How can I nurture my success? How can I grow my list of clients? How can I realise my ambition and make this my full-time, prosperous job?
These are the questions I find myself asking on a daily basis. From them another question jumps out at me time and time again: how can I communicate better, and how will this help me achieve my goals?
I’ve given this subject a lot of thought. As a writer, words are my craft and my passion, but when it comes to being a freelancer, how I communicate them is as much about my success as my survival.
Today, I’d like to share some tips on what I’ve found helps me become a better communicator day-by-day. But first, let’s look at why I believe communication is so crucial to a freelancer’s success.
How will good communication help my success?
Take a moment to think of situations where a misunderstanding had a negative impact on your ability to do your work. I’m sure you’d prefer not to repeat any of those, right?
Misunderstandings, confusions and conflicts can seem inevitable, but many can be prevented or resolved with some simple, good communication. But that’s not all it helps with.
Good communication helps your efficiency; it helps you get the job done clearly and cleanly to the delight of your client. Good communication helps to create a professional image; it encourages your clients to trust you and your expertise, as you make working together easier and simpler for them too.
But most vitally, good communication helps create strong relationships – crucial to any successful career, freelance or otherwise.
As a brief aside, this is about the value to you of a retained and loyal client over the exertion to find a new one. The statistics speak for themselves; retained clients spend more, increase your profits, lessen your costs, create reliability in your revenue and allow you to focus on what you do best.
Investing in a retained client is simply a smart business choice. But if you’re not convinced, have a read of these statistics.
Then also consider the qualities you associate with a good communicator and ask if they’d be desirable qualities in your line of business too. Is it good to come across as professional, clear, approachable, patient, creative, responsible, trustworthy and engaged? Well, that kind of answers itself, doesn’t it?
So whether you’re working with a new or long-term client, good communication will undoubtedly make your job easier, clearer and, hopefully, more enjoyable. Whatever your goals, it’s very unlikely that better communication won’t help you to achieve them.
Five tips to improve your communication
1) Always consider the other person
Showing that you are considering their needs and situation does wonders for gaining their trust and respect. It is always someone on the other end of your email, and remembering this is so important.
So, schedule a call for a time that suits them best, and offer them a number of possible options. Make sure your emails are clearly laid out with simple sentences and infographics to make sure your message is clear.
2) Take time to write short emails
A long, handwritten letter is a cherished gift, but a work email that takes fifteen minutes to scroll through certainly isn’t. Think like a copywriter – keep it short and sweet. Does it say what you need it to clearly once? Great, hit send.
3) Re-read emails and texts, and plan calls
Work like a proofreader. Always re-read your email so you send it free of mistakes or contradictions. Before calling, think clearly about its purpose, so even if you go to voicemail your message will be simple and clear.
4) Where possible, meet in person
Building rapport is much harder over email than face-to-face, so create an opportunity to meet them, or schedule a time to call them personally. When they read your next email or browse your latest draft, it’s your voice they’ll here, which also decreases the potential for damaging misreadings.
5) Be forgiving and be patient
The hardest tip of all. All relationships need time, negotiation and patience. In business, this is a crucial skill to develop.
You never know where any communication may lead, so even if you vow never to work with them ever again, aim to facilitate an amicable split!
Want to chat more about how I can help you, your work or how you approach doing business? That’s easy, just get in touch with me right here on PPH.
About the Author:
Creativity and innovation are the central tenets through all my work. I am interested in telling stories and am always on the lookout for the next one. My background is in creative writing, mentoring and performance, and I use this artistic experience to support my copywriting and proofreading. I mainly write articles, scripts, speeches and web copy for clients of all sizes but I also regularly teach and work as a playwright and a poet. Hire Thomas on PeoplePerHour.
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