If you're a freelancer, there's a pretty good chance that at some point in your career, you've been hired by someone who has never hired a freelancer before. This can be challenging for both parties—the stakeholder is nervous about making sure they're getting what they need from the project, and the freelancer is nervous about making sure the stakeholder is getting what they need from the project.
Here are some ways to make the process go smoothly:
- Be responsive and clear: Make sure your stakeholder knows what they can expect from you, and what they can expect from the process. If you have a deadline for something, be sure your stakeholder understands that it's important for you and that it's not an arbitrary date.
- Be patient: It can be hard for stakeholders who aren't used to freelancing or even working with professionals to understand how long things take in this industry, so try not to get frustrated if they ask questions that seem obvious or repetitive.
- Be flexible: If something comes up on their end (or yours), try not to take it personally—it's just one more thing that could throw off their schedule, which is already unfamiliar territory for them!
- Be sure to outline all of the details of your agreement in writing, including what each party expects from the other and when payment will be made (if applicable).
- Communicate regularly and clearly throughout the project.
Stakeholder: I'm looking for someone to help me with my writing.
Freelancer: That's great! Do you have any specific projects in mind?
Stakeholder: Not really, just general stuff. I want to be able to write my own blog posts, but I'm not sure how to do that. And I want to be able to write emails and other things too. But mostly the blog posts, because that's what will get me, stakeholders.
Freelancer: Okay, so you're looking for someone who can help you with your content strategy on your website and in your blog, right?
Stakeholder: Yep! That's exactly it.
Stakeholder: Hi, I'm looking for someone to write my website.
Freelancer: Nice to meet you! My name is [name] and I'm a freelance [job title] specializing in [expertise]. Would you like me to write your website?
Stakeholder: Sure. But I haven't hired a freelancer before, so could you tell me what you can expect from me and the process of hiring you?
Freelancer: Certainly! I'm happy to help you understand what it's like to work with me as well as the process of hiring me. Let's talk about what you can expect from me.
First, I will always be available by email or phone during normal business hours (9am-5pm EST) if you have any questions or concerns about my work or our communication in general. You should also know that once we've decided on what needs to be done for this project and start working together, there are no refunds for any services rendered.