Aside from illustrating that they can meet a project’s requirements, a freelancer should also show a client what’s in it for them.
There are many factors a client takes into consideration when selecting a freelancer for a job. Chief among them is the answer to the question, will the freelancer help me accomplish my objectives? So convincing clients that you’re right for a project requires that you prove your proficiency at achieving said objectives.
Ironically however, taking a direct approach to this—simply telling the client that you can do the job—is less than ideal. Invariably, freelancers who attempt to prove their prowess end up leaving the impression that they’re in it for themselves. The eagerness to display proficiency may leave the prospective client with a sour taste, convinced that you are more interested in how the project will benefit you.
Freelancers shouldn’t just supply the credentials (such as references and of course, the portfolio) that prove capability. They should also make it clear how their work not only fulfills the requirements, but how it benefits the client as well.
In other words, proving your capability to meet the standards set by the client should be followed by a detailed rundown of how your work will help the client. Here’s where being concrete helps. Consider this: “I will get your message across” and “I will get your message across, making your website stand out among the millions out there”. Which one seems more appealing to clients?
Planning For the Worst
In a few hours, it’s forecast that a destructive “super-typhoon” will pass by where I live. Fellow local bloggers and freelancers who make their living online now rush to finish their commitments early, before power and connectivity give out.
And as a freelancer that should be the first step when preparing for calamity. Finish as much work as you can, so that nothing will be on your mind as you deal with the disaster. But only do this after you’ve wrapped up even more crucial preparations, such as bracing your house against strong winds. Don’t forget to warn clients you’ll be out of touch for a while!
Next, charge everything that has a battery. Flashlights, electric lamps, smartphones and PDAs, laptops, etc. Think of it as filling up your car before a long trip; you won’t be able to get more fuel (i.e., power) for a while. You never know if you’ll need these electronics in a pinch.
Lastly, while candles and matches are vital, buy a kerosene lamp if you don’t have one (look in wet markets, or make one yourself). It provides enough light (unlike candles) for reading and writing, two things you can do while waiting for 190 kph winds to stop battering your closed windows. Of course, don’t forget to also buy some oil, and never leave the lamp on while you sleep! Consider a safe bottle lamp for peace of mind.
The point is to take all the steps needed to make waiting out the storm as bearable as possible. The last thing on your mind should be unfinished work (”oh no, when will power come back; that presentation’s due tomorrow!”), and you should have enough electrical and biological power for your gadgets and yourself. The lamp will also allow you to write, preventing boredom or allowing work to be done.