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Freelancer Advice — How To Build Relationships With Clients

January 18, 2022

Are you searching for a cost-effective and sustainable way to increase your profitability?

Look no further than the customers you already have.

Maintaining good relationships with your clients encourages them to stay with your brand for the long haul.

Younger clients also rely on friends, family, and social media recommendations before trying a new service. So by building better relationships with clients, you get new customers as well.

To grow your bottom line and achieve business goals, let’s see how you can build good client relationships:

Why Is It Important To Build Relationships With Clients?

Why do you need to learn how to build relationships with clients?

Customers have a lot of choices today. They can get several freelance web developers or web designers after a brief Google search.

You can stand out by acquiring clients’ trust and providing a great client experience.

If you build a good long-term relationship with your clients, they come back to you. Otherwise, 89% of consumers leave businesses for their competitors because of a poor experience.

Landing new clients can also cost you 5 times more than retaining your current clients. You can keep your customer acquisition costs low by strengthening ties with your existing clients.

Strong client relationships pay off in the long term with repeat business. You get referrals to new customers and widen your network.

How To Build Relationships With Clients

The Basics of How to Build Relationships With Clients

  1. Make a great first impression
  2. Establish trust
  3. Make time for your clients
  4. Be transparent
  5. Solve problems

Here’s how to build relationships with clients from the get-go:

1. Make a Great First Impression

Make a great first impression at your client meeting by preparing well.

Study your client’s business and understand what they do and how they do it. This will help you showcase your expertise.

For example, if you are a web developer, you can research your client's business and competitors in the market to offer in-depth suggestions to the client. This will convey that you have done your homework.

2. Establish Trust

Trust can be a key factor that can influence your client’s buying decisions. It can decide whether your client wants to keep working with you.

Build trust by taking a genuine interest in the client’s project and delivering outcomes.

Stick to commitments. Call, email, or message your client as scheduled. Respond to clients’ questions and concerns with honesty and sincerity.

Convince your client that you’re reliable and trustworthy at the outset.

3. Make Time for Your Clients

Timely communication is a critical skill to master when learning how to build relationships with clients

Your clients want you to prioritize them. Agree on a mode of client communication, whether it’s email or phone calls. Whichever mode you choose, respond to clients in a timely fashion. 

Agree on how clients can reach you in case of an emergency. For example, suppose your client's website malfunctions and customers storm Twitter with reports of problems. You should have a communication channel to deal with such problems.

By being available for your clients, you show that you are genuinely vested in the partnership

4. Be Transparent

Discuss the frequency of project updates and communication at the start. You can send the updates weekly through email or update milestones on a shared spreadsheet.

If you encounter unexpected delays and challenges, communicate with your client and explain how you’re working on getting timelines back on track.

For example, let the client know if you run into a major bug and need extra time.

Have clear pricing policies. Be upfront about payment terms and conditions.

5. Solve Problems

Solving problems for your clients is key to running a sustainable business.

Listen in to your customers’ biggest challenges and provide targeted solutions. Think about how you can help them save time and make more money with your solutions.

While offering your solutions to business owners, avoid technical terms and jargon. As a problem solver, you must make their life easier. Try to keep things simple.

Best Practices for Client Relationship Management: Staying on Track

Learn how to build relationships with clients through ongoing management

Once you’ve won over your customer, you’ll want to stay on top of the relationship. No guide on customer relationship management is ever complete without a plan for long-term management.

Here’s how you can do so:

  • Check-in frequently — Besides sharing project updates, meet your clients one-on-one. Ask for feedback on what you can improve. Use the opportunity to address any concerns they have. Finally, take concrete steps to make changes based on client expectations.
  • Anticipate customer needs — Once you’ve worked with a client for a while, get proactive in anticipating their needs. Go above and beyond expectations by meeting those needs.
  • Automate and simplify — Make the customer experience as easy and simple as possible, whether it’s onboarding or project updates. Use systems to simplify processes like document sharing and email tracking. Set up easy online solutions for payments.
  • Reward loyal clients — Surprise long-term clients with discounts and incentives for referrals. Also, consider a customer loyalty program. It doesn’t have to be difficult to create one.

Final Thoughts: How To Build Relationships With Clients — Strategies That Work

Building strong business relationships can help you stand out in a crowded marketplace while helping you build a profitable and sustainable business model.

Investing in customer relationships gives you rich dividends over time. Your clients will reward you with their loyalty, repeat business, and prized appreciation by referrals to new customers.

As a web developer, you can also build better relationships by helping them with their website’s management. Nexcess can help you do that.

StoreBuilder by Nexcess helps freelancers like yourself build better sites and stores. Get scalable and secure hosting for your sites and award-winning hosting support with Nexcess.

StoreBuilder by Nexcess helps you create beautiful online stores quickly. Check out StoreBuilder today — it’s the fastest and easiest way to create an online store with WordPress.

Maddy Osman
Maddy Osman

Maddy Osman is a WordPress expert and WordCamp US speaker. She is a WordCamp Denver organizer and also operates The Blogsmith, an SEO content agency for B2B tech companies that works with clients like HubSpot, Automattic, and Sprout Social. Learn more about The Blogsmith's process and get in touch to talk content strategy: www.TheBlogsmith.com