Working as a freelancer can be a tricky business. Sometimes, getting hired by a company means you’re in it for the long run. Other times, you might just be hired for a seasonal project. Whatever the case may be, sometimes freelancers can get a little eager to start a new gig, and fail to ask the important questions.

Before you get stuck in a position you’re unhappy with, make sure you ask your potential client these questions:


  1. “Have You Worked With Freelancers In The Past?”

If they’ve never worked with freelancers before, you’ll have to help them out with this new process. Their inexperience isn’t necessarily a good or bad thing – you can use it to your advantage either way.

If they have worked with freelancers in the past, ask them about their experience – what they did and didn’t like about the relationships in the past and what kind of relationship they expect to have with you.

Whether their style is more hands-on or hands-off, make sure you two are both on the same page so you can move forward, working smoothly together.


  1. How Did You Hear About Me?

In my opinion, establishing your professional reputation is the most important factor in building up your freelancing profile. You want to know how your personal marketing tactics are going, and the best way to do this is by asking those who have reached out to you.

Keep track of how people hear about you – this will help you to understand what you’re doing well, where most of your audience is coming from, and where you can improve in your marketing.

If someone referred you to this potential client, be sure to send them a thank you note. Gratitude goes al ong way as a freelancer – you’ll want to establish personal relationships, and a simple “thank you” can go a long way.


  1. How Often Do You Want Project Updates?

If you’re working on a long-term project, you’ll want to know how often the company wants a progress report. Sometimes, they’ll be fine leaving you to do your own thing from beginning to end. Others might want a weekly or even daily report. Whatever it is they’re looking for, make sure you know how to make them most comfortable and confident in your work.

When they know they can count on you for this, they’re more likely to come back to you for future projects.


  1. Can You Show Me Some Examples From The Past?

Even if you think you’ve received all the info you need to begin a project, you might want further clarification to guarantee you and your client are 100 percent on the same page.

Every company has different expectations and standards for their content, so you’ll want to see what examples they have to give you a sort of “idea template,” if you will, for your project(s) with them.

Sometimes, what you see with their company might not be something you feel comfortable doing yourself. Maybe it’s not within your skill set; maybe it contradicts something you stand for. Whatever the case may be, be sure you know exactly what the expectations are before you accept a new client.

There’s no way to guarantee you won’t run into any surprises when you work as a freelancer, but when you can ask these questions beforehand, you’ll be able to prevent many foreseeable problems.

Emily Brady received her Bachelors at Brigham Young University Idaho where she majored in Communication Sciences with an emphasis in journalism and professional management. She has written for Scroll News and Deseret Digital Media and is currently a freelance writer. In her free time she enjoys hiking, reading and swinging in her hammock.