As a freelancer, your relationships with your clients are the most important part of your business. Clients get you paid, give you testimonials, referrals, and can impact your day to day. Because the client relationship is so important, we want to provide our top tips for making sure your relationships are excellent.
Build trust with your client from the beginning
Before you even kick off a new client, you’re showing them how you respond, interact and engage. It’s important to start building trust with them before they’re a client and maintain the same level of responsiveness.
Building trust comes from doing what you say you’re going to do, responding within a timely manner, managing expectations, and delivering on time. These simple steps can go a long way in building trust and a positive client relationship.
Invest in the relationship
Remember that your clients are also people. Often times we get caught up in wanting to ensure that we have a professional relationship, that we don’t bring humanness into our connections. In meetings we jump straight into business instead of making the time for small talk and asking about their lives.
Over time it’s natural for client relationships to evolve and you’re able to help steer that connection.
Manage expectations if there are slow downs
Everyone goes through hard times. Whether this is challenging life events, getting sick, or burning out, we’ve all been there. If you find yourself in one of these times and see your work begin to slack, have a conversation with your client.
You’re able to inform your client that there is a lot going on and you’re going to need to delay your deliverable or take off a week, whatever the ask is. If you communicate ahead of time and keep in mind their needs, you’re in a better place to strengthen the relationship from the challenging event, than making it detrimental to your relationship.
Consistency is something that goes a long way with having a great client relationship. Having consistent communication and quality of work are what clients are hoping for. They want to know that they can depend on you and rely on your ability to help accomplish their goals.
Show gratitude and appreciation
If your client sends you a referral, take the time to say thank you. This can be sending a letter, or sending an email, but knowing that they made a difference and are helping you move forward is incredibly valuable. Thank yous don’t have to be just around referrals or testimonials, but can be for understanding when there are delays on the project, or for being a consistent client where you’ve been able to work together and grow.