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How Being an Upwork Client is Helping Me to Become a Better Upwork Freelancer:

Community Guru
Jody P Member Since: Aug 1, 2017
1 of 3

Or, What's Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander

 

Recently, I've started using Upwork more and more as a client. I've been a freelancer on Upwork for a few years now, but I've always used pre-existing contacts and associates to sub out work on large contracts when permitted or build a team when necessary. However, over the last few months, I've started to really dig in deep with the client-side of things on Upwork.

 

And just in a few months of doing this, I'm already feeling that I'm becoming a better freelancer.

 

Patience & Understanding
Being a client has taught me that the liberty that I naturally assume as a freelancer is sometimes not so readily understood by the client. As a freelancer, I'm quick to point out that I need time to do it right, as a website or application is a very serious asset for a business; but as a client, when freelancers have told me this, I usually feel a little sting.

 

Of course, I reply with the same words that clients' typically use to answer this when I'm the freelancer: "Sure, no problem, take your time as I want it to be done right." But even though I say it, as a client, I still feel a little uneasy and often find myself wondering, during the course of the job, what the freelancer might be doing and are they going to meet my deadline.

 

I put this lesson into practice just yesterday. A client reached out to me and asked if we could do a phone conference as he wanted to bring in some team members and let them hear me explain a few of the PWA features. Normally, even though I do provide telephone support during a project when necessary, I try to steer the client away from frequent phone calls, as it's easier for me to maintain a steady work flow via messaging or email. Talking on the phone can often prevent me from really getting anything else done effectively. And while I'm reasonably sure that there are a lot of people brighter than me that can do this with no problem, I'm just not so good at talking on the phone and programming at the same time.

 

So, instead of setting up a future date and time to do the call or try to steer them into a message or email thread first, I just answered that I could do it, and looking at my messy calendar, I just picked out the very closest available spot. While the time I spent talking on the phone was meaningful, and I probably spent less time doing that than going on in a thread, it was the sheer fact that I knew how the client felt as an Upwork client, that helped me make a decision that I believe strengthened the bond with the client.

 

And when you strengthen the bond with a client, you're assured of future work and trust.

 

There are a few other lessons that I've learned, but I just wanted to share how I definitely see an improvement in my overall understanding of freelance clients now that I have started to become a client myself.

 

What's good for the goose is indeed good for the gander.

 

Best regards,

 

Jody PM

Community Guru
Wendy C Member Since: Aug 24, 2015
2 of 3

Jody, I agree with you ... even if I don't directly hire on the platform.  I've always felt that the actual client needs to have a sense of which other contractors might be involved and to make the final hiring decisions. They own the project ...

 

I send my recommended FLer profiles and a synopsis of why I think the person would be the best choice.  Concurrently I talk with those I recommend to see if they are interested and what their skeds permit.  

 

I 'introduce' everyone; the client makes the final decision. 95% of the time these FLers are people I've worked with before and/or know from the forums.  I know and feel confident in their work and of their work ethics and integrity.

 

In the end - we are all running businesses and need to work as one entity to achieve the client's end goal.  IMO, my approach means everyone is fully knowledgeable about the project and equally vested in getting the best results.  

 

The best FLers see projects from a client's perspective.  In every way.

Community Guru
Jody P Member Since: Aug 1, 2017
3 of 3

Wendy C wrote:

Jody, I agree with you ... even if I don't directly hire on the platform.  I've always felt that the actual client needs to have a sense of which other contractors might be involved and to make the final hiring decisions. They own the project ...

 

I send my recommended FLer profiles and a synopsis of why I think the person would be the best choice.  Concurrently I talk with those I recommend to see if they are interested and what their skeds permit.  

 

I 'introduce' everyone; the client makes the final decision. 95% of the time these FLers are people I've worked with before and/or know from the forums.  I know and feel confident in their work and of their work ethics and integrity.

 

In the end - we are all running businesses and need to work as one entity to achieve the client's end goal.  IMO, my approach means everyone is fully knowledgeable about the project and equally vested in getting the best results.  

 

The best FLers see projects from a client's perspective.  In every way.


Hi Wendy,

 

Thanks for your feedback. I think that your method is perfect and would absolutley work to the advantage of all parties involved. Meet-and-Greets seem to be not as popular as they once were since there is so much remote work being done that even video Meet-and-Greets seemed to be on the decline - but up until a few years ago, I remember it being a standard practice.

 

However, believe it or not, even before Upwork, I worked on several jobs of developer teams where no one had ever seen the other's face or heard their voice. Perhaps with developers, this is easier, I don't know, but I do know that I remember the times when it was to be naturally expected.

 

Thank you for seeing my point about the freelancers seeing from the client's perspective. And while I've always tried to achieve this regardless, on Upwork it's a little different as when a contract starts, there can sometimes be stretches of 'radio silence.' For a freelancer, silence might be golden; but for a client, silence might trigger worry.

 

Thanks again, Wendy. 

 

Best regards,

 

Jody PM

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