Whenever You Get A Great Client, Always Do This
No matter the nature of the work or the client’s attitude about something, if they are a great person to work with, make sure you over deliver.
I’m two days into working on my accountability partner’s startup and I’ve been assigned some mindless work. I already knew this going forward and that I’ll be assigned more work soon enough but that’s not stopping me from doing something I’ve been getting into the habit of doing.
That is over-delivering on the necessary requirements to do the work. Provided that the client is someone who I think deserves it.
Now, it’s a given that if you’re working with someone who makes you happy you’re going to be performing better for them anyway. All the same, if they make you feel bad, you’ll perform less.
But I find in the freelance industry, most individuals will focus purely on the job and making sure that it gets done. It’s akin to a project where most want to get it over with and not worry about ensuring it’s their best work. And that’s why I think ensuring you’re giving more value to clients can be a powerful strategy in obtaining clients and retaining them too. Here is why.
It Differentiates Yourself
With any business out there, what makes them all different from each other is the type of value that they bring. But also how it’s presented and the overall quality.
It’s these particular features that can also distinguish freelancers from other freelancers. If you position yourself as a person who writes great work under certain circumstances, that’s going to attract the right kind of people to you.
Naturally, you’ll get some duds here and there, but in most situations, you’ll get decent clients.
But how to get into that position in the first place boils down to a few things. First is your work ethic. This is essentially how you deliver value to your clients. If you don’t care about the work or how you do the job, then you’ll be like most freelancers around.
If you’re not building on your skills, investing in yourself, and doing things differently than what other freelancers are doing, there is nothing different or unique about the work you do.
The second thing is your overall personality. While this is connected to your work ethic, your own personality directly impacts how you work and what you choose to do.
This is why over-delivering for me is something natural for me. I’m finding it incredibly easy to get into because my business is built around helping people. My business values are virtually the same as the values that I hold outside of business. I want to be a pillar others can rely on. Not to leverage and exploit of course, but to guide individuals and have a positive impact in their lives.
By developing your personality, you are growing your work ethic. And by taking in this habit of going above and beyond what you’d normally deliver makes a positive impact on those as well. And as a result, you’ll begin to stand out and offer something different most others won’t.
It Makes You Likable
When it comes to freelancing, the way we retain clients or have them come back comes down to the experience that we deliver to them.
In cases where we are over-delivering, it does stand out already. The fact that we are doing something different and showing more dedication and effort to our work puts us in a different light than other people.
In those instances, a client may want to keep you around for a longer than usual time. It doesn’t mean you need to be continuously providing more and more, but the difference in the work you provide over others is enough to keep those around.
But this extra effort can also translate to you being a more likable individual.
One of the big things with freelancing is the fact that you are working at a distance. This is important to recognize since in typical work atmosphere’s people get to know both your professional side, but also your personal side as well.
With freelancing, most clients will only know the work that you do and get maybe a glimpse as to what your personality is like.
This means when someone is hiring you, the best way for them to get to know you quickly and easily is through the work that you produce. Overdelivering helps in this area because it’s a sign that not only do you enjoy working with the client but that you are creative, innovative, and detailed-oriented amongst other things.
From a client’s perspective, what’s not to love about someone who is going above and beyond and is still delivering value for them?
You’re More Creative
Overdelivering not only helps your client immensely, but there are a few other perks that come along with it. From my experiences, this new shift and work ethic has helped me to be a more creative individual amongst other things.
This is big for me, especially at this point where I’ve written literally thousands of articles and presented all kinds of ideas. Honestly it’s still a struggle for me some time to come up with topics to write about and that I feel passionate about.
But it’s this idea of overdelivering that has helped me to get over this slump.
Because it’s helped me to look at my problems and ask specific questions.
For me there isn’t that big of a leap of logic between “how can I help my client grow more?” and “what sort of topics can I write about?” This revelation has come from the fact I’m looking for ways that I can deliver more value.
This especially applies to cases where my clients are indifferent to certain things. Take for example the work I’m doing for my accountability partner. It’s only work on his Twitter account and he’s not really expecting much out of it. His main focus is in other areas. But because his focus is not in that area doesn’t mean that my focus should be elsewhere as well.
I’d like to put in the same care and consideration and over-deliver where I can. Even if that means adding a little bit more time to putting together better tweets.
You Grow Your Skills That Can Be Put To Other Use
And more often than not, when you are over-delivering, it’s likely that you are using other skills. Whether it’s skills you have already or acquiring new ones, the fact still stands you are growing them when you are focusing on giving the most value to your work.
These enhanced and new skills can help you in other areas of your work in a variety of ways. For one, learning some new skills could, in fact, allow you to provide other services to clients in the future. On top of that, you also have a reason to improve that skill over time since you are working for someone else already.
But even the more subtle habits and information can help as well. I know from my work with my other client, I’ve learned a few marketing tricks as well as other tools that could be useful for my own business as well. All because I’m staying on top of brainstorming article ideas, doing research, and enhancing their articles by making SEO friendly articles.
At the end of the day, going that extra mile sometimes can do you a lot of good on a personal and professional level. You’re gaining new experiences that’ll improve your life in the future as well as your overall career as a freelancer.
Overdelivering is a tactic that can help you a lot as a freelancer, but at the same time, you don’t want to be passing this out to every person. As I mentioned throughout this article, you want to save this for the clients that you work well with.
The last thing you want to do is try to overdeliver to someone who doesn’t care about your work or value you.
But how exactly do you determine whether a client is really good or not? Well, you’re going to have to get to know them a little bit, but there is more to it than that. I’ll cover that later.