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The holiday season is typically a time for wrapping up presents and anything you need to accomplish before the end of the year. Not many people use this time to think about their business for the coming year. And I’m not saying that you should not be enjoying time with your family because that is incredibly important. However, there are some small ways you can utilize this time of year (including time with family) to help set up your business for the next year.
Referrals and Repeat Business
As most of us know the best ways to get new work for your freelance business is from referrals and repeat business. Referrals can come from anyone that knows you, but the highest return would be from a previous client. These clients have worked through a project with you. They know and trust you, as well as your work. A satisfied customer is the best advocate for you and your business.
Which leads to reason that the client could return for repeat business. Again, they have built a relationship with you and could be looking to work on their next project with you.
So, how can we apply these concepts during the holidays to create more business for ourselves in the coming year?
Reach Out to Previous Clients
Like I mentioned above, previous clients are our best asset for future business development. So, reach out to them! Send them as email, give them a call. This doesn’t have to be a marketing message from you. It could simply be reaching out to thank them for their business this past year and wish them a happy holiday season. Continue to build the relationship you have with the client.
Why do this? It keeps you fresh on their minds as they go into the new year. They could realize that they have more work for you or they could refer a friend or family member to you. This is the time of year that people are seeing friends and family that they may not have seen since last year. Having a good customer experience from you fresh on their mind makes them more likely to refer you when the topic comes up during the holidays.
Talk to Your Family and Friends
Countless times I have been talking with friends and family members that I have not seen in a while and they ask me, “What do you do, again?”. I then explain that I create websites and every now and then the reply is, “Oh really? I need a website!” or “I know someone that needs a website!”.
Use the holidays to enjoy time with family but also reiterate what it is exactly that you do. This could get you clients that you never would have reached before. I personally live in South Carolina and most of my family lives in New Hampshire and Maine. Through a family member referral I gained a client based in New Hampshire that I never would have gotten otherwise.
This is the same concept as clients referring you but with family and friends. It can really help you grow your reach. As a word of caution, it is also important to clarify your work and expectations. If your family is anything like mine they would recommend you to anyone. This can be a blessing or a curse. They might recommend you to a client that you don’t want to work with. Or they might set unreal expectations for your work, “My son can build you a website in three days!”.
Closing Out 2019
As 2019 draws to a close it is important to look back on all of our accomplishments over the past year. Assess what went well, and turn our failures into opportunities for future success. Use the tips above to kickstart your business for the coming year to make 2020 even better than 2019!