Archive for the ‘Freelancing Folder’ Category

Small-clientsOf course you want some large clients for your freelancing business. Large clients are often more stable, tend to pay more, and their projects may even add some name recognition value to your portfolio.

In general, having big clients is a good thing. Freelancers often ask how they can attract more large clients. That’s why we devoted a post to approaching big clients.

Smaller clients, on the other hand, tend to be overlooked. Rarely have we heard freelancers ask the question: “how can I find some more very small clients to work with.” Some freelancers even refuse to do business with small clients–choosing to focus exclusively on larger companies instead.

However, there are some benefits to including smaller businesses in your client mix. In this post, we’ll share and discuss those benefits.

The Worries of Dealing with Small Clients

One huge reason that many freelancers hesitate to deal with small or fledgling companies is the fear of not getting paid. For a freelancer, accepting work from a very small company may seem like a huge risk. Many small companies are so new that they don’t have a reputation built up (good or bad) and they may also be operating on a shoestring budget.

What’s a freelancer to do if they accept a project from a tiny client and the client goes under before the freelancer gets paid?

It’s a legitimate question, and no doubt one that is on the minds of many freelancers when a small business approaches them to do work.

However, this worry can often be overcome by charging a significant portion of your fees up front, before you start work.

Benefits of Working with Smaller Clients

Here are some advantages to working with small businesses:

  1. Smaller companies grow. Steve Jobs reportedly started Apple computers in a garage. Microsoft also started small. Today, both companies are mega-sized corporations. How would you like to have worked with either of those companies in the early years? That small client you refused to work with this year might become a corporate giant next year.
  2. People change jobs. Just because the individual who contacts you works for a small company now doesn’t mean that he or she always will. In a few months or years, he or she may find a new, larger employer. If you treat them well at the small company, they’re more likely to take your business card with them to the large company.
  3. You can interact directly with the decision-maker. A definite advantage of working with a small company is that you can often speak directly with the decision maker. There is no level of middle management between you. The decision to use your services as well as the decision to finalize your project can be made quickly.
  4. They are often overlooked. Sadly, smaller clients are often snubbed by freelancers who think that taking on a small project isn’t worth their time. If you do accept projects from small companies they are more likely to realize that you are taking a risk with them and appreciate your effort.
  5. Everybody knows somebody. Even though your client may be small, that doesn’t mean that everyone he or she knows is in a small company. Your client’s neighbor or family member may be the decision maker at a large company. Do a good job for them and they may provide you with a lucrative referral down the road.
  6. Can become part of your unique selling proposition. The fact that you accept small clients can become part of your unique selling proposition. I once saw this phrase on a competitor’s site and it impressed me as being different: “no project too small.” What a relief that phrase must be to a small company who is having trouble finding someone to accept his or her project.
  7. Just because they’re small doesn’t mean they don’t have money. While many small companies that are startups do operate on a shoestring, that’s not always the case. The small company may have received funds through a grant or through venture capital and their project may be nearly as well funded as a project from a larger corporation.

Of course, including small businesses in your client base doesn’t necessarily mean that you should only pursue small clients. Ideally, most freelancers will want a mix, although a few may choose to make working with small businesses their specialty.

Tips for Working with Small Clients

Working with small clients can present some special challenges. Here are some tips that may help:

  • Don’t compromise your rates. Just because you’re working with smaller companies doesn’t mean you have to work for peanuts. Rather than lowering your rate for your small clients, try one of the techniques below.
  • Look for a solution that fits their budget. While a small company may wish for a custom-designed website and a new logo, they may be able to get by at first with just the logo and use a standard WordPress theme. As their needs grow, you can upgrade them to a more customized approach.
  • Offer phased work. It is sometimes helpful to a small company to divide a large project up into smaller projects or phases that they can pay for individually. While a small client may have trouble coming up with $3,000 at once for a new website, $500 a month over six months with one phase completed each month might be more affordable.
  • Provide consulting instead. Sometimes the client is even too small for one of the approaches above. In these cases, you may be able to offer to consult with them and help them develop a step-by-step plan for meeting their needs at a later date.

My Experience

While many of my clients are medium-sized or even large companies, I’ve had a few small clients as well. I particularly remember working with one individual on a very small writing task. When it was done, I never thought I’d hear from my contact at that small company again.

However, about eight months later I got an email from him. My contact was now with a much larger company and guess what? They needed a writer. The project this time was worth a lot more money–several thousand dollars, in fact.

