In the ever-growing world of freelancers, you need to stand out from the crowd and put your best foot forward if you want to claim those jobs and clients. If you’re on board with an agency, you’ve already made the ideal first step, but here we’ll show you how to get the edge on your peers.
Freelance Career Tips – Communication
What’s the #1 thing you absolutely must get right as a freelancer?
No matter how skilled you are in your trade, no matter how savvy you are with the numbers, the one thing you need to learn to take your to the next level is communication.
Every interaction you have is crucial, whether that’s with clients, other employees, or with your agency and consultants.
Here’s how to get the edge – get in there first with excellent communication, and you’ll get consultants doing all they can to find you work, clients desperate to rebook you, and even peers and other employees singing your praises.
It’s always worth getting the basics right first, so here’s the absolute foundation you need to be an effective communicator:
This applies whether you’re working with your recruitment consultant or a client. If you are available to cover absences or short notice shifts, your consultant will love you, and you’ll get re-booked. It’s as simple as that. Make it easy for your consultant to get in contact with you, and make sure you respond quickly. Even if you’re busy with another project and can’t cover a last-minute shift, let your consultant know, and don’t ignore their communication with you. This also applies to your client. There are many reasons why a client might need to get in touch with you at short notice, and your willingness to be available will mean more to them than your diligence at work. Helping folk out of a sticky situation means you’ll stick in their memory the next time they need help.
It’s important in your communication with others to let your own nature and personality shine through. No one wants to work with a drone, and often people feel encouraged when they see your personality backs up what they’ve already spotted in your CV or portfolio. So while it’s good to learn about how to present yourself, how to project confidence and how to come across like a winner, don’t let those lessons turn you into someone else – let them help you show the best sides of you.
Simplify the lives of those you work with
Don’t get clients bogged down in jargon, and don’t make your consultant’s life more difficult by having them guess at your availability and such. If you can make people’s working lives easier, and not harder, you’ll become indispensable, and you’ll find consultants enjoy working with you, which means they’ll work harder to get you bookings, and clients will want to rebook you. Simplifying other people’s lives can make the difference in turning that temp placement into a permanent role.
Let’s face it, work can be hard. Even working in a career you love can be tiring, stressful and disappointing at times. We’re not suggesting you plaster a fake grin on your face every morning, but turning negatives into positives and taking the edge off a hard day is like spinning gold. Everyone around you will appreciate it if you can ease the burden with problem solving, a willingness to share the burden, and even a dash of humour.
This is crucial. Listen to briefs, instructions, deadlines, and timescales, everything that anyone communicates to you. Listen, and get it right. If you’re not sure, ask. Recap important points back to people to make sure you’ve understood them. Log important information in calendars, to-do lists, whatever means you prefer – just make sure you get it right. There’s nothing worse for a consultant or a client than having to do more work because a freelancer didn’t listen properly first time round, so if you actively listen and make communication easier for others, you’ll be seen as an asset, and not a burden.
If you can learn to use these communication skills well, you’ll find yourself getting repeat work, and a reputation that will precede you. Maintaining professionalism is important, and it never hurts to always show you’re keen, and willing to go the extra mile.
Source LF are always on the lookout for skilled freelancers with excellent communication skills, so get in touch with us 020 3116 0000 and let’s see if we can work together!