The world of freelance can be hugely lucrative if it is navigated correctly. But the truth of the matter is, it can be a very difficult path to follow. Freelancing is entirely about your ability to communicate with your clients and potential clients. Whether it is written communication through a business proposal or oral communication with a client at an update meeting, it’s 100% about your ability to cultivate culture all of the time. That kind of pressure can be terrifying, and the common business interaction advice like “wear a good suit” or “have a really well made business card” really does not cover all that goes into being a successful freelancer. Here’s a few tips that can make all of the difference:
- Plan Properly and Thoughtfully – Use a planning tool like a wireframe or storyboard to create what will essentially be a “visual” ice-breaker. Visual aids help get the conversation started and also help the client understand that you’ve put in the effort to create a plan and have things under control.
- Do Your Research – Schedule a chunk of time outside of the actual project to learn a bit more about your client, their business, and their competitors. You want to portray yourself as a knowledgeable asset to your client’s workforce. Take the time to understand what the particular industry standards are and if there have been any recent major breakthroughs in the field. Be aware of any common issues in the field as well; this will be great for discussing any necessary preventative action that may need to take place in the project.
- Agree To Projects, But Be Honest – In the freelancing lifestyle, you will undoubtedly be asked to do work that is not necessarily 100% in your repertoire. The best thing to do is to agree to the work, but make sure your client knows where your skillset is. If it’s a request that’s completely undoable based on your skillset, it will be better to pass off the work to someone that you know has the required experience. Build a relationship based on trust and honesty with your clients.
- Express Gratitude – At the conclusion of any project, be sure to thank your client for their business. Your thank you can be anything from a small gift, to a quick email, to a handwritten note. Heartfelt thank yous are memorable, and that’s exactly what you want; you want your client to remember you next time they have a project in mind.
It’s important to remember that your clients are not only looking for phenomenal work, but they are looking for someone that they like to work with. Arm yourself with these tips, and remember to have fun with your work!
To see the list that inspired this post, click here.