An effective communication method is the key to work with clients and freelancers successfully on the internet. To get projects from freelancing sites freelancer need to communicate effectively with clients. Effective communication is so much important in the all interaction that we do on the internet with clients.
Some clients mention about communication skills necessity in the job descriptions. According to my personal experiences so far effective communication play a great role to build relationship and trust with clients. And that will help you to become successful freelancer. So, let’s start to learn about communication skills and how you can also communicate effectively with clients and turn interview in to job and one time project into long term. But let’s learn first some technical points about communications.
What is communication?
According to Vijay Sharma, “Communication is an art. Used and executed by various methods of communication (speaking, writing, sign & symbols, languages, colors, actions, images, feelings, imagination etc.) and it is a system to exchange information and data with each other or to connect with two objects. In simple words I am communicating with you by use of words and writing method, this is called communication.
What is communication Skills?
When we use the words, text, images, signs, symbols, languages and various system of communication based on client or person, situation, works, time and information is called communication skills. E.g. if client is not understanding your points during the text chat then you use symbol and images, or screen shots to prove your points. Another example when client does not understand your point due to your used English words then you can use different words and angle to say same thing in other way. Just as I explained my point of views with examples. This is I call communication skill. In other words effective communication mean when you’re are able to understand the feelings of another person no matter he/she is speaking, writing or using sign languages.
Our elderly people said that communication is an art that you can use to make friends or enemies. Choice is yours.
So, let’s understand now why effective communication is important while working remotely? Why we need to improve communication skills to get freelancing projects?
Why we need to communicate effectively with freelance clients?
If we’re doing freelancing and communication remotely by use of text and videos chats then it’s really important our used words are understandable and easy. We need to interact with clients on the internet. They don’t know us personally, then how can they believe on us or spend money on us. That’s why all the freelancing sites want freelancers to use clear and high resolution professional photograph as your profile picture. That’s why freelancing sites guide freelancer to write profile title and job description clearly and professionally. Websites or our profiles are interacting directly with clients while they are watching our photo, title and reading our job proposals for a particular job. That’s why it should be communicative and trustworthy.
Communication is also important while discussing the project details and scopes. No matter which method of communication you’re using, the manner and effectiveness can be easily adaptable or addable.
There are lots of things to talk about communication here but let’s understand now how to communicate effectively with clients while working remotely, freelancing sites, offline or anywhere. The basics are same for all situations and in the business communication and customer handling.
10 Ways to communicate effectively with Freelance clients.
These are the ways I learned and use while working with freelance clients on the internet. And I am learning and improving my communication each day so following are the effective and fully tested ways that help to communicate and win the hearts of clients. Following are top 10 client communication methods:
1) Think before speak
Don’t communicate extra with clients. First understand the point of view of clients while chatting on Skype or Upwork chat room or anywhere else. Don’t type fast. If you’re doing video chat, text chats then first learn from words about the client, imagine the situation and problem client is facing. If you have problem in English language then use Google translator to understand word meaning. Here you can learn more about this: Creative tips to learn English language without any paid course. If unable to find words then speak and write in words of clients. Try to provide the solution in easy and useful ways. Clients are intelligent enough and they will understand your point. But if your spellings, voice or camera resolutions is bad then it will produce negative impact on clients. So, my first suggestion when communicating with clients just speaks and writes what is important and don’t talk extra.
2) Wait and find solution
Give time to client to chat or to speak or explain the point of view. Wait no matter client is taking time to answer or respond, some time they are busy with other freelancers. So, stop typing if client is not communicating after your last sentences. First understand what client is saying then find the solution and respond by using similar words, clients has used to describe the problem or job.
3) Use symbol, arrows and emotions to communicate
Symbols, arrows and emotions are great tools to communicate online specially during chat sessions. You can use these if something looking difficult for you to explain. But also consider the tone and behaviour of clients. Some clients are very serious and they don’t like it but if client is using similar then you can also use this method. When I got my first job on Upwork, I was so excited in that time and I used smiley to explain the happiness. Even today I used emotions while I failed to accomplish something or want to tell something negative then I used emotions. In Skype or almost all chat applications provide these things for the purpose to communicate better and effectively with clients.
4) Use different sentence and words to explain
Sometime client stop communicating surprisingly and not answer. The common reason I got that my sentences and words are not correct or align in the way they can produce the information. So, I use examples, interrogative sentences, and different words. We don’t need to fear while we are communicating we just need to be creative. Clients are our customers and it’s really important to explain them the solution like teachers use the way to teach students.
