I wanted to follow up on the suggestions I made in my post about asking a client for more work with some more specific tips.
1. Make sure this is someone you want to work with again.
Don’t ask someone for more work if you really would rather not work with them again. If this client is someone you find difficult to deal with and you cringe at the thought of doing anything else for them as opposed to being excited or at least interested in getting started, skip the request for more assignments. Just thank them for their business and move on.
Asking for more work as a matter of course when you’re not interested amounts to the “I had a really nice time. I’ll call you” thing in the dating world. Don’t go there.
2. Mention the project(s) you have worked on for the client when you make your pitch.
Your client may have a number of writers working for them on various projects at any given time. While we all like to think that we are so stellar that a client couldn’t possibly forget us or our work, it does happen. Give them a gentle reminder so they can place you before moving on to your request for a new project.
3. Tell the client what else you can for them.
If you don’t share the other things you have in your bag of tricks, as I like to call it, the client doesn’t know. You may have submitted a resume when you applied for the gig, but once you were hired, the client probably hasn’t looked at it again.
Say you were hired to write some press releases. Being the professional freelance writer that you are, you have done your homework to find out about your client and what they do. Consider where they might need more writing services and make a pitch for them.
For example, if they don’t have a blog yet and you have experience in that area, contact the client to explain the benefits of having one. Since you already have a relationship with the client, you are in a good position to be hired for the gig – without having to go up against a hundred or more other candidates if the client were to place an ad. You can do the same with web content, copy for web and print, technical writing, white papers, etc.
4. Rinse and repeat.
If you ask for more work and the client doesn’t have anything for you at that point, it doesn’t mean that the source of work has dried up. Make a note to check back later. The client may even give you an idea of when they may need a writer and you should follow up with them slightly before that point. That way, you are well positioned to be chosen for the next gig.
5. Make asking for more work a regular part of your routine.
If you get it the habit of asking for more work when you finish a project, you are more likely to avoid down times in your freelance writing career. It’s far easier to convince someone who you have worked with already to hire you again than to start trying to build a relationship with a new client. A stable of regular, loyal clients who can keep you supplied with work and refer you to other people who can hire you is gold. Treat them like the precious resource they are and watch your business grow.