Without my contact from the small company, I would never have learned about the second opportunity. With his support, I was the only writer that they even considered.

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client-huntingFinding work…it’s one of the most challenging, yet most vital, tasks that a freelancer must face.

When they start out many freelancers have no idea how to find new clients. This is especially true if the freelancer is coming from a corporate background where new work is assigned to them as soon as they complete a project.

While the task of finding clients can seem overwhelming to a new freelancer, clients are actually all around you if you know where to look.

In this post we’ll share five easy tactics that you can use regularly to build your client base.

Simple Client Finding Tactics for Freelancers

If you are using the right tactics to find clients, you can grow your freelancing business. Here are some simple strategies to use:

  • Ask for Work–Referrals are the number one way that many freelancers find work. This is true for me and surveys have shown that it’s true for other freelancers as well. Sometimes referrals just happen. A client likes your work and refers you to a friend. When it happens like that it’s nice. But, if that’s the only way that you get referrals, you’re missing opportunities. To maximize the number of clients that you have, you should be gently asking for more work each time you successfully complete a project. You can try saying something like this: “Is there anything else that I can do for you, or do you know of anyone else who could use my services?” You’d be surprised at how this can increase the number of clients that you get.
  • Tap Into Your Past Life–Whether it be at school or in the workplace, everyone has a past. Too often freelancers fail to tap into their past life to build their business. Naturally, most of us stay in touch with our friends and family, but what about former employers and teachers? Often they are forgotten. Consider contacting the teacher who helped you the most or that former employer who gave you your very first job. What about contacting your former boss who served as your mentor? Let these people from your past know that you have started a business and that they played a role in your success. You’d be surprised at how helpful these people can be in connecting you with potential clients. Who knows? Some of them may have moved on too and may even become a client themselves.
  • Tell Your Story–Every business has a story. It’s the story of what the business about, how it got started, and why it’s the best at what it does. Too often, freelancers let this story go untold. Don’t make this mistake. Make sure that your website and your promotional materials reflect your story. Also, when you are interacting with your network keep your story in mind. You don’t have to be overly aggressive about pushing your business, but at the same time your contacts should know what you and your business is really about. Often, this is just a matter of speaking up when people are discussing their jobs and describing your work as well.
  • Get Organized–Organization can help you find leads that can be turned into to prospects for your business. To start, you should have the contact information for each and every client that you’ve ever done work for. If it’s been over six months since you contacted them, it’s acceptable to touch base with a former client again in a friendly way. Keeping your name in front of them can generate additional work for you. Also, you should know the source that generated each and every client. Did they come from an advertisement? A referral? Some other source? Make sure that you know. If some part your marketing is successful, you need to know that so that you can repeat whatever it was that worked.
  • Be the Best–Reputation is a vital part of finding new business. Pay attention to what you do and say online and in person. Pay attention to what others are saying about you as well. Having a good reputation can make all the difference in the world when it comes to a client deciding whether you should get a gig with them. I recently had a prospective say to me, “you have an excellent reputation.” In my opinion, there’s nothing better that a freelancer can hear. It’s important for prospective clients to know that you can be counted on to do a good job.

Most remote workers don’t have an “IT Guy” or an assistant on hand, so it’s important to be sharp and self-reliant when it comes to the basics. Here’s a list to help you evaluate and hone your own skills – let us know in the comments if we’ve overlooked any skills that you’ve found indispensable!

email1. Email – Knowing how to check your email, and how to write an effective email are two entirely different topics – but both are useful to know! Your email provider should have a “How To” on checking your email through webmail and setting up an email client on almost any platform, but if it’s over your head, consider using a flexible, free service like Gmail, and forwarding your old email to your new one. Although almost any email address can be configured so that it’s accessible over the web via browser or smartphone, Gmail apps make it easy for even the non-technically inclined to access their email anywhere.

On the writing effective emails front, check out mindtools.com’s article on Writing Effective Emails.

2. Networks and Wi-Fi –
Being unable to connect to the internet can derail a remote worker’s entire day. Being able to troubleshoot basic network and wi-fi problems is a must. Also, consider a backup plan, if a tree falls on the telecom lines outside your house, where is the closest wi-fi hot spot?

C-Net has a good primer video on basic wi-fi troubleshooting, which is worth a view if your productivity (and your paycheck) is dependent upon a wireless connection.

