80% of your work comes from 20% of your clients.
Returning clients are what will keep you in business and constantly working. So, be sure to keep good relationships with the people you have previously worked with so your phone is always ringing.
Stay in touch and keep their contact details aside. I like to use LinkedIn as sort of a digital phonebook. I can add people I've worked with and always ping them a message if I'm free for work. Not to mention, LinkedIn’s connection algorithm is pretty good at showing people who you could connect with within your circle. I’ve found a few potential clients this way.
Make a spreadsheet with ongoing clients. This is something I always do once I’ve finished a job. I like to create a sheet that consists of all my current clients, detailing who I have worked with most recently, so I can keep them in the loop about my availability. Also a list of clients I haven’t worked with in a while, so I can ping them over a message just to say hi, what’s up.
Go the extra mile; this relates to the advice from a few week's ago when you're on a job. But I really want to reiterate how important it is, and how giving that little bit extra will always keep you in the good books with your clients.
It’s a bit of a balance at times. For instance, there are times I work an hour or two overtime, to get something just perfect without charging. This is often to push the project I'm working on to get it exactly how it should be, giving it that extra detail that can really make the difference.
But also, I understand when time's up and I just can’t give anymore because of time constraints or budgets. I guess it’s something you have to gauge on a project by project basis.
In general, I'd say just keep them updated and send over any new showreel or projects you’ve been working on.
Catch up on previous parts of The Freelancer Grind at the links below: