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The most important aspect of a project is to be able to read your clients mind. A company has policies that employees must follow and these policies will apply to freelancers, and the work they do. Policies can be quite limiting and at some point freelancers, who are experts in their field, may need to go against policy clients for technical reasons. You should know what your clients think about things.
This way, you can avoid the following:
It is important that there is as little conflict or misunderstanding between a client and a freelancer as possible. If there is too much conflict or misunderstanding the project may die before it’s completed. One way to avoid this is to know what your client thinks regarding the project. Both sides should be clear with each other if there is a conflict of interest or simply a misunderstanding to avoid further conflict. Yes, misunderstanding can lead to conflict but it can be prevented.
Image by: Jennifer Murawski
Time is a very valuable resource to both freelancers and their clients. If there is a conflict between a freelancer and a client, then valuable time will be lost.
For example. If there is a misunderstanding or miscommunication, there is a possibility that a part of the project will need to be redone. The freelancer will have to start again and the deadline will not be met successfully.
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Money is also an important resource. Without money, project will not be completed. A client is strict when it comes to expenses, and you as a freelancer must assure them that their money is being well spent.
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One way to make the project successful and not waste a lot of money is for both parties to share ideas.
Reasons clients might be upset?
Never upset clients! The first step to avoid upset clients is to show them you understand what’s expected of you.
Now, let me give you some tips and ways on how can you get into the minds of your clients.
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Brainstorming is a process where members of a group share their ideas with each other. This technique gives you the opportunity to share and talk about ideas and determine the scope of the project.
How to brainstorm properly
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Interviews are one way to know what your clients would like to see. What should you do when interviewing your client regarding the project?
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In my personal opinion, I prefer interviews. Interviews can build a good relationship between you and your client. Also, it is better to ask questions in person for you to really understand your client and what they like.
Questionnaires are a good way to know what ideas your client has. Let me give you an example. My boyfriend is a freelance logo designer. Since he cannot do personal or chat interviews, his way to find out what clients like is to email them a questionnaire. The clients need to answer these to give him an idea regarding the logos they like. And here are the questions:
Name of the company: _________________________________
This is where the client writes the whole name of the company.
Business type: _________________________________
In this question, the client states their business type: manufacturer, e-commerce, etc.
What are your preferred colors? _________________________________
If they have preferred colors, they will be writing it here.
What are your preferred fonts? _________________________________
As well as with the fonts, if they like a specific font they will write it here.
Traits(brief description of what you like to see on the logo): _________________________________
The answer to this question is very important. This is where the client describes what he wants. Or he can states there that the designer can do freehand.
He will use the clients answers as reference and as a starting point.
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You can write your own questionnaire. Focus on what you need to know regarding the project. To help you with this, here are some tips for writing questionnaires:
Sketches are a good representation to let you and your client understand certain things. It is important that you are both on the same page to avoid conflicts later on.
The image below that I found on Flickr shows an example on how can you make a sketch for a website.
Image by: Bryan Veloso
Even though clients are like your boss, you should also give them your suggestions especially since you are the one who is more knowledgeable.
When to suggest things:
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There is nothing wrong with giving suggestions to your clients. Actually, they appreciate it. It is one way of showing that you are very interested and dedicated in what you do.
In every aspect of our lives, we need to communicate. And it’s very important in the world of freelancing.
Why do you need to communicate with your clients?
The image below describes how a communication process should go. You listen and you talk.
Image by: Paul Shanks
Communication is not just done when you’re gathering ideas. During the whole project always make sure that you are communicating with your clients. This is a very important ingredient to complete each project successfully.
These are just few ways to know what your clients think. Wrapping it up:
With these tips, you’ll be able to build good relationships with your clients and be successful in completing projects that make your clients happy.
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An Information Technology graduate who loves learning new things and chocolates, too. She spends the whole day sitting in front of the computer, making herself updated with the things going on around her.