3. “Instant” Communication, Skype, IM, etc. –
Availability via IM can be either a blessing or a curse for a remote worker. Consider separating your business and personal life with separate logins for IM services so that you can tune out the chatter from friends, harness this tool for productivity, and gain a sense of “being there” with your colleagues even if you’re far away.

4. Tele- and Web conferencing – Be sure to familiarize yourself with your client’smeetingpreferred method of meeting. You can’t blame it on traffic when you’re late to a virtual meeting, and depending on your field, citing technical difficulties might make you look incompetent.

5. Collaborative Tools –
Whether its as simple as Google Docs, or as involved as project management tools like BaseCamp, it’s important that you can effectively use the tools that you have at your disposal.

For more a quick primer on Google Apps, check out Google’s very own Google Apps Training Tutorial, and for some quick tips on how to use Basecamp more effectively, see Flatsourcing’s “We ❤ Basecamp. How we use it effectively.


6. Document creation and sharing –
Being able to generate clear and concise documents, create the necessary delivery formats (ie, .doc, .pdf, .jpg), and share them via email attachment, web, ftp, or the collaborative tools mentioned above is an essential skill for any remote worker. A great free tool for creating PDF files is CutePDF, it’s free and, once installed, is as simple as clicking “print”.


7. Digital organization –
Since the majority of remote work is digital, your computer desktop and local file structures are just as important as the desktop and filing cabinet you would keep at the office. It’s easy – create new folders by right clicking on the desktop, select “New”, select Folder, name it, put files and other folders in side of it according to the organizational structure that makes sense to you.

screenshot_example8. Screencasts/Screenshots – Sometimes its easier to just show someone what your talking about rather than trying to explain it. Being able to take a screenshot, circle part of the image and write notes can be a helpful way to illustrate a point. For explanations of more in-depth procedures, screencasts can be invaluable.

For more info, see About.com’s How To Capture a Screen Shot of your Desktop or the Active Window in  Windows.

For getting started quickly and easily with screencasts, check out NorthStarNerd.org’s Tutorial on Camstudio.

9. Maintenance
– Keeping a good eye on the health of your computer can prevent disastrous delays. Anti-virus and anti-malware are a great start, but your hardware’s health is important too. Don’t ignore noisy fans and cranky sounding hard drives! Most hardware failures give warning signs, don’t ignore them.

For more info on computer maintenance see, Optimizing Computer Performance for Online Work Success,featured previous on the oDesk blog. For more advanced users, consider a hardware monitoring tool likeSpeedFan, which can help you monitor CPU temperature, and overall hard drive health.

10. Security –
Keep your sensitive data private. Run a good firewall, and keep your OS and browser up to date with security updates. For more security tips see, Securing Your Home Network, featured previous on the oDesk blog.

email manners screenshotOne thing is true about modern communication: One little email can speak a thousand words — whether you mean it to or not. This is why freelance professionals cannot afford to be glib or careless about their email communication habits.

Follow my Top 6 Tips for successful and professional email communication:

1. Set up and maintain your email account as if your career depends on it. (Because it probably does.)

  • Have an appropriate email address. You’re a professional, not “hottie137.” Your email address should be simple and should be derived from your actual name or field of business.
  • Put your name and contact information in your email signature. Your clients will appreciate this when they can’t find the place they wrote it down.
  • Keep format simple in outgoing emails. Nothing’s more irritating than a purple email with gold block letters. (Except an email with botched codes hanging out between every third word.)
  • Respond to emails promptly. As Lifehacker points out, this is important to your career and there are methods you can employ to stay on top of your in box.
  • Utilize the vacation responder if you’ll be offline for more than two days. This send an automatic message to anyone who emails you, telling them when you’ll be able to respond to their email. (Just remember to turn it off when you are online again.)

2. Build every email around these three important sections: the subject line, a personal greeting and a focused point.

  • email manners laptopPut the actual subject in the subject line. Putting “hi” as the subject might work for your friends, but not for a busy client. Be specific and take Dennis Jerz’s advice.
  • Always give a personal greeting. As Lydia Ramsey points out, a proper greeting should never be omitted. Remember to say “hello” first. You should also add a warm statement or two to avoid coming across as curt. (If all else fails, mention the weather.) Check out this Men With Pens post for the disadvantages of being too blunt.
  • Focus your information and get to the point quickly. Yes a sentence or two on a personal note is fine, but then you need to get on with it and get on with it succinctly. Emails that require scrolling are probably too long. As Freelance Folder points out, you don’t want to overwhelm the recipient. Delete unnecessary information or just pick up the phone.

