One of the keys to securing some of that lucrative repeat business is to make sure your clients remember you.
If you design a website for a company, you want them to leap from their chairs and yell “let’s call Geoff!” when it comes time to make some alterations, rather than mumbling “Who was that web guy? George something?”
There are a number of easy ways you can keep yourself “front of mind”, putting you in pole position should any more work come up.
Follow your clients on Twitter, LinkedIn, or wherever is appropriate. This way you can keep up with what their company is doing, and vice versa. You might even respond to them with the odd bon mot to stay in touch.
Add them to your email newsletter
If you’re the kind of thought-leading forward-thinker who delivers a monthly or fortnightly email newsletter to interested parties, consider adding your clients to the mailing list (or, if you think that’s a bit presumptive, ask them to sign up).
This way a handy reminder of your existence will drop into their inbox regularly – and it’s also a prime opportunity to show off the kind of big thinking that makes you the best in your field.
Send them a card
Christmas gifts to high-value customers are a staple of the business world, and just because you’re a one-man band operating out of your lounge, doesn’t mean you can’t get involved. A Harrods hamper might be a bit excessive, but a nice card wishing them Happy Holidays will not fail to put a smile on even the face of even the most wizened business owner.
Once your project is complete, follow up with the client a few weeks later to make sure everything worked out well. Ask for their comments and feedback, and suggest ways to grow the project in the future.
Frequent their website
Keep up to date with what the company is up to – that way if the opportunity arises for the extra work you’ll be primed and ready to go. This doesn’t have to be a chore – just subscribe to their blog’s RSS feed and skim through the updates once in a while. You can also comment on their blog posts, link to interesting or useful content they produce through your social accounts.
Recommend them on LinkedIn
The LinkedIn recommendation has quickly become a currency in itself – and most are still collected by specifically asking for one. Recommend a client out of the blue and they’ll likely be so chuffed they’ll name their first-born after you.
Design yourself a cool business card
I’d wager that you can’t remember 99% of the business cards you’ve been given over the years – but you can probably remember the other 1% vividly.
You want to make your business card stand out from the pack, either through something funky like getting them crafted from metal or a really striking design.
Make their life easy – stay on top of the paperwork
We’re always talking about invoice etiquette, but the long and short of it is this – be punctual, be accurate, and be professional. Invoice straight away and include all the information your client will need (itemised bill, payment details, reference etc.) so there’s no back-and-forth.
If you’re unsure then feel free to use our invoice templates.
Link to them
Everybody likes a link back to their website, and your client will be no different. Add the work you did for them to your portfolio and include a nice big link. Don’t forget to let them know you’ve added the link – just email them to let them know you added the work to your site.
And finally, the best way of all…
Do awesome work
You can forego all the above methods if the work you do is astronomically, mind-blowingly fantastic.
If you do awesome work for your client, nothing else matters. You can turn up at their office in your pyjamas and they won’t bat an eyelid. Far and away the most effective method of generating repeat business is to be an amazing freelancer, day in and day out.