[This article was written by Deborah Tayloe.]
My name is Deborah and I’m a successful freelance web content writer. I’ve been writing for years and have published countless pieces of content. Today I’m sharing secrets on how to make money freelancing by following 5 etiquette tips. These are 5 rules that I have set for myself. I have grown my business by following these principles in my client interactions.
Becoming a freelancer in any field is a bold but exhilarating move. It puts you squarely in charge of your own destiny. You will market your own services, build your clients, schedule your own workload, and meet deadlines. Good people skills are mandatory.
The Two Keys to Growing Your Freelance Business
Two of the biggest factors that will help you succeed are the following:
- Repeat Customers – Customers who utilize your services repeatedly.
- Customer Referrals – Customers who came to you through word of mouth, usually from one of your customers.
Here’s an illustration.
I have a repeat customer named Matt. He’s a digital marketer who uses me to write several weekly guest posts. Matt gave me a customer referral to his colleague Ken. I now write two weekly posts for Ken’s e-commerce site. Ken is an additional client that I didn’t need to hunt for!
You can experience this kind of growth and make your business explode by following my etiquette tips.
5 Etiquette Tips for Freelancers
Stick to Your Niche
First, decide what your specialty is and stick with it. If you’re a freelance web designer and the customer asks you to also manage their social media, don’t feel obligated to do it. Yes, you might be able to pick up a few extra bucks and you’re capable of the job.
But think of the differences. A web designer lays out the framework of a website in an orderly manner using logic and codes with a touch of creativity. A social media manager needs to look at an audience, determine a social strategy that expands that audience, and come up with a way to increase a company’s reach.
You are better off working in the area in which you are the authority. The customer won’t be mad if you say no. This proves that you have their best interests at heart and you’re going the extra mile to help them grow.
Check for Errors
Regardless of whether you’re a freelance writer, marketer, social media manager, or programmer, check your work for errors.
Your customer is paying you out of her budget to hire an expert…You! Once you’ve checked your work for errors, check it again! A pleased customer will be more likely to remember the value of your service, and they’ll send you those valuable customer referrals. In addition, submitting work error-free means that the customer will pay the bill without requesting additional edits.
Respond to Inquiries
I started out as a freelance writer like everyone else, with zero clients. I was surprised at how quickly I gained new clients. A couple of customers revealed to me that they hired me because I was the only freelancer who responded to their email inquiry. While my bruised ego wanted to think it was because of my awesome command of grammar, it was literally because other freelancers didn’t respond.
Our email boxes get cluttered quickly, but don’t miss an opportunity! Respond to every legitimate email inquiry in a timely manner. This might sound like a no-brainer, but it’s surprising how many slackers are out there!
Provide Excellent Customer Service
Customers who are delighted by your service are more likely to send their friends and colleagues your way!
Delight them by offering excellent customer service. If they request minor revisions, take care of them promptly. Deliver the highest quality work that you can. Be respectful of their suggestions and tactfully disagree without arguing…or quitting the job. Yes, I have clients to whom that has happened! Providing respectful and attentive customer service is essential to your success.
Send A Post-Job Follow-up
After you’ve completed the contract, send the customer a follow-up card or email. Let them know that you’re available for future work. Ask them if they have colleagues whom they can refer to you. Tell them how much you enjoyed their project.
When you put it all together, following these freelancing 5 rules of etiquette will set you above the rest of the freelancers in this very competitive space. You will stand out above the freelancers who don’t have these people skills. Best of luck with your freelancing career!
Deborah Tayloe is a professional freelance writer. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from the Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. The Erie, Pennsylvania native currently resides in North Carolina with her husband and an energetic toy fox terrier.