3. Don’t neglect proper grammar and spelling.

  • Don’t indulge in text lingo or type in caps. Makeshift spelling and punctuation have no place in business emails, and in case you haven’t heard, typing in all caps is shouting. DON’T DO IT.
  • Spellcheck. Spellcheck. Spellcheck. It’s a bigger deal than you think. We all make mistakes, but only some of us are too lazy to click a button to fix them. (Ouch!)

4. Always mind your manners.

  • Keep a respectful tone. As About.com points out, tone is easily miscommunicated in emails. Stay polite and positive and save difficult conversations for the telephone.
  • Be mindful of offensive topics in emails. It can cost you your freelancing gig. Sexually charged comments are inappropriate, racial slurs are offensive and religious or political zeal is often misguided. Keep your emails polite and keep them clean.

5. Approach email conversations the way your would approach a recorded conference call.

  • Don’t assume your email is private. There is a good chance it’s not.
  • Refrain from bashing anyone — either the recipient or a third party. Why? Because your email may not be private. As Life With Confidence points out, email is also permanent. If you need to vent, do it in person or just call up your mother and take it out on her. (She’ll forgive you and it won’t ruin your career.)

6. Think of emails to clients like salt at the dinner table: necessary and beneficial in small doses.email manners no spam

  • Do not send forwards to business contacts. Trust us on this one, the cat who wants a “cheezburger” and the scary Zicam warnings are for your college roommate, not your clients. (And read 26, 27 and 28 of Seth Godin’s Email Checklist before sending a forward, period.)
  • Think carefully before sending emails to former clients. There’s a right way and a wrong way to stay in touch. Personal emails and requests for more work are a sticky ballgame you should only play if you know what you are doing. This is especially true of those potential clients who — for whatever reason — interviewed you but did not hire you. If you weren’t hired because of a scheduling conflict, it may be appropriate to reach out just one time later when your schedule clears. However, it is painfully inappropriate to contact them for any other reason, so just delete them from your contact list.

project-proposalWhether you’re actively looking for clients on freelancing job boards, or you only get clients through referrals, you’ll have to submit project proposals.

The project proposal is your sales piece. It’s what will ultimately “sell” your services to the prospect. To be successful, your proposal should perform the following:

To accomplish all this, your project proposal should have the following elements:

1. Summary of Client’s Requirements and Goals

This is a critical part of your proposal. However, it’s something many freelancers overlook. I have to admit, I didn’t do this until after many months of freelancing.

The thing is, if you can’t write this part, that means you don’t know enough about the project to prepare a thoughtful proposal for your prospective client.

This is undesirable, because if you completely miss what your prospect really wants, any of these things could happen:

  • you won’t get the project
  • you’ll get the project, but realize mid-way that you underestimated the amount of effort and time it will take to complete the work
  • you’ll get the project, but the client will be disappointed with your outputs

So, by taking the time to really understand what your prospect is looking for, you’ll be ensuring a better outcome for both your prospect and yourself. Furthermore, by showing how well you’ve paid attention to your prospect’s needs, you’ll set yourself apart from your competitors.

2. Tasks Involved and Your Fee for Each

List down the main tasks you’re going to do, along with the fee you will charge for each. Make this as detailed as possible, so that anybody–even someone who isn’t knowledgeable about the project–will be able to say when you have delivered or completed the task.

For example, if I’m going to write a sales page for a client, I’ll say that it will be at least 1,000 words long, will include graphics, and will be submitted in a .HTML file.

3. Breakdown of Each Task with Costs

It’s not enough to simply say what big tasks you will do. Break them down so your prospect appreciates how much work and skill it takes to complete each one.

In my sales page example above, I could specify that writing the sales page includes:

  • doing market research to better understand my client’s target market and what his competitors are doing
  • choosing appropriate photographs from iStockPhoto and Fotolia
  • design and layout of the sales page into a .HTML file

4. Delivery Schedule

Make it clear how long it will take you to complete each task. Take into account the amount of time your client may take to clear each step of the project.

5. Work Process

Describe how you usually work with clients. Will you hold a conference call after the client approves your proposal? Do you use Basecamp or another project management service to track all client communication?

Be specific now so you and your client won’t be in for surprises later on.

6. Mode of Payment

In this part, specify how you want to get paid. Do you require full or partial down payment before starting on a project? Can the client pay you through PayPal, credit card or check?

