Building Client Relationships
As a freelance graphic designer I will tell you the secret to the success I've had so far: REPEAT BUSINESS AND REFERRALS.
Plain and simple.
I have been freelancing for almost three years and have not really spent money on marketing or even investing in much promotion because I have been blessed to get a steady flow of clients or at least enough to even call myself a designer.
Every project (with the exception of two) have been referrals and repeat business. I did a good job for someone and they told a friend or family member who called me. Or I did a good job for someone and the next time they had a project, they called me. I'm humbled by it and I really appreciate the business. For me it boils down to these simple principles when approaching a project for a client.
1. I put myself in their shoes. (How would I want someone to treat me. I'm patient, I listen and I offer solutions.)
2. I charge a fair and reasonable price. (I make money by offering discounts which leads to additional work. I once did a logo, stationery, business cards, flyers, and postcards for someone who initially only wanted a logo.)
3. I collaborate every step of the way. (Feedback is critical. It's THEIR brand!)
4. I guarantee their satisfaction. (The project isn't done until they like it and start using it.)
5. I keep in touch. (6 months later: How's that site/design working for you?)
In other words, I treat my clients as people, colleagues and some have even become friends. I look at the people and project first and the money always follows.
These are great tips! My business is quite different from yours but these tips are very much applicable to me as well. I definitely treat all my clients with courtesy and respect, the same way I wish to be treated. I also agree that following up is crucial to establishing and maintaining strong business relationships.
8/24/2015 01:54:22 pm
We're all human Apryl and want to feel valued. When I put myself in my clients shoes (as someone who is also trying to build a brand) it makes a difference and the tell me they appreciate how patient orbaccommodating I was during the project. It makes me feel good!
8/24/2015 01:56:04 pm
Tiffani the follow ups have led to quote a bit of repeat business! Win-win!
8/24/2015 01:57:29 pm
8/24/2015 01:49:56 pm
Yes Jo, you can definitely tell when someone is only concerned with the money and could care less about you as a client. It makes for a better collaboration when there is a mutual interest.
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