So here is my second attempt at writing a blog post that is not only insightful but is also enjoyable for my audience to read. Hope I don't bore you :) I don't have an exact science about how to obtain more clients (especially the ones that pay on time and don't need to micromanage your every move), but I do know a few things about becoming invaluable to the ones you already have. Once you become invaluable to one client, you'll start gaining more clients via word of mouth. Word of mouth will always be your best form of advertising.
Below is a list of four things that you can do that will make you invaluable to your clients. Once you master this list, the $$$$ will start pouring in. Okay, maybe not but your clients will appreciate it.
1. DON'T REVEAL YOUR MOJO
If you have to listen to Ying Yang Twins to get you in the "writing copy mood," then so be it. No but seriously, it is important to keep the lines communication open with a client but don't blab too much. You don't want to reveal your entire process to your client or you run the risk of being replaced with someone who might charge less, or worse, an intern.
I usually let the numbers speak for themselves. Which brings me to my next point...
2. KEEP TRACK OF YOUR PROGRESS
When you first begin a relationship with a client, you will probably discuss what his or her goals are for the company. You will the outline how you will go about reaching these goals. From day one, it is very important that you keep track of your progress. Most of the popular social networks out there have very informative statistics. Make sure to collect these numbers from day one and then get in the habit of recording your progress at the end of the month. Before you bill your client, collect data for them so they know that you know what you are doing. Sometimes you feel like saying "I GOT THIS, HOP OFF MY NUTS" but it is much more effective to prove it with a well organized excel document :) If you can prove that you brought in X-amount of dollars to your client, you will become invaluable faster (and have leverage to increase your rate.)
3. BE EASILY ACCESSIBLE
Clients are hiring you because they have a need to fill and they believe you can do that for them. The easier it is for them to get ahold of you when they need you, the more likely they will continue to reach out to you. Sometimes clients call me in the middle of dinner because they can't figure out their MailChimp password and I am totally OK with that. In fact, I encourage it. I won't answer the call if it is inappropriate, but I will send a quick text like "At dinner, will call in a few," and then here is the thing...I CALL THEM BACK AFTER DINNER! It's not that hard but a lot of people don't do this and if you do, it will set you apart immediately. I also answer emails within a few hours (sometimes quicker.) If your business is social media and digital marketing, your client is going to expect you to be available digitally at all hours. Now this doesn't mean that your client can drunk dial you after his fifth scotch. If you encourage that kind of relationship with a client, then perhaps you are in the wrong industry.
4. NEVER SAY NO
I know this is a double negative but I needed to get your attention. I can't tell you how many times a client has asked me to do something that wasn't discussed initially. For example, one time a client asked me to help him write a Yelp review on behalf of his parents. This had nothing to do with writing product descriptions for his vintage furniture shop, but that doesn't matter. He needed my help and he was willing to pay me for my time, WIN-WIN! So the point is don't shy away from stepping outside of your initial role. If you want to build a lasting relationship with a client, you have to be willing to say YES even when it isn't convenient. That client has since become a great friend and let's me borrow his truck when I need to haul something :)