These days, it’s not uncommon to have a side gig. In fact, by 2020, part-time, independent and freelance contractors will constitute about 40 percent of the U.S. workforce. Like any business, customers are a key part of making your business a success. Whether you run your own blog or sell on Etsy, here are four tips to maximize your relationship with your customers.
Develop a Strong Rapport
A strong rapport with your customers will set you apart from the competition. Your email list is one of the most effective ways to build and maintain a customer connection. Sending out information on upcoming events, links to new blog posts or special promotions will help you establish a consistent dialogue and stay top of mind with your customers.
Check in with Your Social Media Channels
Social media is a great way to introduce your business to a wider audience and give customers a peek at your personality. If you’re looking to grow your business, you have to develop those relationships and dialogue, and social media gives you many avenues to expand on those conversations.
Checking in with your social media channels from time to time with insights or comments in a way that’s engaging will further your narrative with your community. Specifically, Twitter is a great place to share any real-time announcements, useful guidance or tips, and directly converse with your customers.
Follow Up with a Thank you
Quality goods and/or services are very important to maintaining a business and repertoire with customers. Once a project is done, make it a habit to check in and see if the result is everything your customer expected (or more). If not, you can quickly adjust. It is both easier and more effective to be proactive, rather than to wait for a problem or a complaint to arise.
Also, following up with a proper “thank you” is always a nice personal touch. In this age of instant messages, individuals and companies can make a big impression with a handwritten note. If appropriate, a thoughtful and personalized gift can also deepen your professional relationships. It’s not only a smart business move, but a great way to make customers feel special and know that you appreciate their business.
Keep Up with Your Customers – and Your Finances
When it’s all said and done, staying on top of your finances is one of the most important aspects of managing a business. Providing professional, timely invoices for your customers will ensure that you make a positive impression, and keep a firm hold on your business’ finances.
Don’t forget that you can deduct your expenses that are directly related to your business at tax time. You can track your income and expenses, mileage, and capture your receipts year round using QuickBooks Self-Employed and then easily export your information to TurboTax Self-Employed at tax time.