As a freelancer, you’re constantly seeking new clients and building relationships with those you already have. It’s absolutely critical to not only build a client list, but to build a successful professional image as well. Granted, when you work in your pajamas sprawled on your sofa, this can be a problem at times. But when you need a boost, try a few of these quick ways to impress your current (and future) clients.
In many cases as a freelancer, you’re setting your own deadlines. The client asks for a deliverable and a due date. You tell him when you’ll be done and there are very few reasons you shouldn’t meet that deadline. It’s even better – and more impressive – if you beat your deadlines. Rather than telling a client four days until delivery, tell him five or six. Then deliver on day four and you’ll look highly efficient. An added bonus is you’ll have a day or two of wiggle room if you do have something go wrong and need to delay your schedule.
When speaking with a client on the phone or, more importantly, when speaking with a client in person, be sure you take notes. While you might remember things easily, having notes to reference will make the job simpler if you are balancing multiple projects. You’ll also look more professional as you jot down key points and important details as you discuss them.
If you must meet with your clients, consider meeting at their place of business or arrange cost effective meeting rooms at Venuefinder – especially if your own office isn’t impressive. If you’re working out of your living room, you don’t need clients in your home. Likewise a client isn’t going to be very impressed meeting at the local coffee shop or your garage apartment.
Dress Professionally (Sometimes)
You don’t have to dress up all the time – there’s a lot to be said for being comfortable during the creative process, but you should be ready to dress up sometimes. Dressing professionally sends the message that you are a professional. If you’re meeting with a client or even Skyping, get dressed up. If you wouldn’t wear it to a job interview, don’t wear it to meet with your client – as a freelancer, even client meeting is a job interview.
As much as a freelancer should embrace the freedom of your work schedule, you should always remain organized. Use a calendar to stay on top of deadlines and assignments. Consider a white board to keep major projects visually organized and together. Keep your files clean and up to date and store client work in a way that’s easy to navigate. When a client calls, you should have his or her files in front of you in seconds – you don’t want to spend five minutes looking for an elusive file while the client is sitting across from you either.