When it comes to freelancing, communication is key. Keeping open lines of communication will help you more thoroughly meet project expectations, meaning the employer will be more willing to rate you well and work with you in the future. Today we have some killer freelancing advice to share from Ria Romano of RPR Public Relations. RPR has been doing business on Guru since 2005! Read on for Ria’s tips…
1. Be Responsive
Whether you are a single freelancer just starting out, a two-person team or small company, be highly responsive to potential employer inquiries. If you miss a potential employer’s phone call and it goes to voice mail, be sure to call them back within 15 minutes. You’ll impress the potential employer with your responsiveness. Do not wait to call them back the next day.
2. Be Available
For best results, invest in a mobile device (iPhone, Blackberry, etc.), and sync it to your incoming business address email. Try to answer all potential employer messages within 30 minutes of receiving them. Within 15 minutes is even better. Most people nowadays have a mobile device, but if you’re a freelancer starting out and think it’s too expensive, think again. Your mobile device will pay for itself within the first month or two by making you accessible to your employers.
3. Hold a Flexible Schedule
If you’re serious about freelancing, forget all about the time zone you live in and realize you’re going to be working for employers in multiple time zones – especially using Guru, which provides inquiries from potential employers from all over the world. This doesn’t mean you give up sleeping; it just means you make every effort to check your email or voice mail at least once after 6 pm in the evening and first thing in the morning when you wake up (another reason a mobile device is important). Don’t wait to get to an office – you’re no longer on a 9 am to 5 pm schedule. You have to be flexible. If it’s late at night, email the potential employer back and let them know the soonest you’ll be available to discuss their needs. Many Guru employers express frustration when freelancers get back to them two days later – or not at all. Show them that you’re flexible and interested in their project.
4. Provide Regular Updates to your Employer
Once you’ve secured a new employer through Guru, continue being responsive in your communication. Email or call them with periodic updates (frequency depends on the length of your project – use your best judgment), even if the employer doesn’t request them. Improve your customer service, and you could have that new employer not just for one week, but for years to come.
5. Be Transparent
If there is a problem with the project you are working on, let the employer know as soon as possible! Keeping an open line of communication will usually keep problems from arising, but if a problem does come up, let the employer know and open up a channel of discussion. The most successful freelancers practice transparency.
6. Use Skype
Do not just rely on emails and phone calls. Your employers will feel better putting a face to a name, especially those employers who are located overseas.