If you are a freelancer, communication is the key to successful projects and repeat orders. Communicating well is important to meet expectations. It will also result in better rating by employers and earn you consideration for future projects. Unfortunately, many freelancers do not follow this cardinal rule. So how can freelancers improve communication with their employers? Read on to find out.
1) Set clear expectations at the outset:
Don’t promise the moon if you can’t deliver. Freelancers often oversell themselves in their eagerness to win a project. Doing this is a sure recipe for disaster. You won’t get any brownie points if you bid for a project, win it and then a couple of weeks down the line disappoint the employer. In fact, doing this may result in you getting a bad ranking which can permanently damage your efforts to get future freelance gigs.
2) Be available and responsive:
If you haven’t synced your business email on your mobile phone, do so immediately. Try replying to employer emails within 30 minutes. This is is all the more important since you are a freelancer. Employers will get more confidence in you if you respond to them within a short time frame rather than putting it off until the next day. In case you miss a call from your employer, be sure to call them back within 15-20 minutes max.
3) Use a webcam to communicate:
If you are an off-site freelancer, it is always a very good idea to use a webcam to communicate. Being able to put a face to a name will make your employer feel better. Visual communication is also a great way to elicit trust. It helps in making a business relationship stronger.
4) Give regular updates:
Providing regular updates to your employer is a must if you are a freelancer. Remember you are not seated in a cubicle around the corner from them. Email or ring them every alternate day with updates on the progress. Doing this will make you seem proactive and will help impress your employer with your professionalism. A long silence for too many days may make your employer nervous. And a nervous employer is not something you want.
5) Try to deliver before the deadline:
Employers value freelancers who deliver on or before deadlines. Don’t procrastinate and rush to complete the project at the last minute. Doing this may result in shoddy work which will give a bad impression about you. Whereas delivering before the deadline will make the employer gain confidence in you. His inclination will be to trust you with more projects in the future.
6) Inform them immediately if you face any problems:
If the project develops some roadblocks or you encounter any problems, be sure to let your employer know immediately. Be transparent with them when it comes to issues like this. Being upfront about this will make your employer realize that you are honest. In case the problem means the project deadline needs to be pushed by a week, let them know this at the outset. Most employers are reasonable and will empathize with you if you are upfront about possible delays. They will also be able to plan their project schedule better.
Good communication is the key to having a positive relationship with your employer. Following our tips above will help you in the task of impressing your employer. Doing so will also ensure you get positive ratings and repeat orders.