How to Stick Out and Get Clients to Remember You
Photo by pinkspleen.
We are a stimulated society. Our senses are tested thousands of times over daily. From the city that never sleeps smelling like syrup to the ever-evolving way our eyes are inundated with advertisements, we have both people and things vying for our attention.
What makes you stand out in a client or potential client’s mind? Is it the quality of your work? The color of your hair? Or maybe the firmness of your handshake?
All of these, and so much more, could be things that can make or break deals for you.
I am a firm believer in good first impressions, but I don’t necessarily think that a person with facial piercings can’t make a good first impression. I don’t personally adorn any piercings – I’m too much of a wuss among other things – but I have met some that do and they do stand out in my mind. Would I hire them to wheel my grandmother around in a wheel chair at a nursing home? Probably not, but I could see a time and place where they would fit in with other jobs.
Although it has been a while, I can still remember a few things about high school. For some reason today I thought back to the requirement to take a foreign language class at the time, and the circumstances around my decision to jump feet-first into French. What was it that made the fourteen year old version of me decide to sign up for French over the other options? I had no direct relationship to anything in or from France. Was it the fact that it was the only other choice offered besides Spanish and I wanted to do something a little different than the eighty percent of my fellow classmates signing up?
As I think back, I’m pretty sure my number one reason for signing up when I did was that I noticed the French teacher’s last name on the class list and it intrigued me. I scanned each sign up sheet for a reason to pick a class and immediately ‘French I – Ms. Martinez’ stuck out. Yep, my French teacher’s surname was Martinez. Unmarried, even. And I stuck with her for 3 years.
All of which boils down to the fact that I couldn’t introduce myself in French today. But to me at the time, it stuck out. I remember it now because of such a small detail.
In self-evaluating now, what is it that clients remember about me? Do I dress appropriately when I have face-to-face interaction with them? Do they care or notice the fact that I don’t have a brick-and-mortar storefront? When somebody asks them about a product or service I provided them, what are the things that pop into their head or they’re willing to share?
I want to be remembered and assuming you’re in this freelancing thing for the long haul you should also want to be remembered. Create in your mind who you want to be and then make it happen. Granted, you can’t wish yourself into being 6’8″ and 240 lbs with a frame like LeBron James but there are plenty of things you can do to help your clients remember you.
The easiest thing to do in my mind is be a professional. Carry yourself in such a manner that your clients would feel comfortable presenting you to their clients. Take the time to be courteous in your communication. Practice proper language skills for your native dialect and for goodness sake, use a spellchecker. Be, or become, good at what you do because many times your work can speak louder than your ironed shirt.
Think of other things that set you apart:
- Do you drive a clunker? Play it up! Make it a running joke with your clients about taking them to lunch in it and see if they squirm or just decide to meet you there.
- Work from home? Teach them to understand the benefits and cost savings for both of you by not having to pay rent on an office. The fact that you’re more willing to come to their office, saving them time and money, can’t hurt.
- Know a few (preferably clean) jokes? Make a ritual of hitting their inbox with one every now and then to keep yourself firmly embedded in their memory. It will more than likely raise the read-through and click-through rate of future email newsletters. Don’t spam, please, and send the jokes with other helpful and relevant information.
- Have a truly bad tie that most would never be caught in public with? Wear it. It shows you can be comfortable in most any situation and it can also be a great conversation starter. Especially the ones with piano keys on them, everybody hates those.
The list could go on. What is it that makes you memorable? Is what you are being remembered for now how you want to be thought of by clients? If not, take some time to think through what might work for you. It’s a lot easier to get recurring business if your client remembers your name the next time he or she needs some work done.
Hit me up below with some other good ideas that I can steal and remember you by.