How To Build Community as a Freelancer
One perk of working as a freelancer is that you are on your own schedule – you don’t have to sit at a desk and can
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When talking about freelance, we talk a lot about the freelancer. The challenges we face, the grit we have, the work ethic that allows us to follow in our own paths. But there’s one big part of this equation that we don’t give much credit to: the ideal freelance client. And like a fancy cheese on super sale at the grocery, an ideal freelance client is worth a celebration. So raise a glass, because today we are toasting to the good ones!
You know when 9-t0-5ers complain about their boss? How their bosses aren’t clear, how they don’t answer emails, how they can’t get a hold of them? Well, freelancers have a rotating door of bosses that they may never meet in person and only communicate with through technology. The ideal freelance client is a master of communication, responsive to emails, happy to pick up a phone, and get the ball moving. There is nothing worse than feeling like you can’t get through to your client, whether it’s actually getting a response or being open about the content you are working on. Having a client who is willing to partake in a real dialogue with their freelancer is nothing short of magnificent.
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This isn’t a shocker but an ideal freelance client pays you your due on time. The stories that run through the wires in the freelance community about the ever frustrating delays on payment, straight up shady lies about payment practices, and worst, companies folding or ghosting while owing freelancers hundreds to thousands of dollars are terrifying. Our livelihoods depend on our clients business practices and even when we do our due diligence with our invoice app, expense tracking app, and time tracking app, they may not do theirs. A client that pays correctly, on time, without any nonsense is a client that deserves a cheers…maybe even two.
Freelancers enter a contract with their clients and an ideal client does one simple thing, sticks to the job’s contract. Now, no one is saying there can’t be changes made to the contract but an ideal client makes sure the freelancers is in on those changes. They don’t just expect us to understand and/or follow suit when an entire project just changes course. They don’t just change all the rules willy nilly. This goes hand-in-hand with communication. When a contract is agreed upon, the ideal client understands going outside of those perimeters requires your input.
Two song lyrics in one article, how lucky are we? As freelancers, we need to make our clients feel like they are top priority and since we are all so good at our jobs, that shouldn’t be a problem. At the same time, an ideal freelance client understands they aren’t the only fish in the sea. Respect is a two-way street here. We respect that they hired us to do a freelance job; we will do that job and do it well. Similarly, the ideal freelance client respects that we are not their full-time employee.
Sure, this is a superlative from your high school yearbook or in my case, my Jewish sleepaway camp yearbook (a title I may have won three times and remind people of it because I won nothing in school. NOTHING!) but it also applies to ideal freelance clients and their jobs. It’s the oldest rule in the book: just be nice. When the client is nice, it’s more enjoyable to do the work.
So here’s to the good ones! And if you happen to be a client who hires freelancers and as you’re reading this article realize this applies to you, thanks for being *ideal.* Now take a drink on me, you deserve it!
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