Managing relationships with clients is a big part of your job when freelancing. Keeping a close relationship with clients is key for all freelance services including copywriting, design or engineering work.
Efficient and smooth collaboration with clients ensures that you can meet deadlines and build long lasting connections. However, setting up smooth collaboration flows is often easier said than done.
How do you make sure that communicating with clients is effective and tailored to their needs?
Read along to learn more about some best practices. We have gathered workflows and best practices from freelancers all across Rock which you can easily implement in your next freelance project!
What does good client management look like for a freelancer?
You want your clients to be heard and understood, all while meeting their expectations and deadlines. Likely you have more than one client, and all of them require your input on the daily or at least weekly or monthly basis.
This means you need to learn how to balance your time on each client effectively and efficiently. Don’t forget about at the same time providing personalized support, at the end of the day every client wants to feel like you’re prioritizing their project.
To do so, you need to create processes, workflows and systems that support this. Here are 7 habits most of our freelancers mentioned when discussing client management on Rock.
1. Balance personal with scalable
How do you keep your communication with multiple clients personal yet scalable? You need to set up a system which allows you to provide personalized support on your client projects in a scalable way.
Define typical projects you work on and create templates containing specific workflows. The templates might include systems, steps, and playbooks. You can use these templates every time you start a new project and adjust them depending on the needs of your client.
Think of a welcome or project start note that is shared in the beginning of a project. Feedback forms at certain milestones can also be scalable but personalized to your brand and project experience.
A common way to keep track of these activities is by implementing internal task management to set reminders about certain milestones or completed activities.
2. Easy access to information
Think about which information or files have to be shared with a client before starting a project. Making all relevant information such as project details and deliverables easily accessible will save you time. It also gives clients a more professional and well-prepared first impression of you.
Make sure your client knows how to access all information they might need. You should inform them of the documentation and grant access at the beginning of any project.
Neither you nor your client need to waste time searching for files or information across multiple folders, apps or long email threads.
Implementing this open up valuable time as clients don’t have to reach out to find files, reports or workflows. You can use this gained time to focus on nurturing the relationship, accelerate implementation, gather feedback or provide support.
3. Overview of progress
It’s crucial to provide your clients with an overview of your progress regarding projects you work on. This allows you to avoid miscommunication and make sure that the final result aligns with expectations.
You might want to establish a process and use a project management tool to keep your clients in the loop. A defined process and efficient tools work way more effectively than scattered progress pings via, for instance, email.
It also gives room for more asynchronous work. Clients can chime in whenever they have time if you update work through a shared system. No need to wait for a meeting or scroll through a messy email thread.
4. Fast and seamless communication
Communication is key. You should make sure that your clients are able to get in touch with you effortlessly. Make sure to have internal communication strategies that align with your brand voice and business offering.
It’s important to keep conversations flowing. Rock has a mobile app and offers the option to send audio messages. This way you can make sure that communication is fast and seamless anywhere, and can be taken on the go.
5. Make it effortless to enter in contact for first projects
It should be easy to start a conversation with you to discuss a new project or start working together. The Quick Connect feature on Rock comes in handy here.
We built Quick Connect in order to make it easier and quicker for everyone, including freelancers, to open new communication channels.
If you use Quick Connect, your clients can scan your QR code or click on your personal link to open a space with you to communicate. You can share the QR code and/or the link on your website, email, or any other external page.
6. Relationship building
It is cheaper and more efficient to keep existing clients than to search for new ones. Also, satisfied clients who are in touch with you even after a project might spread the word and refer friends or other businesses to you.
It’s very beneficial to stay connected with your clients even after the official project. You never know when a new opportunity arises. Build a long lasting relationship and stay in touch with your clients via, for instance, a newsletter.
Alternatively, you can build a community where your previous clients can connect with each other and keep their relationship with you.
7. Avoid multi-channels
Using several different channels for your communication and collaboration with clients can become confusing for both parties.
Things get messy if you use email, a messaging app, a separate cloud storage and a project management tool simultaneously. It gets quite time-consuming to find relevant information fast and you might not now where you left off in terms of communication.
By using one application for everything you can be sure that the information or files will be found within that one tool. You don’t need to switch your focus between different applications. It saves you time and stress.
How to manage your clients from one place
We’ve talked with freelancers who use Rock to manage UX and low-code development, content writing, design, engineering and other workflows. They share their experiences and suggestions on how to organize spaces, set up workflows and take the best out of Rock as a freelancer.
Here are three spaces we often see freelancers manage on Rock:
- Client spaces
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
You can create dedicated spaces on Rock for each client you work with and invite them for free.
By creating a space per client you will be able to stay highly organized. Each client, their project information and communication will be grouped and easily accessible. Client spaces can be useful for day-to-day communication, project management and documentation.
Use client spaces for seamless day-to-day communication. Discuss daily activities and quickly catch-up with your clients by leveraging full-fledged messaging functionality in every space.
