How to Build Business Relationships as a Freelancer
Updated: Mar 7
More and more companies, both big and small, are looking to freelancers to outsource some of their work. Not to mention, advancements in technology have made freelancing more accessible and profitable. But even though that’s the case, that doesn’t mean that becoming a successful freelancer has become a walk in the park.
On the contrary, because it’s easier to become a freelancer today, there’s more competition. Skill and talent are no longer enough to guarantee a successful career as a freelancer.
To succeed as a freelancer today, you’ll need to know how to build healthy and lasting business relationships.
Why Business Relationships Are Important
Yes, you work at your own time and leisure. You might even work at home, which means that you very rarely see anyone else if at all outside of your immediate family and circle of friends. Even so, your freelancing business needs people to survive.
To be specific, your freelance career needs clients.
After all, without clients, who are you going to sell your services to? Who’s going to pay for you? But you don’t just need clients. You need clients that like working with you. To do that, you need to build healthy relationships.
How Do You Build Healthy Business Relationships?
Take care of yourself
You can’t build healthy business relationships if you yourself are not healthy as well, and we’re talking about more than just physical health.
Your mental health and emotional intelligence are your two greatest weapons as a freelancer.
The latter, in particular, will come in handy in helping you keep yourself in check. Your ability to assess your own progress, as well as shortcomings, and make the necessary adjustments to make your own goals easier to achieve will help you navigate the constant stream of failures, disappointments, and criticisms that you’re bound to face, mostly on your own, as a freelancer.
Work on your emotional intelligence. Take care of your mental health. Learn how to NOT let your emotions get the best of you. The healthier you are mentally and emotionally, the better able you’ll take care of your clients.
Be flexible with your work schedule
There are a lot of benefits of being able to work anywhere at any time, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be flexible enough to adjust to your client’s needs.
If you are unwilling to cater to your client’s schedules and requests, you’ll have a hard time landing yourself well-paying clients, let alone clients who will keep on coming back for your services.
But does this mean that you should cower to your client’s every need? Not at all!
You still need to set boundaries. However, that doesn’t mean you should be inflexible. Instead, think of it this way, if a client asks you to work on something that just came up, and there’s really no reason for you to say no or if you can find a way to shuffle your schedule to comply, then, by all means, do it!
The same goes if a client asks if you’re willing to learn how to do something for them.
Your flexibility as a freelancer is one of your greatest strengths. If you can show to your clients that you are flexible, you help increase your worth in their eyes. This helps you build a stronger relationship with them that might lead to future contracts and projects.
Make your clients feel important
How your client feels when working with you is arguably just as important as how good the quality of your work is for them.
Make sure that you make your clients feel important and valued.
Tell your clients that you appreciate their business. Show them through simple gestures, such as a thank you email, that you love doing business with them. But of course, the best way to make clients feel important is to do good work and meet if not exceed their expectations.
Building a Successful Freelance Career
The freedom that comes with the nature of your work as a freelancer means that you are responsible for your own. You’ll have to hold yourself accountable for everything. This is great, but it’s also not for everyone. There are many that have struggled to adjust to this amount of freedom.
However, if you can take care of your mental health and work on your emotional intelligence so you can stay organized and work on continuously improving yourself, a career as a freelancer can be incredibly rewarding.
To succeed as a freelancer, you need to know how to make the necessary adjustments to keep your clients happy, and yet, at the same time, you need to be resilient and strong enough to know how to establish the right kind of boundaries so you don’t end up taking on too much work at the same time.
Here’s to hoping that you’ll use the information that you have just learned to build solid, successful, and healthy relationships with your clients.