As a project-based freelancer, you know that time is money. You charge your clients by the project, so every minute spent on administrative tasks or unclear communication means lost revenue. However, you also know that having solid processes in place is essential for the success of your business. The challenge is finding a way to balance the two.
If you’re struggling to streamline your processes and level up your workflow, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Here are some tips to help you take your project-based freelance business to the next level:
Set clear expectations from the start
The key to a successful project-based freelance business is setting clear expectations with your clients from the beginning. Before you start working on a project, make sure you and your client are on the same page regarding the scope of work, timelines, and deliverables. Use a project proposal or a statement of work to outline these details in writing and get your client’s agreement.
Setting these expectations can take the form of a Client Onboarding Kit or a clear proposal that sets expectations they agree to. I personally use the Freshbooks set up for my estimates and proposals, mainly because I can convert to an invoice at a click of a button and send for payment. You can grab your first two months free here.
Use project management tools
Project management tools can be incredibly helpful for project-based freelancers. They can help you keep track of deadlines, organise your tasks, and communicate with your clients more effectively. There are many project management tools available, both free and paid, so do some research to find the one that best suits your needs.
I’ve been experimenting with a few for a while and quite like Kitchen.co. It gives me the ability to load what I need, link what matters and even lock deliverables behind a paywall for those sneaky clients.
Establish clear communication channels
Effective communication is crucial for project-based freelancers. Make sure you establish clear communication channels with your clients from the beginning, and let them know how and when they can contact you. Use email, phone, or project management tools to communicate, but make sure you respond to your clients in a timely manner.
Every freelancer is different, but the biggest thing I see time and time again is we expect that the client knows what’s ok and whats not. This is where a Client Onboarding Kit that welcomes the client in and sets expectations can help SO MUCH.
Track your time
Time tracking is essential for project-based freelancers. It helps you stay on top of your billable hours, so you can accurately invoice your clients if you’re billing hourly, or track if you’re keeping profitable. Use a time tracking app or tool to record the time you spend on each task and project, and make sure you review your timesheets regularly to ensure you’re billing your clients correctly.
I know I said it before, but I’ll say it again. Freshbooks has the ability to track your time in the app or webpage and you can assign to clients or projects easily. Seriously, take two months on me.
Review your processes regularly
Finally, it’s essential to review your processes regularly to ensure they’re working for you and your clients. Take some time to analyse your workflow and identify areas where you can improve. Ask your clients for feedback, and use their input to refine your processes and make your business more efficient.
Or you could take a look at the process I use to step through with clients from first quote to final product and beyond by grabbing my Recipe for Serving Clients ebook. I’m proud to say its my most popular dish!
By implementing these tips, you can streamline your processes and systemise your workflow, allowing you to provide better service to your clients and increase your revenue. Remember, being a successful project-based freelancer is about finding the right balance between efficiency and quality, and knowing when is the time to switch things up. With the right tools and processes in place, you can achieve both.