Freelance blogging can be a rewarding and lucrative career if you’re dedicated and strategic in your approach.
As a freelance writer, one of your greatest challenges may be managing your time and your client’s expectations.
Luckily, it’s possible to conquer these hurdles in order to ensure a smooth and efficient freelancing process.
This blog post provides some useful tips to help freelance bloggers best service their clients and put themselves ahead of the competition.
1. Know your limits
It can be difficult to turn down work when you’re a freelancer, especially if you’ve ever experienced a dry spell.
Work can be sporadic, which can make us all too eager to say “yes” to anything that’s offered to us, even if it leads to an almost impossible workload.
However, it’s essential to know your limits if you want to prosper within the field.
You always want to put your best foot forward, and it’s impossible to do so when you’re overwhelmed.
Being aware of what you can and can’t do will make the process less stressful and more enjoyable for both you and your clients.
2. Always follow through on your commitments
If you want to thrive as a freelancer, you need to be someone who clients can count on.
If you commit to a deadline, clients should be able to rest assured that you’ll have their completed work to them at that time.
Breaking these promises can lead to strained relationships with clients, and can harm your reputation.
According to a recent study, “If a customer is not satisfied, 13% of them will tell 15 or even more people that they are unhappy.
On the other hand, 72% of customers will share a positive experience with 6 or more people.”
In order to avoid placing yourself in a potentially unfortunate situation, follow tip #1.
If you know your limits, you won’t accept work that you aren’t 100% certain you can finish on time (and to the highest quality standard).
3. Be honest
You will likely encounter a time during your freelancing career when, as hard as you try, you won’t be able to make deadline.
This might be because of a family emergency, a personal issue, or simply because, for whatever reason, you weren’t as productive as you hoped you would be.
Clients are people too, and plenty of them will be understanding (provided this isn’t a frequent occurrence, and provided you’re honest with them).
Clients don’t need a long and detailed explanation—because frankly—they won’t have the time (nor the care).
Just give them a brief summary of what’s going on (don’t feel the need to include personal details), and be sure to tell them what they really want to know, which is when they will receive your finished piece.
4. Offer a solution to conflicts
So you’re getting offered a lot of work and you really want to take it all on.
However, you know that, realistically, there’s no way you’ll be able to do your best and complete all of the work within the given deadlines.
What do you do? Take a cue from author and consultant Alan Weiss, who says to, ““Ask your customers to be part of the solution, and don’t view them as part of the problem.”
Talk to your clients about an alternative solution to the issue.
Tell them you’d love to do the work if they have some flexibility with the deadline, and see if they’d be willing to extend it until X date.
Ensure to update the deadline to a time when you’re certain you’ll have the work completed.
Lots of times clients are in positions to grant some leeway, so it’s always worth discussing potential options before turning down a job you want.
5. Communicate and ask questions when necessary
Communication with clients is key to a thriving working relationship. Your clients will be curious to know how things are progressing with the work.
Wise freelancers will anticipate this, and send regular updates to ensure their clients are always kept in-the-loop.
Additionally, it’s essential that you seek clarification about any questions that may arise on your end.
Whether you’re unsure about a brief, have a formatting query, or are just looking for information so that you can complete an invoice— it’s better to be direct and talk to the client so you can avoid wasting time and prevent any misunderstandings.
Also, be sure to respond to emails as quickly as possible—77% of customers chose speed over resolution as the best indicator of good service.
6. Stay organized
Keep a detailed calendar, set reminders for yourself, and ensure your workspace is orderly.
If you lose track of your work, deadlines, invoices, etc., it will result in consequences for both you and your clients.
It’s best to avoid any potential pitfalls and be sure to stay as organized as possible.
7. Set payment terms before you begin work
You and your clients should always be on the same page, and this is especially important when it comes to payment.
Clients don’t like surprises, so clarify exactly what they can expect to see on the invoice.
Also, inform them of the fine print: when you’ll be sending the invoice, the tax percentage you’ll charge, how many days/weeks they’ll have to pay, what types of payment methods you accept, how they can make payment, how you calculate your fees, etc.
Many people feel awkward when talking about money, but it’s an essential conversation to have for the sake of both parties, and it’s one you’ll have to get comfortable with. It’s not personal, it’s business.
Freelance blogging is an exciting field to be a part of, and it can lead to a successful career for the right candidate.
Effective client management, organization, and communication are some of the most important skills a freelancer can possess.
The above tips will help you as you work to gain more customers and provide them with the best experience possible.