You’ve just lost a freelance writing client. It sucks.
You’re worried about how to make ends meet without the consistent monthly retainer you had, until now, taken for granted.
Panic is starting to set in, and you can’t seem to get it together to finish the rest of the day’s to-do items.
Instead of letting this bad news cause a bad work ethic, here’s how to bounce back after losing a client.
1. Take a mental break
Losing clients is hard, and before you bounce back, you should take some time for yourself to process the loss.
Pick one or many of the following activities to help yourself get back into the right state of mind.
- Meditate or do yoga.
- Let it out at the gym.
- Organize your workspace and clean the house. Clean house, clear mind!
- If you’re really overwhelmed, take the day off (but make sure this doesn’t jeopardize any of your existing jobs and deadlines!)
2. Set a pitch goal
Once you’ve given yourself time to process the loss and have cleared your head, it’s time to get back to business.
Don’t spend too much time sulking, as the longer you get away from work, the harder it will be to get back into it.
But don’t dive in without a goal. Creating daily pitch goals can provide a solid strategy for getting back in the game.
- For growth purposes, set a pitch goal of 5-10 queries per day. Salespeople find success by knowing their numbers, so adopt this strategy to grow your own freelance business.
- While you’re at it, ask someone to review your pitch to find any opportunities for improvement. You may be blind to an obvious hole in your own professional materials.
- Create a list of places to pitch. Try one of these or more per article.
- Avoid wasting your time on jobs you know won’t pay the bill, like content mills.
- Monitor your pitching efforts on a spreadsheet or CRM.
- Set calendar reminders or to-do list tasks to follow up with anyone you haven’t heard back from in a week.
- Create email templates for each niche you write for.
3. Tap into your existing network
Your next job may already be within reach.
The perfect client may already be a part of your network, or a referral away. e careful not to come across as desperate — for any connection you request, or pitch you send out, present a clear case for how you can provide value.
- Follow up with a past client you haven’t worked with in awhile. They may have a new project you’d be perfect for.
- Follow up with a past prospect who never ended up working for you. It may have been the wrong time, but perhaps now is better.
- Reach out to friends and other connections in complementary industries (like web design) to see if there’s an opportunity to collaborate on upcoming projects. Be sure to also think of them if you have a related referral that you can’t handle yourself. When asking for something, try to do your best to help that person, too.
- Post on your social channels (especially LinkedIn) that you have openings for new clients. Share qualifications or recent wins to drum up interest.
4. Implement consistent marketing efforts
If you’ve just lost a client, you probably have some extra time on your hands. Why not use it to work on your own personal brand?? The key here is to continue whatever you start for long-term client and business gains.
- Install a compelling email signup form on your website if you haven’t already. Create a lead magnet that attracts your ideal target audience. The key here is connecting with a relevant audience, and not just trying to get everyone who lands on your website to become a subscriber.
- Start sending weekly email updates. If you don’t know what to include, consider sharing some recent client work, and creating an industry-appropriate content roundup.
- Create a social media strategy. Post across each of your networks, editing content according to the ideal formatting on each network (hashtags on Twitter, no emojis on LinkedIn, etc.).
- Write a blog post for your website, or LinkedIn Pulse (or both!). Do some keyword research, and write it to solve a common issue for your target audience. Share it like crazy once published.
- Guest post for a high authority website with an audience similar to yours. Include a compelling reason for readers to get in touch.
5. Freshen up your professional materials
Whatever got you by when you first started freelancing may be a bit outdated now. Refresh your professional materials to make sure that they’re not sabotaging your efforts to bring in higher quality clients.
- Order new business cards, taking care to update any outdated information.
- Although most jobs ask for samples, some will ask for a resume. Make sure your resume specifically speaks to your freelance writing experience (as opposed to the corporate roles you previously held).
- Audit your portfolio or website for any major errors: mobile responsiveness issues, SEO issues, necessary portfolio updates, conversion issues, etc. If the fix is beyond your skills, hire someone to help. If your client loss has you short on cash, consider a barter deal with a fellow freelancer.
- Update your bio across each social network. Make sure it provides a compelling reason to visit your website or get in touch.
- Refresh your LinkedIn profile. Change your cover image, make sure you have a professional headshot, optimize each section for job-related keywords, and ask trusted colleagues and clients for recommendations.
Instead of letting a client loss become a point of contention in your freelance career, use your newly freed up time to attract new clients. Take some time to let yourself feel the loss, then come back with renewed motivation.
What are your best tips for bouncing back after losing a client? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!