stage seven

Working With Clients

Before accepting any new job or client, it’s important to do your homework and make sure it’s a good fit for both sides.

Most new freelancers are so eager to get started that it’s tempting to skip over the details and dive straight into a new project. But in order to have the job go smoothly, it’s important to set expectations and have clear deliverables.

Without this step, you risk running into misunderstandings that could lead to unhappy clients and poor reviews, not to mention a discouraging experience for yourself as a new freelancer.

The key to a great working relationship is COMMUNICATION. 🗣

If you want to work online, great communication skills are a “must have” tool in your arsenal.

Without this key ingredient, your freelance career will struggle to get off the ground.

Let’s do this! 💪

Client Communication 101

When it comes to client communication, it’s best to have a consistent style that you use with everyone.

If you don’t set clear boundaries, you may find yourself spending more time answering emails & taking calls than doing the actual work.

At the same time though, you must be flexible enough to handle different clients’ communication needs & adjust your style to match. The client’s needs come first, so try to give them enough communication that they feel fully supported and well taken care of.

In the Workbook, you’ll answer a series of questions to help you find your ideal communication style.

✍️ complete this exercise in the workbook

Some clients aren’t entirely sure what they want (even if they tell you they are) or aren’t so good with words. Other clients know what they actually want but will try to test your patience and expertise, so you just have to be able to read each client as they come and be ready for whatever temperament they bring.
— Folasade, Ghost Writer

Setting Expectations

Don’t start any new project without setting clear expectations first!

You’ll open the door to all sorts of miscommunications and misunderstandings if you skip this step.

The key to finishing a project with everyone happy? 🙂

Be crystal clear on what is promised.

Nothing is more disappointing for a client than not getting what they hoped for. And nothing is more frustrating for a freelancer than having to redo their work because of a tiny miscommunication.

Always set clear expectations at the start. It will save you a lot of time and headache later on.

✍️ complete this exercise in the workbook

If you can finish the task with everybody happy, you will get traction with repeat business.
— Ronny, Graphic Designer

Dealing With Difficult Clients

Difficult clients will be a reality for almost every freelancer. It’s pretty much unavoidable.

But you can make it easier on yourself (and the client) by being PREPARED for the situation.

Think about how you would react in each of these scenarios:

  • Client is late or slow on payment

  • Client responds negatively to your work & wants more edits

  • Client is stressing you out or making unreasonable demands

Having a plan for each likely scenario will give you the confidence to handle conflict like a professional. 💪

#ProTip: Try to find a win-win solution for everyone involved. If you must end the relationship, do it on a positive note so there are no bad feelings. Always stay calm, kind, and gracious (even if the client is not).

✍️ complete this exercise in the workbook

Trusting clients was my biggest struggle. It was a challenge to trust clients offering writing gigs as some of them don’t even pay after the completing the work. That’s what I struggled with in the starting years.
— Dr. Paras, Doctor & Writer

Your Assignment

Complete the Workbook. Then, share your answers to the 3 questions in Slack.

⭐️ Bonus Points ⭐️

Share your biggest insight or “aha” moment from the entire course in the Slack Chatroom!
We’d love to hear what stuck with you the most & what exercise was your favorite.