Whether you’re a graphic designer, a writer, or a virtual assistant, you likely already know that your freelance career depends heavily on regular communication with your clients.
Now, it’s easy to argue that you can communicate exclusively through email, and many people do find some success that way. But, is that really how you’d communicate with the people you work for in a traditional setting?
Being able to communicate in different ways is important to strengthen your relationship with a client. It builds trust and can help them to feel better knowing there’s an actual person on the other side of the screen.
Now, more than ever, people are craving humanity in the business world. By developing communication strategies with your clients, you can boost your business and build up a stronger client base.
Use More Than One Medium
We’re lucky enough to live in a time that allows us many different ways of communicating. So, instead of just sending another email, share your latest content with your client using VoIP services like a video chat, or through cloud-based services where they can see exactly what you’ve been working on for them from anywhere in the world.
What’s the point? Think about how many different mediums there are, and the advantages and disadvantages of both. You might want to send an email if you have a block of information to give your client. But, emails aren’t always great for a back-and-forth conversation. Video chat or phone calls are often better for that. You could even set up phone words to make your phone number stand out by adding an industry term to it. Choose the medium that fits your needs at any given time.
Be Proactive With Meetings
If someone is paying you, there’s a good chance they’ll want updates and what you’re doing for them. So, schedule weekly meetings with your clients. It’s great if you can have these meetings via video chat or over the phone. They don’t have to take long – just a quick update on what you’re working on and when your client can expect things to be done.
Simply touching base and actively communicating with your clients will help to keep them happy and it will help to strengthen your relationship with them, so they remain loyal ‘customers.’
Learn Their Communication Styles
Some people want constant communication. Others don’t want to be notified unless there’s something important to discuss. As you learn more about your clients, you’ll start to pick up on their different communication styles and rhythms. Take note of those things, because you don’t want to constantly try communicating with a client who doesn’t want it. On the other hand, you don’t want to leave a client high and dry when they need a consistent connection. It’s a balancing act, but an important one to follow.
As you can see, communicating as a freelancer isn’t just a “one size fits all” situation. There are many ways to do it (and many ways you should do it). Take a look at your current client base, and ask yourself what you can do to improve communication this year to better serve them.