I was recently speaking to someone who had made the decision to leave her freelancing business, and take a full time position within a company who didn’t offer her services.
As you can imagine, her clients stuck by her, however she was starting to find it harder to manage both roles. I gave her some advice, which she acted on and was pleased with the outcomes, and wanted to share it with you.
Before taking the plunge of employment, I suggest approaching those in the local industry that you know and trust. If you don’t know them, that’s fine; but it’s important that you find a few people who you know do great work.
Once you’ve established a list of three to five names, contact them and arrange a coffee date. Then, at this meeting, explain your situation, and that you want to ensure your clients are taken care of into the future.
Once you’ve interviewed these folk, and have a good feeling about their ability to service your existing clients, don’t feel shy in asking for something in return. You’re bringing your existing clients and work – that’s got to be valuable, right?
The easiest solution is to agree on a percentage you’ll receive as a commission for each new job they get from your clients, for a period of time (my suggestion? Six months).
Ideally, have a few of these arrangements, and then communicate to your clients. Let them know you’ve enjoyed working with them, however you’ve decided to exit the industry, and here are a few names of people that you would recommend.
Don’t just do it by email either – a telephone call costs very little apart from some time, and ensures your clients understand your position, and you still have a great relationship moving into the future.
The end result is a group of happy clients, who you know will be looked after into the future, as well as a passive income stream for the next few months, as they continue the great work that you started.
Best of luck in the new role, and congratulations on a successful freelancing exit!