Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
As a service-centered freelancer, your work is judged by how well it fits the client's needs, so you have to know what those needs are. First, prepare. Know your client's business before your first meeting, and learn more based on everything they say. You'll probably get a lot of information just from their website. Spending half an hour studying it ahead of time will put you ahead of most other service providers. Second, listen more than you talk. As the saying goes, that's why you have two ears but only one mouth.
Talking too much is a common flaw of insecure freelancers and job seekers, and it's understandable. You want to show how much you know. But as I said before, you have to fit this specific project, and you'll only know how that's true or even if it's true by hearing and understanding what the project is all about. Third, once you get the message, mirror it back to the client. That shows that you're listening, and it gives them a chance to correct any misunderstandings. So, those are the methods.
But most importantly, act appropriately to the situation and to the client's culture at all times. Now that's tough, because there are so many ways to be inappropriate. You might be too familiar or too formal, maybe you accidentally go over someone's head or too harshly criticized the work of a staff member. Or, maybe you're too careful and fail to provide criticism where it's expected. The fact is that behavior varies not only from country to country, but from company to company, and even from department to department within a company.
The good news is that experience will make you better at feeling these things out, and knowing when to ask the client for guidance. In the meantime, you can ask around to see if you know people who have worked there. Or you can often get clues about a company's business culture from its website and corporate materials. But assuming you can negotiate the tricky parts of client communication, your value comes down to the quality of the work itself. Just as a skillful expert is incomplete without good client skills, clients have no use for good communicators who can't do the work.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
82 Video lessons · 80730 Viewers
80 Video lessons · 132925 Viewers
52 Video lessons · 66389 Viewers
59 Video lessons · 52174 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.
Your file was successfully uploaded.