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Freelance Work Best Practices for Success

HomeBusinessFreelance Work Best Practices for Success

Securing and retaining clients is a critical activity for a freelancer. Of course, before you can do any securing or retaining, you need to find potential clients in the first place. Even then, you need to provide an appealing product or service that will nab their attention. 

With that in mind, here are several best practices that freelancers from all walks of life should try to adhere to in order to provide a polished, high-quality offering for both current and future clients.

Master Client Communication

Communication is everything in the business world, and as a freelancer, you are essentially the manager of your own business. Managers need healthy levels of contact, dialogue, instruction, and discussion are instrumental to keep everyone on the same page.

In the remote-friendly freelancing sphere, though, communication is particularly essential. Many freelancers don’t work on-site, and it’s up to them to maintain a consistent line of communication with their clients.

This doesn’t just apply to responding to emails or sending consistent updates (although those are important, too). There will also be times that your personal life gets in the way or you may have a piece of bad news that you don’t want to tell a customer. Even in the worst situations, though, the last thing you want to do is ghost a client. 

It’s okay to set boundaries, such as establishing “work hours” during which you communicate. However, within those bounds, you must stay on top of your communication at all times.

Always Use Contracts

Freelance clients can come from many different places. You may land a new account via a site like Fiverr, you might get a referral from a past client, or you could even be contacted by a friend or family member. Whatever the situation, you always want to create a contract to guide the professional interaction.

Contracts may feel unnecessary or bothersome, but they serve the critical purpose of clarifying expectations. A contract establishes what product or service you’ll provide. It also should explain what the client expects from you. 

A contract also allows you to set your rates from the get-go and in an up-front manner that can’t be misconstrued further on down the line. It’s a good idea to clarify any potential rate adjustments into your contract, as well, so that you have a straightforward way to go about adjusting rates in the future.

Stay Organized at All Times

A scatterbrained or disorganized freelancer is a turnoff to a client. If you spend a lot of time hunting down information or you make consistent mistakes, you may need to invest in better organizational practices. This applies to all aspects of your freelancing life, including:

  • Your job toolkit: From an error-free resume to a polished portfolio, make sure your gig-getting gear is always updated and in good order.
  • Your communication: Take the time to clearly organize who your clients are as well as any contact or other important information that you may need.
  • Your work: As a freelancer, there will be times that you’re juggling a lot of different assignments. Make sure you have a workflow platform or some other tool to help you keep everything organized.
  • Your finances: Freelance pay can vary depending on the work that you’re doing. Regardless of your level of income, though, you want to have a solid invoicing and billing system to help you track and get paid for work without mistakes.

Good organizational habits help you stay efficient, productive, and professional throughout your freelance work.

Represent and Protect Your Customer With Pride

As a freelancer, it’s easy to feel disconnected from your clients. As you move from one gig to the next, you can slip into treating a client as little more than a customer transaction in a grocery store.

The truth is, though, with each gig that you take, you’re agreeing to work with, represent, and protect that client. For instance, a freelance writer must keep their client’s POV (point of view), brand voice, and ethical beliefs in mind as they write for them. A PR freelancer must do the same every time they speak on behalf of a client to the public. 

A freelance website designer must consider things like cybersecurity and the accessibility of a client’s audience when making their site. Even little things like avoiding public Wi-Fi and protecting mobile devices and client-related passwords can show an added level of professionalism and respect as you work for your clients.

Using Best Practices to Find Freelance Success

A lot of the freelancing life depends on where you are at any given moment. Landing a particular job or getting a certain rate of pay can make a big difference.

However, several factors always apply regardless of your current circumstances. Best practices like quality communication, using contracts, and staying organized can all help you put your best foot forward every time you interact with a client. This can help you stay polished, professional, and successful throughout your freelance career.

pearls of wisdom
Noah Rue
Noah Rue
Noah Rue is a journalist and content writer, fascinated with the intersection between global health, personal wellness, and modern technology. When he isn't searching out his next great writing opportunity, Noah likes to shut off his devices and head to the mountains to disconnect.


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