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5 Tips For Freelancers To Improve Client Relationship

5 tips for freelancers to improve client relationship | bookafy

IN THIS POST

If freelancing were only about the work you specialize in, it would’ve been a walk on the cake for most freelancers and clients. But the truth is, freelancers have to do much more than that. It is less about creating something and more about building a relationship with the team. And the latter is even harder to accomplish. When you are working as a freelancer, you get to network with many industry professionals, you get to seek advice and mentorship from them, and more importantly, you get to partner with many other clients.

Even when so many professionals are involved in the business, working with clients still acts as a patience check for freelancers. How frictionless your work goes is directly proportional to your experiences with the client. It has a huge impact on the workflow, which you realize sooner or later. This realization might even be your reason to read this blog today. Worry not. This blog is meant to help you out in this process of improving your relationship with the client. But before we get into the tips part, let’s first clear how having a solid client relationship helps.

Why Are Strong Relationships With Clients Important?

Building key relationships in whatever industry you’re involved with takes time and patience – but will pay huge dividends once you persevere. This is something we’ve noticed in the heavily competitive home sales industry. Freelancers who invest a good amount of time and effort just to build a relationship with their clients are more likely to work with them again. You can observe this in your real life too. Suppose you want to have a cup of coffee in the morning, there’s a shop near you but you don’t like the manager very much. There’s another shop with good coffee and staff, but you’ll have to walk some extra distance. Which one are you going to prefer? Keeping aside restrictions like urgency, the majority of you will prefer the one with good staff.

The thought process of clients is the same when they work with a freelancer. They are going to work with you again if they like your work and attitude. Moreover, building an honest relationship with clients also acts as an effective way to build referrals too. All of their networks will be available to you.

You should also put the effort into building a loyal community of people from your industry, it is as important as having a strong relationship with your clients. Might Networks used to be a default choice when people searched for effective softwares for communities. Things, however, have changed a lot in the past few years. With competition increasing every day, there are a number of alternatives to Mighty Networks available in the market. These new platforms have overcome the limitations that people were encountering with Mighty Networks.

The amalgam of clients with strong relationships and a loyal community can do wonders for your freelance career.

Some Tips For Freelancers To Improve Client Relationship

Here are 5 tips that can be helpful for you in your freelancing journey. Following these will certainly help you improve your relationship with both existing and upcoming clients.

Know Your Client Completely

To build a happy relationship, not just with clients but with anyone, you must put in consistent efforts. It is best to do all the research about your clients and their businesses in the beginning. But having knowledge about their industry, goals and preferred methods of getting work done is just not enough. You need to know them deeply to make your freelancing journey more enjoyable and stable too.

You can consider using social media to dig deeper into your business. You might also want to know the individuals you are working with, after all, it makes the conversations more comfortable. Going through personal social media comes with risk and responsibility– you must balance the boundaries. It is best to get to know them by having conversations. The whole working experience changes and becomes more likable, once you get to know the person behind the project.

5 tips for freelancers to improve client relationship | bookafy

Be Your True Self

Just like you are trying to know the people you’re working with, they might also want to know you. You just have to ensure that they get to know the real you, not a manipulated version of you. You might feel tempted to fit in the mould of your client’s desires, but that won’t be very helpful in the long run. You should be as authentic as you possibly can, so neither the client nor you have to face disappointments in the future.

When you’re being yourself clients can easily resonate with your experiences and stories, which makes it even easier for them to trust you. You don’t have to be a service provider to them, you have to be a person who they can trust for the growth of their brand. Let’s talk more about how important trust is in the next paragraph.

Build Trust

Even before you start working with a new client, they know how you engage and interact in a specific situation. You should work on building a trustful relationship from the beginning and ensure that you maintain the same level of responsiveness in the long run.

Delivering projects on time, doing exceptional work, and communicating effectively are some of the ways to enhance your relationship with clients.

Alternately, you can also make use of any time tracking tools (e.g., RescueTime, TimeCamp, etc.) especially in the case of smaller teams, where each person’s contribution matters much more. However, there are other RescueTime alternatives available in the market too which can automatically track your work and let you categorize it into projects.

Sometimes clients really appreciate it when you try to know them on a more personal level. You should not be afraid to ask them about what’s going on in their life. But if you feel like your client wouldn’t respond well to this, then, of course, it is your call to make and do what you think is best for everyone.

Establish Boundaries

The title of this heading could also be something like– Don’t Be Afraid to Say No. This, by the way, is a piece of general advice for life because there’s no shortage of individuals who just don’t know how to say this two-letter word.

As a freelancer, it is natural to push your boundaries and do the work that you’re not responsible for, or prioritize the work of a specific client. Doing these things for once is, indeed, a great gesture but if you fail to establish boundaries, you’ll find yourself in these situations more often.

If you haven’t yet, you should lay down some ground rules for your existing clients and do the same with ones who are yet to come. When there are boundaries, the expectation tends to stay inside it, which is quite helpful for both you and your clients.

Manage Expectations

The desire to exceed expectations is always there in freelancers, and you should never kill that desire. After all, your client is with you to get their work done, and the better you do it, the more they’ll want to stick to you. The better result you produce for them, the more they’ll be willing to do for you – writing referrals or testimonials.

