It’s already been over a year…these are the mistakes I made

I can’t believe it’s already been more than 365 days since my first client fell into my lap and I can’t thank them enough for showing me first hand experience in working with a client (one-on-one) when I was so out of my comfort zone. So here’s what I learnt…

  1. Don’t Settle For Less…Even If You Need The Experience As A Freelancer

As a specialist, we’ve all been in a position where we need to use our time to volunteer to gain more experience but we don’t always have to do this when we’re starting to become business owners. My suggestion is, charge a beginner’s fee and disclose the potential of a fee increase if they were to continue working with you. Trust me, if you’re great at what you do, your potential clients will see that and will want to pay for good quality services.

  • 2. Always Have Your Agreement In Writing

I know it’s scary to approach the conversation with “Can you please sign this agreement?” but there are other ways to do so that won’t make you feel like you’re asking too much and it’ll protect your intellectual property in the long run. Find a way to ease certain phrases into conversations you’re having when you’re on-boarding a new client. This might sound like:

  • Now that we’re on the same page, I’ll send through the brand strategy proposal along with an agreement to keep us both aligned….”
  • Are there any concerns that you would like me to put in writing?”
  • Can you give me a outline of daily tasks that are non-negotiable in your opinion? I’ll pop them into an agreement for us”

There you go, your prayers have been answered.

3. Don’t Stop Chasing Ghosts Until They Block You

When you’re blocked just admit defeat. BUT, if you’re not blocked and you’re chasing either: payment? approvals? just a simple response to your ideas? Keep chasing them up! You won’t know if you’re on the right path unless they give you clarity and give reassurance that you’re working to become an independent employee.

4. Screenshot EVERYTHING They’ve Agreed To

We may come across some interesting personalities that may confuse the hell out of us into thinking we haven’t delivered what was asked. So screenshot they’re agreements and approvals, and provided it to them when they object it. It’s the best way to turn down the gas of a gaslighter.

5. Collaboration Is Key….Even If You Hate Their Ideas

Business owners (just like you, yes you) want to feel connected to the process and visualisation of the business (most of the time). So, if that means participating in their wacky ideas then so be it, it’s their business – not yours (don’t forget that). It’s important to make sure the client is happy with everything that you’re doing, knows that you’re supportive of their vision and put faith in yourself to execute it! You’re a marketing specialist remember? So spin! (although I strongly object if you feel it will diminish their public appearance!)

I guess that’s all I have time for today! I hope this was helpful for anyone that is thinking about branching out on their own or even in the middle of it right now. Be sure to follow me on Instagram @freshlydigital.co and Tiktok @freshlydigital_ for more.

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