Working with clients is one of the difficult part of all professions from my point of view. Also this section require good skills and professionalism i think. How to work, deal and get paid with clients?
How to find clients?
Working on-line provide us a benefit. The possibility to deal with clients around the world. The globalization. But where to find our clients? Where to find potential clients for our business?
First of all you should have your blog, where to show your works, projects, information of what you can do and what service you can offer. I suggest to take this part very seriously in order to receive more clients. If you have no work to show, no problem, you add on portfolio page some tests you have made, some projects you for some friends. More work you have, easier will be for you to find potential clients.
One of the way to find on-line work are the site for on-line work. Here you can find for my opinion some of the most important where to apply for on-line works. Do not pretend to find clients at the first shot. Just apply and continue to apply. Out there are a lot of other people with the same profession like yours who make the same action, apply. Another way to find clients are the social media, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin etc. Be active on your social networks, join different groups, comment on different posts, so be active on your network. Stay in touch with people with the same interest like you. I prefer Linkedin, very professional and simple. Also another way to search for jobs away from home and from Internet are the groups, meetings or conference at your city. Be most of the time present, change business card with other people. This is a good way to win point. A shorter way? Sorry this is the only one from my point of view.
How much charge?
How to calculate the right price per hour for your job in order to pay all the bill, taxes? Do not put a lower price, you will attract only. But do not shoot a higher price, the problem is the startup , you should calculate all the taxes and other things needed to be payed, also if you will start a full time freelancer you should have some money.
How to communicate?
This will depend a lot if you will point the local business or the global business. However if you take both it is better :). Normally if you have a studio or a place where to receive your client will be a bonus, otherwise if you will work from home will be not a problem. The world wide web can offer a lot of communication tools. I prefer Skype, it is very professional and useful. Other thing you should have in mind when you will make a meeting with your client, is to make the correct question in order to have the correct idea what the client need. Also you can show some website to create a better conclusion of what you will create.
Lets presume you conclude successfully a deal with a client. How you will propose the right price, in order to no scare to “death” for the current price? A good way is to send a proposal with the different stuff the project will have. The various costs, each part will have the proper price and a little description of the work. A better idea is to put also your logo to make more personal the proposal. Also a good point is to add a thank you paragraph at the header of the document.
A lot of freelancer beginner make the mistake to not ask a deposit. Let think in this way: The client trust you making a deposit before the project start and you trust the client starting a project with only the first deposit. If both parts trust each other this is a good point. If you start a project without deposit the risk to not get paid is to high! Of course if you have a long time working with a client you can trust sometimes without deposit. I prefer to receive a deposit all the time. It is a good sign of trust.
What is the best way to sign on-line a contract with a client. How a contract is different from a proposal? A lot of people using this terms in the wrong way. The proposal is the presentation of your project in simple word for the client. A contract is legal document including here also some of the proposal terms, and must be signed from both of parts. Basically your are going to include with your proposal content, the terms and the condition, high recommended to not write by you but from a legal person, so you are covered from law, or you can write yourself but please show this contract to a legal person in order to fix or add things helpful for you. Also for a better purpose need to include also the changed needed by the client, so if the client change a design for no reason for you will be double work if you have made some code. I include one or two changes the client can ask to me. If need a third one he should pay for the service. Please be specific on your contract and include all possible cases with the client.
How to present the beta version (the first product you have made) to the client? With image via mail? I think is not a good idea. Usually you can make a presentation via Skype with desktop share in order to make a better presentation of the product. Another way good for you can be a pdf with sticky notes on different parts of the documents. I prefer the first one.
If you work on multi project at the same time, how you should decide the price if the same hour/day you will work on different project? Better to use a tool to monitor the time you spend on every project. At the end of the day or week you will have a total hours worked on every project. A good one is https://www.toggl.com/. Also if you receive a project at time will be better to monitor how much time do you spend on a project. Also if you need to share a with your client you can use your email. If the file is larger? I suggests to use Dropbox. A good way to share information with other people.
This is the part I like most :). When you successfully finish a project it is time to send the invoice to the client. How you should make this? A good website offer this site is Paypal. You can create a new invoice with the amount of money needed to receive and you can send it to the client. Very easy and very powerful. Another service is also Freshbooks. This is a 30 day trial service and after that you should pay this service, also is available a free version with a invoice at time. Always will be some clients who do not pay at time, the only thing you can do is to call them friendly. Remember to be nice, this client can have other work for you, be polite. If this not work you can use the court.
Remember to stay connected with your clients, they can have other work for you. Stay in touch with them on social network and other communication tools. Also if they do not remember you after some time, you should stay in touch with them in order to let they known “you exists” so they will have you in mind for a future job or project.
Good luck with freelancing 🙂