How to Expand Your Work With Existing Clients

How to Expand Your Work With Existing Clients

Copywriting, Entrepreneur, JS, Medium, Sales & Marketing

Marketing and looking for new clients is extremely important for small businesses, freelancers, and entrepreneurs. It’s how you grow and expand, right?

When you’re looking for ways to expand your business, the first thing most people do is look for new clients.

This is not a bad thing! In fact, I know that effective marketing and sales is imperative to the success of any freelancer.

But there are two key things many freelancers and entrepreneurs overlook when they are wanting new/expanded business and more money.

#1: Expand your work with existing clients.

It is easier and less expensive to keep a client than it is to get a new one. Both in terms of money (such as any marketing spending or other customer acquisition costs) and time (time spent maintaining a current client versus the time it takes to market and talk to and retain a new one).

That’s why strong customer service is so important for small businesses and freelancers. People want to work with freelancers who do a great job, stay organized, and are easy to work with. They continue working with you because you get stuff done and make it easy for them to keep the relationship going.

Price and rates are not generally the deciding factor in maintaining a client/freelancer relationship — or not usually the main factor (after all, they already agreed to your rates and hired you).

So, you have great customer service, are easy to work with, and your client likes you. What’s next?

Now, it’s time to expand the work you do for them. You already have a foot in the door — why not blow the door wide open?

Consider your offerings and what the client is currently getting and send them an email or, as I prefer to do for this, have a casual conversation.

I don’t make it into a big thing or make some formal announcement, I just take every opportunity to expand what I do with my clients.

For Example:

If I am already writing the text and story of a Kickstarter/Indiegogo campaign, I ask them if they also want me to write a script for the demo video, a press release, and/or an email marketing campaign, too.

Or if I am already ghostwriting blogs/articles for a client, I always ask if they want me to come up with topic ideas, source photos, upload the blogs to their site, and if they want me to write a couple of social media posts for each one (but not post, I do not like doing social media management).

Or if I am editing a book manuscript, I’ll ask if they are also interested in having me upload it to Amazon for them (if self-publishing) or help them write a query letter (if looking for a literary agent).

And when they are interested or if they have questions, I let them know what my new/additional rate will be to add that service onto my existing contract.

“I’m happy to do that. It’s going to be $xx per month/total on top of your existing payment. I can just add it to the same invoice. Want me to get started on that now or wait until next month/billing cycle?”

If YOU make it into a big deal or sound nervous or you over-explain or you don’t sound confident, then the client may not want to expand your services with them — even if they love working with you already.

For me, it is always a super casual conversation. “Hey, I was thinking about how you’re going to market your blog/you said yesterday you were thinking about how to market your blog. I am happy to write up 3 social media posts for each blog post I write and include hashtags for you. It would be about $50 more. Let me know which social media platforms you get the most traction on and I’ll research appropriate keywords and hashtags.”

Or something like “I know you plan to do a marketing campaign for this. What’s the plan? [listen to plan] Sounds great. I can definitely do a press release and a series of marketing emails for that. Yes, it’ll be $xx and I’ll just add it to the next invoice.”

I try to not wait for a client to ASK if I do an additional service or specific thing. I bring it up as soon as I notice they need something and offer it to them before they even need to ask.

If they have to ask then they likely are already thinking about/pricing out/considering someone for the service. Part of my customer service and relationship management strategy is anticipating their needs.

This way, when I offer myself to expand my services, I am clearly looking out for their best interests, anticipating their next need, and proving my value over and over again. I know what comes next and am experienced enough to understand their upcoming needs sometimes before they’ve started thinking about them.

As the expert, this should be something you can do, too, and it will absolutely benefit you to verbalize it to the client as soon as you notice they’ll have another need soon. The longer you wait, the more likely they will find someone else or do it themselves.

It comes back to confidence and customer service. You must be confident in your own skills and that the work you do benefits and helps and is good for the client. And then sell it to them!

#2: Ask for referrals.

It might seem like a no-brainer, but you might be surprised at how many freelancers either forget to ask for referrals, feel it is too intrusive, and/or don’t follow up.

Here are the steps you should be following:

  • Every single time your wrap up a project, ask your client if they know of anyone who may need similar services. It can be as simple as: “Hey, it’s been great working with you! I currently have availability for 1–2 new clients, so if you know of anyone who needs writing or editing work please let me know.”
  • For monthly/retainer (not project-specific) clients, I just ask that same thing after the first month or so and again at the third and sixth month, and so on. Just every now and then mention that if anyone needs anything, I am happy to work with them.
  • Every 6 months or so, check in with former clients to ask how they are doing and if they need any work now AND if they know anyone who might need something. Try another simple/easy check-in like the above: “[name], Hi, I just wanted to check in briefly and see how you’re doing. I hope you’re well and that business is booming! It was great working with you on [XYZ] last year. Are you in need of any writing or editing services now? Or do you know of anyone who may need my services? Oh, and here are a couple of recent articles I wrote that you may find interesting — [link1] [linke2]. Thank you and have a great day!”

