Want to know why some designers are consistently busy and others can’t seem to get enough work? What’s the secret to a never-ending a stream of new clients and consistent cash flow?
Explore the art of the follow-up.
How many times have you gone into a store and not purchased anything. Did the clerk or vendor ever contact you again? Likely not – but if they did, weren’t you more likely to remember them?
Story time: I couldn’t tell you the name of the real estate agent who sold my first apartment. The agent who helped my husband and I purchase our next house almost ten years ago? He sends a note and token gift card every year – and we’ve sent him over 30 referral clients. Not only was he great to work with – but that small note every year reminds us of him – and whenever someone in town needs an agent, he’s the first person we think of.
If you’re dealing with higher priced services that require a significant investment (such as a custom site or high-end retainer packages) it isn’t always a simple quick yes – often people need time to consider their options (and consult anyone who’s also financially impacted).
Have you been contacted in the last few months by promising leads that ended up going nowhere? How often (if ever) did you follow up with them? Often I’ll find that people are so paralyzed by making large financial decisions that they take no action. We may think if we never hear from someone again that a deal is dead in the water – but the opposite could likely be true.
I know I get busy – and so do my clients. Those projects that seemed so pressing at one point might just get pushed to the side. When you reach out again and show that you’ve been thinking about them, you’re likely to pick up new work. Highlight any recent work, tools or insights that could be useful for their business. The worst that could happen is that they say no – the best is that you start filling your client list!
Want more work from your current clients? It works the same way- how often are you following up AFTER the project launches? So often designers are one-and-done and onto the next gig. But following up with that past client could not only lead to new work, but new referral clients.
MINIMA TIP: mark a note in your calendar at 3, 6 and 12 months after a site launches to check in with your client. Congratulate them and make sure they’ve got everything they need. When they reply back, it’s a great time to let them know about any new services you’re offering.
I personally love working with previous clients – as my skills evolve, I’m able to offer them more and further develop their brand. Bonus – it’s much easier to work with someone you’ve worked with before – you know each other’s personalities and habits. The past few years I’ve taken on very few new clients in favor of building my long-term relationships.
Got tips on following up?
Share them below!