Here’s a secret for you that most articles won’t ever tell you when they’re discussing what it takes to have a profitable and booming freelance business – one happy client is much more important than 5 or 10 mediocre clients.
Yes, the mediocre clients are normally happy with the work you provide for them, but there’s a stark difference in what takes a client from a regular client to a happy client & today I am going to put together 7 different ways you can instantly make happy clients.
A happy client will spread the word about you and tell their friends.
A client who’s mediocre and humdrum will be pleased with the work you’ve done, but will never talk about your work and tell their friends.
Word of mouth is one of the biggest forms of lead generation because people trust their friends and family much more than they trust ads and marketing techniques, no matter how awesome the marketing you do is
So here are some tips on how to instantly make happy clients. You can generate more leads and sales for your freelance business.
STICK TO YOUR DEADLINES
When you tell a client that you’re going to have something done by 5 pm on Thursday, you better damn well have that project completed by the beginning of the day on Thursday, if not even earlier.
By having your work done earlier than expected, you’re going to stand out. And show the client that you’re attentive and there for them.
On the other hand, if you don’t stick to your deadlines, the clients you work with will never want to tell people about your work. And if they do, it’s probably not going to be in good light like you’d like to be.
So stick to your deadlines & finish the work earlier than expected.
OVER DELIVER ON EACH PROJECT
Keeping with the above tip, by over-delivering on the project you’ll make your client much happier . Because they’ll feel special, even if you do the same thing for each client.
Over delivering doesn’t just revolve around putting together your work ahead of deadline though.
Another way you can over deliver to your clients is by not only designing their website for them but creating a Twitter background that matches their website.
Or how about making some banner advertisements that they can use to promote their site? If you design print materials, how about making some extra designs (if you design business cards, throw in a free postcard).
These types of things do stand out and will help you when it’s time for these clients to talk about you to others.
KEEP IN TOUCH WITH YOUR CLIENTS
One pet peeve a lot of people have is being ignored.
This holds true in freelance work as well as life in genera. So you can imagine how it must feel for a client who’s waiting on an email or phone call and they haven’t heard from you in over a week.
It’s torture and it’s definitely not something you’d want to brag to your friends about if you were the client.
Remember that one time a client simply ignored you when it was time to pay up? Remember how frustrated you felt when they wouldn’t return your calls? Yeah, it works both ways and it turns out they hate being ignored just as much as freelancers hate it.
ASK AS MANY QUESTIONS AS YOU NEED TO
When you start a project, there are the obvious questions you ask (do you have logo materials? what colors do you like/dislike? etc) but then what happens when you’re stuck on a particular area and don’t know the answer to it?
Do you just shrug it off and think to yourself “I’ll figure it out when it comes time to do that part”?
If you do that, you run the risk of looking unprofessional. Especially if you hold off until the last minute to do that part of the project and you’re running to your client 2 days before it’s due to ask them questions you should have asked in the beginning.
The client will be much happier to know you’re crossing your T’s and dotting your I’s right from the beginning. They won’t be so happy if you’re doing it way down the road.
PAY ATTENTION TO THE DETAILS
Along the same lines as the above tip, keeping your eyes open and paying attention to the details is key.
From the moment you go to contact your prospective client, you need to make sure you’ve done your homework.
I don’t know how many times I’ve contacted someone from a job board listing. And they’ve mentioned that I was the only person who seen that they asked for a specific word to be placed in the subject line (ie: Banana, Elephant, etc).
You also need to ensure you’re paying attention to the details when the client is describing their business.
If they mention a specific goal they’ve got for their business but the direction they’re looking to go in with the work they’re hiring you for doesn’t line up, point it out and explain a better way.
You’re the expert and by showing that attention to detail, you’ll amaze the clients.
BE HONEST AND OPEN
When you’re hiding things from your client or trying to work angles in order to benefit yourself, they’re going to find out and it’s going to change the way that they look at you.
If there’s anything you need to hide from your client, don’t.
Just be open and honest with them about it. They’ll appreciate it more than if you were to lie to them.
For instance, if you’ve got a deadline coming up and you know that you’re not going to be able to complete a specific element of the project in time, write them.
And let them know that you’re working hard on everything.
You’re going to be done with everything except the one aspect you’re stuck on.
Then follow up by letting them know you’re talking with some friends who are helping you through these issues and helping you complete the project – then go do that.
Get on Twitter and ask questions or email other freelancers you know and see if they can help you out.
PROMOTE THE WORK YOU DO FOR YOUR CLIENTS
One big tip that I think goes a long way is to promote the work you do for your clients. Often, the work that freelancers do ends up in a portfolio but never talked about or promoted on social media websites, design showcase websites, etc.
Take the time out and maybe do a blog post write-up on the project you did. You should showcase a bit about the company/person you worked for.
You can also (if you designed something for the client) submit the design work to websites like CSS Mania, Blog Design Heroes, Dribbble, etc.
Even if it’s a little bit extra promotion and push, your client will be happy to see they’ve got some free publicity out of working with you.
HAVE YOUR SAY
Is there something you do that’s extra special for your clients? How about the clients who are reading this? Is there any tips you’d give freelancers who might be making some mistakes that you’d like to see corrected?
Hope you now know how to instantly make happy clients and generate more leads and sales for your freelance business.