The concept of the marketplace is to have clients come straight to you while having to walk past the schematics of others to buy your goods or to patronize a service which you offer. The concept of the marketplace is to stand out so uniquely that you secure your clients without hassling. They are yours, not even your competitors would argue with that. That’s what it means to carve out a niche.
Your best clients are your existing clients. Think about it; when trying to get a new client, you have to spend quite an amount of time explaining the services you provide, why you are best for the job and so on. What if you could skip that part and go straight into the handling of projects? That’s what happens when you retain your clients instead of having to pitch to new clients all the time. This is arguably one of the best ways to earn a good income as a freelancer.
Ever wondered how the teacher’s pet became the teacher’s pet? No, I’m not asking you to suck up to anyone, but there are some pretty vital lessons to be learnt here; some of which include:
1. Keep to Instructions
If you were a teacher and you gave an assignment to your students to write an essay on a specific topic, and one really bright chap shows up with an extremely beautiful essay on an entirely different topic, what would be your reaction? It wouldn’t be to pat him on the back, most likely.
I keep talking about this because most freelancers are artistic and intuitive in nature, making them feel like they could do better than what the client is asking for. Sometimes, this only irritates the client. You don’t have to even be the best to follow instructions; if a client asks for a particular design, don’t create something else because you thought the one requested of you wasn’t fine enough. Better still, to fulfill your curiosity, create what was required of you and then another one which you had a nagging feeling would be better- and don’t be surprised if the one which was requested is the one which is picked, eventually!
2. Deliver on time
Look, one of those things that are highly frowned upon in freelancing is tardiness! If you keep on delaying projects, clients are likely to gravitate away from you towards someone who keeps to time. Especially when working remotely, time is a currency that speaks volumes. It even casts a shade over your career, if you don’t know. So no matter how good you are, one of the vital rules of the game is to make timely deliveries of projects. Clients would love you for it.
3. Edit, Edit, and Edit
There are few things as distasteful as multiple errors in a delivered project, it leaves the question “Who handled this job?” on the lips of the client and to be sincere, is unacceptable. For a freelance writer, in particular, I understand if because of the speed at which you type, you are prone to making a lot of errors which go unnoticed while you’re gleefully typing away, but seriously, that’s what those editing tools, take Grammarly for instance, are for. See it as a stain on your person for errors to be detected in your work, so take time to edit. Please.
4. Good Relationships
Warmth and work go hand in hand. Arguably one of the best ways to keep your clients would be to offer them figurative cups of coffee, that is, warmth. Patiently seek for ways to better explain concepts to them so you are on the same page- and when you do so, don’t think they don’t notice; they do.
Also, one vital way of building a good relationship with your client is by being honest about your skills- while it is important to talk about what you can do, don’t exaggerate and place yourself at that point where the work you deliver is substandard in the eyes of your client. Being honest would take you farther than you think, as genuine clients often look for genuine people to work with them.
5. Respect Your Work
Finally, self-respect does more magic than its given credit for. The vibe you send out is very important- because a freelancer doesn’t have a ‘degree in freelancing’ to show forth doesn’t mean that he/she isn’t excellent, and if you actually believe that your work is good it will show in the way you conduct your conversations. Reputable clients are less likely to consistently work with a freelancer who doesn’t even value his or her work because it will rub off on the project as well as on the relationship being built. Create a vibe that makes clients want to be around you, that vibe is called self-respect!