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Want to know the #1 secret to freelance success?

The generation we live in now wants everything at the touch of a button, from the media access we have via smartphones to the success we get in our freelance business.

The problem is, the quick fix isn't always the best fix.

Freelance success is what we all strive for, and that's what this blog is about - building a successful freelance business, without all the fluff and bullshit.

The #1 secret to freelance success is a simple concept, but it's one that takes a lot of work on your part to incorporate it into your life.

Maybe you're doing it already but you don't even know it. Maybe you've done it in the past but it's slipped from your daily routine.

If you've already incorporated this secret to freelance success into your daily life, consider this post a friendly reminder to keep up the good work.

And if you haven't, consider this post a smack in the face to wake you the fuck up.

The real #1 secret to freelance success is...

Giving a shit about people.

Seriously, if you're just in it for the money, people will notice and you'll miss the opportunities to build solid relationships with your clients, which could effect future referral work.

Take a minute out of your day and really listen to what your clients are saying, and you'll find that their needs aren't always what they're expressing to you originally.

Also, when you give a shit about people, they can call tell, and in turn will feel indebted to you, offering praise for your services to anyone who will listen.

And if you haven't, consider this post a smack in the face to wake you the fuck up.

How to give a shit about your clients

There are a lot of ways you can instantly make happy clients, so let's go over a few of them here really quick to give you an idea of how you can incorporate giving a shit about your clients into your daily routine.

Ask them how they're doing

Seriously, by simply asking your client how they're doing in your email, you're instantly letting them know you care about more than just the project and the money you're expecting from them.

Go above and beyond

Do more for your client than they originally asked for. Under promise, over deliver and watch how happy the client is with your service. For instance, if they hired you for a custom WordPress design, make them a matching Twitter background image and Facebook cover photo.

Promote their work after the project is complete

A lot of clients feel like they're just another client and after you're done with their project, it is forgotten about. One easy way to remove this feeling is to promote the work you just completed via gallery websites, your own portfolio and social profiles, etc.

Write them down the road to check in

After the project is over, give it a few weeks and touch base with the client to see if there's any questions they have about the work you've done for them or if they need any other work done. By simply keeping in contact with them, especially a month or two later, they'll really feel like you give a shit because you thought about them so far into the future.

Do you give a shit?

If you don't, you need to because the world will notice if you're a heartless bastard and will treat you accordingly.

Yes, you may need to be a bit ruthless and cutthroat in business in order to get ahead and build a huge company, but that shouldn't come at the expense of your clients happiness.

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  1. Marcella says:

    This is 100% true. So many of our freelancing troubles come from moments when we start caring more about ourselves than our clients — it’s a delicate balance. The question is: how do we strike that balance?

    Would love to hear your thoughts on this, Mike…

    • Mike Smith says:

      Thanks for the comment Marcella.

      One big thing to remember is that, without the clients, you have no business.

      Just like an actor/actress only has a career with fans, without your happy clients, you’re going to have a lot more trouble keeping afloat.

  2. susan says:

    My way of keeping clients happy is flexibility + no ego.

    That doesn’t mean I let people walk all over me, but it means I’m not above working on them with some small, tedious project even though last month we worked on something huge together. I don’t get my panties in a wad over revisions or sometimes suggesting I’m not a good fit for this gig, but know someone who is. They love that I inherently understand I’m there to alleviate their stress and work load. That’s really the only reason anyone hires a freelancer. This all translates to my figuring it out. It’s not their problem if I have a problem. I figure it out. And if I can’t, I make it super easy for them to give me an answer.

    • Mike Smith says:

      Staying flexible is a great way to keep your clients happy and from the sounds of it, you’ve got it pretty nailed down.

      I like “It’s not their problem if I have a problem. I figure it out.” – that’s so true and definitely something a lot of freelancers could benefit from adopting into their mindsets.

  3. dennyzhang says:

    Mike, it’s a nice post for me, a freelancer(

    I especially like your suggestions of “Promote their work after the project is complete”, and “Write them down the road to check in”.

    Most of us do agree and appericate principles, but just don’t know all those useful tips.

    Maybe you can sum them up, and give us a pratical list. Again, thanks for your work, Mike.

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