Keep Good Clients Happy – and Fire Bad Ones
As a freelancer, your ability to keep your good clients happy can make the difference between running a sustainable freelance business or crashing and burning. Everything else about your business could be perfect – your accounting, networking skills, and promotional tools. But if you fail to ensure that your clients like you, are happy with your work, and appreciate your skills, you won’t have a business for very long.
The basis of effective client management is obvious: meet your deadlines, deliver your best work on every project, be easy to work with, price your projects fairly, and write compelling copy. But, as with everything, there are many subtleties to developing long, rewarding client relationships that will improve your professional image, your reputation, and your bank account – or diminish them.
For example, freelancers must always be on their best behavior when dealing with clients. Being grouchy, demanding, or gossipy could easily make your phone stop ringing. I learned the hard way that the best way to approach every client interaction is by always being upbeat, agreeable, and professional.
This is not to say that every single client will be worth keeping. If you have a long freelance career, you will most likely meet some less-than-desirable clients, who are mean, unfair, or flakey. In these hopefully rare situations, the best bet for your sanity and your business is to simply just walk away and never look back. Being able to fire bad clients gracefully is a skill that freelancers need in their back pockets, just in case.
On this blog and in my Freelance Writing Secrets Revealed eCourse, I’ll be sharing insights on my own learning curve with optimal client management.