Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Let's Keep in Touch: What to Do About Past Clients

I don't know if you've noticed or not, but I've removed the websites that used to be on the top left side of this blog. The big reason is that I've FINALLY decided to invest money in having a professional design one for me. I'm excited about the new site so far and have been busy developing copy for it in my not-so-spare time.

One thing working on the new website has me doing is developing new marketing campaigns aimed at a couple of specific markets. I also realized that once I launch the new site, I will need to share that information with both present and past clients; and that's when it hit me – I've been failing miserably at following up with past clients.

How to reconnect

I'm the type who hates to think I might be pestering someone. Ideally, I'd like to think that once I've done work for a client they'll automatically think of me when they need something new. That's not how it works, and I get that.

Constantly sending out messages to offer services they may not need is not really my style (although it might work for some). I prefer more of a "soft sell" approach. For instance, I'll send links to something I think they might find interesting. You could also initiate contact to make sure the information you have on a client is up to date.

Become unforgettable

There have been times when I've checked in with past clients and they've been so glad I contacted them because they were just thinking about calling me to discuss a new project. Out of sight out of mind, and I don't want that to happen. Do you make a habit of keeping in contact with past clients?


Devon Ellington said...

Postcards (a variation of "hey, I'm alive, are you?") every 3 months, and always, always, always a holiday greeting. I'm big on holiday cards, both in my personal and professional life.

I always get a spike directly after a mailing.

Kimberly Ben said...

Hmmm, post cards... that's a good idea. Not too pushy either. Devon, I may have to borrow that idea for the launch of my new website.

Lori said...

I don't stay in touch as much as I should. I send out the "How are you? Are you working on anything? Can I help?" emails, but I think it's time I buckle down and get more serious. Thanks for the reminder. :)

Rebecca Smith said...

I send "keeping in touch" emails when I haven't heard from a client in a while or when I hear that they've won an award or landed a big project. I also send holiday cards. I find that gently checking in with past clients is a great way to get on their minds -- and it quite often leads to work for me.

Good luck with your new site!

Kimberly Ben said...

Thanks, Rebecca. I've never been good at keeping in touch - it's an issue that extends into all areas of my life. Time to do something about it.

Kimberly Ben said...

Lori, I was so intrigued by your erotic pen name I forgot to address the other art of your comment.;-)

I agree - it is kind of scary when you look at the prices some writers are charging for their services. And the fact of the matter is that some clients care more about cheap than quality.

I'm learning from you more experienced writers to stick to your guns during this time. Besides, when you write for low rates you'll find yourself writing ALL the time to make ends meet and that's a recipe for burnout (believe me - I know).

So what can we do? Hmmm, that would make a good blog topic and discussion...(hint, hint)

Tracey "Biz Doc" Dooley said...

Kimberly Ben said...
Thanks, Rebecca. I've never been good at keeping in touch - it's an issue that extends into all areas of my life. Time to do something about it.


Kimberley, I must be your doppelganger! I too am not great at keeping in touch -- in both my personal and business life.

Also, when I was in a position where I was getting recommended by clients to prospects, I guess I became complacent...

However, as some of my clients have cut their budgets, and there are more and more people being made redundant and going freelance, and hence more competition, then I realise that I need to buck up a bit, at least when it comes to following up with my copywriting clients.

So, I am going to aim to start small: Maybe send out one email or postcard or letter per week.

Good luck, everyone! :)

Kimberly Ben said...

Hi Tracey,

I like your plan about sending out post cards to reconnect. I'm planning to do something similar. I guess the point is to start taking action.

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