2 Simple ways to retain clients – and keep them coming back

It happens every time.

You sign an amazing client contract. You get to do some of your best, coolest work, and the client “gets” what it’s like to be you, and is an absolute pleasure to work with.

You LOVE doing work with them, and they love working with you.

They leave you a glowing testimonial even before your project is over.

They list you as a “trusted source” on your website, without you even knowing about it until they’re coolest readers start coming in as leads for you.

It’s a big, fun project, and it lasts for months.

But then, you see it in your calendar: the project’s coming to an end.

And it’s sad.

One, because the client was so awesome and fun to work with.

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Two, because it means that stream of income is going away, and you either need to find a new client ASAP or risk facing a hungry month.

Thankfully, there are a couple ways to keep amazing clients like this coming back for more… so you don’t have to face an empty refrigerator or be late in paying a bill.

1. Offer a follow-up freebie

I learned to do this during the last half of 2017, and honestly, I’m never going back.

So much so that a follow-up freebie now comes standard with every single one of my client contracts.

Because I’m a conversion-focused copywriter, my follow-up freebie is a data review three months after the project ends.

In this data review, I look at my client’s website and sales funnel data, and look for ways to improve conversions even further.

I comb through their Google Analytics, their email open rate and click through data, their ad performance reports, and anything else they have available.

With that data, I then make a sheet of suggested tweaks to optimize their conversion rates even further.

Not only does it make my initial work FAR more valuable, but it also opens the door for me to pitch a new project if needed.

2. Offer an ongoing retainer deal

Normally, clients hire you (the freelancer) because they’re not very good at what you do AND because they don’t want to take the time to do it themselves.

So that’s a double-whammy advantage you’ve got going for you.

Also, most clients make the investment in a good freelancer when they know it’s crucial to the long-term success of their business to do so. This is where the ongoing retainer deal comes in.

For example, if you’re a freelance writer who specializes in Google ads, you could offer to be the person who monitors you client’s AdWords accounts on a weekly basis… making changes as needed to optimize their ROI and profitability.

If you’re a software developer, you could offer a monthly retainer to keep an eye on user data, and make tweaks to optimize software usability.

Usually this monthly retainer price is lower than the price of the initial project. But having a handful of these gives you so much more financial security than starting each month from $0.00.

Cool clients coming back = Total win-win

However you decide to keep clients coming back for more… whether it’s through a follow-up freebie, an ongoing retainer deal, or both… doing so is a great business decision.

Because instead of just hiring you as a one-and-done contractor, you’re now a valuable, on-call member of their team. You’re someone they can rely on to do bigger-picture projects for them, and you become a key part in growing their business from the ground up.

Plus? Everyone’s happy. It’s a true win-win scenario.

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About Chelsea Baldwin

Chelsea Baldwin is a freelance writer turned agency owner turned business coach. She helps freelancers, solopreneurs, and small business owners grow their businesses quickly and become way more profitable than they were before. Each week, she sends out a free weekly dispatch with business advice, easy-to-complete business hacks, and behind-the-scenes looks at what it’s like for her to run two separate businesses.

 

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