Parting is such sweet sorrow. It goes without saying that repeat clients are the bread and butter of freelance businesses. And, with good reason.
There is less of a learning curve due to our previous relationship and familiarity with their creative needs. They typically require less time and effort in pitching. And, they save us money and time on marketing and bringing in new business. It’s a no-brainer.
Consider the Pareto Principle. It states that 80% of business will come from 20% of your clients.
Truth be told, there are times when we might feel relieved to see the end of a project or problematic client, but more often, we welcome the opportunity to serve those we have partnered with in the past with successful results. This is why ghosting can be so darn confusing and frustrating.
For those unfamiliar with the term, here s a definition offered by Wikipedia:
Ghosting, simmering and icing are colloquial terms which describe the practice of ending all communication and contact with another person without any apparent warning or justification and ignoring any subsequent attempts to communicate. The term was initially used with dating, but has expanded and evolved in recent times.
Let’s look at a few common reasons ghosting occurs:
1) The client is busy
2) Your communication was not received or read.
3) The timing is not right. (client does not have a current need or the money is not in the budget)
4) The client is just not that into you.
Don’t let ghosting haunt you! It happens to the best of us.
Accordingly, here are 5 ways to bounce back, and to move forward to keep making money:
1. CONDUCT EXIT SURVEYS
Without the benefit of a crystal ball, it is sometimes difficult to assess a client’s level of satisfaction with your work, and the likelihood that they will retain your services in the future. A way to address this is to survey them upon completion of a project. A simple survey that poses key questions and a simple rating system will help you to make more informed decisions, and accommodate their future needs with fewer hiccups.
2. STAY FOCUSED ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL
No matter how proactive and strategic we are, we may fail to connect with a client in a way that allows us to move forward, or even bring closure. Emails may go unanswered. Phone calls may go ignored. You’ve done your best. Now, give it a rest. Remember that time is money.
3. DON’T PERSONALIZE
Much like a romantic relationship, sometimes needs are unmet, or directions change, or the timing is off. This is in no way indicative of your worth or talent. The sooner you heed this, the better.
4. HAVE A BACK-UP PLAN
There s great validity to the adage never put all your eggs in one basket. Make sure that you have ways to diversify your income for optimal freelance success every year.
This can include:
– Monetizing your blog
– Teaching online writing classes
– Editing Work
– Creating and selling information projects
– Partnering with an agency or organization that buys content
5. KNOW WHEN TO SAY WHEN
Sometimes, in our efforts to be proactive, persuasive or diligent, we can overdo things. Don’t. I am reminded of a local lawn care telemarketer in my area that repeatedly called my home last year even after I expressed numerous times that I was no longer interested in having work done. There is a fine line between being persistent and being a pain . Know the difference.
When clients disappear, don’t let your confidence or cool disappear with them. Stay focused on the big picture and keep pushing forward.
- Is Your Client Feigning Ignorance? Don’t Be a Dummy!!
- When Charging a Pain in the (Bleep) Client More Money…is More Than Justified
- 5 Direct Yet Diplomatic Ways To Handle Slow Paying Clients – by Louisa Eunice
- Disgruntled Client? Here’s How to Save the Relationship – by Jennifer Brown Banks
JENNIFER BROWN BANKS (a frequent contributor to WritersWeekly, as well as a vendor on WritersWeekly Marketplace) is an award-winning content creator, ghostwriter, editor, and publicist. Learn more at her site: PENANDPROSPER.BLOGSPOT.COM.