The Importance of Maintaining Email Relationships for Freelancers
Posted January 16, 2011 in Managing Clients
Maintaining good relationships is extremely important in business as well as in personal life. People who work from home, especially freelancers, need to maintain healthy relationships with people who can be beneficial for them in the future.
The Internet has provided a lot of new platforms to people to interact on–but still, emails are of great benefit. Some freelancers (especially the new ones) think that maintaining relationships by email is an old method of staying connected to the clients. They think that using live chats and social networking websites is a much better way to stay in touch, but that is not true.
Even today, people who are more professional and who outsource their work to freelancers prefer to contact freelancers through email. Freelancers who maintain effective relationships on email have a greater chance of finding freelance work. In this post, I’ll discuss the importance of continuing to use email in your online relationships.
Email Allows for Better Communication
Maintaining an email relationship with a client helps the freelancers to better understand what a client requires and what his demands are.
Freelancers are generally hired for jobs like web design, copywriting, content writing, computer programming, proofreading etc. We all would agree that when working with a new client it takes us some time to understand the exact outcome that client requires. But, when you are working with a client that you have built a healthy relationship with and have worked on different projects with before, you know what quality and type of work that client wants from you.
Using email saves a great deal of time and the freelancer can use that saved time somewhere else. Moreover, the outcome of freelance work in this situation is also better.
Use Email to Keep Your Client Updated
Maintaining an email relationship allows a freelancer to regularly send useful updates about their freelance work to clients who they have had good relationships with in the past. Remember that sending a client regular updates does not mean that one should start sending so many mails that the client gets exhausted and considers the emails to be spam.
Email relationships help the freelancers to stay connected with the clients even after completing a project. Some freelancers think that maintaining an email relationship with a client after a project has already been completed and after you have been paid is nothing more than a waste of time. But, that is not true.
Just like in a wholesale, drop shipping or any other business–freelancing is also something that requires you to nurture your clients. Maintaining an email relationship with the clients after your freelance contract has come to an end is a form of lead nurturing and lead generation for the freelancer. The relationship keeps the clients regularly updated and educated about the benefits they can get from the freelancer.
In the future, when the client needs help from a freelancer, he or she will contact that freelancer first because he or she knows them well. Apart from this, the client can also help bring in more contracts for the freelancer if he or she is satisfied with the freelancer’s work.
But, I Don’t Have Time
Email relationships are time consuming, but they are much more rewarding than other sources of communication. A freelancer might have a little trouble answering questions for a client on phone or on chat, but he or she can easily give an effective reply to the client through email.
Furthermore, email relationships can be considered a part of your networking efforts. A freelancer who has extraordinarily strong relationships with the clients who outsource their work online does not need to search for projects online very frequently. In fact, he or she gets projects, one after the other, from the clients with whom he or she has maintained excellent business and personal relationships with through emails.
What About the Social Networks?
Just because a freelancer maintains effective email relationships does not mean that the freelancer should only work on maintaining email relationships and should not interact with people through social networks.
The freelancer should continue to interact with people online through social networking and then shift that interaction towards emails and continue the relationship through emails. Communicating through emails better reflects the professionalism of a freelancer and uplifts the image of the freelancer in front of the client. This enhances the client’s confidence on the freelancer.
The Ethics of Dealing with Clients Through Email
There are certain ethical guidelines for effective email relationships. These guidelines should be followed by the freelancer in order to maintain good relationship with the clients. Some ethical guidelines include:
- Do not send irrelevant emails
- Do not send bulk emails to the clients
- Do not be offensive
- Do not use unclear statements
Email Relationships Are Not Just for Clients
A freelancer should not only maintain email relationships with the clients, but he or she should maintain business and personal relationships with other freelancers as well. These relationships help the freelancer to talk about different problems the freelancers are facing and what the possible solutions are for each problem.
Moreover, having email relationship with other freelancers could help them understand each other better, make their own teams and get projects assigned and completed working together as a team.
What About You?
Using email services and maintaining email relationships are two different things. So, freelancers, whether new or old, who are not into keeping email relationships with the clients and other freelancers should start practicing these relationships now because they could turn into something really beneficial for them.
What is your primary method for keeping in touch with your clients and prospects? Do you use email, or something else?
- How to Build Influential Relationships
- Twenty Tips For Happy Client-Freelancer Relationships
- The Importance of Doing What You Say
- 7 Tips for Making Email More Effective
- 6 Ways to Get the Email Response You Need