As a freelance writer, you’re looking to grow your business in leaps and bounds. The first step to doing this? Marketing! What if you could double your leads, and still decrease your marketing efforts? Sounds too good to be true, right? It’s not.
The value of client referrals can’t be overstated. They are one of the best ways to grow your freelance writing business, and set it up for long term success. Referrals aren’t just word-of-mouth advertising from your client to a potential new client. Like testimonials, quotes from your referring clients can also be posted on your website, and in your marketing materials.
Why referrals are imperative for your business’ success:
1. Referrals make for easier new client acquisition.
If you’ve been sending out cold emails, and stalking job boards for the right opportunities, chances are that you’ve landed a job or two. The only difference between these tactics, and working with referrals, is that the latter makes work easier. You won’t have to spend countless hours sourcing for jobs online. Potential clients can be knocking on your virtual door.
The secret lies in creating exceptional work for your clients, building long-term relationships, and not being shy about asking for referrals from your happy clients.
2. There’s a built-in trust factor.
This is one of the most important reasons why a referral will be valuable to your business. People trust people that their friends and colleagues trust. By being referred to you, they can avoid weeding through unknown potential freelancers.
3. Referrals attract pre-qualified leads.
This is what we all want when we are seeking new writing clients. More often than not, leads that come from your existing clients are likely already successful in their business. Even better, they are likely to be ethical in their business dealings. Otherwise, your original client would not likely send that person or business your way.
How to Ask Clients to Refer You
Now that you’re sold on the value that referrals bring, the next step is asking your client for a referral. Before making this request, ensure you do the following:
– Exceed expectations in the work that you deliver. Delight your client first by being professional and reliable.
– Solicit project feedback. Ask how you did, and if there’s anything else you can do to make your client’s experience more pleasant. When clients provide very positive feedback, don’t shy away from asking for a referral.
– Let your client know the kind of leads you’re looking for so they can send the right referral your way. You can request that they also let their family, friends, and colleagues know about you directly, and provide your email address and website to them.
– Thank the client each time they send a referral your way, or provide you with information on a potential new client. When you do land the new gig, be sure to contact your original client to thank them once again! This will make them feel good, and will encourage them to keep referring people to you.
Should You Add Quotes from Your Referring Client to Your Portfolio?
This is a no-brainer and the answer is YES – but only with permission from your client. A majority of businesses add referral quotes and testimonials to their website because they are a great way of showing the unbiased voices of the clients they’ve worked with before. Your freelance writing business is no exception. Referrals and testimonials go a long way in building credibility for your business.
Emily Thompson is a freelance writer who has contributed to publications such as Reviewed, Freedom With Writing, The Sun, and many more. In her free time, she enjoys whipping up recipes with her daughter and walking her dog.
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