Freelancing is a tough business, not least because you want to rely on those who claim to value your expertise. In today’s uncertain job climate, heading out on your own can be freeing and extremely gratifying, but it’s those client relationships, and how you keep them, that saves you from rocky shores as the years roll by.
Hence, there are certain signposts that’ll distinguish truly great clients from the rest. You should be looking for them, because they’ll mean you probably have a bright, engaging and trustworthy set of contacts on your hands…
Freelancers, especially those new to their industry, tend to worry about charging people too much. It’s an understandable fear – better to court fresh clients with low rates, right, than to avoid turning business away?
In actual fact, charging a moderate price that aligns with your competitors is more beneficial for being taken seriously. Clients that don’t haggle at every opportunity should be coveted, nurtured and thanked appropriately. If they really do see you as someone to grow alongside, they’ll accept your conditions, as long as they’re fair.
The strongest collaborations run off the back of rapid, excitable dialogue between two people; such a relationship can only serve to make the end product go above what’s expected.
Clients who are keen to hold a conversation about their business, and what they envision for it, should be at the top of your priorities. So if your client takes the time to detail a clear, comprehensive brief, hold on tight to their business!
No-one wants to be hanging in front of their screen, waiting for the heavenly get-go from a client who’s due to sign something off. Wasted time is endemic to poor performance, even more so when you have other business waiting in the wings.
The ideal contact, therefore, doesn’t dally with online approvals. To speed things along, introduce them to a project management tool like Skwish, which notifies each of you when a brief is ready for getting on with or reviewing. It means you’ll never be dumping pointless hours into a task that isn’t exactly what they want.
Now comes the clincher: which clients pay you on the dot, just like they promised? This is the anchoring prerogative of your freelancing career, because without a steady revenue stream you’ll find it hard to sustain everything that matters – bills, leisure time, and the chance to save and expand what you’re capable of.
Those magic due dates on your invoice have to be adhered to. Anything less, on a consistent basis, is a rejection of the respect you’re trying to garner as an independent freelancer.
Again, Skwish can help out on multiple fronts with solidifying an awesome business relationship. It provides free online scheduling, clear-as-crystal pay rates for any extras you provide, and stores all of your comments for each brief. Our full range of features aren’t to be missed for bringing you and your clients closer than ever before…
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