Effective communication is what every client expects from a freelancer. It is an important aspect that needs to be clearly understood.
A big problem with many freelancers is that as soon as they know the demands and the requirements of the client, they stop contacting them. Once the contract is signed, such freelancers don’t reply to client’s mail and stop responding to their phone calls. They contact them only after the work is completed. Clients don’t like this attitude. This present client may stick to you because of your contract, but what you lose are the referral clients which you would’ve got, if you had replied to your clients.
Managing clients are absolutely easy. They just want to be talked to and would just appreciate if you could keep them in the work loop. Just inform them about the working process and keep them updated. All they want is to communicate with your freelancing clients. It can either be through emails, phone calls, video calls etc. Take up that medium which is compatible for your client, not yours.
This article will lay out some tips and tricks of how you should communicate with freelancing clients. But before discussing it, I’d like to take up a very important matter: RESPECT. You’ve got to give respect to your clients. You need to be humble, gentle, docile etc. If you don’t pay respect to them, then surely expect to be fired. Your clients are business persons and they expect to be treated professionally. Also remember the saying “Give respect. Get respect”. This is very true in business.
So let’s discuss on how you should communicate with your freelancing clients.
A. Listen And Listen:
The project that you are working on belongs to your client. It is about their business and their website. So you cannot make it according to your own choice. Listen what your clients have to say about their website and how they want the output to be. Carefully note down their requirements and their needs. The more you listen, more happy they are working with you. There will be times where your client has to do the listening, but it is the starting stage of the project where you need to listen carefully as this is the stage where your clients lay out their requirements.
B. Go Ahead And Ask Questions:
If you have a doubt regarding something, don’t be afraid and hold back that question. Clear out all your doubts at the beginning. Keeping your doubts unanswered will definitely lead to misunderstandings at a later stage. This will ultimately create some kind of friction between both the parties.
Your clients are busy and they don’t have time to explain everything about your business. They don’t know what goes into the making of a successful website. For example, to communicate with your freelancing clients, your client may not tell you about their target customers, but you know that this information is highly required when it comes to web designing. So in order to cater and tailor your clients’ needs, you have to be proactive and ask all the required questions. Needless to say, but don’t ask irrelevant questions, such as the marital status of your client. Ask those questions that’ll help you solve your clients’ problems.
C. Advice Patiently With Explanations:
Your clients are alien to the web designing world and that is why they are hiring you. If you want to give in your own input and advice, do it patiently through communicate with your freelancing clients. Clients love freelancers who are willing to make things understand, without making it complex.
The second thing that you need to be ready with, are your explanations for your advice. If you want to make a change to the website design, ask your client first and inform them how that change will help him in his/her business. If the client disagrees with you, drop your advice. This process of communicate with freelancing clients is far better than getting a rejection at the final stage.
D. Debar Jargon In Discussions:
One of the biggest challenges from a client’s perspective is to understand what the web designer is saying. Most web design freelancers use jargon related terms and phrases that are very difficult to understand. As said above, your clients may not have much knowledge about your domain. As you gradually communicate with freelancing clients, you’ll get a better understanding of how knowledgeable they are regarding web designing. Hence after a few conversations, you’ll be able to convey your message easily.
E. Do Not Assume:
Never ever assume anything regarding the project. This will lead to misunderstandings at final stages. Just because your client wants “A” , it does not mean that he wants “B” also. If you are unsure about something, ask the client directly. If your assumption goes wrong, you may have to undo a lot of work later.
F. Involve The Client:
Involve your client with the work process easily to communicate with your freelancing clients. Most of your clients will have very little to no knowledge about web designing. They know what they want with their project. They know what the final product should be. They just don’t know how to achieve it technically. This is where you need to get them involved. Get a summarized idea of what things you need from them in order to give them the best product.
You can also send partially prepared projects to your clients and ask for their reviews. This will impress your client.
G. Systematic Work:
Always work systematically. Have a proper client intake process with a series of questionnaire that will give you all your required answers. Also if you are working with multiple clients at one time, it can be very challenging to remain updated with all the clients. For this purpose, you should have an effective client management and time management tools to improve your efficiency in how to communicate with your freelancing clients. Develop separate folders for different clients where you keep your work. Also customize your email settings to keep a track of the messages to and from specific clients. Without a system, you’d be just scrambling your way in the project world. By maintaining a system, you remain on track with all your activities and processes.
What really comes handy in explaining situations to clients are the real life examples. Explaining such things over the phone or email can be a bit challenging but if you provide good examples of similar work, clients will understand the concept easily. Also with examples, you clear out a lot of confusion and misunderstanding quickly through clear communicate with freelancing clients.
For example, you can suggest various designs of navigation menu that you’ve prepared for your previous clients.
When you are communicating with the client, be it in any medium, you’ve got to be professional. Clients are professional business persons and they expect you to behave as one. Don’t go more personal with your clients. Always the freelancer/client relationship professional and intact.
Collaborate and communicate with your freelancing clients is very easy. Just give them enough time and keep them in the work equation that’s it. If you keep them happy and satisfied, you can be assured of getting high referral clients from your present clients.
Would you like to give any other tip to our readers on how to communicate with your freelancing clients? What quality according to you, the client searches the most in a freelancer? Pitch in your thoughts, suggestions and reviews via comments.
If you are looking for a step by step process to start your own freelance web design, you can visit our Complete guide to become freelance web designer to reach near targeted visitors. Please feel free to leave any comment you have in your mind.