Freelancers often have a hard time communicating effectively with clients. This can lead to missed deadlines and unfulfilled expectations, which is never good for business. To avoid this issue, we’ve put together some of the most effective ways to communicate as a freelancer that will help you earn their trust and keep them happy!
Client communication 101
Freelancers are often faced with the difficult challenge of communicating effectively with clients. The following are some golden rules that will help you communicate better with your client and ultimately become more successful in your business.
1) Confidently express yourself as an expert.
This is a golden rule that will help you stand out from the crowd and set yourself apart as someone who knows what they’re doing. If your client doesn’t trust or believe in your communication skills, then it becomes more difficult for them to build confidence in your work.
When dealing with clients, always display self-assurance and knowledge. This will make them more comfortable with your skills. This in turn makes the overall process of working together much easier for everyone involved.
To communicate effectively with clients as a freelancer, you need to express yourself confidently as an expert or someone who knows what they’re doing when it comes to your work.
Always be professional when speaking to a client on the phone or in person, even if they are being rude to you.
Even if the client is rude, respond to them professionally and maintain your composure.
Freelancers should always be confident when dealing with clients as communication skills are crucial to success in business. This will make it much easier for you and your client to work together effectively and successfully achieve project goals.
2) Learn to listen and assess carefully.
Listen and analyze closely so that you can provide an accurate quote for their project.
Take some time to read the project’s description and think about how you may best serve the client before you write and submit a proposal. This will enable both of you to clearly communicate, as well as save a lot of time for both parties.
To guarantee that you have everything you require, keep the following list in mind. Later, assess the data and identify what you’re dealing with as well as how much it will cost. Some of the things to put into consideration include;
- How flexible you are when it comes to making changes
- Communication styles
- And if you have enough time to complete the job.
Always ask questions about their needs when working.
When communicating with clients as a freelancer, make sure you learn to listen and analyze everything carefully. This will allow you to provide an accurate quote for their project and ultimately make them more satisfied with the quality of your output.
3) Follow up with written communication.
While oral communication may seem quicker and a preferred method of communication, a lot can be missed or misunderstood by both parties. Always follow up on any phone call or zoom meeting by emailing them. This will ensure that no information is lost and everything has been communicated in a clear, concise manner.
Your communication with clients should always be written down so nothing gets misinterpreted during the entire process of working together. This includes emailing or messaging them regularly to let them know your progress throughout their project. By following up with written communication, communication with clients as a freelancer will be much easier and more effective.
4) Ask the right questions when working on a project.
Never make assumptions!
Asking the right questions can help you better understand what your client needs and want from their work. It will also increase communication with clients as a freelancer. This in turn will make both parties happier at the completion of project goals.
When working on any given project, always ask the right questions to get exactly what they need for them to be satisfied with your work.
5) Give regular reports.
Freelancers may frequently discover that their client’s work availability differs from their own, which might make getting in touch difficult. Whether you’re available at the same time as their office or not, establishing clear deadlines for each activity and reporting on the job’s progress to the customer helps you avoid any time-management issues if you can’t keep to the initial timeline.
Giving regular reports on your progress allows both you and your client to be on the same page. This not only streamlines your workflow but it’s easier for the client to notice any mishaps and have you correct them earlier on.
Here are some useful apps for freelancers that can help you stay on track.
6) Understand your audience.
People communicate differently and you need to be able to understand your audience. For instance, a lot of people might feel more comfortable asking questions through email rather than face-to-face communication.
As a freelancer, it’s critical to figure out and comprehend your client’s preferred communicative style. Whether you are working with technical language or communicating casually, you should be flexible enough to adapt to your client’s needs.
In the beginning, you may want to keep things formal and via email. However, after signing the contract, it’s okay to offer your client alternative ways to reach you. Options that are more comfortable and quicker; WhatsApp, Zoom are good alternatives. Having alternatives makes it easier to communicate on the go.
7) Be open to feedback.
If you are looking to work with clients as a freelancer, communication is key. You have to be open to feedback so you can adapt and improve your skills over time. Communicating effectively includes being able to accept negative criticism without taking it personally.
Being flexible through communication allows your client the ability to provide their opinion on what they think you should improve on. This is not only beneficial to communication but also helps the client feel heard and allows them an opportunity to have their voice be one of influence over your work and their project in general.
As a freelancer, you must be open-minded about feedback from clients. Being able to take criticisms in stride will make communication easier for both parties involved. Not only that but communication with clients as a freelancer will be much more effective if you can take on board what your clients say and alter the project accordingly.
Here is an article about how to react when faced with criticism from clients: How To React When You’re Criticized by Clients
8) Don’t overload their inboxes
While it’s okay to make a follow up especially at the proposal stage, don’t flood client’s inboxes.
Over-communication is a no-no, especially with clients. Make sure there are clear points of communication so you don’t overload their inboxes.
Freelancers have to remember that if they communicate too frequently it may be seen as spammy and can annoy the client. This may lead them to stop responding altogether. So just make sure your communication is effective and not overbearing.
Freelancers must remember that communication with clients should not be too frequent or overwhelming. This can be annoying in the long run, which may cause a communication breakdown between you both. However, it’s okay to follow up especially at the proposal stage but after that limit communication as much as possible unless there is anything significant to discuss.
Be a smart communicator!
When communicating with clients as a freelancer communication should be clear, concise, and effective. Good communication skills include good listening skills which allow you to better understand your client.