Marketing For Contractors On A Limited Budget

We know that marketing for contractors can be tough if you’re trying to pull together interest on your own. This list is full of recommendations to help sell yourself and your business and hopefully retain and gain new clients and contracts on a tight budget.

Customer recommendations, friends and family

The best way and the cheapest way to get your name out there is via recommendations from clients to their peers.  Word of mouth is the most reliable and trustworthy way for customers to find a business they’d be happy working with. Favourable words from a family member or friend will also usually ensure that a potential customer will at least check you out, whether or not they decide hire you for the job.   Incentive schemes for clients that refer you are a great way of increasing recommendations, while rewarding your clients in the process.

Testimonials

Along the same lines, testimonials are free and tremendously powerful.  Very few of us would make a significant investment on a product, book a hotel or holiday or even read a book without reading a few reviews first.  You can display testimonials on any marketing materials you produce, business cards and websites.

Website/blog

If you need to market your business, having a website and/or a blog is crucial.  Aside from recommendations, most new business relationships now begin via an online search of some kind.  Simply put, a website is how people will find you.  Having an internet base for your business can also act as a host for portfolios and/or testimonials.  Hosting a website and a domain can cost from as little as £30 a year.

Social Media

Social Media is rapidly taking over as the new home of marketing and advertising, with big brands and corporations investing heavily in advertising and generating a following. Social Media can also work well on a smaller, more targeted scale.  If you are just beginning on Social Media it’s good to start by setting up a Facebook and Twitter page, inviting clients and friends to like or follow the accounts to get you started. The bonus with Social Networks is that they are all completely free. Once you’ve got the hang of tweeting, it’s a good idea to look into getting involved with local business hashtags to create discussions and recommendations.

Local events

Talking of local business, you’ll find there are a multitude of local networking events around the UK which will allow you get to know valuable people who can pass on knowledge of your skills to potential clients as well as giving you leads on others who they suspect may need your business. These networking events are usually only £10-£20 per event so you could dip in and out when you feel they are or aren’t working for you.

Seasonal greetings

Keeping in contact with clients and leads is a great way of marketing yourself. Send out seasonal messages and show an interest in keeping in contact with your client as well as reminding them of your services. Seasonal discounts and promotions also work well to secure new customers.

Focus on your niche

Being a contractor or freelancer means it can be hard to stand out amongst the bigger players. It’s a good idea to carve out a niche and focus on that in all of your marketing promotions. Having a niche as a smaller business is a great way to gain local supporters and wider appeal. Use this to help brand yourself and use that brand whenever you market yourself.

August Contractor News Round Up

Your monthly round-up of August’s top contractor news.

Small and Medium enterprise interest in freelancers is growing. The appeal of a short-term solution without having to shell out large employment costs. Hiring freelancers is becoming much more cost-effective for the companies. A report for the second quarter of the years shows that rises in specific industries ranged from 9.2% (logo design) up to a whopping 23% in the accounting sector. This shows that the self-employed are increasingly permanent fixtures in the everyday lives of some businesses. Read more…

Contractors are soon to have a say on their benefits and expenses. A report published by the Office of Tax simplification has identified ‘quick wins’ on how expenses and other tax dispensations can be dealt with. It reports that the P11D form and filling process will be subject to further work as it is known to be widely misunderstood. There will also be a ‘wholesale review’ of the current benefits and expenses.  The chair of the Association of Recruitment consultancies, Adrian Marlow said: “…Simplification of the tax system would probably result in removing the risk for agencies relating to the more extravagant tax avoidance schemes currently on offer. Therefore, this review can only be good for agencies, workers and the recruitment industry in the long run.” Read more…

According to a new jobs report, contractor vacancies in Scotland have reached a 31-month high. The decline in contractor availability paired with billings rising at their slowest pace since March of this year points toward an emerging skills crisis in Scotland. This means that there are just not enough suitably skilled contractors to meet demand. The biggest rise in demand and fall in applicants was seen in Aberdeen and its oil and gas industry, confirming that the industry is booming but the availability of skills is not. Read More…

HMRC have created a new scheme designed to help small companies and contractors/freelancers with their tax disputes. Following a two year trial HMRC have created a national team of trained facilitators to help resolve disputes using the ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution Service’. For a while now the service has helped businesses and individuals in disputes by being the middle man and helping each party understand each other and decide on an agreement.  Richard Summersgill HMRC’s Director of local compliance said: “Evidence has shown that by using the simple ADR service many disputes can be significantly shortened and resolved without recourse to Tribunal.” Read more…

Searching For Contractor Work – Our Top Tips

Whether you’re new to contracting or well established, there will always be a time in your career when work slows down, or even dries up completely.  We’ve compiled some information and top tips to help you out on your quest for contractor work.

