Digital Nomad Jobs – Building good client relationships.
Building good relationships with clients is essential in all work environments, doing it over the internet from thousands of miles away is exactly the same, it can even be easier. A lot of these suggestions may seem like simple common sense but I’ve seen, heard and experienced people not doing them and have been baffled by the idiocy of the situation. Don’t be that idiot.
- Punctuality is key. If you say you’re going to do something for a certain time, do it. I despise it when people are late, I can only imagine people who are paying for something will despise it even more. Be on time for any Skype meetings you may have and ensure you’re fully prepared to listen and take notes.
- Do what you say you will. In the same way you should be on time, if you say you’re going to do something a certain way, do it that way. If you and the client have decided to colour something green for instance, do it green. Simple.
- The final point of the triumvirate of common sense is to make life as easy for the client as possible. Listen at the start, take notes so you’ll avoid having to ask any silly, irritating questions half way through the job. When the work is complete send all of the files the client has requested in the correct format in a clearly labelled email for their convenience. Without wanting to make you sound like a pleb, your job at this stage is to make everything as easy as possible for your client.
- Communicating with clients is obviously an unavoidable pleasure/displeasure of being a freelance digital nomad, but properly talking to them isn’t. Whilst I’m not suggesting you take an unhealthy interest in your client it is a good idea to try to develop a friendly working environment. Take your lead from them, if they are chatty and friendly, mimic that. If they aren’t, don’t be either, don’t be rude of course but keep everything strictly professional. Being a digital nomad (hopefully) gives you a wealth of great stories and adventures you can talk about should the moment present itself so you won’t be short of things to say at least. Interacting with your client in this way always helps you build an idea of what they are like outside of work which may help you in the creative process. Clients will vary so it’s nigh on impossible to say who will be what on which day, keep on your toes, get a degree in human behaviour (maybe), roll with the punches and you will be fine.
- If you’re in the middle of a long job and you don’t have any meetings scheduled don’t be afraid to drop them a quick email, this will help reassure them that your are still plugging away and haven’t just taken the money and run.
- Following on from the above point, when the job is finished, providing you’ve had a good experience you can always send them an email a month or so later just saying hello and hoping everything is going well. If you’ve got to know your client previously and have stumbled across something you think they may like why not send them a link, hopefully they’ll be touched by your unique greatness and re hire you for more work. If you’re successfully blogging your way around the world as a jet setting, brilliant life living digital nomad why not send them a link to your blog. Keep yourself fresh in their mind and hopefully it will be the start of a long and fruitful relationship!
- Finally, if you have a steady work base why not consider offering discounts on certain products, for instance, if you are a digital nomad graphic designer or illustrator maybe arrange a deal where the client gets 10% off the fee if they include your name and details on any packaging they use. Not only will the client be getting a good deal for which they will be grateful, you also get a nice bit of free advertising thrown in. This scheme wont work for all digital nomad jobs out there so you’ll have to tailor it to fit your business. Don’t give to much away mind, you’ve still got to turn a profit after all!
Basically, looking after your clients and building a good relationship isn’t hard work, brain surgery, rocket science or magic. Common sense and not being rude will get you pretty far in the heady, exciting world of customer service, but being prepared for it is a good start. Do you have any helpful hints to lend a fellow digital nomad? Let us know in the comments below.