Keep Clients Happy: Set Clear Boundaries

How to set clear boundaries

The freedom and flexibility of freelance life does not absolve you from the back and forth that comes with working on a team. In fact, every new client requires a new round of communicating expectations and setting boundaries.

If you’ve been at it a while, you know one truism of freelance work is that every client believes their project should be your number one (perhaps only) priority. But the fact is, you are likely balancing a bunch of projects, priorities, and people. And that is where boundaries come in.

Clear boundaries set perimeters around when clients can expect to hear from you, what they can expect to receive, and how you are going to deliver it.

Arianna is a serious freelancing pro, and when she taught How to Become a Successful Freelancer, she shared some scripts you can use set the course with your incoming clients. The aim is to get everyone operating under the same expectations, so your clients feel confident in your progress on their projects and you aren’t fielding frantic emails at three in the morning.

Tailor these templates to the the way you want to do business and earn the trust you deserve:

Discuss your availability.
“I work from 9am to 6pm Monday through Friday. I try to keep a large chunk of my day dedicated to client work and am typically off email. If you need anything, text me and we can set up time for us to talk.”

Establish preferred Communication Channels
“Email is the best way to get ahold of me. Since we’ll be looking at a lot of options during our meetings, let’s use video chat, that way we can screen share and do pin ups easily.”

Define the your method for communicating progress
“I usually write a weekly recap to let you know where we are with the project. Do let me know if you have something else in mind.”

You are selling a service and your job is to manage yourself and your client through the process. By establishing and sticking to clear boundaries, you earn trust you and give clients confidence in your work.

If you’re starting a freelance career, or looking to grow your existing business, download our Free eBook, The Essential Guide to Launching a Freelance Career.

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Rachel is the content marketing lead for the CreativeLive Craft Channel. Her side hustle is floral design and her day job is awesome. @ms_gregarious.