How to get referrals by earning them instead of asking


Referrals are one of the best ways for finding new clients as a freelancer. When someone you have worked with recommends your business, the chances of getting the job or project dramatically increase. However, asking for referrals can feel like begging and will often not get you the necessary results and is downright wrong most of the time. This is because referrals are like trust – they should not be asked for, but rather earned. Indeed referrals are the best Marketing for freelancers. Read on if you would like to learn more about the art of getting referrals without actually having to ask by following our three simple tips.

1) Do an amazing job

This first tip might seem obvious, but you would be surprised at how often it is disregarded. The idea behind this is simple – you can’t expect someone to recommend you if they are not content with your services. So, always, always strive to give the job your best and push your boundaries. In the best scenario this will make your client want to help his business partners or friends by telling them how awesome you are at what you do. A separate, but connected point comes to mind, too. Referrals cannot be expected at the start of a business relationship it will take time to convince clients of your worth and earn their appreciation.

2) Make your client remember you

Being great at what you do and providing excellent services is a great start towards having your name remembered, but there is more to it. Try turning every aspect of your work into a part of a cool story – one your clients will want to tell others. Having a well-designed business card with a bit of humor on it is one way to do this. The same applies to your website or almost any other thing you present to a customer. Making your time with a client count is the best guarantee for having your name mentioned next time he or she talks business with a friend or colleague.

3) Refer your customers

Referrals are not a one-way street; your clients need new contacts as well. As a freelancer, having a good professional network and plenty of contacts will be essential to your work. Maybe you know a fellow freelancer who could help them out on a project or you have a LinkedIn contact that might be interesting or useful – refer them. Being helpful will nurture your relationship with a client. A good business relationship is the best way to getting a recommendation.

In conclusion, it should be said that the point of these tips is not to just follow them and expect to get something in return. You do an awesome job, have a memorable working experience, and are helpful to your clients because you want to. That kind of positive attitude is the foundation of your goal – having a great business relationship. Yes, this will certainly increase your chances of getting a referral as well. And when it does happen, don’t forget to send your client a thank-you note to show them how grateful you are. Getting referrals is a huge deal and normally leads to new freelance clients, so appreciate it. And do so without remorse or guilt, because you didn’t ask or beg for a referral, potentially hurting your business relationship – you earned it.

Pic: © Arto –

Viktor Marinov

Viktor is the voice behind the freelancermap blog. Every week he comes up with helpful hints, checklists, and guides for freelancers and independent workers. If you would like to know how to find remote jobs online or how to niche yourself as a freelancer, don't miss his freelancer tips!

By Viktor Marinov

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