Communication is key for every freelancer. Although it may not be the most enjoyable aspect of your job (perhaps one of the reasons you went freelance in the first place), it is important to maintain professional, open communication with clients and potential clients. Good communication leads to a better working relationship with people- this means more money and more jobs for you.
1. Respond quickly
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been praised by people just because I responded to their request quickly. It shows that you care about their question and that their business is important to you. Waiting a few days to get back to them isn’t going to get you far. Most likely they either took their business elsewhere or felt snubbed and won’t work with you anyway.
2. Be available
Sure, being a freelancer gives you the freedom to set your own hours. But sales calls aren’t going to answer themselves. Make sure you adhere to a reasonable schedule so you can catch those important requests during the workday. Most business requests are made between 9-5 because that’s their normal routine. If you work from 5pm – 2am, you won’t be answering those vital calls, and you will be losing business.
3. Always identify the next step
When dealing with a client or potential client, be very clear on what the next step of the processes is. The last thing you want them to be doing is waiting for a phone-call from you, when you’re waiting on artwork from them. Tell them the order in which things need to proceed.
4. Be honest
Honesty is crucial in making a working relationship with clients. Be honest about the time-frame, or about delays. The most important thing is that you keep them updated as to what has changed. I’ve overcome many obstacles by honestly explaining the problem, and keeping communication open. People respond to honesty and don’t feel like they’re being led on.
5. Be professional
This can be hard for freelancers. It may be part of the reason you started freelancing in the first place. Still, the importance of professionalism cannot be stressed enough. I know the desire to fire off a quick un-proofed message is strong, but make sure it really says what it needs to. Re-read it, then send it. Check your website for typos. If you’re like me, you’ve made a bunch and unless your mom is there to check them for you, your visitors won’t say a word. Make sure your voicemail has a professional message, and always treat the client with respect.
Do you think I missed anything out? Comment below and let me know.
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