In any workplace, communication is fundamental to team productivity and the achievement of goals. However, if you’re working as an on-demand/freelance professional or if you’re hiring on-demand, then you need to keep in mind that there are some key differences to consider when it comes to communicating effectively. Without proper communication between an on-demand professional/ freelancer and a company, project expectations may not be clear and project completion could become problematic. To ensure that you’re both on the same page, check out these 5 Communication Tips to getting work done quickly and successfully!
1. Set communication guidelines
Companies and managers should set up clear guidelines and expectations when initially onboarding an on-demand professional. As a freelancer, you should also be transparent with what your employer can expect from you. For example, something as simple as giving notice when you’re in a different time zone (and thus can’t take a call at 3 am when it’s typical working hours in the client’s office) is beneficial for everyone. This can significantly reduce communication mishaps when you’ve been waiting for a response for the past few hours with no reply.
Also, you may want to set calling versus email hours if working remotely or, once again, in a different time zone. It may also help to set push notifications when receiving an email or setting a reminder to check emails every so often to ensure continuous communication with a client.
2. Know when to email and when to call
It’s all about working efficiently and ensuring nothing is lost in translation - especially when work is done remotely! Knowing when a video call could have been an email or when perhaps an email was unclear and you need more elaboration on the matter. When communicating with a client or an outsourced professional, think about which means of communication will reduce ambiguity and preserve all parties’ time.
3. As a freelancer, update your client
Clients usually communicate with their on-demand professional at the beginning of a project or when adjustments to be made in a project. Ultimately, that puts the ball in the freelancer’s court to communicate to the client. So, if you have updates, news to share, or providing progress on your task/project, be vocal! They’ll appreciate being brought into the loop.
“Here’s the thing: There aren’t that many freelancers out there who communicate early, often, and well. If you can step up your communication game, you’re already that much better than someone creating similar work . . . That’s something that will benefit you the entire course of your career.” - Effective Client Communication 101
4. Welcome feedback and advice
To facilitate communication, you also need to welcome feedback (this is a 2-way street!). This is an opportunity for both the freelancer and client to grow professionally. Offer feedback to your freelancer on performance and offer feedback to your client on goals and their attainability. Once again, this reduces ambiguity and provides a space to share thoughts that will collectively aid the organization’s vision.
5. Offer resources to your freelancers
This is a time saver in the long run! When onboarding your freelancer, ensure you are providing them with access to all shared drives such as Google Drive or Dropbox. This will reduce the times when they ask for access to specific files, and you won’t have to worry about them losing time to work on a project when they’re waiting for the appropriate resources.
“You’ll also want to add them to the communication tools that you use. Virtual tools allow for easy communication, planning of virtual meetings and project collab.” - How to Easily & Efficiently Onboard Freelance Professionals Into Your Team
It’s crucial to master the art of communication as it’s a vital soft skill to have, no matter your career path. Being good at your job is one thing, but sharing what you’re doing and how you’re achieving goals is another! Perfecting communication can be challenging, but actively working on it will help you better sell yourself and your work, which is vital as a freelancer.
Check out freelance opportunities via Oomple and see where you can integrate those communication skills!