Gaining clients as a freelancer or contractor is no easy feat. While there are platforms like Upwork that can help connect you with clients, the best way to move up in the world is to receive referrals from past or present clients.
In many cases, a referral happens without your knowledge. In some instances, you can ask your clients to refer you, but these are less common. Let’s say you’ve received a new client based on a referral. What are you supposed to do? Read on to find out more from first-hand experience!
If you want to receive referrals, you need to astound and impress your current clients. This will inspire them to mention you to others and even recommend your services. As an example, I have a client who I’ve worked with for years and consistently produced excellent results.
As a result, this client passed my name along to one of their co-workers who owns a website. This person then reached out to me and asked if I would like to work with them as well and write an article for the site. This kind of instant connection and mutual trust would not have been possible without my client’s recommendation.
In any case, it would have been highly unlikely for me to come into contact with a high profile client like this one. This event led to another referral because my name was mentioned to an even higher profile client.
I was excited, but I was also nervous. There was a lot of pressure here to perform well. Here’s how I handled the situation to ensure it would all go over smoothly. I recommend this method to anyone who receives a referral.
The first thing I did, and the first thing you should do, is thank the person who referred you. You want to embrace this new opportunity while also maintaining the business relationship that brought you to this pedestal.
If you want more referrals, you should show gratitude and appreciation to your top clients. Once you’ve thanked them, you can move forward with this new venture. If you’re asking for a referral, focus on the clients who are most likely to recommend people you want to work with.
The next step I took was also very important. I made sure to set aside enough time to deliver an excellent first article. I wanted the client to be truly impressed with my work. While this can put you behind on your other projects, it’s worth it to make a great first impression.
In my case, I was also unfamiliar with the subject matter, so it’s only natural that I would need more time to turn in a great product. As time goes on, you’ll get better and faster, but this first impression is key to starting a great business relationship.
The final step is a simple, but crucial one. You must balance your workload going forward. If you leap onto this referral opportunity and fail to keep your original client happy, then you’ve missed the point of having a referral.
You’ll need to continue working with your client, while also satisfying the needs of this new one. In some cases, this new client could be a difficult one. In cases like this, it’s best to try and improve the situation through better communication and prevention of issues.
It’s a careful balance, but an important one that you should focus on for your continued success.
Referrals are a great way to progress your career as a contractor or freelance worker. Once you’ve received these referrals, it’s important to handle the process properly so you set yourself up for future referrals in the future.
How do you handle referrals? Let us know in the comments!