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January 29, 2020

How Freelancers Get Client Referrals

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Client referrals mean the world to the freelancing industry. In fact, a lot of people will say that these referrals can either make or break a business - and it's true. After all, having people refer their acquaintances to you can help you gain more business and, in turn, help you make more money. Find out how to get more business referrals here.

Treat Your Clients as Friends
Whatever you do, don't get tempted to ask for a referral directly. Instead, just stay in touch with your clients and be friendly and personal whenever you talk to them. Ask whether your ad helped them get more sales. Ask how their kids are. Ask whether they have been smart in saving their receipts. As strange as this might sound, don't throw in any sales pitches. Just call them to show how much you care instead of blatantly waving a flag in their faces that says you need more clients.

Ask for Referrals
Now, if you really can't stop yourself, you can ask for client referrals - nicely. This will only work if you are a great freelancer, though - remember that. If you'd prefer, you can even do this in writing. You can, for example, add the words "we appreciate referrals" on your online and printed materials. Believe it or not, even subliminal messages work.

Know Which Clients to Treat as VIPs
You should know that some people out there deserve "the special treatment". These clients are the ones who can generate the most buzz for you. Basically, if you think your client can generate many new projects in the long run, then pay more attention to him than to others. This will pay off once you see how many new clients your business has because of him.

Provide Referral Discounts
If you have the money for it, provide referral discounts. You can, for example, provide a 10% discount for upcoming jobs for every referral. Discounts happen to be great incentives for companies.

Add Coupon Codes to Your Business Cards
Most business cards have blank spaces behind them, so why not put special coupons on yours and make them stand out?

Ask for Testimonials
One inadvertent way to get client referrals would be to ask current clients to leave testimonials on your business website.

Ask Your Loved Ones for Help
Family and members can also play an integral part in client referrals. Ask your loved ones to help your business out through word-of-mouth as this could bring you more referrals, too. Aside from giving you referrals, friends can also introduce you to new people, help you endorse services, display literature about your business in their offices and homes, and publish or distribute your company information. Make sure you are tactful without going overboard or pushy here, though. After all, they are your family members and friends.

Holiday Promotions
The holidays would be the best days to take full advantage of by sending out gifts or holiday cards to previous clients. This will show them that you haven't forgotten about them while reminding them of your business at the same time. Be creative and think of affordable options for this, like baking homemade cookies that has your company's logo on them, or basic promotional coupons and items.

Give Them Something Valuable
Some clients will be scared of you messing up their friends' projects. So, to make sure that your current clients refer you to others, give them nice gifts that they can share. Referral awards are usually the best things to turn to for this.

Give Out Two Cards
When sending out the invoice of your client, try adding two business cards with it along with a note asking him to share your services with others. If your current relationship with that client is a positive one, then he will be more than willing to help you out.

Keep Your Communication Lines Open
One vital service that you should look into at all times is communication. When working with a client, make sure you don't forget to touch base every other day. Showing how concerned you are and giving up your time to get in touch will make your clients happier and thus result in more client referrals.

Remember that First Impressions Count
Although all interactions are important in a business, the first impression will always count the most, so always think about how you can leave a good impression on a new client before meeting him.

Think about Why You Lost Clients in the Past
If you have ever lost a client, try to figure out why that happened in the first place. See, if there is a specific reason why you lost him, then there are chances of you losing more clients for that same reason in the future. Don't be scared to ask why a client stopped using your services, but if you are anyway, then try sending out a questionnaire that asks this question for you.

Focus on Overall Networking
If you are in desperate need of more client referrals, you should look into networking. Try attending various freelancer events or volunteering at non-profit events with high visibility. You can also become a member of your church. In a nutshell, anything that will allow you to meet more people will be helpful.

Offer Guarantees
Some clients may be worried about hiring new freelancers or looking into new services. To address worries like these, you can offer certain guarantees. Guarantees will usually help clients go out on a limb and refer you to their family members and friends.

Keep Track of Your Referrals
Try to keep track of how and where you are getting client referrals from. By doing this, you will find out what has been working for you and focus on those methods more than others.

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May 5, 2011 - 8:02 pm
Its funny how in this article you say dont directly ask for referrals but in your newest post you say its ok, that sounds a bit odd to me. I really like the idea of a holiday promotion, to get previous clients thinking about you again, and besides who doesn't love a discount?
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