Once you have a client, whether it’s a short-term project or a long-term one, it’s important to follow up with them. Your former and current clients are likely one of the best sources for future clients, and it doesn’t take much to please a former client when you follow up with them. A nice short note, a birthday card, or a congratulatory tweet, can all go far in keeping you in the forefront of their mind for future projects.
The Little Things Matter
People are touched more than you realize by the little things. A handwritten note and a newspaper clipping from an article you read, a quick email regarding a new product or service you are offering, a link to new software that you thought might work for them, a small note telling them they’re awesome, will mean a lot if it’s done in an authentic way.
Clients Are Referral Generators
Current clients can be great sources of new referrals. This is because they are happy. Keep your current clients informed about all the different types of work that you do outside of the work you do for them. Offer incentives for referrals too, as keeping connected will result in more clients.
Stay on Their Mind
This is most especially true if the client was a short-term project based client. By sharing information with the former client, and sending them periodic information about what you’re doing, things you’ve achieved, as well as congratulating them on their achievements and life milestones, you’ll stay on their mind. When they think of a project that involves the work you do, you’ll be the first one they think about.
People Get Busy
The client may have been meaning to contact you to talk about a new project but life just keeps getting in the way. If you are the one who reaches out, they’re much more likely to follow through with a new project. They just got busy and kept putting the idea of the new project on the back burner. You can help move new projects to the front burner by proactively contacting your clients on a regular basis.
Take It Easy
It’s important to follow up without being irritating. Don’t bombard your client or past client with continuous streams of emails. As a service provider, you’re in a different place than an email marketer, and while you do want to grow and develop your prospects list, once someone is or has been a paying client, if you bother them daily with marketing messages they’re just going to tune you out.
Remember to segment your audience. Short-term project clients should be on a different email list than current paying clients. Both should be on a different list than prospects.
Prospects you want to contact at least weekly, if not daily. Current clients you can get away with contacting at least monthly. Past clients you may only want to contact every 30 to 90 days. It depends on your audience, but one thing is for sure – following up with style and class will convert them all over again.