Freelancing is fun! You get to the choose the projects you want (if you are good at what you do).
There are two things however that you can never avoid and would want to minimize the time spent doing them. These are accounting and communication with your clients.
Normally people work simply to earn money but as a freelancer you have to plan for accounting so as to deal with the responsibility of tax. That’s why I hate doing it!
The hours spent communicating with prospects are not billable and so you do not want to spend too much time on it.
How I WANT to communicate with my client would be as follows:
- The client offers me a job/project with a long description, including the conditions of the work.
- I say, “Okay, thanks, I will start from today.”
- I say, “Done. Please check.”
- Client says, “Okay, thanks, I have sent you money.”
Very simple. No back-and-forth email, no waste of time 🙂
How to minimize time for communication using calendly.com
But not all clients can communicate like this, in fact, very few can. For example many clients say “I want simple English to Japanese translation.”…and that’s it! What I really need to know is how many words there are, what the document is about, when the deadline is etc..
When they want marketing solutions it’s even worse, but let’s not go into detail because it’s not the point.
So anyway, this is how I usually communicate with my clients.
- A client sends me a job or project offer but I need more information.
- I tell them to schedule a meeting using calendly.com. It’s probably the best tool to set up a Skype meeting when you and your client are in different timezones.
- The client and I have a Skype call for one hour or so and sign the contract.
After signing a contract with the client we communicate by email. They can send me messages by Skype but I never check it at 4am in Japan which is 1am in London. Even if I am awake, I have other clients and other work too, so I only check once every hour. I don’t want to be disturbed.
Efficient communication is a key element to ensure time is saved and levels of productivity remain high.
Save time in work and enjoy life more 🙂