How to Manage Clients As a Freelancer – The Definitive Guide
Yes!! freelancing is a super cool business.
But, you’ll soon realize that as your work starts expanding and you start getting more clients, your customer management traits would be severely tested.
In this article, I’ll guide you to improve your client management skills so that you can have a better return from your freelancing business.
How to Improve Client Management Skills?
Freelancing is no less than a full-time job. In fact, in most cases, you end up working for more than the set 8 hours per day!
There are also a lot of advantages when you choose to be a freelance entrepreneur, however, many a time you get stressed out and are clueless about things.
It is natural citing the nature of the work and so many things to handle alone. Learn the most essential entrepreneurial tips to manage your things better.
Nevertheless, you can turn things to your favor by performing some quick tricks and tips along with following a few set principals to get your freelance career on track.
Also, managing clients, building your portfolio, following up for payments, dealing with multiple projects at the same time and keeping up with deadlines can be hard.
Hence, you need to prioritize and plan your days, weeks and months to be at the top of your game. Remember the following points that are essentially important for an effective customer management.
1. More clients do not necessarily mean more money!
Get this straight! Whether you are a beginner or are into this freelance business for a few years.
You must acknowledge that more clients do not guarantee more money so never randomly keep saying yes to everybody.
Always remember that there are 3 categories of clients and you must identify them:
- high-quality clients,
- average clients and
- bad clients.
High-quality clients are those who pay more and on time, who appreciate your talent and you enjoy doing their work.
Average clients can be merely passive ones from where you get paid averagely and not necessarily enjoy doing their work, but you do it, because, you too have bills to pay!
Bad clients are those who hardly pay on time, pay less than what you deserve but for some reason, you are unable to get rid of them.
I want you to do yourself a big favor, please get rid of them.
Shed them right off !!
I did a big mistake of holding on to such clients many times in the past and have learned my lesson for good.
I was naïve and did not want to be rude.
But, eventually, I learned that they just drain you emotionally and are no good financially.
All they offer is sadness while wasting tons of your precious time which you could use in making some good money or being happy at the very least!
Focus on adding high-quality clients to your list and put your time and energies in the right places.
This is when growth happens !!
2. How to charge and increase your rates?
This is a skill which every freelancer must adopt. Whether you are a freelance programmer, graphic designer or are a great freelance writer, you need to learn to negotiate your fees or charges.
Unfortunately, this isn’t something which we are taught in school, but you will in due course learn it by experience and yes, practice!
If I would have been you, I would simply send them an e-mail like this:
Hey [Client’s Name],
It’s been a long time since we are working together. Throughout these years, I have been creating super engaging contents for your website at as minimum rates as possible.
I value you as a client and enjoy working with you. But the work is increasing and many new clients are currently offering me a $[X]/word for creating their content.
If you could kindly match that, I’d rather be happy to switch it over.
There’s an interesting and an indeed insightful article by Ramit Sethi, (Newyork Times Best Seller) on How To Raise Your Hourly Rate, that teaches a lot about increasing your rates and also talks about how to manage clients effectively as a freelancer. You can also apply these tricks to earn more than other freelancers.
3. Adding “Value” and managing expectations:
To manage clients effectively, you must add value.
Undoubtedly, be the best person in your niche and provide the best value you possibly can. This is the ultimate way to build trust and retain clients.
You also may end up getting referrals from your existing clients citing your good quality work.
However, it is also important to understand what your client’s needs and requirements are.
You need to understand what their pain points are and what solutions they are actually looking for!
Something you feel is of great value may not resemble with their idea of a great “value” so get clear of your client’s expectations before starting the project.
This will save time energy and effort!
4. Communicate with your clients:
Cannot emphasize this enough!
You are a freelancer, you work remotely and do not meet your clients regularly, so, there are high chances of miscommunication and misunderstandings to happen.
Always ensure that you keep the communication open be it via e-mail or a phone call.
If your project is delayed, you’re falling off track for genuine reasons or something isn’t working out on the work front, it is your responsibility to keep the client in the loop and communicate your progress.
5. Manage Your Deadlines:
This is a no-brainer! Keeping a check on your deadlines helps you stay organized and focused.
If you are handling multiple projects, Trello can be really amazing in helping you out with your scheduling and deadlines. Trello constantly keep your progress in check, remind you of your approaching deadlines and track your results.
By the way, machine and apps alone cannot improve your productivity, you have to develop some traits like improve your productivity or arresting your procrastination habits. Managing deadlines would be a piece of cake.
6. Time Management:
Time management is an essential skill that every freelancer must learn. There is so much to do and so little time. If you often find yourself in the “I don’t have time” loop, then you surely need to monitor where you’re actually spending your time and revise your schedule.
- Time Quadrants:
Have a look at these time quadrants and figure out in which quadrant you spend most of your time in! Then analyze how you can bring it more in the 3rd quadrant to have a smooth flow of events and be more productive.
How to get more work done?
- Have Clarity
Here I have stated 5 Productivity Strategies For Freelancers That Work! You must check this article out and implement the given steps for the desired result. I have been using the methods and seeking great results.
7. Ensure Less Chaos Inside and Outside!
The answer is – Meditation!
How can meditation help you to get work more done in less time?
- Alertness and awareness: Several studies have proved that meditation helps you to be more aware and focussed.
- It brings effectiveness in your work: Tasks get done in less time as you do it with full awareness and focus.
- Reduced mistakes and goof-ups: Since you’re fully present on the task at hand, there are very fewer chances of mistakes.
- Concentration and focus: Regular practice of meditation helps improves concentration.
- Calms the mind and brings stability. This has been my personal experience. It offers clarity of thought and when your mind is calm, you can take better decisions and get more done in less time!
8. The happier you!
Why did you start freelancing in the first place?
Why did you take the decision to quit your day job and choose this life of freelance?
I am guessing, you did it to have more freedom, to be your own boss, to be able to do things your way and ultimately leave the stressful 9-5 sad life and upgrade to a happier life that gives you more freedom.
So, if this life does not give you what you want then it does not make any sense, right?
It must serve its purpose to give you more time, freedom and happiness!
And, I tell you, it will! However, you need to learn how!
Meditation will help you be the best version of yourself and help you excel in all spectrums of life let alone in your freelance career.
So, these are the several ways in which you can get more done and manage your clients effectively as a freelancer.
Also, no matter how many articles you read or videos you watch, ultimately, the only thing that will help is the implementation of the given steps and ideas.
Experts can give you the required advise, mentors can offer guidance, but using it for your own good or just shelving it is completely your decision, always!
If you find this “Definitive Guide”, share this with your other freelancer friends. I will not only make my day but will make my year !!