For all freelancers, referred leads are considered to be a blessing in disguise. If you are a freelancer, you can easily get some new projects with the help of referrals and these referrals can be from anyone i.e., previous or existing clients and even friends. The best thing about a referred lead is that both parties share a relationship of trust with each other right from the beginning. Also, the expectations are quite high yet positive. As we all know that everything has its own pros and cons. The bad thing about referrals is an uncertainty attached with them. You might get a lot of referrals in a month and you might not get them at all for a long time.
As a freelancer, your basic problem would be getting new leads as at times freelancers have a lot of projects going on and on the second hand there are no projects. One should never undermine the importance of referrals. For instance, even if you are into printing of brochures, flyers, calendars, postcards, business cards and posters etc. referral are still required so that the work keeps coming in. It is very important for a freelancer to sell and make himself referable. In order to make yourself referable you need to analyze a few points due to which think you might not be a referring material. Always carry business cards with you, they are a key source of generating referrals.
Why people won’t refer you?
There could be a lot of things associated with you due to which people might not refer you to potential employers. Obviously, work is the most important thing so if you are not good at you do, people won’t refer you. Apart from this, reliability is a very important factor in freelancing. If you have developed an image of an unreliable person, your chances of getting referred becomes very less. If your personality is not so likeable and you are unpredictable, people would avoid hiring you or referring you because of your uncertain mood swings. Also, the price you charge for projects will definitely pay a very big role in getting you referred/hired.
If you have any of the above mentioned qualities in your personality, people might not refer you because they will be blamed for your unprofessional attitude and for anything going wrong with the project.
Ways to Get Likeable and Referable
If someone refers you, he wants to look good and be proud of the fact that he referred you. It is your duty to not let him down. If you want to get more referrals you should:
Focus on Providing Quality Work
It does not matter which field you belong to, you need to provide quality work to get more projects. Also, providing quality work shows your dedication and any freelancer has to have an impressive portfolio to get more and more projects. So, if you want people to refer you, give every client of yours an impressive quality work.
Be Dependable, Always
Freelancers are considered to not so reliable sources, which is exactly why people are a bit reluctant to refer them in the first place. Make sure you come across as someone who is really reliable. Respond to emails, calls from clients. If you are busy, make sure you get back to them as soon as you get time.
Take What You Deserve
In order to be referred over and over again, your pricing should be reasonable and it should be what your work deserves. Over pricing is never the key to referrals.
Have a Pleasant Personality
Employers like freelancers who have a pleasant personality and are easy to get along with. You should be someone who is easy to deal with. Your attitude and behavior along with your work is something that can get you a lot of referrals.
Make Sure You Do Not Put Your Referrer in Trouble
The reason why people are reluctant when it comes to referring is that in case something goes wrong, their name will be at stake. You need to make sure that your referrers have nothing to lose if they refer you.
Money Back Guarantee
Now, if you are not an experience person, you should not go for this option. But, if you think you are good enough, you can always give a money back guarantee or revisions on a project. This is something that every freelancer should not follow so only go for it if you are sure of giving a flawless project.
Keeping Clients Happy
You have to be a very understanding freelancer. Your referrer should be sure of the fact that you will try your level best to fix things in case of anything goes wrong.
Initial Consultation For Free
This is a very good way of getting more and more referrals. People will refer you without any hesitation because they would know there are no initial financial obligations.
What are the Reasons Due To Which People Will Refer Your Work?
There is a reason behind everything. The reason could be good or bad but every behavior has a history of reasons and if someone is referring they are doing it for a reason. The reason could be helping you, helping the other person or they are probably trying to help themselves.
Make Referring Easy and Beneficial For Referrers
Give Your Referrer an Incentive
If someone is referring you, they deserve an incentive don’t they? You can either gift them something good or offer them a special discount on their project. If someone is referring you, he is doing you a huge favor so you need to do something really good for them as a thank you. However, you need to be very careful when it comes to offering incentives as your referral should not feel that you are trying to buy him and the person you are referred to should not think that you were referred because of your good deeds and not your quality work.
Be Straight Forwards In Asking For Referrals
At times, you have to say things to get them. I know, it can be awkward to ask someone to refer you but this is a good way to go about it. The best time to do this is after you have handed over the project to a client and he is quite impressed with your work. This will make the situation less awkward. Asking in person might be a little difficult so you always have other ways to request your current clients to refer you to potential employers. You can send an email or your business card to them and request them for referrals in a more professional way.
If someone is referring you, they need to have the tools that would require in referrals. Provide them with your business cards or contact information so that referring you becomes easy. As motioned earlier, you need to be reliable so if you really want good referrals always stay active and answer your phone calls, reply to the emails and fax messages. Following up on the leads is also very important because if you do not respond to one referred clients, chances are that the referral won’t refer you again.
Last but not the least, getting referred is not a very hard and daunting task. If you see it precisely, all you need to do is become a little more professional. Doing the right things at the right time will definitely get you loads of projects through referrals and you will become a very successful freelancer.