Note: This guide is for those freelancers who already have existing clients. If you are still starting and are looking to land your first job, then this guide might not be ideal for you.
Nope. This isn’t one of those articles where you’ll read cookie-cutter-tips like, “submit guest posts”, or “publish articles regularly”. The strategies that I will share with you are actionable, easy to implement, and are effective.
If you’re looking to get more jobs online without having to send another application letter, then you’re definitely in the right place.
Let’s hop right in.
1. Build strategic relationships.
What do I mean by “strategic relationships”? Allow me to share an example.
Supposing that you specialize content writing; what you can do is to look for web developers, and establish a relationship with them.
That way, once these web developers are done with their web dev tasks, they can refer their clients to you so you can take care of their client’s content needs.
No matter where you look at it, it’s a win-win situation for the both of you (even to the client).
These are some of the important points that you need to consider when using this strategy:
- There are gazillions of professionals at Linkedin, you might want to start looking for your ideal partners there.
- Offer incentives, so your prospects will want to refer their clients to you. I usually give them a per transaction incentive, instead of giving them a one time incentive for referring. This makes the offer more enticing for them.
- Make sure that you aren’t reaching out to competitors.
- Refer some of your connections to your partners as well. That way, you’ll also be able to help them generate more income.
- Do not burden your connections with qualifying their referrals, they usually don’t have time for something like that. Just tell them to send over their referrals to you, and you’ll be the ones to handle the nitty gritty.
2. Offer a discounted rate for bulk orders.
Most newbie freelancers fail to capitalize on this strategy. In most cases, they tend to equate having one client, with having one order only.
That’s a terrible mindset to have.
Depending on the kind of products/services that you are offering, you shouldn’t just be focusing on closing one-off orders, influencing your clients to order in bulk is almost always the way to go.
Since winning new clients are more expensive — let alone time consuming — than keeping existing ones, it pays to get as many orders as you can from them. Sadly, not many freelancers are taking the initiative to make this happen. If you really want to maximize the kind of relationships that you have with your clients (in terms of how much you can earn from helping them), then you need to be very conscious about offering bulk orders, instead of just sealing a 1:1 deal.
3. Ask for referrals.
I hope you’re providing real value with the kind of services or products that you are offering, otherwise, you’ll never be able to use this strategy.
As you can probably imagine, the technique is pretty cut and dry; once your clients are happy with your work, you can then ask them if there is someone in their community that they think might need your services.
There are a couple of things that I’d like to share with you, so you can get better results from using this strategy:
a. Build relationships with your clients. Don’t just make your relationships with them a transactional one. Try to take it a step further. You can do this by giving free advice, asking about their day, or simply taking the time to greet them on holidays.
If you’ve established a solid relationship with them, it becomes easier for you to ask them for referrals.
b. Discounted rates in exchange for referrals. When your clients are happy with your work, and they’re about to send in their second order, why not sweeten the deal by telling them that you can give them a discounted rate, In exchange for referrals.
Considering how your client is happy with your work, and you’re giving them a discount, they’ll be more than happy to refer you to their community.
4. Ask about your client’s business, then pitch your services strategically.
I mentioned above how important it is for us to establish a real, and a meaningful relationship with our clients, right? I know that the idea was headed towards you asking for referrals, but the truth is, that’s only one of the ways that real relationships can help you in succeeding online.
Here’s the thing… as you continuously connect with your client, they’ll feel comfortable talking to you about their business, their struggles, and the direction that they are headed for as the owner of the business.
That information right there is a goldmine!
When you have a better understanding about your client’s business, and their overall direction, you can look for gaps. You can also look for problems, or areas that can be improved.
As you figure out these details, you can then pitch your services strategically.
* Important note – whatever you do, do not make your clients feel that you’re only interested in making money off of them.
Your angle should be all about helping them, and not about you wanting to get more orders. That being said, instead of saying, “you need to buy my other products”, you can say things like, “I’ll be more than happy to help you get rid of your X problem. My product A does such an amazing job at (solution to their problem)…”
Notice how the second approach doesn’t come across as salesly? If you were the customer, you’ll probably feel that I am just trying to help you solve your problems. It then becomes easier for you to close additional orders from the client.
Are there other client acquisition strategies that you’d like to share to our audience? If you answered that question with a resounding, “Yes”, then please take the time to share your tips in the comments section below. Cheers!
Photo Courtesy – © carmenmsaa / Dollar Photo Club