Samar Owais is a fellow freelance writer and author whose work ethic and common sense tips I’ve admired for months before finally asking her to share a post with us here, on the five qualities every dream freelancer has. Whether you’re a freelancer or looking for one, read on–and don’t forget to visit her blog and follow her on Twitter.
What are the most important factors to a client making the decision to hire–or rehire–a freelancer like you? Which qualities and behaviors do your client’s dream freelancer have? Do you have them? I took a walk in “client” shoes, and I can tell you they love a freelancer who…
Stands out by delivering on time, every time. Meeting deadlines is a cardinal rule of freelancing, so if you think no one would miss the mark on this, you’d also be surprised how many do. Freelancers who submit work on time are the freelancers to whom clients send recurring work, have no problems paying more for, and happily refer to other folks. They’ll always prefer working with a freelancer who meets deadlines–even if their work requires revision–rather than one who turns in flawless work a week late.
Stays in touch. Consider the following scenario: A client hired two freelancers for a project. Freelancer A committed to delivering the work on a certain date and then fell off the face of the earth. He resurfaced on submission day to get his work to the client on time. Freelancer B sent regular progress updates and also delivered the work on time. Whom do you think the client would hire again?
Even if Freelancer A sent in perfect work, the client will prefer Freelancer B because that one didn’t make the client wonder whether the work would be delivered on time, if there were any issues hindering its progress, or if time and money was being wasted on other things before the project was executed at the last minute.
Asks questions. Far from making a freelancer look dumb, it’s one of the smartest things to do while working with a client. Asking questions indirectly puts the client’s mind at ease. They let the client know the freelancer takes the work seriously. They reassure the client of the freelancer’s true understanding of the project’s scope and needs. And for the freelancer, they mean less chances of major revision.
Encourages and appreciates feedback. Asking for and accepting feedback on work earns major brownie points with clients. Sure, clients send revision and rewrite requests anyway, but actively asking for them says this freelancer is willing to go the extra mile. A simple “don’t hesitate to tell me about any changes you’d like” usually does the job.
Exceeds expectations. The funny thing is that exceeding expectations isn’t hard to do. It doesn’t even require extra effort. One sure-shot method is to submit work a day early. You don’t have to work nights to do it. Just decide on a deadline a couple of days after the date you know you can complete the work. Not only does this habit give your clients good reason to love you, it also gives you a buffer for freelancing emergencies like a flu or computer crash.
Are your clients dreaming of you?