A large part of your freelancing success depends on how good your relationship is with your clients. As a freelancer, you must have a solid system in place for interacting and communicating with clients. Without this, you’ll find it difficult to provide a high level of service to your clients.
Effective communication not only helps the freelancer offer the best service possible but also reduce chances of revisions and rushed jobs to beat deadlines. The results of good communication mean happy clients and more lucrative business for the freelancer.
Here are four of the best tips for freelancers to interact with clients, as well as some details pertaining to each one:
1. Don’t ever assume what the client wants.
This is a serious issue, especially when dealing with a new client. Let’s take an example of a client who asks a freelance writer to write about obesity. While one writer will go on and write about the topic, another with good communication skills will pause and ask questions.
In asking these questions, a freelancer gets to know exactly what the client wants. This effective interaction also helps some of the clients to have a more clarity of what they need. It is a fact that not all clients know or fully understand exactly what they want from a job.
2. Know the type of client you are dealing with.
All clients are not the same. Not realising this for a freelancer is a potential source of stress for both parties and a recipe for poor work and inefficiency. Common types of clients include:
Clients who want too many details: This type may take much of your time that you would otherwise be using to accomplish the job at hand. Politely but firmly setting boundaries for such clients is an effective way of interacting with them. Let them judge the final results you produce instead of interfering with your work progress.
The clueless client: This type of a client knows what they want but have no idea of the process of getting there. They may be technologically challenged. Interact with such clients in a simplified version of the process of achieving what they want. This will reassure them that you have adequate expertise to get to their desired goal.
3. Don’t rely on one form of communication.
Some freelancers are ill at ease when interacting with clients on the phone or meeting them face to face. Others have no problem in communicating with their clients through whatever means. For the shy freelancers, they may over-rely on electronic mail interaction. While this is okay, some issues are best sorted out through a mix of communication methods that include face to face, phone or email.
To avoid future misunderstanding, good interaction between a freelancer and their client involves putting important decisions and agreements into writing. Good freelancer-client interaction promotes a great working relationship and more satisfying jobs.
4. Handle bills and invoices the right way.
Some freelancers are too polite and shy when it comes to talking about money. For you to succeed in your freelancing business, you have to get paid. So whether you do one freelance gig a month or run a full-time writing business, you need to know how to bill and invoice your clients.
To help you ensure that you are doing this the right way, follow the following steps:
- Step 1: Do a little research on all new clients.
- Step 2: Establish your payment terms.
- Step 3: Get to know the client’s way of paying.
- Step 4: Create the perfect invoice.
Once you’ve started using these tips to communicate and interact with your clients, I’m betting you’ll notice happier clients and easier project flow.