Meeting Your Deadlines
Cincinnati, OH | Posted: 01/24/2016 | Author: April Koenig
Every freelancer has had to race a looming deadline at one point in their career. That feeling of rushed work can be frustrating, especially when you feel like your cutting corners just to get the job done on time. Missing deadlines means an unhappy client, but a hurried effort can lead to quality issues and numerous revisions, which hurts your rep as well. No creative wants to think about the outcome date at the expense of the job itself, so let’s check out a few ways you can make project deadlines more manageable.
Negotiate Realistically – We know as a freelancer you need work, but try to stand firm if the deadline isn’t practical. You need to look realistically and somewhat comfortably at a stated deadline, otherwise you’re under the gun right from the start. Take into consideration not only the project itself, but your skillset and experience as well when setting deadlines with the client.
Make Sure The Objective Is Clear – Be on the same page with the client. Knowing exactly what the expectations are for your project means asking lots of questions. Open communication is the key, otherwise you may have to backtrack and clarify later, which eats away at project time. Don’t assume you’ll get guidance from the client at a later time, put the onus on yourself to get pertinent information. Nobody wants major overhauls down the line that could have been avoided early.
Prioritize - Freelancers usually have more than one project going at a time, so learn to juggle them wisely. The trick is to not feel like a deadline is breathing down your neck, so base your project timelines accordingly. Proceeding chronologically might make sense to most, but factor in the work itself. If you’re comfortable knocking out an easier project with a later deadline first, then do so. Think of your deadline as a time management tool, not a looming deadline to be feared.
Assess The Situation – Freelancers have all experienced the realization that a deadline will be missed. If you see the writing on the wall, act quickly. Tell your client sooner rather than later. Don’t try to cram, you’ll sacrifice quality. Ask them for some more time, and be honest. Tell them what issues caused the delay, and let them know you’re being accountable. Most of the time the client will appreciate not getting a cheap excuse. Being straightforward about a new deadline as early in the process as possible is the best way to keep quality up and stress down.Meeting Your Deadlines