While office-based workers are constantly being given feedback – whether formally or informally – as a freelancer you often work in a bubble. But it’s important for your career that you seek out feedback.
Feedback is an important part of the working life. It helps you to grow as a person, spot any weaknesses you can improve and help you develop your skills. But for many freelancers, feedback often only comes when you’ve done something wrong.
How to get feedback?
Knowing how to get feedback is one thing – getting useful feedback is another. But the first step should always be asking for it. Don’t hound your employer or client, but do ask for feedback at key stages such as after a chunk of the work is done or at the end of the contract.
Asking doesn’t always get you answers though. You need to have systems in place to get the right feedback. Know what areas you want judging and how you’re planning on judging.
This is so you can use the feedback you get and monitor it. But it also makes it easier for people to provide feedback. Giving them a scale on which to judge you or providing them with a focussed Q&A or survey about your work means they won’t have to spend too much time on it, and are therefore more likely to do it.
And a clever way to get the ball rolling is to offer to provide feedback to them. Ask if they have a preferred method – if not, then use the system set up for you to receive feedback. It’ll give them a working example of what you’re looking for.
Why it’s important…
There are several reasons why it’s vitally important to get consistent and useable feedback when you’re working as a freelancer.
1. Judge progress
You can judge how well you’re doing as a business by client success, hours worked, income etc. But to judge how you’re growing as a worker, feedback can be key.
2. Personal development
Freelancers can get stuck in a rut quite often, performing the same types of tasks over and over. This can be down to the fact it’s often hard to spot your own weaknesses and where you need to grow. Feedback can help highlight this, allowing you to choose the right training courses to boost your skills.
3. Use as a marketing tool
If the client is happy to make their feedback public, good reports can be used as testimonials on your website. It’s an effective way to market yourself for free. And people these days are much more influenced by personal recommendations than fancy adverts.
4. Makes a client look again
Often you’ll complete a project for a client that you were very happy with yet when they’re choosing who to use for the next project they skip you.
This could be for a variety of reasons, but it could simply be that you didn’t stand out from the vast number of freelancers they use. By asking them to provide feedback, it makes them take a longer look at you and your work, meaning you’re more likely to stick in their mind next time – if you’ve done a good job that is.
Posted by Julie Tucker