Searching for contract work is a whole different game to looking for a full-time position. Knowing the game is paramount to ensure you don’t end up suffering long periods without paid work or hours of inactivity every day.  Make sure you are aware of your entitlements and contract work procedures.

Permanent employment can often involve a drawn out recruitment process, but freelancers and contractors are usually required to start work urgently which means the decisions happen much faster.  Typically there is only one interview before the decision to hire is made, often within the same week.

Organisations tend not to exercise the same caution when hiring a contractor, as opposed to a permanent employee, because there are no employment protection rights for contractors, meaning they can be easily terminated from a contract.

 Some dos and don’ts when you’re looking for a contract.

  • If the employer has an urgent project, you could often be offered the position on the spot, or even hired without interview on another’s recommendation or the strength of your CV.  References with previous clients are rarely followed up as employers will regularly want you to start work within the week, and everyone adds a little extra ‘colour’ to their CV, don’t they?…..Be warned that, as a freelancer or contractor, if you over embellish what you know or exaggerate your skills and then go on to not complete the job satisfactorily, the employer will simply fire you!
  • Before you start applying for work you’ll need to do some preparation, this includes writing an impressive (but honest and accurate) CV, and establishing your market rate. You can find some great tips from Contractor Calculator here and here.
  • Once you’ve created your CV you should send it to as many agencies as possible.  Even if they don’t have suitable work, you’ll make it on to their databases or the future.  You could also do this via an online site such as Jobserve which will send out your uploaded CV to agencies for you. It is best to get all this set up at least a month before you plan to start working to allow your details to be uploaded, ready for cross-referencing with jobs.
  •  From here you should then create a daily schedule for following up. This should include:
  1. Follow up calls to recently made aplications
  2. Calls to the agencies about positions you’ve applied for
  3. Searching job websites for recently added suitable positions
  4. Sending off new email applications
  5. Setting up keyword alerts from job sites.
  •  It may be that your varying skills are suited to a variety of roles and you should have different versions of your CV to reflect that fact that you’re not just applying for one type of job.  Highlight the skills that are more relevant to the job role and don’t use a blanket email cover letter, tailor each one to the employer and point out your successes in their industry sector.
  • When you’re searching for new contract positions your time is best spent looking for recently advertised jobs. As I mentioned earlier, the time frame in which these jobs are filled is very short. Ideally you only want to be looking for jobs posted within the last 24 hours.  Most job sites have a filter option so that you only need to view the most recently added jobs.
  • If you’ve applied for a contract job via email and you’re waiting for the phone to ring. Don’t! Most of the time, if you don’t follow your email applications up with a phone call you won’t get the work you deserve.  You obviously need to strike a balance between persistence and nuisance but do send follow up emails and make calls. Record the times and dates of when you have called particular agencies to get a sense of when you can cut your losses regarding a particular job; remember that most agencies carry a large client and applicant base and simply won’t have the time to answer every contractor call.
  • Watch out for fake job advertisements. Unscrupulous agencies often put out a fake advertisements and this can be for a variety of reasons.  Simply phishing for leads or contact names is the most common of these.   Although they may seem to be asking standard questions it could be that they’re simply trying to get the name of your current boss. They may also be looking to be more ready than the competition and want candidates pre-vetted for another position that may (or may not) become available. The other reason could simply be that they’re heavily targeted and just need more CVs for their database.
  •  Finally, look out for contract to perm type adverts. The advertiser will state that they may be looking for someone to take on a permanent job after a short-term contract. The reason for clients using this strategy is that those with the skills they need are selling them at a premium in the contract market. If you’re new to contracting, these types of jobs can get you to the top of the candidate list and then when the permanent offer comes about you can decide whether or not to pursue it. If you’ve been contracting for a while, it could be in your best interest to put these to the bottom of you prospective job pile.

 

Managing Multiple Clients And Projects

Are you struggling with managing multiple clients and projects in your work as a freelancer or contractor? Managing your workload when you have projects running with multiple end clients can be one of the biggest challenges you’ll face – the phrase ‘a nice problem to have’ springs to mind!  Sticking to agreed deadlines, meeting client demands and delivering on a brief can be tough when you’re juggling several projects at once.  We’ve put together some tips which will hopefully help you to keep your hair and your clients.

