Once you have successfully landed your first freelance writing job, you should be thinking about completing it to your client’s specifications, to be sure. Now is the perfect time to start developing the habit of thinking ahead (if you haven’t already) and looking at how to get your second freelance writing job.
How to Get Your Second Freelance Writing Job
1. Lay the Foundation for an Ongoing Relationship with the Client from the Start
Each client you deal with has the potential to become a long-term one, but you don’t necessarily know from your first conversation which ones will have steady work for you, which ones will have occasional work, and which ones will be one-time clients. Since you have no way of knowing how things will pan out, your best bet is to develop a policy that all of your clients will be treated the same.
That means you treat everyone well. A client who is unable to give you a follow-up assignment now will remember whether you behaved professionally and will keep you in mind for future work.
2. Remember your Manners
Little things matter in business, and being polite goes a long way to making you stand out from other people that your client may be dealing with. Using words like “please” and “thank you” is not old fashioned or quaint; it helps your client feel more comfortable speaking with you.
Since you’ll need to be able to communicate clearly with each other about instructions, due dates, revisions, etc., being able to speak plainly from the start is a bonus. You could be a very talented writer, but if your client doesn’t feel comfortable talking to you, it will be difficult to get repeat gigs.
3. Be Direct and Ask for It
You’ve submitted the work on time and as agreed. You’ve dealt with any revisions that the client has asked for per your contract. The work has been completed and you’re preparing your invoice. Working with this client was a positive experience and you’re interested in working with them again. Great – Be direct and tell them that.
If you’re thinking that you can’t come right out and ask someone for work, because
- it will make you look desperate; and
- it will look like you need work, which
- will make you look desperate
There is a way you can do this without making yourself look needy, clingy or the D-word in any way.
You’ve got a couple of opportunities to ask for your second freelance writing job from a current client without looking desperate. The first one is when you submit your final invoice, assuming that it is going to the person you have been working with directly and not the client’s Accounting Department. Send a note with your invoice telling your client that you enjoyed working on the assignment and asking him or her to let you know if there is anything else you can help them with in the future.
If your invoice is going to be sent to a client’s Accounting Department directly, wait until you receive payment before contacting the client directly. Then send the client an e-mail thanking him or her for your payment and telling them that you really enjoyed working on the assignment.
It’s a good idea to add a few words to remind your client which project you worked on, especially if you were dealing with a project manager who may have been assigning more than one task at around the same time. Tell him or her not to hesitate to contact you with similar work in the future and that you will be happy to schedule it in
4. Follow up with Clients at Regular Intervals
After you have finished an assignment for a client, make a note in your calendar to follow up one month and three months after you have turned in your work. You can do this by e-mail or by phone.
The check-in can be very brief. Just send a quick e-mail or make a phone call to remind your client about the project you had worked on previously. Use a reference word or some type of identifier that will provide the client with some details about the project. Let the client know that you had worked together on the [X] project, when you did content writing, blog posts, copy writing, wrote a report, etc.
Let the client know that you have “just” had some time open up in your schedule and you wanted to give them the first opportunity to book it. You can also use this opportunity to pitch your other skills, if you wish, by saying, “Did you know that I also offer [X, Y, Z] services too?”
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t hear from the client right away. This method of developing a group of long-term clients can be hit and miss. Some clients will get back to you immediately with another assignment and keep you busy with work for some time. You may not hear from other ones for a while, but that doesn’t mean that you (and your work) didn’t make an impact. I’ve been contacted by previous clients two and three years after I’ve worked with them asking if I’d like to take on a new assignment.
These strategies will work, as long as you use them consistently. Here are some online resources about getting repeat gigs from clients.
The Secret to Getting Repeat Customers
7 Smart Ways to Get More Repeat Business
Getting Repeat Work as a Freelancer
photo credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
photo credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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