It’s time to celebrate the freelance client. Considering I’ve written some cheeky stuff about how to kill freelancer enthusiasm I figure it’s about time I also give a shout out to the qualities found in clients who make being a creative Sydney copywriter and strategic freelance marketer so much easier.
In no particular order, here are the qualities that make for an ideal freelance client- for me anyway!
Respects quotations and payment terms
It’s funny, a lot of people ask me why I tend to deal with startups and smaller operations. The answer is pretty simple- they respect your cash flow because they understand what happens if the cash dries up and how damaging it is to relationships. NONE of my startup clients are ever more than a couple of days late, if they are ever late at all. They don’t quibble about quotes either. Sure, I can charge double, even triple to a blue chip company, but for peace of mind startups and the smaller guys are the way to go.
I’m a bit of an old warhorse and I have been around the block a few times, and I study each week to keep up with my craft and the trends. The clients who understand they’ve hired me because I have the experience, skills and continually add to my knowledge base through continuous learning get high performance results.
When the lines between consultant and client get blurred and we’re side by side working on something, feeding on each other’s energy, things are great. Like super awesome with a happy cherry on top. Feeling like a valued member of a team as opposed to the odd sock on laundry day is something I love.
Keeps it simple
The ‘what you see is what you get’ approach is definitely one to admire. There’s isn’t any guff or fluff, just a decent brief, good lines of communication and a deadline. Got to be happy with anyone who lets you know where you stand.
Doing a job for anyone quickly with a hot pocket deadline and some need for pedal to the mettle is something that keeps this little freelancer bright eyed and bushy tailed. It’s like brain boot camp and man it blows the cobwebs away. I still like to let the idea marinate overnight to ensure it isn’t pap where possible, but there is something slightly delightful going head to head with the clock.
It’s so great that when you start with a client, things just connect up and become other things like opportunities to collaborate on other projects or having a friend you genuinely enjoy having a natter to. Making friends through business may sound a little corny, but it’s as tasty as a Tim-Tam dipped in coffee.
Having a sense of humour about the whole project thing is a big fat bonus. It’s more than just avoiding people who take themselves way too seriously- being able to play, have fun and enjoy what you’re doing really helps with the creativity and deadline pressure.
Sharing the love
You know the share bear clients- they will tell people you exist in glowing terms, give you a ticket to something they think you’d enjoy, let you borrow their stuff and invite you into their promotional space. Nice one!
Likes their customers
Beyond merely viewing their customers as a source of income, clients that like their customers are much more positive, informed, intelligent and ethical in the way they approach their marketing strategy. And they don’t say stuff that makes you want to crawl under a table.
In summary, the ideal freelance client for me is not someone who necessarily observes the whole standard client/freelancer relationship, but instead adopts a policy of us working together to create something that is useful, fun, interesting and effective with minimal head damage.