As a freelance health writer, your primary source of income is client work.
You can find new clients through many different avenues: referral, previous employment or direct contact. Even though you’ll work for a different number of clients every month, you’ll build a solid base over time. From there, you can decide if you want to continue to source new clients, or try and retain existing clients.
In many cases, it can be easier to find work – and income – from existing clients.
If you haven’t yet developed a business plan for client retention, it helps to have some strategies in place for securing your freelance income from your existing business.
Strategies for repeat business success
First and most importantly, the quality of your work will determine whether a client keeps coming back to you for more. We have discussed in previous posts how to source accurate medical information to add credibility to your writing as well as how to improve the quality of your writing. It’s also important to understand – and meet – your brief, so you can be sure your writing is delivering on client expectations.
Following up with clients
Don’t be afraid to contact clients you’ve worked with in the past. You may want to inform them about a new writing service you provide or just maintain your connection. Being in the right place at the right time may just secure an existing or upcoming project.
By keeping in contact with clients, it shows you have a genuine interest in their business, too. Most businesses would prefer to continue to outsource their work to a health writer they trust, rather than look for a new writer who is unfamiliar.
Meeting tight deadlines
Meeting deadlines is an aspect of your business you should be aiming to achieve with every job, regardless whether you are trying to secure future work. However, you can offer value to your client if you are asked to meet a tight deadline.
Going the extra mile – even if it means putting in extra hours – helps you to forge a positive relationship, and perhaps make it that little bit easier for you to win extra work in the future.
Positive feedback from past jobs helps clients feel confident they are working with a health writer who has proven experience. You may consider publishing client testimonials on your website if you have one or your LinkedIn page.
If you’re regularly following up with your clients as part of your business strategy, then this could be an opportunity to request a short testimonial, too.
Cross-selling your services
Sometimes, clients may not be aware there is work available to offer you. They may not realise their website’s content is not SEO-friendly or that you offer medical copywriting services as well.
A brief email with a list of the services you provide followed up with a phone call can help you to cross-sell and upsell your services.
You may consider offering discounts or a free service to loyal clients as a retention tool. For example, you could give a 5% discount off your usual fee when negotiating a larger project with an existing client or a free revision with your final draft. It’s completely up to you whether you’re willing to sacrifice a small cost to secure more work.
Create and build rapport
Creating personal connections can help your client feel they are dealing with a person and help you stand out from the crowd. Be friendly but professional in your emails, phone calls and conversations in order to create a personalised experience for your client – one where they feel invested in the relationship, too.
What are your tips for retaining clients? We would love to hear your strategies in the comments below.