A lot of freelance writers and content providers can manage to get the customers to their site or profile on elance.com or guru.com but very few can get them to return or tell other people how great their experience with you as a freelancer actually was. The secret is not to rest on your laurels but to try your best to “over-deliver” on your promises. If you do that you are guaranteed a return client and you will also attract “word of mouth” (or “word of mouse”) referrals from satisfied customers.
In order to create this type of free viral advertising you have to have great copy on your sales page and in your pitches. Remember that the purpose of your site is to act as a prospect generating machine. It should literally design to ‘force’ any visitor comes to that page to e-mail you for a quote. This is why every page need a very strong and clear call to action on that page, with a simple statement telling the visitor to e-mail you for a no-obligation quotation being the most effective method of getting action in my experience.
Once you snag the customer it is then your job to deliver more than you have promised. Not only does your willingness to over deliver attract referrals, it also helps to protect your reputation, because it is highly unlikely any customer is going to complain if you always deliver more than they expected. And even in the unlikely event that at some point, a customer is not 100% happy, the fact that every other customer enjoys an extraordinary experience dealing with your business means that one lone dissenting voice is unlikely to be listened to too much.
For example, if a customer approaches you to write 5 articles for them, why not deliver 7 articles instead of the requested number? If your customer orders a 10,000 word e-book, offer a 2000 word special report that can be given away free as a promotional tool for the e-book at no cost.
Of course you should not do this if it is going to put you under financially. It is generally easier to do if you specialize writing in a certain niche or sub-niche. This is why people looking for articles to submit to ezine publishers are such good customers. You end up doing less research because you are mining information about one topic. That makes it much easier to top up your offering with a free article or two.
You also might consider giving away a free report that has something to do with your writing business. Make sure it is chock full of the kind of information your clients might be looking for – such as how to make sure article content is keyword optimized and search engine friendly.
Of course, giving away something for free does not directly add to your bank balance, but in the fullness of time, it certainly will do as you attract new customers to your business because your marketing message is being spread ever more widely.