8 Pro Tips For Freelancers To Get Repeat Clients

Derek Abram
CEO of Prio
5 min read

We all know of the many perks of working as a freelancer. You have the flexibility to choose who you work with, pick your working hours, and basically live life on your terms. 

However, one of the greatest pitfalls of being a full-time freelancer is that you can never be sure of when you’ll get paid next.

Since most freelance engagements are short-term, you will need to find new paying clients once you’re done with one project, and that is a cumbersome cycle of networking, making pitches, and waiting for responses.

The other alternative is to work so efficiently and do such a good job that clients you’ve already worked with constantly come back to you with their requirements. If you want to learn how to get repeat clients as a freelancer, you’ve come to the right place. 

Here are 8 pro tips to help freelancers get repeat customers.

Tips to get repeat customers

Not knowing how to get projects from clients you have already worked with is going to leave you in an unpredictable situation. You may have times with more work than you can handle, and other times where you have none. 

These lean periods may find you struggling to do basic things like pay your bills.

The key to having consistent work is to have regular clients that keep coming back to you every time a need within your scope of work arises. 

Here are 8 effective ways to ensure you get repeat clients.

1. Choose the right clients

If you’re new to the world of freelancing, you will need to work with new clients, and a lot of these may be one-off projects. This is fine for a beginner, but as you progress, it will become important for you to find clients whose needs go beyond a one-time engagement.

For example, if you’re a content writer, look for customers who have the need for a certain number of blog posts every week or every month. While they may not always want you to write for them, the chances of getting repeat work are definitely higher.

There is no other way to determine what a client’s needs are other than by asking them directly. So, the next time you’re pitching for a project, be sure to ask the client whether it’s a one-time deal or if they’re likely to have the same need periodically.

It also helps to be upfront with clients and tell them that you’re looking at a long-term relationship as well. While some of them may only have short-term needs, others will welcome knowing that you are willing to work with them for longer than just one project, especially considering hiring freelancers involves lower costs and fewer responsibilities for them. 

2. Be easy to find

A lot of freelancers miss out on repeat business opportunities simply because they’re not easy to find. While you may have left your contact information with a client when you worked with them in the past, they may have lost that information.

This makes having a business website a boon. Whether a client wants to search for you online or refer you to someone, all they have to do is look up your website.

Be sure that your website contains an updated portfolio, a rate card, and most importantly, your contact information. 

3. Offer proactive service

In a lot of cases, clients approach freelancers to work on projects that lie outside of their domain knowledge. In these cases, simply asking the clients for a brief, setting a deadline, and getting to work are hardly going to serve the purpose.

It will make the client feel more confident about your capabilities if you have a proactive approach to their projects. Ask them questions to learn more about their business, go back to them with suggestions if you feel the project could add more value with a different approach, and leverage your expertise to ensure the client sees your services as being indispensable. 

4. Be punctual

No one likes being made to wait, and the same thing goes for your clients as well. So make it a point to be punctual about your deliveries. In fact, your clients will definitely appreciate your services a lot more if you could send in your work before it is due. 

5. Be open to feedback

When you’re done working on a job for a client, be sure to go back to them and ask them for feedback. This not only shows them that you have the humility to learn and improve on your skills, but it also makes them feel that their opinion matters to you, and will help nurture your relationship with them.

6. Build a rapport with your customers

Your clients are, at the end of the day, also people, and building a rapport with them on a personal level will ensure they keep coming back to you. 

Remember, it’s the small things that matter, such as finding out when their birthdays are and wishing them or even sending over a small gift to commemorate their anniversary. 

7. Reward repeat customers

This is one of the oldest marketing tricks, and it always works. Once you’re done working on your first project for a client, offer them a reward to work with you again. These rewards could be a discount for their next project or an addition to your normal services.

For example, a content writer could offer search engine optimization as a freebie in addition to writing a blog for a repeat customer.

8. Be reliable

You may be the most creative person in your field of work, but if you’re not reliable, your customers definitely won’t be coming back to work with you.

Reliability is a multi-faceted thing. For example, analyze the amount of time you need to complete a freelance project before committing to it. If you need an extension, be sure you have a valid reason and don’t wait until the last minute to bring it up.

Similarly, never spring additional charges on your clients at the end of a project. It is important to factor in all the costs you will incur to finish a project and let your clients know beforehand. Being arm-twisted to cough up extra money definitely kills professional relationships in a hurry. 

At the end of the day, treat your clients the way you’d want them to treat you. You wouldn’t want to work for a customer who keeps promising to pay you on a certain date and then makes excuses, would you?

Make time for more clients with Prio’s time tracker

With all the freedom that comes with being a freelancer, staying on track and meeting deadlines can get to be a bit of a struggle, especially with distractions all around us, such as pets, children, and everyone’s dreaded foe, social media platforms. 

Using Prio’s time tracker can help you track exactly how many hours you have been productive in a day, and rein yourself in when you’re getting distracted. That way, you’ll finish your tasks at least on time, if not earlier, and can explore more opportunities with more clients, earning more as a result.

In addition, you can also calculate if the number of man-hours you put in is justified by what you’re charging your clients. Sometimes, you may find you’re putting in too much effort and need to be paid more.

Prio’s time tracker and other freelancer tools, such as our invoice generator, are absolutely free, so sign up today at our website. 

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