As a freelancer, I have come to understand that there are several ‘feels’ which I have when I get jobs. Since I get my jobs via e-mails, I do not get to sit one-on-one with my clients to know what this person likes, or how that person wants her job to be done- and so how do I know which ‘tone’ to take on while dealing with different clients?
The feel of their voice. Like you can picture what someone is saying by the way they frame their words.
Knowing your client is a very important aspect of succeeding as a freelancer and if you don’t, you are apt to get confused- because what worked with ‘Client A’, might not necessarily work with ‘Client B’.
And so, we’d talk about the 5 types of clients that make use of freelancers
The ‘Just do something’ client
The ‘Picture Perfect’ client
The ‘I give you the rules, you decide if they suit you or not’ client
The ‘I’m not too sure, but can you read my mind?’ client
The ‘Commanding’ Client
1. The ‘Just do something’ Client
This particular client usually is very polite and moreso, doesn’t have a strong idea of what they want. The word ‘Unsure’ captures them. However, they could be very sweet people to deal with and aren’t likely to make you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing- in fact, they make you feel like the boss.
As a freelancer, your job with this client is to dig deep into what they really want, their personality if you can; and use your creativity to fashion out something that would resonate with them. This is the client with whom you can display all of your creative prowess, so don’t forget to do so!
2. The ‘Picture Perfect’ Client
Wow…this client is definitely the poster picture for detailed individuals. They give you virtually everything you need, and to be frank it can be pretty easy working with them if you know the basics. They outline the steps you would need to take, place notes where they would like you to make changes and totally understand what they are looking for.
But look out: they desire perfection, and wouldn’t accept less from you! So with them, just follow their rules. Don’t try to go out of the box, or be creative with them (because it doesn’t really work well with them).
3. The ‘I give you the rules, you decide if they suit you or not’ Client
With this client, you are guided along the lines of what they would expect you to provide for them, but they also understand the fact that you are good at what you do, being a professional (which is why you were hired in the first place); and so they give you some freedom to express your creativity within the confines of their rules.
4. The ‘I’m not too sure, but can you read my mind?’ Client
What differentiates this client from the ‘just do something’ client, is that these ones actually have a fair idea of what they want done, but the major problem which they have is fear. Thus, besides doing your job as a freelancer, you would have to invest heavily in re-assuring this client, and in pulling out from the recesses of their minds, what they would really want done.
Yeah, I know that sounds like work but you know what? These particular clients usually come back to you, and might even make use of your sole services. Isn’t that a big plus?
5.The ‘Commanding’ Client
This client absolutely knows what he or she wants, and apart from the fact that perfection is expected, he or she would be extremely upset with you if you get any step wrong, and in fact, this is why they give you commands. They don’t want you to ‘spoil their work’, whatever that means to you. And so, for these ones, you would need to put on your entire freelancer regalia; complete with helmet and boots- whatever that means to you as well.
Which of these stereotypes have you encountered while freelancing?