What do Clients Want?


When you are competing against the growing ranks of talented freelancers, how do you stand out from the pack and land the jobs you need? You have worked hard to promote yourself as a freelancer in order to attract clients by building an awesome protfolio, cultivating a stellar online presence, and have the credentials to back up your expertise. Besides all that, what else are clients looking for when they want to hire a freelancer?

Clients want to minimize their risk and lighten their load.

It can be risky to hire a freelancer that a client has never worked with before, and they want to ensure that they will not lose time or money by hiring someone unreliable. During your communications with the client you must strive to assure them that they will receive all deliverables arrive on time and that your work will be of superior quality.

Speaking of communications, be on top of them! Have a quick turnaround on all communications with the client so that they can trust your punctuality as further evidence that you will deliver on time. You may be tempted to rush in a bid for a project in order to demonstrate how prompt you are, but be careful: this is your first communication with a client so be sure that your bid is of professional quality and not just fast and sloppy.

Potential clients need to know that working with you is convenient for them. Show them how you can minimize their workload by understanding their needs. You can do this by asking specific questions about their business and the project, using relevant jargon if applicable. While you shouldn’t give away work for free, don’t be afraid to share the best ideas you have for working on their project and let client know if you see an area that could be improved. This will not only demonstrate your competence, but also show that you can make their life easier by coming up with solutions to problems before the client even realizes that there is one.

Clients want expertise at a competitive price.

When hiring a freelancer to complete a project, clients need to trust that freelancer has the skills and expertise to make their project successful. You can demonstrate your competence by having a great portfolio to show off your skills, expertise and everything else a client might need to know to believe that you are the right hire for the job. A good portfolio should include:

  • Examples of your work with context: who the client was, the assignment, what you did and the results
  • Your contact information
  • A brief biography including a photo of yourself and information on any relevant skills and credentials
  • A call to action
  • Client testimonials

Ideally, this should all appear on your own visually appealing website, on the right platform, with a professional domain name. Be sure to regularly update your site so that your clients and potential clients know that you are still active and enthusiastic about your work.

Your portfolio and all your communications with clients should feature professional writing with no errors, have an outside reader proofread your work if you can. Professionalism goes a long way towards instilling confidence in hiring you.

Clients are willing to pay for the knowledge and knowhow that they do not have. Be sure to highlight any expertise, experience, education or credentials that you have that other freelancers might lack. Check out what those other freelancers are charging and make sure that your rates are competitive for the skills you offer. Being informed about what your peers are charging and the typical rates for the type of projects you work on will help you be realistic about pricing and get paid what you are worth.

Clients want you.

Nowadays so much work is done remotely from behind a computer screen and it can be easy to forget that there are real people involved. Clients do not want to work with a robot or a mysterious forgettable presence - make yourself memorable by showing your personality off once in while. Be yourself, let your personality shine through on your website and add a personal touch to communications, whether it be your sense of humour, or your unique style of greeting. If you work in a creative industry, such as design or writing, be sure to show off your creativity and style on your webpage, in your portfolio and elsewhere when possible.

Demonstrate a willingness to collaborate with fellow freelancers and inhouse workers from the clients business. Freelancers might get a reputation for being lone-wolves but sometimes solopreneurs need to be team players too. If you can show that you are good at working with others, clients will feel good about having you on their team. A simple “looking forward to working with you” at the end of an email can go a long way.

If you are not an expert at a certain part of the project, be sure to indicate your willingness to learn. For example, you may be a skilled writer but the subject matter is something unfamiliar: explain to the client how you are eager to learn about the subject by thoroughly researching and writing a great article for them - and back that claim up by pointing to examples where you did so in the past.

Last but not least, do not forget to be a gracious person. Thank the client for considering you for the job - whether you get it or not! Even if they do not hire you this time, they might remember what a highly skilled, competent, punctual and pleasant person you are and will remember to hire you in the future.

Clients are taking a risk by hiring you for the first time, you need to do all you can to assure them that you are a skilled professional in your field and that you will deliver their project on time for a reasonable price. Does your portfolio with Sagegroupy demonstrated your reliability and competence? Be sure that clients can find the quality freelancers they need by keeping your profile up to date and looking great.

Author: S.Suzuyama

Posted in Freelancing Tips on Oct 12, 2018

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