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By Lynne Gowers on 26th May 2014
As a freelancer, creating a good impression with your clients can be crucial to your success as an independent worker. A positive testimonial from someone you have worked for in the past always goes a long way – as does a negative one! – and so it’s always important to ensure that you do as much as you can to fulfil your client’s expectations.
Of course, your role and what the client wants you to achieve will have been outlined clearly at the beginning of the contract but that doesn’t mean that sometimes you can’t go that little bit further in order to provide an excellent service.
Going the extra mile for your client could see you edging out the competition when trying to land for your next project. What’s more, that client may even offer you more work in the future.
Here we look at ways in which freelancers can go above and beyond the call of duty but still stay within the realms of the other factors, such as time constraints and cost, that they adhere to.
You may have been brought in to take care of a specific task but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep your eye open for other issues that could be addressed by someone with your skills.
Suggestions and advice are free and if you genuinely feel that your input will benefit your client chances are they will be very receptive of the information – it could even save them money further down the line!
You may get a client request at an inconvenient time, maybe they’ve contacted you on the weekend or late at night, and you’re tempted to leave it until tomorrow or until Monday morning. Well, as a general rule this is what you should do (it’s important to establish boundaries when working as a freelancer).
However, every so often it might pay to take care of these little requests there and then. The client will understand that they are asking a lot of you and will appreciate the fact that you’ve gone out of your way to help them out at short notice.
Nobody likes sending email after email chasing up a query they made days ago. If a client asks you something you should endeavour to respond as quickly as possible. It may sound like common sense, but by replying promptly your client will feel like their needs are your priority.
Even if you can’t provide an exact answer to their question or solution to their problem at that exact moment, it’s better to respond and let them know this as opposed to leaving them in limbo, waiting for your reply.
Depending on your industry, you might be able to throw in a little extra on top of your usual service for free.
Alternatively, if you feel like there isn’t an extra little service that you can feasibly provide for free you can always offer a small discount to your client at the end of your contract. It’s important to keep some context with this situation: If you feel like there may be an opportunity for future work with a certain client, this type of gesture can go along way with a client. Don’t go around offering discounts for every contact.
What’s more, you should only do something like this if it makes financial sense for you at the time.
Who do you think will make a lasting impression, the freelancers who says ‘thanks’ as they head out of the door or the one who takes a little bit of time to send a ‘thank you card’?
Obviously, you wouldn’t do this for every client, but it can be a great way to leave a lasting impression on one that you have worked with a multiple times and where there may be a chance for further work. You’d be surprised how much of an impression a small gesture can leave on a person!
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