5) Feel the emotions
This is big secret of getting jobs and building relationships with clients while working online. For this you have to feel the emotions of clients in their words while they are discussing project in job description or while chatting during the interview. If client is angry then don’t use funny words. If client is looking positive or using positive words in communication then ask difficult question or your scope with clients. I used this method thousands of times and it worked great for me. Because we need to understand the situation, problem faced by clients, timing, work and expectation of clients while applying for jobs or projects on freelancing sites. After that we can visualising or imagine the situation we can communicate effectively with clients.
6) Be like a family member
Its’ ok that we don’t know them but they are human like us. No matter they are from India or anywhere in the world. We just need to be professional with them but in the same time we need to react like we’re their family member and we the most valuable person they ever meet in their professional career. It required selfless dedication to help the clients by going extra miles. We need to be available when they required us. Sometime we need to teach them and sometime we need behave like their students. Our communication is the only method to build the strong bond between two unknown objects. E.g. “i need help with some stuff, can you check with me this evening. Then what is the possible answer: My answer is “Yes, I will remind you, no problem. I use most of the these words “Done, no problem, Good Morning, Good afternoon, Yes I will do my best, you just don’t worry I can do it, I will try it until we are not able to process the program. Etc.
7) Give respect
My 70 percent clients offline/online are older than me and it’s not a problem. But it was plus point to work with more experienced clients. The point is here that I learn from them specially clients outside from India. They trust on me, they give respect and talk to me very softly and genuinely. They are happy to hire me or work with. I learned that if you give respect to client they will respect you. But it does depend on the work you’re doing. Some time they are angry because of other things and sharing the frustration of other people with you, in this condition you need to help them to get backup. Sometime clients are very negative about the scope of project, some time they are in zone of do and die. In that point you can be greatest assets to them to help, recharge and encourage them. We are freelancers and we are doing business. It doesn’t mean that after completing the work we just ignore them, after getting the money then stop responding them, just be a good as a human being.
My suggestion is always respect people, don’t be like our some Indian bus conductor talk to people while collecting money and giving ticket or doctors in the hospital talk to people like some truck driver do. I am not blaming all the doctors and conductors, but you know especially in India and outside India too that some people in their profession show too much pride or ego. That’s not good for the long term success. Our behaviour is most important thing count by clients while we do servicing. Money doesn’t matter it’s about helping and communicating politely. The most successful big businessmen’s and entrepreneurs are very polite, humble and trustworthy and because of this they are successful. I am still learning this, I not perfect in behaviours, communication, English but I think we all need to work hard on this.
8) Try to use easy words – less technical words
As you know that all clients are not that much technical or understand technical sentences. So try to use less technical words and communicate by giving examples. If client is technical then use the words according. But the better way is communicating indirectly, about the work that they want us to done. You can use technical words and sentences where it is necessary but too much use can sometime confuse the clients and they feel very sacred about the thing. And sometime you need to trained or convince clients for something, in that case you need to such kind of communication skills which help to point out your views to them.
9) Communicate positively about the project/task/ideas
This is another most important thing that we need to understand while communicating with clients about the projects and scopes. Be positive even from the writing cover letter and job proposal and after that in an interview. Sometime the task is not done by us correctly and sometime clients are unable us to convince for the function to code or to implement something. In that case without understanding don’t talk like that this is not possible. I think this is not good. They are paying us. It means it’s our duty to do that. Yes, we can explain about that in any way to as a guiding but don’t cut their point immediately. Just take time. And another thing to consider while communicating about the works that always use positive words, sentences and be positive about the task, no matter it is looking impossible or less valuable. Just say in humble ways. It is possible also that they got angry on us due to poor results or less quality or less availability sometime. So, in that case be quite and let them explain and from your side say sorry. No worries, sorry not matter or one mistake will not present you less talented. But learn from mistake and always respond to clients that what you did wrong.
10) Be professional
Don’t talk or chat like people do on Facebook with friends. You need to show the professionalism. Also share the views and suggestion about the projects. Be honest and show clearly stepwise process to follow. Also follow the guideline clients processed to you. Not all clients are best manager or leader some freelancer are lucky in that case they got very good clients. So, it’s important to understand the point of views, behaviour of clients and their expectation.
So, friends I think these above communication methods are very effective while writing job proposal, chatting about the project on Skype or any other way, offline and online communication. I think and really believe that if you follow the methods above it will build great long term working relationship with clients. Our goals after getting the projects or after working for clients that we need to explore the scopes or bond with high professionalism to turn short term clients into long term.
That’s what I think and used so far offline and online. What you think about the communication with clients. What you think, How to communicate with clients effectively. You can share with us the knowledge, which will be helpful for other freelancers and clients.