The Ultimate Guide to Building Client Relationships - Double Your Freelancing
In this article, Austin talks about how to effectively build client relationships — take it away Austin! You love freelancing. You can work from anywhere. You get to. Deeply connected, trust-based client relationships are rare. That's precisely why you should make creating and nurturing them a priority. When all else is equal, strong client relationships set you apart from your competition.
I create a new card for every lead that comes in and add it to the Leads column. Hope all is well with you! Call it a buyer persona, customer archetype, or ideal client avatar. The questions you must answer are these: With whom do you prefer to work? What are their emotional drivers? What do they have to believe in order to become your client? For example, my clients need to believe that content marketing is an effective way to generate leads.
They also need to believe in generosity and consistency. If you want my client avatar template, look for instructions below. Finally, zero in on personality traits and other attributes that you like. On the flip side of that, who are your Kryptonite Clients? Who brings out the worst in you? Here are some attributes of my Kryptonite Clients: Every brand is a publisher. High-paying clients read about and share results-focused posts, not ones that cover cheap tricks. Start with flagship posts on your blog: Case studies where you show instead of telling Strategy breakdowns where you talk about the best way to do something to achieve optimal results Tenets of your business philosophy Failures and mistakes and what you learned from them High Fives posts where you praise your peers, heroes and clients Write blog posts that help your clients solve their problems.
Or sell your clients based on what they need to do for their clients. Content marketing gives you a way to share your business philosophy and expertise and generate leads. The surprising thing about flagship posts is that you can tell people exactly how to do something, and they will still want to hire you.
Use lead magnets to capture email addresses. At the end of each flagship blog post, give more content away for free in exchange for an email address: This lead magnet should complement the blog post.
6 Tips for Building and Maintaining Client Relationships
For example, at the end of this post, I offer a worksheet that you can use to take action with this blog post. The best lead magnets are brief, actionable, and genuinely valuable. You want people to use it in fifteen minutes or less to get a quick win. A couple of days after people download the lead magnet, shoot them an email. Were you able to insert desired outcome here?
Send new readers to your flagship blog posts with Facebook ads. Once you have your Facebook retargeting pixel in place, you can later market an email course, lead magnet or product. You will have gained some trust, and you can begin benchmarking the cost of a new subscriber or another type of conversion that you desire: How much do you pay per click on average?
How many clicks to you need for one new email address?
How many new email addresses do you need to attract one new client? How much is one new project worth on average? Find your strategic partners. If you make videos, then you get to know talented photographers and web developers in your area or online. If you make websites, then consultants and business attorneys already have the clients you want.
Can you think of any businesses and brands that already have your customers? For years now, marketing, advertising, and interactive agencies have fed me content marketing and copywriting projects. I also, on occasion, manage creative and marketing projects for large brands and companies that need help, for whatever reason. Competitors can become friends. Give away silk kimonos. My favorite involves free kimonos.
Why build an audience from scratch when you can borrow one that someone else has spent months or years growing? What is your silk kimono? Your strategic partners will love your silk kimonos because you enable them to be generous to their clients. People will loan you their audience if you make them look good. Treat people to lunch. Growing your network of relationships is easy.
Invite strangers and acquaintances to go to lunch. Everyone has to eat, right? Tell them in advance that lunch is your treat. Find the right blog post. Make some recommendations for strategy or resources. Here are more thoughts on free lunches. Give your clients the perfect gift. Earlier this year, I began experimenting with something similar. But instead of cash, I give gifts. For example, I bought KUIU ultralight hunting gear for a client who sent me a referral, and a hand-picked selection of high-gravity Belgian beers to the same client after another referral.
I stalk them on Instagram and Facebook and find out what they like. Pinterest is a goldmine for gift ideas. Your clients probably do too. Courting clients is the email equivalent of a cold call except that you get in touch for the purpose of giving away valuable ideas for free. You create an opportunity to help.
For example, you do a free website audit in advance. Instead, end your email like this: That being said, I would welcome an opportunity to get to know you better. Are you available for a minute chat next Tuesday at 1: Kind regards, Austin Most people will be shocked that you took the time to write and to offer in-depth recommendations for free. Most people will want to get to know you better.
Schedule a video chat on Skype and let the relationship develop organically from there. You can read more here. Do an application-only giveaway. Every time I give away something, I get additional prospects. Generally, the larger the prize, the more attention the giveaway will get.
You can have a ton of fun giving something away, help someone in need, create awareness for your business and generate leads by virtue of being generous. My friend Jon and I are gearing up to do a business tune-up giveaway called Design Hope: We decided to introduce a twist: They can only nominate another business they admire.
Everybody who makes a nomination also gets entered to win a separate giveaway for consulting. Building client trust makes you a winner every time. Be honest about what your services can deliver. But whenever possible, do put them in touch with others who can help them.
The Ultimate Guide to Building Client Relationships
Be sure to expose your clients to your networks just to be helpful. Maybe they come to see you for insurance policies, but your consultant pal from college could help them streamline their business initiatives — so you connect them!
This will only widen your networks and strengthen your client relationships. Be upfront about products that would be a waste of their hard-earned money. This tip is part of a larger philosophy of moving away from seeing a client as an immediate sale and moving toward building a long-term relationship.
This approach ensures that you are successful in building a solid foundation for your client relationships.
6 Tips for Building and Maintaining Client Relationships | MBO Partners
Align yourself with a clearly defined mission, set of goals, and level of commitment and ensure that clients receive the same level of care by delivering consistently high-quality service, time and time again. Be authentic with clients.
Your customers will know if you are being friendly just to make a sale. But genuine interactions allow people into your life by sharing your personality and getting to know the real you.
Friendliness goes a long way. Find thoughtful ways to show you care. Just showing up for your clients because you genuinely care about them is a sure way to solidify your connection with them. So send out birthday cards. Get to know each of your clients and show genuine interest in their lives. Remember details and ask about their families and lives. Create an emotional connection any chance you are able. Once relationships have been established, attend family weddings, funerals, bar and bat mitzvahs.
Check in even when you have nothing to sell them. Clients love to know that you care about them beyond the sale of services. Do reach out to your clients from time to time and check in with them to see how they are doing.
Take them to lunch, meet up for a game of golf, ask them about the outcome of an important family event. These ways of connecting are opportune times to find out if there is anything you could be doing even better to make this client happier than they already are. I urge you to consciously devote time to touching base with your loyal long-term clients — especially when new customers are banging down your door.
Keep that connection strong and nurture it every step of the way by reaching out and staying in clear communication with your clients. Resist going on autopilot. Even if you have your sales technique down pat, find a way to actively engage with every client.