In our daydreams of freelancing, we imagine loving our work and having clients that respect and appreciate our input. ☁️ However, when we start our freelance hustle, it’s usually a lot less ideal.
We start out on a constant hunt for clients and struggle to establish ourselves as experts of our skill.
That’s where Cláudio, a videographer and marketer in Porto, was stuck: alternating between struggling to find clients and struggling to offer the value that would make them repeat clients.
Getting stuck on a constant client search
When we’re just getting started as freelancers, we think that any gig we can land is a good gig. We often start out with short-term projects or simple task gigs.
Those were Cláudio’s first jobs, too. He found many projects for video editing but he was qualified for much more than that.
Still, none of his short-term clients let him close enough for him to offer more value.
“All my clients were one-time clients. I could never get close enough to them to understand the problem that the project was trying to fix, so I couldn’t deliver more value.”
“They’d just ask me to make a video and that was it. I wanted to go beyond that.”
The stressful, short-term project cycle
Cláudio was trapped in a stressful cycle of short-term projects. He didn’t have time for personal projects or advancing his skills because he was constantly looking for new work.
Worse still, short-term projects often already have a defined scope of work, which means they aren’t looking for much input.
It becomes harder to offer value, which is what creates repeat clients.
“The short-term clients I had only wanted the work they asked for. There was no room for my ideas.”
Since it isn’t always easy to offer value on short-term projects, shifting our focus to deepening client relationships can open the door to offering value.
Creating better client relationships
Offering as much value as we can to clients is a great way to create better client relationships. Cláudio knew he could grow his business, so he turned to the FTN course to help him offer more value.
To make it a little less vague, offering value means using all of your knowledge, skill and experience to propose solutions for their project.
We can start showing the value we bring to clients right from our freelance profiles. There are also some great tips out there for submitting successful proposals on Upwork and how to make them show your real worth.
“Since taking the course, I’ve learned to market myself using my skills and accomplishments instead of just my job title. Clients love seeing the results I’ve brought other clients!”
“Now, I speak to clients from my own experience. I try to understand their problem and pose solutions; it makes them see me as an expert.”
When we nurture our projects as if they were our own, clients trust us with their work. When clients trust us, we benefit from better client relationships.
Expanding our business with strong client relationships
Besides trust and positive vibes we get from maintaining better client relationships, what else comes of them?
As we continue to build our client relationships, opportunities arise naturally, like longer-term work, more projects, or best of all, referrals!
“As my clients got to know me and professional ability, they recommended me to others clients. I haven’t had to look for clients in a long time!”
“Since the course, I’ve gone from producing one-off videos for $50 to landing long-term projects where I earn $30/hour.”
Keeping better client relationships and long-term work gives us a sense of security – which is especially vital for digital nomads, who need to run a tight ship while they’re on the road.
“I travel more easily now because I have better client relationships. They don’t worry and neither do I; they know I’m still going to make things happen!”
With the stability that long-term clients give me, I’ve been able to focus more on my personal projects.”
Between getting more time for your personal life and gaining stability to stop worrying, there’s plenty of benefits that come from creating better client relationships. 🤔 Which benefit is going to make you check out the FTN course today?
We cover offering value and building client relationships extensively in the 15-day Freelance Travel Network course. We aim to get every member of the FTN tribe living the lifestyle of their dreams (which includes landing the projects you want, like Cláudio achieved).