A solopreneur faces the challenges of being the face of their franchise on a daily basis, and one of the many trials they face is the ability to keep your clients coming back. While you agree to work with a client on a particular project, your end goal should be to develop a solid relationship with them that would make you their go-to choice the next time around. Your decades of experience and list of high profile clients do indeed help you with this challenge, but there is more that you can do in order to secure as many of your clients as possible for future work.
As an independent professional you should always be thinking ahead in order to avoid gaps in your work that turn into gaps in your income. So secure your clients for the future now and follow these tips to help you stay on track for a successful career as an independent professional:
Make it personal
The fact that you are your entire business, unless you’ve chosen to hire a bit of help of course, makes it extremely important for you to develop a relationship with your clients. Make them feel as though they are your only client and that you are there to help make their business succeed. As you know through your experience, customer service is key when dealing with your clients one-on-one. If you’ve noticed that you aren’t able to keep the clients coming back it may be because you haven’t taken advantage of the modern tactics to keep a relationship with a client going.
The effort you put into the client has to go beyond completing each task and getting the paycheck. In order to keep them believing that you are the independent professional they need to succeed you need to put in something extra. Consider sending them emails once a week with their industry’s news or tips, make them realize that you are relevant and up to date with everything you need to know to do your job properly.
While it is important to have relationship that has boundaries with your client as a solopreneur, including them not crossing the line when it comes to how much time they want you to spend on a project despite your prior agreement, making exceptions can help your business. Keep the limits there but instead of them going overboard, you should.
Go the extra mile with them; give them access to your work as the progress is being made. They’ll feel more and more comfortable with you the more you let them in on the work as the time goes on. Communication is the key to trust, and being a veteran independent professional that may have old habits, you may have lacked this characteristic of being so open to a client before.
As the projects progress with each client you should be able to delve into other services that you offer. Make sure that they are aware of any certifications you obtain, services you provide or new techniques you develop, and back them up with a proven reason as to why your experience mixed with your skills will make for a successful next project. Give them a reason to work with you again and as one project closes do your best to open a door for the next one.
Your years of experience have taught you techniques that you wouldn’t be able to obtain anywhere else. You have a leg up on the newcomers in the industry when it comes to landing clients, and it’s your job as an independent professional to keep yourself from losing them to the new wave of solopreneurs and to continue to grow.
News and notes for independent workers and their clients. This is the February 20, 2017 edition of The Weekly Independent from MBO Partners.
Landing new clients as an independent contractor can be a daunting task. Follow these four steps to find leads with minimal stress.