You should, however, keep in mind that everyone goes through a rough patch. Whether it is being inefficient, sick, or burnout, every freelancer has to go through all this. Have a conversation with your client and they’ll definitely understand. It’s neither fair to you nor their work if you can’t deliver up to their expectations. Communicating ahead of time solves most of the problems.

On A Concluding Note

As you go down this challenging path of freelancing, you’ll better understand how essential it is to have a good relationship with the client. You’ll be better able to put these tips in action, but start trying now. The tips mentioned in this blog will certainly change your whole freelancing experience.

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Marketing is vital for any company. You could have the best product in the world, but it doesn’t matter unless people know what it is, why they need it, and where to get it.

But we’re not here to convince you of the benefits of marketing. Chances are you knew this already, that’s why you’re here.

Rather, we’re here to help you plan your own marketing strategy, by telling you everything you need to know about the marketing planning process.

What Is A Marketing Plan?

Basically, a marketing plan is a well thought out strategy that will guide your company throughout the marketing process. Something all-encompassing that can be referred to, at any point, guiding your marketing department toward long and short term goals, keeping your operation on schedule.

Normally created annually, marketing plans are a great opportunity to reflect on the past year’s performance and think about those vital next steps.

So, whether you’re a new business producing its first marketing plan, or an established business, you’ll want to cover these bases.

Know Who You Are

The conception of your marketing plan is the perfect time to really take stock of your business operations. Where have you been, what have you achieved, and where are you now?

What worked, and what didn’t?

Answering these kinds of questions is a way to see, clearly, what your company’s values and strengths are. Maybe you’ve got an incredible customer service record, or you’ve earned ISO accreditation. Those values and strengths are what your marketing plan should centre around.

To help do just that, many companies use the SWOT method. A simple framework to identify Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

Know Your Audience

When you know the best things about your business, the next step is to figure out where your customers are.

Take a look at your previous year’s sales and categorize your customers by demographic. A few useful demographics are age, location, POS (Point of Sale), and gender identity. If you’re a new company without any of your own information, research your competitors.

Businesses working in the same area as your own will likely have similar target audiences, and similar demographics. Obviously, your own data is best, but it’s a good place to start.

Splitting customers into different demographics will let you see exactly who is interested in your business, and the demographics you’re missing. With this information, you can better cater to those key demographics you have, while considering if, and how, you will reach those demographics that have been missed.

Make A Clear Mission Statement

Start with a clear mission statement. Something simple and comprehensive, using real numbers. Don’t use vague statements like “increase brand awareness”. It’s obvious and doesn’t really help anybody—where are you increasing awareness, amongst whom, and by how much?

Instead, have clear objectives using real numbers like, “increase social media engagement, among 18–35 year olds, by 30%. Using clear numbers will give your team a clear objective to work toward, and measure progress against.

It’s all well and good having a positive attitude, but the devil is in the details. You try going into a Starbucks asking for “some coffee” and see how far that gets you. This also applies to your budget—have one, and stick to it.

Decide Marketing Strategies And Tools

So, you’ve defined your company’s persona, you’ve identified your target audience, and you have a clear mission statement. Job done, right? Well, no. There’s still the small matter of implementing your incredibly thoughtful marketing strategy. There are a lot of ways to go in that regard, so we’ll split it into two sections:

  • Channels and strategy—where and how you’re going to market your business.
  • Resources—How much time and money you’re planning to spend, and any outside help you might be using, like business processing services or scheduling software.

Channels

A telephone is always an option. Cold calling allows a direct line to potential customers, but isn’t always appreciated, and requires employees, so can be expensive.

Email marketing is a great option for all demographics. After all, most people have email addresses. It’s a low-cost strategy that allows a direct line to the customer, and so has an impressive ROI (return on investment).

The marketing potential of social media cannot be ignored. Billions of people all over the world use social media (the majority of whom have accounts on multiple devices). So, it’s a great way to reach large audiences who, themselves, are in contact with other audiences. Because of this, social media marketing has an incredibly high scaling potential.

Social media is also great for isolating those target demographics we mentioned earlier. Generally, different platforms are preferred by different ages and cultures. And then within those platforms, there are millions of dedicated pages and groups for just about anything you can imagine.

Affiliate marketing is another great option. It involves hiring third parties to produce content that will generate online traffic with backlinks. The chosen marketer is paid by commission so it’s generally a safe investment and a great way to make your company appear higher on search engine rankings.

TV and newspapers. Yes, believe it or not, people still watch TV and read newspapers. Advertising on TV or in the print media is a great way to reach older demographics and, as older forms of media, the channels hold a higher level of trust and legitimacy than others.

Resources

The final part of the marketing planning process is deciding on the resources you’re going to use. Allocate specific amounts of money and time than you think you’ll need to achieve your goals.

This will obviously differ, depending on the scale of your business, but the important part here is to be realistic. Nobody wants to waste money, but you also don’t want an overworked marketing team working on a shoestring budget—it’ll just lead to poor work.

Another area to consider is the tools you’ll be using to facilitate your marketing plan.

Scheduling software and workflow platforms are amazing resources for any aspect of business, but can particularly help your marketing team produce and implement their marketing plan.

Automation tools and business processing services can help take care of the tedious legwork involved in social media and email marketing campaigns. They can’t do everything for you, but they will improve consistency and save time, which will save money.

Summary

The marketing planning process is the best way to keep your marketing strategy on track, in the long term. It’s a lot of research, but putting the effort in, in the beginning, will save your marketing team a lot of time and headaches further down the road.

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