When you freelance, you are the CEO of “Me Inc.” This is an exciting prospect, to be sure. As part of running your business, you need to keep customer services issues in mind at all times. Here are some suggestions:
Respond to questions promptly.
No matter what else I have on my plate, I get back to clients asap. Since I work remotely, they can’t stop by my desk to see how things are going. I wouldn’t want them to think that I have suddenly decided to give all this up and move to Tibet to become a yak herder or some such thing…nope, that would never even cross my mind ;).
Acknowledge receipt of your assignment.
E-mail has been known to get lost in cyberspace and I have a policy of sending a quick e-mail back just saying that I received everything.
Keep your client posted.
If it’s a big project, let the client know where you are in the process. Ask if they want you to send in what you have completed to date. By offering to do this without being asked, you score points for being well-organized and committed to your work.
Likewise, if life throws something unexpected at you (like the broken wrist I am currently recovering from), let them know about that as well. You don’t have to go into a lot of detail, just some basic facts about what happened and how it will affect your work. In my case, I told my clients that I could still work but I was a bit slower than usual. It wasn’t a problem, even though I had to adjust one deadline back a few days.
Put yourself in your client’s shoes.
I try to do this…imagine myself as the client and figure out what they want. Well, they want their work done to their specifications and turned in on time. They want to know that their questions or concerns will be dealt with quickly and professionally.
Ask them if they need anything further.
When I turn in an assignment, I ask the client to let me know if they need anything further. My way of thinking is that if the client isn’t satisfied, then I haven’t done my job. It’s only happened a couple of times where what I came up with wasn’t what they were looking for. Both times they offered to pay anyway, and both times I refused to take it.
It wasn’t a question of not needing the money; I did. It was a question of doing what was right. In both cases I was offered more work ; it more than made up for the assignment I wouldn’t accept payment on.
My clients are not a distraction from my work; they are the reason that I work. I do what I can to keep them coming back to me for their needs. So far it seems to be working.
Now I have a question for the readers here: When it comes to the job postings, what do you need? Are there specific types of job postings you want to see? Let me know by posting in the comments and I will do what I can to find them for you.
All great points, as usual. 😉
I don’t see a lot of motorsports related postings, likely because there aren’t many, but when you do post them, they always get my attention!
Jodee shows you in a nutshell why I find her such an asset to my blog. She’s always very professional and I know if I went on vacation for a month to a place with no Internet access, my baby would be in good hands and I would have nothing to worry about.
Could you possibly find more corporate writing jobs that deal in traditional media? Thanks for all your hard work, Jodee.
Deb, you’re correct! In fact, it was Jodee who posted that Harley blogger job a few days ago. Which I started yesterday. 🙂
Maya Norton says
Great advice, Jodee.
The best quote I’ve ever heard on the top of “the CEO of Me, Inc,” was Elizabeth Taylor who said:
“I am my own commodity.”
That sums it up for freelancers and those of us who are boldly making our ways through the wilds of self-employment.
The New Jew: Blogging Jewish Philanthropy
Dorit Sasson says
Jodee, thanks for your insights. You are very professional.
As an ESL/EFL teacher, I am constantly scouting the web for writing opportunities for the education markets whether it be writing curriculum, lesson plans, blogs and articles and I have yet to land on an opportunity yet applied for those you have scouted. I thank you for that. There is of course, always room for more. Thanks in advance,
Thanks for such a wonderful article, that’s great advice on how to keep your clients happy and satisfied.
@ Deb: Thank you for your kind comment. I know how much this blog means to you and I am honoured to have gained your trust. 😀
To everyone else: Thank you for your kind comments. I will keep my eyes peeled for the kinds of leads you are requesting.
Jodee, that was a fantastic post. I am always looking for job leads that have to do with children’s writing and editing. I know there aren’t a plethora of them, and I have very much appreciated the ones posted here in the past. 🙂 Thanks!
Your last point is very important in freelancing. When I ask my clients if they need anything further, I usually end up with a new contract! Asking a client if they need anything further from you shows that you enjoyed working with them and that you are open to more projects.
Now on to my wish list! Any jobs dealing with math and science curriculum development and assessment would be great. 😀
i m a part time blogger and interested to switch over from the regular work to some full time internet based job like blogging.
i m regularly following ur job postings and responding to those matching my needs, but so far i am still to find a suitable internet based job.
I live of the helpful advice you and Jodee give on the website.
Since you asked, I’d really like to see more ads from print or online magazines for inspiration/motivational articles especially for women.
Best regards to you both and thanks again for the work you do for us freelance writers.
Cheryl Wright is a freelance writer and columnist. Her interior design, inspirational and lifestyle articles have been published internationally.
Read her weekly column: http://www.guardian.co.tt/Womanwise.wwise6.html
Read and subscribe to her blogs:
Perspectives on Life: http://www.cherylwright.blogspot.com
Email her: [email protected]
I love all the great advice! Thanks for the post 🙂
As far as job leads go, I’d like to see more for publications geared for young adults. I also get excited when I see German/English translation leads – If you come across any German to English ads, please let us know 🙂
Keeping the client posted is so important, especially in my line of work (managing editor of a national newspaper). I can recall working with an otherwise very reliable freelance reporter to coordinate extensive coverage of a critical event … only to discover – during that event – that he’d had a change of life direction and had actually “retired” from journalism weeks prior. He just forgot to mention it to me! Other freelancers have similarly made plans with me to cover important events, only to vanish into the ether when push came to shove.
My favorite freelancers are the ones who eagerly accept assignments, keep me up to date on their progress and turn in pristine copy by the deadline. They suggest possible stories in their regions and are very self-motivated. I can rely on them to submit good copy and they can rely on me to publish their work promptly. I never have to wonder where they are or what’s happening with them. That peace of mind is invaluable.