I don’t know about you, but I’d rather work with people that I have a proven good working relationship with rather than a constant stream of new clients who may or may not be easy to deal with.
Building a good reputation as an independent online contractor is not hard. Here are 5 ways to get repeat clients:
1. Be honest. There is nothing a person appreciates more than honesty, especially a business that deals with virtually unknown people halfway around the world. When you can’t finish a job on time, let the client know right away and always give an estimate of when you can complete it. Give recommendations.
2. Know your worth. You are an expert in your field that’s why people come to you. Knowing that, decide on and be firm about your rate. Look at what other contractors in your field are charging and gauge your skills against them. Be confident.
3. Fix your profile. Let people know what you can do. Be specific about your skills and the programs/software you use or are knowledgeable about. Highlight recommendations and feedback of other clients.
4. Set expectations. Be clear with the client about what is within your scope and what isn’t. When you’re really good, people will tend to exploit but undervalue you. Remember, you are not an employee but a partner.
5. Keep communication lines open. The world is getting smaller due to the internet. There is no excuse for not communicating with a client. Email is always the tool of choice. Keep your clients updated with your progress on the task/project, even when not required. This shows integrity. Keep them informed of how you fixed or completed a task. This shows that you genuinely want to help them out.
These are the five main guidelines I live by and these really work for me. It’s not always about the money but the reputation you build that ensures you never run out of work.