In previous posts, I’ve described how I build long-term client relationships. My goal was to provide examples that might be helpful to other freelancers. This final installment in the series will summarize the key points from the previous posts in nine tips:
- Focus your business on providing services that you enjoy, that you are good at, and that your clients want and need.
- Begin with the end in mind. Start off each client relationship in a way that will lead to a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship.
- Operate with total integrity and honesty, and always treat every client with respect.
- Take time to get to know each client and understand his projects. This will build confidence and trust in your client as well as making your job easier.
- Offer suggestions and expert advice that will be helpful to your client.
- Become a valuable resource to your client. If you don’t perform the service the client needs, consider outsourcing it. At the very least, offer a referral to help the client find a reliable service provider.
- Stay in regular contact with your client, whether you are working on a project or not. E-mailing interesting and useful information periodically will benefit the client and keep you top of mind.
- Strive always to make the client’s life easier.
- Treat each client, even on a small job, as a valued long-term client because every client has the potential to become a long-term client and to refer other long-term clients to you.
My long-term clients are the foundation of my freelance business, and I love to hear them say I seem to be able to read their minds.
I hope these tips have been helpful to you. Please share your own tips for building long-term client relationships in comments.
[tags]long-term client relationships, freelancing[/tags]