Do your clients ignore what you say and disregard your advice? Do they decide things behind your back, and just assume you’ll follow along? Do they sometimes treat you as if you aren’t a professional at all?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you have a common case of clients not taking you seriously.
Getting clients to take you seriously can be a major issue for some freelancers. How to accomplish this goal often seems like a mystery, but getting your clients to treat you more like a professional is not as difficult as you may think.
In this post we’ll look at a few common ways to get your clients to treat you more like a professional.
Seven Steps To Gaining More Respect as a Professional
How your clients treat you has a lot to do with your own attitudes and behavior. By changing how you communicate and behave with your clients, you can change how they perceive you.
The first step to getting your clients to treat you like a professional is to act more professionally.
Here are some steps you can take gain more respect as a professional:
- Don’t sell yourself short. Most of us have been taught to be modest, but for freelancers having too much modesty can actually harm your freelancing business. Make sure to mention all of your pertinent qualifications when applying for freelancing gigs.
- Charge what you are really worth. You may be tempted to lowball a bid to get work, but in the end this strategy can backfire. Many clients believe the old adage that “you get what you pay for.” If you aren’t charging professional rates, then it’s possible they won’t view you as a professional.
- Own up to mistakes, but don’t allow excessive scope creep. A true professional does assume responsibility for mistakes, but they also don’t allow themselves to be taken advantage of. Have a revision policy in place and stick to it.
- Use respectful language. I’m always surprised when I hear about freelancers who use profanity with clients, or even worse, use angry and hateful words. I know that I would lose my respect for someone who treated me like that and most clients will too. No matter how mad you get, keep your language respectful.
- Always do your best work. You may feel justified in delivering lower quality work to a client who pays less and reserving your best work for a client who pays more. However, doing a lot of low quality work can also get you labeled as someone who isn’t capable of delivering higher quality.
- Be prompt. Whenever possible, keep your appointments and meet your deadlines. Your client’s time is valuable and by respecting it you show that you respect them. If you must be late or miss a deadline, be sure to let them know as soon as possible.
- Keep up with the latest advances in your field or specialty. If you don’t keep your knowledge up to date eventually you will no longer be competent to do your work. Your clients will soon realize it and lose respect for you. Take the appropriate classes or read the appropriate materials to stay up to date.
A Quick Trick to Help You Towards Professionalism
Do you still find yourself in situations where you are unsure of how to act? Here’s a quick trick that may help in some particularly challenging cases.
Picture the most professional individual that you know. Next, imagine how that professional individual would handle the challenging situation that you are facing. Finally, try to emulate that professional’s behavior yourself.
This trick doesn’t always work, but a lot of the time it does.
Do Your Clients Treat You Like a Professional?
Do you think that your clients treat you like a professional? Why, or why not?
Share your answer in the comments.