“Producing the intended or expected result”
“A person who sells services to employers without a long-term commitment to any of them”
So an effective freelancer would be “A person who sells services to employers without a long-term commitment to any of them producing the intended or expected results.”
Of course, there are no long term commitments as you are not obligated to work for anybody for any amount of time unless you choose to. One reason you chose to go the ‘for hire‘ route is to become your own boss (among other reasons). But although there are no long term commitments, establishing a long term relationship should be close to the top of the list of priorities.
An effective freelancer not only produces intended or expected results but goes beyond that to provide clients with exceptional service. Here we’ll highlight some of the things that can help you become an effective freelancer:
- Try to look at the service or product you offer through the client’s eyes – why hire you or order from you?
- Be reliable and build credibility
- Always meet, and if possible, beat deadlines
- Do not over-promise or set unrealistic goals or expectations
- When you have problems with a project, use it to your advantage and come up with a solution
- Give undivided attention to each and every client, make them feel unique and special
- Build a more personal relationship with the client (not too personal though)
- Don’t leave your client in the dark – it takes a minute to send an e-mail
- Ask questions to be able to better understand the project and meet expectations
- Get feedback from your clients so you can better your services and products
- Have an easy to navigate and simple website to offer your services so it’s easy even for the non-technically inclined to get to you
- Acknowledge your clients and show recognition
- Be quick replying to emails and show utmost respect
- If you have a meeting with a client, be it on the phone, on IM or in person, arrive early. Early is on time, on time is late.
- If possible gather as much information about your client as possible so it shows you are well prepared
- Be a problem solver – No need to focus on problems, focus on finding solutions
- Offer different packages and deals (example: 3 packages, bronze, silver and gold)
- Let your work speak for you – Have you won a design award? Got your site featured on high profile sites? Got interviewed?
- Give your customers what every human being wants : friendship, respect, recognition, concern, reliability and always keep your promises
- Give your freelance business a personality so clients will see you and/or your company as being unique and friendly
- It doesn’t matter how much your service or product is worth to you, make it worth for the client
- Remember to send short emails to your previous clients every once in a while so as to stay in touch
- When the client asks for little things that needs to be done, get them done. Keep in mind it’s the little things that matters the most
- Don’t get intimidated if you get a high profile client, this person/company is offering you a job because he thinks you are worth his time and money – That’s a very good sign!
- The most important thing we need to realize is that every client can become our biggest referral, without setting up an affiliate system. If we follow the tips above, chances are our clients will refer us to others. There is no better way to boost our freelancing business other than converting clients into evangelists.
Bonus Tip: One of the secrets of becoming an effective freelancer is to suggest and exchange ideas with other freelancers and like-minded people.
If you found this post helpful please take a moment to share your own tips and tricks and share your thoughts on how we can become an effective freelancer. How can we get repeat business from a client? How can we personalize our services according to the client’s needs? Anything you can think of that can help us become an effective freelancer, share with us. The comments section is yours now.
Until Next Time,
Ritu recently sold his blog Work N Play (congrats Ritu!), but don’t worry he can still be reached at the following email address: email [at] ritubpant.com and will have a brand new site up real soon. He is actually available for work, just drop him a line ;)