Having multiple clients is the name of the freelancing game, right? But how do you juggle clients effectively, while still maintaining a high level of productivity and quality work… this is the billion dollar question.
Having a ton of clients is a good problem to have, as many said to me when I first started out, but what they didn’t tell me was how to manage these clients so that I wasn’t constantly chasing my tail.
So you don’t have to make the mistakes I did, follow the guide below on how you can have your cake and eat it too!
It always makes good business sense to have more clients, because that translates to more income — or does it?
Be careful who you choose to work with though, not all clients deserve your time and you don’t have to work with just any client that comes your way.
[Tweet “You’re a freelancer, this is your business, you choose who you work with, don’t forget that.”]
A Guide to Managing Multiple Freelance Clients
Before you get to far down the freelancing track, it’s important that you understand your strengths and weaknesses as a freelancer. Be doing this, you can work to your strength’s and know when you need help. If you can master understanding this for yourself, it will make the following a lot easier.
- Be clear on the project details you have for each client. Make sure you understand what the client's expectations are, what your responsibilities are and how long the project is going to take and what the deadline is. This should all be in writing and included in the contract between yourself and the client.
- Make sure you're providing regular updates to your client about the project, particularly if you need feedback along the way. Do you need to set up a regular schedule with them to do this? Ask this question at the start so you're not scrambling to provide information when you're not ready.
- Before you start ANY work, make sure it's very clear between yourself and the client on when you'll get paid. Are there milestones to be hit before payments are released, is there a deposit required (my recommendation) before any work starts? Have it all in writing and make sure you include what happens if a payment is NOT made on time.
- Use a project or time management app to keep track of your time spent on each task and client. This will help you identify how long tasks take and will be useful for you further down the track when you're increasing your rates!
- Use a project management program like Freedcamp or Trello to keep track of your client work. This allows you to add tasks per client, set deadlines and you can even add them to the task if you wish to do so. I use a mixture of Freedcamp and Trello to manage projects I'm working on. Evernote is also a good option.
- Work to a schedule. Your clients should know when they can contact you, and when you're available. Keep it consistent and if you're going to deviate from the norm, give them 24 hours notice. Keep your work schedule consistent for yourself too, so that you stay disciplined and on track. It can be very easy to just say "I'll do this tomorrow..." which then turns into many weeks going by...
What I’ve just told you is no secret. It’s all common sense. It’s just difficult to switch from an employee mindset to an entrepreneur mindset when you start working for yourself–which is why it’s really important that you think about these things and implement a system to manage your clients, so that you CAN juggle them effectively.
You don’t want to earn a name for yourself as the freelancer who starts projects but never finishes them…
Do you have a different way of juggling multiple freelance clients? Care to share with the rest of us? Leave your tips and ideas in the comments below!