Freelancing presents you with a unique opportunity to determine your career path. You can set your hours, only work on projects that interest you and work independently.
Freelancing offers a lot of autonomy, but maintaining that autonomy, while growing the business and delivering above clients’ expectations requires structure and self-discipline.
The level of self-discipline needed to thrive as a freelancer for many people seems impossible. Being your own boss doesn’t just mean working independently of a direct supervisor. It also means setting clear expectations and holding yourself accountable for those expectations.
There are several key areas in which it is important to maintain balance as a freelancer.
Equally important is the need to manage client expectations. This is especially important if you have more than one client. Every client has their own business to run, and part of their success depends on the services you provide. There can be an enormous amount of pressure that comes with meeting client demands especially with new freelancers who say “yes” to everything.
Most freelancers are guilty of overpromising, this is a slippery slope. You want to deliver an amazing client experience. You are trying to grow your business, get good positive reviews and retain the clients you have but, your other clients have expectations, and their expectations aren’t going to change based on your workload as it pertains to other clients.
Here are some tips for managing client expectations:
- Be upfront with your hours, being honest about how much time you’ll devote to your client helps them to know what to expect
- Be honest about other commitments, letting your client know when you’ll be unavailable will prevent persistent emails and phone calls
- Don’t answer calls or emails after hours, this creates a bad precedent because your client may then expect you to be available at all hours
- Give adequate notice when things come up, as long as you communicate and check in regularly, most clients will adjust their expectations to meet their needs.
Remember these tips will not work in isolation, but in conjunction with other tips and tricks UASA’s independent professional sector has been covering in our blogs.
Check out our UASA blog on our website for these and many other interesting topics.