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The Long and Short of It, by Jeff Steele

04 Apr 2018 9:48 AM | Anonymous

In the 1980s when Japanese carmakers began devouring the lunch of America's Big Three, talking heads often yammered on contrasts between corporate culture in the U.S. and Japan. They reported many U.S. companies planned about as far ahead as the next earnings report. Japan's companies planned further into the future. 

How much further? Toyota was found to have a 100-year plan.

The realm of freelancing serves intriguing parallels. Many freelancers silo each assignment, seeking the biggest payoff for the labor expended on that one gig, then seeking another client for the next, and so on. The client is viewed as a stingy antagonist. No surprise: The need to reinvent the wheel every time leaves them with scads of unbillable hours.

Freelancers who routinely savor steadier work, however, strive toward building long-term client rapport. They find the work itself taxing enough, and prefer avoiding the time-consuming added steps of finding new clients to furnish each new project. Here are a few thoughts on building longer-term client relationships:

  • Don't focus on extracting every last dime from a current project. Dwell on how much more you'll gain over time with a fair price and a happy client assigning regularly.
  • Give clients the sense you're on their team, seeking the same goals.
  • Ask clients what you can do to increase your value to the team.

Follow these stratagems and you'll likely forge longer rather than shorter client associations.

That’s the long and short of it.

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-- Jeff Steele

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