Starting out as a freelancer is for many the realization of a life-long project. While the contractor status means there is no guarantee of job security, there are nonetheless several methods to perpetuate your collaborations and ensure a constant stream of work from loyal and happy customers. How to ensure a constant stream of work?
Here is a quick overview of best practices for maintaining a robust client portfolio that provides you with a steady stream of work.
To become irreplaceable, you have to develop a unique value proposition and, of course, get your work done on time. First of all, it is important to honour your commitments as agreed upon at the signature of your contract. But then you must go beyond and work to bring added value to the project. Inject a bit of your personal touch to make yourself stand out.
Becoming indispensable means that from the very first interview, you must make sure to stand out, without going overboard. Your interview should not be a simple question/answer exchange, but a real discussion between professionals. Keep in mind that the person you will be working with is not your employer. You collaborate together, for a common goal. Anything that can bring a real, personalised touch to the project and that is not offered by all the other freelancers is to be highlighted. This will encourage your customers to seek to collaborate with you over the long term.
Finally, remember that skills alone are not enough. It is essential that you find the right positioning between professionalism, rigour and proximity. You will thus assert your personality and demonstrate charisma while projecting confidence.
Healthy communication between a freelancer and their clients is essential to ensure long, win-win collaborations. So how do you do it?
Once a mission is completed, and if you have received positive feedback, it is advisable that you connect with your points of contact over social media and professional networks like LinkedIn. This of course requires an active presence on the various platforms, as well as a solid online image.
Keep your profiles updated and add new content on a regular basis. You can also publish promotional offers like discounts, or new services and skills you have developed.
If you are visible enough, your clients will remember you and your professional qualities. They will call on your services again, especially if you offer them loyal-customer discounts based on the volume of work requested.
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