10 Ways to Stay in Touch with Your Long-Distance Clients

Freelancers Communicate with Long Distance Clients The ultra-fast growth of information and communication technology has been a boon to freelancers. We’re no longer limited to the prospective clients in our communities. Nowadays, we can market to and collaborate with clients–even if they’re half the globe away from us. We can accept payments instantly from almost any country.

The world has become very small, indeed, for freelancers. Communicating with clients has become easier, faster and cheaper than ever before.

Here are the top ten ways freelancers can communicate with long-distance clients:

1. Email

Good old email is still our standard means of communication, whether our clients are a five-minute drive or a 24-hour flight away. Emails are fast, free, and–if you have a smart phone or other mobile device–accessible anywhere.

2. Skype

This free online voice and video chatting service has revolutionized the way freelancers work and communicate. You can chat, talk to and see your clients. Skype also offers voice and video group conferencing, which comes in handy when you need to brainstorm or collaborate with several people. You can also share files of any size.

Best of all, your voice or video call can be recorded (a third-party software like Pamela or eCamm Recorder is necessary to record voice and video calls), so you don’t have to rely on your memory or note-taking skills.

3. Phone

Yes, the telephone still makes the list.

Let’s face it. Sometimes technology fails. For instance, when my client couldn’t get her mic to work during our Skype call, I called her on the phone. I could see her on my computer monitor and hear her on the phone.

In addition, some prospects and clients prefer to talk over the phone with their outsourced staff. Hard to believe, but it’s true. Maybe it’s a matter of knowing you’re a real person with a telephone number. These same clients are probably not on Skype. Fortunately, phone rates seem to be going down, so making telephone calls is still an option.

For conference calls, a teleseminar facility is another option. You can find free teleseminar service providers by doing a quick search online.

4. Google Voice

This is a good telephony service that links your landline and mobile phones to a single telephone number. It will also transcribe your voice mail. Texting and phone calls to the US and Canada are free. BUT Google Voice is so far only available to users who have a US ISP and telephone number.

5. Line2

Line2 is an iPhone and Android app that gives you a second phone line. Since the app works on iPod Touches and iPads as well, you don’t even have to have a phone to get a phone line! It turns these mobile devices into a phone. Texting and VOIP calls are unlimited within the US and Canada. It works on WiFi, 3G or cellular networks, depending on the device you’re using. This can be an inexpensive way to get a phone line for your freelancing business.

6. Twitter

Twitter is great for exchanging short messages with your clients. When your client isn’t responding to emails or picking up the phone, check their Twitter profile. If you can see that they’re actively Twittering, then sending a DM can be the best way to reach them. Do remember to use direct messages, which only your client will see, rather than @ replies for project-related messages.

7. Facebook

I don’t recommend you get “friendly” with your clients on Facebook. I prefer to have that space where I can vent about freelancing to my real friends. However, if you do have clients who are also your friends and already connected with you on your personal Facebook account (not your Facebook page), then it’s another avenue of communication you can use. You’ll be surprised how often people log into their Facebook accounts, and how much time they spend there (not speaking from first-hand experience, of course, ahem).

8. Webinar

A webinar conference room is an excellent communication tool you can use to collaborate with long-distance clients. You can share your computer desktop with them, so you both see the same website or document you’re working on. Your client can give you feedback and you can incorporate this into the project right then and there. A webinar is perfect for rush jobs, or for times when it’s better and easier to show rather than tell. No need to keep emailing each other back and forth!

9. Apple FaceTime

If you and a client are both Mac and/or iPhone users, you can use FaceTime for Mac. It also works with the iPod Touch and iPad 2. This 99-cent app allows you to make video calls with other FaceTime users. Not as feature-rich as Skype, but it comes in handy when you and/or your client are on the go and need to connect.

10. Voxox

You can get either a free or paid custom phone number with your Voxox account, and have calls forwarded to any or all of your phones. You can also send and receive text messages and even faxes. Other features include voice mail, free Voxox-to-Voxox calls, conference calls for up to 20 participants, and integration with popular instant messaging applications and social networks. Use Voxox to send files up to 100MB in size. Unlike Google Voice, Voxox is already supported in over 40 countries.

