Maintaining a professional image when freelancing remotely

Give yourself some space
To reduce the chances of getting distracted, it’s a good idea to have a home office to work from. If that isn’t possible, make sure you at least have a desk which is only used for your work, and is kept tidy and organised. Even for the most determined of people, this can be a great help in focusing your time and making sure your head is in the right space, therefore benefiting your clients.

Stick to a naming convention
Consistency is so important in building a business and it’s important that your client see how organised you are. Set yourself up a naming convention which is simple and easy to follow, eg ClientName_ProjectName_Date. Nobody wants to be receiving their final identity in a file called ‘Logo_final_Version3_FINAL.’

Get a business number
It’s not ideal to be sharing a phone number for business and personal means; it’s essential to be able to switch off sometimes, and be able to separate your communications – it’s all too easy to accidently send an email from your personal email address rather than your business one. Some office spaces offer a landline rental, so you can give your clients a local number, and you won't get bothered at home.

Consistent contact
When working from home, you might have more limited face-to-face time with the client than if you were in a city-centre agency. It might be that your only options are phone or Skype calls, but you still need to hold yourself in a professional way and not slip into casual call etiquette. Make sure you have an agenda to give calls some structure.

Consider meeting spaces
You will need to meet up with your clients occasionally, whether it’s a briefing meeting or to discuss current projects. Have a think about some suitable spaces nearby that would be suitable for this type of meeting, so you feel comfortable somewhere when your client suggests a spontaneous face-to-face.

Keep track
After every discussion with your client, send them a contact report summarising the conversation and outlining next steps. This is the sort of treatment they would get from a full team within an agency, and shows that you’re going above and beyond to offer a professional service. This will give them confidence in your abilities and will allow you to keep a record on the whole project, just in case anything comes back to haunt you.

If you usually work from home, you might want to consider freelancing within an agency. For great contracts and permanent jobs, have a look at all of our creative and digital jobs around Yorkshire.

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