How many times have you gone looking for new clients, sending out emails, making cold calls, mining LinkedIn, etc., during those quiet days and weeks? I’m sure it’s happened more than you like. After all, you have to keep mining for new clients… right?
But are you overlooking past – both recent and not-so-recent – clients? After all, they did use your services, and they paid you, and presumably were happy with the result. Current and not-so-current clients are probably your best source of new work and repeat projects. So how do you get more or repeat work out of those clients?
You can ask. Sounds simple, because it is. You already have a relationship, so there should be no awkward introductions or requests for work. How about writing an email and saying: “It was wonderful working with you on PROJECT. Do you need any help with PROBLEM or OUTCOME? If there is anything I can do to help you in your business, just let me know.”
If you don’t ask, you don’t get. And you’re asking in a nice way. Worst case, they have nothing going on… but you’re top of mind. And best case, you get more work coming your way.
Most freelancers never ask past or current clients for referrals to colleagues who could use your services. Warm referrals are a fantastic way to get new clients, as you get introduced by someone who has used your service already. Ask those clients for referrals to other businesses or people in their network that would use your type of service.
You could write: “Hi CLIENT NAME, how is business? What have you been up to? I hope that things are booming. I know that you don’t have anything for me right now, but do you know anyone who needs help with PROBLEM? As you know, I provide SERVICE and have experience with handling PROBLEM. I would appreciate a quick referral.”
Those are two great ways to get more business out of past and current clients. What tips do you have? Do you need help with writing an email to past clients? Let me know – firstname.lastname@example.org.