As freelancers, we all know that high-quality clients are a rare species and it is a back-breaking job to reel them in. But seldom do we pay attention to the important aspect of making them stick with us so that landing great clients is worth the uphill struggle it takes.

To optimize your prospecting efforts, you need to make sure that your ‘client extraordinaire’ signs up for the long term - instead of running off after a single gig.

The ultimate objective: In your clients’ mind, your name has to stay attached to the particular service which you offer.
Here’s what actually should happen. John Doe (certainly not his real name) had me write his blog posts a few months back. He needs more content next week. Now if my name ‘Syed’ is not synonymous with ‘blog posts’ in John’s head, I’ve lost the game. He’ll find Lorem Ipsum when his next batch needs to be written. Ouch.

So, your name has to become a metonym for your service in your client’s mind. Here’s how:

1. Hook up on social media

I rarely come across a client who isn’t active on at least one social media site. So before your first gig is over, make sure that you hunt that client on all social media sites and hook up there. Pay special attention to LinkedIn and Twitter as they are more appropriate for keeping professional contacts fresh.

While we’re discussing social media, I’d like to emphasize the power of LinkedIn when it comes to keeping your professional contacts alive. Make sure that your contact list consists mostly of your current and potential clients.

Now, stay on the lookout for every opportunity to interact in a professional manner. There will be plenty. Stay tuned to birthdays, job anniversaries and the like posted by LinkedIn or achievements and updates posted by people themselves.

Congratulate them on these events and – bada bing – you’re blinking on their attention list. They will be reaching out to you as soon as they have a relevant requirement.

2. Share greetings

Never miss out any opportunity to send your best wishes to your clients. I have a list of all my clients and every Christmas … you guessed it right! I send them a nice warm greetings of the season right from my inbox. This tactic simply puts me back on their radar and usually my plate becomes quite loaded right after the holidays!

A pro tip: I once sent a greeting card (no, a real printed one) through Hallmark to a very special client of mine - halfway across the globe. It didn’t cost me a fortune but it landed me constant work AND a few referrals from the same client!

3. Share valuable information

Another good excuse to constantly remind your clients of your presence: You’ve stumbled upon a piece of information that you believe can add value to your client’s business. Share it with them without another thought. I guarantee you that they will always appreciate this gesture and your objective of ‘staying fresh’ in their minds will be achieved without any doubt.

4. Offer a discount

Got clients who are silent since eons? Well, start the conversation by simply offering them a limited-time discount. Also, there’s no harm in offering them a discount in exchange for a successful referral. This way, you get your clients back along with a few referrals and not to mention your reignited relation with them. Not bad, eh?

I’ve personally used these ideas to get significantly more mileage out of my existing professional connections. Nevertheless, these are just a few pointers to get your juices flowing. Be creative and stay focused on the goal of becoming and staying analogous to your service in your clientele’s perception. Business will keep flowing towards you until you can take no more.

Happy metonym-ing!

Syed is a freelance business writer, positivity evangelist and a foodie. Oscillates between business management and self-development topics. Say hi at syed@moqaddas.com

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