It’s natural to want to feel like the work you’re doing is necessary—to feel like your clients need you. After all, you know that your job is safe when your clients are always in need of your help.
But, adjust because you offer great services doesn’t mean that you’ll just be handed repeat freelance work. Read on to learn how to land repeat clients as a freelancer.
Be a Problem Solver
Your ultimate goal when working with any client is to make their problems disappear. You shouldn’t just walk into a partnership expecting to execute and be paid. You need to show up daily as a partner to your clients. You don’t want to be that freelancer with a “what can you do for me” attitude.
You want to be a partner, not a producer; an expert, not an executor.
That’s not to say you can’t get excited about getting a paycheck! You’re allowed to feel good about landing freelance clients, and should never feel guilty about getting paid for the great work you do. Still, your approach with clients should be “What can I do for you?” It will lead you to more repeat business as a freelancer.
Take a look at your freelance website, or a pitch that you sent to a potential client. Do you use words like “me” and “I” often? Sure, sometimes they have to be included for the purpose of making sense, but you should use them as sparingly as possible.
Instead, try focusing your website and pitches on the potential client, using the word “you” to speak directly to them. When you make your potential client a priority from the start, you’ll find that potential clients become repeat clients.
A savvy tip for landing repeat freelance work is to continuously look ahead for potential obstacles and issues that your clients haven’t even spotted yet. Then, solve that problem the moment you spot it. Then, you can make your client aware, but also make them aware that you already fixed it.
Here’s what this would look like: Let’s say you’re a graphic designer, and you notice that your client’s website is currently using a graphic that hinders the user experience. So, you send over your suggestion for how you can fix the issue. Your client will not only be impressed you caught the issue, but thank you for solving the problem, too.
What you should never do is discover a problem and bring it up without having a solution prepared. When you tell your client, you should have prepared:
- The issue you discovered and why it impacts their business
- The solution you created and how it solves the problem
- The timeline for when you can get it done
Make it as simple for your client to agree to the project as possible. Your priority is to show them that you’re looking out for their business as much as they are.
For small errors that can be fixed quickly, just do so on your own. Being a great partner also means taking initiative when you see fit.
If you don’t have the permissions you need to make the change, you can reach out with a simple email, such as: “Hello, I found [insert problem here] and I’d love to take care of it. Could I please get the required permissions to take care of it? If not, who should I pass this along to so it can be resolved? Thanks!”
If its a recurring issue that you notice over and over again, you can always let your client know. If the problem persists, it’s best to recommend a new solution or process to prevent it from happening.
This can go something like this: “I know currently the process is [insert current process], but I’ve noticed there’s a recurring issue that keeps popping up. My recommendation is we [insert change to the process] so that we can stop this error from happening again. That way, we don’t lose the trust of anymore customers over a small mistake.”
The key to landing repeat clients as a freelancer is to constantly find ways to add value to the company. Remember: what benefits the company benefits you, too.
Listen for More
Looking for more ways to find repeat freelance work? Check out this episode of the Freelance Success Framework limited podcast series that explains how you can position yourself as a professional freelancer, instead of looking like an amateur.
Have you found any problems your freelance clients have that they aren’t even aware of yet? How could you fix it for them? Tell us in the comments below!