Client expectations from remote workers

Advice on working with clients from Piret Kerem from Xolo
Freelance positions may not involve long and complicated job interviews, but nevertheless, clients have expectations towards freelancers and if you can meet (and hopefully exceed) them, you will be able to have a long and fruitful client relationship.

Expectations change depending on the assignment, the type of client and the scope of the project, but there are some commonalities you can be aware of, which will help you make a better impression next time you are in a sales call.

During the last Freelance Business Month, Piret Kerem from Xolo discussed good collaboration between freelancers and clients, setting up a freelance business and how Xolo helps independent workers take charge of their work life.

Piret has been leading the Engineering Team at Xolo since 2019. Her background in communications has taught her the importance of transparency, clear expectations and creating a candid and kind feedback culture.
Trust and transparency
A good freelance contract will save you lots of headaches, but Piret suggests you be transparent with your client and that building a sense of trust early on can save you even more trouble. Trust also makes the experience less stressful and can lead to a long-term relationship.
Clear communication
Especially when working remotely, being able to communicate effectively with your prospective clients is a valuable skill. When clients have to choose between many freelancers with similar experience, often the successful candidate is the one who manages to communicate best. The process may be challenging due to a language barrier or cultural differences, so make sure your communication is not the reason you lose clients. Piret highlights that the earlier you communicate about problems or worries you might have, the better it is for the whole team. You can watch her full talk here:
Understanding the assignment
There is nothing worse for a client than paying for something and receiving something completely different. The solution? Listen to what your clients want and make sure you deliver it. There are different approaches to a task and clients (especially SMEs or organisations) may expect different solutions. Some organisations have playbooks, some follow specific principles, so you need to keep that in mind.
Set expectations
Expectations go both ways. Communicate to clients what you can do for them, but also know what they can do to make your work go as smoothly as possible. Do you need access to specific data? Do you need assistance with the clients' systems? Make sure your client knows of all these requirements.
Do something you feel related to and can make an impact
This may be difficult to work into your contract, but being invested in your client's work and vision can hugely impact the satisfaction you have in the project and respectively - the quality of work you deliver to your client.

Freelancing offers you great freedom in how you approach your search for work and clients and helps you support clients whose work you believe in.
Payments
As we discussed, sending payments abroad can be a challenge and clients want to be able to pay you without going through many hoops. At the same time, you want to receive your payment quickly, without losing money in taxes, conversion rates and mark-ups. On top of that, both you and your client need to remain tax-compliant in your countries, which can have vastly different financial rules and systems.

Piret and the Xolo team noticed these issues and that many independent workers struggle to set up their business due to a lack of infrastructure in their countries.
Solve admin headaches
According to statistics, solopreneurs waste up to 10% of their time doing administration, which is time that can be put to better use.
This is where Xolo comes in. The platform allows you to launch a business in minutes and includes useful tools like an integrated bank account, invoicing and expense management, accounting, tax filling and more.

With Xolo Leap, you are able to launch an EU company and streamline all of your administration. If you are not ready to have a company yet, you can go with Xolo Go, which produces cross-border invoices with ease. And if you are thinking of freelancing in Spain or Italy, Xolo offer services catered to those countries.

Piret and Xolo believe freelancing can be a magical experience, this is why they have a solution straight out of a fairy tale. You can see how our own Elina creates her first Xolo invoice in minutes here, or try it out for yourself here.

Happy freelancing, and we can't wait to see you all for the Freelance Business Month 2022.

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