One of the problems a lot of new freelancers face, is maintaining the proper role in the freelancer/client relationship. On the one hand, you became a freelancer to gain more control over your life….to be your own boss. Problem is, from the perspective of many clients, you work for them until a project is completed. No entrepreneur wants to be managed, and even worse, micro-managed. When starting out, it’s easy to get caught in this situation. Making the right first impression can make all the difference in how you and your client interact with each other.
Setting the Tone
In order to set the tone of this working relationship, it’s super-important to define your role from the very beginning…..by how you present yourself. The more professional you come across, the more your client will respect your abilities and your time. Chances are, they aren’t your only client. It’s up to you to get that across.
Being confident in what you do is a good start. However, self-confidence is a dual-edged sword. Nobody wants to deal with someone who is over-confident, but being confident and well-organized is pure magic. Having confidence in yourself and your abilities, builds the confidence a client will have in you. The more organized you are, the more comfortable they will be following your lead. The goal here should be collaboration, rather than a boss/employee relationship.
Being Organized Like a Pro
Like a pro? Absolutely…….you are a professional, right? The way I see it, there are basically two reasons a client would come to you in the first place.
- They don’t have the skills to do what they want done, or
- They don’t have the time to do what they want done.
Either way, they came to you because they need your services. By being well-organized, and having a basic first-meeting process and list of questions, this will not only provide you with much of the information you’ll need for the project, but it will also demonstrate to the client that you have your act together. Setting that impression and communicating effectively is the second most important thing you do next to the actual work.
What About You?
Have you ever gotten in the situation where a client tries to take over your life? How did it turn out, and what do you do differently now to avoid the situation?