Allocate your time

Very important and the first thing you should do when dealing with multiple clients. Put aside time for each project and stick to it, unless there is a major deadline change.  Plan how much time you need to complete each project and when you need to deliver by.  Use a calendar or a project management application so you can view the precise blocks of time you’ve allocated. If you don’t allot time it’s all too easy to lose focus and allow projects to ‘drift’ which will ultimately mean you lose control of your workload and are constantly trying to catch up to meet agreed deadlines.  By sticking to your project plan your clients will appreciate improved communication, accurate deadlines and the quality of your work.

Deadline Forwarding

Following on, setting realistic expectations and deadlines with your clients is paramount.  When you know when and for how long you’ll be working on a project, speak to your client and tell them the expected delivery date.  Try to be as accurate as possible, estimates are fine as long as they’re realistic but never set a deadline based purely on guesswork.  Always include a percentage of time as a contingency.  This will allows for any problems or delays you can’t control or, if everything runs smoothly, can give you the extra time for final accuracy checks, testing or paperwork.  If the client needs to set the deadline, make sure it’s realistic and that you definitely have the capacity to meet it before agreeing.  Blindly accepting work with pre-defined deadlines that you simply can’t meet will cost you business in the long run.

Prioritise

It might sound obvious but ‘prioritising’ is the one thing most people struggle with the most in their working lives.  It’s especially tricky when freelancing or contracting for multiple clients as the temptation is to drop everything to respond to your clients’ queries, requests or issues.  Ultimately, if you want to impress your clients, generate referrals and secure future projects from them, you stand a much better chance if you remain focussed and organised, rather than dropping your work every time the phone rings or an email arrives.

Once you’ve scheduled your time for each project, stick to your plan until each project is delivered.  Only if there is a work emergency or delays beyond your control should you switch to other projects.

Make sure you’ve also factored in time for your other commitments; Business administration, new business meetings and travel are all easily overlooked when setting priorities and the time you haven’t scheduled for these will eat into your project time.

One thing at a time

Multitasking is an elusive skill for most of us.  If you’re lucky enough to be able to give multiple tasks your full attention we’d love to know your secret!  For most of us, trying to jump from one project to another on a regular basis will result in a lack of focus and attention to detail.  At best, the work gets done but leaves you stressed and feeling out of control.  At worst, you risk delivering poor quality work or missing deadlines.  Once you’ve planned your workload and set your priorities, work on one project at a time until completion.  You’ll be focused, productive, accurate and on time.

So there are some of our best tips for juggling clients and keeping yourself on target. Have you got any other tips? Leave them in the comments below.

July Contractor News Round Up

Your monthly round-up of July’s top contractor news.

Contractors face new “single compliance process” (SCP) from HMRC

HMRC have been developing SCP which they describe as a single framework in which the majority of future small and medium enterprise business compliance checks will be undertaken, catering for both single tax and cross-tax enquiries. HMRC hopes that SCP will:

  • reduce customer burden by reducing the time taken to complete enquiries
  • focus the intensity of the enquiry so that it is proportionate to the risks identified – concentrating on the rule breakers and potential rule breakers
  • improve the quality and consistency of enquiry work across SME

HMRC ramps up prosecutions for tax evasion among middle class contractors and professionals

In the 12/13 year there were 617 tax evasion prosecutions compared to just 302 the previous year. HMRC’s target in 12/13 had been 565 successful prosecutions. “In the space of just one year, HMRC has massively ramped up the numbers of cases it takes to the criminal courts in order to clamp down on tax evasion,” tax law specialist Jason Collins of Pinsent Masons said. He also stated that those being targeted aren’t those that owe large amounts of money but more likely were “people like doctors, dentists, lawyers, construction contractors and restaurant owners who have not declared amounts in the tens of thousands.” Collins also warned that HMRC is set to ramp up its criminal prosecutions for tax evasion over the next few years. Its target number of prosecutions for 2014/15 is 1,165.

Contractors in extractive sector likely to see a boost after Government measures

Recently announced government measures and consultations mean that UK shale gas exploration will accelerate. The measures include a tax package, community benefits and planning to help kick start the shale gas exploration. Obviously we’ve also seen a lot of issues with the shale exploration with the Balcombe protests over the negatives associated with fracking and worries over how it will affect the British countryside.

