Roving Report: How to Turn Good Clients Into Great Ones

Concept image of a Calendar with the text: A Satisfied CustomerAs President of AWAI, Rebecca Matter understands both sides of the freelancing equation. She works with freelancers all the time, and she also knows what marketers are looking for. She shared that knowledge with Wealthy Web Writer members recently, as well as her insights on what writers can do to turn their interactions with clients into long-term, profitable relationships.

You can review the entire webinar HERE.

Turning good clients into long-term, steady, great clients creates benefits for your business, including:

  • Less time spent on marketing. As a freelancer, you should always be marketing, either to find new, better clients, or to develop more projects with existing clients. Today’s clients publish more than they did 10 years ago, so there’s more work to keep you busy with each client once you’ve established that long-term relationship. Which means you can spend more time on paying work and less time on marketing — just don’t stop marketing altogether.

  • More stability. When you have great clients who give you work month after month, you can smooth out peaks and valleys in your income.

  • Earn more per hour. Even though you quote for the project, and not by the hour, you should track your time to make sure you’re earning appropriately. When you have a long-term relationship with a client, you earn a higher hourly rate because you can turn out the work faster.

  • Projects become easier. As you work with a client, you learn her business, her goals, her style, and her likes and dislikes. You can develop a rhythm in your writing. You can also suggest projects, and know she’s likely to agree.

  • Improved track record. Your success rate improves the longer you work with a client. Then, when you market yourself to new clients, you have a terrific track record to present to them.

  • Increased perceived value. The freelancers Rebecca relies on have been working with her for as long as 10 years. That makes them extremely valuable to her, and the same will be true for you and your long-term clients.

Best Practices for Maintaining Long-Term Clients

#1. Keep up with what clients are working on

To keep that relationship going, you want your client to see you as a connected insider. Improve that perception by subscribing to your client’s e-letters and reading them, following them on social media, and in general staying on top of what’s happening in the company.

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Susanna Perkins

Susanna was dragged back, kicking and screaming, into freelancing after losing her job in the banking meltdown in March, '09. One 3-month stint in an appalling temp job persuaded her to get serious about establishing herself as web writer. In March, 2012, she moved to a small town in Panama with her husband and three small dogs. After enjoying the writer's life in the culture of "buenas" and "mañana" for 2-1/2 years, she's returned to the US. At least for now.

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