I have been a freelancer since March of 2009 and ever since I have worked on more than 90 projects, big and small. Before I started, I had no idea how to find a project, but after the initial hiccup’s clients started finding me.
The most important part, no matter how skilled or how quick or how cheap you are, the most important thing while working on a project is to keep the client happy. That’s the only way they will keep coming back, and when you have repeating clients, you are in business.
Then again, your client is happy when you deliver what they asked for in the time frame you agreed upon, but there is a more important element: Communication.
I recently bought a Flash Disk from an online market place in India, LetsBuy. I paid in advance, and as per their website the item was shipped the next day. Even after the expected date of delivery, the item didn’t reach me. When I was not able to reach a real human in their customer support over phone, I emailed them, but they never replied.
I tried many ways to contact them, emailed them but I never got a response. Finally after 11 days they sent me a mail stating that my original shipment was returned and they are shipping it again. I got the item 2 days after that.
I got the item, I am not buying from LetsBuy again. It’s not that they made a huge delay, that’s something you can understand. But they didn’t communicate with me, made me wondering what was happening.
(On a similar note, I bought a Samsung Galaxy S2 from a seller on Ebay.in, due to some technical issues, he got delayed a little bit, but he was great on communication and that made the deal very pleasant.)
When you have a client, its okay to get delayed on deadlines, its okay to take more time to figure out things, its even okay to admit that you don’t know what you are doing and you can even ask for time to figure it out. But keep your client updated on what’s happening. Communication is what that will make them wanna do business with you again (assuming you are competing with people with similar skills).
Just make sure you are not overdoing it, sending in regular updates, maybe one email after you have crossed an important milestone will make the client know that you are on track.