10 Communication Strategies for Freelancers during interviews with clients for their next Freelance Job

10 Communication Strategies for Freelancers When Being Interviewed for Their Next Freelance Job

Communication is a vital skill that influences success in the freelance industry. Winning Freelance Jobs in todays’ Freelance market is a highly competitive and several criteria play roles in deciding your success rate. Communication is one such criteria you need to watch out for. Did you know that 24.8 % of clients find it hard to maintain open and consistent communication with freelancers? In fact, proper communication skills will offer you a competitive advantage ahead of others. Do you feel like as a freelancer, you need to polish up your communication skills? Fear not. I’ve gathered a handful of tips to guide you on how you can effectively communicate with clients in your next online interview.

10 Tips to effectively communicate with Clients during freelance Interviews

1.  Always reply on time (Clients are always in a hurry)

Clients don’t want freelancers who will keep them waiting to get responses. Averagely, it should take a freelancer 1-3 hours to give a reply. For this reason, it is recommendable to respond to messages within the shortest time possible when working from home. Below are few guides that will ensure you do not delay your responses:

  • Always acknowledge the question or the message clients has sent
  • If you have a firm answer to the question then respond immediately
  • If you have a partial answer and hesitant to reply, then respond with what you have and inform that you will get back with further information
  • If you do not have an immediate answer (complete or partial) then acknowledge that you have understood the question and that will get back soon with a clarification
  • If the client’s question or message is not clear then do not hesitate to get it clarified further

The key here is that you as a freelancer should show that you are always on alert to clients’ messages.

2.  Ensure clarity in your messages (Use proper language skills)

A clear message prevents the interviewer from hanging, which can lead to misunderstanding. Therefore, always take your time before giving a response to avoid giving ambiguous information.  Follow these guides in order to enhance the clarity of your messages:

  • Always relate to the discussion points
  • If your response is related to a previous message then always use “quote” or “reply” feature in modern chat systems where you can relate you messages to a previous message
  • Once you send a chat message, always reconfirm the message you have sent. If you notice any critical errors in the message then use the “Edit” feature of your chat system to correct and resubmit it.
  • Try to use alternate methods of explanation when the clarity of the message is insufficient. (Eg:- using “In order words” phrases)
  • If you need to communicate a series of messages or content related to a single or few topics then it is always better to compile them into a document and share it with the client.
  • Use technical explanations only if it’s appropriate
  • Do not deviate to other topics. Always stay focused in the current topic.
  • Always get a confirmation from client whether the message is clear

Having sufficient clarity in communication can avoid future confusions and disagreements.

3.  Use proper language (And standout from other Freelancers)

Surprisingly, first impressions will always define what kind of a freelancer you are. First, strictly avoid the use of popular slang words when communicating with clients. And also, try to avoid irrelevant chat abbreviations in freelance websites such as thru, btw, and pls. Keep below points in mind while communicating with your clients:

  • Use proper English
  • Be grammatically correct in your language
  • Use slangs and short forms only if they add value to your message. Eg:-
    • a.k.a – “also known as”
    • ie – “that is”
    • etc – “etcetera”
  • Avoid emojies (Use them as ending gestures of a fruitful discussion)
  • Avoid arguments

4.  Ask questions if something is not clear (And stay focused)

It’s wise to seek clarification if something is not clear. Otherwise, you don’t want to keep on doing countless revisions out of miscommunication. Alternatively, you may opt to submit your freelance project in small bits for the client to verify if it is okay. Keep below points in mind when asking questions from clients:

  • First try to understand the technical knowhow level of the client
  • Always give options and ask client to pick what they want. This method ensures the discussion and outcome stays within your knowledge scope.
  • If you have a series of questions then always number them (1,2,3…) and list them at once instead of asking questions in an ad-hoc manner.
  • Use a quick graphical representation if it clarifies the question better.
  • Always use questioning methods that you have found effective in your previous conversations with similar clients
  • Never demonstrate any gaps in your technical knowledge

It is always wise to get all aspects clarified than assuming and going ahead and later bumping into disputes.

