How Reputation Management Can Affect Your Freelance Career

No matter how skilled you are in your trade, there is a need to
have a good reputation attached to your skillset. I have seen
freelancers who began as writers, some more talented than others,
now working in data entry because they don’t have any writing
jobs in their hand. One of the reasons that contributed to this is
the lack of a solid freelancing reputation.

Although I have never personally interviewed them, it is easy to
imagine their plight. A writer’s got to eat, right? Don’t fall
into the same trap. It’s time to look into why it is important to
have a solid form of reputation management and how the
ability to handle damage control can help
you survive in a
dog eat dog world out there.

Recommended Reading:
7 Insane Habits That Destroy Your Freelance Writing Career

Your Work Has Gone Live

When I started out, I would normally assume that only the
client, who I work with, is taking interest in my work. The truth,
however, was that clients of my client, his Twitter and Facebook
followers, and his other
social networking contacts
are also looking at the work I
produce for him.

your work has gone liveyour work has gone live

One day I received mail from my client, lambasting me for my
shoddy presentation of a task because one of his Twitter followers
commented negatively about my work. That was when I realized that I
need to be careful. Someone else, aside from my client is also
looking at my work.

Though, I eventually lost that client, I learned a valuable
lesson. When I lose a client, I lose all potential clients
that I could get from his network
. And there goes my
reputation down the drain.

Read Also: Get
More Clients: How To Harness The Power Of Testimonials

Tough Crowd

In my view, online freelancing is the most transparent
profession in the world.
Everything is laid out for
everyone to see. You incur wrath for the slightest mistake. Your
work can be discussed and mocked, and there is nothing you can do
but sit and watch.

The comments section, in particular, can nail you. And if you
have been fooling around all this while, then you can be in for
some serious trouble. Criticism
can finish you off.

My advice for any freelancer is to not fool around on the Web.
There is always someone watching, and everyone is ready to comment.
Negative
testimonials
can ruin your career. This is what the Internet
can do. Your reputation hangs by the thread. It is, therefore,
essential to use common sense while dealing with
clients.

Read Also: 5 Ways To Tame
Difficult And Problematic Clients

Freelancers Thrive on Networks

You cannot continue being a freelancer if you think that you
only have to answer to yourself or to your immediate clients. It is
an industry for the freelancers by freelancers. Look at some of
your clients. Chances are they might be freelancers themselves.
Freelancers are usually judged by their peers, and that is
the beauty of this profession
.

freelance thrive on networksfreelance thrive on networks

Read Also: How To Deal
With Criticism In The Freelancing World

The sooner you understand that you should take every step only
after careful deliberation, the better. To do this, you might begin
to put more effort into fulfilling certain freelancing
norms
, which comes along with each project.

What to Do and Not to Do

On top of meeting deadlines, open communication with
your client is essential.
At times, I see it my personal
responsibility to inform my client of small changes that I thought
I should make in an ongoing project. While the update would not
make a difference to the client, I still chose to do so because I
think my client should get the latest updates.

It has to be said however that a freelancer should not dramatize
things to establish a reputation. You should do things out
of the desire for being the best,
and allow your
golden reputation to be the outcome.
Your goal should be
your performance, not your reputation. When you perform well
enough, your reputation will follow and possibly precede you.

When you give prime importance to building a reputation for your
work, you lose your focus, and can’t look at the broader picture.
You might end up not fulfilling primary responsibilities, which
ultimately puts a dent on your reputation.

Read Also: Freelancers:
10 Things Clients Don’t Like Hearing

Overcome Negative Feedback

Even after trying your best, you can still get into trouble, as
negative feedback could haunt you. Those who work on freelancing
sites like elance should be careful with what they do. Any conflict
with a client may land you in hot water. Strike a balance
and avoid any discord.
You must have the inclination to
fix things rather than provoke it further with inflammatory
remarks.

Read Also: Convincing
The Client – How To Win A Design Argument

The best way to deal with this is like how hotels handle it on
sites like Trip Advisor. Any negative review is firmly addressed by
a representative of the hotel, which will post a clarification on
why the incident happened. It actually helps potential
clients to understand the ground truth.

No one can satisfy each and every customer; there is bound to be
someone along the way who gets frustrated over the slightest of
things. An honest clarification is perhaps, the best way to deal
with it.

Calm, Collected, Consistent

Every successful freelancer is an excellent public relation
manager. And one of their most important traits is to be
temperamentally sound
. Reacting aggressively to comments
and criticism with an egocentric approach will not help either. The
ability to accept feedback and grow from it will
be essential to your growth.

calm collected and consistentcalm collected and consistent

Your consistency in rendering service of a certain
quality
is also important, in that it will give off the
impression that you are level-headed. And for clients, level-headed
freelancers are the best because they are street smart, and don’t
over-react over the slightest of things.

If you leave a good impression with all of your clients,
that’s where your reputation will stem from, and who knows, it
may open a lot of new opportunities for you in places you’ve
never imagined.

The post
How Reputation Management Can Affect Your Freelance Career

appeared first on Hongkiat.

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