Updated: Jul 19
Repeat work: How to develop repeat work
My proofreading business has been developing over the last few years. In the beginning, it was all about getting clients. Now my business is established, it is all about retaining clients and getting repeat work. So throughout this blog, I will give you my top tips on how to get repeat work.
1. Build relationships
"Kindness and courtesy are at the root of a positive customer service experience." ― Seth Hyken
After the initial contact with a new client and offer of work, the key is to develop the relationship as you would a friendship. Connect with the client on a personal level, and this will build trust which will develop to repeat work. In my business, I just add simple, kind messages to my emails that make the clients feel good about themselves. Then they will want to keep working with you. For example, asking how their week has been, wishing them a good weekend and sharing highlights of my life. Just like developing a friendship.
"Loyal customers, they don't just come back, they don't simply recommend you, they insist that their friends do business with you." ― Chip Bell
2. Be flexible
Businesses are very hard to run successfully and when a client comes to you, it would make a massive difference to their day if you were flexible and helpful. Imagine someone has just let the client down, the project has been delayed and they are generally having a bad day. They may be dreading emailing you to let you know. So I would be flexible with my working schedule and fit in their project when they are back on track. Therefore, improving their day rather than letting them down as well. This is how they remember you and will come back to work with you, as they can rely on you for your work. Make the client's life better.
3. Add value
"Go the extra mile. It's never crowded." ― Cathy Martin
Clients should enjoy working with you and feel they are benefitting from the experience, either by a superior product, fast delivery or extra ideas. In my proofreading business, I am very thorough and offer more insights/comments than are required to suggest ideas for improvement on the product. I have had great feedback and clients appreciate my advice and the extra value I am adding to the product. Also, I always try to complete a project before the deadline to support the client in the process of getting the product ready for publication. Clients really appreciate working with someone who adds value.
"When the customer comes first, the customer will last." ― Robert Half
4. Do a good job
This should go without saying. But any business is only as good as the last job they completed. Unfortunately, it is very easy to get a bad reputation and lose clients. So dedicate the same quality to all of your work and you will see the benefits.
"Quality is the best business plan." ― John Lasseter
5. Keep in touch
It is easier to retain your current clients than to spend time marketing for new ones. So keep in touch with past clients to keep yourself at the front of their minds for upcoming projects. This can be done by a simple email. I like to use seasonal ways of keeping in touch, such as wishing a client a happy new year or updating a client with my upcoming availability over the summer. Or it could be just a quick update with your latest CV or an update on some last-minute availability. The key is to be friendly and think of it as a friendship. If you hadn't heard from a friend in a while you would just drop them a line and check base. It is the same with clients who you have built up a relationship with.
"Concentrating on customer retention and encouraging repeat customers creates long-lasting, profitable relationships." ― Rustin Nethercott
I hope my top tips were useful. All the best for getting more repeat work.
I am a freelance proofreader and a qualified teacher with a maths degree and a love of learning. Thank you for reading 'Repeat work: How to develop repeat work'. Want to find out more from my top tips from 2021?
Check out my blog "2021: Top tips from a proofreading business" on my website www.alisonproofreader.com, or say hello on Twitter at @alisonproofread, or Instagram at @alisonproofreader, or connect via Facebook and LinkedIn.