It’s not all about marketing! You can be a successful freelancer and consultant without doing ANY marketing. In this podcast, I give you 8 tips on how to do just that.
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Hi, everyone, Mike Volkin here with another Freelancer school podcast. Thanks for joining me again, this podcast continues to grow in popularity. And I’d like to because of that we’ve been bringing on some sponsors. The topic for today’s podcast is how to triple your revenue without marketing. Now, I’m a marketing guy. So this might be a little counter productive. But I’ll tell you that it’s not all about marketing, in freelance work and consulting work, you can actually make a very good income doing no marketing at all. So I have outlined the top eight ways to do that. And I’m going to go through that in this podcast. This podcast episode is all about client retention. Client retention is the best way to triple your revenue without marketing, because a lot of clients and or consultants and freelancers only keep clients for about three months, on average. I don’t really have a statistic to back that up. I’m sure there’s one out there. But I’ll tell you from my experience in working with, I’d say hundreds of freelancers at this point, that three months is a pretty good average. Now,
if we’re talking about client retention, how do we triple our client retention? How do we make them last nine months or even a year or longer. Usually, when I take on a client, it’s for a minimum of a year, I don’t take on a client that has short term work anymore, unless it’s a very, very special circumstance, like a friend or something like that. But let’s talk about the ways that you can triple your the length of time that a client stays around Okay, your your retention, number one politeness, nobody’s going to stay with you, unless they’re masochist. If you’re rude, and not just doesn’t have to be just rude. It could be just average. You could just not be polite or you cannot be rude, but I would make it a point to be polite, say your thank yous in your pleases be appreciative.
A little bit over above then what’s called for but not to an annoying level. Okay, so number two is managing up. Now at Freelancer masterclass, we have a whole class on managing up and I don’t want to go through the entire managing up class in this podcast because it’s beyond the scope. But if you are interested in knowing how to manage up, then you should take Freelancer masterclass. But in general, managing up is a way to be proactive in your communication with your client. As an example, I’m working with a freelancer now, I just had to let go, actually. And she was asking me questions about every little thing, which is okay, I like communication. But I would answer a question she come right back with another question right back with another question right back with another question. It was like I was hanging on my email, like it was a live chat, because she couldn’t just sit down and think for 30 seconds about all the questions she had about the project. And she had to keep, you know, bothering me throughout the day. And it came to the point where, you know, if I were to do a project myself, it would have taken me about two hours. So I hired it out. And it took me about two hours in communication, just to get this person to do it herself in two hours. Like it wasn’t even worth my time. So I had to eventually let her go even though she was probably really good at what she did. And I probably would have kept around for a while. So managing up is very important. Okay, tip number three punctuality. I’m telling you, if you ever work with me, nothing is more important than punctuality. My time is very valuable. And if you’re late to a meeting, especially if I hired you,
then that shows disrespect, honestly. And I know it’s kind of weird. There are certain countries, I would hire freelancers in certain countries and they’re perpetually late. It must be like a thing in their in their country that hey, it’s okay. If I’m what’s called party late, five minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes late. And there’s no like, you know, if you’re five minutes late, yeah. Hey, I was running late for a meeting. Okay, no problem. This makes sure you know, next time you plan accordingly or you tell your other person in your meeting, hey, I’ve got another meeting, right? But if you’re 10 minutes late and 15 minutes late with no excuse and no apology, that kind of gets under my skin a lot because that’s 15 minutes, I could have spent building another client. Okay. And that’s lost revenue for me. Okay, so be punctual. So so far we have politeness, managing up in punctual. Now I’m going to talk about being proactive. This is a little bit different than managing up which is more of a being proactive on a communication standpoint. But this tip number four on proactivity is about understanding what projects might be coming up based on a project you’re doing now. So if you’re doing something related to search engine optimization,
You can tell your client, hey, when I’m done with this work, I realize you’re gonna need some content written, would you like me to get the Find a content team or get your content team started now. So when I’m done with my work, we’ll be ready to go. Like that kind of stuff that can speed up the clients workload, and not have him think about it is going to make you that much more valuable to them. And they’re going to keep you around for longer. Okay, so number four is be proactive. Tip number five of eight, is show them all your skill sets. So many times, people hire you for a very specific skill set. And they don’t often know that you have other skill sets. So let’s stick to this search engine optimization
example. So somebody is doing some SEO edits to your site.
And you can also write content, let’s say, you’re also a copywriter, you can tell them, hey, listen, I know you’re going to need content after this.
I’m a copywriter, would you like me to get started? Now you’re cross selling? Okay? If you’re a graphic designer, you can give them some local logo examples. And you can tell them, Hey, I also do some website design work. Would you like me to make some comments on how I can improve your website design? Okay, so there’s a lot of ways to show them all of your skill sets. So they don’t think that they have to go to somebody else. Many times people don’t look at your entire resume and work history, just when they want to hire you for one certain project. Okay, so that’s a guaranteed way to keep a client around longer. Moving on to number six, it’s no one’s fault. And by that I mean, clients tend to get rid of freelancers, when there’s a lot of blaming going on. So sticking to the SEO example, let’s say that the project is taking longer than expected, the client mentioned something to you, Hey, I thought you’re supposed to be done on Friday, it’s Tuesday. And you say, Yeah, well, this and this happened, your site was down for four hours on Saturday, and I couldn’t work on it. And then this happened that, you know, a long list of excuses, really shortens your lifespan with a client. So there are polite ways to say that it’s not your fault. It’s not anyone’s fault. The deadline is a little past. These are the reasons I’m not blaming anybody. But let’s continue on. Here’s a new realistic deadline. Okay, so just understand that constant blaming, either yourself or somebody else really shortens your lifespan with a client.
All right, so keep that in mind as you communicate with a client. Number seven, under promise and over deliver this is an age old saying for consultants, but still rings true, no matter how sophisticated our technology gets, or even what year it is, it’s a timeless thing, under promise and over deliver. So you want to when you’re sending out quotes, or maybe if you’re not doing a formal quote, maybe if a client just asked you how long do you think this will take? And what’s the estimated cost? Always, you know, fudge it a little bit 10 or 20% in your direction, just in case if something happens unexpected, you can still be within or even under budget, and then do the same thing with the due date. So if you think it’s going to take you a week, give them a due date of a week and a half things don’t always go according to plan, ask any consultant who’s been around for, say two years or more. All right, they will tell you that there has been weird circumstances working with a client or two over the last couple years it happens. And even if that does happen, if you under promise and over deliver, you will still be on budget and within your estimated time. So under promise and over deliver. And the eighth tip I have for you today is ask for feedback. I’ve had freelancers that have never asked me. What do you think about my work that I meet your expectations that I exceed your expectation? That is very important, because not only do you want to know, but when a client tells you, they’re happy with you, that would be a perfect lead in to ask for more work. Okay, and they just told you, they’re happy with you. So why would they not give you more work? All right, so asking for feedback is a good what I call it. Freelancer masterclass is a good transition phrase, which allows you to lead the conversation towards getting more work. Okay, so let’s review the eight tips I have for you today on how to triple your revenue without marketing. Number one, be polite. Number two, manage up number three, be punctual. Number four, be proactive. Number five, show them all your skill set. Number six, stop the blame game It doesn’t matter whose fault it is. Number seven, under promise and over deliver. And number eight, ask for feedback. Guys, be sure you if you have to take those eight tips, print them out, type them up, print them out, put them on your wall somewhere and keep in mind they have to be ingrained in your brain. If you want to be a successful freelancer. Good luck.