It’s not enough to get clients.
I mean, it is. It’s awesome. I love my clients – mostly, anyway. And those I don’t love don’t stay clients for long.
Thing is, though, it gets exhausting if you have nothing but turnover. Even a client who pays a lot for a project still requires lots of time and emotional energy to onboard, and if they end up in One-Hit Wonderland (see what I did there?), it’s disappointing.
My preference: Clients that want to work with me for life, and to whom I want to devote my whole heart and soul.
Let’s talk about how to get lifelong clients … and keep them.
I figure all of life is a math problem.
This particular math problem: Figure out how many clients you can handle at once and still give all of them your very best + 10 percent.
For me, it’s about 15. For you, it might be 80, or 3. It really comes down to what kind of work you do, who you love to serve and how much time/energy you have.
Here’s the salient point: If you want to get lifelong clients by turning a new client into a forever client, you can’t exceed the maximum of people you can serve while still bringing your very best.
That’s not to say you can’t serve some more than others. I have two clients that rise to the very top of my mind each and every time someone asks me about my work. I love them dearly, and I like to think they’re fans of me as well. These people will never get anything less than stellar work.
But neither will any of my other peeps, because I refuse to overload myself. That’s key.
I’ve never met a freelance writer who didn’t also have their own projects and goals. Same goes for me. If I’m not busily writing my own indie books, I’m publishing or promoting them, or spending time engaging with fellow book lovers on Instagram.
That stuff is really important to me, and while I want to get lifelong clients, not at the expense of the other activities I care about.
More to the point, if you fail to prioritize your own loves, you’ll find burnout creeping up on you sooner rather than later. That means you can’t serve your clients well, and you’ll start to lose them.
Bottom line: Factor your own projects and dreams into your mental math about how many clients you can serve, or you and they will suffer.
The worst thing you can do if you want to keep and get lifelong clients is simply to dash your words off. If they wanted drivel that only took 15 minutes to write, they’d do it themselves. Would it be worse than your drivel? Probably, yes, but you’re the writer, which means your work is held to a higher standard.
As such, make sure every piece you create contains at least one of the following:
It’s not enough to do the same thing day after day. Not only will you get bored, so will they. Plus, the hedonic treadmill concept dictates that if you never do anything new, your clients will start to like your work less and less, even if it’s of exactly the same quality.
Don’t let that happen. Instead, here are a few steps I take daily to keep my work fresh:
And that’s it for now.
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