Service sector booms as UK heads toward recovery

New figures released show that the service sector (which includes freelancers and contractors) had recorded its best month since the beginning of the financial crisis in the beginning of 2006. This news helps to cement the fact that the UK is returning to economic growth. The sector growth is tracked by the PMI and the figure for June was 56.9 but leapt up to 60.2 in July. See the graph below, or for more info click the title link.

 

 

How Can Contractors Avoid Late Payment?

You probably know the feeling. You have a meeting with a client; learn their work goals, complete the work and then months pass by without being paid for your work. It can be off-putting to realise a small number of clients just won’t do the right thing. So what do you do in this scenario? Here are some tips to help you deal with late payment.

Don’t assume the worst

First off, don’t assume the worst, the client may be in a very busy period and at points like this can become disorganised in paying different contractors and freelancers. Don’t lose your cool, check they have a valid reason for having not paid you on time and give them a solid second date to pay by.

Always have a contract in writing

This is the first thing you should do when agreeing to work, have a contract written up and set clear payment guidelines including date to be paid by and the amount. To cover yourself in case of a client not paying it can be good to write penalties into the contract, such as getting the other side to cover legal cost should you need to pursue them for payment. You could also include monetary penalties for late payment, this is entirely up to you though and will depend on the relationship you have with your client.

It can also be a good idea to secure a deposit before work commences, this isn’t ideal for all clients, but it is a good idea if you are concerned that the client will not be able to pay or will be late with their payments.

Consider alternatives

Find out why the client is late with their payment, if it is financial troubles at their end then attempt to agree a payment plan with them. If you are concerned about keeping a good relationship with the client you could even consider bartering a swap in trade or services that they could provide for you, in this situation you need to be creative.

Keep in mind that you may have to take legal action and be prepared to have all the appropriate documentation and witnesses if it reaches that point.

Make it worth your time

If you do decide to take the client to court then make sure it is worth your while, you don’t want to be spending the amount you’re trying to recover on legal fees.  Remember to factor in your time as well.  You could spend a significant amount of valuable work time on legal proceedings. Writing in the clause mentioned above into your work contract can help to secure legal fees from the opposite side.

The simple act of threatening legal action could be enough to get the client to pay up, send a letter stating that if they don’t pay within a certain date then you will be forced to take legal action. For added impetus, get a lawyer to write the letter to them on your behalf, but obviously don’t spend out of your means.

The Promp Payment Code is a scheme designed to help businesses (including contractors and freelancers) assess the reliability of their clients when it comes to settling accounts on time.  You can visit the site to review current signatories and have the option to challenge any that subsequently let you down.  You can find a summary of the code here.

How Can Contractors Benefit From Running A Blog?

Having a blog is a great way to keep your clients and the world at large updated on what you’re working on and any offers or promotions you may be running, as well as sharing your experiences and any industry news.  Get it right and could even generate new business leads. The only problem is that it seems to take a lot of effort to keep the blog going and often a freelancer’s blog can end up as a bit of a wasteland, with large gaps between posts.

Here are some tips on how to keep your blog interesting while helping to generate new business for you.

Choose your topic wisely

Choosing a topic for your blog is crucial, it will have to be something you truly understand and enjoy talking and reading about, otherwise the blog will fall flat and you’ll be able to tell that the passion isn’t there through the writing.

Try a topic related to your work, offering tips and advice to others within your industry and keep it topical with news updates from the industry too. Any possible clients who discover your blog will see that you are active within the industry and the fact you offer help and advice to others should create a very good first impression.

Another option is to choose something entirely unrelated to your business  that you have a passion for.  It may seem that a blog unrelated to your industry is frivolous and unlikely to generate the readership you need to generate new business.  In fact, you’re much more likely to generate a readership and word of mouth recommendations by writing about something you have a passion for than you are something you have little interest in, or by starting a blog that you struggle to keep up to date.  If you’re not interested in what you write about, there’s a good chance no-one is going to be interested in what you write.  Think of a blog as a self-marketing tool.  If it generates interest, it will generate business too.

If you specialise in a particular industry a blog providing a service to your clients and prospects is a great angle to take.  You can demonstrate you knowledge and expertise in the area by offering tips and advice which is sure to appeal to prospective clients. You can teach them a little about your own industry so they can pick up some skills themselves and better understand the processes you follow when contracting for them.  This is a simple blog to maintain as you won’t struggle for relevant content.

