Client Trust. When you are a Freelancer it is one of the most important (and most difficult) things to nurture with new clients. Now, if you’re an honest person then you will probably be thinking to yourself that everyone should trust you. Why wouldn’t they? Well, as you probably found out when trying to nurture new relationships, it doesn’t quite work like that.
Why should a complete stranger believe anything you say? Really. In the creative business, we are all constantly working hard to create our projects, get new clients, be amazing - just caught up in the whirlwind of day to day business. This makes us all default to the path of least resistance. We tend to gravitate and work with those that we already know well. It’s easy, saves us the hassle of the unknown and just helps us in the whirlwind.
So how do you make it into a new clients trust zone? Well, that’s the hard part and there is no real magic piece of advice that will work. The most important thing that I have found is patient and consistent communication. You are not going to gain the trust of new client from a beautifully written first introductory email. It takes time to build trust and relationships. Use a CRM (customer relationship manager) to track how many times you stay in contact with a prospective client. Aim for once a month but make sure that the contact is personalized. You must make an effort to gain trust. Go to their website, find out about their business, follow them on social media and pay attention to what they post.
Another trick is to always try and think how the client feels in the hiring process. They are looking for someone with a proven track record, someone who can deliver on time and someone who understands the project from the start to reduce costly mistakes. Strive for these things in all of your business relationships and the trust will eventually come. It will usually come when the client has an event that is serious enough to make them change who they work with. Somebody didn’t deliver in time, has gone out of business, failed to meet high standards or in the worst case – broke their trust.
It will take time, patience, hard work and luck. But it’s worth it. Being creative is great – being trusted takes things to another level.