It’s important to keep in regular contact with your clients so they don’t panic-ring you on a Saturday morning wondering whether you’ve taken their money and run.
Keeping the dialogue open is important so that both of you are kept up to date and feel more comfortable bringing up issues should they arise. It also keeps you in their mind and makes them more likely to hire you again.
With this in mind, here are some important updates that you should remember to tell your clients in order to keep the working relationship productive:
When you’re going on holiday
Freelancers need holidays too. This means that you’re going to have to tell your client that they won’t be able to reach you while you’re away. Telling your clients you’re going away is a good idea so that they don’t send an email and wonder where you’ve disappeared to after you’ve ignored it for a week. Make sure you give them plenty of notice so they can make other arrangements if they need to.
When you can’t make the deadline
It’s probably not going to be a fun conversation but if you get to the point where you absolutely can’t make the deadline, you’re best telling your client this as soon as possible so that they can plan around it.
Hopefully you’ll have a good reason for your lateness and should briefly explain it if it’s appropriate. If you’ve simply timed it badly, then take this as a lesson and make sure it doesn’t happen again or you’ll end up with more unhappy clients.
That you’ve increased your fees
This is always a tricky one. If you want to grow your business, you’re going to have to increase your rates at some point. It’s up to you how you do it but if you want to increase them for current clients, then you’re going to have to let them know as soon as possible. Ideally give them at least a month’s heads up so they can decide whether they want to keep you on or not.
That you’re unsure
Sometimes wires can get crossed and you and the client both end up confused. This can be particularly so with creative freelancing where the terms of the work aren’t as clear cut.
If you’re not completely sure what you’re doing is what the client has asked for, then you need to have another conversation with them before you end up doing something completely different.
In future, you should have a detailed, lengthy conversation with the client about their needs and expectations. Repeat it back to them to ensure you’ve got it right. Then make sure you put the terms of your work into a contract that you can refer to again if need be.
Have we left anything out? What other important information should you share with your clients? Let us know what you think.