FREELANCING / DEC. 08, 2014
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5 Ways to Make a Great First Impression on Freelance Clients

As a freelancer, you have to seek out new clients all the time. You’re also competing against people from all over the country, and sometimes the world. When the time comes to speak to the client directly, you need to make the right impression. If you don’t leave a good first impression, your name will slip out of their minds as quickly as it went in.

Let’s take a look at five ways to make a great first impression on freelance clients.

 

Charisma

Charisma is crucial for anyone who wants to make a point. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not about being the centre of attention and it’s not about being the bell of the ball. Charisma is about being powerful, warm, and making sure your presence is felt. In other words, not becoming a wall flower and becoming an attentive person.

Charismatic people are charismatic because of what they’ve done not because of the amount of shouting they can get away with.

Influence and Reciprocation

You need to put your ideas forward in a way that influences people. Influence is not about manipulation. It’s about being able to put your points forward in a coherent manner. In other words, taking what you do in your writing and applying them to the real world.

Reciprocation is the other half of persuasion. Be honest about your promises and highlight anything you can’t do. Don’t push ahead anyway. If you’re honest and clients can trust you, they’ll share more with you than they would with someone else who’s all bluster and no substance.

Do Your Homework

Always make sure you’ve conducted prior research in advance of a meeting. Freelancers should inspect the social media profiles of their clients and take a look at their companies so they know what to expect. It doesn’t mean you need to reel off lots of irrelevant facts and figures.

Just make sure you’re informed about the client’s line of work because it’s likely to impact on the gig you’re applying for. It should take you no more than five minutes to check a website and reread the job description.

Physical Appearance

Sadly, we live in a superficial world. Physical image is important to both employers and clients. Most of us are attracted to people who exude enthusiasm, vigour, and vitality. It’s easy to do. All you need to do is dress well and smile. Those are two easy ways to make the right first impression.

Take note, this doesn’t mean you have to look like a supermodel. It also isn’t going to cover for any deficiencies in your skillset. If you aren’t good enough, it’s going to show after you get past those initial impressions.

Micro Traits

You need to regulate those micro traits if you’re going to make the right first impression. Don’t let those habits and gestures get in the way. You’re being judged all the time. Little things that can hurt you include: not making eye contact, being stiff, not smiling enough, cracking your knuckles, and any bodily emissions that have no place in a public situation.

Control your body and make sure it’s saying what you want it to. You could be in the middle of a long lecture on something that makes you look intelligent. But if your body is sending mixed signals, this effect is going to be lost on the listener.

Masters of persuasion have full control over their bodies. They know what it’s doing and they know the messages they’re trying to communicate. If necessary, enrol a friend to help. Get them to give you an honest opinion of the impression you give off.

 

Image source: gentlemint

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