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Freelance Business Etiquette – Keeping Your Clients Happy

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If you’re like most web designers, you take on occasional freelancing jobs. They bring in a few extra dollars and provide a welcome break in your daily routine. You may even be thinking about taking up freelancing on a full-time basis.

When you are at work, there are usually certain standards imposed on you pertaining to your work performance and to how you conduct yourself when interacting with others.

As a freelance business owner, you need to set your own standards. Since you are a professional web designer, you already have high standards for yourself and for your work. You’ll want to bring these standards with you when setting up your own business. You can’t afford to become careless or lax.

You’re no longer just a web designer. You’ll be wearing several hats – project manager, account executive, communications coordinator, and even CEO. It’s not easy, but it’s doable, and the rewards are great.

Be Portfolio

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Taking your freelance work to the next level means, first of all, you must treat this kind of work as a business, and not as a simple side job.

Email Etiquette Tips

As the owner of your own freelancing enterprise, most of your communicating with clients or potential clients is likely to be via email. When using email as your primary means of business communication, you have to be careful not to send unintended messages.

When someone cannot see your face, they assume that what they read is what you have intended to say. Grammatical errors, slang, or SHOUTING make you look unprofessional. Follow these email etiquette tips, and you’ll avoid those little mistakes or omissions that could turn off a potential client.

  • Have an appropriate email address: [email protected] is good; [email protected] is not.
  • Using an email signature with your name and contact information marks you as a professional.
  • Keep the format of your emails simple. Avoid over-lengthy sentences or paragraphs.

Be Surfing

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An example of a surfing resort website that could easily be designed through remote collaboration. It is highly intuitive and easily customizable.

  • Respond to your emails promptly. Quick responses are always appreciated; they show the recipient you can be relied on.
  • Use a vacation responder if you will be away for more than two days.
  • Use a subject line that introduces the subject, and get to the point quickly.

Mistakes to Be Avoided

It’s in your best interest as a full-time freelancer to follow a set of workable, transparent procedures. Doing so benefits both you and your client. By following a well-established set of procedures, you are less apt to make the types of mistakes that could cost you assignments, or simply make your work more difficult.

  • Don’t miss deadlines. Keep in mind that clients have their own deadlines to meet. If you get them in trouble, you’re in trouble. If you see you are going to have a problem meeting a deadline, at the very minimum let your client know ASAP.
  • Don’t take on more than you can handle. It’s a balancing act. You don’t want to have to rely on just one or two sources of income, so serving several clients can work to your advantage. Carefully research and give a great deal of thought to an offer before you accept it, and avoid jobs that will have you working long hours for low pay.
  • Maintain high standards of professionalism in everything you do. Never get angry with a client. If you are upset, write a nasty note, let it sit for a day, and then throw it in the trash. Keep a rational perspective if problems arise, not an emotional one.
  • Don’t confuse business with pleasure. You are your own boss, and if you go about it right you’ll be under less pressure and be able to relax somewhat. Just don’t relax too much. After all, you’re still a professional.

Be Theater

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If you can manage to take on many different types of projects, it will keep your interest and experience levels high, and make it much easier to find solutions to new problems.

When you are able to juggle several assignments and clients every month, you won’t end up having to depend on a single project for your income.

Taking Care of Your Professional Image

Your clients will probably never meet you face to face. They may not even speak with you over the phone or via WhatsApp Business App. Their perception of you is largely based on how you conduct your business. Your website and portfolio will say a great deal about you, and there are other ways in which you can brand yourself, just as most highly successful businesses are careful to do.

Establishing your personal brand involves more than creating a logo, or an attention-getting business card. Before you go about establishing your brand, you first need to define your business goals. Having done so, create a business plan, define your target audience, and give your business a name.

Your website, more than anything else beyond the quality of service you provide, will project your professional image. This is why you want to make use the best website design tools available. You’ve already seen several examples of websites that will mark you as a true professional. These Be Theme pre-built websites are simple to use, extremely easy to work with, and provide the means to bring your brand close to your target audience. Using them can add luster to your professional image.

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