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10 Ways To Not Drop The Ball & Get Great Testimonials

When I started freelancing I said yes to everyone. Even when I knew in my gut I shouldn’t say yes to a client, I did. I felt I needed the experience, money, testimonials, and portfolio example.

Today, I’m booked out 4 months in advance.

Get Great Testimonials

How did I do it?

By not dropping the ball when things got busy & impressing my clients with a streamlined process. That, along with good work of course, means I can stop worrying about where my next client comes from, because my past happy clients do the leg work for me (by referring me to others).

1 Get all the information you need about a project BEFORE starting, so you don’t have to bother your client with a million questions throughout. (with a thorough intake questionnaire & welcome package). This will save time and emails for both you and your client. Win Win.

2Answer all common questions that come up during a project in your Welcome Package or blog posts so you can easily direct your client to the answer (makes them feel like you know your stuff and are prepared). Plus, it makes it easy to come up with blog content.

3Delight them with a snail-mail card saying how excited you are to get started. They’ve handed over the deposit, but are likely still a little nervous about actually starting the work with you- this helps remove those butterflies.

4Automate your consult scheduling, invoicing, and contracts with online software so they don’t have to do any extra leg work to get you what you need. Ever had one of these convos? “I’m available anytime Thurs or Fri” “Great, how about Friday at 10am” “Oh, except for 10am, how about 2pm?”, “Can’t do Friday at 2pm, but Thursday yes”. (That’s 5 unnecessary emails!)

5Use project management software so everything is easily found in one place. Nothing worse than having to be reminded of a past conversation you forgot about and then not be able to find the details in your never-ending gmail threads.

6Do tutorial videos (or text) for anything that a client might have trouble with (setting up hosting, using your project management software, using social media scheduling). Make it as easy on them as possible to understand how you work and what you need from them.

7 Help your client with next steps after finishing working with you in your Goodbye Package. How can they hire you again? What commons things come up weeks and months after working with you that you can address right away? What other issues do you think they may have, that you have experience with? Answer those questions straight away or point them to people or resources that can help.

8Make room in your schedule to be available for questions/help after working with you. Yes, we hope that when a project is over, it’s over. But things inevitably come up. Be available, even after the project is complete.

9Follow-up. Check in with your clients after a week, a month, and six months. Ask them if any other questions came up or if there is anything you can help them with.

10Send them a meaningful thank you gift or card, in the mail. Everyone like to be thanked. And everyone likes surprises in the mail. The more creative the better.

BONUS: Grab the Freelance Process Cheat Sheet to learn the 6 steps in your process you MUST automate and the tools to use to do so. Get it FREE!

Why is this important?

Getting a streamlined process in place to not drop the ball when things get crazy and in return get smashing testimonials, is key to maintaining a steady (and growing!) freelance business.

The first year of my business was quite slow, but since I put my process in place, I’ve gone from seeking out clients and wondering where the next one would come from, to them coming to me as referrals from past clients.

It isn’t just great work that gets you booked out from referrals.

What kind of referral would you prefer?

“Yeah I really like my website, this girl Leah did it”

or

“You have to hire Leah! She not only built me an amazing website, but she made the process so easy and fun. She may be booked out, but it’s well worth the wait.”

Ready to start getting referrals like this?

EbookStart setting up your entire A-Z freelancing process, download my FREE Freelance Process Cheat Sheet. It covers a few more of the steps you need to streamline and automate and some online tools to help you do so.

Leah Kalamakis Leah Kalamakis is the founder of The Freelance To Freedom Project and a web designer/developer for brilliant entrepreneurs. When she’s not hanging out in the FTF Community, you can find her people watching on the streets of NYC. Come say hi on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

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Yes, please!

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • You hit the nail on the head with this one. Ultimately, we are in business to deliver not only quality work but great customer service as well. That is not only how you get testimonials, but also how you keep your clients coming back for more!

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Exactly! I always forget the term customer service, but that’s exactly what it is and sooo important.

  • Wow, this is super helpful, Leah! I bookmarked this post to come back to it and wrote down several tips. I love the idea of sending them a snail mail card as thank you (I love receiving cards in the mail!)

    For a scheduling system, I recommend using youcanbook.me. It’s super easy to customize, free, and looks awesome (and you can embed it on your site!) I also love how so many of these tips are things you can set up once and use forever (and just tweak when you need them). Thanks for writing this! Your blog is so chock-full of useful content. I love it!

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      I’m glad Laura! Yes, I’ve heard about youcanbook.me, will check it out. I use Schedule Once and have no complaints! And I agree, just have to put in the work up front for your process and it’s smooth sailing after that!

  • Interesting tip about having some way to schedule meetings without the back and forth, it’s not something I would have thought of. How do you do this? Or is it part of your project management system?

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Oh yes, it’s a must! Especially because there are free scheduling software options. I use Schedule Once. It’s a part of my process that I cover in Stress Less & Impress!

  • This is so true Leah! There is always that learning curve when you first start offering something…but the sooner you can get these systems into place, the better (for you and your clients). I can’t wait to send my people you way to get their systems in order!

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Yes, and a process changes with each new offering of course. But once you have the basics in place, it’s easy to adjust as you go!

  • Customer service all the way! Your course is amazing and you’re going to help a tonnnn of entrepreneurs so much with it 🙂

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      I’m sooo glad it was so useful to you Nat! Thank you!

  • You are my personal hero! I am going to look like a pro from day 1 thanks to you! Can’t wait to check out your course.

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      🙂 If I can cut down the awkward learning curve for others by just a little, I’ll be a happy camper!

  • Oooh I recognize those conversations (no 4)! Fantastic tips, especially about putting together welcome and goodbye packages. A little ding-ding-aha moment for me.

  • Thanks so much for your blog post, so valuable! I’m just starting out, juggling jobs, and your practical tips have given me lots of great ideas to work with. I’m sure it’ll take a little while to set this process up but I can see how it will save so much time down the track and help me to not only build my business but reduce double work and make my clients even happier 🙂

  • Great tips! Working on a new goodbye package right now thanks to your blog! 🙂

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