When it comes to marketing your freelance web design business, it’s easy to spend the bulk of your energy on attracting new clients. That’s certainly a worthwhile pursuit. But it’s also important to focus on your existing ones as well.
There is great value in keeping existing clients in the loop. And not just from a marketing perspective. Sharing content of interest with them also helps to maintain your relationship.
Even if you haven’t worked with someone for a while, regular communication makes an impact. At the very least, it keeps you in the front of their mind. Down the road, it may even serve as a catalyst for starting up a new project together.
Despite those potential benefits, staying in touch can be difficult. Creating original content takes precious time. Plus, writing doesn’t come naturally for everyone. Figuring out what to say and how to say it is challenging.
Don’t be discouraged! Today, we’ll share some tips for writing informative content that is sure to pique your client’s interest.
Understand Your Audience
Writing for your existing design clients isn’t quite the same as trying to reach prospective ones. Just as you’d greet a longtime friend differently than a stranger, you’ll want to communicate with clients on a more personal level.
That means keeping the cheesy sales pitches to a minimum. It’s safe to assume that your clients are already sold on you and what you can do for their organization. Thus, there’s no need to reel in a fish you’ve already caught.
With that in mind, think about the most effective ways to communicate with your clients. The message is important, but so is the medium. It’s vital to meet people where they are, rather than expect them to come to you.
Social media has its place, but it’s probably not the best way to reach clients. Blogging can also be beneficial, but needs help to draw in your audience.
That leaves email as the best option. It’s often the preferred method of contact between designers and their clients. Sending your latest client-focused content serves as a natural extension.
Write from Experience
Web design is an industry that is constantly changing. This means that subject matter for client communication is all around you.
To find inspiration, look back at past experiences. Think about a website you built a few years ago. Compare the look, features, and process to the one you built more recently. How have things changed? What trends have emerged?
Odds are, those older sites are lacking in some areas. Must-have attributes such as accessibility and responsive design are common examples. And, even if they were previously implemented, it’s likely they could benefit from some modernization.
These are prime subjects to share with clients. Not everyone is aware of technological shifts. Having access to this information will allow them to stay up-to-date and make better decisions.
Explain the Impact
Informing clients about a particular subject is only part of the equation. It’s also important to explain how it impacts them.
For example, you might write a blog post touting accessibility standards. While an article about color contrast ratios and ALT attributes could go into great depth, clients are unlikely to read it without context.
First, they need to know why they should care about these subjects. In this case, you’d want to mention key points, such as:
- Who is impacted when a website isn’t accessible;
- What features make a website accessible;
- How to know if your website is accessible or not;
- The potential legal ramifications;
The idea isn’t necessarily to bombard them with facts or scare tactics. Rather, it’s about providing a brief description of a subject and how it relates to their website. If they’re interested, invite them to contact you for more information.
Stay on Schedule
Sending out communications regularly helps to keep your relationships going strong. Yet, it might also be the most difficult part of the process.
If you’re busy working on projects or trying to attract new clients, that leaves little time to reach out to existing ones. We tend to focus on the squeakiest of wheels, after all.
However, there’s no need to put too much pressure on yourself. You don’t have to write all that frequently. Monthly or even quarterly newsletters can still be effective.
The point is in making an honest effort to stay in touch and provide relevant information. It’s something that clients will appreciate. They’ll be more likely to stay with you as their needs evolve.
Maintaining Relationships, Fostering Growth
Your web design clients can bring significant value to your business over time. Unlike other industries, building a website is not a “one-and-done” scenario. Maintenance, content tweaks and redesigns are all part of the deal.
The best way to achieve that long-term value is by being proactive in your communication. Keep your clients informed on what’s happening and how it impacts them. Write content that sparks curiosity and encourages them to contact you. And meet them where they are.
By doing so, you’re giving them every reason to stay involved with their website and make improvements. It’s no longer a matter of waiting for clients to ask you for something – you’re now helping them figure out what they need.
This, as much as anything, will keep your freelance business thriving for years to come.
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