Discover the key to managing your freelance clients that I learned from a recent trip to the doctor. The guidelines in this article will show you how to build trust with your client…without coming off as insecure or needy.
I was half-naked lying on the doctor’s table.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a stack of razor-sharp needles. Along with about a half-dozen vials.
Plus a big machine on a rolling cart.
The machine looked kind of like an octopus. Since it had all sorts of wires coming out of it.
And I had NO idea what was happening.
I tried to take a few deep breaths to calm down. But inside, my emotions were boiling.
Was this guy going to stab me without warning?
Is this machine going to hurt?
My mind was racing.
And if you’re not careful, you will make your freelance clients feel the same way.
That’s what I realized while I was at the doctor last week.
I had to go in for my annual physical. And since I’m 35 now, I had to get an echocardiogram for the first time. (That’s the “octopus” machine from the story.)
Plus I also had to do all my usual bloodwork.
The problem was, the nurse didn’t say a thing about what he was doing.
He just told me to take off my shirt, roll up my pants, and lay down on the table.
Then he started getting out all this scary-looking equipment.
So it’s no wonder I started to panic. I had no idea what was going on!
Plus the worst part is, the nurse could have easily helped me relax — just by telling me what he was doing.
And that also applies to your freelancing career.
If your clients don’t know what you’re doing, it’s going to make them nervous.
Which is why it’s critical to keep your clients up-to-date about your progress during a project.
Otherwise, they may start quietly panicking that you are falling behind. And that you’re going to miss your deadline.
But you also don’t want to send too many updates. Because that can come across as needy or insecure.
The key is to balance sending updates often enough that the client doesn’t worry. But not so often that they get annoyed. Or think you don’t know what you’re doing.
So here are a few rules of thumb to figure out how often to check-in with your clients:
Send updates more often if…
- It’s a longer project that lasts weeks or months. Because if it’s a longer project, there’s more opportunity for something to go wrong in the middle. And checking in assures the client that everything is still on track.
- The client is new to working with you. Since that means you haven’t had a chance to earn their trust. And there’s a greater risk they will get nervous if they don’t hear from you.
- The client has never done a project like this before. Because that means the client doesn’t know what to expect. Or what’s normal. And that uncertainty can also make them worry something is wrong if they don’t hear from you.
Send updates less often if…
- The project only lasts a week or two. With a shorter project, there’s less time for something to go wrong before the deadline. So you probably don’t need to send updates for a project that only lasts a week or two.
- You’ve built up trust with the client. Once you’ve earned your client’s trust, they won’t worry so much if they don’t hear from you. And you don’t need to send them as many updates.
- The client has experience with this type of project. If the client has experience with the type of work you do, they should know roughly how long things take. And that means they likely won’t get worried if they don’t hear from you.
And on top of deciding how often to update your clients…
Also think about how much detail to include in your notes.
To do that, find out how involved your clients want to be in their projects.
Because some clients want to be 100% hands-off. And they don’t want to spend extra time managing you.
In that case, you can send a simple one-sentence email. Tell them the work is going well. And that you’re still on track to meet the due date.
Even the most “hands-off” client should appreciate a super-short note like that.
However other clients like to be more involved in their projects. So in that case, you can give them more detail about your progress.
But no matter what, make sure you’re not leaving your clients in the dark.
Because I can’t think of a single reason it will help your relationship with the client. Or boost the success of the project.
And as long as you follow the guidelines above, you’ll be able to strike the perfect balance with your updates.
Often and detailed enough that the client can relax and trust you’re on top of it…
But not too often or too detailed that it gets annoying or needy.
Now let me show you how to make freelance clients come to you — like clockwork — using a simple, 30-second conversation…
All the details are inside my free business blueprint 30-Second Referrals.
With this free PDF, you’ll discover how to use a simple, 30-second conversation to get two referrals from every single client you sign. (I’ll even show you exactly what to say during this conversation with my word-for-word script on page 13.)
That way, you can make clients come to you like clockwork. And you can fill your pipeline with more new business than you can handle.
But there is a small catch…
30-Second Referrals is only available to members The Freelance Like A Pro email list.
So enter your best email below to join us and claim your free copy of 30-Second Referrals now. (And you’ll get my members-only emails to help you run a more profitable and stress-free freelance business, too.)
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Thanks for the freelancing guide and the emails that you've been sending out — the 30-second referral method is so stupidly simple, that it's genius!Connor Inch, Freelance Copywriter