Look, these are super uncertain times. We all know that. If you’re operating as a freelancer, these are scary times too. While most businesses are closed or scaling back services, client retention is one of the most unpredictable aspects of freelancing right now. Thankfully, I’ve managed to retain 100% of my clientele (and even scale my business) since March. Today I want to share some tips with you so that you can improve or maintain your client retention in the midst of an epidemic.
Keep in mind, flexibility is the key to successfully implementing these tips. It’s time to pivot, folks!
This can be a really isolating time for small business owners, show your clients you are there to help and support them (within reason).
I speak with my clients consistently at least once a week during regular operations, and I’ve maintained that through this epidemic. Whether they are simple check ins via text message, volunteering to help with any additional projects, or updating them on their services, maintaining (or increasing) communication with your clients is super important right now.
Take this time to foster your professional relationship and solidify a positive partnership through this epidemic and beyond by making small changes to the way you function in your freelance business – you won’t regret it!
Offer a Discount
One of the tactics I have used to maintain 100% retention rates for my business for the past couple of months is to offer a discount to the clients that signed on for services prior to March. Instead of offering the same discount to every client, I customized each discount offer based on the packages they signed up for.
By offering discounts you acknowledge that the success of their business is important to you. But you’re also demonstrating that you can be flexible with pricing. This is especially important because instead of choosing to cancel your services, your client may instead reach out to discuss possible savings or reduction of services rather than completely cancelling every service your contract details.
This is the time to demonstrate what you’ve done in the past, and what you will do to drive sales now, or once business resumes for your client. If you aren’t already hosting monthly review meetings with your clients, you should start ASAP.
Since scheduling meetings can be tricky, I actually record monthly recaps in my own time at the end of every month by recording my computer screen as I walk through platform analytics for the past month. Then I upload the video to a shared drive that my clients can access at any time.
I should note that videos like the ones I use to discuss analytics do not replace meetings and two way conversations. You should still be speaking with clients on a regular basis, and expect a phone call or zoom conversation to discuss any questions they may have in regards to the analytics they see in your videos.
Spend some time brainstorming ways your business can increase sales during this time, even if their business isn’t open. Is your client a salon that cannot take clients right now? Maybe they can start sharing styling tutorials on their social media page and sell product bundles used in the tutorials? Does your client have access to a large amount of products they are no longer using (t-shirts, stickers, etc)? Why not sell them online!
Don’t be afraid to think outside your normal scope of services either, just have a referral ready and be prepared to help get the ball rolling to implement new creative tactics you develop.