When I started my freelance career I realized something very important. The relationship I have with my clients is of the utmost importance. They are not just my clients. We are partners in a business relationship. What this means for me and that client is that communication must be open and honest. If a client is not happy with my work for some reason I want them to tell me so I can fix it. If something is not working from my side of the aisle, I want to be able to tell them.
The relationship I build with my clients is one of mutual respect and understanding. It is important to me that from the beginning we all know the expectations and needs put forth in the contract. Clients are your bread and butter. They can often help you pay your bills so keeping that relationship positive for both of you is so important.
You may be asking yourself how to do that. Let me share a couple of ways. I already said open communication. That is true. Another way to keep it positive it to give the air of positivity in your communications, even if they are not always positive. That is important. Try not to focus on anything negative. If something comes up, acknowledge it, fix it, and move on.
Another way to keep the relationship positive is to be a fanatic about response time. If you can, get back to your client within 12 hours. If you cannot do 12 hours, do not let a reply go unsent over 24 hours. It’s just unprofessional.
I do not want to bore you with a ton of examples so I will leave you with this final thought. In order to keep your relationship with your client positive and hopefully ongoing, don’t think of them as just a client. Think of them as a new friend (at least in your own mind) and remember to keep it professional. You will get to learn their communication style quickly, trust me. Use what you learn to build that relationship to its fullest. You will both reap the rewards!