Freelancers wear many hats to get the work done. As a freelancer, besides you main skill, you are you own marketer, receptionist, accountant, quality controller and salesperson among others.
Although these roles are not outlined in your job description, they are paramount to ensuring you build a successful and rewarding career.
Below are 6 freelance hacks that will help you build you freelancing career effectively.
1. Bringing up the budget
Just like in any other sector or business, a project budget is crucial for a freelancer. This is the bit where you discuss the project’s financial details and come up with a compensation plan. It must be established before either parties move forward with the project.
There is a method to bring up the budget. It should be brought up among the first parts of the conversation with the client. Discuss in details the project in the context of the client’s entire business.
Find out what the client needs and his/her priorities and explain to them in details how you plan to solve the problems and improve their business. Finally, bring up cost matters.
By so doing, you give the client the perception that the cost is secondary to the results. By first discussing the problem and payments later, it becomes harder for the client to bail out of the agreement due to the budget.
By then, the client has already began to visualize how your services will help his business hence they are willing to negotiate reasonably on the budget.
2. Dealing with unresponsive clients
Web developer Kurt Elster composed a magic email that is aimed at reviving cold deals. The basic magic email reads as follows:
“Since I have not heard from you on this, I have to assume your priorities have changed.”
This statement can be reframed in various ways as you please before sending to the client. It is a professional and effective way to find out the client’s position while removing any unnecessary emotional tension to the inquiry.
3. Getting a client to pay you
Let us assume that you have already sent a client an invoice, followed by an email reminder in a friendly and professional tone yet the client is unresponsive.
What do you do?
Send a second reminder accompanied by a second invoice that includes late charges to the client. If that does not work, send to the client a third reminder and hint possible legal ramifications. Still, if that does not work, find the client on social media and write to them publicly. Publicly soliciting of your dues can be a game changer.
4. Finding high paying clients
The aim of every freelancer is to find high paying clients whether they are young entrepreneurs, millionaires, small or large businesses.
Comb through phonebooks, magazines, newspapers and online publications to find out which businesses are advertising.
You should find out how much it cost the business to place an ad there. If a business spends more on advertising, it means they are willing to spend in order to reach out to more potential clients so as to increase sales.
They can still achieve greater results through content marketing. You should find out whether the business has a website/blog.
If they don’t have an online presence and you’re a freelance web designer, you should approach them, telling them about your skills and the importance of having an online presence.
If you are a freelance writer, and the business lacks a blog/website or has one that’s not frequently updated with high quality content, you can let them know the importance of content marketing in conversion and what you’re willing to do about it.
5. Saying No
No is a complete sentence.
Can you do 5 extra articles for free other than the ones I you’ll be paid for? No.
Can you do this one for half of your normal charge? No.
Can you work on this even though it’s not within the terms we’d agreed upon? No.
While this might sound counterintuitive, learning to say no things will help you to avoid bad clients, draining projects and other inconveniences.
6. Dealing with clients’ doublespeak
Doublespeak here refers to a situation where a client says A when he actually means B. This leaves you in a state of ambivalence and getting tricked in the process.
Some clients looking for skilled and excellent freelancers may want to get you to do more for cheap.
In the same breath, such clients may pay you more in flattery and applause rather than in dollars
A client that needs work done urgently is most likely behind schedule. Such clients may end up giving you unrealistic deadlines hence putting pressure on you.
A client who tempts you with the promise of more work in the future is most likely unable to pay good rates for the present work.
Clients who say, “This task is simple especially if you’re a great writer” may not have any clue about how hard or simple the project is.
Clients who come up with ridiculously high rates with the promise of paying once you’re done with the first 100 or so articles are most likely not going to pay.
When looking for clients read through their instructions and requirements and filter out clients with double speak.
Keep all of the above points in mind when working and meeting new clients. It will give you peace of mind.
Is there any other freelancing hack that you use to get things done? Let us know the comments.