If you're a freelancer or small business owner, you've probably had to deal with some stakeholders who don't trust your abilities or think that your services are not as good as they should be.


It's hard to deal with, but there are ways to address the issue and make it work for everyone involved. Here are some tips for dealing with stakeholders who don't trust your abilities.

  1. If they are unsure of your abilities, give them more examples of projects you have done before, or send over examples of other stakeholders who have been happy with your work. This will show them that you are capable of doing what they need to be done.
  2. If they don't trust that you can handle such a big project, ask them if there's anything specific about the project that worries them. Discuss ways in which this project might be scaled back or broken up into smaller chunks so that it's more manageable for both parties involved in this transaction.
  3. Make sure they understand what's happening next and why it's important. It's also important that as soon as possible after hearing these concerns from your stakeholder, you make sure they understand what's going on next in terms of the process (whether it be a project timeline or something else) so that they are able to see firsthand how their input matters and how it will affect their experience with.
  4. Communicate clearly and often. Make sure that your stakeholder understands exactly what is expected of them when it will be delivered, and how much it will cost. This will make everything less scary for both parties involved!
  5. Give them the tools they need to make decisions on their own. If possible, give them access to some kind of project management system so they can check in on progress themselves—this way it won't feel like all responsibility rests on your shoulders alone (and thus create more trust between both parties).

Dialogue Examples

Example 1

Stakeholder: Hi! I just wanted to get some more information about the project that we hire you for.

Freelancer: Sure, what would you like to know?

Stakeholder: Well, I have a big project that I need help with, but it's a lot of work. Are you sure you can handle it?

Freelancer: I totally understand your concern, and I'm happy to address it. First of all, I've been freelancing for [many years] and have worked on projects that are exactly like this one. I'm confident that my experience will serve us well in this project.

Stakeholder: Okay, but what if something goes wrong?

Freelancer: That's why we're going to be communicating regularly throughout the project so you can let me know if there's anything that concerns you—and vice versa! We'll work together to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Example 2

Stakeholder: Hey, I'm not sure if I should hire you. You don't have any reviews, and I want to make sure that the project is in good hands.

Freelancer: I understand your concern. Can you tell me what project it is?

Stakeholder: Sure! It's a website for my new business, [business name]. It needs to be responsive and easily accessible on mobile devices. And then there's the content—it needs to be engaging and interesting so that visitors stay on the site as long as possible. But all of this has to be done within budget constraints! The budget is $1,000 - $1,500.

Freelancer: Well that sounds like a lot of work! You said it had to be easily accessible on mobile devices. That means we need to use responsive design techniques… I can show you some examples of sites that I've built before that would fit into this category if you'd like…