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Monday, January 16, 2012

9 Ways to Develop Regular Clients

My latest piece, "nine ways to develop regular clients," is out in the February issue of The Writer (I'm a contributing editor there). I suggest you check it out; the ability to create and sustain lasting relationships with your editors and clients is critical to your success as a freelancer. But here's a preview of the nine techniques I suggest in the article:

1. Beat your deadlines. This isn't that hard!
2. Don't make it personal. No one likes criticism, but learn how to take it.
3. But do keep it personal. A personal relationship with a client never hurts.
4. Pitch regularly. Failure to do this is a major mistake.
5. Exceed expectations. Yeah, it's business-speak for go the extra mile. Do it anyway.
6. Expand your reach. Continue to develop your skills--you'll be more valuable to clients.
7. Express appreciation. You probably already know that I'm a big believer in saying thank you!
8. Think honey, not vinegar. In other words, be nice to your clients. Even (or especially!) when they annoy you.
9. Never say never. I don't believe in one-shot stories, and I try to avoid one-shot clients. I try to touch base with former clients several times a year; you never know when a one-time client may become a repeat one.

**Please keep those survey responses coming! I've already gathered 158 responses to my 2012 freelance income survey, and will post the results in a week or so. If you have taken it already, thank you! If you haven't, would you take a couple of minutes (it will take you less than five!) and do so...and please pass the link on to other full-time freelancers, too. I'd like to get at least 250 responses this time around. Thanks! :)