Freelance do you keep many clients

Hello Boards
I have been freelancing very part time for a few years now. How many clients do you have that give you repeat business? Is this common or not? Just wondering I have found that it is very uncommon. I am not sure if that was because of the industry I am in. I work a lot with smaller action sports companies. Any thoughts or experiences would be very insightful.

Majority of my clients are repeat and log term. I’d say about 90%. Some I’ve continuously been working with on a steady basis for almost 5 years. Any business ESP. Freelance relies on repeat business. In most industries I think the benchmark is 80%. If you have difficulty retaining clients I’d take a long hard look at your business model and even inquire with some past clients. That much turnover isnt a good sign.


Thanks for the replay. I work full time in action sports so a lot of the times these are just small side projects. I know at my company we don’t keep freelancers very long not really because of work but because we are looking for something fresh. One of my more constant clients I had to drop because I took a full time job doing the same work I was doing for them. Since then I really have not being able to connect with anyone and when I say I do a little freelance it is like 2-3 projects a year. I was just wondering what others experience freelancing?

I’ve freelanced for about 13 years and it was always a mix. I tended to keep consistent ones over the course of years and then there would be random ones that would either only use me once or twice because they just needed an IDer for that project (when normally they don’t need one), or it was someone doing similar to what I was that just needed backup help occasionally if they were flooded.
The ones that used me consistently, it was almost like I was salary, but I was kept away from everything so they could always count on me coming in and bringing a unique perspective and not be molded already by their techniques or style. Or if it was technical work, they knew I was good and fast so I was basically part of the special teams or “in case of emergency, break glass” designer that could come in and bang something out, or cover when the fulltimers were away and keep things running smooth.
Ideally, you want to have some steady clients. Five of them that you can keep in steady rotation with and you’ll have decently consistent work. You don’t want to base your entire freelance on the emergency weekend project clients, that would be torture.