Client Lessons - Part 1
It's inevitable for freelancers and small business owners to meet two types of clients: the ones who are awesome to work with and the ones who turn into more of a burden than a benefit to your business. It's important to stand your ground and learn from other freelancer's mistakes (aka mine!) when it comes to client management. Here are some tips that I've learned working with clients, and hopefully you can teach me something new along the way too!
1) Condition Your Clients. If you have the habit of emailing your clients back right away or emailing them in the middle of the night, you're subconsciously teaching your clients that you're available at all times. Set boundaries for yourself and your business by dealing with client communications during normal business hours. I love using the Gmail extension called Boomerang to schedule out emails for the next morning instead of at 3am. Heck, even treat your freelance business as any other business by listing your "hours" on your website if you have to! By conditioning your clients to certain habits, you'll save yourself from the dreaded midnight Google chat message or voicemail overload.
2) Stick To Your Prices. Does Client X need a design rushed for tomorrow? Or matching social media branding? Or maybe Client X wants a completely different logo design? Here's a tip - CHARGE. By letting your client know that certain tasks, revisions, and add-ons include a fresh new price tag, you'll be saving yourself from hours of free work. Depending on the client, they'll respect you and understand that their requests are going to cost them more. Avoid any confusion by having a price sheet of all of your services or invoice your client before you do any actual work so that they're aware of your process and prices.
3) Can We Meet In Person? No. As a freelancer, your time is precious. Unless it's absolutely required (and think strategically about this), don't spend time meeting a client when you can easily have the same conversation via email. Meeting clients in person equal you getting ready (aka changing out of your pajamas and brushing your hair ugh) and you traveling to and from a certain location. The actual meeting may be productive and all, but you actually lose time getting out of your normal funk of working. If possible, try and book all of your client meetings in one day so that you can dedicate the rest of your days actually catching up on deliverables and tasks. This allows you to dedicate one day of the week to new clients and meetings and the other days getting work done that your clients want to meet with you about in the first place! Trust me, staying in the zone is so important as a freelancer!
So what are some hard lessons that you've learned from working with clients? How did you overcome them? Come on - spill the deats!
And if you think you'd be a great fit to work with me (even after reading this post) on an upcoming project, contact me today!