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Set your expectations and define your customer needs

In a freelance business, it is important to understand the client's requirements - but that's not all that it takes. You also need to accompany the client to set the right expectations about the service that you provide. Indeed, your client's satisfaction with your services, and the success of those services, depends not only on meeting the client's needs correctly, but also by identifying the value that your work adds - which can be quite different from the initial expectation.

Ensure that needs and expectations are aligned

As a freelancer, your primary objective in the process is to satisfy your client. Clients will often seek out your expert opinion, looking for advice and guidance on the best course of action in order to understand what is right for them and their business. While their needs may not yet be clearly identified, they will have expectations that may be contradictory and which may take the form of hidden (yet perfectly measurable) performance goals as well as purely subjective aspects, especially in the case of design services.

The definition of a freelance project is therefore not limited to qualifying the requirements, but aligning those requirements with the client's expectations and your ability to meet them. This best practice will enable you to:

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Define your client's needs

In order to complete the projects successfully, you should ask questions about the tasks to make sure that you will meet the requirements given by your clients.

Start by asking yourself why the client chose you for the service. This initial question deals with the goals and objectives that the client wishes to achieve. Target the particular goal correctly in order to implement the corresponding actions.

Subsequently, you must work with the client to determine the client's expectations in relation to the product or service. This is the moment for you to bring out your specific questions. For example, when creating online content, ask the client how many words are needed, what the delivery deadline is, whether the article needs to be optimized for SEO, what the editorial style should be, and so on. You can also ask clients to talk about their experiences when receiving similar services, and whether or not they were satisfied (and why?) The information that you gather will shed more light on the real expectations and challenges for the project.

Finally, it will be important to determine in advance who your point of contact will be within the company, and whether that person will also be the decision maker for the project. This is not only important to ensure that the approval process for each deliverable is clearly defined, but also to establish good communications throughout the project life cycle.