One of the keys to having a successful freelance business is providing exemplary customer service to your clients. (Being able to write well and follow instructions is right up there, too.) You also need to start building up a group of clients who will provide you with repeat business, in addition to networking and applying for new opportunities.
Here’s a tip to help turn a one-time client into a repeat one: Ask for more work.
If you have finished an assignment and are interested in working with the client again, tell the person that. Ask if there is anything else you can do for them now. If the answer is yes, then you get more work right away. If they don’t have anything for you right now, ask them to contact you when something does come up.
I tried this approach early on, and it worked well. I had a client who was giving me steady work and then things came to a halt. I was concerned that my last batch of articles hadn’t been received and since he had given me his phone number, I gave him a call to ask whether he had them. I also asked whether he had anything else for me. (I can be very shy, but I do have my moments where I can be bold, too.)
He said that he did, and he would send me another assignment right away. After that point, I never had to wait for more work, and he started giving me better-paying projects, too. Now, if I realized that he was an SEO guru that charged an hourly rate for consulting that was high enough that I probably couldn’t have afforded to say “Hello” to him, I may not have made that call. But I’m glad I did.
Former clients can be a source of work as well. If you haven’t heard from someone for awhile, send them an e-mail to say hello and ask how they are doing. Then, mention the project or projects you worked on in the past and invite them to contact you with any future writing needs they may have. I tried this one recently and it worked quite well; I now have steady work coming in from this client.
Have you tried “just asking” for more work or reconnecting with a former client to get assignments? Tell us about it in the comments section.