Freelance Workers and Client Meetings
While freelance workers often carry out their work somewhere other than on their client’s premises, client meetings do regularly occur. Client meetings often take place prior to working together, during the course of the project and even after business is completed. When you schedule a client meeting as a freelance worker, think about how you will prepare, what you will wear, where you will meet and what you need to get done. Everyone’s time is valuable, so don’t waste any on a client meeting that is inefficient.
How You Will PreparePreparing for a client meeting usually means pulling together materials so that you can make a presentation or engage in a needed discussion. When you work freelance you will likely keep separate client and project files anyway, but making sure that you bring everything you could possibly need is important. The good news is that most files can fit in a laptop that you can easily bring with you to the meeting site, so you needn’t struggle to transport an entire office worth of paper. But make sure that you have everything organised logically and you know which files support your points. Arriving at a meeting and having to rifle through everything you bring will not only slow down your conversations but make you look like you are unorganised and less professional.
What You Will WearIt may seem frivolous to worry about what you will wear to a client meeting, but the image you project to your clients can impact your business greatly. Fashion choices will no doubt depend upon your industry, but they should also depend upon your client. What you wear to meet the Managing Director of a huge corporation for a business lunch will likely be much different than what you wear to have a quick chat with a group of local volunteers. If you are undecided about your wardrobe, always err on the side of more professional rather than less professional. Alos, always make sure that you have at least one suit and one business casual outfit clean and ready at all times since your clients may make drop in visits to your office space – or ask you to make spur-of-the-moment visits to theirs.
Where You Will MeetFreelancers usually have great flexibility when it comes to where they can meet their clients. Often clients will request that freelancers come to their offices since it is most convenient for them, but if a freelancer requests a meeting then their own office or studio, or an appropriate restaurant or café may also be an option. Freelancers should remember; however, that if they request the meeting they should be prepared to pick up all associated bills
What You Need To Get DoneCreating an agenda for a client meeting may seem formal, but it is the best way to stay on task and make sure that you get done everything that you need to in order to feel that the meeting has been a success and you can move forward with your business relationship. It is also a good idea to take notes during your meeting and to highlight how the meeting ends so that everyone involved knows what happened and what is required of each person in the future. Sending around formal minutes from the meeting may also be a good idea so that you have documentation of what occurred at each meeting should you need to refer to them in the future.
Though freelance workers carry out much of their work alone, client meetings will inevitably be needed at some point. When client meetings do come up, freelancers should think carefully about how they will prepare, what they will wear, where they will meet and what they need to get done at the meeting.