Drive lead generation

Although it’s not recommended to turn your blog into an extended catalogue of services there are multiple ways in which it can help freelancers or contractors to create business leads.  Simply inserting a ‘hire me’ button on your blog homepage will give prospective clients an easy way to see you are available for hire and give them quick access to your contact details.   Creating a subscribe button will not only make sure  your readers receive an email when your latest post goes live, it will also give you access to their email addresses so you’ll know who they are, often where they work and then design any marketing campaigns based on the information you collect.

New Content

Make sure that your blog is updated regularly, this can be a difficult discipline to maintain but a dormant or sporadic blog is frustrating for your loyal readers and they’ll soon find something else to read and stop recommending your page to their peers.  Make your blog entry a part of your routine.  Ideally post a minimum of once per week.

Finally, make post headlines strong for SEO purposes and make sure the content is relevant to the title, as well as delivering interesting and useful information.  Another important aspect is blog engagement, if prospects can see comments and your responses on blog posts and any social sharing it will be much more likely to generate new, regular readers. Encourage commenting and sharing whenever possible without being spammy.

Most importantly, never begin a blog for the sake of it.  If it’s something you feel you have to do, rather than want to do, it’s probably not for you.  A blog should reflect your enthusiasm and knowledge for the topic, not feel like a chore to write, or read for that matter.

Clients You Should Avoid As A Contractor

As a contractor you probably want to jump at every work opportunity that comes your way, though realistically you should probably be looking out for the clients you don’t want to work with. You probably already know a few. Here are some warning signs of those you probably don’t want to be working with or for.

“I’m not entirely sure what I want”

You may be getting a feeling of déjà vu here; this client is never going to be satisfied with the end project, regardless of the quality of your work and any advice you may give them. The other problem may be that they do secretly know what they want but their expectations are way too high for what you could ever accomplish for their budget or timescale.

The best thing to do after you’ve spotted this client (probably because you’ve heard a phrase similar to that of the above) is to make sure you set up a meeting or conversation to go over expectations and to discuss the nearer goals. Also check on how they will measure the success of the project, and check that you both have the same gauge on what you are expecting.

“I’m out of the office until… forever”

This client is the one who never replies to anything. The sort who you start work for and need a bit of follow up information or feedback so you send them an email.  Then you send a follow up email and then a follow up call and then ten more, all with no reply. They disappear off of the face of the earth when it matters most. If an initial question you have for them during the pitching process takes 4 days to be answered then you probably should take note and think about backing out gracefully from working from with the client, it’s likely you’ll have this problem throughout your work with them and you don’t want that especially when it comes to being paid.

“I can’t pay you, but I can offer you…”

No. Nothing good will come from this transaction.  Unless they’re offering you the best seats in the house at the concert you’ve been dying to go to, then don’t make a deal with this person. Even then it’s probably not recommended, unless it’s a reasonable request of you and your work. When you meet this customer and you decide to go ahead ahead, make sure you set out an agreement of what you both expect from each other. Also make sure that the amount of whatever is being given in the trade equates as closely as possible to a monetary value for the time you’ll spending doing the work for them.

“How is it going? Any updates? Just calling to see if we can have a meeting?”

The over eager client constantly calls and emails for an update and wants a face to face meeting at a base. They act like an overly attached partner. You’ll want to avoid this client because it will take up your time, whether it be delaying their own project or taking time out of other things you’re working on. You can spot these clients straight away as they’ll unrelentingly contact you in the early stages of a project. It would probably be advised to avoid them as clients as the frustration of constant interruptions will inevitably have a detrimental effect  on your relationship with them, leaving your chance of a recommendation slim and your attitude affecting your work.

Do you have any stories of clients you wish you’d never contracted for, or any near misses?  let us know in the comments box.

 

Top Tips For Securing Your Contractor Mortgage

Getting a mortgage can be slightly trickier for contractors than for permanent employees, so having a good contractor mortgage lender could mean the difference between you getting your dream home and unnecessarily lengthy processes and paperwork causing it to slip away.

The traditional criteria that most mortgage lenders use to assess applications is not suitable for the contracting lifestyle, and as such often results in a large number of contractors being declined for mortgages which they are more than capable of repaying. This sparked the birth of the ever-popular contractor mortgages, which foster much more realistic application criteria, as well as the ability to offer competitive rates.

