7 Freelance Clients You’ll Come to LoveNovember 2nd, 2010 by Michael Kwan
Last month, I wrote about the 7 freelance clients you want to avoid. Thankfully, there are plenty of clients out there that are much more appealing, whether you’re involved in freelance writing, freelance web design, or any number of other disciplines.
Part of the key, however, is getting past some of the initial impressions you may have of these clients. You may be turned off by some of their characteristics in the beginning, but these very same characteristics can turn into great positives in the long run. Here are just seven examples of freelance clients that you’ll come to love.
1. The Absentee
For me, one of the most frustrating things about running a business is when you can’t seem to get in contact with a client. Even when you do, your interactions can be very short and to the point. However, these kinds of relationships can work very well if you know how to manage them.
I have at least one client with a very laissez-faire attitude toward our freelance relationship. I very rarely hear from him, but I don’t need to. My monthly duties are largely the same. I go through the motions, I send him an invoice, he pays it, and we move on to the next month. This works great for both of us.
2. The Networking Pro
If you happen to be a more introverted individual, you may be apprehensive at first about people who are outwardly extroverted. However, it is positively critical that you take advantage of these kinds of opportunities.
The client who is very social and well connected will likely be your strongest advocate when it comes to word of mouse marketing. They’ll refer you to their colleagues. They’ll connect you with people they trust when you need something. Growing this network of contacts is a great way to grow your business.
3. The Uber Enthusiast
Let’s say that you’re working on a project with someone and you don’t have much background knowledge. This client will very enthusiastically point you toward useful resources, going above and beyond the call of duty to perform some active research on your behalf.
They may bombard you with more e-mail messages than you may otherwise desire, but these resources can ultimately make your job a heck of a lot easier to do.
4. The Tunnel Visionary
Some people call it stubbornness. That may be partly true, but these steadfast individuals can be great at providing very clear and precise instructions. This makes it much easier for you to manage their preferences, because there is absolutely no ambiguity.
They’ll tell you that they want an article of precisely this length, hitting on these exact key points, and they want it delivered in this format by this date. They may not be as open to feedback and suggestions for improvement, but they will tell you exactly what they want.
5. The Good Samaritan
This client may not have the biggest budget, but she may have the biggest heart. It is with this giving spirit that she will help you out with whatever she can. Let’s say that you are working on a project that requires certain equipment or software.
Even if this project is not for the good Samaritan client, but she picks up word that you need something, she’ll jump to your rescue. It’s a great feeling to know that you’re covered (and you can help her back in kind).
6. The Eager Student
It helps when your client has some background knowledge in what they’re asking you to do, but that isn’t always the case. Under this kind of relationship, you’ll be given the additional task of the educator, guiding this “student” client through the paces.
A client who wants to learn is fantastic. Not only can this become an expanded source of revenue, in the form of consulting, but it can be richly rewarding too. The client walks away with a great completed project and some new knowledge. You walk away with a bigger paycheck and the satisfaction of a job well done.
Didn’t expect to see this one here, did you? Part of the freelance conundrum is allowing your own pursuits to get delayed or even ignored. At some point, you may want to take your projects off the back burner and into the forefront.
It is at this point that you really are your own boss. You may be your own worst boss, but you’re also your favorite. Right?
Filed under Freelance Writing.