Do I tell my clients I have a day job?
As long as you make time to check your email and voice messages during your lunch break or periodically throughout the day, I don’t think you need to let clients know you have a day job, or your specific work hours. Just meet your deadlines. You can let them know to expect response to emails and phone calls within four hours or six hours or one day, or whatever you’re comfortable with, but you don’t need to go into the explanation of why.
Even if you are the most organized person, have every minute of every day planned out, and have never missed a deadline in your life, it still might be a good idea to hold back the fact that you have day job as it might unnecessarily worry potential clients. Of course, if they ask you whether or not you do, be honest. You never want to lie.
If a prospective client knows about your day job and has concerns about how you will balance it with your freelance project, there are ways to ease their mind. Don’t just tell them, but SHOW them exactly what you will do to ensure you meet the deadline. Provide them a schedule of your action plan. What days will you dedicate to research? What day will you send the first draft? When will you send the revised copy?
And be realistic with turnaround times. If you can’t get them the web page copy by the end of the week, tell them. They will appreciate your honesty and the fact that you want to dedicate sufficient time to making sure you can produce the best copy possible.
At the end of the day, what clients really care about is the quality of copy you produce and if you got it to them on the date agreed upon. If you deliver well-written copy and meet deadlines, it shouldn’t matter to them whether or not you have a day job!
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