Your Turn

With all these communication options–and new ones coming up all the time–there’s no reason freelancers should be limited to local clients only.

How do you keep in touch with your faraway clients? Do you use a service or facility I haven’t mentioned in the list above?

Share the resources you use with us so other freelancers can benefit from your experience as well.

Image by Seattle Municipal Archives

Related posts:

  1. How to Use Skype to Win Clients and Grow Your Freelancing Business
  2. How to Handle the Telephone Problem
  3. ?Top 3 Ways I Find Clients

Source http://freelancefolder.com/?p=15338
Tue, 17 May 2011 12:30:00 GMT
Tags: client communication, Managing Clients,
Gilbert E-Commerce | Anaheim-Santa Ana-Garden Grove E-Commerce | St George E-Commerce | Northeast Cobb E-Commerce | McKinney E-Commerce | Navi Mumbai E-Commerce | Minneapolis E-Commerce | Atlanta E-Commerce | Walsenburg E-Commerce | Kolkata E-Commerce |

client communication

Managing Clients

How to Manage Your Phone Problem & Still Get Work Done

About a year ago I decided to take my Web design skills and go freelance. I liked the company I…

What to Do When You Have too Much Work

We all strive to be there–we want to have so much work we never really have to advertise or cold…

When Clients Attack

OK, the title is probably a bit over-dramatic. I’m actually talking about the situation when a client disagrees with or…

Need Freelance Writer Market? Check out our member profiles:

Credence BPO Pvt Ltd Profile
Credence BPO Pvt Ltd

An ISO 9001:2008 certified and STPI registered company based in India, with offices in UK and USA. Our Services: Web Development, Design, Content & Article Writing, SEO, SEM, SMM, Native English.

Kolkata, West Bengal IN
City & Colour Design Studio Profile
City & Colour Design Studio

We are a small collaboration of designers and programmers from around the world. We work with Web, Print, Social Media, Branding, Packaging and SEO. If you can think it, we can design it.

Minneapolis, Minnesota US
Navi Mumbai
St George
Steven Lee Profile
Steven Lee

From direct-marketing to corporate communications, and everything in between, Steve has done it all. He wants to help you look your very best! Put Steve's twenty years of experience to work for you!

St George, Utah US
Anaheim-santa Ana-garden Grove
Courtney Rose Creative Services Profile
Courtney Rose Creative Services

Courtney Rose Creative Services is a full service, all-in-one creative firm. We specialize in offering a wide variety of services, styles, and qualifications.

Anaheim-Santa Ana-Garden Grove, California US
Cynthia Sowden Profile
Cynthia Sowden

Need an ad, a brochure, a video script, a feature article or web content? I give you creative copy, fast turnaround, and exceptional service. Writing, editing, proofreading at below-agency prices.

Minneapolis, Minnesota US
Free Design Quotes

How to Save Time if you Decide to Cold Call Prospects

There are many reasons why freelance writers often times overlook cold calling as a viable marketing

Your Online Reputation: You Are What You Share

How do your prospective clients learn about you? More importantly what do they know about you? Well,

Freelance Marketing — Moving Beyond Job Boards

This article is a part of a five post series for Demand Media Studios writers and others interested

Join us: Dec. 19 Portland freelance writer holiday party

We may work alone, but at Christmastime we want a party just like everyone else. On Dec. 19, Portlan

It’s Never Too Early to Think About Taxes

While April 15 seems like an eternity from now, it never hurts to be on top of your tax game.…

Article Tags
Freelance Writer Market Articles
Marketing| writing| Featured| Freelancing| How-To| Blogging| Lifestyle| Inspiration| General| blogs| Work at Home Parents| Managing Clients| writing tips| Magazine Writing| Freelance Finance| productivity| Getting Started| Web Content| social media| Getting Clients|

Freelance Writer Market Valid HTML 4.0 Transitional Valid CSS!