I have been doing several marketing type webinars this past month and this key phrase keeps catching my attention over and over. Through my career I have learned just how valuable it is to establish not only a great working relationship with people on current projects, but finding ways to keep that client connection for potential future work endeavors.
I can honestly say what a joy it is to establish a solid personable relationship with your clients! Clients that repeatedly come back for projects through the years can make your creative work not only more consistent but also offer such satisfaction in the process. It is uplifting to work with someone that adores your talent, style and values your business! Not only do the repeat customers tend to pass along your highly recommended services to others broadening your circle of possible client connections, but they are lifesavers for those times in your career when finding new opportunities seems to be like finding a needle in a haystack!
I like getting to know my clients better with continuous work projects. Each time I serve them with my imagery, I get that much closer to being a solid business they can in turn depend on for matching their project needs and goals.
Long term client connections also lead to greater trust and flexibility in your job. Isn’t it so much easier to work repeatedly for someone that not only values and adores your work, but that you have gotten to know so well thus making your whole job that much easier?
This trust in your creativity, products, workmanship, and business can not be beat or easily replaced. I can not say enough how important this is to maintain your past client relationships. With a bit of luck, opportunities will arise that have them coming back to you again and again.
So how do you stay connected?
Staying connected takes energy and time. As much as I have gone on about how important it is in the steady growth of your art business, I also recognize how maintaining touch with everyone you have ever worked with in the past can be a strain on your already spread thin time.
There is also that fine line of staying connected and trying to hard to keep in touch ~ leading to the client feeling annoyed and harassed. I personally go by what I like to refer to as the 4 quarters or 2x a year rule.
Depending on the nature of my business and the clients I serve, I touch base every quarter (4x a year) or simply 2x a year. And yes, I definitely keep a huge spreadsheet going to keep track of everyone.
Obviously having a client email list that you can send monthly or semi annually newsletters or important blog notes is valuable!
I also look for ways to creatively touch base. A great way to make use of your client list! If my client is on Instagram, I send a fun relatable picture with short text touching base. If they are on Pinterest I send them a cool pin and message. Same goes for Facebook, Twitter, Google +. The key is to make the pins relatable to what they hired you for in the beginning (so that they recognize YOU and it jogs their memory) and also hit them with a CTA (Call to ACTION!)… a link to take them to your current work and how it might be useful and applicable to them now. Don’t be shy here. You have to toot your own horn again and again with a clear and easy “visit my web site” button or box direct link on each post. The goal is to re-engage them, start a new conversation, interest them in how your work could be applicable and serve them again today!
You want to use social media platforms for not only touching base with former clients but also for sending out promotional business posts. This allows you to do both. As you pin or tweet to your former client, make use of valuable and trending KEYWORDS! Not only will your client receive the message, but also another handful of POTENTIAL FUTURE clients along the way!
I tend to not use formal type emails anymore UNLESS the business I am touching base with requires that kind of formality. Otherwise, with everyone on social media these days posting creative pins and tweets results in an efficient way of staying in touch that is both enjoyable for your client and QUICK in terms of saving you loads of time.
I have a few templates for each social media platform. I can then quickly change out my imagery, my Call to Action message, my links, etc. Saves me loads of time and yet I still feel like when I create the post it is still truly personable to that former client.
Do you have any great ideas and tips on how to stay connected and touch base with former clients? I would love to hear! Please feel free to share ideas with one another. We are an art community and I believe strongly in supporting one another. CHEERS!