Are you Asking Clients to Refer you to Others?

As a freelance writer, one of the biggest challenges you will face is creating a marketing plan that works. If you are not marketing your services appropriately you may have a difficult time keeping enough work in your pipeline.

While it is safe to say that you are sending cold emails and queries through the mail (and maybe even cold calling), you may be overlooking another option: asking current clients to pass your name along to others. While some freelancers feel uncomfortable doing this, others realize that it is a great way to generate new business without having to put in too much time and effort.

Here are three tips for adding this method of lead generation to your marketing plan:

1. Establish a relationship before making the request. You cannot ask a new client to pass your name along to others. Instead, you need to prove to them that you are capable of doing the work and worth referring to others.

2. Don’t be pushy. While most clients won’t have any problem passing your information along to others, some may not want to do this for one reason or the next. Making a request is all that you can do. If the client doesn’t follow through, you should let it go – it is not worth ruining your relationship over.

3. Show your gratitude. I often times offer clients a price break on an upcoming project if they refer me to others. This is just one of the many ways to say thank you.

If you are not asking current clients to refer you to others, you could be missing out on a great opportunity to grow your business.

Profile image for Chris Bibey
Chris is a full-time freelance writer based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He specializes in web content, sales copy, and many other forms of writing. Chris has two books in print, as well as hundreds of articles in local and nationwide publications.

5 thoughts on “Are you Asking Clients to Refer you to Others?”

  1. Great suggestions Chris,

    As #3 concerned, in business environment where referral is vital for survival, I saw people openly announce discounts based on confirmed referrals. It can turn your willing customers into a sales force.

  2. The only thing to watch with that is when you get referrals for directly competing businesses. I once had that – a very happy client referred me to a colleague in their industry (one where most of them get along very well), and before I knew it, I was writing web copy for an almost-identical business. I wouldn’t do it again – they were dissimilar enough that it was okay, but I wouldn’t want to risk a conflict of interest in the future. If you get an amazing idea, who gets it?

  3. Good point on asking for referrals. I think some freelance writers and business professionals, in general, feel funny about asking for referrals. If you’re an ethical and upstanding freelance writer, you shouldn’t have a problem with receiving referrals.

    Muster up the courage and ask your clients for referrals. Do it today and you could have new clients tomorrow!

  4. Is there an easy way/suggestion to ask clients for referrals? I’m generally posting on Facebook and Twitter about my work and asking anyone to pass info on. Is there a subtle way to ask or just be direct?


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