5.  Be a good listener to your freelancing clients (And then respond)

Wondering how to succeed in freelancing? It all starts with good listening skills. Definitely, exceptional listening skills remain highly valuable in any business. Remember to always know when to speak to avoid interrupting conversations.  Below point will help you enhance your listening skills as a Freelancer:

  • Avoid any distractions during an interview
  • Try to use a ques to get client talking on a subject and then carefully listen to what he has/she to say
  • If the client’s message is not clear or client has missed a point always get it clarified

6.  Wait for responses from clients (And be patient)

In most instances, freelancers will flood a potential client’s inbox with messages. However, it’s inappropriate as they might be interviewing other freelancers too. Besides, they might be busy elsewhere; hence try to be patient. Keep below points in mind that will help you be patient and wait a client to respond:

  • Use polite closing remarks such as:
    • “Get back to me with your thoughts”
    • “What do you think about my suggestion?”
    • “Kindly send your response when free”

… to induce client’s response

  • If client is overly late then try sending any of below follow up messages to induce the clients:
    • “Awaiting your reply”
    • “Were you able to check on my proposal/suggestion”
  • If you cannot be patient then try to divert your focus to a different project or a task

7.  Communicate positively about the freelance task or project (Attitude matters)

Maintaining a positive tone throughout your conversation can increase your chances of getting hired. It’s normal for a client to feel impressed whenever you talk positively about their project. Hence always use positive words no matter how impossible the task appears.  Stick to below guides in order to communicate positively:

  • Use “active voice” over “Passive voice”
  • Avoid open ended answers
  • Always relate to your previous successful work during discussions
  • Do not leave any room for doubts on the final outcome
  • Always stay proactive in your approach

8.  Speak with expert-level confidence (And build trust with clients)

Portraying yourself as an expert increases your chances of getting hired. Moreover, expressing yourself with confidence will prove that you are 100% sure of what you’re talking about. But learn to say no whenever you feel that your ability is undervalued. Below tips will help you on this regard:

  • Always study the project thoroughly before starting the discussion
  • If you find any knowledge gaps, try to refer quick guides to cover them up
  • Break down the project to a more manageable set of sub tasks and explain clearly how you would achieve each of them to perfection
  • Use only the specific technical details needed for the project and leave out the rest.

These guides will help you as a freelancer to demonstrate your confidence level and attract clients.   

9.  Act professionally (And show that you take your freelance work seriously)

Ensure to keep your communication professional right from the moment you start communicating with your client. Also, try to maintain a professional tone during instances such as negotiating payments and discussing business-related issues. Remember these tips to stay professional during discussions with clients:

  • Show that you take your work seriously
  • If you find any accidental errors from your part, apologize immediately
  • Always stay focused on the project
  • Always try to bring context in to your way of talking
  • Avoid unnecessary discussion topics

Keep discussion point concise and to the point

10.  Give your opinion where necessary (And constructive feedback)

In freelancing, you are free to give any suggestion that could make the project better. The first step should be to determine whether the client is welcoming to suggestions. Then, proceed to give helpful feedback that could improve the project. Keep below points in mind when providing your opinions:

  • Always understand the client before providing any opinions
  • See if the client is an individual or a company. A company is unlikely to deviate from their original course of actions
  • Use “passive voice” over “active voice” when voicing your opinions
  • Always let client make the final decision


The use of the internet has facilitated better communication channels worldwide. People can now work online in freelance marketplaces worldwide. During interviews, show potential clients that you know how to communicate as a professional freelancer. In conclusion, ensure to speak use proper language, listen carefully to clients, and lastly, brand yourself as a confident freelancer. With the right communication skills, you can be halfway assured of landing freelance projects and gigs.

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