Working as a freelance designer is not at all an easy task. Apparently, it may look very convenient and attractive to some people but once you get into freelancing, you realize how difficult it is. Yes, you do have a lot of advantages of being a freelancer but at the same time there are few disadvantages associated to it as well. The most difficult thing about being a freelancer is business uncertainty. Freelancers have to look for clients and work constantly in order to keep their wallet happy.
If you are a freelancer, I am sure you do know how difficult it is to find the clients. However, retaining the clients is even harder. Whenever you meet a client, you might get to hear about their horrible experiences with freelancers which clearly mean that some people do not know how to keep their clients happy. If you want to be a successful freelancer, you must keep your clientele happy and in this way you will maintain a good relationship with them. If you have managed to keep a few clients happy, you have done a good job. Also, you will not have to worry about new work as people will keep on recommending you to other clients. Create client loyalty by providing quick turnaround times when asked to modify items such as layouts for printed flyers and brochures.
Before I get into explaining the ways of keeping your clients satisfied, it is important to understand the reason of doing so. The biggest advantage of retaining clients is that you will not have to search for new clients every now and then, and this will save a lot of your time and you will be able to focus more on your work. If the same clients keep on coming back to you, this means that they trust you. If a client starts trusting you, you will not have to worry about the instability of being freelancer as you will always have work in your hands.
Familiarity with clients and their projects is also an advantage of retaining customers. If you have a few happy clients you will surely get referrals from them, which will obviously increase your clientele. There might be hundreds of reasons to retain a client but apart from all this, the biggest reason is loyalty with your profession. You have to be nice to the people you work with and concentrate on your project whole heartedly.
Following are some ways to keep your clients on board for longer time and keep them happy:
Keep a Friendly Attitude
Clients will love the fact if you show keen interest in their project and have a pleasing attitude towards them. You need to show that you are personally interested in their project and you will do anything to make it perfect. As a freelance graphic designer, you need to communicate with your clients on a personal level. This will not only make them comfortable but they will also openly discuss their project with you which will make things a lot easier for you and your project.
Read Your Client’s Mind
If you are passionate about your work, you would definitely want to relate to the project and understand it well. In order for this to happen, you need to read the mind of your client or put yourself into their shoes. Look at the project from the point of view of the client and do get into the details such as when and how the project was started. Having a complete idea about the background of the project will help you in getting the best out of your talents and skills.
Saving Client’s Money
This might sound strange to you; however this is a case with some people. Well, you might have seen some freelancers who intentionally try to spend a lot of client’s money on the project. You need to differentiate yourself from other freelancers and the only way is to save your client’s money. Your client will love you if you tell them different ways to save money instead of telling them that they will have to spend a lot more that they actually thought. This will make a perfect impression of yours and since they will realize that you do not work for money, they will trust you more with their projects.
You have to be realistic as a freelancer and you need to accept the fact that you won’t be becoming filthy rich by freelancing so why keep that goal? Isn’t it better to charge reasonably to the clients and avoid greediness? Your rates should be competitive and charge only what you actually deserve. You will know that your client is happy with the price range quoted by you if you do not have to explain the reason behind the quoted amount.
It is a general concept about freelancers that they are not professional since they work from home. Well, if you are working from home does not mean you should take your job casually. Your client will realize that you are professional if you reply to their emails or calls timely. Even if you are working from home, keep your professional and personal life far away from each other if you really want to be successful.
Be Passionate and Do Good Work
By the end of the day, your work will speak for itself. Be passionate about your work and complete a project as if it is your own. Maintaining a high standard is very important to make sure you check even the minor details while working on a project. Come up with a flawless project and your client will love you for your dedication and honesty towards your work.
Clear and Frequent Communication
Clear and frequent communication is very important to keep your clients happy. If you do not understand something or if there is something that your client needs to understand in detail, talk to them openly. As a designer you obviously understand the graphical terms but your client does not. Make sure you keep your communication to layman’s level. This will avoid any sort of unnecessary confusions and misunderstanding. Also, stay in touch with your new and existing clients.
The key to success is accepting criticism. Always keep in mind that your projects will be disliked, rejected or criticized by your client. You need to be open to healthy criticism. If you think that client’s suggestion will improve the look or quality of the product, go for it. If you think it won’t, try talking to your client and explain them your point of view.
Value Your Existing Clients
Well, if you have a few satisfied clients, chances are that they will ask for favors sooner or later. If a client calls you up and tell you to complete a project in a very short span of time, do not say NO right away at the client’s face. If you are a good freelancer, you will definitely value your existing clients and tell them you will try your level best to finish their work on time.
Your Newsletter / Blog
If you want to stay in touch with your existing clients, sending out a newsletter is a great way to do so. If you can, offer special discounts to your clients via newsletter. In this way, you will be the first thing on their mind if they are looking for someone to complete a project. Also, being a graphic designer, having a design blog is another thing that will help you keep the clients tied to you for long.
We all would agree to the fact that freelancers have to keep their clients happy in order to keep their wallet happy. Showing your passion and dedication towards your work to the clients is a good thing however; make sure that people do not take advantage of your dedication. With the above mentioned points, you are sure to have a lot of happy clients and projects.