Are you guilty of falling into the trap?
A myth most freelancers believe is that they must constantly hunt for new clients to keep up a steady income stream.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Sticking with a long-term client can benefit more than constantly seeking new opportunities.
But if you constantly hunt for new clients, how can you focus on maintaining your current client?
Let’s dive deeper into how great a long-term client can be vs. having 2–3 month-long relationships with multiple clients.
Benefits of working long-term with a client
- You get more insights into their business and can help them grow faster. More money from the client means more money for you — always a win-win.
- A certain level of trust is established between the two parties. You can communicate your ideas clearly without fearing they might be misinterpreted or exploited.
- You can add aspects to your services and charge more for providing better value.
- You have stability in the form of a guaranteed paycheck every month.
Convinced that having a long-term client is better than constantly hunting for new opportunities?
Now that we’re on the same page, let’s talk about how you can ensure your current clients convert to long-term clients. But first,
What happens if you keep looking for new clients
If you’re on the constant client hunt,
- You don’t have the energy to focus on bringing more value to your current client.
- An inconsistent workload means some months may be hectic while others are slow. The monetary fluctuations may disrupt your routine and lead to anxiety.
- The uncertainty can be stressful if you have difficulty finding new work or relying on freelance work as your sole income source.
- You need to compete on price with a potential new client instead of the value your association brings. This negatively impacts your revenue.
How to convert your client into a long-term client?
Having a long-term client gives you the confidence to raise your rates and learn about the functioning of a successful business through your close relationship with the founder.
Here’s a checklist of everything you must remember to develop a healthy client-freelancer relationship.
1. Deliver more value than you promise
If they hire you as a content writer, send in content ideas and become a content strategist.
If they hire you for video editing, offer complementary services like turning the videos into short-form content or converting them into Tweet threads and blog posts.
Offer a week’s social media strategizing for free.
You can add value to your client by exceeding expectations on how you can help them. Utilize these and make yourself irreplaceable to the client.
2. Own your relationship with the client
- Evangelize their brand on your socials. Post screenshots of how you use the product and mention how it can benefit your audience. Spread the love on your socials so they can appreciate the value your audience brings in.
- Use words like “We will build this” instead of “Your company can build this” while speaking with your client. This associates you closer with the brand and affirms your belief in them.
- Share product feedback and ideas on achieving the client’s goal (more paid users, funding, social media followers, etc.)
3. Keep following up if they don’t respond on time
Founders and solopreneurs are likely busy people, and not replying or getting to their tasks on time might be expected. If that happens, follow up to show you’re committed to the project.
Your diligence should pull them through the tough times. That’s how you establish trust.
4. Show up to every meeting
You’d be shocked at how often I feel like canceling my weekly recurring meeting with clients.
The urge is more potent in weeks I have no new developments to report or am having a bad day. But it’s my professionalism that sees me through.
If your client has a strong work ethic, you must match their energy to make themselves indispensable. Showing up to every meeting and sticking to deadlines are two ways to achieve this.
5. Take feedback seriously
Incorporate every detail they mention in your meetings and review sessions. Keep these points in mind for future work as well.
6. Send your invoices on time
Again, this sounds obvious. But with a long-term client you know would pay you on time every month, sending invoices on time can take much mental work.
If you maintain this discipline, you show yourself in their good books. And as a bonus, your bank account doesn’t have to feel the dent of your laziness to send an invoice on time.
Building long-term relationships with clients is essential rather than constantly seeking new opportunities.
Here are a few ways to convert your current client into a long-term relationship —
- Deliver more value than you promise.
- Own your relationship with the client. Evangelize their brand on your socials.
- Keep following up if they don’t respond on time.
- Show up to every meeting.
- Take feedback seriously.
- Share product feedback and ideas on achieving the client’s goal.
- Send invoices on time.
By following these tips, you can convert your clients into long-term clients and reap the benefits of stability, trust, and more significant opportunities for growth.