As a freelancer, reputation is key. So don’t put your foot in it by saying these things when meeting a new client …
After weeks of pitching and negotiating you’ve finally managed to secure the contract. You’re happy, the client is happy – time to get on with the work.
But it doesn’t mean you’re scot-free. Contracts can be cancelled or not renewed. So making sure that you keep your reputation in tact is important.
To do this, try to avoid say these things to new clients…
‘How much holiday will I get?’
Working as a freelancer often means your client doesn’t pay for your holiday. Especially on short-term contracts. And if you have arranged some form of leave, this should have been sorted in the contract stage, not when you meet the client to begin work. It’s not their job to agree holiday – they just want you to do the work, by their deadline.
‘I don’t do deadlines.’
An organic way of working is fine, but not every company works in the same way. And as a freelancer, you’re often brought in to handle a single contract or project that often has a strict deadline. Yes, you can work to your own internal deadlines and dates – but the client just wants to hear the work will be done be a set date.
‘Let’s just play it by ear.’
Again, this might be how you work behind the scenes – but the client will want to either see a plan from your end or for you to follow their plan. They’re paying good money for your services so will want to know what they’re paying for and see regular results.
‘I’m not sure…’
It’s ok to ask questions and admit you don’t know something, but try and avoid saying you’re not sure about something. If you don’t know, say ‘I don’t know but will find out’. Don’t try and bluff them or pretend you know as it’ll only make both your jobs harder in the long term.
‘I have to take my dog to the vets.’
What goes on in your personal life is not your client’s problem. They’ve hired you for a set number of hours or days – when you work these doesn’t matter as long as you hit their targets. They don’t care about visits to the vets, your internet being down or getting your car repaired. They want you to be the duck on the pond – calm on top, paddling like mad underneath.
‘Call me whenever.’
Providing your client with a contact number is fine – but you’ll also need to offer some rough hours that they can contact you otherwise you could find yourself taking calls at 7pm on a Friday or first thing Sunday morning. Freelance doesn’t mean you’re at their beck and call. You can work whenever you want but not whenever they want.
Posted by The Secret Businessman