Impress your design clients and quickly build your business

Unfortunately, many people don’t see freelancers as serious professionals. Many of them see freelancers as people who sit around lazily in their pajamas all day. They don’t respect freelancers as they would professionals at a firm.

While many freelancers love their pajamas, we are still professionals and deserve to be treated with respect. Gain the respect you deserve and impress your clients with these four ways.

Dress Professionally

First impressions are important to clients, so dressing professionally to their meetings is the best way to impress a client.

Like I said earlier, many people believe freelancers work in their pajamas and are lazy. Throw off your client and impress them by showing up in professional attire and showing them how serious you are.

  • For women – Invest in a fitted suit jacket and wear it on top of a colored tank top. Choose the color of the tank top appropriately. Then wear either very nice blue jeans or matching dress pants. This will show friendliness and professionalism to your client, which provides a great first impression.
  • For men – A colored and fitted button-up shirt and dress pants will give your client the right first impression. Make sure they match well together and if you want, you can also wear a fun, match tie. That combination will make your client feel comfortable working with you, while showing them how serious you are.

These outfit ideas are only suggestions, but if you dress professionally and show to your client how professional you are, your client will begin respect you and be open to working with you.

Listen

The importance of listening to a client is often overlooked as a freelancer. Generally, it is common knowledge to listen to your clients first before anything, but some freelancers don’t follow by this rule.

By not following this rule, the universal disrespect of freelancers continues to grow. When at a client meeting or at the beginning of a project, always listen to the client first.

Find out what they want and why. Ask questions if you don’t understand what they’re saying. Write down what they say and remember it. By doing this, the client will see the respect you are giving them and in turn, they will give you the same amount of respect.

Go the Extra Mile

Another way to impress your client is to be willing to go the extra mile for them. Some freelancers only follow strictly to what the client wants and do not question it. While this is not always bad, it makes them miss an opportunity to get more out of the client and to impress them. Here are some ideas on how to go the extra mile for your client:

  • Offer complimentary services – Suggest additional services you offer to your client and help them skyrocket their business even more. Possibly offer discounts on complimentary services since they are already working with you on their current project. Offering more for the client shows you are willing to guide them to success and will impress the client how actively involved you are in their business.
  • Give something away for free – If you have the means to do this, give a service or product away that could help your client for free. Consider giving a free resource to your client or offering a free service for a limited time. It is tough for freelancers to give things away for free, so evaluate whether it is worth it or not. If you could benefit from the client receiving a freebie, then doing that will impress your client by your willingness to help their business.

Take these suggestions and modify them to your liking. If you go the extra mile for your client and show your active involvement in their business, they will be impressed and will remember you.

Under promise, Over deliver

This effective “trick” is used by many freelancers to impress their clients in an easy way. Under-promising and over-delivering is when you promise to complete a task at a certain time, but finish (or deliver) the task well-before the time set. This “trick” shows to your client how committed and speedy you are, which will impress the client. To do this, you will need to:

  • Set a realistic deadline – Set a deadline for the project at realistic date and add a few days or weeks to it to cover any unplanned accidents. You never know when your computer could die or a natural disaster happens. Plan ahead of time for the unexpected and set a deadline to cover those occurrences.
  • Finish the project well before the deadline – As long as no unplanned natural disasters or problems occur, finish the project before the deadline. I personally like to try to finish it a couple weeks ahead of schedule and make sure it is up to standard before it’s approved by the client.

By doing this simple “trick”, your client will be impressed with your work ethic and will remember you for your speediness in completing their project.

What do you do to impress your clients?

How do you gain their respect? Leave your answers in the comments section and discuss with other freelancers how to rid our stereotypes.

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Comments

  1. says

    Since most of my projects are printed marketing pieces that are shipped directly from the printer to my client, I track that delivery via the UPS of FedEx web site. On the very day of delivery, I send a quick email that says something like:
    “I see that your [brochures] have been delivered. I hope they are even better than you expected. Please let me know how they work out for your business. Thanks again for the great project.”
    This always impresses my clients. Many think I am somehow magic to know when their things were delivered. If (on the tracking site) I see that the delivery was signed for by the same contact person I have been working with, I call them directly instead of emailing. This often blows them away. They say, “they were just delivered to me an hour ago! How did you know?” And a mini telephone-party takes place right there between me and my client-now-friend.

  2. says

    I’ve been noticing lately that all of these posts (impress your client/get more out of meetings etc) are all very similar.

    Well it’s probably because this is what works!! To me, “under promise, over deliver,” and “give away something for free” are the two things that work best for me. Anyone and everyone likes free hosting, free updates, free business cards, what ever it may be. Especially when they come to you in need.

    Another great article on this subject!

    • says

      @Bobby, Good job for catching the similarities. Many of my posts stress on the importance of certain things such as over-delivering, going the extra mile, and doing more than normal for your client.

      It’s important to do this often for your client as it creates happy clients.

  3. says

    Follow up: Clients are pleasantly surprised when they receive an email or phone call asking them how they like their new product and if it is working well for them. Ask if they feel it’s been well received by their audience and if they feel the project is proving successful. At this point you become more of a business partner who is interested in their success than just a contractor, and they are more likely to hire you in the future.

    Depending on the type and scope of the project, I typically contact clients a week out and then a month out. I keep it concise and if I get the chance I use the opportunity to promote potential future projects.

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