- Share testimonials and work samples
Your past work will speak volumes about how you perform – so will the types of clients you’ve worked with. If a potential client is a high-profile tech startup, for example, they’re going to be much more comfortable knowing you’ve worked for another high-profile tech company.
- Email like a professional
How you present yourself in your initial communications with new and potential clients is crucial to building trust. That doesn’t mean you need to be formal, per se. An effective email is more about being relevant, brief and to the point while remaining friendly. Speak to your client how you would a colleague. Depending on their style, you can keep it casual, but be sure to present yourself as the professional and business owner you are.
- Be respectful of their time
You and your client are both busy – be respectful of everyone’s time. That means keeping calls or meetings to the amount of time scheduled, not canceling or rescheduling last minute, not forgetting to show up or showing up late, etc.
- Don’t flake
To maintain trust and a positive reputation, don’t flake from jobs. If for some reason you need to let a client go or realize you’ve taken on too much work, do what you can to transition out smoothly. Finish the project whenever possible. If that’s not feasible, try finding a replacement you can recommend. Do everything you can to get the project ready for handoff — prepare files in a folder, create instructions and process documents, etc.
- Meet your deadlines
Obvious, right? The best way to build and maintain trust with your clients is to consistently meet your deadlines with quality work.
Deadlines aren’t arbitrary dates. There is a science and importance behind them. If you miss your deadline, you could be throwing an entire project off for the rest of the team.
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