When we think about marketing our freelance writing services, it's easy to get caught up in the idea of finding new clients. But what about former clients? Sometimes they get lost in the mix, or are downright forgotten. Do you remember to approach them about potential new writing gigs?
Here are a few things you can do to bring old clients back:
1. Reach out.
The most important thing to do is just contact your past clients. See how they're doing. Touch base. Bring them back into your network and remind them that you were the kind of freelancer who really cared about them and their business (or if you didn't, now's a good time to start).
2. Mention that you're available.
You can't be afraid to let people know that you're looking for new freelance writing jobs. You don't have to be pushy and pleading. Just mention that you have an opening in your schedule should they be interested.
3. Pitch a specific project.
Did you write content for a newsletter around this time last year? Why not contact that client and pitch a similar project? Is there something going on in the news that would suit your old press release client perfectly? Then pitch a new one as a way to tie the company to current events. Clients don't care that you need a gig. But they do care about opportunities to help their own businesses. Go into the conversation armed with an idea, and you'll increase your chances of coming out with a paying gig.
4. Request referrals.
Referrals are one of the best ways to land new freelance writing jobs because they're jobs that generally aren't advertised (meaning you have little to no competition). But you don't have to wait around hoping someone refers work your way. Ask for those referrals.
Contact past clients and mention that you have some new client spots open now or opening in the near future, and ask them if they know anyone who might be interested in your services. You could even encourage referrals with a discount -- maybe 20% off their own next order if they refer someone who becomes a paying client in the next couple of weeks.
5. Offer promotions and discounts.
As a last resort if people are mildly interested but hesitant, consider offering a one-time discount for returning clients who haven't worked with you for a certain period of time. For example you might offer a limited time sale of 10% off for any client who comes back after having not worked with you for at least six months. If you offer sales too often you might get the opposite effect where clients will hold off on ordering, waiting for the next discount to come along. So use this marketing tactic sparingly.
How else might a freelance writer bring former clients back? How do you approach past clients about the potential for new freelance writing gigs? Share your stories and tips in the comments below.
Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and indie author. She began writing for clients in 1999 and started her first blog in 2004.
She owns 3 Beat Media - a publishing and client services company which operates All Indie Writers as well as several other websites and blogs including The Busy Author's Guide and BizAmmo. Jenn comes from a background in online PR and social media consulting, having owned a small PR firm for several years before choosing to pursue a full-time writing and publishing career.
Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names in the areas of children's fiction, mysteries, and horror fiction. Jenn is an active member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and currently serves as the organization's Assistant Coordinator of Promotions and Social Media.
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