7. Samples or Other Proof That You Can Do the Job

Make it easy for prospects to decide that you’re suitable for this project. Attach samples of work, or links to samples that show how you’ve fulfilled similar client requirements in the past.

8. Clear Indication of the Next Steps

Tell your prospect clearly what he should do if he either wants to proceed with the project, or if he has further questions before he can make a decision.

Say something like, “If you need clarification on my proposal, please email your questions to me. On the other hand, if you’d like to proceed as I outlined here, I’ve attached an invoice for your first down payment so I can get started right away.”

9. Invoice for First Payment

Obviously, you should include this only if you require a down payment (or full payment) before you start a project.

10. Contact Information

Make sure your proposals include your name and contact details–including your email address even if you are emailing your proposal. Don’t assume your prospect will simply hit the “reply” button, or take the time to find your contact information if he doesn’t see it right away.

Bonus: Some prospects will have their own requirements that aren’t in the list above. Just the other day I saw a job posting where the only requirement was to “tell me why you should get this assignment.”

Always, always review the job posting to make sure you’ve complied with everything the prospect asked for. If you fail to comply, you won’t get the assignment no matter how good you are. The ability to follow instructions counts for a lot among clients.

Income taxOne thing that scares a lot of professionals away from becoming freelancers is the thought of doing taxes.

Taking care of your taxes shouldn’t be scary. Especially if you’re a one person business, filing your taxes can easily be done in less than 30 minutes.

In this post, I’ll share some of my tips for filing taxes, as well as some great tools to help make tax time painless and easy.

1. Keep Everything Organized

At the start of each year, I grab a manila envelope and label it with the current year. In this envelope, I keep medical, business and home improvement receipts that I can use to write-off on my taxes. At the end of the year, I also use this envelope to store all the 1099’s I get from agencies I work with.

For all my business receipts, I record these in my client billing app (I use Billings, but there are other great ones out there). Client billing software is great to use around tax time because it allows you to track all your income, expenses and fees in one place.

Most apps also come with a powerful report generator, so you can quickly view everything at once. This is great, because when it’s time to do taxes, everything is together and organized for you.

2. Use a Tax Program Made for Businesses

I don’t want to spend the money on hiring an accountant or tax professional, but I also don’t want to spend ages on filing my taxes, or make a mistake resulting in me over or underpaying them either. That’s why I recommend using some tax software and filing your taxes electronically.

Personally, I love using TurboTax For Business. It quickly walks you through every part of filing your taxes and helps you find all your write-offs. It even does the math for you when calculating home office write-offs (more on that below). And, it only costs around $70 to use.

3. Print Your Reports

Remember the reports we talked about in the first tip? If you’re already using some client billing software, now’s the time to print those handy reports. The two reports I recommend printing are:

  • Payments By Client–This report is better than a general income report, because it lists the income separately by client, which allows you to easily mark the clients off that sent you a 1099, making sure that you don’t count the client’s income twice and overpay!
  • Expenses–Billings doesn’t have a strong interface for expenses, but if yours does, try to download a report that lists the expenses by type. This will save you time since you won’t have to sort them manually, since expenses are claimed by type in your taxes.

4. What Can a Freelancer Write Off?

The cool thing about being self-employed, is that you can write everything off that you spend on or while doing business.

Here’s a handy list of some of the things you could write off:

  • Rent, utilities and renovations to your home office (taken as a percentage of the whole house) or all your expenses for your separate office
  • Care expenses or mileage if used for business
  • Internet, landline and cellphone
  • Expenses incurred while traveling for business
  • Convention fees and expenses (Barcamp, SXSW, etc)
  • Business books, tutoring or mentoring
  • Printers, computers, monitors, faxes and other electronic equipment
  • Paper, ink, stamps, envelopes and other supplies
  • Paypal, Google or other expenses incurred while collecting payment
  • Stock photos, templates, etc
  • Payments you’ve made to over freelancers or contractors
  • Software
  • Advertising expenses
  • Printed materials

5. Actually Pay Your Taxes Before Tax Time

While most of us probably prefer to pay our taxes once a year, and normally after we find out the actual bill, this makes Uncle Sam jealous. Therefore, if you make any kind of real money and haven’t paid quarterly payments, you’ll be subject to a pretty hefty fee.

So make sure around the beginning of the year, that you download and use Form 1040-ES (PDF) to pay your quarterlies. This will also dampen the amount you’ll owe when you file.

In the same note, make sure you set aside money for taxes throughout the year! I once talked about setting up an automatic budget and the very first envelope I have money go to is taxes.

