8 Ways Freelancers Can Build Strong Relationships with Clients
Whether you’re a freelancer or aspiring to become one, you’re most likely familiar with the many benefits of freelancer careers already. An analysis by The Slash Workers reports that 68% of freelancers are enjoying a quality life after becoming independent workers. Well, that’s not much of a surprise. The freelancing business can grant a person a better work-life balance while enjoying a steady income.
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8 Ways Freelancers Can Build Strong Relationships with Clients
But, let’s face it; doing freelance work full-time doesn’t offer better job security than being a traditional employee. However, we’re not saying it isn’t achievable. To be a stable freelancer requires effort and time, and it starts by building strong relationships with your clients. So if you’re about to leave your 9-5 job and shift to freelancing, we’ll help you start strong. We’ll show you eight ways you can build strong relationships with your future clients.
Show a Positive First Impression
“First impressions last,” it’s a cliché thing to say, but it’s an important principle to remember in your first meeting with a client.
When you receive a proposal from a client and schedule a contract negotiation, always professionally act as you should be. Make sure to bring out your friendliness and politeness. Meeting clients for the first time can bring butterflies into your stomach, but don’t show any signs that you’re nervous. You have to be confident and be proud of yourself that a client looked your way to hire you.
Also, you need to show to a client that you know your freelance niche inside and out. A client sees you as an expert, and if you can’t manifest your expertise during your conversation, that’s going to leave a bad note. The bottom line is to be the best version of yourself to impress a client.
Treat Clients as Partners
Many freelancers treat their clients as they’re their boss. There’s nothing wrong about it, but deeming them as the boss kind of places a gap between a freelancer-client relationship. In actuality, clients are not your boss. They’re more of your business partners, and you should treat them as such.
If your relationship with your clients is like a partnership instead of an employer-employee relationship, there will be less awkwardness in interacting with them. Conversations with your clients will be more engaging and open, which is a good stepping stone in building a lasting relationship with them.
Always Negotiate a Win-Win Agreement
As a freelancer, always remember that relationships with your clients is a give and take. You satisfy your clients with your best works, and they give you a decent income in return. So, when you forge deals with your clients, always make it your game plan to negotiate a win-win agreement.
You and your trusted clients should benefit from each other to be in good spirits all the time. Think about it, if you work for a client that doesn’t pay you well enough, would you be happy? Of course not, right? So never settle on a win-lose or a lose-lose situation. If you do so, your relationship with certain clients is already in jeopardy right from the get-go.
Freelancing can be categorized as an online business if you only interact with your clients through email and freelance websites. In that case, you need to maintain communication with them. Update them regularly regarding the progress of the projects; inform them how you’re tracking for solutions to particular issues that they want you to fix. Communicate any information that they need to know.
A steady communication, in general, can bring certain relationships towards longevity. In today’s day and age, maintaining communication is convenient, thanks to the digital tools we have.
Be Transparent with Your Clients
Among the worries of most clients is hiring freelancers who aren’t honest about anything concerning their project. That said, make it your principle to alleviate the worry of your clients by being transparent with them. Be honest about everything and anything. For example, if you need a budget to do a client’s project, ask him or her for the right amount; nothing more, nothing less. When you create your invoice, make your quotation truthful before you send it to the client.
Win your client’s trust by being transparent to them. Show them that you’re reliable, and they could become your regular clients, not just a one and done deal.
Always Be Consistent
Being consistent with your productivity is undoubtedly among the things your clients want from you. So, do your best to finish projects on time without sacrificing quality. On each project, estimate how long it takes you to accomplish a task. Plot your work schedule in a way that can help you meet strict deadlines.
Most clients will never rehire freelancers who can’t meet their checklist of instructions and submit outputs on time. That being said, try to adopt a mindset that being consistent will earn you a promotion. What sort of promotion? Well, getting more work from the same clients in the future, perhaps. As a freelancer, that’s your ticket to earn more money and increase your income.
Go Beyond Their Expectations
Using your freelance portfolio as marketing material is a good method to attract clients. Your portfolio can be the basis for your clients on what to expect from you. If you can exceed their expectations, you can congratulate yourself. You’ve just added a potential regular client into your clientele.
Every client wants a freelancer that can provide them with excellent results. And if a freelancer can produce better results, clients will offer whatever they can offer to keep that freelancer for future projects. Exceeding clients’ expectations is among the tips for freelance workers that should be a part of your work ethic.
Show Clients Your Gratitude
Always thank your clients for hiring you. After all, you need them to maintain your income and make a good living as a freelancer. Presenting them with great results is actually a gesture of gratitude towards them; keep that in mind. Showing an excellent performance to your clients is already a form of marketing. How so? Well, clients will find your work satisfactory, and if they know people in need of your service, these people could become your referrals, courtesy of your existing clients. Thus, helping you grow your clientele.
A gesture of gratitude can make your client relationships come a long way.
You may have effective social media strategies in reaching people and a well-established online reputation, but they could all be for nothing if you can’t forge secure connections with your clients. So, embed everything that you’ve learned here into your work practices. Build strong relationships with your clients, and your freelance career will stand the test of time.