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Freelance Writers: Are You Missing Out on Gigs by Not Asking These 3 Follow-Up Questions?

As I stated in this post, “If you’re familiar with the Pareto Principle, you know that 20% of your clients will give you 80% of your work. So … you literally can’t afford to ignore existing [or previous] clients – especially those you can count on to give you work on a regular basis.”

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Work Smarter, Not Harder

Mining existing clients for more work is one of the easiest ways to work smarter, not harder. After all, they already know – and like! – your work. The trust is already there. You’re proven entity. Following are three questions I routinely ask old and existing clients that can help you land more freelance writing jobs.

1. Did you know that we offer “x?”

Most of the time when prospects contact and begin to use your services as a freelancer, they’ll have you pegged for one or two things. But, what if you offer a variety of services?

Even if the services are listed prominently on your website, many clients will still be unaware that you offer them. And, you also might have grown your service offerings since they started using you. So let them know, for example, “Hey, we also offer social media account management. We can write and distribute your content for you via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.”

Note: Don’t bombard them all at once with all of your services. The way I go about it is, I usually bundle specific services – one they currently use, along with a complementary one. For example, I recently sent a bundle offering of social media and weekly blog posts to one client who only uses us for her social media needs. Then, I put a click out to my firm’s website with all of our offerings.

Then I publicized the offer on our Facebook page. See?
Freelance Writers: How to Bundle Services

2. Do you know of any others who can use our services?

If you don’t ask, you’ll never receive. Many freelancers are squeamish tapping existing clients for referrals, but you shouldn’t be. As the author of this post on referrals – the way he built his business, by the way — states:

I don’t think you should wait for referrals to come to you sporadically — you should instead proactively seek them, no matter what industry you’re in. If you take the time to develop referrals, you’ll get more qualified prospects for the simple fact that people hang out with others like themselves. This cuts the sales cycle to a much shorter timeframe.

A simple one liner in an email can be all it takes. Following is an example … “If you’re satisfied with the service(s) we provide, please pass our info along to others you know of who need affordable, professional, reliable help with their content needs. Or, pass their info along to us … and we’ll take it from there.”

The post on referrals linked to above gives a much more proactive approach to building your entire business on referrals – complete with email templates and everything.

3. What other services can we provide for you?

Every once in a while – maybe two or three times a year, I like to send out an email to clients who’ve used my firm’s services in the last year or so asking just one thing, “Are there any services you’d like us to provide that we currently don’t?” You’re not going to get very many responses (just wanted to prepare you for that), but even a few can give you an idea of what clients want and need.

Also, I’ve had a few clients over the years who responded with services – get this … that we already offered. One led to about $3,000 in ebook writing jobs.

Again, clients don’t keep up with what you’re offering or not offering. They’re too busy running their businesses. So it’s your job to keep them in the loop.

Conclusion

Previous and existing clients are an easier sell simply because they’re already using / have used your services. So go back through your list … even contact those who haven’t used you in forever.

Any and/or all of these questions are a good reason to contact existing clients, and old ones too. Who knows, your next writing job may just be a phone call/email away.

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    Comments

    1. Great article. Thanks for sharing. I am a freelance writer and the work is tough.