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It is a common misconception to associate customer satisfaction with delivering the agreed work at the agreed time.
Besides those two critical aspects, there are many more considered by clients (and specifically asked for by freelancing marketplaces) when they rate the experience of working with you.
Among them, the most common are:
If you analyse the above list, not even half of the aspects have something to do with your hard skills (yes! despite those skills that made you decide to offer freelance services!).
Developing soft skills (like availability, communication, cooperation and professionalism) requires a broad social interaction in professional setups. You started learning them by interacting with your family members at home, with your colleagues at school and during the exercise of your professional career.
Although those skills will continue to develop throughout your lifetime, you’ll have to make some adjustments to apply them in virtual interactions with new clients. Thanks, COVID-19, for forcing us to accelerate the use of virtual meeting platforms and asynchronous communication tools, being more conscious of the required setup to have good visuals and sound.
The second set of evaluation aspects (delivering the work at the right quality, at the right time and within the assigned budget) are mid-way between soft and hard skills. They closely correlate with the variables that constitute the pillars of project management.
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How to do it?
The basis lies in the complete understanding of the project objectives associated with defined tasks to complete at specific times.
Tracing a project plan with the customer before signing the contract will ensure that you are aligned at the critical points to define realistic timelines and budgets.
With the program agreed and the contract signed, the time to execute as promised has arrived. A tool to manage the project will give you good visibility of the progress, allowing you to identify the roadblocks and potential deviations with enough time in advance to react and look for alternatives.
There are many project management tools on the market. But, which one is the best? The simple answer is the one that best responds to the needs of each remote team. If you choose to combine several tools, it is essential to check that they can work together efficiently.
Beware customers may be using a tool already. Your adaptability will make a difference to merge with the team seamlessly. The more tools you know, the easier the kick-off will be.
Here our selection of the most popular tools. Take your time to explore them further are needed:
Many other project management tools on the market cover the specific needs of teams with remote workers. Check this list of the more than 1,000 options available in 2021.
With this post, and before the well-deserved summer break, we close the series of focused actions to support your success as a freelancer. Stay tuned for the next series dedicated to wellbeing and the work-life balance of freelancers.
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