The importance of good client relationships
Having strong client relationships is critical to your success as a freelancer. When you establish strong relationships with your clients, you can significantly improve your reputation and credibility in the marketplace. Satisfied clients are more inclined to recommend your services to other potential clients, which can help you get more work in the long run and increase your income. In addition, clients with whom you have developed a good relationship are more likely to work with you on larger, more far-reaching projects.
Another positive impact of having strong client relationships is that it can improve the quality of your work. When you work with the same clients on a regular basis, it's easier to understand their needs and expectations, which allows you to tailor your work more effectively to meet their needs. You can also receive more constructive and critical feedback from your clients with whom you have a strong relationship, which helps you improve your work and your approach in the future. Overall, a strong relationship with your customers can be beneficial to both your business and your professional development.
Ways to build healthy client relationships
Successful freelancers don't see each project as an isolated job. They see them as stepping stones in their client relationship. It's what keeps your clients coming back to you for more work, and it's a great way to create a steady stream of valuable, well-paying clients. Here are some ways to establish positive relationships with your clients:
Show that you care about their interests.
If you see that a product choice or decision seems detrimental to you, say so; remember that they are also hiring you for your expertise in a particular area. If appropriate, make suggestions for improving their business that go beyond the scope of your project.
Always suggest the best solutions.
This is even if you are not going to benefit from them. For example, if your client wants to pay you for a web page that might interact poorly with their current security software, it's better to waste your money telling them that. You will only win in the long run if you make a name for your honesty and good work.
Create the right freelancer community.
Network with other freelancers you know who are also at the top of their profession. This is important because by suggesting other excellent workers, you will also build your own reputation.
The perfect call
On the other hand, much of the time you communicate with your customers will be through a phone call. This experience has to be a good one for both of you, but especially for your client. For example, if you are going to do an extensive meeting, schedule a video call through a platform that has good video quality. This is because there is nothing less professional than repeating yourself because the internet is so bad that the signal cuts out. So is having your customer see a picture of you on the screen instead of your face. Remember that a face-to-face call helps a lot more with the trust that is generated.
If you are someone who is nervous about making a call, practice it ahead of time; mentally rehearse what you might be asked and write down the answers so you feel prepared. Another aspect to keep in mind is that the call is focused on your customer, so they should do most of the talking, not you. Your role is to understand the client, so you shouldn't overwhelm them with your accomplishments and your skills, but listen to their expectations and make sure you can meet them. And if you can't, let them know.
Finally, end every call or video call with a clear action point. Either it's something the client has to do next, or you'll restate exactly what you're going to do next so the client knows where you stand. This helps both of you be aware of the next steps and there are no problems down the road.