If you’re like me, you’re not after the 24/7 hustle lifestyle. You’re here to run a freelance business that allows you freedom, helps you make an impact, and offers you and your family a sense of stability.
The biggest Q that comes with creating a life and business like this?
“HOW TF DO I DO IT!?”
I was right where you are a few years ago — a fire in my heart and a desire to create a sustainable career as a freelancer. Along the way, I picked up a few nuggets that helped me build myself a life and business I know will be around for years to come.
I’m sure by now you’re like, “Spill it, Erin!”
I gotchu! Here are my not-so-secret ingredients for a sustainable freelance business: A magical client experience and long-term clients.
Systems. Workflows. Processes. The client experience. The customer journey.
Ever heard of ’em?
I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t in the first year of my business. I was flying by the skin of my teeth, waiting for the other shoe to drop. For someone to be like, “Does this girl even know what she’s doing…”
The truth was I DIDN’T. I was relying on my skills and talent, being more reactive than proactive.
And that is not sustainable. So, I had to get serious about setting my business up for the long-term.
In 2019, I realized how important it is to have a process (a client experience, as I call it), that brings your leads through a series of interactions which leaves them as happy, repeat clients.
This is one secret to a sustainable freelance business: Create a magical client experience and they’ll sing your praises (and come back for more).
2019 was also the year I understood why to prioritize consistent, long-term clients over higher-paying, one-off clients. Hear me out…
In the Social Support Incubator, our theme for January was “Long-Term Planning For Your Business.” All of our members completed a guide to help them chase their personal and professional goals without getting distracted by shiny object syndrome.
I also did a training on landing long-term clients.
If you know me, you know this wasn’t any old “How-to” training. This was a “We’re talking about building a sustainable business today!”
If you don’t understand the value of a repeat customer, let me share some stats with you.
Like, how increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%. Or maybe how the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, while the probability of selling to a new lead is 5-20%. What about how poor customer service quality is the main reason for customer churn, not price. Or that it costs 6–7x more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one.
One of the things I feel has made me successful as a freelancer and business owner is my ability to retain clients. And not just because I’m good at what I do.
I have a strategy to keep them coming back for more. I’m not too keen on one-and-done relationships, y’know?
Let me leave you with a few nuggets I left the trailblazing members in the SSI community:
If you think all of this sounds complicated, I promise it’s not. It just takes time. It requires you to sit down and ask yourself simple Q’s like:
All this does is create more freedom for you.
When you have clients around for the long-term, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel each time. You don’t have to learn a new client’s tone of voice to write a blog. And you don’t have to spend endless hours nurturing new leads, getting on sales calls, or emailing back and forth.
Like what you read? There’s a lot more goodness like this when you join the SSI, the global community for freelancers and digital nomads craving support as they trailblaze their own path in life and business.
A sustainable freelance business is possible for you… if you’re ready to ask yourself the deep and often revealing Q’s that come with creating it. You got this!