Unlike traditional banks and building societies that base the maximum they are willing to lend on salary alone and are wary of the short-term nature of contracts, contractor friendly lenders are much more flexible.

For most people a house is the biggest purchase they are ever likely to make so choosing the right mortgage lender is vital. Here are 5 top tips to bear in mind when choosing your lender:

1)       Beware of tie-ins. Many mortgage lenders will try and entice you to sign up to their deal with tempting short term rates. However, once you have signed up you end up staying with them long term even though they dramatically increase their rates after the initial deal period ends.

2)       Compulsory insurance clauses. Some mortgage lenders will insist that when you take out a mortgage with them you must also opt in to pay for their additional services. These add-ons such as home insurance and unemployment cover are rarely value for money and can mean that in the long run your chosen mortgage might not work out the cheapest.

3)       Rate of processing. Buying a house can be a lengthy process. However, some lenders are known for moving quicker than others and therefore those with time constraints may choose to go for a slightly less favourable rate for a quickly processed application in order to secure their home. Specialist contractor mortgage providers can often help if you need to progress quickly as they are better placed to understand your situation from the offset.

4)       Buy-to-let mortgages. If you are hoping to secure a property that you intend to let out it should be declared as a buy-to-let mortgage. Although it should be declared, the fact that you will be not living in the property yourself, but letting it out, should not make a difference to your lender – the rates offered should be similar to normal residential rates and there should be no large admin fees for you to pay on top.

5)       Mortgage indemnity insurance premiums. You are only likely to come across mortgage indemnity insurance premiums if your deposit is less than 5% or in other rare cases. They are designed to help protect the lender in the event that you should experience negative equity. This benefits the lender but you will still be liable for the money that the insurer has given to the lender and there will be a premium to pay on top as well.

Please visit ContractorUK for more contractor mortgages information.

About the Author:

Many thanks to Laura Foster for this post.  Laura writes for ContractorUK on various topical issues surrounding the contracting market including new and existing legislations, jobs, interviews, training, money and service providers.

 

How To Retain Clients As A Contractor

You’ve found the perfect client.  You enjoy the work, you communicate well and they’re reliable payers.  Your existing customers could well be the foundation of a thriving business so it feels crucial that they keep coming back to you. When you’re good at what you do, returning customers are generally more profitable than new ones and it’s definitely easier to get business from them than to go out scouting for new business.  Here are some tips and incentives on how to retain clients as a contractor.

If they’re a valued customer, make sure they feel like one.

It might seem obvious but it’s surprising how many businesses take their existing clients for granted and loyalty to a supplier only goes so far when everyone is fighting for a contract.  It’s important not to pander to your new or prospective clients so much that you forget your best clients. Returning customers have given you more work than anyone and may have even referred you to others so put them first.  Offer them exclusive offers or services to show that you value their business. Make sure you also take note of important dates.  The personal touch goes a long way to securing customer satisfaction and loyalty.  Just remembering and making reference to conversations you had with them last month can make a big difference, as can a personal message on the company’s anniversary or a key contact’s birthday.

Create special promotions for existing clients

If you want a client to keep returning to you it makes sense to reward them when they do.  Traditionally most businesses have a couple of sales a year so why shouldn’t you?  It’ll be seen as a way of saying ‘thank you’ to those existing customers.  Perhaps basing a ‘sale’ or reduced price period around an event would work well, for example, a summer sale or a birthday promo, especially if you know there’s a lull in work at specific times of the year.

Make the effort to stay in touch

A client may not always have work for you but that doesn’t mean you should sacrifice the relationship during quiet periods. Make the effort to touch base with them every now and then to see how they are getting on.  Clearly they won’t want to be bombarded with marketing , but a personal email or phone call every so often will make them less likely to start shopping around.  Keeping in touch with any important news associated with the industry can be a great way to create discussion with a company and to show you genuinely understand them and what has an impact on their business.

Create something just for them

You could create your own personal newsletter to send out to an email list of existing clients (with their permission), an update on any ‘special offers’ (see above) or hints and tips about your industry and any other news that may be relevant to them.  Some freelancers provide an information package when they win a new client so that they have relevant contact details, pricing and process information to hand when they need it.

Of course, keeping the business ‘hopper’ full also relies on new business so our next blog will feature some tips for winning business and some of the top websites for finding those new contracts that could lead to valued, long term clients.

If you have any other ideas to share, please add them in the comments below.