If a client had a good experience working with you, they will generally be happy to refer you to others. Plus, no minds a brief check-in to see how they’re doing. It keeps your name at the forefront of their mind and reminds them of the work you do. Plus you provided a couple of free resources or articles they might find interesting — heck, they might even share one of them with their network, giving you new exposure to their audience.

If you’re worried it is somehow intrusive to ask for referrals, then you are not thinking with the business in mind. Have you ever in your life felt intruded upon or offended by someone saying “Great working with you! If you know of anyone who could use my services please let me know.”?

It is not intrusive to ask for referrals. It is incredibly common and even expected to a certain degree. Besides, if a client enjoyed working with you and had a good experience, why wouldn’t they be open to referring others to work with you?

Referrals are the #1 way I get new clients these days. In the last 2 years, 90% of my new clients have been referrals from others.

Those are my two best tips for expanding services with current and former clients.

Are you already doing these two things? Or one of them? If not, do you plan to incorporate them into your process?

And if you do NOT do these things — why not? What is the block or why does it feel like you “shouldn’t” or “can’t”?


Check out my new book Concept to Conclusion: How to Write a Book and learn everything you need to know to conceive of, outline, write, publish, and market a book!

Sign up for my mailing list for writing and freelancing news and information.


Other stories you may like:

15 Ways for You to Market Your Business Right Now

How to Get and Keep Clients as a Freelancer

Why Celebrities Posting Good/Charitable Deeds Is a Double-Edged Sword

Please follow and like us:
Writing for Me vs. Writing for My Clients

Writing for Me vs. Writing for My Clients

Copywriting, JS, Medium

It can be difficult to separate them!

 

Writing is…

Cathartic

Emotional

Real

Symbiotic

Percussive

Strong

Difficult

Mine

Life.


Writing for money, especially for other companies and authors, is a fantastic career.

And because most of my writing is ghosted, I have had to learn to keep my personal feelings and opinions out of the pieces I write.

Especially when I disagree or find their references suspect.

It can be difficult to compartmentalize. To separate my personal feelings or opinions from those of the author/company I work for.

Not that it is ever anything heinous. None of my clients are people I fundamentally disagree with. None of them are white supremacists or anti-vaxxers or litterers (as far as I know).

It’s more that everyone is unique and different and we each hold our own opinions and feelings based on our pasts, education, hobbies, and experiences.

Everyone is unique and while that is a magical, beautiful, wonderful part of being human, it can make writing passionately about certain subjects difficult!

When it comes to my personal writing, my own personal opinions run rampant.

And it can be sometimes hard to turn that off.

For me, it’s all about stepping back and taking a breath and remembering that it’s not about me. It’s about the client. I am usually easily able to shake it off and get in the right mindset, but it can sometimes take moment.


How do YOU turn it off? Whether it is switching between highly personal writing like your book or a diary and more professional writing like clients or even LinkedIn posts. How you switch mindsets?

Please follow and like us:

Why Can’t I Just Write My Own Website?

Copywriting

There are different types of copy and content out there. In a world where we can measure everything, where every ad has analytics and every website has conversion rates, where even success has metrics, you need to have strong copy to stand out, break out, and succeed.

There are types of copy for every format and instance, including straightforward, storytelling, conversational, imaginative, long and short form, creative marketing, Direct-from-CEO copy, starting with warts copy, superlative (sometimes clickbait) copy, and velvet rope copy. There are more, but that is a good list to start.

Each different types of copy is saying the same general thing in its own way. The goal is always to sell. Sell your product or service, your business, or yourself. But how you get there must include one or more of the different types of copy.

How do you attract new customers? How do you get someone to convert to a client from a prospect? Remember, ads are copy, your website is already covered in copy. The marketing emails you send to your clients are copy, as are your social media posts.

Great copywriting is an art and a science. Yes, having the words and the ability to persuade or compel people is certainly important, but the way you say things and the way you frame your business are equally important.

Strong headlines are 80% of great copy. Draw people in, and make them want to know more! Great copy will get you more sales, more money, more followers, and more credibility.

SEO is incredibly important in your copy. You need to be able to be easily searchable and easily found. Most people don’t click to the second page of their Google search, so your page needs to come up sooner.

How do you get all of these things? You use someone like me. An experienced writer who understands the customers and understands your products and services, and has a strong background in sales and marketing. Someone who understands the power of a great headline and loves a beautiful turn of phrase. Someone who brings incredible value to your company and your website by bringing your company to the people.

Every business needs copy.

The most successful businesses understand the importance of great copy and hire the experts that will deliver their messages in the best way possible, to the widest audiences. A strong message and brand, is extremely important.

Please follow and like us: