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How to get and keep clients as a freelancer

Starting your own business can definitely be daunting, but once you’ve got your clientele sorted, you’re halfway there! Here we break down some useful tips to getting and retaining your clients.

Start local
You’ve finally decided to go it alone and you’re wondering where to start. Well, the easiest place is right in front of you; your local network. Let everyone know that you’re stepping out on your own and that you’d love to offer them an initial discount. You can even offer friends and family a referrals discount if they really spread the word!

What’s even better than referrals? Testimonials. If you have a website (and you should because your favourite social media platform could go down at any time) this is where you can post reviews and testimonials. Referrals are great at the time, but reviews and testimonials are up 24/7 meaning that anyone can search for you, the services you provide, and learn first hand why they need to book with you above anyone else.

Top Tip: Ask clients to leave reviews on your business Facebook page, Google Listing or tag you in any social media posts their share of the great services you have provided. But make sure you respond with a thank you.

Make sure to utilise local business listings as well as Google listings, and if you really want to make the most of your website, try and learn more about SEO – it’s all about keywords that your new potential clients could be using to search for you. We’ve found a great guide on SEO for Beginners

Top Tip: Include your website address (URL) on business cards, social media bios, text messages, emails etc.

If you don’t yet have a website, check out Squarespace and Wix; both offer easy to use templates that allow you to build your own site and you can often get a free trial too. If you don’t feel like you have the time then search online for a web designer – you can try Fiverr for affordable options anywhere in the world, or search locally for a designer near you.

Loyal clients
Once you’re up and running with a steady clientele, it’s important to stay in touch with them. Emails and newsletters are great for letting them know your latest offers; Mailchimp is super reliable and offers a range of plans to suit your budget while Substack is free no matter how many subscribers you have and is really easy to just type into and press send! Don’t forget to put in place a GDPR policy so your clients know what you are using their data for and more importantly, that you are keeping their data safe.

Top Tip: Add a newsletter sign up form on your website, so you can capture new customer data and contact them with any new offers, services or pricing.

Social media is even more immediate when it comes to sharing your news, but not only is it great for staying in touch; it’s also a solid option for finding new clients. For instance, if you’re looking for more bridal clients, head to Facebook and look for online groups that discuss events, weddings etc. Request to be added and let people know you’re there when they might need you. Don’t start spamming everyone and every post though; be selective and let that community grow to trust you and your work.

Top Tip: Ask clients to tag you in any social posts they share on their social profiles of the work you created. It’s a great way to expand your reach and who doesn’t love a positive endorsement from a client.

Get to know your clients
Building a clientele isn’t just about letting them know what you’re up to and what you’re offering; it also means that you need to ask more questions and above all: listen. Retaining your clients means addressing their needs; how much do you really know about your them? Find out if they’re concerned about sustainability; do they prefer vegan or natural products? The more you know, the better you can serve your clients, meaning they won’t need to go anywhere else.

Cancellation Policy
You have built your clientele, and your calendar is full, then out blue a client cancels. As frustrating as this maybe, especially if its last minute there are process you can put in place to soften the blow - create a cancellation policy! For our top tips and advice on creating a cancellation policy check our blog.