The concept of freelance is a beautiful thing. It allows consultants to be selective about the clients with whom they work, choosing organizations they respect and projects they know they can contribute to effectively. At the same time, it allows clients to access talented individuals’ expertise for projects that will benefit from their skillsets.
WhyWhisper is based on this concept. We are all freelancers, each possessing a unique set of skills, interests, and experiences – and we come together in a team structure to best support the companies and causes we care about.
But if we’re being honest…not every client-freelancer relationship is created equal. There are certain things that both parties can do to ensure success and enjoyment during a project. Here they are:
Communicate Clearly & Effectively
For clients and freelancers to work together effectively, both parties need to be on the same page. Things change, and roadblocks will almost certainly pop up. When a client and freelancer can clearly and effectively communicate their way through these changes, they will be able to overcome obstacles, and develop strategies that lead to the most successful outcomes.
You can avoid miscommunications by:
- Setting clearly defined expectations at the onset of any project
- Being proactive in your communication, reaching out to get what you need in advance of deadlines
- Responding to all outreach in a timely manner
- Being clear and direct in your questions and responses
- Letting the other party know if and when something comes up that will change the project’s scope
Be Honest & Straightforward
Honesty and straightforwardness go hand-in-hand with good communication. To develop a strong and effective client-freelancer relationship, both parties need to be as honest as possible with one another, in terms of expectations and abilities. If a client isn’t straightforward about their needs, the freelancer is bound to fall short, and if a freelancer overpromises and under delivers, the client is sure to end up frustrated, and could also be thrown off track.
You can stay direct and upfront by:
- Letting the freelancer know if a deliverable isn’t what you were looking for or requires revisions (client)
- Keeping the other party informed when you need more assistance or time that you hadn’t anticipated (client and freelancer)
- Delivering critical feedback whenever necessary (client and freelancer)
- Being realistic about your skills and availability throughout the course of the project (freelancer)
Show Mutual Respect
Clients and freelancers must have a mutual respect for one another in order for the partnership to be successful. This respect manifests itself in many ways – in how each values the other’s opinions, abilities, and time, to name a few. When client-freelancer teams respect each other, it is much easier for both to communicate effectively and be honest with one another.
You can build respect by:
- Taking each other’s ideas and opinions into consideration
- Providing thoughtful feedback
- Being conscious of tone in communication
- Being mindful of each other’s time
Find a Balance Between Flexibility & Consistency
Sometimes, a project’s timeline can change pretty drastically as it develops. As these changes unfold, two elements are imperative to the client-freelancer relationship: flexibility and consistency. When both parties are able maintain a level of consistency throughout the project, while simultaneously accommodating changes as they arise, the team can develop a smooth and efficient workflow.
You can find this balance by:
- Delivering consistently high quality work (reviewing before it goes out!)
- Sticking to deadlines
- Working together to accommodate changes in schedule
- Remaining focused on the outcome of the project, even as changes arise
A positive relationship between a client and freelancer can make all the difference in the level of energy and ultimate success of a project. Client-freelancer teams that communicate effectively, respect each other, and are straightforward, flexible, and consistent will be able to make the most of their time working together, and will even have fun doing it!
What do you think is the most important aspect of a client-freelancer relationship? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below, or message us on Facebook or Twitter. And don’t forget to connect with us on Instagram too!