How Freelancers Can Work With Remote Clients Successfully
There are a lot of articles out there about how a company can hire a freelancer, what to look for in a quality freelancer, and what to do when your freelancer drops the ball, but there aren’t a lot of articles about how freelancers can ensure that working with remote clients goes smoothly.
There is a lot of advice on how to make more money, how to improve the quality of your own work, but not so much attention paid to the relationship between a freelancer and client from the freelancer’s perspective.
A lot of freelancers, especially new ones, believe that all they need to do is deliver work out and then they’ll get paid. And yes, that sometimes how things go down, but in order to get to the point where you actually get paid, you need to make sure that your remote working relationship is intact and that you have actually delivered on the work you promised.
Show Up And Do What You Say You’ll Do
Ghosting is a real problem for companies hiring freelancers and remote workers. If you want to make a lasting impression and create more work for yourself in the process, ensuring that you have a system for successfully onboarding and working with remote clients is a must.
A common misconception that a lot of freelancers have is that the client is the one driving the interaction and relationship. This couldn’t be farther from the truth: they hired you to do a job, but you need to make sure you deliver on that job. That means that you need to take the reins in getting the information you need.
Many clients aren’t even sure what they need when they first reach out and will expect that an experienced freelancer will know the right questions to ask to draw out the necessary information.
Create On Onboarding Process That Creates Confidence
Part of ensuring a successful interaction with a remote client is having that system in place before you find clients.
It seems like a lot of work – and it is – but it’s worth it in the beginning to invest some time in thinking about how you want to move clients through the onboarding process. This includes coming up with introductory, exploratory questions, otherwise known as a discovery call or interview.
Use A Feedback System To Ensure Communication Remains Open
Another part of ensuring a successful interaction with a remote client is in having a 360 degree feedback system for giving and receiving feedback. Often, freelancers finish a project, ask for a referral or testimony and then go on their merry way, when really, there is so much opportunity for ongoing work and development of a project that goes missed.
Feedback loops can provide freelancers with an opportunity to continue to engage their clients before, during, and after a project has been completed.
Be Realistic About Timelines
Finally, freelancers can ensure a successful relationship with remote clients by creating and following timelines and getting clear on expectations around those timelines. For example, don’t over promise on the delivery dates.
Even if you think you can get a project done in a short period of time, there’s no benefit to delivering it to the client within hours of it being assigned unless that is the ask from the client.
Instead, it is in your best interest to inform the client that it will be at least 1.5 times as long as you expect it to take in case you run into any unforeseen circumstances.
You can impress your client just as easily by delivering it in half the time if it gets done early as you can by delivering it on time, as promised if there weren’t any issues.
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