5 Ways to Make Your Freelance Clients Love You and Never Leave

by | Jan 14, 2019 | 2 comments

These 5 actionable client retention tips are incredibly simple and so glaringly obvious that you’ll be kicking yourself for not doing them sooner.


1. Thoughtful Gifts to Kickstart the Client Experience

Receiving a physical gift or letter in the mail is a cherished rarity nowadays, therefore, when onboarding a new client, sending a welcome gift creates a lasting feel-good factor.

The great thing is that when you choose the right gift, the amount you spend is irrelevant. Do some calculated stalking of your new client’s social profiles, listen to them and devise a gift that is unique to their personality. I once sent a pet rock to a more eccentric client, it cost $8 and was received with fits of laughter. They are my longest running client to date. Ditch the consumables and stationery in favor of something more thoughtful.

2. Delivering a Personal Touch

Instead of sending written messages, send clients a short voice clip, or even better, a short video. Humanize your interactions, especially when working remotely, and you can expect them to feel reluctant in letting you go when projects are nearing an end. We all want to have more meaningful connections.

3. Inclusive & Collaborative Language

The words we use can dictate emotional responses in others. As a freelancer you might use words and phrases like ‘how can I help you?’ or ‘what do you need me to do?’. By emphasizing a ‘you’ and ‘me’ distinction, you may be unknowingly turning your clients off extending a contract. Take time to consider how you can choose words that carry collaborative suggestion, words that root all parties to the projects at hand.

Start doing this immediately by using ‘we’ and ‘let’s’, these seemingly simple changes will greatly enhance the odds of you being kept around.

4. Get in The Friend Zone

Get to know your clients on a personal level. Ask them how their day was, how it really was. Remember important dates, congratulate their successes and show compassion through tougher times. Similarly, let them get to know you. Creating a friendly bond despite your professional relationship has countless benefits, including more constructive communication, a fun working environment and making yourself irreplaceable in more ways than one.

5. Going Above and Beyond

When providing freelance services, you may get stuck in ‘execution only’ mode. A dangerous place to be. You’ll want to shake this up by offering fresh ideas, helping to optimize processes, and throwing in a little extra something something from time to time.

For example, a client’s website is down, they’re on vacation and you’re out of hours. *Sometimes taking the initiative to fix it, despite the circumstances, will gain you the revered badge of dependability. If people see you as dependable, you’ve already set the foundations for a long and fruitful working relationship.


*I say sometimes because doing this on a very regular basis can actually be harmful. Play the ‘something something’ card when things are particularly stressful. Setting healthy boundaries is paramount!

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  1. Karen Harze

    Great advice, Hannah. And you’re right: it seems so obvious…now! Many thanks.

    • Hannah Dixon

      You’re so welcome! Thanks for reading Karen!


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