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As a client, what really makes you hire a freelancer?

Active Member
Mohammad O Member Since: May 14, 2015
1 of 33

As a client, what really makes you hire a freelancer?

Share with me the reasons that makes you hire or interview a freelancer and the reasons to not or decline.
looking forward for your experiences.

Community Guru
Angela L Member Since: Oct 20, 2009
2 of 33

I think this is a great question. I know everyone is different, but I'd be interested in hearing what clients have to say about how they choose who to (or not to) hire.

Community Guru
Tony H Member Since: Nov 10, 2011
3 of 33

I look for people who 'get it'. meaning they ask questions, understand my business, and try to intiate conversation about how they can make my project better.


I avoid people who are short in discussion because it generally feels like they don;t care or couldn;t be bothered. Just looking for a pay check.


That aside, I look for credibility and trust. can this person back up their claims?


If they are sky to get on Skype, I'm left to wonder why. Although I rarely do Skype video, if you apply for any job in hte B&M world, you meet face to face and you both have a chance to know eachother. You can tell a lot by someone's live answers to your questions and their facial expressions.  Just 'talk' to me. People who hide usually have a reason to hide, and that takes away from the trust factor in a big way. i realize some freelancers don;t think it should be nessesary to have a Skype video chat, but honestly.... would you hire someone locally if they refused to come meet you and insisted on talking only over the phone or email?


Address MY needs. Don't tell me how great you are and talk about all your experience. Most of the time that can;t be validated anyways, so there is a lot of 'fake'.


Work on the relationship side of things. We are not robots. Become friendly, but be professional at the same time.


Tell me how you understand my needs in a way that I didn;t think of asking. Be assertive and confident.


Want to get the interview when your peers aren't? 'Talk' to me in your cover letter.


I land interviews much more often than my peers because I treat the client as a human being, not a wallet. I take their ideas and add to them. I talk about doing what's economically best for them today, while keeping the future in mind. I look at their big picture, not just the posted task.


Hope that helps. Could probably write a book on this topic, but this is the main difference between getting an interview or not for decent sized gigs. If you cut/paste a cover letter, don't 'talk' to the client, and generally show little concern for their well being... you'll probably end up with clients who care just as little about you as you have shown them Smiley Happy



Community Guru
Tony H Member Since: Nov 10, 2011
4 of 33

and yes, I make a lot of typos, lol. Deal with it Smiley Very Happy

Ace Contributor
Diana S Member Since: Jan 27, 2015
5 of 33

Hello! Just wanted to give a bit of perspective re: skyping as a freelancer. I am a young woman in my twenties and I don't really love to skype with people I am interviewing unless there seems to be a good reason to do so. But that's because I have no idea what the person on the other end is going to do and as a young woman there are a lot of skeevy possibilities =/ So unless there is something that ought to be discussed over skype that can't be easily explained over messaging, I'm not so keen on it!

I'm in voice work and editing, by the way. Just another perspective!!

Community Guru
Tony H Member Since: Nov 10, 2011
6 of 33

Yeah, I understand. That's the problem. No one trusts anyone. As a client, I wouldn't want to spend my money on someone who doesn;t trust me, nor someone who I'm not sure is actually them. I've come across a couple people in my time here who aren't who they say they are. The lack of trust is a BIG reason why I wouldn't ever post an important job on a freelance site. Too risky.

Community Guru
Tony H Member Since: Nov 10, 2011
7 of 33

And FYI:


As a freelancer, I've only had to get on video for one client in my time here. The client did a Google hangout staff meeting every week.


As a client, I haven't used video yet. Although I have worked live with a freelancer via Skype voice chat together. When training, I've spent entire shifts for up to a week screen sharing and talking on Skype. it realy helped build our relationship and because I became more trusting, I also become more lenient.

Ace Contributor
Sonal V Member Since: Apr 21, 2015
8 of 33

I disagree with your statement "that people who hide have something to hide" as being a freelancer I am not too comfortable having a video chat with a client and the reason is plain simple I am stay at home mom and my house is most of the time messed up (thanks to my dd) and she will jump on me as soon as she will see I am on a phone call or will scream in the background which will be quite embarrassing for me . Although I am new here but I once declined an interview because the client wanted to video call but I am ok with voice call which I occasionally do with one of my client.

Community Guru
Tony H Member Since: Nov 10, 2011
9 of 33

Which is undertandable.


Also consider that a professional client, looking for a professional freelancer, may likely want them to have a professional dedicated working space, free of distraction. So if you told your potential client that is the reason you cannot do a video interview, they may understand but decline you for those reasons. If I'm giving my money to someone, I need to know they are focused on the task and not juggling other things in the background.


Think of it this way. It doesn't matter if you are a freelancer or a local employee. The work ethic from both sides should remain just as professional. Would you hire someone as a cashier if they brought their kids to work with them? Of course not.


Freelancing does come with a lot of FREEdom Smiley Wink , but for ongoing work with a solid client, it also requires a certain level of professional environment, accountability, and even stronger wrok ethic as there is no one keeping an eye on the employee to make sure they are productive and focused on the job at hand.


Some won't agree with me and that's absolutely fine. There is a very good reason why some people make $1/hr and some make $100. This is one of them.


All of this ties into the original question by the OP. If your client feels this level of professionalism during the cover letter and then interview process, you stand a much higher chance of landing that gig than someone who isn't as focused on their career.


There are exceptions to every rule, but I'm talking about a generalization here to land more interviews and land long-term gigs with the best of clients.

Ace Contributor
Sonal V Member Since: Apr 21, 2015
10 of 33
Again I disagree with you , I am looking after my child that's why I can't go out and work but that does not make me incompetent , I think I have become more competent , smart , problem solver, multi Tasker with motherhood, experience & I only work when I have alone time that's why I don't take assignments which require set no of hours. So far I have done 2 jobs and both my clients are satisfied with my work.