I have to try a 100 times to give them what they want and that’s how you win them.
And then you can educate them. Sometimes they really don’t know. I had to sit
down on the keyboard to find what they wanted. I had gone from the Baroque
period in the 1700s to Duke Ellington in the 1920s back to Mozart. Then I got to
the 1980s George Winston. And then I finally got it.
Educating The Client About Process Enhances The Experience
The successful freelancers are really careful about “educating” the clients on what is
needed or the time it takes and this is definitely part of the negotiation. Clients are able to
pay more for a service or product if they understand why it is critical suggests Carol Beck:
“You’ve got to educate them to the process and that requires a whole lot of patience
getting their attention. Explaining to them why you can’t cut these two crew
members off the list in an effort to pinch pennies. You have to explain why they are
critical to the production. You have to feel for their position. They’re usually running
scared from their bosses.”
This ability to feel for a co-worker or a clients’ position and then taking the time to explain is
essential for any solid working relationship regardless of whether it is freelance or not. The
irony is that freelancers are often kinder to short-term coworkers than long-term employees
who take their work relationships for granted. This disregard is reminiscent of the dating
experience where people are often on their best behavior, once married there is an
inclination to lapse into moments where they are sometimes less than considerate of their
Appreciative Capacity Delivers More Than Just Relationship Building
The freelancer, as an outsider, is literally dancing multiple steps as performer, collaborator
and sometimes educator. Bill, although given unclear directions about whether the type of
music the client desired was classical or jazz, he never gave up until he found the right
sound for what the client was trying to appropriate. This required him to educate the client
on musical style options. In the AI Practitioner, Shweta Bisen, referring to the work of
Thatchenkery and Metzker (2006), defines the appreciative capacity of individuals as having
“an ability to endow everyday activity with a sense of purpose. They can re-frame, they are
flexible and they are actively and spontaneously adaptive” (Bisen, 2011). This appreciative
capacity brings a sense of depth to the relationship where the employer recognizes that the
work will be of a high quality, and most importantly possesses high level thinking to
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