A trust format for client is necessary for any freelancer. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out or have been in the industry for several years. A trust format is something you will need to land long-term gigs and projects.
Trust is the building block for a good and healthy freelancer-client relationship. It ensures the smooth progression of projects and a stress-free environment for both of you. Most importantly, especially for freelancers, trust anchors your client to your skills and reliability, which guarantees projects and gigs.
Trust Format for Client
Trust is a two-way street. As a freelancer, you have to trust that your client knows what is best for the project, so do not undervalue his instructions or requests. When clients feel that you trust them with their judgment, they will feel valued and in return, you also gain their trust. As the saying goes, “Trust Begets Trust,” right?
In the same sense, a client should put his trust in your capabilities and talents. You have to make them believe in you and that you will honor your commitment. So how do you build and foster trust between you and your client? It is pretty easy, actually. All it takes is your conviction to deliver your best work that will generate respect and a good name for your business. And that’s how you will create a trust format for client that will build long-lasting relationships.
Building and fostering trust between you and your client will surely require extra effort from your end. After all, it is you who will reap the benefits of that successful relationship. Keep in mind that you are running a business, and a single misstep may lead you to lose potential clients. For every client and every project, you have to think of it as an investment. A secure relationship with your client will mean more projects and possible referrals. Here are some ways on how you can establish trust with your client:
1. Commit Realistically
Avoid making commitments you can’t fulfill. While it may sound impressive that you can execute certain tasks at a certain standard or timeframe, underdelivering will cause your name a lot of damage.
It’s simple, be honest, be transparent. Tell your clients if a task or request is not doable and explain clearly why (without sounding incompetent, of course). Having integrity is ultimately synonymous with being trustworthy. Promising the delivery of products or services that you know are not possible for you to deliver successfully can be interpreted by clients as scamming. And that will definitely be the end of your business. So, commit realistically.
Additionally, you need to be truthful in your portfolio and resumé. Make sure that every piece of information about you and your business, and every work showcased is real and accurate.
2. Be Professional (At All Times)
Although it may sound cliché, you must always act professionally if you want to earn your client’s trust. Always watch your tone; remember you are speaking with a client and not with your best friend. Whether dealing with a potential client or a current one, keep in mind that you are doing business with them. And, as it should be, utmost respect is expected.
Part of being a professional is keeping a boundary between your personal and professional life. These boundaries define not only your work-life balance but also your online behavior. Do not post anything about the project or mention their names on your online pages without their permission. And if you are given consent to do so, post with caution and only on your professional pages (never on your personal accounts). Use respectful and courteous words, phrases, and images. Post only facts and know the limitations of the details you are allowed to disclose to your viewers. You might accidentally reveal confidential information!
Similarly, do not air your dirty laundry in public. This means that if there are any disputes or disagreements between you and your client, it is not proper to share the information with anybody not relevant to any of the business decisions and transactions. Treat all clients with respect. Even if you are in disagreement.
3. Communicate, Communicate
Of course, a trust format for client is grounded in excellent communication skills. Do not leave your clients hanging or guessing about the progress of the gig. You cannot be a freelancer and not discuss the project with your client constantly. Unlike a company setup, your work arrangement is mostly remote, so communication is the key to a successful project implementation.
When executing a project remotely, clients will want to be assured that you are really working on their project. So, please make it a habit to update them with your progress regularly. Do not wait for them to ask. Being proactive with updating and reporting will build that trust. It’s also a must to make yourself accessible. Have appropriate platforms and channels where clients can reach you. Watch your response time as well. Do not make your client wait long for a reply. If you missed a call, send a message apologizing for missing the call and that you will return the call as soon as you are available. You can make use of online client portals to ensure that your clients get an immediate response. Even if it is just a templated reply like “I apologize, but I am not available at the moment. I will call as soon as I am available,” your clients will feel relieved that you have received their concerns. Do not forget to call as soon as possible!
4. Respect Deadlines
Always, always make sure that you meet your deadlines. Make it your number one rule to never forget a task’s due date. Accepting multiple clients is okay, but do make sure that you manage them efficiently. Maximize the use of online appointment-setting and calendar apps like Calendly. Set early alerts to remind you of a nearing deadline. At this stage of your business, you must know how to manage your time well for each task.
If you are late for a deadline, your client may conclude that you are not performing your duties effectively. And that is easily trust thrown out of the window. Missing a submission or delivery will immediately taint your reputation.
Respecting deadlines means respecting your client’s time (and money). It shows that you value them and the project. This will also mean that you are a person and a business worth trusting.
5. Collaborate; Don’t Dictate
Never make modifications or amendments to the project without your client’s knowledge. Do not make any decisions unless explicitly permitted by the client. Even if you believe that the changes will bring out better results, ask your client first.
This must also be stressed—do not change your rates, pricing, or add an item to your invoice without discussing it with your client first. No matter what the reason is, remember that every cent counts for your client. They may have a strict budget to keep, so do not exceed the agreed amount without your client’s authorization and approval.
It is better to collaborate with your client than to dictate. This will show that you know your client’s brand and vision. Giving relevant and substantial recommendations and suggestions is not a wrong move, but it should be done professionally. When a client sees that you are looking out for what’s best for the project, then you earn their respect. This will create a meaningful relationship that can lead to another gig.
It is true; trust is earned. Do not expect that a potential or current client will give you their full trust immediately. While they may believe in you enough to hire you for a gig, this will not translate to a good freelancer-client relationship unless you give them a reason to trust your business completely. Exhibiting professionalism, treating them with respect, and knowing your boundaries is a good start. And again, communication is the key. A trust format for client is fundamental to any business, especially freelancers, to create long-lasting relationships with clients.
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