I will probably never get tired of saying this: As a freelancer, the key to a great relationship with your client is to actually give a damn.
You need to “care” about the business of the client, no matter what it is. It’s just fair if you ask me, the client is trusting you to help him, paying you, you should do your part. The moment that you consider money as your ultimate goal, that’s when your performance gets questionable.
Don’t get me wrong, I know we’re all doing this for money, but once you forget your role and start worshipping money, you’re done. As a valuable freelancer, that is.
DON'T BE A FLY-BY-NIGHT FREELANCER
A fly-by-night freelancer is the one that doesn't care about the quality of the work they give. All they care about is the money. They won't care if the client is really getting the help that they deserve, as long as they get paid.
Don't be this kind of freelancer. Focus on establishing a good relationship with your client. Focus on giving quality service to all your clients, long-term or short-term.
UNDERSTAND YOUR CLIENT'S BUSINESS
For every client that you get, the first thing that you have to do is understand their business. When you do this, all the other tasks that will be given to you will be clearer and easier to do.
How do you do this? Start by knowing their target audience. Find out their Customer Avatar.
Customer Avatar - Every client should have this. It is sometimes called Buyer Persona, Client Persona, Buyer Avatar, but they all pertain to one thing. They are the ideal customers of the business of your client.
You can ask your client directly for this info. If they don't have one ready, persuade them and tell them how important it is to have one. Meanwhile, you can create your own Customer Avatar based on what you know about the business of your client.
Once you have this, everything that you do will be in line with the overall goal of the client.
CREATE YOUR OWN CUSTOMER AVATAR FOR YOUR CLIENT'S BUSINESS
Now that you have tried to understand the business of your client, it is time create an avatar for your own use. Do this if the client doesn't have one. This will serve as your guide for every task that the client gives you.
So he tells you to write a blog post, you know who he is targeting, you won't make a mistake of creating a blog post that is too general. Your output will focus on who he really wants to target.
So he has a shop and you are listing products. Yes, I know you need to choose the products that are profitable. But, has it ever occurred to you that no matter how profitable your product is, if the target market of your client and the product's target market does not match, then it would be useless?
Think about it. Stop wasting time putting effort into the tasks that you are given only to be disappointed when no one buys the product or when he asks for a revision. When you know who you should be talking to, then these almost always guarantees a better result compared to blindly doing the task just so you'll get paid.
I hope you understand now. Here are some basic steps that you can follow to create your own Customer Avatar.
Determine the following:
Your client's business.
Who are they targeting?
Ideally, this should already be enough for you to determine who you should be talking to. But sometimes, just this two info can still result in a broad finding.
Now for the more specific parts.
Let's dig in deeper. For every client, I try to determine the following information. I have them saved in a Google Doc, inside my Google Drive folder where I save all the necessary files for that client.
Goals and values - What do they want to achieve? What solution can your client offer them?
Pain points and challenges - What are the challenges and problems that they have? How can your client help them?
Sources of information - Where do they usually hang out? Join the Facebook groups that they are in, see the value that they get there, and why they are staying. Aim to help your client provide that to them.
Once you have this information, even if you don't read it every day. Just the fact that you made effort to write it down, will make every task that you do clearer.
I know some of you will tell me, I don't need to do that. I just do what my client tells me and I get by ok.
But I'll tell you what. Doing something and getting a general result will not help you grow as a freelancer. Making sure that you always strive for the better solution will help you reach your goals.
Hope this helps! :)
This was originally posted on my portfolio blog. www.nizzagueco.com