5 Tips You Can Use Right Now to Encourage Repeat Assignments From Your Current Clients
[Roberta Rosenberg is AWAI's newest copywriting coach. She has been a direct-marketing writer for 24 years, 16 of them as president of her own full-service direct-marketing agency. Her particular passion is selling information, and she's worked with dozens of association, academic, medical/health science, and business-to-business publishers to help them market their print/electronic/Web information products. She offers the following advice to her coaching students when encouraging them to build a stable of clients and a steady stream of income.]
It's been said it costs dollars to find new clients/customers but pennies to keep them. So what can you do for pennies or less to keep your clients satisfied and interested in keeping your name at the top of their freelancer's roster? You can …
- SHOW INTEREST IN THE CLIENT'S BUSINESS. E-mail a regular but unobtrusive stream of articles, e-zines, resources, and websites that are specific and relevant to your client's business and interests.
- BE PERSONAL. Remember your client's birthday and other important dates with a handwritten note. You'd be amazed at what the small niceties can do for you.
- ASK FOR A REFERRAL. Make mention to your favorite clients that you have some room in your upcoming copywriting schedule and ask if they could offer a referral or two. Don't forget to say "thank you" for the referral – and "thank you" again if a referral turns into a new client. (Remember, your current clients will almost always be your best source of new referrals.)
- BE PROACTIVE. After a while, clients may begin to "box" what you do for them and it won't even occur to them to consider you for other related writing/marketing opportunities So be bold. Ask your clients what other marketing writing they're using (in-house or freelance). Offer to review/edit at a courtesy rate. (Consider this the marketing intelligence and research for your overall marketing efforts. You'll be amazed at what you'll learn!)
- UNDER-PROMISE AND OVER-DELIVER. When you can, beat your own deadlines. Deliver the cleanest, most error-free copy possible. Offer artist's notes when relevant. Suggest new mailing lists in addition to what the client is already using. Help your clients strengthen their campaigns with your ideas about possible copy, offer, premium, and mailing-list tests to consider.
Be your clients' best advocate and I promise, in return, they'll be yours, as well.
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