How to become an ideal freelancer that clients will want to hire for the long-term

Wondering why you aren’t getting any repeat clients? Here are some things to keep in mind if you are a freelancer trying to land long-term jobs:

Communicate well

If you want to be hired for the long-term it is essential to build a good interpersonal relation with your clients- meaning regular contact. Actively discuss the projects, don’t be afraid to present your ideas, and stay connected throughout the project and then after- greet them on their holidays, congratulate them on their promotion etc.  You should also respond to your clients’ queries and emails without delay. Some freelancers go radio silent after being awarded the job and this makes them seem unreliable as well as difficult to work with.

Be honest

Online freelancing platform now have millions of freelancers and more are signing up every day. The competition is fierce and almost every single job posting gets overwhelming proposals, and in order to become more competitive some freelancers resort to distorting facts about their skills, stating super-fast turnaround times and even quoting insanely low prices (only to charge additional later on). Be honest on your proposals and clients will appreciate it. Tell them what skills you possess and how the client can benefit from it. Quote a price based on the time, effort and level of expertise it requires, and promise turnaround time that you can actually deliver without having to work 24 hours straight. Sometimes there are extra requirements on the proposal that a freelancer might not meet- in that case, if it’s something you can learn and do, mention this on your proposal and ask the client for a deadline extension and try to finish it within it.  Don’t say I can do it to things you have no idea about.

Be reliable

In order to build a great freelance profile, you should always take your work seriously and professionally. As mentioned above be honest on your proposals and don’t make promises you can’t keep. Once the job is awarded your focus should not just be on delivering client’s work within the stated deadline but also on doing the said work as best as you can. To get long-term work, you should put extra effort to deliver something above the client’s expectations.

Value client’s time and investment

Always keep in mind that the client’s are also trying to make a living by selling their services- always value their time and investment. Quote prices that are reasonable to them as well as acceptable by your own standards. Don’t make compromises on quality just because the client doesn’t “seem” to be bothered about it. Deadlines are very important so always try to make it on-time or even do it before time if you can. In case you’re about to miss a deadline, notify it beforehand in an apology letter to your client and mention why you are going to miss the deadline and the latest date you’re going to deliver- most clients are very understanding about this matter unless you have been unreliable to begin with.

Keep clients happy and satisfied

After the project is completed, your clients might express that they are not satisfied with your work. Ask the client for extra time, and try to deliver a revised work that makes him/her happier- preserving your reputation is more important than having to work some extra hours or getting paid less. It is very important to get a good feedback specially if you’re working via freelance websites where your reputation depends on the rating and feedback system.

Be willing to learn and improve

Be enthusiastic about your work however small it may seem. Show your clients you are interested by discussing with them about the ways his/her work can be improved. Always try to learn and improve, and submit the next article, report or design, better than the last one. This learning attitude is what separates regular freelancers from the pros.

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