Delux Designs

5 Ways to Communicate as a Freelancer

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During the beginning of my entrepreneurship journey, I had to learn a lot of things on my own, along with trial and error moments that taught me very valuable lessons throughout time. I guess this was good in a way because those teachings have always stuck with me in the long run. One of the main things that I have always been stern about when it comes to my entrepreneurship journey is how I communicate with my clients and how they communicate with me when it comes to being a freelancer. Since the very beginning, 8 years to be exact, I have always had many limitations on how the public contacts me concerning orders. Some clients have been cool with my choices and some have cut me off simply because they did not prefer my choices, but it has worked out well for me overall and has also saved me in legal matters as well.
When conducting any type of  business whether it be locally or remotely, it is not always smart to do business conversations via phone calls nor text messages….sometimes not even physically face to face. You always want to be able to go back to what was said between both parties if something legally happens between the two of you.
  1. If you are the type that would prefer to talk on the phone with clients then communicating through a recorded phone service that enables you to record all conversations conducted through your phone number would be a better route to go. If you’re just accepting calls through your personal number, with no recording taking place for that business matter, then you don’t have anything to go back on if legal matters do come about later on down the road. Using your personal phone or a non-recorded phone service can cause miscommunication as well for freelancers. Calls may be dropped during important business conversations and numbers may go disconnected more often that can lead to a complete disconnection all together between you and your client.
  2. Texting messaging is probably one of the most aggravating forms of conducting business communications as a freelancer. People tend to become non-professional with this method. For example, as a freelancer even though you may be working from home, you may opt to have set business hours for time management. Well with your clients, they may disregard those business hours and text you during random times throughout the day and night about order information. This can become a problem when you’re trying to get rest or handle other daily responsibilities. Another way this can become a problem is if you lose your phone and all of your communication for an order was done via text message. Now you have not only lost your phone and the information for that particular order, but you’ve also lost that client all together because they can no longer trust that you’re reliable enough to get their projects done. Text messages may be convenient for the client when they’re on the go but it becomes a hassle for you as a freelancer with no clear direction for you after a while. Another reason this is one of the worst ways of communicating as a freelancer is if your phone is stolen, all the information you’ve discussed back and forth between you and your client is now in the hands of someone else. A third party whom your client never gave you authorization to share their information with. Say your client has texted you their financial information for payment of an order that you didn’t erase out of your text message thread due to laziness and your phone is stolen with an easy to guess phone access code. Well now that thief not only has access to your information discussed back and forth for that project, but also has your clients confidential financial information which can make for a dangerous situation for not only you as the freelancer when it comes to legal matters, but also for your client’s financial safety personally.
  3. The most unprofessional method of communication in business as a freelancer is through social media messaging. I can not stress it enough….DO NOT DO BUSINESS COMMUNICATION VIA SOCIAL MEDIA MESSAGING. I have found from recent experience and even in the past that this method is counter-productive, it’s not more convenient at all and you often lose orders with this method more often than anything else. Clients have the potential to become comfortable with this method and will send important messages through Facebook, Instagram and even Twitter in an attempt to get you to do work for them under the assumption that you are online constantly but this may not be the case. You may not be the type to be online 24/7, 7 days of the week, so important messages may be missed. Social media messaging also leaves all information discussed very vulnerable as social media sites and pages are often hacked hourly around the world.
  4. Face to face business communication is always an option. Well for most it is. But with freelancing, we often do work remotely in other cities, states, and even countries so this may not be an option for most. If it is and you prefer it, have a system set up where you’re taking great notes during the conversation. Make sure you’re listening to what a client is saying and you’re getting the right information down for their order. For example, with our design service, I provide a paper order form for all graphic design clients to fill out if we are handling freelance projects face to face that require a signature. This is a way to make sure I have all information needed, to make sure they have provided all correct information at the time, along with verifying the information given is directly from my client with each signature during the event that I have to reference back to their orders at a future date.
  5. Email should be your number one choice of communication as a business owner because not only is it always tracked through IP addresses electronically but both parties have copies on hand of all communication done. A majority of all businesses or services online will always use email as the primary form of communication especially if work is done remotely. It is highly recommended that you keep your business emails separate from personal by setting up your very own business email account strictly for work communications.

These are  only some suggestions that I recommend for freelancers that I have found have worked for me in the past and present. Of course, every scenario is different in the freelancing world so what may work for me and for some instances, may not work for everyone else or during other times.

What’s your preferred method of communication as a freelancer or while running your freelance service? Leave a comment below in our comment section with your preferences!

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