Lets talk about Craig Tanner (random name). Craig Tanner is a freelancer who tries to make a living by offering his service to others. Craig Tanner is a very gifted graphic designer. If you need a graphic job to be done, Craig is the right person to deliver it. So…what is so special about Craig Tanner? Why is he worth this special attention? Well… hes not. I would like to use Craig Tanners story as an example why you, a freelancer, who is willing to succeed in the endless WWW world, should learn Craig Tanners mistakes and hope to avoid them. Its not enough to be a gifted Flash Web Designers like Craig Tanner indeed is. Its not enough to have remarkable control with Photoshop, Illustrator and other well branded graphic design software. Its not enough to have a polished website where you can show off some of your previous design works. Its not enough to be creative and to be able to come up with several different designs within only a few hours of work. Those are the basics. Most of the graphic designers that I know can do at least 80% of what I’ve just mentioned. The same as Craig Tanner, he knows the job extremely well.
However what Craig Tanner does not know is how to handle customers. Unfortunately, many like Craig do not know the art of customer relations. A happy customer is more than a customer. A happy customer is your best sales force, as opposed to an unsatisfied customer which is the worst freelance business enemy you can find. Sometimes its better not to get in an argument with your customers and even to lose some money, just to keep them as happy as possible. You never know what will be in next day. He might need your help with more jobs or might even recommend your services to his colleagues. Try to think as a buyer. One of the biggest mistakes freelancers do is NOT putting themselves in the buyers shoes. Do not act like a robot. Give a personal touch with everything related to the webmaster that is looking for you, the freelancer, to be found and picked. When Craig Tanner bids on a project, he always uses the same words in his text. That’s the worst thing to do. You have to give the webmaster a good feeling about your service. You have to send a message that’s implying: “I read your needs. Here is my custom solution”. Webmasters are looking for any kind of a hint to disclose if the freelancer can be trusted. The assumption is simple: whoever bids on a project claims that he can handle it. Then how does the webmaster choose at the end with whom to work with? Don’t get me wrong, its not always the lowest price who wins the projects. Most of the time its the way to approach the project.
The delivery date is very important. As a freelancer you have to keep in mind that your time is a valuable commodity. Do not take projects that are way beyond your capability. You will find that from a matter of time consuming your profit will be much less for those kind of projects. Alliteratively do not give a delivery date that will not leave you any room for mistakes or unpredictable delays. The webmaster is not watching your work. He does not know if you are in front of your computer or playing outside with your children. He probably does not care. What he really cares about is that you will deliver the work exactly as you committed to. I found that in most cases this is one of the key factors for a freelancer to get contact again by a webmaster. Now that you know something about Craig Tanners mistakes, I hope you will adopt my advice and do your best to avoid them. Try this advice for a small period of time. I am sure that you will find a big improvement with your income. Give it a thought.