Over the last few years, I’ve been growing as a PR professional, and that now includes adding freelance work to my roster. And in this time I’ve been awarded with PR In Canada’s Top 30 Under 30 and have had the opportunity to work with numerous companies and start-ups all with various communications needs.
I started my website back in December of 2014, and have already outgrown it. And because of my site, I’ve had the opportunity to work with other local bloggers and have become a contributor to many outlets. And all of this is just what happens in my spare time. That’s right, I also work full time in the communications field as well.
So with all of these things on the go, I have to be picky in terms of the freelance work I take on, not just for me, but for the client as well. Because if I’m not providing the best work for my clients then that partnership won’t be good for either of us. That’s why I created a guide as to what I look for when asked about doing freelance for clients.
Scope Of The Project
Just like it sounds, what is the scope of the project? How much work and how many hours are needed to complete the required jobs? What is the project budget and are there resources allocated? There are a lot of questions that go into determining whether or not a project will be the right fit for you. And I’ve had to turn clients away for this exact reason. I’m not afraid to say no when it comes to a project I know won’t be a good fit or I can’t handle as a freelancer.
Managing Client Expectations
I think what has helped me the most when it comes to client expectations is my previous work at a public relations agency. Learning the tips and tricks while working with major clients has given me the professionalism to now work with smaller clients and start-ups who may not have any PR or communications background/support.
Ensuring you are meeting the clients needs are mandatory. But also having an open relationship with your client in terms of a mutual understanding based on the scope of work is also necessary. And as much as you can make your clients try and understand your goals, you will always have that person who will ask if you can make things “go viral” for them.
All Work, No Play
I’ve always worked in the communications industry. Writing, social media, marketing, events, content creation, PR, and the list goes on; these are all things I do on a daily basis. So if I’m going to be doing these things in my spare time, then I have to be genuinely interested and engaged in the company or project I’m working on. If you’re not fully invested in the work you are doing you’re not going to put your best foot forward, and this applies for both your full-time role as well and a big reason why people start looking for a new one. Same thing applies for my freelance work.
So have I had to turn down clients before? You bet, but I’ve also pointed them in the right direction of how they can still be successful. I’m always thankful for the opportunities that come my way, and who knows where some of these may lead in the future, but I’ve gained great experience in many different ways working in the freelance world.