Taking the plunge and going freelance can be a pretty daunting experience and not a decision that can be taken lightly – it’s all very well ducking out of the rat race and becoming your own boss, but the sudden realisation you’ve no longer got a steady wage coming in is enough to make you pine for the office politics.
Get it right though – which means keeping your clients happy and delivering on time – and the benefits far outweigh the inevitable panic at the end of the month, so here are some top tips if you’re a work from home freelancer.
Don’t rely on email
Then before you know it the deadline for the job is just days away and you’re still not entirely sure what exactly you’re supposed to be doing – so before it gets to this point you should get on the phone to talk things through.
And talking on the phone, or even videoconferencing, gives you the chance to get to know your client better, talk things through properly and get your personality across so you’ll no longer just be a faceless freelancer.
If you’re one of a number of people working on the same brief you could set up a teleconference, video conference or even use instant messaging so everyone can exchange ideas in the same forum.
An application such as Google Drive also allows multiple people to edit documents at the same time, which is great for brainstorming and real time feedback. Which leads us nicely on to…
Get a suitable cloud service provider
If you’re freelancing from home then you’ll need a suitable cloud-based storage and there are a host of providers out there offering a range of cloud-based services. To find out which is best for you, read our article The best ways to keep your head in the clouds.
Provide regular updates
Although keeping your client up to speed with what you’re doing might seem, at best, pointless or, at worst, counterproductive – your time is surely better spent getting on with your work – it’s important to keep in touch, particularly if deadlines are approaching, as this the best way to stop them from worrying.
Even if you deliver within deadline, if your client has spent most of the time worrying whether the work is going to arrive, it’s going to leave a bad impression and can even lead to mistrust.
So a short reminder every now and then, perhaps at certain project milestones, will keep them happy and ensure their trust. Even if you’re working to a short deadline, the odd email or phonecall won’t go amiss.
Get to know your clients
If you’re freelancing there’s a good chance you’ll have a number of clients, and all will have their own ways of working and what they consider best practice, so it makes sense to get to know them as well as you can to ensure you maintain a good working relationship.
So try to keep all correspondence professional and positive, whether written or verbal, and reply to emails and any missed calls in a timely manner.