What Do Freelancers Look for in Their Clients?


You might think that contractors will take on any jobs they can land, but there are certain qualities that freelancers look for in their clients. If you can’t offer up these qualities, you may not be able to hire the best freelancers for your projects.

  • Great clients are easy to work with. It’s easy for a client to think that freelancers just want someone that will take whatever work they send in, but that’s not what a freelancer is looking for. Rather, the quality of being easy to work with means that the client in question helps the freelancer stick to the timeline, returns phone calls promptly and generally treats the freelancer like a professional. It may sound simple enough before you start a project, but it’s easy for a freelancer to get lost in the shuffle. For example, maybe one of your own clients has a crisis and you push the freelancer to the back burner while you deal with it. Situations like that can make a freelancer’s work significantly harder.
  • Great clients don’t micromanage. There’s also a question of control. Clients can try to control a project in numerous ways that just don’t help to get the work done. If you trust a freelancer enough to choose her for your project, it’s important to take a step back. You can make your preferences clear without micro-managing the project. After all, you’ve likely looked for a freelancer who is truly a professional.
  • Great clients don’t take advantage. Lastly, freelancers often struggle with clients that try to take advantage of them, by trying to get additional work out of the freelancer without paying more, for example. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for a freelancer to be asked to take on new facets of a project at the last moment without being offered any additional payment.

Considering the qualities of a good client are something that anyone looking to do business with you will likely expect, it’s not necessarily tricky to make freelancers as happy as your other business contacts.

Sure, in tough times, you may find freelancers are willing to take on projects even from clients that they’d prefer not to work with, given the choice, but you’ll get better work from a freelancer who is always excited to work with you, rather than dreading the process. You’re more likely get a better deal from a freelancer if you’re an ideal client, so it’s worth a little extra work.

Photo courtesy Flickr user John O’Nolan

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