The chat is at the forefront of a space and intuitive to use. This makes it a great solution for direct communication with the client. Leverage reactions, audio messages, polls, threads and so much more to keep the conversation going.
Sometimes you might need to arrange a quick video meeting with your client. Rock offers the Meetings mini-app in ever space with integration to Zoom, Google Meet and Jitsi and Loom.
This can be beneficial for freelancers as they can connect their video conferencing account to Rock and start a meeting when other channels are not cutting it.
Besides day-to-day communication, you can use your same client spaces to manage ongoing projects. Project management through tasks mini-app will have you strongly equipped in managing your next project while involving clients..
You can toggle between multiple task views including board, list and calendar. The task board view allows you to visualize projects by dividing tasks in different columns and stages. Categorize tasks and filter them depending on your needs by leveraging labels, priority, assignees and so much more..
The comment section within each task makes it easy to follow up or have a more focused discussion with the client. This way you can make sure that both parties are always on the same page.
Rock allows you to document relevant information so it’s easily accessible and safely stored.
The Notes mini-app can be used to store general information that is relevant for your client projects. It might contain some project guidelines, rules or briefings. When you add this information to notes it becomes easily accessible anytime. Otherwise, it might get scattered across different channels and eventually lost.
The Files mini-app is helpful if you often share files with your client. This can come in useful if you’re a copywriter, doing website project management, or graphic designer. Connect cloud storage providers such as Google Drive, Figma, Miro or Notion to Rock and share files with your clients without searching across folders or sharing links across messages, tasks and notes.
You can even attach files from a cloud storage of your choice to any task. It allows you to share task related files with your clients easily.
Besides dedicated client spaces on Rock you can also create a space for yourself which serves as a CRM system.
This allows you to keep track of projects and details of current, past or potential clients. You don’t need to invest in any additional tools as spaces can be adjusted to support this use case.
Here’s how freelancers can manage their ongoing projects with a CRM space on Rock:
1. Use the task board as your main CRM view
Use the Tasks mini-app in the board view to arrange your CRM system. You can use lists to define the current status of each client.
For instance, you can organize lists as Leads, Active projects, Closed Projects, Revisit Later and more, depending on your needs.
2. Create a task per client
Create a task per client and add all relevant information to the task description. Easily attach any important documents or files such as contracts or invoices.
You can even set a deadline to prospect tasks in case you need to follow up or reach out before a certain date. Make sure you’re assigned to the task to receive a dedicated notification.
With individual task cards you can make sure all contacts, updates and remarks are stored and well-documented. You can update and adjust this information at any time.
3. Use labels and priority status to categorize
Labels might come in handy as you can categorize your clients by labeling them depending on a project type or size.
Labels will help you to visualize your client management and filter across client cards easier. Also, you can use the priority status feature to categorize your clients depending on their size, number of available projects or income potential.
4. Keep project details close by combining the checklist, @mention feature and attaching could files
Use the checklist to include relevant points about each client to keep your documentation neat.
You can @ mention tasks from different spaces. For example, you want to save a task that you were working on in a space with a client. You can mention that task as a reference in a client task in your CRM space. It allows you to easily connect spaces and find information faster.
Moreover, you might want to connect your cloud storage to the CRM space. You can easily attach cloud files to your client’s CRM tasks which will allow you to quickly check which files are relevant to each client.
Build a community on Rock! Do you design websites? Or write content? Whatever it is that you do as a freelancer, you can bring your target audience together by creating a themed community space on Rock.
Invite your former, existing or potential clients to the community for free. You can engage your community by asking stimulating questions, sharing industry news and creating polls to gather opinions.
You can use the Topics mini-app to spark more in depth discussion while reducing the noise! This way the discussions will be structured and people will be able to choose which topics they want to follow, similar to a discussion board.
The community space can become a unique tool in your project acquisition funnel. It will help you to nurture connections with your clients, build trust and show that you are knowledgeable in your field. Curious what a community space can look like? Join ours!
Advantages of using Rock for working with clients
Why should you start managing your client relationships on Rock? There are some advantages to using an all-in-one solution to work with clients. Here are two main advantages of centralized client management you should consider.
If you manage your client relationships via email you likely know how confusing and long email threads can become.
In addition to that, it’s often difficult to involve new people into email conversations. We all know how easy it is to lose work details or documents between threads that include a different set of participants or revolve around a different discussion topic.
Rock allows you to forget about emails and have all the communication and collaboration in one place. All-in-one messaging combined with tasks, notes and files, provides a seamless experience.
You will save time as you don’t have to switch between different tools and keep an eye on your emails simultaneously. Using one tool for everything will pay off as you will be able to spend more time getting your work done faster.
Start managing your clients on Rock today
Rock is used by many freelancers around the world to manage and nurture their client relationships everyday.
Having everything in one place will improve your workflows and will get your client relationships to the next level!
Sign up today and facilitate your day-to-day client communication, project management, documentation, CRM and community building.