provided our body nourishment.
Instead of gobbling up the “fast clients” who pay less and leave you constantly hustling, I recommend building client relationships with your existing customers to form long-lasting business bonds. It’s less costly, less stressful and can provide you much-needed stability in your freelance career. Find out why on my video below, or keep scrolling to read more.
3 Ways Building Client Relationships with Clients Benefit Freelancers
1. It’s easier to keep a client than find a new client
If you’ve had Business 101 (or watched The Office) you probably know that keeping an existing client is cheaper than finding a new one. If we’ve developed a good rapport with our current clients and done a good job serving them, it should be easy to get repeat work from them.
It’s true that success may vary depending on the client and type of work, but building a relationship with a client is never wasted time. When I get a new client, I dive in and learn what their brand is and what their goals are. I invest in the relationship because not only do I want to serve my client well, I also want to create a long-term engagement with the opportunity for repeat and additional work long after the initial project is over.
I’m always looking for opportunities to become that “go-to guy” to solve a business owner’s specific problem. The more I understand their business and get to know the owner I can become a better problem solver for them and they have a trusted resource in me that’s consistent and trustworthy.
2. Building Trust with Clients Pays Dividends
When you build trust with your clients by serving with integrity, you are the one your customers will call when they need help with a project.
When I got my first client who hired me on retainer, I was honored because it was a sign that they valued my work and my time. I put the effort in to build trust, I chose clients that shared my values, and now I had a steady client I was going to be billing every month! When you have that trust built with a customer, you can build a long term relationship which will give you a consistent income. Nothing is more valuable financially and mentally.
3. Relationships Build Lifetime Value
When you build a connection with a client, it is very possible you’ve built a long-term customer that will work with you indefinitely. I have clients I have been serving consistently for 15 years. The lifetime value of these clients is much more profitable and significant than it would be if I would have just found new clients month after month for 15 years. It’s exponentially more fulfilling to have these long-term business relationships, to feel like you’re part of a team.
Added Bonus – No Bidding or Estimates!
Here’s “pro tip”: Most clients will understandably require a bid or estimate before giving a freelancer work. But when you can cultivate a client that trusts you and is counting on you, your value skyrockets! They don’t question your fee, because they know you’ll solve their problem and get the work done. This saves time going back and forth with estimates and bidding – we don’t even have to talk about it. I do the work and send them an invoice. Bing-bang-boom, done!
I hope this helps you refocus your precious energy on building client relationships while serving your customers well. It’s an investment in your future! Otherwise, you could find yourself on the unending treadmill of revolving clients.
Are you a podcast fan? Want help to launch, grow and scale a profitable freelance business? You’re in luck! I’m starting a brand new Marketing for Freelancers Podcast coming soon to a podcasting platform near you. Join the list and be the first to know when an episode drops. Sign up at www.freelanceonfire.com/podcast.