I know you’ve heard the saying “Happy Wife, Happy Life,” well the same could be said for being a successful freelancer… “Happy Client, Happy Freelancer.” Ok, I know it doesn’t have the same ring to it, but you get the drift. For your life as a freelancer to be seriously successful, you need happy clients, among other things of course.
I know this probably sounds super obvious, but I feel that because it’s obvious, it’s also easy to stuff up, particularly if your client skills are a little lacking.
A lot of it definitely comes down to your reputation (does it precede you, in a good way?!) and whether you’re getting recommendations from your previous clients. If neither of these things is good, then you’ve got some work to do.
If you truly want to be happy in your new life as a freelancer, follow my suggestions below!
3 Easy Ways to Keep Freelancing Clients Happy
#1: Be Flexible
There is nothing worse than chatting to a client and commencing a working relationship and then digging your heels in because you don’t like what they are suggesting when it comes to changes. You know what I’m talking about…
Bloody hell, Jeff is suggesting that I reword this sentence, what the hell does he pay me for? I’m the expert!
If this is the sort of inner dialog that’s going on inside your head when a client suggests changes, then we’ve got a problem Houston!
This one’s a little about mindset and a little about being able to take constructive criticism, and come on — who know’s the client’s business best… you or them?!
So pull your head out of your ass and listen for a change. Instead of thinking they are trying to tell you what to do, instead be open to their feedback and incorporate their changes… be the hero, not the villain and you’ll ensure that you’re working relationship stays intact AND you’ll have recommendations coming out left, right and centre!
#2: Stay in Touch
This one comes down to the way you work. Do you:
- Get the client signed up on contract then it's head down, bum up, work, work, work?
- Spend hours working on the project, only to find it's not quite what the client was looking for?
If you want to be truly professional and collaborative, you need to maintain regular communication with your client during the project, particularly if you want to keep them as an ongoing client. Keep them in the loop… how else will you know what you’re doing is what they want?
This one is also about respect. You SHOULD be communicating with your client during this process because it shows that you respect their business and that you want their input. No freelancer should ever assume ANYTHING when it comes to a client’s business. Don’t make this mistake, because it’s a costly one and difficult to recover from…
#3: Meet Deadlines
Um, hello? This is like, super obvious… but it amazes me how often freelancers miss deadlines. This is freelancing success 101 — if you can’t meet (or beat!) deadlines set by your clients, then you really have no business being a freelancer.
Think about it for a second… flip things around. Imagine you’re the client and you’re waiting on the freelancer to deliver the work. You’ve got everything else laid out around this project and you have your own deadlines to meet — then the deadline arrives—and passes, and you get an email from the freelancer 24 hours later, apologising for the delay.
Yes, the work is delivered, but now you’ve gotta spend time reviewing it and getting it tweaked—leading to more delays.
How are you feeling about that freelancer now?
I can tell you right now, this has happened to me a few times with the freelancers I hire, and it is my number one pet peeve. If you can’t figure things out enough to meet the deadlines set (and in fact, you should always aim to deliver 24-48 hours before the deadline) by your clients, then what the hell are you doing freelancing?!
Seriously, you need to ask yourself that question—be brutally honest in your reply. If this is you, then get your shit sorted, plain and simple.
I’ve written a book on how to organise and run your business, plus a blog post or two about how to manage your calendar. I’m sure you could find even more options online. Bottom line, there are NO excuses for missing a deadline, other than extremely extenuating circumstances — think death in the family, you’re in hospital type circumstances…
You get the drift. Missing deadlines = Not optional.
Do these three things well and you’re literally guaranteeing your success as a freelancers. Remember, happy clients, happy freelancer!
What do you do to keep your clients happy? Leave your comments below!