With every business deposit you make, you should put 20-40% away for taxes. I like to keep mine in a savings account to earn a bit of interest until it’s due, and also to stop me from spending it on something else.

*Disclaimer: I’m not a tax professional or licensed to give tax advice, so make sure you consult a professional before following this advice!

customer-serviceIn these days of automated phone answering, online bill payments and support, and countless other technology-based, personality-disconnected offerings, quality customer service can often be hard to find. I’ve written previously about the opportunities our society can provide for freelancers. In this post we will focus on the elements of killer customer service freelancers can use to grow their business and keep clients coming back for more as well as recommending them to others.

My wife is in the process of getting her cosmetology license. Every day she has people sit in her chair and pay to have her cut, color or style their hair. As her schooling has progressed she has begun to build a significant number of repeat clients who faithfully request her services when making their appointments. In a recent discussion we were examining some of the main reasons we could identify as motivation for the return customers, and not surprisingly they all boiled down to killer customer service. Most of these reasons are transferrable principles that can be applied to any freelance business situation.

Show Personal Interest in Your Clients Early

From the moment my wife meets her next guest, she expresses an interest in them personally. Going beyond the usual “Hello” and “How are you” and asking more engaging and personal questions to encourage the client to share about themselves will not only communicate that you care about them beyond what they are going to pay you, but can also give you valuable insight into their personality, life situations and other things about them that could impact the services you provide. Eliminate the thought that this is taking “extra” time and just include it as part of your process.

Listen to and Embrace the Client’s Vision

Regardless of whether or not you believe the client is always right, it is important to have a clear understanding of what they want. Have you ever gone to get your hair cut and the stylist gave you something different than what you asked for? Or they asked you what you wanted, then proceeded to tell you that your desired cut wouldn’t look right and suggested something entirely different?

Yes, typically freelancers are hired because of their experience and expertise in their field. Does that mean ignore the client’s request and give them what you want or think is best? Most often this will not result in a good experience for the client, and quite possibly could end up either driving them away before the project ever starts or inspiring negative feedback and word of mouth when it is completed.

Take time in the beginning and during the project to ask and listen to what your client wants. Don’t refrain from offering your expertise and advice, but be sure to listen and respond to your client’s desires and vision.

Build Relationships That Are Also Friendships

Throughout the appointment my wife will keep the conversation going with a myriad of topics, primarily allowing the client to lead and direct the conversation and avoiding focusing on her own life situations. Finding common ground with what is going on in the client’s life or their interests always eases their mind and helps them feel important and valued.

Try starting and nurturing a relationship with your clients that focuses on them while simultaneously sharing some of your own commonalities to enable them to get to know you personally. Most people like to share about themselves, and you can never go wrong by encouraging them to do so and showing a genuine interest in who they are and what they may be going through. A killer freelancer-client relationship will be strengthened by the personal involvement that breeds trust, confidence and compassion.

Know and Believe in Your Upsells

In the salon industry there is a significant focus on selling product to every customer that purchases a service. This is where a good portion of the industry’s profit is made, and a stylist must therefore be a good salesperson on top of being skilled in their craft. However, as with any successful merchant, the most sales are made when the salesperson truly believes that what they are offering will benefit the customer. Have you ever had someone try to sell you something that you knew they would never actually buy for themselves? It rings false, and typically the sale is not made.

Whatever your business, it is important to know the various additional benefits you can suggest to your clients, not solely for the extra income, but because you know it is in their best interest. Everyone wins when your client listens to your advice and gets the best end result, even if it costs them something extra. Be sure to keep current with the best offerings in your niche and the types of projects that will benefit from them the most.

Create a Memorable Experience

One of the main expectations my wife’s customers have is to walk away from their time with her having had an experience, not just a haircut. From personal interaction, to the various scented shampoos and conditioners, to the background music, to the head massage, to the final result–all of the senses are engaged in an overwhelming experience that they depart from with a strong desire to return to again.

What are some things you can begin doing that would make your clients appreciate and remember the experience of working with you? The smallest touches can make a huge difference. Some of the things I have done for my graphic and web design clients include status updates via a friendly email, Skype chats and conversations to review or discuss the project, website launch celebrations, thank you cards in the mail and more.

Of course, your own type of business and personal style will dictate the things you might do to go that extra mile for your clients, but why not start now? Providing an experience for your clients that they remember fondly will always encourage them to tell others about you as well as return for more whenever they need to use your particular services again.