As a freelancer in the field of marketing and advertising, professionals need to earn the trust of their potential clients. Beyond just passing the threshold of being capable of doing the job at hand, professionals have to truly win a client over in order to get the job. If you’re trying to earn the business of a client, you first need to earn their trust. Below are some tactics for showing your trustworthiness.
Demonstrate how you can solve their problems. Many freelancers or salespeople will rely on their ability to sell a product or a service. However, this turns the relationship into a buyer-seller situation, not one of trust. Instead of offering a transaction of your time and skills, offer a solution to their problems. Draw on your past experience of a problem you were brought in to solve and how your game plan played out in practice. If your potential client can trust that you have a desire to help them fix their issue, not just make money, you will certainly have a fruitful relationship throughout the tenure of the contract.
Listen, then speak. There’s an old saying often touted to children that goes, “nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” Even if your resume is pristine and your knowledge base makes you perfect to tackle a client’s problems, the client need to know that you have a vested interest in their company, project, and ultimate success, not just adding a bullet point to your resume and portfolio. Before you interrupt a client’s train of thought to interject more about yourself or credentials, pause and consider what would make the client feel most comfortable and listened to.
Be flexible. Every single project and client is different, and it’s important to remember that what has worked in the past may not work anymore. The economy may have changed, laws might be different, or the product may call for a tactic you’ve never employed before. After you’ve listened to the whole of the pitch and project, think about how you can try some new maneuvers, change your approach, or employ new technology. Agility and quick-thinking is the name of the game in advertising, so demonstrate and execute your willingness to think outside the box.
Always be open, honest, and transparent. Whatever you do, don’t over promise, exaggerate, or stretch the truth about your abilities, availability, or deliverables. In addition, don’t withhold reservations or potentially bad news from your client. If something happened in the economy or a fact turns out to be untrue, disclose it honestly and take responsibility for was your fault, but no more.